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Worldwide Collection of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Materials on display in Geneva

Participants in the annual main session of the Human Rights Council are able to catch a rare glimpse of the expansive Worldwide Collection of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Materials.

Exhibit on the way to the Human Rights Council - © OHCHR PhotoA selection of items from the Collection, hosted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is on display in Geneva at Palais des Nations, the United Nations’ European headquarters, throughout the Council session from 2 to 27 March.

The Collection comprises a wide range of items related to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), such as children’s picture books, posters, books in Braille, key chains, stamps, telephone cards and bookmarks in different languages from across the globe.

This is the first time items from the Collection have been on public display in Geneva. They are currently on display alongside the hallway leading to the newly inaugurated the new Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, home to the Human Rights Council.

In December 2008, an exhibition of the selected items from the Collection took place at the UN headquarters in New York to mark the 60th anniversary of one of the world’s most influential document. 

The UDHR is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 3rd Session in Paris on 10 December 1948 (Resolution 217A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

The unique Collection consists of over 350 printed materials, audiovisual resources and souvenirs that have been developed and donated to OHCHR by governments, non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions over the years, particularly when the UDHR turned 50 in 1998.

These remarkable items are complemented by a vast language collection of the UDHR, which at present carries the UDHR in over 350 languages and dialects on the OHCHR website. The UDHR was officially named the most translated document in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999.

March 2009