Message of Greetings sent by President U Win Myint on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary celebrations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 2018)
This day marks the auspicious occasion of the 70th Anniversary celebrations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 10th December, the day on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was issued has been honored and recognized as UN International “Human Rights Day” and have been customarily celebrated all over the world.
Our Republic of the Union of Myanmar gained her independence on 4th January 1948 and became a member of the United Nations on 19th April. It is on record that on 10th December 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Human Rights Declaration which serves as universal principles for humankind, Myanmar was one of first among member states who voted in favor.
Human rights are not those rights which can be gained only when granted through the generosity or goodwill of an individual or organization. They are inalienable rights possessed by all from the time of conception in a mother’s womb till the time of death.
All humans are born with the fundamental principles of noble existence such as justice, freedom, and equality. Therefore these are inborn rights which all humans have the right to enjoy and which cannot be abolished. They are also rights which may be enjoyed by a person without harming or infringing upon the rights of some other person.
Human rights which are the most fundamental rights of humankind need to be enjoyed without discrimination with respect to race, color of skin, gender, language, religion or political belief by all equally.
There are unique characteristics in human rights. They are namely rights which are Universal, Inalienable, Indivisible, Interrelated, and Interdependent.
Human rights, democracy and rule of law are interrelated. When human rights are violated, democracy and rule of law are impacted. When democracy is violated, human rights and rule of law suffer. When there is no rule of law, democracy and human rights are lost.
Ignoring and disregarding human rights tantamount to destruction of humankind’s ability to reason and differentiate cause and effects and between good or evil. That is why we are making strenuous efforts to teach, create awareness and provide training courses on human rights.
Myanmar is now on the path of democratic transition. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw adopted the Human Rights Commission Law on 28 March 2014 and in accordance with that law the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission was established for the emergence of a society where the rights of citizens stipulated in the Union Constitution and rights stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are given more protection; and also to ensure that human rights stipulated in international human rights conventions are given increased protection with more effectiveness.
When I gave the oath of office as President of the Union on 30 March 2018 in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, I have already stated that “we need to give more protection in cases where human rights have been violated.” Furthermore, when I delivered the New Year day message as President on the first day of ME 1380, with regard to human rights I said, “in order to give stepped-up protection against violations of human rights, the Union Government should cooperate with CBO’s, CSO’s, the Media and the people and that activities would be increased and implemented with heightened momentum. We should strive to ensure that the Human Rights Commission would be able to protect the lawful basic rights of each individual person, the fundamental basic rights of citizens, and the security and freedoms of citizens in the interrogation centres, police lock-ups, court detention rooms, prisons, and prisoner labor camps, regardless of region. I have also met and given instructions to the Human Rights Commission to ensure that the inherent rights of citizens, in other words the basic rights of citizens are not lost. The organizations which are working on human rights should also ensure that nobody’s basic rights and human dignity is trampled upon. Extra effort should be made to ensure that correct action in accordance with the law has been taken.” This was what I said in that speech.
In Myanmar, due to the cooperation of the Union Government and the region and state governments with the work being done by the Human Rights Commission to give increased protection for human rights, we can now see that the situation of human rights protection within the country has improved. Our Union Government wishes to reiterate our pledge to cooperate with international organizations to ensure that the articles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are respected and implemented.
I urge the Union ministries, the state and regional governments, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, state and private media organizations and the people to cooperate with the Human Rights Commission to work for the improvement of the human rights situation in accordance with the motto “stand for human rights” to remind us of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70th Anniversary celebrations.
I send this Message of Greetings with the fervent hope that with the aforesaid collective strength, human rights will blossom in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar without any distinction between the highlands and lowlands.