Equal Political Participation

Equal Political Participation

Equal Political Participation in 2013

United States views on international law [1] in relation to Equal Political Participation: On September 26, 2013, the HRC adopted resolution 24/8 on equal political participation. U.N. Doc. A/HRC/RES/24/8. The resolution was the culmination of an initiative led by the Czech government. In June, at the 23rd session of the HRC, the Czech delegation delivered a joint statement on equal political participation on behalf of numerous countries, including the United States. The June 10, 2013 joint statement on equal political participation follows.

Some Aspects of Equal Political Participation

Every healthy society makes sure that all its members have equal access to the political process. Political participation is the basis of democracy, a driving force towards social cohesion and economic development as well as a vital part of the enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Developments

The right to express one's political will through suffrage in periodic and genuine elections and the right to be elected are crucial forms of such political participation. In this regard, we also wish to recall the importance for everyone to be able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

Details

For political participation to be meaningful, it has to be fully inclusive. Only then it can channel competing interests into spaces of dialogue, leading to compromises that can be respected by all, and thus avoiding the possibility of tensions and resort to violence. This is also key in post-conflict situations and times of transition.

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For this to happen, States should ensure that every citizen has an effective opportunity to participate in public affairs without discrimination of any kind. States should eliminate laws, regulations and practices that, in a discriminatory manner, prevent or restrict participation in the political process.

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Despite recent progress, many continue to face countless challenges to exercise their right to participation in the political life of their countries on equal basis.

Equal Political Participation in 2013 (Continuation)

United States views on international law [1] in relation to Equal Political Participation: Women's full and equal participation in the political process and decision-making is essential to the achievement of equality, sustainable development, peace and democracy.

More about Equal Political Participation

Persons living in poverty and other vulnerable situation or belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities are among the most affected by social exclusion and are subject to discrimination in the exercise of their political participation.

Development

With this statement we would like to encourage states not only to respect and protect political rights of their citizens but to make a further step and take positive action to facilitate, promote and create conditions for them to fully exercise such rights.

Details

States should actively aim to identify barriers, in law and in practice, as well as those individuals and groups that face the most obstacles, and to take adequate measures towards the full realization of their political rights on equal basis with other citizens towards the development of more inclusive and plural societies.

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Some of the measures recommended by various international human rights mechanisms that, though quite simple, have major impact on effective participation free from discrimination, include:

Resources

Notes

  1. Equal Political Participation in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Resources

Notes

  1. Equal Political Participation in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law

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