STATEMENT by H.E. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr. Gennady M.Gatilov at the High Level Segment of the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, 26 February 2013
This year the Russian Federation will take part in the sessions of the Human Rights Council in the status of observer. We will continue contributing to the discussions of the key issues of the vast HRC agenda, and use all the existing formats of cooperation and dialogue to reinforce the universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Throughout the relatively short existence of the HRC we managed to reach the results that give hope for enhancement of the human rights situation worldwide. However, despite all the efforts, the human rights challenges still persist. The mankind is facing new problems that can be solved only by joint effort.
Russia has been always upholding and will consistently continue to uphold the principles of the rule of international law and collective efforts in the international affairs including the issues of human rights encouragement and protection. We act on the premise that the responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights lies with the States as main guarantors of law enforcement all over their territory, whereas the international community should play a supplementary role in these processes.
We need a joint search for solutions that would ensure democratic procedures in international and domestic affairs, favour comprehensive implementation of the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other universal human rights instruments, strengthen constructive potential of the civil society and enhance its responsibility. The UN should become the main international platform for the realization of these goals and the core issue of the HRC work.
Such solutions can be found only by means of a constructive international dialogue and cooperation, as stipulated in the GA resolution 60/251. It is cooperation on equal basis, readiness to respect different interests and search for compromise that could play a crucial role in fostering convergence of various States, the regional and political associations, creating of the climate of trust and mutual respect in terms of promotion and protection of human rights. The practice shows that the way of unilateral accusations and criticism, chosen by some States, is counter predicting and leads only to confrontation, thus making ordinary people hostages of such approach.
The Russian Federation consistently upholds the necessity to reinforce the moral principles in the international relations, the rejection of double standards and the development of depoliticized dialogue on human rights issues. At the same time, it is important to take into account national and regional specificity of every State. It is the only way to enhance the mutual understanding between civilizations, cultures and religions on the basis of shared values. It is intolerable to use the thesis of human rights universality for unilateral intrusion of neoliberal concepts promoting asocial mode of life and destructing a human as a personality.
Racism, xenophobia, intolerance, racial and ethnical discrimination represent a problem of global scale. Nowadays, it affects all countries, even those which position themselves as a model in terms of addressing human rights issues. That is why we are deeply concerned by the constant discrimination of the Russian-speaking national minorities in a number of States, where they are considered to be second-rate people. In particular, it refers to the disgraceful phenomenon of statelessness widely spread in several countries. A society cannot be considered civilized if hundreds of people, born on its territory and working hard to contribute to its prosperity for their whole lives, are deprived of citizenship. We hope that this issue will be solved in the nearest future.
Another challenge of the modern societies is the resort to openly racist and xenophobic slogans in the course of political struggle that has become a common practice. Moreover, some forces go further, trying to reanimate the most dangerous theory of racial superiority – Nazism – just in order to comply with their momentary conjuncture interest. This ideology has always been a stigma of the human history. It entailed the most tragic events of the world history, the worst war the mankind ever faced. The Second World War and the inhuman actions of Nazi have wounded millions of people around the world. Lives and happiness of a whole generation have been sacrificed to the Nazi ideology.
We are concerned about the increasing trend to solve problems by unauthorized use of force. We can see the consequences of such policy in the Middle East and the North Africa. Almost every day this region witnesses terrorist acts, uncontrolled dissemination of arms, militant infiltration, including in the Sahara-Sahel zone. It triggers a “chain reaction”, and now the Libyan echo resounds in Mali. We have to admit that protest movements and revolutions of the so called Arab spring in some countries have led to chaos and destabilization instead of democracy and legality establishment, as well as to destruction of the human rights instead of restoring respect for them.
We are convinced that a peaceful solution of the Syrian crisis is still possible. But it is important that all the participants of the Action Group’s meeting in Geneva on 30 June 2012 take up the implementation of the jointly formulated approaches in a conscientious and consolidated way, work actively with the Syrian parties in order to seat them at the negotiating table. Russia continues the respective cooperation both with the Government and the opposition. That is what we expect from others as well.
Acute conflicts in several regions of the world show that it is important to take into account the interconnection of all the three foundations of the world order – development, peace and security, and human rights. Today it is particularly obvious that promotion and protection of human rights is impossible without peace and development. Strong international peace can be attained only collectively and by the rule of law, primarily in international affairs.
This year the mankind is celebrating the anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and the Programme of Action. These two decades proved that this document, adopted in 1993 at the World Conference on human rights, has not become obsolete. Moreover, it continues to set actual goals before us. It is essential to go on with strengthening global respect for human rights and achieving mutual understanding on all the issues of the human rights agenda.
The commemorated anniversary is a good reason for every State to look back and see what internal human rights issues require solutions. This is better than lecturing others while turning a blind eye to one’s own protection gaps and shortcomings. Thus, we can all make a major contribution to the human rights encouragement worldwide, the prosperity and sustainable development of our civilization.
Thank you, Mr. President.