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Message by the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on the Occasion of Human Rights Day, 10 December 2014

We are celebrating the 66th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has elevated human rights to a universal level on the basis of fundamental principles.

The protection and promotion of universal values relating to human rights, which form the basis of the Declaration is among the basic elements of Turkish foreign policy. To this end, Turkey, while contributing to the advancement of human rights law and values at the international level by becoming a party to regional and international conventions and mechanisms in the field of fundamental rights and freedoms; also acts with determination with respect to the realization and implementation of the standards of fundamental rights and freedoms at the national level.

Turkey is a party to core international human rights conventions and supports universal accession to them. Moreover, Turkey maintains close cooperation with all the UN mechanisms pertaining to fundamental rights and freedoms, in particular with the Human Rights Council.

The full achievement of peace and stability in the world is closely related to expanding the practices based on respect for human rights as well as developing the means and capabilities that can effectively address human rights violations and humanitarian crises in various geographies. Today, no policy or practice ignoring the people’s rights to freedom, equality and a life in dignity is acceptable. The international community should use all its available means for the common prosperity and happiness of mankind. Today, the constructive, remedial and preventive role and efforts of global and regional institutions are needed more than ever.

With this understanding, we attach importance to the first-ever UN World Humanitarian Summit which we will host here in 2016. We believe that the Summit will set the future agenda in fields such as international humanitarian law, humanitarian action and assistance, and improve the norms that would strengthen international law and its implementation in such fields.

On the occasion of Human Rights Day, I wish a future where respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms based on universal values would constitute the basis in the whole world.