CAIRO, 29th July, 2022 (WAM) — A delegation of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), headed by Maqsoud Kruse, Chairperson of the NHRI, participated in the 4th high-level regional conference on the protection and promotion of human rights, which was held at the headquarters of the Arab League in Egypt, from July 25-26, under the theme “The Impact of Crises on Human Rights… The COVID-19 Pandemic as a Model”.
The conference, co-organised by the Arab League and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, discussed the effects and repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights in the Arab region and a roadmap to achieve the sustainable development goals.
It was held in the presence of a high-ranking delegation from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and representatives from the World Health Organisation, International Organisation for Migration, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and ESCWA, as well as other UN agencies, and the Arab human rights and civil society stakeholders, both national and regional.
Maqsoud Kruse stressed that the NHRI’s participation in this international conference stems from its keen interest in continuous positive interaction with various global and regional events, which enhance joint cooperation between institutions and entities concerned with human rights and civil society, in order to unify global efforts to confront societal challenges resulting from crises and emergencies, and to explore practical solutions that ensure solidarity and address exploitation.
He explained that the conference showed the crucial role that civil society organisations play locally, regionally and globally, in order to educate citizens, support national efforts, and stress the importance of observing human rights principles in the precautionary and preventive measures taken, and contributing to establishing peace and security and enhancing stability and development in societies in line with national efforts and legislation.
Kruse praised the conference’s focus on special women’s and children’s themes, and certain groups in society such as senior citizens, people with disabilities and migrant workers.
The conference agenda included eight sessions, covering three main themes: the pandemic and efforts to confront it, which was discussed in four sessions, dealing with efforts and challenges in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic — regional and national experiences; the impact of the pandemic on economic and social rights and developmental efforts; the role of national human rights institutions in promoting respect for human rights and confronting the pandemic; and the role of civil society in promoting respect for human rights and confronting the pandemic.
The second theme dealt with the rights of marginalised groups during the pandemic, in two sessions, touching on the impact of the pandemic on Arab women, and the impact of the pandemic on the social, economic, political and civil aspects of certain groups in society, while the last theme focused on the impact of the pandemic on political and civil rights, in two sessions, the first discussed the role of the press and social media during the pandemic, and the second explored the lessons learned from the pandemic and the global and regional community initiatives that were launched to help all segments of society during the pandemic.