December 10, 2019
Today on Human Rights Day and this week for Human Rights Week, we commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This document was a milestone in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world and adopted in 1948, the Declaration proclaimed a common standard for all peoples and all nations. For the first time in history, the Declaration set forth the fundamental human rights that are to be universally protected.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights states that the UDHR “has set the direction for all subsequent work in the field of human rights and has provided the basic philosophy for many legally binding international instruments designed to protect the rights and freedoms which it proclaims.”
The theme for Human Rights Week is ‘Human rights start with you’. This simple, yet important message establishes the inherent need for each of us to recognize our part in ensuring that the principles of freedom, respect, equality, and dignity are established and thriving in our communities and in our interactions with those around us.
Let us reaffirm our commitment to respect and adhere to the inalienable human rights proclaimed within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and continue to work to unify men and women of every background in every nation around the world.