Doha: (NHRC: 13/12/2009): The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has joined the UN and world countries marking the 61st anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by stressing that the movement to end all forms of discrimination is among the main principles adopted in Qatar’s constitution.
The Universal Day of Human Rights, which fell on December 10, was observed worldwide this year under the theme “Embrace Diversity and Eliminate Discrimination”.
Speaking at a ceremony held at the Diplomatic Club, NHRC chairman Dr Ali bin Semaikh al-Marri said that the rule of law and respect of human rights have been always part of the state of Qatar.
“Any reading of the current situation in the state of Qatar shows that the country seeks to enhance human rights, democracy and rule of law,” Dr al-Marri said.
The ceremony which was hosted by NHRC head unit of public relations and information, Mr. Abdallah Almahmoud, was attended by dignitaries and heads of diplomatic missions in the country.
The ceremony was concluded by the cutting of a big cake on which the words “Against Discrimination” was written in many of the languages of the world.
The United Nations meanwhile marked the occasion , by stressing the enduring need to eliminate all forms of discrimination, with officials in the world’s most crisis-plagued regions – from Iraq to Afghanistan to Somalia – appealing for tolerance in the interests of peace.
“No country is free of discrimination,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message for the Day whose theme this year is ‘Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination.’ “It may appear as institutionalized racism, as ethnic strife, as episodes of intolerance and rejection, or as an official national version of history that denies the identity of others.
“Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants, minorities, and all those who are perceived as different,” he added, pledging UN commitment to fight inequality and intolerance wherever they are found.
In New York, General Assembly President Ali Treki joined the chorus of those calling for the respect of human rights without distinction to race, sex, language or religion.
And in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay deplored the fact that discrimination is still rampant 61 years after the Declaration’s adoption. “Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours and produce half of the world’s food, yet earn only 10 per cent of the world’s income and own less than one per cent of the world’s property,” she said, also citing discrimination plaguing ethnic, racial and religious minorities, refugees and migrants. In a joint statement the various independent experts who report to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council warned that efforts to end discrimination are falling short and progress is even being reversed in some instances.