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South Africa

Desmond Tutu makes PSA for 60th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

© UNICEF Video
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa speaks out about the importance of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the 60th anniversary of its adoption.

By David Koch

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 20 November 2008 – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu – one of the world's foremost and best known defenders of human rights – has spoken out about the importance of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its adoption.

To reinvigorate awareness about the Declaration, Archbishop Tutu has recorded a public service announcement to support the ‘Every Human Has Rights’ campaign, a partnership initiative which aims to encourage global conversation about human rights and the values that unite us all.

The Declaration, drafted in 1948 – just two years after the founding of the UN itself – was the world's first expression of the inalienable rights shared by all, regardless of colour or creed, gender or age. It established a common set of standards for human achievement for all people: freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect and shared responsibility.

Today, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Declaration is the most translated document in the word, available in some 300 languages.

Human rights for all
People around the world can sign a petition of support for human rights and the Declaration by visiting http://www.everyhumanhasrights.org/.

In advocating for greater engagement with the Declaration – in a far more challenging global environment than could have been imagined in 1948 – Archbishop Tutu is leveraging the tremendous recognition and respect accorded him as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the chairman of South Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and chair of The Elders.

A group of global thinkers who contribute their wisdom, experience and integrity to address the world's greatest challenges, The Elders was founded by Archbishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel in 2007. Among the 12 Elders are past presidents, Nobel laureates, prime ministers and peace advocates.

The public service announcement, produced by UNICEF in collaboration with The Elders and the ‘Every Human Has Rights’ campaign, will be available to broadcasters, educational institutions, human rights organizations and others to promote the cause of universal human rights for all. The PSA will be released in advance of the anniversary of the Declaration, 10 December.




20 November 2008: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu describes today's children as "powerful agents of change" in a PSA marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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