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Press Release

Head of EULEX, Bernd Borchardt, on International Human Rights Day

10 December, 2013

Every 10 December, the world celebrates International Human Rights Day in commemoration of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1950. The celebrations this year have a special significance since it is 20 years since the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action and subsequent establishment of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

For 63 years the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has stood as a beacon for the world and countless treaties ensuring human rights have been set up under its framework. Kosovo remains committed to human rights. Although not a party to any of the major human rights conventions, Kosovo has unilaterally vowed to respect these conventions.

EULEX has an important role in assisting the Kosovo authorities in their endeavor to meeting the standards set out by human rights. EULEX promotes and safeguards the respect for human rights principles through its investigations, prosecutions and trials. It should also be noted that EULEX has a special mandate to ensure that all its activities respect international standards concerning human rights and gender mainstreaming.

EULEX also monitors, mentors and advises Kosovo institutions like the Correctional Service, the Kosovo Judicial Council and the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council in developing and strengthening an independent and multi-ethnic justice system whose activities should abide by international human rights standards. Through the effort of Kosovo authorities, with the support of EULEX, Kosovo has made improvements with respect to human rights.