By Kebba Jeffang

Gambian President Adama Barrow said his government is committed to promoting human rights in the country. The President was addressing graduands at the 10th convocation of the University of The Gambia, held on the 15th January 2018, at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

“As we witness and celebrate the dawn of a new era in Gambian history, we renew our determination in pursuit of human rights and development across our nation. We are conscious of the opportunity and responsibility to promote and uphold the fundamental dignity and equality of all people,” he said.

He said his administration has the energy and determination to promote and protect freedom, peace and stability, and enact the highest level of human rights; that Gambians will increasingly enjoy the rights and freedom that enhance their development across all spheres.

“The right to development itself is a basic human right, and entitles all people in our country to contribute to the economic, social, cultural and political advancement of The Gambia, whereby our fundamental freedoms can be fully respected and realized. While our Government is entrusted to exercise power, so too it is assigned to ensure the basic needs of its people.  I therefore wish to reaffirm our Government’s commitment to meeting these needs,” he assured.

The President said the importance of human rights education will help graduates to work with society to promote, protect and advance justice and dignity for every Gambian in keeping with the Universal Declaration.

“Our Government is committed to ensure and sustain the right to education for all, as education will certainly facilitate our nation’s economic, social, cultural and political development.  Our conviction here is that respect for human rights and the rule of law, coupled with strong and accountable institutions will strengthen our democracy and enhance the full enjoyment of its benefits,” he said.

He advised the graduating students, that the degree they have earned is not a badge of exclusiveness, nor is it something that should create in them, a superiority complex. He said they will still be part and parcel of society.

“As a matter of fact your graduation has created a new obligation for each of you. An obligation to prepare to give back to society, some of the privileges that society had bestowed on you and what you have derived from higher education,” he said.

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