10 December 2023 12:54 PM

Address by his Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the Celebration of Launching the National Strategy for Human Rights

Sunday، 12 September 2021 - 11:15 AM

Address by his Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the Celebration of Launching the National Strategy for Human Rights

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Guests,

At the outset of my speech today on the occasion of launching the first national strategy for human rights, I would like to welcome you all, whether being a contributor to the preparation of that strategy or Egyptians and foreign guests who share with us that luminous moment in the contemporary history of Egypt, which I consider a serious step towards the advancement of human rights in Egypt, taking into account the importance of this vital field in evaluating the advancement and progress of societies.

In this context, I would like to point out to the fact that Egypt has been one of the first countries that contributed to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Its contribution in this field did not stop at this date, but continued until now with deep belief and national self-confidence of the importance of adopting a comprehensive and serious approach to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Today, as the Egyptian government launches its first national strategy for human rights, which is the result of unremitting efforts made by the Permanent Higher Committee for Human Rights over the course of more than a year, I would like to second the methodology by which this strategy was prepared, which was based on a broad participatory and consultative manner that responds to the aspirations and hopes of the Egyptian people.

I would also like to thank the National Council for Human Rights, the representatives of the civil society from various governorates, and the members of the advisory body for their constructive contribution to the formulation of this strategy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Egyptian vision of human rights is based on a number of basic principles, most notably:

All rights and freedoms are interrelated and complementary. There is a close link between democracy and human rights, with the importance of achieving a balance between rights and duties, and between the right of the individual and society and the need to combat corruption to ensure rights and freedoms.

Moreover, the commitment to preserving and respecting the rights and freedoms should be achieved through the legislations and public policies on the one hand, and the implementation of those legislations and policies by various national institutions and mechanisms on the other hand. As regards the legislation and public policies, the efforts of the state are based on constitutional and legal principles and obligations. In this regard, the constitution has achieved a major qualitative leap as it established the principles of citizenship, justice and equality in rights and duties without any discrimination and made equal opportunities a basis for building society.

Moreover, the constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary as being the fundamental vehicle that ensures the effective enforcement of all rights. The Egyptian legislative structure is abundant of varieties of guarantees necessary to promote and respect human rights; "All persons are equal before the law."

The Egyptian state also stresses its commitment to respect and protect the right to physical integrity, personal freedom, political practice, freedom of expression and formation of civil associations, as well as the right to litigation. Egypt always welcomes the plurality of views, even their differences, as long as they take into account the freedoms of others. They aim, through constructive and participatory criticism, to achieve the best for the benefit of Egypt and its people.

Egypt has constantly embraced freedom of thought, creativity and expression, resulting in a pioneering Egyptian contribution to its regional environment, in "art, literature and culture". Furthermore, this field has received direct support from the state leadership to encourage cadres working in it.

At the same time, we have a firm conviction of the importance of strengthening efforts to achieve prompt justice as well as guaranteeing fair trials. The state exerts unremitting and continuous efforts to emphasize the values ​​of citizenship, tolerance and dialogue, and to combat incitement to violence and discrimination.

Similarly, Egypt has a rich national institutional structure that works to promote respect and protection of human rights, and it is subject to continuous development. The establishment of the Permanent Higher Committee for Human Rights came as an important addition that would support and strengthen coordinated national action in this field. Alongside, there are units and departments specialized in human rights in all ministries, governorates and related authorities. Additionally, the National Councils for women, childhood, motherhood, persons with special needs and people of determination, play leading roles in promoting the rights of these groups.

Moreover, the National Council for Human Rights, as being the independent national human rights institution, in accordance with its powers within the framework of the Constitution, plays a pivotal and active role in consolidating and raising awareness of the relevant principles, and submits its annual reports to the state.

Civil society comes as an important primary partner in the process of promoting and protecting human rights in all political, economic and social dimensions, spreading awareness of human rights in society, encouraging a culture of volunteer work, and contributing to efforts to combat extremism and trends against the values ​​of our Egyptian society.

There is no doubt that the contributions and achievements of civil society are clear and its partnership with the state is indispensable.

Hence, I directed the government to reconsider the previous Civil Society Law, which resulted in the issuance of the new law regulating the practice of civil work, including the facilities and guarantees to enhance civil work. This follows a societal dialogue among one thousand and three hundred Egyptian and foreign NGOs. After the issuance of the regulations of this law, a new phase of government-civil society partnership, based on the foundations of cooperation and respect for the law, took place.

          At the level of civil and political rights, we pay special attention to promoting the right to participate in political and public life as an important constituent to advance all domains of human rights and contribute to consolidate democracy and the rule of law. In order to promote these rights, a variety of national legislations have been adopted; and a number of independent entities and bodies have been established to organize the exercise and enjoyment of those rights.

          Civil and political life in Egypt has recently witnessed an intense activity. That activity succeeded to accomplish all constitutional entitlements that ensured the people’s expression of its free will through presidential and parliamentary elections. People’s representatives assumed their responsibilities in the free expression of their visions to accomplish the national course, evaluate the executive authority’s performance through a parliamentary session that is full of political interactions and affiliations for the achievement of common good.

          Furthermore, we have completed our legislative institutions by creating a Senate and holding elections for it to serve, alongside the House of Representatives. Moreover, the National Election Authority was established as an independent and permanent entity with sole authority to manage elections and referenda at all phases, ensuring their integrity and encouraging political participation.

          Furthermore, various laws have been enacted to ensure that Egyptian citizens can exercise their political rights. These laws include the Law on the Exercise of Political Rights, the Law on Political Parties, the House of Representatives Act, the Senate Act, the Presidential Elections Act, the Electoral Constituencies Act, and the Law on the Regulation of Civil Work. These laws have been considered a significant and quantum leap forward in enshrining and ensuring the exercise of political rights and freedoms.

On the basis of freedom of religion and belief, Egypt, the country that has a rich religious heritage, continues to exert tireless efforts to emphasize the values of citizenship, tolerance, dialogue and combating any incitement to violence and discrimination. The Egyptian State has made significant progress in this area, ensuring equity among its sons in both rights and duties. These principles are also evident in issuing of the Church Building and Restoration Law, which legalized the construction of approximately 1800 churches and buildings affiliated to them. Furthermore, the New Administrative Capital's "Al-Fattah Al-Aleem" Mosque and "Milad Al-Maseeh" Cathedral stand side by side as witnesses to those efforts and successes.

The integrated developmental vision "Egypt 2030" is founded on ideals of comprehensive, sustainable, and balanced development in terms of economic, social, and cul