The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the Most Universal Document in the World

In 2009, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was awarded the Guinness World Record for having collected, translated and disseminated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into more than 300 languages and dialects: from Abkhaz to Zulu. The Universal Declaration was thus the document most translated - indeed, the most "universal" - in the world.

In the words of the former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson: "This project bears a special symbolism. It immediately brings to us a sense of the world's diversity; it is a rich tapestry with so many different languages and peoples. But, at the same time, it shows that all of us, in our different forms of expression, can speak the "common language of humanity", the language of human rights, which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

The project, developed in the framework of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), provides an example of what global partnership for human rights is about. It was made possible thanks to the cooperative efforts by many partners within and outside the United Nations system: OHCHR and its field presences; the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and many of its Information Centres and Services (UNICs and UNISs) around the world; the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); the United Nations Development Programme and its field presences (UNDP); UNESCO with some of its National Commissions and Regional Office); various Governments and their Permanent Missions to the United Nations; selected universities and linguistic institutes; numerous international, regional and local non governmental organizations; and the Government of the Republic of San Marino, who generously sponsored the final phase of the project.