Sommaire: 2 March 2010, Geneva - European Union intervention at the Human Rights Council 13th session High-Level discussion on the draft United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training
Madam High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Distinguished high State dignitaries,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the EU.
The EU welcomes today's high-level discussion on the UN draft Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, an event which will mark the launch of the HRC intergovernmental discussions on the Declaration, and welcomes the valuable contribution of the high-dignitaries present. We are ready to be a part of the discussions on this important issue in the HRC.
We appreciate the role of the "Platform for Human Rights Educations and Training" in organizing and cosponsoring this high-level event and would like to express our appreciation to the cross-regional approach adopted since the beginning of the process to which we attach great importance.
Important work has been done in the elaboration of the draft declaration so far. We would like to recognize the role of the Advisory Committee in providing the draft that will be presented to the Human Rights Council during the 13th session and which is a useful basis for in depth discussions among states on the issue. Furthermore we would like to stress the importance of the involvement of the civil society in all stages of the process and appreciate its valuable contributions to the process so far.
In our view human rights education is an important element for efficient, strengthened and comprehensive protection and promotion of human rights. The purpose of human rights education is to help develop a human rights culture that enables each person to know their own rights and obligations towards other's rights, and aims to encourage the development of individuals as responsible members of a free, pluralist and tolerant society.
In the past years there have been several international, regional and national initiatives aiming at the promotion of Human Rights Education and Training. However, there is no comprehensive document on Human Rights Education and Training which would encompass all different aspects, sectors, clarify and define main concepts and give guidance to all relevant actors. The EU expects that the UN Declaration would fill this gap.
Such a document should, in a consensual and non-legally binding manner, help to clarify the role and purpose of human rights education and training. It should provide a definition of the various principles and suggested responsibilities related to human rights education and clarify the relationship between human rights "education," "learning," and "training".
Such a Declaration would also send a clear message from the international community that human rights education should be further strengthened. It could demonstrate the necessary political will to enhance collective efforts on human rights education, raise awareness and address gaps in the international framework.
We look forward to the continuation of this process, namely the presentation of the draft Declaration under the HRC agenda item 5 during this HRC session and to the intergovernmental discussions on the declaration. The EU is willing to play an active part in this process and will constructively engage in the endeavours towards the realisation of the better understanding and knowledge about human rights.