In Geneva ... truth triumphed over falsehood and lies  

Written by : Diaa Rashwan
Chairman of the State Information Service

With the power of logic, proof of truth, and with serious professional scientific work, Egypt has faced the malevolent and ambiguous people who used to discredit its reputation and image in the field of human rights by propagating rumors and spreading lies and slanders that many around the world believed or almost believed them in the past years.

This confrontation took place at the session of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that was held on November 12, 2019. The session, which included extensive discussions of the human rights file in Egypt, has ended not only with a general international conviction for the integrity of the human rights situation in Egypt, but also with a commend for many aspects in this field, including Egypt's fulfillment of its obligations and recommendations that had already been accepted during the UPR.

This result, which was achieved at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, does not reside in the satisfaction or anger of international parties regarding our people and our citizens, but it carried other indications, and provided lessons in how to deal with challenges and national issues and address the contemporary world.

Egypt was confident in the human rights conditions in the country, and the falsehood of the rumors and the states that are hostile to Egypt and its people.  Caring for human rights and development in all related fields in Egypt is done for the rights of members of society and all its groups, and not for the sake of satisfying any external parties. But at the same time, Egypt accepted and was satisfied to consider these international institutions as forums to explain the reality of human rights conditions to the world and to face from their platforms the lies attached to it.

There is no doubt that the most prominent indications expressed by the Egyptian success in this international forum relate to the approach taken, starting with the formation of the delegation that included government officials, experts in this field, and representatives of national institutions and civil organizations. It was a delegation representing the Egyptian people and not the Egyptian government only. Hence the richness, diversity, experience and correct representation that presented Egypt to the world with a unified opinion towards one goal.

At the same time, the national report on human rights, which took many months to be prepared by all the relevant authorities, was formulated in a sober scientific and objective way. It was comprehensive and impressive for the members of the Human Rights Council in terms of what the included comprehensive concept of human rights, and what was achieved in Egypt in the political, economic and social fields of all groups and people of the Egyptian people.

On the third hand, the logical and fact-based responses, on dozens of questions submitted by 12 countries, were an opportunity to refute many of the common misconceptions and lies through the method of transparency, honesty and objectivity respected by the world.

The most important indication of what happened in Geneva in November 2019 is that we can face our most sensitive issues, and our biggest challenges, if we deal with them with all our governmental and popular tools in national integration and not in competition or conflict, and when we follow the scientific approach, when we leave to those with knowledge, experience and competence the forefront position, and when we rely on frankness, transparency and recognition of the existence of errors and work to correct them and amend the path.

This is Egypt's approach now, which gives hope for a better tomorrow that is more prosperous and advanced in politics, economy, culture, society and others.