The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is celebrated on December 10, 2008.
The UDHR was a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris.
The promotion and protection of human rights has been a major preoccupation for the United Nations since 1945, when the Organization’s founding nations resolved that the horrors of the Second World War should never be allowed to recur.
The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has launched a year-long campaign to lead up to this anniversary. Because the UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document (with more than 360 language versions available), organizations around the globe will be able to use the year to focus on helping people everywhere learn about their rights.
“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,” Ki-Moon said.
At the United Nations Headquarters in New York a number of special events are taking place. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights will be awarded at the special afternoon commemorative General Assembly plenary meeting in the General Assembly Hall. The recipients of the 2008 Prize are: Ms. Louise Arbour, Mr. Ramsey Clark, Dr. Carolyn Gomes, Dr. Denis Mukwege and Human Rights Watch.
Assassinated Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Mrs. Benazir Bhutto and Sr. Dorothy Stang are awarded the prize posthumously.