On December 10, 2023, we commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a testament to the universal pursuit of equality, fundamental freedoms, and justice. This foundational document remains a global blueprint, guiding the creation of international, national, and local laws and policies. It stands as a cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aiming to uphold the rights of every individual.
However, the harsh reality is that, for many, these rights remain elusive. Our world is marred by ongoing conflicts and wars, perpetuating a landscape where achieving human rights seems an unattainable goal. Eleanor Roosevelt’s words resonate profoundly: “If we observe these rights, for ourselves and for others… we will find that it is easier in the world to build peace because war destroys all human rights and freedoms; so in fighting for those, we fight for peace.”
During the inauguration of the Human Rights High-Level event in Geneva, UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk voiced concern over the regression from the critical objectives outlined in the Sustainable Development Agenda. He highlighted the constriction of civic space, silencing voices crucial for effecting the necessary change. Türk emphasized, “The climate crisis is scorching our world. These crises are not the failure of human rights; they exemplify the repercussions of ignoring and violating human rights.”
Addressing the global leaders present, he underscored that human rights principles offer the most promising solution in our turbulent and apprehensive world. Türk urged a rekindling of the spirit, drive, and vitality that spurred the Universal Declaration 75 years ago. It’s an earnest entreaty to reignite the commitment to these principles as a means to navigate the challenges we face today.
To learn more about the Declaration of Human Rights, click HERE.