SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS UNITED ACTION AGAINST TERRORISM HAS UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS DIMENSION; VIOLATIONS ARE WARNING OF FUTURE CONFLICT

5 December 2001
SG/SM/8067-HR/4575-OBV/255

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS UNITED ACTION AGAINST TERRORISM HAS UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS DIMENSION; VIOLATIONS ARE WARNING OF FUTURE CONFLICT

05/12/2001
Press ReleaseSG/SM/8067 HR/4575 OBV/255

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS UNITED ACTION AGAINST TERRORISM HAS UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS

DIMENSION; VIOLATIONS ARE WARNING OF FUTURE CONFLICT

Rights Day Message, Noting Award of Nobel Peace Prize to United Nations,

Urges Respect for All People, Renewed Efforts against Racial Discrimination

This is the text of the message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan for Human Rights Day 2001, being observed next Monday (10 December):

On this Human Rights Day, I greet you with special pride.  This very day, the United Nations is being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Peace and human rights belong together -– as the founders of the United Nations knew.  They were determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights. 

Widespread violations of human rights in any State are a danger signal.  They warn us that conflict is on the horizon.  Only if we heed this early warning, and take early action to uphold human rights, can we save the people of that State –- and often its neighbours, too -– from the scourge of war.

In today’s interconnected world, where conflict in one country can have repercussions for another far away, we must keep this lesson in mind more than ever.  And, as we unite to take action against terrorism, let us remember that the human rights we’re defending are universal.  Let us work harder than ever to defeat racism and discrimination.

Let us resolve to treat all men and women on this planet -– whatever their race, creed or nationality –- as fellow members of the human family, whose destiny we share.  Let us respect their rights, as we would wish them to respect ours.

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For information media. Not an official record.