"The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action is the most significant overarching human rights document produced in the last quarter of a century." said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, referring to the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, at a High-Level Panel part of the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council which began in Geneva yesterday.
"It crystalized the underlying principles that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and took the key notion of universality a step further by committing States to the promotion and protection of all human rights for all people regardless of their political, economic, and cultural systems", she said.
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in 1993 at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria, is regarded as a landmark agreement where States reaffirmed their commitment to promote universal respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and set priorities for the human rights agenda, including the establishment of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"Human rights and fundamental freedoms are the lifeblood of the United Nations," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a video message to the panel.
More on the Human Rights Council...
An introduction to the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485