UNPO Manifesto: International Human Rights Day 2010
The 10th of December will mark the 2010 International Human Rights Day celebrations. UNPO wants to manifest this special day as an opportunity for learning from past failures and promising improvement for the future.
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) promotes human rights worldwide through its daily efforts to support its Members that struggle each day for the human rights proclaimed essential by the United Nations.
International Human Rights Day is a celebration of the recognition given to human rights as a universal and unqualified entitlement, but also serves as a reflection on the limited application and observance of these rights. As such, it is a day from which to draw inspiration to work harder to ensure that the rights of each and every person are promoted and protected.
Since International Human Rights Day 2009, the world has seen forced deportation of Uyghur and Hmong refugees and Tehran forcefully subduing the largest protests to sweep the country thirty-one years after the Islamic Revolution. But it was also the year in which Iran faced its first examination under the United Nations Human Rights Council in February 2010. It was therefore a year of mixed progress, but progress that UNPO helped to drive with the help of its Members and partners.
Similarly, the European Parliament adopted resolutions condemning states that violate the human rights of UNPO members such as the Baloch, Azeri, Iranian Kurds, Ahwazi, Uyghur, Tibetans – and many more, reflecting the sad state of human rights but also the active interest of supranational bodies and UNPO’s role in supporting responses to infringement of accepted human rights. Supporting activists, in April 2009 UNPO also engaged in training Degar-Montagnard youth in human rights seminars to enhance their knowledge and abilities. Because no positive economic development can occur without proper attention to the environment, UNPO focused attentions on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and drew hundreds to an event marking the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his efforts to halt the despoliation of the Niger Delta.
In May UNPO’s 10th General Assembly took place, providing a unique platform for Members to raise awareness of ongoing atrocities and disasters but also to identify possible solutions. A report by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the World Bank on the issues concerning indigenous peoples world wide concluded that critical poverty disproportionately affects indigenous people. This is of great concern to UNPO and should become of great concern to all. Media attention and publication of such misery and adversity is crucial for the world to have a picture of what is happening and take steps for improvement. This year has witnessed freedom of speech and political organization being violently oppressed in countries such as Iraq, Iran and Burma. Democratic states and citizens should unite to promote these values and rights so that those journalists and democratic political forerunners have a chance to make a difference.
The International Court of Justice’s ruling on Kosova’s independence is applauded by the UNPO and seen as a great success that gives hope to other oppressed minorities and indigenous peoples that self-determination is achievable. The newborn country is continuously improving its political, social and economic situation, also with the help of its newly gained membership with the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development. Such institutions have great positive influence and we hope to see our other members also profiting from this boost for democracy.
Pakistan’s flood disaster has showed that even relief can be used with discrimination, causing millions to suffer through lack of clean water and food. International NGOs and states offering help should put more effort in assuring that their care and relief goods are equally distributed amongst ethnic groups. Burma’s sham elections clarify that democracy and protection of human rights have no place in military dictatorships. The recent release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a minor triumph for the Democratic Movement that hopefully promises a journey to democratic victory.
Pointing out these major events, positive developments and major setbacks, UNPO wants to manifest 2010’s International Human Rights Day as a day for learning from past failures and promising improvement for the future. UNPO urges all societies, governments, citizens, ethnic and indigenous groups, elites, NGOs, international and supranational organs, companies, regions, villages and global cities to review their contribution to improving human rights and step up their efforts at least a notch, so that this day a year from now will be a bigger success and makes us proud.
Best wishes and kind regards,
UNPO General Secretary