By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A State that violates the civil and political rights of its citizens wastes much needed resources on buying instruments of suppression and building institutions of oppression. This was said by the National Coordinator of the Forum for the Future (FFF), Samson Ndeikwila, on Friday during a graduation ceremony. More than 30 participants from around the country took part in a 10-day course on democracy and human rights issues at the seminar centre of the Council of Churches of Namibia (CCN). “It is very cheap and convenient for a State that guarantees the civil and political rights of its citizens. What such a State only has to do is to allow the citizens individually and through their civic organizations full participation in the running of the affairs of their country. Genuine democracy means full participation of informed citizens in the everyday affairs of their community and society,” said Ndeikwila. According to him, the intention of the course, as a first phase, was to train representatives in the country to acquire sufficient knowledge and information on the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “The Namibian Constitution is one of the most widely acclaimed constitutions in the world as the most democratic and dynamic. With such a constitution, the country can create a harmonious society and prosperous nation. However, this constitution is not at all known among Namibians. Therefore, every participant has made a point to introduce it to their respective communities as from next year,” the coordinator said. “During the discussions, it became very clear that it is the will of God that human rights are God-given rights, meaning that they are not given by any human person. As such, human rights are there to be respected, protected and promoted by every human being. Human rights are for every member of the human family; nobody is excluded on whatever grounds. That was the central message of the course,” Ndeikwila said at the event attended by churchmen, politicians and lawyers. Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ratified by Namibia in 1994, the implementation thereof demands certain requirements. “It requires that the country invests sufficient resources to provide quality and universal education for citizens, provide appropriate health service both to prevent and cure diseases, supply all the citizens with potable water, build sufficient quality and affordable houses and create a conducive environment for the citizens to exhibit their talents in a constructive way,” he said. The second phase of the programme, which will take place next year, includes human rights treaties Namibia has ratified, selected regional charters on human rights and the rights of specific groups.
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