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Maaitah inaugurates National Conference on Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Jordan

UN calls for 2022 to be year of ‘human rights action’

By JT - Dec 11,2021 - Last updated at Dec 11,2021

Political and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mousa Maaitah speaks at the national governmental conference on human rights in Amman on Saturday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The United Nations in Jordan on Saturday called for 2022 to be “a year of action for human rights and a renewed commitment to realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, on the occasion of Human Rights Day, observed annually on December 10. 

The UN urged that the realisation of the 2030 agenda should be grounded in meaningful participation, safe-guarding civic space, freedom of expression and association, the right to peaceful assembly, access to information, social dialogue, transparency and accountability, according to a UN statement.

Deputising for Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh, Political and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mousa Maaitah inaugurated the national governmental conference, “Decreasing Inequalities and Enhancing Human Rights in Jordan”, for the occasion, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

During the event, co-organised by the office of the Government General Coordinator for Human Rights and Al Hayat Centre for Civil Society Development (Rased), Maaitah said that the government is revising the aspects of the comprehensive national plan for human rights in a way that corresponds with the local, regional and international changes.

Addressing the conference, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Jordan Anders Pedersen said: “Successive financial, humanitarian and the latest health crises- COVID-19- have hampered the realisation of the 2030 agenda and have had a long-lasting and multidimensional impact, especially on millions of young people worldwide, including in Jordan".

Therefore, protecting the rights of young people through access to quality education, training, mental health support, decent jobs and social protection, is critical, stressed Pedersen. 

He added that the “COVID generation runs the risk of falling prey to mounting inequality and poverty”.

According to Pedersen, women have also been severely affected, through job losses, facing increased gender-based violence and lacking political participation, as well as persons with disabilities, people living in poverty, older persons, migrants and refugees.

He referred to the 2030 agenda, which is underpinned by human rights, as “the comprehensive blueprint for sustainable recovery from the pandemic and to further advance the realisation of human rights for all people everywhere, without discrimination”. 

Government Coordinator for Human Rights at the Prime Ministry Nathir Awamleh said that the mechanism of the Human Right Council’s comprehensive review includes a revision of human rights in the UN, where Jordan has implemented all its pledges in this field, Petra added.

Rased Director General Amer Bani Amer noted the importance of preventing the spread of the hate speech and its attacks on human rights that can result in “feelings of injustice within society”, which is a “dangerous phenomena” that may lead to extremism and increasing hate.

National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) Chairman of the Board of Trustees Irhail Gharaibeh said that the centre was among the first institutions to announce its plan and strategy on the occasion of Human Rights Day, noting that it is good to pay attention to refugees’ right and their right of return and the end to their suffering. 

The Government of Jordan will present its assessment of the progress made in implementing the 2030 agenda through submitting a Voluntary National Review report to the United Nations in July 2022, which, as Pedersen highlighted, will “provide an opportunity to take stock and accelerate the protection and promotion of human rights including through the Universal Periodic Review process in 2023 — with the meaningful participation especially of young people", the UN statement said.

The United Nations stands ready to support the implementation of recommendations addressed to Jordan by United Nations human rights mechanisms, which could build "a better, fairer and greener future for all", concluded Pedersen.

Human Rights Day, celebrated annually, honours the adoption of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights in 1948, according to the statement. 

This year’s theme is “Equality”. According to the World Inequality Report 2022, the MENA region is the most unequal region in the world where the share of the top 10 per cent of income is around 58 per cent. 

“Inequalities stem from policy choices. We need to reverse years of under-investment in economic, social and cultural rights, and be bolder in repositioning public expenditure to prioritise people and their rights,” said Christina Meinecke, senior human rights adviser to the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan.

“Rebuilding fairer requires reversing long-standing practices of inequality and poverty and strengthening the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. That vision is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, captured in SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and between countries,” she added. 

Meanwhile, USAID Mission Director in Jordan Sherry F. Carlin said that Jordan and the US share a long history of enhancing human rights and economic and political aspects, noting that the agency focuses on inclusiveness, comprehensiveness and non-discrimination, according to Petra.


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