Accra, March 7, GNA - Former President Mary Robinson of Ireland on Tuesday, stressed the need to win minds and hearts of people to overcome terrorism to guarantee social justice and universal respect for human rights.
She observed that the struggle against terrorism would be long and needed a new approach emphasising good governance and empowerment and policies that promoted human security beyond borders.
Delivering the first of the three-day Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures at the University of Ghana, Legon, former President Robinson said terrorism posed a serious threat to human rights, which demanded that nations committed more resources to fight it.
The lecture, on the theme, "the Challenges to International Human Rights" examined challenges to human rights over the past five years particularly after the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States of America, and the American led war on terrorism in Iraq. She called for the upholding of the rule of law and human rights and said they were essential to promote freedom and combat terrorism. Even though the scale of the September 11 attacks qualified as a crime against humanity, rule of law and human rights must be observed in the fight against terrorism, she said.
Former President Robinson, who was a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and currently occupies the Chair of the Council of Women Leaders, said the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the threat of small arms, unfair and inequitable terms of trade, civil conflict and the HIV/AIDS pandemic have increased the dimension for the quest to respect human rights and the rule of law.
She stated that the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals was linked to national development, security and human rights. However, enforcing human rights is not guaranteed by law but depended on the morals and political system of a country, she noted. Former President Robinson announced the establishment of an International Committee of Jurists, which was considering measures to be adopted to address issues bordering on terrorism and threats to human rights.
She called for the support of Ghana and other African countries for the establishment of a Council on Human Rights within the United Nations Organisation. 08 March 06