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Speech of CIS-EMO political analyst Alexey Semenov on OSCE SHDM 2014

Speech of CIS-EMO political analyst Alexey Semenov on OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting “Human rights and fundamental freedoms in economic crisis” 30-31 October 2014, Hofburg, Vienna

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today the whole world is sitting on a social, political and economic time bomb. Underlying the economic crisis is an explosive crisis of human rights.

The economic downturn has led to an increase of abuse of human rights. It’s distracted attention from them and created new problems. Human rights have previously been flouted in the name of security. And now under the economic recovery, they are being relegated to the background.

The world needs a new global deal on human rights. It should not be just empty declarations and promises on paper, but firm intention and specific government actions. World leaders must invest in human rights as purposefully as they are investing in the economy.

Millions of people are suffering from insecurity, injustice and indignity. This crisis is not only a shortage of food, jobs, clean water, land and housing, but also problems with deprivation and discrimination, growing inequality, xenophobia and racism, violence and repression.

For example, the armed conflict in the south-east of Ukraine affected a lot of civilians. In Ukraine even more often there are disorders and political violence. There are many cases of beatings and humiliations of candidates and journalists. There is a risk that recession will lead to more repression. But the international community has been remaining remarkably indifferent to these facts.

World leaders have been attempting to revive the global economy, while did not paying attention to the deadly conflicts that give rise to massive human rights violations.

If we ignore the human rights crisis and focus on the economic only, it will lead to a worsening of both spheres. If governments fail to solve problems of abuses and armed conflicts, economic recovery will not bring the expected benefits. The world needs to abandon selective approach to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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