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International Human Rights Day - A time to implement international standards

10 December, 2003

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane marking international Human Rights Day has said that it is time that governments throughout the world committed themselves to the highest international human rights standards.

Ms Ruane said:

" Today people throughout the world are marking International Human Rights Day. It is a day for people to express and show solidarity those individuals worldwide who continue to suffer human rights abuses.

"We need to build societies that are underpinned by a human rights culture and ethos. Human rights programmes need to be incorporated into every aspect of our lives.

"Human rights and equality are core components of the Good Friday Agreement. We need to get the institutions up and running to continue building peace and justice in Ireland. Fundamentally we need to see the two governments live up to their commitments on the outstanding issues that need to be resolved. We need to have more openness and transparency from governments, and they need to abide by the international agreements and covenants they are signatories to.

"On this particular day it is crucial that the British government addresses the serious difficulties with the Human Rights Commission. The Commission has not measured up to the task it was set by the Good Friday Agreement. It has consequently lost credibility and public confidence. The British government needs acknowledge this. In particular they must address the need for a comprehensive restructuring of the Commission that will include changes to its composition and appointments process, its powers and resources." ENDS

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