THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO DR. JAKUP KRASNIQI HOLDS A SPEECH AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON “SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN RIGHTS”

The Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi held today a keynote speech at the International Conference on “Sovereignty and Human Rights”, organised on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Establishment of the Institution of Ombudsperson and the 62nd Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Below you may read the entire contents of Mr. Krasniqi’s speech:
 
Honourable Ombudsperson Mr. Sami Kurteshi
Honourable audience,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 
It is a good feeling for me to be here today among the people who represent an articulated voice for people’s defence, all the more when these people have, in the course of their history, suffered injustice and grave and various infringements upon their rights.
 
I am proud that today, after a decade of its engagement and operation, you are marking the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the institution of Ombudsperson, which can be freely called a jubilee in a free and sovereign Kosovo;
 
I consider this anniversary and this international conference a jubilee that dates back to 62 years ago, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
 
Ten years do not constitute a short period neither in a man’s life, nor in the course of development of a society like ours. Your institution is even lucky to be a part of our growth in a free Kosovo.
 
I find the topic to be discussed at the conference smart: Sovereignty and human rights, an inseparable binomial that represents a permanent concern for the men now and in the future.
 
Like the smart minds of humanity deemed it necessary to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 62 years ago, I believe that today, such a concern does not seem outdated, but even gains in weight and deserves the renewed attention of us all.
 
Human rights and freedoms are either enjoyed and cherished as such, or violated. By common sense, there neither are, nor can there be excessive rights and freedoms.
 
We knew something in years of oppression and robbery. We had heard of human rights, but an institution like this was an unimaginable luxury under the then circumstances in our country.
 
In our imagination, the term ADVOCATE assumed figurative epithets with almost always a negative or pejorative connotation, such as Devil’s Advocate, Money’s Advocate and Dirty Advocate, implying an entire apparatus of oppression: judges, lay judges and prosecutors who, as an irony to our misfortune, added to the echo of the deflated slogan: “In the name of the people”.
 
By using the space available and with earnest endeavours and great sacrifices that we made, we established the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, a non-governmental organisation that, at least, found paths of communication and information at the very maelstrom of a totalitarian isolation. 
I am mentioning this fact to remind you on this occasion that the person that today represents the People’s Advocate has undergone and experienced such a hardship.
 
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
 
Today, it is the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo that makes the Ombudsperson, the People’s Advocate, an independent institution; it is elected by the highest body of people’s representation, the Assembly of Kosovo; it has a separate office and budget which it proposes and manages itself by law.
 
Such conditions enable it to promote and protect rights and freedoms of individuals and legal entities from illegal actions and irregularities or failures to act by public administration bodies.
 
I repeat: it is not People’s Advocate that conducts the trial. He promotes and defends rights and freedoms of individuals and legal entities. In this sense, the conditions are ripe to ensure now  that nobody feels unprotected and disregarded.
 
Regardless of the government that a society builds or institutions that govern it, it is almost impossible to root out illegalities and irregularities completely, all the more in a society like ours, which has just emerged from transition, which has just started to recover from the war aftermath and which feels the lack of experience and tradition in many domains.
 
In this sense, the People’s Advocate assumes another task here, no less important than the one it is usually has to carry out: the task of providing the people with a basic education on his work and operations.
 
Accordingly, publications and information on the work and the role of People’s Advocate, publications and information on human rights and freedoms, regardless of peoples’ race or religion, become and inalienable part of civic culture and values that add to the universal fund of humanity.
 
Having no doubts about your engagement, task and mission, allow me to congratulate you on the jubilees and to wish you success in your engagement!