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Landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70


European Parliamentarians and experts are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and urging recommitment of the international community.


Ahead of the anniversary, a panel discussion is being held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 28 November called ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Foundations, Achievement, and its Legacy for Europe’. Alliance-building human rights organisation ADF International is co-hosting the event with London MEP Charles Tannock and Croatia’s Marijana Petir MEP to discuss the continued relevance of this foundational human rights document and the responsibility of the international community to protect the fundamental freedoms it outlines.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70

The UDHR was drafted by world leaders and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. The milestone document set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and has been translated into more than 500 languages.


Adina Portaru, Legal Counsel for ADF International in Brussels, explained: ‘In the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we urge world leaders and the international community to reaffirm the inherent dignity of every human being and to protect the fundamental freedoms of every person without exception. The European Union has a particular responsibility and should strengthen its promotion and protection of human rights.’


The UDHR turns 70 on 10 December when ADF International will deliver thousands of signatures from more than 170 countries in support of The Geneva Statement as part of its ‘I’m Human, Right?’ campaign. The campaign urges the international community to uphold the fundamental right to life, family, and religious freedom, as recognised by the Declaration.


'All members of the human family'

The Geneva Statement celebrates ‘the enormous contributions of the Declaration, which ushered in an unprecedented approach to human rights as belonging to "all members of the human family" – a timeless, and yet groundbreaking, understanding of the universality of human rights’. 


The panel discussion takes place at the European Parliament from 4.30pm-7pm on 28 November and features the following speakers:


Marijana Petir MEP, Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Charles Tannock MEP, Subcommittee on Human Rights

György Hölvényi MEP, Committee on Development

Spyridon Flogaitis, European Public Law Organisation

Robert Mewton, La Nouvelle Alliance

Lorcán Price, ADF International

Rónán Mullen, Irish Senator

Carine Brochier, Institut Européen de Bioéthique

Pasquale Annicchino, Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies

Andreas Thonhauser, ADF International


For more information or to RSVP by 26 November, email eu@ADFinternational.org


Human Rights Week


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Foundations, Achievement, and its Legacy for Europe’ follows the European Parliament’s Human Rights Week, which took place from 19 to 23 November. Follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #ImHumanRight #standup4humanrights and find out more about the history of the UDHR on the United Nations website.



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