12 December 2014

Remarks at launch of National Plan of Action for Human Rights Education

Ban Ki-moon

Buenos días.

Me complace acompañarlos aquí en el colegio Antenor Orrego para el lanzamiento del Plan Nacional de Educación en Derechos Humanos. [I am pleased to join you here at the Antenor Orrego school as Peru launches its National Plan of Action for Human Rights Education.]

The work of the United Nations is built on three mutually reinforcing pillars: peace, development and human rights.

Again and again, in all we do, I have made it a personal priority to emphasize these truths:

Peace cannot be sustainable without development.

Development cannot be sustainable without peace.

And neither is possible without respecting human rights.

We must work around the world to make sure that human rights are better known, understood and respected.

As the preamble of Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for their full realization.”

Yet around the world, those who most need their human rights protected know the least about the instruments that exist to protect their human rights.

As a result, violations persist, rights are unfulfilled, and the most vulnerable stay disempowered.

The more people know about their human rights – and respect and advocate for the rights of others -- the greater the chance that they will live in peace.

Human rights education helps people learn about fundamental standards and acquire the skills to realize them. It strengthens values and reinforces attitudes which uphold human rights. And it encourages behaviour and action to defend human rights.

Peru has been a pioneer in this area with its law on indigenous consultation and creation of a broad-based commission to follow-up. This is an important step for indigenous peoples’ rights here and throughout Latin America.

As you begin implementation of this National Plan, I encourage you to continue deepening your outreach throughout the government and to keep drawing from the contributions of many national actors and important partners such as the Defensoria del Pueblo and civil society organizations.

Human rights must be up front in all our work.

At the same time as you launch this National Plan in Peru, we in the United Nations are boosting our global efforts on human rights education.

We will strengthen human rights education for journalists and media professionals around the world as well as within school systems and in the training of civil servants, the police and the military.

Within the United Nations itself, in the context of my Human Rights up Front Initiative, training in human rights is becoming mandatory for all staff members.

I commend Peru for putting human rights at the centre of its learning process.

Everyone has the right to human rights education in the same way that everyone has the same human rights.

You can count on my full support and that of the United Nations as you embark on this vital effort to ensure human rights for all.

Todos los derechos para todos! Cuenta conmigo, Peru! [All rights for all! You can count on me, Peru!]

Muchas gracias.