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    Following is the message of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, observed on 10 December 2004

    Human rights education is a strategy to achieve freedom for all.

    International Human Rights Day is always a bittersweet occasion. It is an
    opportunity to review the impressive progress made in the last 60 years in
    putting the protection of the individual at the heart of affairs of
    States. But it is also a reminder that there are many people all over the
    world who continue to be denied their human rights.
    Louise Arbour (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)

    UNITED NATIONS
    Press Release
    7 December 2004

    Following is the message of United Nations High Commissioner for Human
    Rights Louise Arbour on the occasion of International Human Rights Day,
    observed on 10 December 2004:

    "International Human Rights Day is always a bittersweet occasion. It is an
    opportunity to review the impressive progress made in the last 60 years in
    putting the protection of the individual at the heart of affairs of
    States. But it is also a reminder that there are many people all over the
    world who continue to be denied their human rights. Ultimately, it is a
    call to action in the face of the enormous effort needed to make human
    rights a reality for everyone. One strategy to achieve that reality is
    human rights education.

    For a society to develop and nurture a human rights culture, human rights
    education is fundamental. It is a tool for promoting equality and
    enhancing people's participation in decision-making processes within
    democratic systems. It is an investment in the prevention of human rights
    abuses and violent conflicts.

    Today, the General Assembly will devote a plenary session to mark the end
    of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004).
    Possible future initiatives for the enhancement of human rights education
    worldwide will be discussed and elaborated.

    The Assembly will have before it the recommendations of the Commission on
    Human Rights and of the Economic and Social Council to proclaim a World
    Programme for Human Rights Education, starting on 1 January 2005. The
    World Programme will continue to provide the international community with
    a common global framework for human rights education. The Office of the
    High Commissioner for Human Rights, in close consultation with UNESCO and
    governmental and non-governmental experts and practitioners, has prepared
    a draft plan of action for the first phase of this Programme, drawing on
    the principles and frameworks set by several international human rights
    instruments. This and other initiatives will have real value, however,
    only if local and national players use them to mobilize and lobby for
    human rights education in their communities.

    On this Human Rights Day, I would like to pay tribute to the many human
    rights educators - indeed, human rights defenders - who, in formal and
    informal settings, in large and small communities, often facing difficult
    and hazardous situations, contribute to building a universal culture of
    human rights. Through the development of educational initiatives and by
    setting standards, they lead by example.

    Human rights are our common heritage and their realization depends on the
    contributions that each and every one of us is willing to make,
    individually and collectively, now and in the future".

    Note:

    ***Learn more about Human Rights Day, 10 December 2004, at:
    http://www.hrea.org/feature-events/human-rights-day.php

    The Human Rights Headlines mailing list provides daily news based on press
    releases issued by national, regional and international non-governmental
    and international organisations. HREA does not take any responsibility for
    the accuracy or content of these new items nor does it necessarily endorse
    them. Archives of "hr-headlines", as well as instructions on how to
    (un)subscribe to the list, can be found at:
    http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-headlines/markup/maillist.php

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