Today we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration states that all human beings are born free and equal, in dignity and rights, and has formed the basis of the human rights framework that we have today. Throughout its history, it has inspired and empowered people in all corners of the world, to stand up against injustice and discrimination.
This year also marks the 20th Anniversary of the UN declaration on Human Rights Defenders - those who stand at the front line, fighting for their rights and the rights of others. Human rights defenders are an invaluable resource to our societies and they must enjoy the same rights as any other person: the freedom to speak out in the face of violations, the freedom to engage in peaceful protests, the freedom to come together and share ideas, and the freedom to do so without having to fear for their safety. When these voices are silenced, through threats, reprisals and even murder, our societies become poorer.
Ensuring the protection of human rights defenders is a state responsibility, but as human beings we are all rights holders. We all have a role to play in the fight for equality and justice. For 20 years, Norway has been the main sponsor and facilitator of UN resolutions on human rights defenders. We will continue to lead, drawing on partnerships from all regions of the world.
As history unfolds, it is clear that we cannot take human rights for granted. Today, and tomorrow, we must #StandUp4HumanRights
Read more about the Human Rights over at the Norwegian Government's webpage: https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/foreign-affairs/human-rights/id1160/