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United Nations Human Rights Day 2009

Text of the Secretary-General's Video Message


No country is free of discrimination.

We see it everywhere, in many forms.

Ethnic strife. Hate speech. Xenophobia.

Its targets include women, children and the poor.

Migrants. Minorities of all kinds.

They are seen as “different,” and excluded from the mainstream.

But they are not alone. The United Nations stands with them.

The United Nations is committed to defending the rights of all, and particularly the most vulnerable. That is our identity and our mission.

Discrimination is outlawed by international treaties. But abstract commitments are not enough. We must confront inequality and intolerance wherever they are found.

On Human Rights day, I call on people everywhere to join the fight against discrimination.