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UN concerned over hostility towards Human Rights

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10 December 2017 - UN Secretary-General António Guterres warns that there is “disturbing hostility” towards human rights in all regions of the world, in a statement marking International Human Rights Day. 

At the same time, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, warns that human rights principles, as laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are “being increasingly forgotten or wilfully ignored.”

Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December, the day on which in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in a meeting in Paris.

Next year – on 10 December 2018 – we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and this year’s Human Rights Day marks the beginning of a year-long campaign celebrating the 70th anniversary.

In his message for Human Rights Day, Secretary-General Guterres has expressed his concerns over the current situation of Human Rights, which he calls “the foundation of peaceful societies and sustainable development.”

“Today, we see disturbing hostility towards human rights in all regions. Let us stand against these negative forces. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world. Let us together make sure the words are translated into action. Let us stand up and speak out for human rights. They protect us all,”Secretary-General Guterres said.

The High Commissioner Zeid, stated that the Universal declaration was drawn up to cover not only civil and political rights, but also social, economic and cultural rights,” in the full understanding that you cannot have development without human rights and you cannot have a full enjoyment of human rights without development – and peace and security depend on both.”

“Today, as World War II and the Holocaust grow distant, that awareness appears to be evaporating at an alarming rate, and the enormous progress that has been achieved through progressive enactment of human rights principles, as laid out in the Universal Declaration, is being increasingly forgotten or wilfully ignored.”

On Sunday 10 December, the High Commissioner will mark Human Rights Day and the launch of the 70th anniversary campaign alongside the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris - the historic site of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948.

Additional information and links:

A website called Stand Up 4 Human Rights, was launched to mark the year-long campaign celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UDHR.

Specific projects designed to promote the relevance of the Universal Declaration include “Add Your Voice” which aims to promote and disseminate the UDHR in over 100 languages. An online application allows people to record themselves reading an article of the UDHR in their own language and share it on social media – encouraging others to do the same. Record yourself reading the Declaration and share: “Add Your Voice”

To join the thousands of people have already taken the Stand Up pledge:
go to: Take the Stand Up pledge


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