StatementsOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Look Ahead 2023
30 December 2022
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: Volker Türk
As we turn the page on one year and look ahead to a new one, it is time to reflect on the story we'd like to write for our future.
My hope for next year is that we lead our lives, individually and collectively, with kindness, empathy and unity. In how we relate to each other. In our homes, neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, online.
This gives meaning to Eleanor Roosevelt’s poignant words: (and I quote) "human rights begin in the little places".
If they are not protected there, they have no meaning anywhere.
We must ensure women’s rights, for example, are respected at home and in public, that women and girls have full equality and freedom from discrimination.
We must open our children’s eyes to the mistakes of the past, we can inspire them to write a story of hope and unity and instil in them a commitment to creating a better world.
A world in which we celebrate diversity, convinced that we are stronger together than we are apart.
As we navigate our lives online, I hope we will have the freedom to express ourselves, with the assurance of protection from hatred and disinformation.
That we will be considerate when we share our views. To think of the person on the other side of the screen.
To disagree with respect and to embrace diversity.
There is no place for dehumanising the other by using reductionist labels or identity politics.
Instead, I hope our shared humanity will be our guide.
For me, human rights are the force that come in and unify us.
It brings us back to the fundamentals of who we are, of human dignity and to what connects us all with each other.
As we recognise that when one person is hurt, a ripple of pain and suffering is triggered that ultimately hurts us all.
In safeguarding the rights of current and future generations, let’s treat our planet with the kindness and the humility it deserves. And let’s make sure that actions to safeguard our environment are grounded in the human rights of all.
This all requires bravery—the courage to listen and to speak up when others are being wronged.
In a space for everyone – in full safety - to exercise their rights, call for justice and live in dignity.
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights next year, let us strive to make the world more dignified.
A world where everyone's rights are respected.
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