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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE/Vatican Conference for Human Rights' Universality, eve of Key UN/Geneva+ECHR-EU/Strasbourg moves

CoE/Vatican Conference for Human Rights' Universality, eve of Key UN/Geneva+ECHR-EU/Strasbourg moves

Written by ACM
Monday, 10 September 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- During a Well-Attended Symposium, in a Full Conference Room at the "Palace of Europe" in Strasbourg, an exceptional Cooperation between the PanEuropean CoE and the Vatican, on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights (1948-2018), focused into demonstrating how Topical is, in fact, the issue of the "Universality of Human Rights" Nowadays, at the Eve of 2 particularly Important Sessions organized in Parallel by the UNO at nearby Geneva, and by the CoE here in Strasbourg, on Monitoring several "Hot" Cases of Human Rights' Violations both in Europe and across the World.

 

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Emeritus Professor at Panthéon-Assas University, Paris II, Emmanuel Decaux, who has played an important role for the adoption of UNO's landmark International Convention on the Drama of "Missing" Persons, and still is a Key Member of the World Council on Human Rights in Geneva, reminded, inter alia, how even the Spiritual Father of the European Convention of Human Rights, René Cassin, (whose Institute is located in Strasbourg), had strived to promote the Universality of Human Rights at an International Level, being against the risk to practically restrict them, more or less, only inside Europe.

 

 
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The President of the PanEuropean Court of Human Rights, (involving 47 Member States), Guido Raimondi, observed, inter alia, that the relevant European Convention clearly Protects Any Person living in the jurisdiction of CoE's Member Countries, already from its 1st Article, and that Governments are Responsible not only inside their National Territories, but also in Other Areas which may come under their "Control". Moreover, a recently developed "Judges' Diplomacy", by bringing often Together the main Regional Human Rights Courts of Various Continents in the World, can Help to develop common Standards.

 

 

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Vatican's "Foreign Minister", Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, (who knows personally quite well Strasbourg), Warned against 3 main Challenges faced Nowadays by the Universality of Human Rights :  (1) Certain Economic Policy Views which are against Social Inclusion, (2) Claims that Multi-Culturalism might allow for Exceptions on Human Rights, and (3) Cases of States or Areas where Serious and Massive Violations of Human Rights have been Tolerated for too long.

He concluded mainly by Focusing on Pope Francis' key concept of "Integral Human Development", closely linked with the traditional Christian conception of "Human Dignity", "based on the Natural law inscribed on Human Hearts, and present in Different Cultures and Civilizations", as also his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict had said during a Previous Anniversary of the International Declaration for Human Rights, at UNO's General Assembly, Back on 2008, in order to fight against Dangers of "Relativism".

Despite (or, perhaps : Because of...) an Exceptionally fertile and Timely context of Manifold on-going Developments involving "Hot" Issues of Human Rights, these Days, both inside the CoE (f.ex. : its Comittee of Ministers' supervision of the execution of ECHR's judgments next week in Strasbourg), and the UNO, (f.ex., the Beginning of the Annual Session of the World Council for Human Rights at nearby Geneva from this week), as well as in EU Parliament, (f.ex., among others, also a Controversy about the real situation in Hungary, etc, debated on Tuesday and Wednesday during this Weekly Plenary in Strasbourg, etc), surprisingly, Contrary to what had happened in the Past, when Mgr. Gallagher had visited the CoE at a Previous, Different Occasion, this Time there was No Press-Point organized.

 


Nevertheless, well-informed Vatican's sources, speaking "off the record" with "Eurofora", awknowledged the fact that a Serious Challenge for Human Rights Nowadays, having a Universal Character, are the Risks that may present eventual Abuses of Modern Genetic Technologies, particularly after the Recent, Controversial Discoveries also of "Gene Editing", whose Present and Future depend, inter alia, also from the development of Scientists' "Consciousness".

 

(../..)
 


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(NDLR : Headline PHOTO = Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher,
Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, and Vatican's Permanent Representative to the CoE, Msgr. Paolo Rudelli)
 
 
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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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