Vienna Declaration anniversary marked at opening of 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council

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26feb-HRC-pillay"The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action is the most significant overarching human rights document produced in the last quarter of a century." said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, referring to the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, at a High-Level Panel part of the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council which began in Geneva yesterday.

"It crystalized the underlying principles that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and took the key notion of universality a step further by committing States to the promotion and protection of all human rights for all people regardless of their political, economic, and cultural systems", she said.

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in 1993 at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria, is regarded as a landmark agreement where States reaffirmed their commitment to promote universal respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and set priorities for the human rights agenda, including the establishment of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"Human rights and fundamental freedoms are the lifeblood of the United Nations," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a video message to the panel.

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