UNDP Iraq sponsors Iraq’s first human rights film festival

27 Feb 2012

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UNDP Iraq in partnership with the UNAMI Human Rights Office and the Office of the Resident Coordinator sponsored Iraq’s First Human Rights Film Festival which opened in Baghdad on 25 February.

In his speech at the opening of the festival Peter Batchelor, Country Director of UNDP Iraq said, “UNDP is proud to be one of the partners for this historic event.”

Iraq was one of the original 48 signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948.  The festival held in Baghdad is an affirmation that Iraq believes in the declaration and sends a strong message of commitment.

“It is very appropriate that this festival is being held in Baghdad – a city that for centuries was a centre of culture and education. Today Baghdad joins the many capitals and cities of the world that host human rights film festivals,” Batchelor said.

Organising and holding a human rights festival in Baghdad is a mile-stone, as Iraq insists on re-emerging from years of war, conflict, violence and human suffering despite the ongoing attacks on civilian populations.  Through this festival the Iraqi people send a message of hope, normality persistence and peace.  In addition, given the events sweeping the Arab World, the Baghdad Human Rights Film festival was timely.  Human rights have been at the centre of the revolutions throughout the Arab world where people have been demanding dignity (Karama) and their fundamental human rights after decades of injustice, social deprivation, inequality, abuse of human rights including freedom of expression and unemployment.

“It is a true pleasure and honour to be a partner in such a unique project. UNDP will continue to utilize its expertise and capacities to engage with all actors in Iraq to re-establish the culture of respect for human rights.” Mr. Batchelor concluded.