Commentary on the High Level Thematic Debate on Human Rights

Often times we have a tendency to discuss human rights as unalienable, undeniable, all-encompassing principles, awarding them a rather abstract distinction. When in fact, in order to adequately address all human rights challenges in today’s world we simply need to humanize their connotation, simplify them, unify them and relate to them properly. Everything begins with sovereignty of the individual and human security. Without individual safety we cannot discuss employment, equality, migration, gender, education and so forth. Safety is the hallmark of freedom from fear, while well-being is the target of freedom from want.

In a world of terrorism, war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, bombings, human trafficking, hatred and crimes against humanity, we have been blindly robbed from our basic right of human security. As President of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly, I firmly advocated the concept of human security so we may gain a better understanding of how protection and empowerment of individual human beings, in addition to national security, lie at the very heart of the overall security architecture.

The United Nations, as a universal and multilateral body, represents the safeguard for human rights. Member States alongside multiple stakeholders such as civil society, the media, businesses, local governments, and other organizations have a historic opportunity to make a difference, to initiate change, raise awareness, emphasize the gravity and most of all humanize the meaning of basic individual rights.

At the World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul in May, 2016 the Commitment for Action signed by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and other relevant representatives from multiple organizations pledged that we must increase effectiveness when it comes to human rights challenges in two ways “Conceptually, developing a shared understanding of sustainability, vulnerability, and resilience; Operationally, [through]… (i) Pooled and combined data, analysis and information; (ii) Better joined up planning and programming processes; (iii) Effective leadership for collective outcomes; and (iv) Financing modalities to support collective outcomes.”

Furthermore, the report of the UN Secretary General “One Humanity: Shared Responsibility” reaffirms the importance of adopting the 2030 Agenda and emphasizes the need of collectivity and collaboration in tackling all shortcomings when it comes to human rights. And I cannot agree more.

I want to be a part of this journey. I want to pledge my commitment and devotion to this mission of protecting the basic human rights and ensuring freedom, equality and stability to every individual. This cause is a priority in my agenda and must also become a universal priority for leaders all around.

I wish you a successful second day in discussing the major challenges and issues dealing with human rights on this High Level Thematic Debate. 

13 July 2016