70th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Local UNA group with banner

December 10th saw Members and Supporters of United Nations Association - Shropshire, celebrating and reflecting upon the 70th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amongst those present were, from left, Janet Longstaff, Pam Rush, Sheila Davies, Donald and Haro Horsfield, Ruth Davies and Noel Beattie.

This Universal Declaration of 30 articles, created in 1948, was the first step to affirm the human civil and political rights and freedoms of every individual. While not universally accepted as legally binding the Declaration has been adopted into later international treaties, national constitutions and other laws.

Our own Human Rights Act of 1998 reflected many of the Declaration's virtues and those of the European Convention of Human Rights (1950), in particular making it unlawful for any public body to act in a way incompatible with the Declaration and Convention.

Speaking at the event, UNA - Shropshire Coordinator John Crowe said, "As very many people appreciate and accept, upholding Human Rights requires upholding human responsibilities. One person's freedoms must never be at the expense of the freedom of any other." This is reflected in the unattributed quotation "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and a willingness to act in its defence." He went on to say, "This Universal Declaration is both the celebration and the highest standard of what is best in human relationships. We continue to work with all others prepared to ensure that these virtues are real"

John Crowe,    Coordinator, United Nations Association, Shropshire.