The decline of Human Rights Priorities – Vienna Declaration Anniversary

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said, in his recent speech in the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Vienna Declaration (adopted on June 25 – 1993), “human rights all around the world are no longer a priority to countries.”

Having the declaration been created by the office the High Commissioner now heads, its main purpose was to emphasise the responsibilities of all countries to “develop and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.”

Zeid opened his speech by declaring, “the legitimacy of human rights principles is attacked. The practice of human rights norms is in retreat. Here in Europe, ethno-populist parties are in the ascendant in many countries—fuelling hatred and scarring their societies with deepening divisions.”

According to him, therefore, “there will be no peace for any country until there is respect, and justice. There will be no sustainable prosperity unless all can benefit. Human equality and dignity are the path towards peace in the world: the path of real patriotism, building societies grounded in harmony, not divisiveness and hate.”

He put forward the opinion that European countries are susceptible to lacking on human rights just as many other countries around the world. He talked about the political climate of Europe and made a point to show the etho-nationalists of Europe are not acting pursuant to the Vienna Declaration and the human rights of others.

He further shared his hope in the use of this anniversary as a way to protect the purpose and mission behind the Vienna Declaration affirming that “we need to use this anniversary to begin to mobilize a much broader community to defend human rights with our fierce, and passionate commitment. We need to make clear the vital, life-saving importance of human rights for the daily lives and global future of our fellow human beings.”

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