"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

- Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A warm welcome to all visitors to our website!

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 60 this year and to celebrate this anniversary we have chosen the theme "Reaffirming Human Rights: The Universal Declaration at 60." The Declaration is the first universal statement on the basic principles of the human rights to which peoples of all nations are entitled. It has also set the common standard of achievement to which people all over the world should aspire.

This 61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference is organized by the Department of Public Information in cooperation with the NGO community, this year with the assistance of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of France.

The capital city of France is also the place where the Declaration was adopted some 60 years ago. It is therefore fitting, that it will be the host city for the premier NGO event of the year, at UNESCO's Headquarters, attracting more than 2,000 NGO representatives from some 90 countries.

The Conference will take place 3-5 September and will be opened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon via video-conference at 10:00 a.m. on 3rd September 2008 at the UNESCO Headquarters.

The aim of the Conference is to highlight effective ways in which civil society, in partnership with other actors, can contribute to the advancement of human rights at the international, regional, national and local levels. A major feature of this conference will be its emphasis on active participation whether through involvement in the five roundtables, the 42 midday workshops or several breakout sessions. All activities including those offered via the Internet are meant to generate greater awareness of human rights issues and strengthen commitments to address them among diverse stakeholders worldwide.