Safeguarding human rights offers the best hope of ensuring stability, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland declared in an interview published today by ‘New Europe.’
He said recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya should encourage governments to be more “outspoken” about the importance of human rights.
“The entire international community was putting an emphasis on stability, which was understandable, but we didn’t understand that this stability came at the expense of reforms and it created a lot of corruption and mismanagement in a lot of these countries,” said the Secretary General.
“It would have been beneficial for these societies, as well as for us, if we had been more outspoken about human rights, demanding more in this field than we did.
“If we look at what happened in Europe, when Europe was divided, we applied a very wise policy, to open up to the East, but combined it with very strong demands on the Communist countries, as in Helsinki, human rights and we should have had the same policy in the Mediterranean area.”
In the interview, the Secretary General also responded to British criticism of multiculturalism and the European Court of Human Rights.