10 December 2013 - On the occasion of Human Rights Day, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara underlined the important role the OSCE can play in fostering co-operation between participating States aimed at building a community with the highest standards of respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rule of law.
Over the years the OSCE participating States have undertaken extensive commitments to respect, protect and promote universal human rights which are inherent to all human beings without discrimination. Promotion of full implementation by all participating States of the undertaken commitments in the human dimension is a top priority of the Ukrainian Chairmanship’s agenda.
“All rights are equally important and should be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis, one cannot prioritize some rights above others” Kozhara stressed. “The promotion and protection of human rights has to take into account the comprehensive and indivisible nature of human rights, where non-compliance with standards in one area can impact on the exercise of other rights and freedoms.”
In 2013, under the Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship, for the first time in three years, the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted decisions in the human dimension – those on the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, and on improving the situation of Roma and Sinti women, youth and children in the OSCE area.