Civil Society Plays Key Role in Reaching Development Goals, Secretary-General Says as Court Case against Human Rights Defenders Resumes in Egypt

SG/SM/17689
19 April 2016

Civil Society Plays Key Role in Reaching Development Goals, Secretary-General Says as Court Case against Human Rights Defenders Resumes in Egypt

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is following closely judicial proceedings in Egypt against a number of civil society organizations and human rights defenders.  Case number 173, commonly referred to as “the case on foreign funding of civil society”, is expected to resume on Wednesday, 20 April, in Cairo.  Defendants in the case must be able to benefit from all due process and fair trial standards.

The Secretary-General underscores the important role that civil society plays in ensuring that States meet developmental, social and civic objectives and obligations.  He stresses the need for human rights defenders and civil society in general, as well as the media, to work without undue restrictions.

The Secretary-General notes that the Government of Egypt has accepted a number of recommendations under the second universal periodic review cycle to promote and protect the rights to freedom of association, as well as to adopt a new non-governmental organization law that is compliant with the Egyptian Constitution and international human rights.

For information media. Not an official record.