The speech of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for International Human Rights Day observed annually on December 10.

Human rights dayMarking Human Rights Day, observed annually on December 10, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said the political will of member states is key to successfully promoting human rights worldwide.

In a message marking the occasion, Ban said "promoting human rights is one of the core purposes of the United Nations, and the Organization has pursued this mission since its founding. Then, as now, the key to success is the political will of member states.

"It is states, in the first instance, that are obliged to protect human rights and prevent violations at a national level, and to stand up when other states fail to live up to their commitments. This is not always easy," he said, noting that over the past 20 years, genocide and appalling human rights violations have been committed.

"On Human Rights Day, I pay tribute to one of the great symbols of human rights of our time - Nelson Mandela, whose passing has plunged the world into sorrow, but whose lifelong commitment to human dignity, equality, justice and compassion will forever remain an inspiration as we continue to build a world of all human rights for all," Ban recalled.

Human Rights Day marks the anniversary of the General Assembly adoption of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.



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