It is now recognised that large scale violation of human rights and international humanitarian law are not mere domestic or internal concerns of states, but could be construed as threats to international peace, resulting in some form of intervention by the United Nations Security Council.

Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari said this here on Thursday at a function organised by the International Institute of Human Rights Society (IIHRS) to mark the Human Rights Day.

Expressing concern over rights violations, he said “the record of six decades shows that judicial and legislative innovation on the issue of human rights has been a work-in-progress.”

Mr. Ansari lauded the role played by the National Human Rights Commission in the last 16 years. “The NHRC’s landmark observation on the Gujarat communal disturbances underscored the primary and inescapable responsibility of the state to protect the right to life, liberty, equality and dignity of all those who constitute it and ensure that such rights are not violated either through overt acts, or through abetment or negligence.”

The Vice President said while the Security Council had now assumed the role of the guardian of human rights and international humanitarian law, problems continued to be posed due to the selectivity and subjectivity seemingly guided by the realpolitik and interests of its permanent members.

He said: “As a founding member of the United Nations, a leading democracy that houses one-sixth of humanity and is working for their empowerment and development, India stands fully supportive of the increasing salience of human rights at the national and international planes. It opposes exclusions sought on grounds of ‘particularism.’ It is our hope that responsible state behaviour in our region and in the world at large would widen the support for principles of good governance and rule of law, and the purposes and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Justice S.H. Kapadia, Supreme Court judge and president of IIHRS, and Justice Altamas Kabir, Supreme Court Judge and vice-president of IIHRS, explained the significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the observance of December 10 as the Human Rights Day. Senior advocate Harish Salve and senior advocate P.H. Parekh also spoke.

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