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Peace at home, peace in the world

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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

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

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which represents one of the most difficult challenges faced on a global scale and threatens fundamental rights and freedoms worldwide, in particular the right to health and right to life, demonstrates once again the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

During this difficult period of the pandemic, Turkey resolutely continues to take human rights-oriented steps. Guided by our enterprising and humanitarian foreign policy, in addition to the policies we have implemented for our citizens and the refugees we host, we have also supported decisions and initiatives at the United Nations and other international platforms aimed at protecting and strengthening fundamental human rights while fighting the epidemic.

With the deeply rooted tradition of diplomacy we have inherited, we play a leading role for shaping important initiatives at the table. With the strength of our values that constitute the foundation of our civilization, we reach promptly and efficiently the people in need on the ground all over the world. Aware of the importance of international solidarity in fighting the pandemic, we have been among the leading countries in the world with regard to both access to medical equipment and evacuations.

Despite the difficult conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to play an exemplary role in the face of the refugee crisis, whereby the international community was reluctant to take concrete actions. We have continued to extend a helping hand to those who escaped from persecution and violence without differentiating as to their language, religion, culture or origin. We have pursued our efforts to ensure safe and voluntary return of our Syrian brothers and sisters to their country.

We observe that the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled xenophobia, Islamophobia, intolerance, discrimination and hate speech, which threaten peace and social cohesion around the world. With a view to ensuring compliance with freedom of religion and conscience as well as the prohibition of discrimination safeguarded by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we will continue to lead initiatives to combat such tendencies that threaten peace and harmony and bring these problems and our fight against them to the agenda of the international community.

This difficult year, which also marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, has once again demonstrated the importance of international cooperation and solidarity. Ensuring respect for human rights at international level is only possible if international community acts with a sense of shared responsibility.

We believe that overcoming the threats faced by the world such as the COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism, extremism and racism can only be possible if countries take sincere and resolute steps in line with the spirit of cooperation. While we continue to protect human rights at the highest level in our country, we will pursue with determination our struggle for all victims around the world whose rights are violated.

Hoping that human rights and human values shall always prevail around the world, I sincerely congratulate the Human Rights Day of our nation and of the whole humanity.