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Army chief at launch of Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement: This constitutes opportunity to renew commitment to international human rights standards

Under the patronage of Army Commander General, Joseph Aoun, the Lebanese Army on Tuesday launched the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Personnel, in cooperation with the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The launch ceremony, which was held at the Monroe Hotel in Beirut, was attended by the United Nations Acting Special Coordinator in Lebanon, Pernille Dahler Kardel, the Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Roueida El Hage, and the Head of European Delegation to Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen as well as a number of high ranking officials, and representatives of the diplomatic corps and civil society organizations in Lebanon.

In his delivered word, Maj. Gen. Aoun emphasized that "the army's respect for human rights is sacred," adding "We continuously strive to develop our combat capabilities and raise the level of personnel professionalism. The Army is keen to cultivate the human sense and build a moral discipline. The launch of the Code of Conduct is a landmark step in this respect."

The army commander pointed out that "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued in 1948 formed the cornerstone of all the international standards and mechanisms that were adopted later to defend human rights," bringing to attention that Lebanon was the only Arab country to partake in the development of this declaration through its scholar and diplomat Charles Malek.

"For 71 years untill the present, Lebanon remains at the forefront of countries that place human rights as an absolute priority through endorsing most international treaties and conventions relevant to the promotion and protection of human rights despite the various political, security and economic challenges that have prevailed over the past decades."

Aoun underlined the Lebanese army's commitment to the various laws issued by the Lebanese constitutional institutions as well as the international covenants related to international humanitarian law, integrating them into its internal system, out of its keenness on human rights.

Maj. Gen. Aoun also underlined the army's commitment to abide by international standards governing the rules of military conduct, notably while dealing with any citizen or suspect during the execution of military missions.

He also stressed that the army maintains transparency and credibility in its relationship with local and international institutions that deal with human rights issues in the various fields.

The army commander also indicated that today's launching event constitutes an opportunity to renew commitment to international human rights standards and to renew confidence in the military institution.

He also thanked the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for its contribution in the development of the Code of Conduct, emphasizing the continued strategic cooperation with the United Nations for the protection of human rights.

In their address, the Acting Special Coordinator of the United Nations in Lebanon, the Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ambassador of the European Union highlighted the importance of the Code of Conduct as a core document reflecting human rights, and an indispensable tool for harmonization of the relationship between those who enforce the law and citizens or residents in Lebanon.

This document enshrines the fundamental principles relevant to law enforcement and human rights that would protect and promote freedoms and rights, and highlights the importance and necessity of protecting women, children, the elderly, refugees and victims of human trafficking in all law enforcement-related tasks assigned to the Lebanese Armed Forces.

General Aoun presented shields of appreciation to the Acting United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, the Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ambassador of the European Union for their contribution to this achievement.

Source: National News Agency

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