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Danuta Przywara’s speech at UN Human Rights Council session

“What we witness today are times in which those holding the executive power too often believe others are to obey; times in which a judge can be referred to as a ‘so-called’ one, when a ruling of a constitutional court is deemed ‘a private opinion of judges’, said the President of HFHR Board Danuta Przywara during the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Human rights – the third necessary pillar for a lasting peace

In many countries in the world, attempts to undermine the foundations of liberal democracy – the trias politica principle, rule of law and human rights – has become increasingly visible and commonplace. According to Danuta Przywara, all these elements are currently tested. “The rule of law enshrined in our constitutions was supposed to protect citizens’ right against assaults from governments. Checks and balances were supposed to insulate us from the return of authoritarianism. The respect for the judiciary, its independence, and its decisions, was supposed to be an efficient mechanism for human rights protection. Human rights are the third necessary pillar for a lasting peace”, Ms Przywara said.

The HFHR’s President also noted the threats faced by human rights defenders in the world. “We are living in times, when those holding power, including in countries members of this Council, believe that promoting human rights accounts to treason; believe that pursuing justice and the rule of law are attempts to overthrow governments”, told Danuta Przywara.

“We, human rights defenders, stand for all human rights for all. Never have we stopped pressing governments to abide by their human rights obligations. And never will we tolerate that a majority believing in doing good for itself can abuse, harm and restrict the rights of others in society”, Ms Przywara said.

United Nations Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly. The Council’s key objective is promoting the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Council focuses on aiding member states in their performance of human rights obligations.

One of the Human Rights Council’s responsibilities is the conduct of the procedure of “Universal Periodic Review”, a mechanism for the control of human rights observance in individual countries. Poland will be subject to its third periodic review in May 2017.

The speech of Danuta Przywara is available for viewing in English and in Russian.


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