Celebrating Human Rights Day 2013, Liby

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11 Dec 2013

Celebrating Human Rights Day 2013, Liby

Human Rights Day 2013 was marked worldwide, but in Libya the celebrations touched on the specifics of the country as is forges ahead with its post-revolution transition.

The occasion was marked in Tripoli by a workshop under the theme of “Constitution and Human Rights” and a gathering focusing on women activism and issues relating to the future constitution.

The Director of the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division at the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Mr. Claudio Cordone, told the workshop that the constitution is of prime importance for enshrining human rights.

“Despite of all the challenges, we are confident that the Libyan people are capable of reaching a consensus on drafting a modern constitution that everyone can participate in its making,” he said. “The UN Support Mission in Libya stands ready to offer any assistance and help requested to achieve this goal.”

The event was organized jointly by the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights, the Office of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at the Ministry of Defence, and UNSMIL’s Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division.

The status of women’s human rights in Libya also was raised at a gathering in Tripoli jointly organized by the Women Empowerment Section of UNSMIL, the Phoenix Libyan NGO, the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Commission for the Support of Women in Decision-Making. The event also was an occasion to mark the 16 days of activism and to launch an awareness campaign that addresses the most pressing women rights issues which should be focused on in a future Libyan constitution.

“Addressing Women’s Rights requires the full support and participation of all sectors of society, including the youths and men,” said Ms. Magda Elsanousi, head of UNSMIL’s Women Empowerment Section.

Human Rights Day coincided with the honoring of Nelson Mandela. At a celebration in Tripoli of the life of the late South African leader, Mr. Cordone said “Nelson Mandela is an example to inspire and give hope to all those in Libya, in Africa and around the world who are struggling for dignity, freedom, justice and equality.”