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Cairo Declaration

The Conference of Arab Mechanisms for Human Rights and Enhancement of National Security”

We participated in the Conference of “Arab Mechanisms for Human Rights and Enhancement of National Security” organized by the Arab Parliament in cooperation with the Federation for Human Rights. The event took place on June 02, 2016 at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The conference was attended by HE Mr. Ahmed Bin Mohammad Al-Jarwan, President of the Arab Parliament; HE Dr. Ahmed Bin Thani Al-Hameli, President of the Arab Federation for Human Rights; HE Dr. Hadi Bin Ali Al-Yami, Chairman of the Arab Human Rights Committee (Charter Committee); HE Dr. Mohammed Faiq, Head of the National Council for Human Rights in the Arab Republic of Egypt; and HE Dr. Ali bin Said Sameekh Al-Marri, President of the National Human Rights Committee, State of Qatar. Moreover, there was a participation from a number of VIPs from the Arab League, the Arab Parliament, the Arab national parliaments, presidents and representatives of a number of human rights institutions in the Arab World and a group of leading political, intellectual, academic and media figures in the Arab World.

The Conference discussed six worksheets related to the Arab mechanisms for human rights and enhancement of national security, and the role of Arab non-governmental organizations in activating regional mechanisms as an approach for supporting and enhancing the respect of human rights in the Arab World. On one hand, these mechanisms are viewed as a means of enhancing national security in terms of creating and activating both national and regional mechanisms for dealing with human rights issues, whilst on the other, it helps in eradicating any international interventions, political or ideological agendas and structured projects targeting the region’s security and stability under the slogan of defending rights and freedoms.

  • For the purpose of achieving the objectives of the Conference;
  • Inspired by the spirit of the Islamic and Arab values based on respect for human rights and preservation of human dignity;
  • Believing in the importance of enhancing the Arab mechanisms for human rights, which are based within the Arab World, for consolidating the rights of the Arab citizen in all respects, conserving human dignity of the Arab citizens and achieving justice, equity, the rule of law and its role in protecting human rights;
  • Affirming the joint responsibility and recognizing the risks and threats surrounding the Arab Region and the spread of terrorist groups and extremism, by which most of the world regions, not only our Arab Region, were strikingly affected, and since it is necessary to encounter any international interventions and structured projects targeting our Arab security and the stability of our countries under the slogan of protecting rights and liberties;
  • Believing in the importance of denying conflicts and the distraction of efforts among different key players in the field of human rights; and working for achieving integration among the roles of governmental entities concerned with human rights, national institutions and committees, non-governmental organizations, civil society institutions, regional mechanisms and solidarity for correcting false information as a result of misunderstanding or willful act of some people against the Arab Region;

We declare the following:

First: Enhancing and respecting human rights in the Arab Countries

  • The presence of an Arab Court for Human Rights is a qualitative shift in the field of human rights in the Arab Region. We call for activating the follow-up and coordination mechanisms and strongly urge all Member States to proceed with ratifying the Law of the Arab Court for Human Rights.
  • Activating the follow-up and coordination mechanisms we urge all Member States who have not yet ratified the Arab Charter for Human Rights to proceed with the procedures related to the ratification process, and do so in such a manner that represents a framework for achieving a comprehensive Arab protection for human rights.
  • Urging to set and adopt a comprehensive Arab strategy for human rights, based on the principles of partnership and integration among the different key player concerned with human rights.
  • Urging to develop clear, transparent, integrated, national and regional plans to implement and support the Arab regional obligations and treaties in the field of human rights.
  • Urging to create a statistical information and database related to human rights in the Arab countries, in which all the governmental entities, national institutions, scientific research centers, universities and non-governmental organizations make contributions, all working in creating novel and transparent mechanisms for providing and sharing information through authentic sources which act in accordance with objective and professional standards.
  • Dealing with international non-governmental organizations clearly and transparently, in a way that does not allow any politicization of human rights files, and that prevents any use or misuse of non-human right agendas to tackle the issues and affairs of the Arab human rights at the national, regional and international levels.

Second: Activating the joint Arab work in the field of human rights

  1. Appreciating the great efforts exerted by the Arab Human Rights committee (the Charter & apos’s Committee), in supporting and empowering the human rights Arab committees at the Arab League, we urge the Member States to completely cooperate therewith and interact with its human rights-related mechanisms and programs;
  2. Supporting the efforts exerted by the Arab League in attending to the process of reviewing and developing the Arab mechanisms for human rights, in such a manner that promotes them in terms of compliance, implementation and enhancement, which will contribute to the development of an effective Arab mechanism that promotes human rights in Arab countries, hence stopping all forms of violations against human rights in the Arab World.
  3. Establishing, as a necessary requirement, an Arab Commission for Human Rights under the frameworks of the Arab League, which will coordinate the efforts of the League secretariat as well as other departments concerned with human rights to guarantee achieving the objectives of the Arab Charter on Human Rights.
  4. Praising the Arab Parliament initiative and movement, at both the regional and international levels, regarding the protection of Syrian refugees’ rights from a human-legislative perspective.
  5. Condemning terrorism in all its form, claiming for respecting and protecting human rights within the context of combating it, plus supporting the efforts of the Arab League and the Member States in protecting the core human rights and liberties within the context of combating terrorism.
  6. Calling the United Nations and the International Community to work collaboratively in enabling the Palestinian People to have its right for fate determination, through embodying the Palestinian State, whose existence was acknowledged by the UN General Assembly (by an overwhelming majority). Different measures of the International Law shall be used in this respect, including the penal measures for putting an end to the occupation of the Palestinian State.
  7. Rejecting all forms of foreign interventions, whether the regional or international ones, in the internal affairs of the Arab countries.
  8. The importance of activating the role and efforts of the Arab League Office in Geneva by studying the relevant issues of human rights in its Member States, and replying to all the reports or data issued in respect thereof in an effective and comprehensive Arab framework. This should be done after making consultations and coordinating the attitudes with the Member States in a manner that achieves the supreme interests of the Arab countries.
  9. Calling the Arab countries to benefit from the centers of studies and research, human rights and international law experts through engaging with them in the process of developing the Arab human rights system, and to take inspirations from their views and visions in developing and enhancing human rights.

Third: Fulfilling regional and international human rights obligations

  • Urging and encouraging Arab countries to develop a mechanism for preparing national human rights reports, submitting transparent comprehensive periodical reports, and engaging all the key players in them in a way that lays the foundations for an integrated framework based on the principles of partnership and universality.
  • Urging and encouraging all Arab countries to improve cooperation with the Arab mechanisms and procedures of human rights, as well as enhancing cooperation with the Arab League human rights committees.

Fourth: Achieving justice and the rule of law:

Enhancing the necessary measures for carrying out the commitment to the principles of rule of law without discrimination or arbitrariness, and providing a fair, transparent and independent justice system.

Fifth: Partnership between the relevant key players in the field of human rights

  • Activating the role of legislative and advisory institutions in promoting human rights systems in Arab countries, and enriching the legislative and regulatory aspects related to the government’s fulfillment of their national, regional and international obligations and agreements, as stipulated in their national constitutions, legislations and laws.
  • Asserting the role and importance of the media in activating partnership and integration among all the relevant parties in the human rights system, spreading societal and institutional awareness in a manner that contributes to the enhancement and development of such system. It should equally deal with all the challenges encountered by Arab countries in this field without exaggeration or overstatement, and in a manner that reflects the real life led by Arab citizens.

Sixth: Dealing with regional and international human rights organizations

Spotting and rejecting any politicized, biased or partial reports issued by some regional and international organizations, as well as resisting, encountering and replying to such reports in a way that illustrates their unfairness and incredibility, besides revealing their reliance on false information or their aim in serving foreign political, partisan, intellectual or doctrinal agendas or goals.

Seventh: Combating terrorism and rejecting radical thinking

  • Seeking to spread the culture of peace, tolerance, equality and good citizenship, rejecting the culture of violence, bigotry, extremism and immoderation, which encourages terrorism and threatens societal and international peace and security, and asserting the legitimacy of resisting the Zionist occupation of the Arab occupied lands.
  • Rejecting any link or generation of terrorism based on identity, religion, sect or national affiliation, and in this respect, it was asserted that terrorism does not have a religion, territory or homeland; rather, it represents the radical thinking of certain individuals for which we should not find a justification or reasons which could be used for justifying or accepting it.
  • Asserting the importance of taking the necessary actions which ensure combating terrorism in all its forms, and rooting out all its intellectual, cultural, media and financial sources.

Issued in Cairo on June 02, 2016

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