“In order to maintain the credibility of the international human rights architecture, we must demonstrate through our actions that every citizen of the world deserves the same level of respect and protection”, Ambassador Martha Pobee, Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations stated in her address at the High Level thematic debate of the General Assembly in New York on “UN@70: Human Right at the center of the global agenda”.
As we get to the close of the 10th anniversary of the Human Rights Council, she said Ghana is concerned at the rise in reported acts of racial discrimination and hate speech, which seem to be gaining grounds in public discourse.
This is because “the plight of growing numbers of migrants, displaced persons and refugees especially women and children around the world are even more alarming” saying that it therefore behooved on the global community to give meaning to the various international human rights instruments and act to safeguard the dignity and sanctity of human life.
The Ambassador underscored her country’s firm believe that human rights should remain central on the global agenda and assured that the government of Ghana will continue to uphold human rights and work with all national and international stakeholders to ensure that respect for fundamental human rights for all is further improved and advanced.
In this vein, she affirmed Ghana’s continuous co-operation with special procedure mandate holders and the continental African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), to which it (Ghana) was the first country to submit itself for open assessment by other African States.
“Indeed most of the recommendations of these mechanisms have been implemented and a number of administrative reforms have been undertaken on the basis of those recommendations”, the Ambassador pointed out, emphasising that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), our independent national human rights institution is constitutionally empowered to investigate and prosecute cases of human rights violations based upon the petition of any Ghanaian.
The protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Ambassador said remained key principles on which Ghana’s democratic governance is anchored.“Our commitment to these principles is derived from the Constitution of Ghana, which guarantees equality, freedom and justice for all its citizens. My delegation, therefore, welcomes every effort made by the international community aimed at genuinely addressing human rights concerns across the globe.
“In recognition of the fact that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, Ghana has acceded to several international human rights instruments with the objective of not only attaining international human rights standards provided in those instruments, but also contributing to the setting of international norms and standards that would guarantee healthy respect for the rights of all persons regardless of their gender, colour, race or religious persuasion.
“Ghana welcomes continued dialogue and capacity-building in the field of human rights learning in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. This is buttressed in our firm belief that each nation or society faces peculiar challenges of its own and that no particular nation has the best model in every field of human rights”, Ambassador Pobee said.
Furthermore, there is also a strong culture of civil society participation in decision-making. Civil Society and the media continue to play their watch dog roles whilst at the same time promoting transparency and accountability in every aspect of governance.
She was particularly pleased that respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms had been made an integral part of the SDGs, noting that “this is a clear recognition that we cannot as a global community divorce human rights from development. Promoting human rights principles must, therefore, not be seen as an end in itself but should be interwoven with the attainment of economic and social development such as the provision of education, food, safe drinking water, basic sanitation and health care”.
Source: Permanent UN