Friday, 25th September 2009
THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA ADDRESSED THE CONFERENCE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISM IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Prevention is better than cure. This simple saying, which I believe is as old as the human civilization is, demonstrates the human wisdom in a most simple manner. This saying is also relevant today, and represents a clear direction for our behaviour, whether our individual behaviour or the functioning of the institutions.
Because of this, I comprehend this Convention in the spirit of establishing and strengthening a national mechanism against torture.
Allow me to remind you that in 2006 we signed the Convention against torture, and in December 2008 we ratified the Optional Protocol to this Convention. These important international acts are part of the corpus on protection of human rights.
According to Article 4 of the Law on ratification of the above mentioned protocol, the role of the national preventive mechanism against torture is given to the Ombudsman. Namely, this is a practice in most of the European countries, because the Ombudsman, besides protecting the human rights violated by the state institutions, also acts preventively.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are all aware that the processes of globalization is inevitable and impose universal solutions for many issues, among them for which is the prevention against torture. The Republic of Macedonia is a member of UN and as a state we are committed to the Euro-Atlantic Integrations. That is why on one hand we have to accept the universal solutions and standards, and on the other hand we must work on their development. This is the only way to become part of this globalization, to become part of the processes of integration.
Unfortunately, we are aware that even in the highly developed countries there are examples of torture, harassment and humiliation of people, who are maybe rightfully imprisoned. Here I refer primarily to the fight against international terrorism. However, even these cases, torture and humiliation of the imprisoned persons is not allowed.
This is why the prevention and I would add, the legal sanctions, must be continually strengthened. On the other hand, as a lawyer who has in his career worked in the profession, in the executive, and now in the legislative branch, I am well aware that with legal solutions alone you cannot fight torture. I think that torture is closely connected with prejudice and stereotypes, with the consciousness of every individual. Since this is a subjective factor, the prevention should further be strengthened. I am convinced that the non-governmental sector has a special role in this, through the strengthening of the democratic consciousness, and together with the Ombudsman as an institution, but also with other institutions, can contribute significantly to the prevention against torture.
The experiences from other countries can certainly contribute to the more efficient prevention against torture.
On this occasion I would like to emphasise that the Standing Inquiry Committee of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia has a significant role in the protection of human rights, and in this framework in the prevention against torture. At the same time, as a legislative house, we have concrete and fruitful cooperation with the Ombudsman, who is in the forefront of the prevention against torture, and I can assure you that we are constantly intensifying this cooperation.
Finally, allow me to wish you successful work, and to wish our guests a pleasant stay in the Republic of Macedonia.
Thank you for your attention.