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Guterres reiterates call to end human rights abuse

Author : | Published: Thursday, December 10, 2020

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General | File photo PHOTO//Getty images

The UN Secretary-General has reiterated his call to governments to end human rights violations amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

António Guterres says countries should have health coverage for all without discrimination.

He disclosed that the pandemic is undermining human rights, by providing a pretext for heavy-handed security responses and repressive measures that curtail civic space and media freedom.

“It has thrived because poverty, inequality, discrimination, the destruction of our natural environment and other human rights failures have created enormous fragilities in our societies. People and their rights must be front and center of response and recovery,” Guterres said at the UN headquarters in New York.

Today, Thursday, December 10, is Human Rights Day. It is observed every year. It was adopted in 1948, as a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UN top diplomat used the occasion to caution against divisive approaches, authoritarianism and nationalism against a global threat –the coronavirus.

Guterres stated that an effective response to the pandemic must be based on solidarity and cooperation.

“We need universal rights-based frameworks like health coverage for all, to beat this pandemic and protect us for the future,” he said.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document that proclaims the absolute rights, which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The global theme for this year is “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights”.

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts.

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