(Vocus) September 1, 2010
Youth delegates from 30 countries came together with human rights defenders this weekend at the 7th Annual Youth for Human Rights International Summit, in support of making the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights widely known and used. Held in the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva, the event was also attended by over 60 UN diplomats.
The Summit opened with a procession of the youth delegates carrying the flag of their respective nation, and a welcoming address from Mr. Adalbert Nouga, Founder of the Village Suisse NGO. He praised the Youth Delegates for their commitment and Youth for Human Rights International for promotion of the Universal Declaration and its development of human rights youth advocacy.
Formed in 2001, Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is dedicated to fostering tolerance and peace through promotion of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first document to define the fundamental freedoms and human rights in the United Nations Charter. The Declaration, ratified by the UN General Assembly in 1948, has influenced national constitutions, treaties, laws, and human rights institutions the world over.
Growing in popularity each year, the 2010 Summit attracted nearly 1,000 applicants who submitted essays on human rights with evidence of their human rights education advocacy over the past year. The annual event provides YHRI members opportunities to learn about the UN and share their experiences in promoting the UN Declaration. This year a recent UN Resolution proclaiming August 2010-2011 the “Year of Youth” was also honored as part of the Summit’s theme.
The Summit included presentations from each Youth Delegate on their human rights activities; special addresses by human rights NGOs; a panel discussion on the human rights education draft resolution currently under discussion by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations; and presentation of Human Rights Advocate Awards for stellar contribution to human rights education.
The 2010 Summit was co-sponsored by the Uganda Permanent Mission to the UN, the Haiti Permanent Mission to the UN, Village Suisse NGO, Friends of the United Nations, Ariel Foundation International, the African Diaspora Foundation and the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International, which has also sponsored the distribution of millions of YHRI educational materials, including public service messages about the Universal Declaration and the educational film, The Story of Human Rights.
“When the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the aftermath of World War II, it called upon member countries to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded in schools and other educational institutions,” said Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, educator and YHRI Founder. “This remains the most vital cause and challenge of our times.”
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