International Human Rights Day – Recover Better – Stand up for Human Rights
Today, we mark International Human Rights Day. It is very different from previous years. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives without precedent. In fact, it goes far beyond a public health emergency. It is an economic and social crisis, as well as a human rights crisis.
It has had a profound impact on most of the challenges that the world has been facing for quite some time: poverty, inequality, discrimination, exclusion, and environmental degradation to name just a few.
Covid-19 is a test of societies, of governments, of communities, and of individuals. We are all in this together. Now is the time for solidarity and cooperation to address this challenge with success. For this to happen, Covid-19 response and recovery must be guided by human rights.
Slovenia has been following this path while coping with the difficult situation on the ground. Vulnerable groups have been receiving the Government's particular attention throughout the year. Despite the difficult situation due to protective measures, Slovenia has continued to actively promote human rights at the international level.
Its well-established worldwide project providing education on children's rights has been implemented in Egypt, Albania, and Kosovo. Slovenia has actively participated in hybrid sessions of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly Third Committee, adding its voice to those calling for the safeguarding of human rights for all.
Slovenia advocated for greater media freedom during the Covid-19 pandemic and joined the calls to eliminate impunity relating to attacks against journalists and to guarantee their safety. It has done so while participating at the Ministerial Meeting of the Media Freedom Coalition and the Ministerial Round Table on the margins of the World Press Freedom Conference.
In addition, Slovenia has taken part in launching the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance as one of its founding members.
Finally, Slovenia has joined a newly established UN Group of Friends for the fight against violence against women and participated in numerous events to mark the 20th anniversary of UN resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security as well as the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration.
Looking ahead, we need to build back better. Underpinned by human rights, Sustainable Development Goals provide the framework for more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.
However, this crisis should also be regarded as a window of opportunity to better prepare the future generations by respecting their rights, enhancing climate action aiming at carbon neutrality by 2050 and by protecting biodiversity.
By respecting human rights, especially under these circumstances, we will build more effective and inclusive solutions for the present emergency and the future recovery.