President opens International Conference on Human Rights and Civil Society

On 18th April, the Head of State, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, opened the International Conference on Human Rights and Civil Society, which will go on until Friday 20th, in Sipopo (Malabo). The seminar is being attended by members of the Government, international experts, the media and ONGs.

The opening ceremony for the conference began with a welcome speech from the Mayoress of Malabo, Maria Coloma Edjang Mbengono, which was followed by other speeches, in particular by the Minister for Information, Press and Radio, Eugenio Nze Obiang, who in addition to underlining the effort made by the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to promote and improve Human Rights, also defined freedom of expression as one of the basic rights, and one of the foundations of any democratic society.

Later, he said that the work of ONGs is to help Governments to execute projects regarding human development while, at the same time, informing public opinion of any action which indicates non-compliance with this legitimate mission; reports which take place in order to have wider circulation and greater impact on social media.

For his part, the President of the League of Voters and General Secretary of the International Federation on Human Rights, Paul Nsapu, reminded those present that the African Union had declared 2016 as the Year of Human Rights in Africa, and had cited various aspects that would be the focus of those at the seminar, highlighting the exchange of experiences and practice on the role of players, the current crisis, the situation of peace, and the socio-political situation in Central Africa, among other issues.

Human Rights must have the face of a woman, a child, a young person, a disabled person or an elderly person, declared the Third Vice Prime Minister, Alfonso Nsue Mokuy, in his reflections to mark this international ceremony.

Nsue Mokuy also underlined the need to consolidate the criteria through which Human Rights are not only the defence of life, which is essential, or the defence of freedom of expression, but also the defence of the right of all human beings, beginning with children, to live in well-being, peace, democracy and tranquillity. A policy which is going to be strengthened jointly between the Equatoguinean State and civil society, according to his declarations.

Furthermore, he added that the Human Rights organisations should have a permanent policy in defence of rights in their various expressions. The actions of an individual in his own interests must not disqualify the institutionalism of the State. Along these lines he declared that he was inviting public servants to apply zero tolerance to lawlessness and corruption.

The opening ceremony for the conference took place following a speech by the Head of State, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in which he underlined the importance that his Government places on human rights for development, balance, and peace. In another part of his instructions, he invited the Government to take into account civil society in the execution of programmes which affect human rights, with the aim of democratising the public function, with its transparency and effectiveness controlled by the beneficiaries themselves.

President Obiang also mentioned defamatory media campaigns against the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, and proposed the creation of analogous Human Rights institutions in every African country, through which the international organisations would receive reports on the situation regarding Human Rights in these nations.

For the Equatoguinean leader, the guidelines from this conference should serve as advice to facilitators, with a focus on the current reality in Equatorial Guinea, related to rights through national legislation, pointing out that which is done and that which remains to be done, or indicating how to interpret the rights in our country, in order to correct as far as possible any deviations seen regarding their application.

Finally, he encouraged departments in the public administration responsible for overseeing and protecting human rights, civil society, and the general public, to watch over the effectiveness of respect for Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea, as a guarantee for peace, stability and the well-being of the people.

The event was attended by the Prime Minister of the Government, ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions, leaders from opposition political parties, and the PDGE General Secretary, Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, among other figures.

Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

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