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December 10, 2013 1

Promoting Human Rights on the 65th Anniversary of the Historic Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On Decem­ber 10, 1948, the United Nations Gen­eral Assem­bly adopted the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights (UDHR), the first ever global asser­tion that “all human beings are born with equal and inalien­able rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms.” The world cel­e­brates annual Human Rights Day on Decem­ber 10th each year.  This Decem­ber, ADL hon­ors the UDHR’s 65th anniver­sary by con­tin­u­ing to fight for the rights enshrined in that momen­tous dec­la­ra­tion and by teach­ing new gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren to learn about the prin­ci­ples it reflects.

Eleanor Roosevelt holding the Human Rights Declaration

Human Rights Day has par­tic­u­lar mean­ing for ADL because anti-Semitism and the per­se­cu­tion of Jews was the touch­stone for the cre­ation of some of the foun­da­tional human rights instru­ments in the after­math of the Holo­caust.  ADL is com­mit­ted to edu­cat­ing youth about the lessons of the Holo­caust and how big­otry and exclu­sion can lead down a slip­pery slope toward unspeak­able atroc­i­ties, and our web site fea­tures a short list of books for chil­dren on the UDHR and how it relates to the rights of chil­dren globally.

ADL is engag­ing activists in pro­tect­ing the rights cham­pi­oned by this his­toric doc­u­ment whether it is by pro­tect­ing the right of all chil­dren to an edu­ca­tion, free­dom of reli­gion and belief for all, or free­dom to asso­ciate and to seek asy­lum from per­se­cu­tion. This month, our pri­or­ity human rights issues have put the spot­light on:

Today, through our activism and rais­ing aware­ness, we honor the spirit of the mov­ing words of, one of the UDHR’s authors, Eleanor Roo­sevelt, who asked:

Where, after all, do uni­ver­sal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they can­not be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the indi­vid­ual per­son; the neigh­bor­hood he lives in; the school or col­lege he attends; the fac­tory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal jus­tice, equal oppor­tu­nity, equal dig­nity with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion. Unless these rights have mean­ing there, they have lit­tle mean­ing any­where. With­out con­cerned cit­i­zen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

 

– Eleanor Roo­sevelt, “In Our Hands” (1958 speech deliv­ered on the tenth anniver­sary of the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights)

 

 

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June 1, 2012 0

CEIRPP Paris Conference Furthers UN Anti-Israel Bias

The Com­mit­tee on the Exer­cise of the Inalien­able Rights of the Pales­tin­ian Peo­ple (CEIRPP), a forum for anti-Israel rhetoric that rep­re­sents the worst exam­ple of insti­tu­tion­al­ized anti-Israel bias in the United Nations, con­cluded a two-day con­fer­ence at UNESCO head­quar­ters in Paris on May 31.

This year’s meet­ing, osten­si­bly on “The Role of Youth and Women in the Peace­ful Set­tle­ment of the Ques­tion of Pales­tine,” was another typ­i­cal dis­play of the CEIRPP’s attempt to por­tray a highly dis­torted image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In typ­i­cal bait-and-switch fash­ion, CEIRPP’s press state­ment mis­lead­ingly billed the gath­er­ing as “an inter­na­tional meet­ing in sup­port of the Israeli-Palestinian peace-process,” with UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-Moon deliv­er­ing a pro-peace video mes­sage to those gath­ered. Yet, as usual, the actual agenda was gen­er­ally highly crit­i­cal of the Jew­ish State, with speak­ers resort­ing to plac­ing the onus of the blame for the Pales­tin­ian sit­u­a­tion and the cur­rent stale­mate in the nego­ti­at­ing process on Israel, while fail­ing to offer seri­ous con­struc­tive meth­ods to address the chal­lenges of the peace process.

CEIRPP, the only United Nations organ devoted to a spe­cific peo­ple, is the sin­gle most pro­lific source of mate­r­ial bear­ing the offi­cial impri­matur of the U.N. which maligns and debases the Jew­ish State.

In a 2009 report, ADL high­lighted CEIRPP’s UN funded anti-Israel agenda and activ­i­ties, call­ing the com­mit­tee an anachro­nism. ADL has repeat­edly urged the UN to defund and dis­band it.

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