UN Declaration of Human Rights


Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres wrote on the occasion of the 75th General Assembly of the UN, September 2020

As I write this reflection, it is the eve of the bombing of Pearl Harbor 79 years ago.  It’s hard to believe that so many decades have gone by.  Many of you who read this had parents who went into the Second World War. Many returned but so many more died in hopes of a world free of war for future generations. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres words above are a clarion Call.

I’m not sure there is a “Thank You” big enough to embrace all of your families who suffered a loss through death in the war but we are so grateful to those women and men in the war and at home who helped to bring about a more just and hopeful world.

One of the most important outcomes of that war was the Declaration of Human Rights that we celebrate on December 10th.  The Declaration is a promise by the global leaders that they would never stop pursuing the fundamental rights and freedoms of all.  They knew this would not be easy but have taken up the task before them anyway.

The Declaration is a common vision for all humanity.  It is a set of rights that are universal and indivisible. However, there are many challenges to bringing about human rights for all.

No country is immune from bringing these to realization. In these past few years there has been a rise in human rights violations e.g.,  impunity, intensification of hate speech and racism, exclusion, discrimination, polarization and other encroachments on our rights.

In March 2021, we will commemorate the Commission on the Status of Women. We didn’t celebrate it last year as minutes before the kickoff in March all was cancelled due to the pandemic. And so, we are preparing for even better 2021 CSW65 celebrating the Beijing Platform 25+1 virtually.

The human rights of women are especially in danger during this pandemic.  We need to create safe places for women to express their concerns, their hopes and dreams. During this past year more women were abused and violated physically and sexually.  Women were harassed during this period and excluded from decision making in public life and other arenas of life. 

We need a call to action on behalf of women. As well as the enforcement of the Beijing Platform for women adopted 25 years +one ago. There are six gender actions that CSW Commission on the Status of Women is promoting. They too are part of the Bill of Human Rights. 

  • Gender-Based Violence
  • Economic justice and rights
  • Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
  • Feminist action for climate justice
  • Technology and innovation for Gender Equality
  • Feminist movements and leadership
poster for human rights day 2020

The theme for Human Rights Day 2020 is Recover Better. You can read more about this theme by clicking onto the link provided here.

As we approach December 10, 2020, let us be ambassadors defending the Declaration of Human Rights as well as the rights of all women around the world and do what we can to recover better.  The world needs it, we need it. Women need it and we are the women to work for it.