The 59th Session of the Commission on Human Rights

Delegation of Romania

Item 11:
Civil and Political Rights
Geneva, April 8th, 2003

1. The delegation of Romania would like to express its satisfaction for the increasing attention the Members of the Commission on Human Rights pay to the issue of democracy. Every year, the debates get enriched and they are leading us deeper into substantiating the organic interdependence between democracy and human rights. The contributions of Member States from all regions in the world confirm the relevance of the values, principles and norms of democratic conduct, as stipulated in resolutions 2000/47 of the Commission on Human Rights and 55/96 of the General Assembly, both entitled "Promoting and consolidating of democracy".

2. A recent activity decided upon by our Commission, the expert seminar on the "Interdependence between democracy and human rights", held in last November, proved to be as fertile as expected, and generated an interesting discussion on various features of democracy. The debates fully proved the convergence between democracy and human rights. Remarkable perspectives were opened on issues particularly relevant for a functioning democracy, such as democratic institutions, political equality, control of, and accountability for decisions and policies, the rights of minorities under majority rule, the rule of law etc.

3. At this current session, Romania, Peru, and other co-sponsors will submit a new resolution aimed at promoting and upholding democracy. A special emphasis will be suggested on enhanced coherence in the United Nations system and on a more active profile of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in promoting democracy and helping democratization processes to advance. Similar recommendations will be addressed to the special procedures of the United Nations. A more active and focused role will be invited from regional, subregional and other organizations and arrangements, as the best way to make universal values and principles of democracy genuinely accepted and implemented in specific regional, cultural and societal contexts. A few practical steps are also envisaged, and among them, the organization of a second expert seminar on "democracy and the rule of law".

4. My delegation firmly believes that democracy should be recognized along with human rights as a universal aspiration with global reach and validity, and subject to increased normative efforts. Democracy is per se acknowledgment of human diversity and distinctive identities of people. Yet, underpinning both democracy and human rights is a formal statement of what all human rights share beyond their diversity. Since nowhere democracy is neither completed, nor irreversible, the Commission on Human Rights should place promotion, consolidation and protection of democracy highly on its agenda of work.

I thank you

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