Put human rights on top of the agenda for reforms in the Arab region

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Human Rights NGOs urge the EU and USA to take into account the views of civil society in their initiative for reforms in the Arab region

At a press conference held in Brussels this morning on the eve of the EU-US Summit, representatives of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) called upon the European Union and the United States to put human rights on top of their agenda for reforms. They also urge them to base any initiative for reforms in the Arab region on real partnership between civil society organisations, political parties and governments in each country.”Civil society should have a central role to play in the drawing up of the priorities as well as in their implementation. It should also be involved in the process of monitoring the reforms and identifying the benchmarks for efficient implementation”, said Kamel Jendoubi, President of the EMHRN.Bahey El Din Hassan, Director the CIHRS, added that International initiatives are particularly important because Arab governments turn a deaf ear to internal calls for reforms and even suppress reformists, while they pay more attention to external initiatives. “Chances of success of initiatives of the International Community initiatives are however enhanced if they meet the principles of the calls for reforms from within the Arab region”, he said.

Finally after evaluating the Conclusions of the recent G8 and EU Summits, Michel Tubiana, Vice-President of the FIDH, added that “this process would have more chances to have results if it was accompanied by a fair settlement of the Iraqi issue, as well as the Palestine issue based on the respect of the right to an independent Palestinian State according to UN resolutions”.At a press conference held in Brussels this morning on the eve of the EU-US Summit, representatives of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) called upon the European Union and the United States to put human rights on top of their agenda for reforms. They also urge them to base any initiative for reforms in the Arab region on real partnership between civil society organisations, political parties and governments in each country.

“Civil society should have a central role to play in the drawing up of the priorities as well as in their implementation. It should also be involved in the process of monitoring the reforms and identifying the benchmarks for efficient implementation”, said Kamel Jendoubi, President of the EMHRN.

Bahey El Din Hassan, Director the CIHRS, added that International initiatives are particularly important because Arab governments turn a deaf ear to internal calls for reforms and even suppress reformists, while they pay more attention to external initiatives. “Chances of success of initiatives of the International Community initiatives are however enhanced if they meet the principles of the calls for reforms from within the Arab region”, he said.

Finally after evaluating the Conclusions of the recent G8 and EU Summits, Michel Tubiana, Vice-President of the FIDH, added that “this process would have more chances to have results if it was accompanied by a fair settlement of the Iraqi issue, as well as the Palestine issue based on the respect of the right to an independent Palestinian State according to UN resolutions”.

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