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Statement of the MFA on the Occasion of Human Rights Day


The Human Rights Day is annually observed on 10 December to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. The Declaration designed to ensure universal recognition and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms has become the basis for many international treaties safeguarding the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that together constitute the present international human rights standard.

The Czech Republic takes active steps to turn the goals of the Declaration into reality; the commitment to ensuring human dignity is one of the priorities of Czech foreign policy. Current examples of effective action under this priority are the Czech Republic’s active membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council, our day-to-day work within the United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe, the European Union and other fora, as well as our consistent policy of raising human rights issues in our dialogues with third countries, because the Government of the Czech Republic is convinced that human rights can be effectively promoted only in an atmosphere of mutual respect and dialogue. Another tangible example is the ongoing support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for transformation projects. Following the initiative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, prominent foreign guests will meet in Prague on 18 December to discuss human rights issues at an international conference on “Foreign Policy on Human Rights for the 21st Century”.

The purpose of the Human Rights Day is not only to commemorate a milestone in the history of human rights, but also to remind us that the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the ideal of living a life in dignity, are not always fulfilled in practice and those who try to change this situation often face major obstacles. The present celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution make us even more aware of this. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to thank all those who continue working and sometimes risking their freedom and lives to protect human rights worldwide, bringing us nearer to the goal of this year’s Human Rights Day: Human Rights 365.