La Fédération pour la Paix universelle (FPU) en collaboration avec la Fédération des Femmes pour la Paix mondiale (FFPM) et le Comité Économique et Social Européen (CESE) a organisé une Conférence Européenne pour Dirigeants sur le thème « Le rôle de l’Europe au niveau des droits de l’homme » les mardi 4 et mercredi 5 décembre 2012 à Bruxelles.
ELC Brussels Décembre 2012
The European Union is often criticized by people like me for a wide range of alleged policy and administrative failures regarding human rights. Today, however, I would like to use this opportunity to attest to the importance of Europe’s role in promoting and protecting human rights, which I can do on the basis of my own experience and reflection.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations 1989, CRC) is a binding international contract in the framework of the United Nations, and thus obliges legally the ratifying nations – indeed all UN members besides the United States and Somalia – to implement its provisions. This is a mayor milestone to recognise children, i.e. everyone under the age of 18, as citizens with human rights, and consequently responsibilities. Through this convention, children are conceived as subjects of society – like all human beings – and not anymore as mere objects of protection (Verhellen 2000).
Ms. Illario Esposito, member of the Council of Europe Advisory Council on Youth and Trainer in Human Rights Education, first showed a video about the Advisory Council on Youth for the Council of Europe dealing with human rights (see www.coe.int/enter). She explained that In terms of human rights education, the Council of Europe speaks about all the issues that young people are facing today.
Mr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director of UPF – Europe, spoke on the issue of how the UPF youth committees around Europe are dealing with these issues. He first quoted the so-called Böckenförde-dictum: “The liberal secular state lives on premises that it cannot itself guarantee”.
Distinguished guests, Ambassadors for Peace, Ladies & Gentlemen! As Chair of Universal Peace Federation in Europe, it is truly an honour and a privilege to be able to extend a warm welcome to you all to the European Economic and Social Committee here in Brussels and to our European Leadership Conference on the theme “What more can Europe do to improve Human Rights?”
I am deeply grateful to you all for taking time out of your busy schedules to be with us here this morning and to the E.E.S.C. for acting as co-hosts of this conference and for welcoming us here to their magnificent building!