UNDP Around the world

Helen Clark: Statement on International Human Rights Day

Dec 10, 2016

We will continue to put people first and empower women, men, girls and boys to claim their rights. Photo: Sylvie Leichti/UN

“Stand up for someone's rights today!” is the theme of this year’s International Human Rights Day, a day celebrated every 10th of December. It commemorates the day, in 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Last year, 193 States committed to another historic agreement when they adopted the 2030 Agenda and its key principle of “leaving no one behind”. 

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are grounded in human rights, and reaffirm the importance of respect, promotion and protection of rights, and fundamental freedoms for all - without distinction to ethnicity, gender, language, religion, politics, national or social origin, property, birth, disability, or any other status.

Through its experience of working in over 170 countries, UNDP sees people wanting human rights, peace, and security. People desire freedom from want and from fear for themselves and their families and communities. Where there is inequity, intolerance, discrimination, exclusion, and hatred, it threatens our common humanity.

UNDP will continue to work with its partners around the world to build the capacities of governments, parliaments, national human rights institutions, and judiciaries - to support them in promoting and protecting the rights of all peoples. We will continue to put people first and empower women, men, girls and boys to claim their rights. With its transformative ambition and universal applicability, the 2030 Agenda challenges us to remain steadfast in ensuring that the SDGs are implemented in accordance with international law and through integrated approaches which leave no one behind.

We all owe it to every person living without peace, security, opportunity, and basic rights to do all we can to meet the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda. Today and every day “We the people” and UNDP commit to take a stand for the rights of those left behind.