Ban calls on Egypt to mark anniversary of revolution with push for

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, he reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support the country in building the future for all Egyptians, with dignity, freedom, responsible governance and development that inspired the uprising of 2011, which toppled President Hosni Mubarak nearly three years ago after mass protests. “The Secretary-General believes that one of the central challenges moving forward is pluralism: the guarantee that all voices are heard, represented and have a stake in the system, regardless of political or religious affiliation,” the statement said, underlining the “crucial need to guarantee the political space on which a stable and inclusive democracy can be built.”Last July, renewed protests, in which dozens of people were killed and wounded, led to the military deposing President Mohamed Morsy and the setting up of an interim government. A new constitution was adopted in a referendum earlier this month.“The Secretary-General encourages Egyptians to rediscover common ground,” the statement said. “In his view, credible parliamentary and presidential elections in a free and open atmosphere are crucial steps ahead in the transition.”A national independent committee set up for fact finding and gathering evidence about the events of last July “can be an opportunity to combat impunity and to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of those responsible for serious violations of international law,” it added.“Protection of human rights – and the rights and participation of women, in particular – is an essential foundation for the future. Political parties must commit themselves to non-violence,” the statement concluded, stressing that a peaceful and democratic Egypt is what the people of Egypt deserve and is critical for the entire North Africa, Middle East region and beyond. read more