World marks 60th anniversary of international rights declaration News
World marks 60th anniversary of international rights declaration

[JURIST] Tuesday marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) [text], and is celebrated as International Human Rights Day [official website]. The occasion will be commemorated with a number of special events [schedule, PDF] at the UN headquarters in New York City, including the presentation of the UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights [official website] and a special meeting of the General Assembly [official website]. The theme for the 2008 International Human Rights Day is "Dignity and justice for all of us." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] said [statement text]:

On this Human Rights Day, it is my hope that we will all act on our collective responsibility to uphold the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration. We can only honour the towering vision of that inspiring document when its principles are fully applied everywhere, for everyone.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navenethem Pillay [official website] said [statement text]:

We must work for the full implementation of human rights on the ground in a way that affects and improves the lives of the men, women and children who are all entitled, regardless of their race, sex, religion, nationality, property or birth, to realization of each and every right set forth in the Universal Declaration.

The UN General Assembly adopted the UDHR in 1948 after World War II. It was drafted by representatives of all regions and legal traditions, and it represents core values of non-discrimination, equality, fairness, and universality that apply to everyone. The 2007 International Human Rights Day [official website] marked the beginning of a year-long commemoration of these values, leading up to the 60th anniversary.