Intervention at the 29th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

Intervention at the 29th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

2015. 06. 17.

We have a great responsibility to protect human beings and their rights all over the world.

Dear colleagues, let me congratulate Mr.Toure and Mr. Stier for the report they put together and which touches the most important issues. As we have a great responsibility in protecting human beings, we cannot use cultural diversity as an excuse for the violation of lives. But accepting and respecting cultural diversity is the mean to protect human beings all over the world. 

Let me raise your attention to three vulnerable groups that contribute to cultural diversity and whose human rights are mostly endangered.

The cultural rights and the mother tongue are unalienable parts of one's identity and the role of these is even more important in the case of ethnic, national and linguistic minorities. These minorities contribute to cultural diversity – such a diversity has to be protected and seen as an asset in any country and in any society. Equality in chances should be promoted in all areas of economic, social, political and cultural life.

Another main element of one's identity is religion. We are experiencing in our days one of the most serious breach of the most basic human rights when it comes to religious intolerance. In this context we have to discuss the destruction of ancient cultural sights. We need to respond quickly and effectively to these crimes in order to avoid any further destruction and discourage the traffic and sale of cultural goods from the conflict areas.

Last, but not least, I would like to raise your attention to the importance of protection of children and the role of education in their effective protection. This subject has to be part of any report concerning human rights. We have to fight on the highest level against malnutrition, the violence committed against children, the abduction of children, the use of child soldiers, etc. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups of society, abuses against them remain too often in silence. We have to underline again and again that education is the main mean to protect them and hinder violation of human rights in general.