Message by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

Seventy years ago, upon the ashes of countries devastated by war, the Holocaust and economic depression, world leaders devised a plan. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was conceived as a detailed map to guide the world’s people out of conflict and suffering, and ensure that relations within societies, and between states, could be sustainable and peaceful.

The Declaration inspired liberation movements and led to better access to justice, social protections, economic opportunities and political participation. Wherever respect for its commitments has been present, the dignity of millions has been uplifted, suffering prevented and the foundations laid for a more just world. We need to keep pushing forward.

People are increasingly fearful of the great changes our world is experiencing.

And it is precisely at times of turmoil and uncertainty that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can guide us.

Step by step, it lights the path.

We need more respect. Greater justice. We need to uphold human equality and dignity.

And we can achieve this.

All of us, wherever we are, can make a difference, by standing up for everyone’s human rights.

Michelle Bachelet