‘A Defender for a Right’ Ceremony Commemorates the 70th Anniversary of UDHR in Beirut

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14 December 2018
‘A Defender for a Right’ Ceremony Commemorates the 70th Anniversary of UDHR in Beirut
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Human Rights Day, the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Middle East (OHCHR) joined hands with the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Beirut and the Beirut Arab University (BAU), in organizing a special ceremony under the theme “A Defender for A Right”.

The ceremony, which was held on 13 December at BAU premises, was attended by over 150 people comprising Members of Parliament and other senior government officials, military leaders, UN staff, human rights experts and activists, representatives of civil society organizations, academics and media representatives.

UNIC Beirut provided media support to the event that resulted in optimum coverage of the ceremony, which featured a video-taped message by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres along with statements by the organizers and the government officials, representing top leaders.

“UDHR is enshrined in the preamble of the Lebanese Constitution, and so its principles are constitutionally mandatory, surpassing national legislation,” said OHCHR Regional Representative Roueida El-Hage. “Although UDHR has helped many people gain more freedoms and rights, we are still witnessing systematic violations in the world. The struggle for human rights is not over yet,” she added.

To capture the essence of human rights, an interactive dialogue session titled “Promoting Positive Messages” followed the opening and focused on the role of social media and arts in combating hate speech. The dialogue touched on the current legislative and policy measures adopted by Arab countries to combat hate speech through social media, as well as the role of civil society in fighting it, with prime focus on the youth.