UNESCO commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1948 - 2008

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was commemorated in a year-long campaign by the UN system, providing an opportunity to mobilize the whole of the United Nations and to evaluate progress in respecting and promoting human rights. The motto of this campaign was “Dignity and Justice for All of Us”.

Former UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura launched the Organization’s campaign at a ceremony on Human Rights Day, on 10 December 2007. It gathered representatives of Member States, civil society organizations, educators and academia at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

The Universal Declaration has given invaluable impetus to the advancement of human rights. The 60th anniversary of its adoption is first and foremost an opportunity to evaluate the situation of human rights throughout the world, to analyze obstacles that impede their enjoyment, and to reflect on challenges that could become major obstacles to the implementation of human rights tomorrow”, the Director-General stated in his message.

He underlined the particular attention to be paid to new ethical and social challenges linked to human rights

  • Right to education (Article 26) ;
  • Right to take part in cultural life (Article 27) ;
  • Right to freedom of opinion and expression including the right to seek, receive and impart information (Article 19) ;
  • Right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications (Article 27).

Throughout 2008, UNESCO organized several activities. These are included in UNESCO’s Plan of Action for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary adopted during the 179th session of its Executive Board.


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