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Statement by H.E Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, on the occasion of Human Rights Day, 10 December 2017

Today we celebrate the 69th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights which has elevated human rights to the level of universally accepted framework of fundamental principles.

Protection and promotion of the values regarding human rights is the foundation of our state tradition. Our country, a party to the core human rights conventions of the United Nations and Council of Europe, has never compromised with the principle of respect for human rights and maintains its constructive cooperation with the international organisations.

In 2017, we have sadly continued witnessing grave human rights violations in various parts of the world. Just as remaining silent about the atrocities taking place in Syria, Iraq and violations in Palestine, the international community unfortunately did not display a unified stance against the massacres and tragedies taking place in Myanmar. As a matter of fact, Turkey experienced how indifferent the world could become vis-à-vis protection of the rights of others during and after the July 15 terrorist coup attempt. However, by countering this hateful attempt at the cost of their lives, our honorable nation not only protected their state but also consolidated their devotion to democracy and human rights.

The experiences in the aftermath of these developments indicate that the whole international community, not just some countries, should make common efforts to end human rights violations and to establish peace and stability. It is an undeniable fact that the international community should mobilize every means available for the common peace and well-being of the people as soon as possible. All means and capacities should be utilized collectively for an effective fight against human rights violations and humanitarian crises taking place in various parts of the world.

Today our country continues to counter many bloody terrorist organisations violating the right to life, which is a fundamental human right, in line with the rule of law and international obligations. Protection and advancement of human rights and the prevalence of peace and well-being both in our region and all around the world will continue to be our primary goal. We consider respect for human rights as a natural prolongation of our deep rooted state tradition as well as centuries-old understanding of tolerance.

With these thoughts in mind, I sincerely congratulate Human Rights Day for our nation and for the whole humankind.