The head of state’s greeting reads: ”Today we celebrate an important and significant milestone. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has had an enormous influence on the modern world order, international law and the lives of millions of people on the planet. Its basic tenets are further developed in international agreements and in regional and national legal systems.
Unfortunately, not all countries around the world have implemented the Declaration in full. Access to genuine freedoms and rights is very uneven. Moreover the fundamental values — life, liberty, dignity, justice – have been devalued. Often human rights are used as a tool for political pressure and to achieve short-term goals.
In order to reverse these negative trends, we need the goodwill and hard work of all stakeholders: states, international organisations and the institutions of civil society. In this the overall objective is to ensure that respect for human rights inspires a more just world, taking into account the diversity of the modern world and the traditional values of humanity.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted and adopted just after the Second World War. It was born of humanity’s reaction to the pain and suffering caused by Nazism, and of course the desire to prevent a recurrence of that nightmare. In this regard contemporary manifestations of racism and xenophobia and the attempts to revive Nazism are of particular concern. All of us must work together to confront these challenges.
To implement the provisions of the Declaration it is important to continually strengthen measures to promote and protect human rights. Responsibility for their implementation must be borne by individual states and the United Nations must play a coordinating role in this process.
To this end, the necessary institutional and legal framework has been created: the UN Human Rights Council, which possesses such effective tools as the Universal Periodic Review. We expect that the Council's work will be fruitful and will fulfil the expectations of the international community.
The past years have proved convincingly the universal value of human rights and the need for universal respect. Without this there can be no harmonious development in the modern world. What we do, what our actions are today will determine what the world will be tomorrow. I am confident that we can ensure that human rights belong to everyone and make the world a better and fairer place“.