Celebrating the International Human Rights Day and Anti- Corruption Day at the Lebanese Parliament
“Results of the corruption index worldwide show that more than one third of the countries worldwide have achieved less than 50 on a scale ranging from 0 to 100 thus integrity fades and corruption prevails. Lebanon was ranked 28th marking a regression in corruption when compared to last year when it was the 30th. In addition, Lebanon is ranked 127 out of 177 country this year knowing that last year it was 128 out of 176” said Ms. Fatmeh Fakhreddine, Project Manager of the UNDP Project in the Lebanese Parliament
Under the patronage of His Excellency the Speaker of Parliament Mr. Nabih Berri, The Secretary General of the Lebanese parliament in cooperation with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Middle East Office (UNHCHR) organized an event celebrating the International Human Rights Day and the International Anti-Corruption Day which was held on Tuesday, December 10 at the Lebanese Parliament.
Attendees included The Head of the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee, Dr. Michel Moussa, United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative Mr. Robert Watkins, The Regional Representative of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Middle East Office Dr. Abdel Salam Sidahmed, in addition to minsters and representatives from poltical parties and heads of local women cooperatives and activists in the field of human rights from different sectors specialized in issues such as women, water, administrative reform both th in Education and Health Sector.
During the opening session, The Head of the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee,H.E. Dr. Michel Moussa on the behalf of His Excellency the speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, declared that “ we are celebrating today the international day for human rights and anti- corruption day; protecting human rights requires a democratic environment governed by transparency, because corruption hinders the development process and promotes an unstable atmosphere on a political level, not to forget that it is an obtacle for the proper functionning of the democratic institutions that work on promoting and defending human rights. Today the international committee is covened on the causal connection that relies between the government and the development sector as corruption is considered as a result of a weak governance which can put human rights at risk.”
As for Mr. Robert Watkins, highlighted in his speech the work of the UNDP project at the Lebanese Parliement in collaboration with parliamentary committees that “ was able to develop a gender legal review this year and it is going to be presented and discussed in this meeting. Other studies on youth participation and youth employement opportunities were also developed and discussed in the relevant parlimantary committees. All of these studies are related to the National Action Plan on Human Rights especially women and youth rights.
In the coming years, with the technical support of OHCHR, UNDP intends to continue producing legal reviews with a set of recommendations for legal amendments on other important areas but it is also more essential to develop the implementation plan with the participation of all parties.”
The Regional Representative of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr. Abdel Salam Sidahmed indicated that “on a long term basis there are no elementary rules for protecting and promoting human rights, these basics include a growing set of laws and international standards of human rights. He also added that the main goal is to implement the rules and procedure in order to make human rights an undeniable reality thus we should ensure the necessary political management and financial human resources in order to achieve this goal.”
Two sessions followed in which different experts presented the launch of 2 studies: “Review of Gender Based Lebanese legislation, 2013” and “Fighting Corruption in the Water, Health and Education Sectors, 2013” in cooperation with parliamentary committees.
At the end of the event, a general discussion took place in which the National Human Rights Action Plan (2014-2019) and other publications on Women and Youth Rights were distributed to the attendees.