Stop genocide, don’t just react :UN chief urges all to stand up for human rights
Prothom Alo English Desk | Update: 12:14, Dec 10, 2018
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has called upon all to stand up for human rights for everyone, everywhere saying human rights are universal and eternal. “Let’s stand up for human rights — for everyone, everywhere,” he said in a message marking the Human Rights Day that falls on today, 10 December.
For 70 years, the UN chief said, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a global beacon – shining a light for dignity, equality and wellbeing and bringing hope to dark places, reports UNB.
“The rights proclaimed in the Declaration apply to everyone — no matter our race, belief, location or other distinction of any kind,” said Guterres adding, “One cannot pick and choose among civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.”
Today, the UN chief said, they also honour the human rights defenders risking their lives to protect people in the face of rising hatred, racism, intolerance and repression. “Indeed, human rights are under siege around the world.”
He said universal values are being eroded and the rule of law is being undermined.
Meanwhile, German ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz on Sunday termed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) ‘the most important document produced in the history of mankind’, which “protects the dignity of human across the world”.
UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said human rights, films and youth together is a fantastic combination. “Films and art can put spotlight to the issues that needs to be heard.” They were addressing a panel discussion on promoting and protecting human rights through film and other media celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UDHR in the city.
The discussion was moderated by associate editor of Prothom Alo Abdul Quayum. The United Nations in Bangladesh in association with Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS), with support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the German government, organised the two-day ‘Human Rights Short Film Festival 2018’ that ended on Sunday at Bangladesh Shishu Academy.
Filmmaker Mostafa Sarwar Farooki, representative of Bangladesh Human Rights Forum Sanjeeb Drong, filmmaker Aung Rakhine and lifetime member of Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) Rashedul Hafiz also attended the closing and the award-giving ceremony of the film festival.
The theme of the festival was ‘Finding Bangladesh and South Asia in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 70 years later’. Farooki stressed giving equal emphasis on protecting everyone’s human rights and said, “When it comes to protection and promotion of human rights, we shouldn’t be selective. We can truly avoid being selective about protecting human rights, we can change society as a filmmaker.”
A total of 735 short films on human rights from 82 countries were submitted for the Human Rights Short Film Festival 2018. The films that have been screened at Human Rights Short Film Festival 2018 reflect a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Besides the short film screening, a play on human rights titled ‘We Sing Equality’ was performed on the festival.