The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was indeed a momentous step in the history of humankind. Recognizing the noble and inalienable principles of human freedom, equality and non discrimination, the Declaration continues to underscore the importance of our collective responsibility to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms all over the globe.
The people and Government of Pakistan join the international community on this momentous occasion and reaffirm their resolve to further the cause of human rights in all walks of life in Pakistan including social, cultural and economic arenas. The Constitution of Pakistan clearly spells out the principles of equality before law without any discrimination.
Our commitment towards realization of all human rights is visible from the fact that Pakistan is a party to nearly all core international human rights instruments. We have legislation to set up an independent National Commission on Human Rights in accordance with the Paris Principles.
The new democratically elected Government in Pakistanis committed to take steps to address the human rights situation by protecting fundamental civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of all the citizens which are essentially required for Pakistan’s development. In this direction steps are being taken to further ensure protection of religious minorities, women, children and other vulnerable segments of society.
The year 2013 also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 1993. The past two decades have indeed witnessed tremendous progress in the evolution of OHCHR into an effective and vocal forum under the auspices of United Nations General Assembly for the protection and promotion of universal human rights. It has been instrumental in giving a voice to the voiceless, upholding human dignity and promoting fundamental principles of human rights.
However, there are areas that need further development, especially in the economic and social fields. The OHCHR must continue to promote the essential right to development as well as realization of the inalienable right to self-determination. Without such rights being achieved, a major vacuum will remain in the full realization of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We believe that the OHCHR’s activities will continue to be guided by the principles of universality, objectivity, impartiality, indivisibility and non-selectivity.
On this day, I commit that the Government will make all out efforts to uphold all the provisions of Human Rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.