Ban Ki-moon to mark Human Rights Day by launching in Bangkok rights treaty 60th anniversary celebrations

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki- moon, will officially unveil in Bangkok the logo of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December, the International Human Rights Day.

The observance of the Human Rights Day in Bangkok this year coincides with the official visit of Mr. Ban to Thailand, from 9 to 11 December 2007. The event will take place at UN Conference Centre (UNCC) at 1430.

The commemoration is being organized by the Regional Office for South-East Asia, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

On Human Rights Day 2007, the United Nations will launch a year-long UN system-wide advocacy campaign to mark the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, which will falls on 10 December 2008. The theme of the campaign, “Dignity and Justice for All of Us”, reinforces the vision of the Universal Declaration as a commitment to universal dignity and justice. The UDHR and its core values, inherent to human dignity, non discrimination, equality, fairness and universality, apply to everyone, everywhere and always.

“In today’s growing divisions between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the vulnerable, the technologically advanced and the illiterate, the aggressors and the victims, the relevance of the Declaration and the universality of the enshrined rights need to be loudly reaffirmed. In the course of this year, unprecedented efforts must be made to ensure that every person in the world can rely on just laws for his or her protection”, says the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour.

The programme, which will start with remarks by OHCHR Regional Representative for South-East Asia, Homayoun Alizadeh, includes special messages from the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Royal Thai Government and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand. It will be followed by an interactive dialogue with four students from various organizations to respond to the question: What dignity and justice for all of us means for you?

Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn, Co-Chair, Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, will moderate the dialogue. Famous Thai actress Sara Malakul Lane will act as a Master of Ceremonies.

ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

The UDHR was adopted on 10 December 1948. The date has since served to mark Human Rights Day worldwide. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main UN rights official, and her Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observance of Human Rights Day. Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December.

THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS: THE CAMPAIGN

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) turns 60 on 10 December 2008. Today, on Human Rights Day 2007, the United Nations launches a year-long UN system-wide advocacy campaign to mark this important milestone. The campaign, an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, will be led by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and supported by UN agencies, departments and funds, and other international and local partners, to celebrate the Declaration and the promise that has made this document so enduring: “Dignity and justice for all of us”.

THE OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a part of the United Nations Secretariat, is the global authority on human rights. It represents the world’s commitment to universal ideals of human dignity and has been given a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights. Headquartered in Geneva, the Office is also present in some 40 countries. Headed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position established by the General Assembly in 1993 to spearhead the United Nations’ human rights efforts, OHCHR offers leadership, works objectively, educates and takes action to empower individuals and assist States in upholding human rights. For more information please visit www.ohchr.org

NOTE TO EDITORS: You or your representatives are cordially invited to attend the commemoration of International Human Rights Day 2007 and the launching of the campaign for the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 14:30 at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, CR 1, Level 2, Rajadamnern Nok Ave, Bangkok.

For security reasons, you must send the attached confirmation form. Those who have already registered to cover Mr. Ban’s visit to ESCAP need not to re-register. Please send the form by 10:00 am Monday to:

Ms. Kanda Pattarasermpong
Tel.02-2881235
Fax 02-288-309