ADF International

Geneva. Palace Of Nations

70 years of human rights declaration: UN event advocates for right to life


  • Threats to dignity of the unborn highlighted at 70th anniversary event
  • I’m Human, Right? campaign urges UN and international community to take action

GENEVA (4 December 2018) – On 3 December, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations hosted a conference on the dignity of life in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It focused on the state of human rights in relation to the Universal Declaration and especially how the Declaration has impacted the fundamental right to life in society. ADF International co-sponsored the event.

“Seventy years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated, for the first time, the primacy of freedom and the unity of the human family over and above any political or ideological divisions. The objective was to defend the individual from the absolute prominence of the State,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See Mission to the UN, who hosted the event.

Dignity of Life

Helen Alvaré, Professor of Law at the George Mason University, and board-member of ADF International, focused on the dignity of the unborn. “Calling to mind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ right to life and right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, it is noteworthy that while some human rights have positively advanced, the right to life has been regrettably ignored,” she said.

“Despite being the ‘prerequisite for the enjoyment of all other rights,’ the right to life has been fervently contested in many nations since 1948, in respect to the lives of our unborn sisters and brothers. The claim to a ‘right’ to destroy human life before the moment of its birth profoundly affects many other arguments about human rights and corresponding duties. For example, a ‘right to abort’ unborn human beings suggests that no human being has a right to life,” said Alvaré.

I’m Human, Right? campaign

“In the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, we urge world leaders and the international community to reaffirm the inherent dignity of every human being and to promote fundamental freedoms for every person without exception. The United Nations human rights bodies based here in Geneva have a particular responsibility in strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide. Affirming everyone’s right to life lies at the centre of this commitment,” said Giorgio Mazzoli, UN Representative for ADF International in Geneva.

ADF International’s I’m Human, Right? campaign urges the international community and the United Nations to uphold the right to life, to family, and to religious freedom as was originally intended by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So far, thousands of individuals from over 170 countries have signed The Geneva Statement as part of this campaign. The Geneva Statement and the signatures will be presented to the United Nations Secretary General.

In the run-up to 10 December and in commemoration of the Universal Declaration, ADF International hosted and participated in various events highlighting the I’m Human, Right? campaign and The Geneva Statement. These events took place in New Delhi, Brussels, now Geneva, and tomorrow in New York City.

Find The Geneva Statement here and an open letter to the Secretary General here.

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Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.