Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Group of 13 NGO's Oppose the promotion of so called "new rights" by the Human Rights Council In Geneva

We reported on March 8th on the walkout by Ambassadors from the panel discussion  “Ending Violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and Gender Identity” We also reported that very few NGO's got to speak at the time except those is support of the creation of new rights. 
A statement was made however by Association of Communities of Pope John XXIII under Item 8 of the Human Rights Council agenda, on March 20th entitled "Toward preserving the Universality of Human Rights"  which was supported by group of 13 NGO's as follows 
The Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII joins with Caritas Internationalis, New Humanity, Association Points-Coeur, AVSI, International Association of Charities, OIDEL, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, UNUM OMNES, World Youth Alliance and WUCWO in condemning any form of violence and discrimination such as that cited in the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and reaffirm that the inherent dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.

International law, if properly implemented and respected, already provides protection against discrimination for all. Inclusion of terms such as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into binding UN documents would amount to an unprecedented departure from the universal and objective foundation of the International Bill of Human Rights; the promotion of “new rights” for particular groups in society will threaten the universality of human rights as well as national sovereignty.

Such attempts would put into question the respect and protection for such foundational social institutions as the natural family, marriage, and the rights of the child, with particular adherence to the principle of the “best interests of the child”. Furthermore, it could result in the consequent weakening of other rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion, right to education, right to privacy and other cultural rights.

Recognizing the principle of subsidiarity, we maintain that issues of violence and discrimination are best addressed by integrating the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, into national and local laws and policies.

In conclusion, we appeal to this Council:

To promote and monitor the implementation, by all UN Member States, of legislation and policies that recognize and defend the inherent dignity of each and every human person and that sanction any discriminatory or violent behaviour towards them.

To safeguard the universality of human rights by avoiding pressure to define special categories or rights that go beyond those already articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.