Guinea-Bissau: President calls for zero tolerance for rights violation in West Africa

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (PANA) - President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau has challenged ECOWAS citizens to contribute to the creation in the sub-region of an environment of ''zero tolerance'' for human rights violations and founded on the principles of justice, fairness and equality.

An ECOWAS Commission statement obtained by PANA here Saturday quoted the President as saying, at the closing of an international conference on human rights here Friday, that West Africa can only banish the ‘ghost of war, instability dictatorship, oppression, torture and discrimination,’ by developing and implementing a region wide  human rights regime.

This, he said, should be founded on international instruments and best practices such as the Universal Declaration on Human rights  and the principles of liberty, fraternity and equality in order to ensure the 'freedom of thought, opinion, conscience and expression and guarantee the right to live, food, free movement, work and protection’.

The responsibility for entrenching such a culture, the President added, rests with the citizens as it would be ‘pure illusion nowadays to pretend that without respecting the universal nature of human rights, it would be possible to overcome the modern challenges of creating a democratic and lawful society’ and addressing the challenge of underdevelopment.

He challenged the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, which organised the conference, to be in the forefront in the fight for the improvement of the human rights environment in the region in furtherance of its mandate, in order to ensure respect for human rights in the region without consideration for nationality.

In her closing remarks, President of the Court Justice Maria do Ceu Silva Monteiro said the just-concluded fifth conference provided an opportunity to review the human rights environment in the region, the role of the court in improving the situation and sensitising citizens of Guinea-Bissau about ECOWAS and its values.

She assured the court would ‘take into consideration’ proposals for the creation of an appellate chamber based on the best position that protects the interest of the citizens, describing the three-day conference as an ‘enriching and rewarding’ experience for the court and participants.

The theme of the conference, a biannual event of the court, was ''Human rights as fundamental value of ECOWAS, an analysis of the jurisprudence of the ECOWAS Court of Justice''.
-0- PANA SEG/AR 21Mar2015

21 Março 2015 15:49:59

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