Celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be launched at UNESCO on 10 December, Human Rights Day. Events commemorating the anniversary will take place over the next year, until 10 December 2008.
Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and Bacre Ndiaye, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will open the ceremony. Two special guests, Karel Vasak, human rights expert, and Hector Gross Espiell, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Uruguay to UNESCO, will then recall the drafting of the 1948 Declaration and UNESCO’s role in its implementation.
In his message on the occasion of Human Rights Day, the Director-General declared,
“The Universal Declaration remains a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. Human rights belong to everybody, and we should work together to transform into a reality the motto chosen by the United Nations for the 60th anniversary: ‘Dignity and justice for all of us’.”
Human Rights. Major International Instruments. Status as at 31 May 2007 offers a comprehensive picture of the status of ratification of binding human rights instruments. Published annually, it shows developments in the ratification process of universal and regional normative instruments.
PDF file: HUMAN RIGHTS: MAJOR NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
The 60th anniversary provides an opportunity to mobilize the whole of the United Nations and to evaluate progress in respecting and promoting human rights. UNESCO will take this opportunity to assess the situation of rights in its fields of competence. UNESCO is planning two international conferences on the subject in 2008: one on human rights in the Organization’s fields of competence, the other on human rights education. In addition, the 61st International Conference of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which will be organized at UNESCO in September 2008, in partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information, will focus on the celebration of the Universal Declaration’s 60th anniversary.