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Human Rights day – 10.12.12

  • December 9th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

descartes.jpg lincoln.jpg eu-flagg-eu.jpg un-emblem.jpg “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood…” Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed 10.12.48.

descartes.jpgIn freedom, “we act so that we are unconscious that any outside force constrains us in doing so”, thought Rene Descartes. Being like that, he suggested, took us closest to resembling divinity.

lincoln.jpgSimilarly Abraham Lincoln said “our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms.” This moral and pragmatic emancipist considered that those denying the rights of others would abrogate their own human state of freedom.

In a like way, the United Nations declared that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.”

It proclaimed its Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948, and celebrates the occasion each year, especially with educational work to encourage the young to think in terms of their rights.

This year on the anniversary date, the European Union is being commended for its initiatives in reconciliation, democracy, promotion of rights, and enlarging of the area of peace and stability across the European continent.

It is receiving the Nobel peace Prize, first announced in October, and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has extended congratulations, noting that the  efforts of the EU towards peace and freedom, have been matched also by support for economic and social development across the world.

nobel-medal.jpgSaid the Norwegian Nobel Committee: While Europe may be currently undergoing “grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest… the stabilising part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”

david-daly-2-reduced.jpgThe EU Ambassador to Australia, David Daly (picture), has marked the occasion by mentioning kindred feeling: “We are grateful for the indispensable support we have received from Australia over the 50 years of diplomatic relations … and together with my fellow EU Member States Ambassadors here in Canberra, I will continue to work closely with our Australian partners to promote peace, democracy and prosperity.”


human-rights-declaration.jpgThis is the preamble of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.


United Nations Organisation, NY, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, full text:, (9.10.12).

EU, Brussels (Delegation to Australia), Nobel Prize ceremony:, (9.12.12).