Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of Human Rights Day, 10 December 2010
In a world buffeted by uncertainty, we must remain true to a moral compass. The inherent dignity and rights of every individual must be the starting point for all our action and the measure of its success. The increasing complexity of the world should not take away from this truth. This is the foundation for healthy societies and strong states. It is the basis for a more equitable and stable international order.
Human Rights Day is an opportunity to recall the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and states.
The Universal Declaration lies at the heart of a values-based international order that takes its cue from the intrinsic value of every individual, without distinction of any kind. It holds a mirror up to the world, reflecting the progress we have achieved and the obstacles still to be overcome. Human rights are universal, but they are not always universally accepted. Our task is to persuade and nurture all societies and states to move in this direction. Every step forward is a step towards greater individual dignity and towards the common good of all societies. Humanity is never more connected than through our fundamental rights and freedoms.
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