Mogadishu, August 27, 2013…… His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon announces August 27 as the National Day of Human Rights for Somalia. This momentous day came after the Council of Ministers extraordinary session formally adopted the post transition Human Rights Road Map for Somalia. The process was born following comprehensive and inclusive interaction between executive, human rights committee of the parliament and civil society groups.
Prime Minister said the government is laying the foundation for improving the protection and promotion of human rights in Somalia. He stated that the process defines the responsibilities of the government and sets the goals to be achieved in a short period of time.
“Today marks the national day of human rights. My government will institutionalize the protection and promotion of human rights throughout the country. We initiated this process and we will not go back, we are committed to full-filling our duties on protecting the human rights of our citizens,” Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister spoke about the many steps the Somali Federal Government has already taken towards enhancing the rights of its citizens such as the increased political participation of women and minorities. The Prime Minister acknowledged that there is still a long way to go but the efforts made so far demonstrate the will, commitment and determination of his Government.
Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari, speaking at the event acknowledged the major improvement on the human rights situation in Somalia. He appreciated the government’s commitment to the rights of its people and their aspirations.
“I see more hope today than during the past five years, in Somalia. My hope is that you will be setting an example to other parts of the world, not really that you are only coming out of ashes but you are building a responsible nation,” Dr. Bari said. He also stated that the current Somali Government has demonstrated dedication to good governance and promotion of rule of law.
Minister of Justice H.E. Abdullahi Nur Abyan said that the government is mandated to protect and promote the rights of all its citizens. He explained how Islam and the Somali culture both protect human rights. He reaffirmed wide government reform plans and processes that are based on international human rights norms and standards that will promote and respect the independence of the judiciary and of other institutions.
Prime Minister awarded prominent people for their advocacy for the enhancement of the capacity of the Somali institutions improved role on human rights. Among those awarded were: Dr. Shamsul Bari, the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia; Dr. Miranda Ruth Brown, Chief of Eastern and Southern Africa, Section One of the Africa Branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Al Hajj Mr. Idrissa Oumar Kane, Director (at interim) of the Eastern Africa Regional Office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and H.E. Mr. Yusuf Mohamed Ismail “Bari-Bari”, Somali Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other specialized institutions in Switzerland.
Somali news leader