FEATURED: UN commemoration of Human Rights Day in Rwanda

This week, the One UN family in Rwanda led the commemoration of this year’s International Human Rights Day, which also marked the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70 years old earlier this week, the United Nations System in Rwanda spoke about how the document had changed the world for the last 7 decades and provided a forum globally for the protection and promotion of fundamental human rights.

At a Human Rights Day Diplomatic Reception held last Monday 10 December at the Serena Hotel and attended by over 300 invited guests (Government officials, diplomatic partners, civil society members, academics and UN staff), the UN Resident Coordinator Dr Fodé Ndiaye explained how the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a ‘birthday’ worth celebrating. He said: "Rights matter to everyone, at every scale. You can’t have a river without each small droplet of water coming together."

The high-level event included a performance by traditional dancers from the Rwanda National Union of the Deaf; speeches from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the UN Resident Coordinator and the President of the National Commission for Human Rights; there was also  a cake cutting ceremony and video messages from both the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The event tonight marks the culmination of the year-long campaign which had the slogan STAND UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, aimed at popularizing and disseminating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document whose influence has endured all these seventy years”, said Chris Mburu, Senior UN Advisor on Human Rights in his welcoming statement.

It's not too late to join the conversation. Tweet @UNRwanda with the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights.