International Day of Democracy: NPWJ stands by the men and women from Middle East and North Africa who fight for human rights for all

15 Sep, 2011 | Press Releases

While courageous men and women from Tunisia to Yemen and from Tripoli to Amman are at the forefront of the struggle to defend and reaffirm the values of human rights and democracy and seek recognition of their broader political and social rights and those of their communities at large, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) recommits itself to standing by their side in the struggle to secure the full establishment of democratic and open institutions in their countries.

On this International Day of Democracy, NPWJ pays tribute not only to the efforts of all those human rights defenders and democracy advocates who fight for the values of democracy but also to the work of the millions who have and will contribute to this process and goal. The International Day of Democracy is of particular importance this year in recognising among many others, the efforts of the people of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in standing up for their rights in the face of repression. Furthermore, the people of Syria are entering into their seventh month of pacific and non-violent struggle against a bloody and brutal tyranny based on military strength, terror and torture.

Justice and peace are integral to democracy, and NPWJ works to mobilise civil society actors, parliamentarians and human rights activists from Africa, the Middle East and Europe to advocate for the full recognition and protection of the universal right to democracy as a fundamental human right.

NPWJ remains committed to working hand-in-hand with the United Nations and other international and regional organisations to reinforce and strengthen democratic values among member states. It is for this reason that NPWJ is at the forefront of the International Campaign for the adoption of a Resolution by the UN General Assembly to ban female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide, working together with human rights activists, women’s organisations, parliamentarians and government representatives across Africa and Europe. FGM, a violation of the right to physical integrity practised on millions of women and girls worldwide, must be combated with the entire arsenal of legal tools available in the defence of human rights at the national, regional and international levels.