Egypt keen on making human rights a reality: Justice minister

MENA , Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Mar 2023

Egypt is fully aware of the need to make human rights a reality, and also committed to achieving this goal, Minister of Justice Omar Marwan said Wednesday.

 Amr Marawan
File photo of Minister of Justice Omar Marawan said Wednesday. (Photo: Ministry of Justice)


Marwan was addressing a meeting of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) concerned with monitoring compliance of state parties with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

He also emphasised the state's commitment to guarantee the rights of all citizens and ensure equal opportunity by building efficient institutions and effective justice delivery mechanism.

The meeting addressed Egypt's fifth report on human rights that was submitted to the committee in November 2019.

Marwan said Egypt had taken unprecedented steps to advance human rights over the past few years, thanks to a determined political will, which clearly demonstrates the amount of attention the state gives to its citizens and their rights.

As an example, the minister cited the president-backed "Decent Life" rural development project, the largest of its kind in the world, which aims to improve the life quality of more than 60 million citizens nationwide, despite the harsh economic conditions at the national and global levels.

He stressed that the ongoing political and economic challenges Egypt has been facing, along with the cases of violating some human rights enshrined in the ICCPR, simulate more action and determination to achieve the noble goal of promoting human rights and enhancing partnerships with human rights bodies.

Marwan added that Egypt's Permanent Higher Committee for Human Rights is following up the implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy (NHRS), launched in September 2021 as the first of its kind to adopt a comprehensive approach to advance human rights in Egypt.

He is leading a high-level delegation in Geneva, Switzerland, to review the fifth periodical report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) during meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Marwan said Egypt has made major human rights achievements in line with the ICCPR, noting that Cairo has been working on building a fully integrated system for promoting human rights in the past eight years.

The 137th session of the HRC – which is being held in Geneva from 27 February to 24 March – is reviewing reports on the status of the implementation of the ICCPR in Egypt and five other countries – Panama, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, and Zambia.

The delegation includes representatives from the foreign and justice ministries, the Public Prosecution, along with a host of senior officials from relevant bodies, including President of the National Council for Women (NCW) Maya Morsy and Chairperson of the National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons Naela Gabr.

The HRC is one of the most prominent treaty bodies on the international level.

It was established under the ICCPR, a significant international treaty in this field.

In 1981, Egypt joined the ICCPR and since then it has been submitting periodical reports on progress made in the field of the rights guaranteed in the covenant, the minister pointed out.

Earlier in the day, President of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Moushira Khattab, who is heading a high-level Egyptian delegation to the session, presented to the HRC an assessment of the Human Rights Committee’s report on the state of political and civil rights in Egypt from November 2020 to September 2022.

Khattab noted that Egypt seriously deals with the issues of human rights in light of the existing political will to enhance the state of political and civil rights in the country.

Egypt's keenness to deal with human rights issues is also reflected in the composition of the NCHR, which adheres to the Paris Principles, Khattab said.

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