Words from the Executive Director

Proclaimed by a combination of the Preamble and Articles 1, 55 and 56 of the Charter of the United Nations and in the light of its definition in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the full and effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind, requires concrete actions, both concerted and complementary, at a threefold level.

First, states are obliged to respect, protect and fulfil human rights in accordance with their commitments under international and regional treaties to which they are parties and under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Pacta sunt servanda). Thus, for example, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms highlight the need, in all democracies, for the effectiveness of human rights beyond their recognition.

Second, under the Charter, the right to the full and effective enjoyment of human rights is based on the collective obligation of international cooperation.

Finally, international provisions place civil society at the heart of the rule of law, an extension of democracy. Thus, civil society is recognised as a fully-fledged actor, empowered to denounce human rights violations and contribute to the respect of their effective enjoyment within any democratic state. Each of us, men, women and children, must therefore commit ourselves to this challenge in order to contribute to the respect, enjoyment and promotion of human dignity and human rights.

Me Gédéon Jean
Executive Director