The undersigned members of the Parliamentary Assembly reaffirm their commitment to human rights, as guaranteed by a number of international instruments, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the Revised European Social Charter.
They accept, however, that in a pluralist and democratic society most human rights may be limited in circumstances to be defined, so as to ensure the fulfilment of the rights and freedoms of other individuals and the community as a whole.
They also note that Article 29§1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledges the existence of inherent duties of every individual to the community.
They note that the same idea is expressed in the preambles of both the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and in various instruments worldwide, such as the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Helsinki Final Act and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.
They stress, however, that the duties and responsibilities of individuals towards each other and towards society as a whole can in no way diminish the obligations of states towards individuals for the protection and the promotion of human rights.
The issue of fundamental duties and responsibilities has, worldwide and in various forums, been fiercely debated, and no clear-cut answers are available. The undersigned members believe that there is room for a European standard with regard to human duties and responsibilities, in accordance with democratic principles and international law, which can complement and further develop the European human rights framework.
The undersigned members therefore request that the Assembly, with respect for the acquired levels of human rights protection, further reflects on a European framework of fundamental duties and responsibilities.