"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and in rights."
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2023.
That celebration is coming at a very challenging moment.
We have shocking levels of human rights abuse and violation across the world.
We have a repudiation of the human rights system by too many leaders in too many places.
We seem to have lost, in some sense, the commitment and the passion of citizens across the world in standing up for human rights.
So this has to be a year of waking up – or as Stéphane Hessel, the French intellectual, said: “get indignant”, indignez-vous! Push back.
Demand respect for rights. Frame our claims as human rights. Embed human rights education back in our schools. Build strong new partnerships to shape fairer and better societies.
Let’s make Article 1 of the Universal Declaration not just a dream, but a reality.
[Eleanor Roosevelt] – “If we observe these rights for ourselves and for others, I think we will find that it is easier in the world to build peace – because war destroys all human rights and freedoms. So, in fighting for those, we fight for peace.”