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The Universal Declaration of Human Right - 60th Anniversary

On 6-7 November 2008, I was invited to speak in Bosco Marengo, Piedmont, Italy, by Mikhail Gorbachev, was then the President of the World Political Forum (WPF), for an international conference on the theme, “HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD”. The WPF conference was organised to mark the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Conference organizers sought to “reiterate the enduring value of the principles and goals formulated in this document”, as “even today we are painfully aware that fundamental human rights are being violated, often in ways as dramatic as sixty years ago; that citizens around the globe are denied political freedom, and millions of people are subjected to discrimination and deprived of safeguards and conditions for free development, for expressing their views and beliefs, practicing religion, or just enjoying the living standards worthy of the 21st Century”.

Prior to speaking at that conference, in which I had the honor of speaking beside human rights activist, Stéphane Hessel, I had been asked to help draft and sign the following statement on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights dealing with Peace, Development and the Environment, that appeared in the International Herald Tribune on March 14, 2008.

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