LibLink: Jeremy Browne and Edward McMillan-Scott – The EU can amplify our human rights pledge

Jeremy Browne, Lib Dem Foreign Office minister, and Edward McMillan-Scott MEP have a joint article in today’s Independent on how the European Union is helping to uphold the human rights if people around the world.

Here’s a sample:

Human rights, poverty reduction and the upholding of international law are essential to – and indivisible from – both EU and UK foreign policy objectives. We cannot achieve long term security and prosperity unless we uphold our values, and recognise that unchecked human rights abuses represent a threat to our own national security.

Although we must promote our values with conviction and determination, it must be in ways that are suited to the grain of the other societies we are dealing with, particularly in fragile or post-conflict states. Democracy and respect for human rights rest on foundations that have to be built over time: strong institutions, responsible and accountable government, a free press, the rule of law, equal rights for men and women, and other less tangible habits of mind and of participation are all necessary elements for democracy to prevail.

The Arab Spring is making a reality of the aspiration for democracy and reform so vividly revealed in the UN’s 2002 Arab Human Development Report. Patchy and transitional – and often agonising – though the process may be, political and economic freedom are spreading across the Middle East and North Africa and inspiring other parts of the world.

As our and the EU’s economic weight is squeezed and influence passes more and more to governments who may not share our values, the EU and national governments will have to work harder and more harmoniously to entrench international law and human rights. We must continue to raise our concerns about human rights wherever and whenever those concerns arise, including with countries with which we are seeking closer ties, such as China or Russia.

 The full piece can be read here.

* Nick Thornsby is a day editor at Lib Dem Voice.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in LibLink and News.
Advert

One Comment

  • “The Arab Spring is making a reality of the aspiration for democracy and reform so vividly revealed in the UN’s 2002 Arab Human Development Report. Patchy and transitional – and often agonising – though the process may be, political and economic freedom are spreading across the Middle East and North Africa and inspiring other parts of the world.”

    Call me cynical, but much of “The Arab Spring” seems to have been infiltrated by groups and individuals who care little about the transition to liberal democracy with protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law. Rather, it seems to be a smokescreen for a move into Islamism and religious extremism. For example, in Egypt it’s dismaying that the liberal, progressive movement of February 2011 isn’t properly represented by those taking up the majority of seats in Parliament or who the elected President is. You really think the Muslim Brotherhood and the even more hardline Salafist party are going to protect the human rights of all Egyptians?

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Simon R
    One thing puzzles me - and @Tom I hope this isn't too much of another tangent. You mention the potential problems caused by France's deficit and how that could ...
  • tom arms
    there is more than one line in the article I wrote, In fact, I think the line about the French in Africa was about one percent of the whole in terms of wordage...
  • tom arms
    Does anyone have anything about the substance of the article: the French parliamentary elections, the political future of Emmanuel Macron, the dangers or otherw...
  • Alan Jelfs
    I was pleased our sister party, Fianna Fáil, did well in the Irish EU elections, going from 2 MEPs to 4....
  • Thelma Davies
    It has a currency. It has a Parliament. It has an anthem, a flag, it has its own foreign commissioner. The ever closer union I was referring to Chris is Eurozon...