Maat organizes the inaugural conference of the UPR project - Egypt 2014
Aqeel: The only loser is the citizen, the conflict and the exchange of accusations between civil society and the government
James Moran: Striking a balance between freedom and security is a challenge for all democracies in the world
The inaugural conference of the “Universal Periodic Review as a Tool for Improving Public Policies during the Transition Period” project, which is implemented by the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights and funded by the European Union over the years 2016-2017, was held on Wednesday 20 January 2016.
The conference started with an opening speech by Mr. Ayman Aqeel, President of Maat Foundation, in which he stressed that the aim of the UPR mechanism is to assist governments in implementing their international obligations and that the project is based on the idea of partnership and dialogue between the government, civil society and international organizations. Aqeel indicated that the relationship between civil society The government should not be based on parity, conflict and exchange of accusations, because the only loser in such a case is the Egyptian citizen.
Aqeel added in his speech that the task of respecting human rights is a joint and multi-role task, indicating that the project came at the appropriate time after the adoption of the Egypt Report 2014 during the second session of the UPR, to follow up on Egypt's implementation of its obligations before the UPR in addition to assisting the government in that. In this context, Aqeel stressed the importance of providing alternatives to the government instead of criticizing it without offering any alternatives.
In his intervention, Ambassador James Moran, head of the European Union delegation to Egypt, indicated that the European Union supported Egypt to achieve success during the last five years to achieve success and that Egypt's success is a success for the Euro-Mediterranean region, indicating that the new constitution that was adopted in 2014 and the parliament that was elected in 2015 completed this process, adding that the presence of 89 female representatives in the Egyptian parliament for the first time in the history of parliament is an investigation of the articles of the constitution that guaranteed equality between men and women. Moran emphasized that the new constitution includes improvements related to human rights in Egypt, noting that the goal of the universal periodic review is to improve the situation Human rights on the ground.
Moran said that the challenge lies in translating the articles of the constitution into laws compatible with Egypt's obligations to the universal periodic review, and that the road to democracy is neither easy nor fast, which is what Europe previously faced.
In her speech, Ms. Fatima Othman, project coordinator, stated that the project seeks to enhance the role of the universal periodic review to improve public policies by engaging civil society organizations, media professionals and activists in following up and advocating for the necessary reform of human rights and adopting public policies compatible with international human rights standards, noting that The project is being implemented in all governorates of the Republic with the aim of raising community awareness and building the capacities of civil society organizations, journalists and activists to follow up on Egypt's implementation of its obligations before the universal periodic review.
Othman added that the project includes a package of activities directed at policy makers, legislative experts, parliamentarians, local government officials, local civil society organizations, and research centers with the aim of adopting policies compatible with international standards for the protection of human rights based on the 2014 universal periodic review.
Note that Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights is an Egyptian non-governmental organization registered in accordance with the Law of Associations and Civil Institutions No. 84 of 2002 with the Ministry of Social Solidarity under the Declaration No. 3166 of 2008, amended No. 7829 of 2010, and the Foundation currently holds the presidency of the Egyptian national network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue Intercultural from June 2013 through June 2017.