News Presidency

The President: "We are a country that is particularly sensitive and committed to human rights"

2023 September 7
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  • Iñigo Urkullu opened the international AHRI Conference 2023: Defence of human rights in the spotlight
  • The Basque Country has one of the highest Human Development indices in the world, he stated
  • He recalled the past suffered by the Dictatorship and also "by the unreasonable attacks and the injustice of terrorism and violence"

The President assured that the Basque Country is “particularly sensitive and committed country to Human Rights.” It also has one of the highest Human Development indices in the world. Iñigo Urkullu has been in charge of opening the international AHRI Conference 2023: The defence of human rights in the spotlight, which is currently being held at the University of Deusto, where he has been accompanied by the Minister Nerea Melgosa.

The congress has been organised by the Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute of the University of Deusto within the framework of the International Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) and brings together institutional leaders, academics and social agents in Bilbao who will analyse the role of human rights defenders.

In this forum of experts, the President recalled the violation of rights that the Basque Country has suffered for decades by “a black and long Dictatorship and also by onslaughts of absurdity and the injustice of terrorism and violence,” and assured that these attitudes have long had no place in the Basque Country, although “still today,” - he clarified - “we continue in an open process, trying to heal the wounds little by little”. He has indicated that no matter how much we know that we live in different times, "we must never forget that some people are no longer among us."

In his opinion, this “black experience” of years has reinforced the commitment of the Basque Country to a model of coexistence anchored in non-violence, in ethical and democratic principles and values and in the active defence, protection and effective guarantee of human rights.

At another point in his speech, he warned that the world is experiencing difficult times for human rights and warned of a “real danger of involution”, and denounced the recent closure by the Government of Nicaragua of the Central American University (UCA) founded and run by the Society of Jesus.

Finally, Iñigo Urkullu expressed his gratitude for the “modest but unique” contribution of this international conference to the “collective effort to defend, strengthen and guarantee human rights in the world”.

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