Colleagues and friends,
On behalf of the United Nations in Azerbaijan, I would like to welcome you all and thank you for your participation at the Human Rights Exhibition Day which is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Museum Centre of the Ministry of Culture.
I would like to thank the Ministry of Culture and Museum Center for hosting this Exhibition.
70 years ago on this day in Paris, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This is a milestone document in the history of human rights which sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and affirming that all human beings are born free and entitled to rights and equal treatment regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality or language.
This declaration has been translated into over 500 languages.
Over the past 70 years, the concept of human rights set out in the Universal Declaration has had a revolutionary impact.
It formed the basis for political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights and to be respected by all governments.
It has permeated policies and constitutions, inspired more than 60 human rights instruments laid the foundation for international human rights law and standards.
It is a living document that will continue to inspire generations to come.
I thought to pay tribute to the drafters of the declaration and recognize its significance; it would be appropriate to recite a few words from the preamble of the declaration, which is so beautifully written.
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
To highlight what the Universal Declaration means for people in their everyday lives, the UN launched a year-long campaign on 10 December 2017, that culminates today, on the Human Rights Day.
In a year-long campaign, the world community has been invited to PROMOTE the understanding of how the Declaration empowers us all, to ENGAGE key actors to express commitment to human rights, and finally to REFLECT on the ways that each of us can stand up for rights, every day.
And, today, we are honoured to hold the Human Rights Day Exhibition to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration and commemorate the Human Rights Day.
The Exhibition also marks the conclusion of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the international campaign that calls to end violence against women and girls around the world.
During the next three days, you will explore each of 30 articles of the Universal Declaration in cartoons submitted by cartoonists all over the world.
You will also have a chance to see a series of posters created by forty renowned graphic designers, illustrating their perception of human rights and inviting everyone to stand up for human rights.
We invite all visitors to look at and collect various human rights-related publications and educational materials printed by UN agencies.
I wish us all a successful event.