Ανακοίνωση Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών αναφορικά με μαγνητοσκοπημένη παρέμβαση Υπουργού Εξωτερικών, Νίκου Δένδια, στις εργασίες του Τμήματος Υψηλού Επιπέδου της 46ης Συνόδου του Συμβουλίου Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων των Η.Ε. (Γενεύη, 24.02.2021)

46th High – Level Segment of the Human Rights Council

Excellencies,
I am honored to address the 46th High Level Segment for the
Human Rights Council.
I wish to congratulate Her Excellency Ambassador Nazhat
Shameem Khan, Permanent Representative of Fiji, on
assuming the Presidency of the Council.
Greece expresses its great appreciation to the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet and
assures her of our continued support.
Regarding the Covid 19 pandemic, Greece entirely concurs
with the statement by the UN Secretary General that: “The
pandemic is more than a health crisis. It is fundamentally a
human crisis that has laid bare severe and systemic
inequalities”.
The pandemic poses a threat not only to public health, but
also to the foundations of democracy.
Every measure, aiming at a goal of public safety that restricts
human rights, should be necessary, proportionate and
applied in a non-discriminatory way.
The Human Rights Council is an organization with the
necessary instruments to positively contribute to our
universal effort.
The Treaty Bodies, the Special Procedures and the Office of
the High Commissioner for Human Rights provide State
authorities with clear recommendations and check-lists.
Madame President,
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The human rights situation in Libya, in Syria and in
Myanmar, deserves the constant Human Rights Council’s
attention.
With regard to Libya, we welcome the holding of the Libyan
Political Dialogue Forum in Geneva earlier this month and its
outcome.
As the acting Special Representative of the Secretary General
has mentioned in her statement, we expect the
reestablishment of the rule of law throughout the country, by
the new transitional Government.
We also expect the repeal of all illegal actions, including the
Memoranda signed in violation of international law, the
restoration of democracy and the promotion of human rights.
However, political unity and effective human rights’
protection cannot be achieved without the effective
withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from the
country.
As to Syria, we condemn the continuous human rights
violations and abuses of international humanitarian law by
all parties to the conflict.
Violations that in some cases may amount to war crimes,
according to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry.
We call on all involved parties to respect all international
human rights law obligations.
Real action is needed to create conditions for safe, voluntary,
dignified and sustainable return of refugees and internally
displaced persons to their areas of origin.
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Greece expresses its serious concerns about the human
rights consequences of the crisis in Myanmar.
We believe that the recent military coup in the country will
deteriorate the human rights situation.
It will also further perpetuate the abuses against the
Rohingyas and other minorities.
Madame President
Greece builds its Human Rights’ foreign policy on the
philosophy of synergy and collaboration.
We believe that the Human Rights Council is the proper
platform to seek synergies, both at international and at
regional levels.
In this respect, Greece maintains a standing invitation to all
Human Rights Council Special Procedures.
During the recent years, it has received a significant number
of relevant official visits, while others are scheduled in the
near future.
We are, also, fully involved in the Universal Periodic Review
Mechanism. This year, Greece will undergo its third Universal
Periodic Review.
On fora such as the Human Rights Council, Greece focuses
its work on cross-regional initiatives that aim to tackle
important civil and political, as well as economic, social and
cultural rights.
In this respect, we work with more than forty countries from
all continents as part of core groups submitting Resolutions
to the Council.
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We, also, table in the Human Rights Council the biennial
Resolution on “Promoting Human Rights through Sport and
the Olympic Ideal”, regularly supported by more than one
hundred thirty countries.
Furthermore, on a national level, Greece is elaborating or
implementing a series of coherent Action Plans.
Plans drafted to the benefit of persons with disabilities,
gender equality, women peace and security, rights of the
child, combatting of racism and intolerance.
Madame President,
Being one of the gateways to the European continent, Greece
during the pandemic had to cope with continuous mixed
migratory flows.
And we did it successfully, by putting first the most
vulnerable of us: unaccompanied minors, older persons,
persons with disabilities, women victims of gender-based
violence.
And this, despite systematic attempts by State actors to
instrumentalize human suffering.
In the same vein, we have pursued our search and rescue
operations in the Aegean Sea, saving scores of people in
distress, in full respect of human rights.
From 2015 to 2020, the Hellenic Coast Guard has rescued
over three hundred nineteen thousand migrants and
refugees.
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We fully abide by the principle of non-refoulement which,
besides being an international obligation, is also embedded in
our national legislation.
Allow me also to mention that Greece continues to provide
asylum seekers, refugees and migrants with health care,
social services, education and housing.
Finally, I would like to touch an issue of particular
importance for Greece, which is the full enjoyment of
cultural rights.
All States bear the duty -regardless of their political,
economic and cultural systems- to refrain from altering
cultural monuments
Prior consent of concerned communities and prior
information of any stakeholder involved, including relevant
UN bodies, such as UNESCO, are a conditio sine qua non.
I refer, among others, to the conversion of Agia Sofia
monument to a mosque, which goes counter to any notion of
respect for heritage and cultural rights.
We ask, along with all the relevant institutions and
international organizations that have done so, for the
reconversion of this monument to its previous status. Thank
you.

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