INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY STATEMENT FROM THE SECRETARY GENERAL
It is with immense pleasure that I release this Statement to celebrate Human Rights Day 2021.
Human Rights Day holds particular importance for the Forum and its Member Parliaments not only because the Forum is a steadfast advocate of human rights in Southern Africa, but because human rights lie at the very foundation and constitute a pillar of a healthy democratic framework. It is trite that without a vibrant culture of human rights, parliamentary sovereignty and the Rule of law would be at stake.
This is also to reiterate that the Forum is committed to promoting civil and political human rights (first-generation rights), as well as economic, social and cultural rights (second-generation rights), both of which are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the African Charter for Human and Peoples’ Rights. Within its Vision to stand as the Flag-Bearer of Democratisation and Socio-Economic Development in Southern Africa, the SADC-PF harnesses core values and guiding principles that speak to the respect for all human rights in their generality. In addition, the Forum also acknowledges the interconnectedness of human rights, and the need not to leave any human right behind when achieving progressive development.
Today, Human Rights Day is also coinciding with the opening ceremony of the 50th Plenary Assembly of the SADC-PF which is a landmark event for the organisation and the Membership. The 50th Plenary Assembly will also be the illustrious platform for the deliberations on the adoption of the SADC Model Law on Gender-Based Violence, the latter being another landmark instrument to promote human rights for all, without discrimination.
In the decade to follow, the Forum pledges to continue leveraging parliamentary democracy and inter-parliamentary cooperation to implement human rights across the SADC region and beyond.
Happy Human Rights Day 2021!
ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM SECRETARY GENERAL, MS BOEMO SEKGOMA
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