25 September 2012 17:56

UNITED NATIONS -- Lack of respect for the rule of law leads to bad governance, civil unrest, political instability with serious security implications, both at the national and international level, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Monday.
Addressing the United Nations High Level Meeting on “the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels”, in New York, the President of the Republic underlined the crucial nature of focusing the efforts towards the universal promotion of the rule of law and the strict monitoring of its application.
This is an enormous challenge for both the United Nations and its member states, he said, adding further that the rule of law is a fundamental principle upon which the EU is based.
“As the country currently holding the rotating Presidency of the Union, I wish to highlight that this is a guiding principle of all of the EU’s internal and external action” President Christofias said.
He also pointed out that it requires close cooperation between the United Nations, regional actors, member states and non-state actors, for the constant exchange of relevant data and other useful information, in order to allow for close monitoring of areas of crisis and early coordination for the purpose of conflict-prevention.
President Christofias noted in his intervention that the Republic of Cyprus commits itself to reinforcing the rule of law through national policy and to uphold the Charter of the United Nations, to strengthen the Organization’s main pillars of work, namely peace and security, human rights and development.
At the national level, the President said that Cyprus retains constitutionally a separation of powers, ensuring the independence of the judiciary and access to justice for all.
“Cyprus is fully committed to the protection of human rights and gender equality” President Christofias went on, noting that incorporating gender equality in the social and economic policy of the state has been the goal of consecutive governments in Cyprus,
Furthermore, the President referred to the fight against impunity, noting that it is a stepping stone in establishing the rule of law in post-conflict societies.
He added that the International Criminal Court is the competent institution to fight impunity in the world, welcoming at the same time the increased participation to the Rome Statute.
“Cyprus, pursuant to the complementarity principle of the Statute, has incorporated in its national penal code the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, punishable with life imprisonment” he said.
The President noted moreover that the country has also initiated the internal process for the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression, adopted in 2010 at the Review Conference in Kampala.
According to the Cyprus President, “the international community is sending a strong message today by organizing this first high level meeting on the rule of law”. 
He went on by saying that the adoption of the political declaration demonstrates the international community’s commitment and paves the way for the future.
“In a divided world, the concept of the rule of law is one of the greatest unifying factors, perhaps the greatest, the nearest we are likely to approach to a universal principle” the President concluded. (CNA)


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