Wednesday, 12 December 2018

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Human Rights week at the European Parliament, a call to celebrate 70 years of universality and address new challenges.

Human Rights week at the European Parliament high-level conference1©UNRIC

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the European Parliament is hosting its first ever Human Rights Week from 19 to 23 November. Senior United Nations representatives and an interactive UN Stand with human rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) material will be present all week. Members of Parliament, UN-EU officials and visitors stop by the UN human rights week stand on the ground floor of the European Parliament to tell us in three words: "what do human rights mean to you ?" and sign the human rights graffiti wall.

MEPS EP UDHR 20NOV2018

A high-level conference on Tuesday 20 November attended by Antonio Tajani, EP President, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC , Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Fatou Bensouda, General Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court focused on the relevance and importance of the core principles of human rights today both within and outside of Europe and the new challenges in a global and digital world.

“Over seventy years, the world has set up a framework of binding treaties, established international and inter-governmental institutions, and adopted a web of laws to establish and support precise commitments willingly made by states. […] But all of us are aware of the turbulent and increasingly polarised context of this 70th anniversary year. […] Together, we face a moment of truth [...] We need to build a culture of human rights and a culture of dialogue. We need to reinforce the culture of respect, with the embrace of multitudes of diverse voices,”  according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. #Standup4HumanRights. 

Human Rights week at the European Parliament Parliament high-level conference with Michelle Bachelet, Antonio Tajani and Federica Mogherini|©UNRIC

“Seventy years after the Universal Declaration we cannot take human rights for granted. And I think this is the first message we are here to pass – collectively, to all of us. On the contrary, human rights and fundamental freedoms have come under new pressure… Seventy years on, we need to go back to the spirit of 1948. And we must keep that Universal Declaration at the centre of our daily work. The Universal Declaration remains a manifesto for today. It must be the guiding light for the future of our European Union, as it is, and of the whole world. I thank you very much – most of all for the daily work you do,” said Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC. #EU4HumanRights

As part of the Human Rights Week, the European Parliament also hosted an exhibition celebrating the 70th anniversary through 30 illustrations, 1 per article, of the UN’s Digital Ambassador Elyx by French artist Yacine Aid Kaci (YAK).

Read full statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet 

Read full statement by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC

More information on the event here

To view pictures of the event visit our photo gallery

Learn more about the YAK’s illustrated version of the #UDHR through: www.un.org/en/udhrbook/index.shtml

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