Human Rights Day 2012

President's Human Rights Day ProclamationThe Presidental Proclamation – Human Rights Day 2012

International Human Rights Day is a celebration of our daily commitment to advance freedom and human rights. Sixty-four years ago, on December 10, 1948, the world came together to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Today, we continue to press for the fundamental rights and freedoms espoused in the UDHR for all people and stand with citizens, activists, and governments around the world that do the same. We do this in our pursuit of a more perfect union and a more perfect world, in which each human being lives freely and with dignity.

Secretary Clinton on International Human Rights Day
“Governments that respect human rights and reflect the will of their people are more stable, secure and prosperous over the long run, and better allies…We seek to protect these rights at home and advocate for them abroad because doing so is central to our identity, a source of our influence in the world, and essential to our national interests.”

Assistant Secretary Posner on Celebrating Human Rights
“Regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability, all people deserve the freedom to pursue happiness and fulfillment, to speak openly, to…organize peacefully, to believe and worship as they see fit, and to participate fully in the public life of society with confidence in the rule of law.”

Ambassador Susan Rice on International Human Rights Day
“…Today, we pledge to live up to Eleanor Roosevelt’s inspirational example, for in far too many places human freedoms are still denied…”

Melanne S. Verveer “Eleven Words”
Remembering …”17 years ago in Beijing when then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton proclaimed, ‘Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.’”

View Secretary Clinton’s Remarks “Frontline and Frontiers: Making Human Rights a Human Reality” from Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland, December 6, 2012.

Our policy is guided by the principle, enshrined in the UDHR, that all people are “born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Protecting human rights is essential to functioning rule of law, civilian security, economic development, and, ultimately, lasting peace.

The U.S. promotes these rights worldwide, including the right of all people, regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability, to express themselves freely, assembly peaceably, worship as they choose, and select their leaders. In doing so, we recognize that governments that embrace these values for their citizens are more peaceful, more prosperous, and better neighbors than those that do not.

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