Ambassador Hans Brattskar, Permanent Representative of Norway, emphasized in his opening statement that the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) is an excellent occasion to renew our commitment to implement the Declaration. “These values are under pressure. Yet the power of these inalienable rights for every human being, have endured”. He further underlined that the NHRIs play a crucial role at the national, regional and local levels to ensure compliance and respect for these norms and principles that the UDHR has established. As NHRIs are both partners with the governments and guardians of the UDHR, their voices are needed and appreciated. They know their countries well, the local challenges and the needs of the fellow citizens.
Human rights implementation and compliance is not a theoretical exercise. It is about real people’s lives. Even though the UN can set the agenda, build global momentum and consensus around the norms and principles, Ambassador Brattskar underlined that it is the NHRIs that are best placed to promote the 70th anniversary locally to maximize its impact and contribute concretely to implementation of human rights at the national and local level.
The UN Human Rights has developed a comprehensive communication platform for the anniversary for states, civil society and relevant stakeholders. This serves as a very practical and helpful tool for joint messaging and a common drive towards greater respect and promotion of human rights globally.
Ms Peggy Hicks, director at OHCHR shared the perspectives of the Office and how we all can contribute in making the 70th anniversary of the UDHR as a tool for positive change in our countries. Other speakers were Chairperson of Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI ) Prof Dr Beate Rudolf, Ambassador Beatriz Londoño Soto (Colombia) and Ambassador Negash Kebret Botora (Ethiopia).