"Strengthening the autonomy and effectiveness of Justice and Democracy as the foundation for World Peace", Dr. William Soto Santiago
This session of the Peace Integration Summit - CUMIPAZ, is called "Justice and Democracy". Two concepts, two values, closely related, and that act as feedback for the foundation of World Peace. A democracy cannot survive without transparent, prompt, and effective justice. And justice with equality cannot ignore the fundamental values of Democracy.
How to strengthen democracy?
The ideas of Equality and Freedom play a very important role in the exercise of Democracy. Equality is an indispensable condition in a democratic system, as it promotes the guarantee of fundamental rights, respect for the different, and excludes any discrimination against minority groups. But it is necessary, not only the so-called liberal equality before the Law, but also politics, understood as the availability of opportunities to access the services of the State and to participate in matters of general interest.
The responsibility of those who hold public office should not be disfigured by petty interests, since it is one of the best guarantees for Democracy. And it is as guaranteed and concrete as the extent to which the citizen can denounce and access a transparent, prompt, and effective justice.
How to strengthen the autonomy and effectiveness of international justice and in different States?
In spite of the barbarism, the atrocity and inhumanity of wars, these leave painful teachings; the main one is that human beings can self-annihilate, as demonstrated by World War II. Faced with this threat, the community of nations felt it was necessary to guarantee respect for human rights, to prevent and humanize wars, to strengthen peace and security among the people and to promote a negotiated settlement of conflicts.
The 21st Century is called to be the century of Peace; however, to date it exhibits more than one form violence, fueled by discourses of hatred and an education that only transmits knowledge, but is empty in values and fundamental principles for harmonious coexistence. Today, that contagious violence as a virus, writes perhaps the blackest pages in history after the genocidal atrocity of the Holocaust. It is the violence of gender and against Christians, against ethnic groups or human groups that are displaced and exterminated; it is also sexual slavery, human trafficking and terrorist violence, the product of extremist ideologies, which wish the death of those who profess a different faith.
To stop this violence, we must overcome the indifference and lack of solidarity with those who are discriminated against, detect and denounce the signs of alarm before the International Community, because silence makes us accomplices of the genocidal atrocity.
For that reason, I am pleased to inform you that the GEAP will henceforth have the Human Rights Office, to receive and assist the victims, to cooperate and report to the competent authorities any acts of discrimination and intolerance. And especially, to exercise preventive work against discrimination or any serious attack against any member of the human family.
In addition, the Embassy's Human Rights Office will join efforts to strengthen the legitimacy, independence, and effectiveness of the International Criminal Court as a bulwark of universal justice, based on the need to establish truth as a fundamental right of the victims.
This office will enhance the work that the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace has been doing to monitor discrimination, promote and protect human rights, denounce any warning signs of possible genocide, empower the International Criminal Court and its Attorney General's Office, and typify genocide in those countries where it has not yet been criminalized.
While a universal justice is strengthened, it is also necessary to prevent discrimination and to neutralize hate speech, forming human values as an effective way to prevent genocidal atrocity; because it will always be better to educate in order to prevent, than to JUDGE IN ORDER TO PUNISH.
Thank you very much.