With the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago, governments around the globe committed to making peace, democracy and justice a reality for all. We, national, regional and international institutions have worked towards that objective, striving to improve the life of hundreds of millions of people around the world. However, that work remains incomplete as poverty, armed conflicts, oppression, inequality and discrimination are still a reality for so many people.
Better laws and policies are certainly necessary, but to keep the promise of a life with equal opportunities for all, we must ensure that people understand and support human rights. Regrettably, the past few years have seen the emergence of a discourse that is deeply hostile to human rights. Many people perceive the issues as irrelevant for them, or feel excluded from the discussions.
This widespread feeling has many causes. One is certainly the failure of governments, parliaments, international organisations, national human rights structures, schools and the media to reach all by showing how human rights matter for everyone.
For this reason, we, as leaders of human rights institutions, meeting today in Geneva, commit to improve our public communication to successfully promote and protect human rights.