Universal Declaration of Human Rights Current Affairs

December 10: World Human Rights Day

The World Human Rights Day (WHRD) is observed every year on December 10 to commemorate adaptation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Observance of the day seeks to encourage, support and amplify measures to be taken by everyone to defend human rights.

The theme for this year is ‘Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity’. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In run up to the celebration of Human Rights Day, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had organised a series of events in India.

Background

On this day in 1948, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted and proclaimed Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. It was adopted as shared standard yard stick to protect human rights across the globe. It recognizes inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of mankind as the foundation of justice, freedom and peace in the world. The Human Rights Day was formally established at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the UNGA on 4 December 1950.  

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India contributes USD 2,50,000 to Election Assistance Division of UN

India has contributed USD 2,50,000 to the UN Election Assistance Division to help other countries to hold elections and develop their electoral systems. This is the second time that India has contributed USD 2,50,000 towards electoral assistance and capacity building. The first assistance was made in 2012.

UN Election Assistance Division

UN Election Assistance Division was set up in 1991 to help member states to build credible and sustainable national electoral systems. The UN electoral assistance is based on the principle established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  According to it, “the will of the people, as expressed through periodic and genuine elections, shall be the basis of government authority”.

Under this programme, UN has assisted over 100 countries with their elections. Though it principally provides technical assistance for conducting elections, it has also sent observers at the request of the General Assembly or the Security Council to ensure the integrity of elections conducted at different countries.

In the 1990s, UN under this programme has provided popular consultations in the countries like Timor-Leste, South Africa, Mozambique, El Salvador and Cambodia. Recently, it has provided technical and logistical assistance to conduct elections in countries like Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Sudan.

Types of Assistance
  • Technical assistance
  • Election observation and other assessments
  • Organization or Supervision of Elections.
UN entities providing electoral assistance
  • The Department of Political Affairs (DPA)
  • The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
  • The United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS)
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

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