Human Rights Day: Promoting Moderation and Inclusiveness

Dec 10, 2017

Kuala Lumpur, 11 December 2017 – To commemorate Human Rights Day, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Malaysia hosted a forum on moderation and inclusiveness as principles for continued peace, unity and harmony.

Malaysia joined the rest of the world in celebrating the International Human Rights Day under the theme “Mainstreaming Human Rights, Moderation and Inclusiveness for Unity, Peace and Harmony” - organised by the UNCT and partners from the Malaysian Government, the National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM), the Malaysia CSO - Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Alliance, ASLI, the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (PROHAM) and Pusat KOMAS.

The event was officiated by YB Senator Datuk Paul Low, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Governance, Integrity and Human Rights. The main objective of the forum was to distil practical solutions from the principles of moderation and inclusion for the nation’s continued peace, unity and harmony. The event also emphasized the crucial link between realization of human rights with peace and harmony.

Moderation and inclusion are cornerstones of the nation’s Vision 2020 and Post-2020 aspirations for “one nation, one people, one aspiration and one voice of hope and solidarity for a better future” as articulated in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan. These plans are in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Malaysia is a known advocate for moderation, acting as a model nation for multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities living in unity and harmony,” said Stefan Priesner, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia. “Unity in diversity and sharing a common set of values and aspirations will set the course for a peaceful and harmonious shared future. The diversity amongst the people living in Malaysia is a source of admirable strength. What binds us is the fulfilment of human rights and responsibilities. Safeguarding the dignity and equal and inalienable rights of every person, is the foundation of peace and stability”.

In his keynote address YB Senator Datuk Paul Low said, “"Malaysia places great importance on the promotion and protection of human rights, where it is clearly embedded in the Federal Constitution. Thus, all Government policies must be inclusive and analysed under the human rights lens to ensure all rights are protected. This, along with the practice of moderation, is the only way this country can achieve continuous unity, peace and harmony."

The event is the start of a year-long celebration to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Partnering in the year-long campaign are the Malaysian Government, the National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM), the Malaysia CSO-SDG Alliance, the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (PROHAM), ASLI and Pusat KOMAS.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in his global message on the day noted that, “Human rights are the foundation of peaceful societies and sustainable development. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the equality and dignity of every person. It makes governments responsible for ensuring people can enjoy their inalienable rights and freedoms. Today, we see disturbing hostility towards human rights in all regions. Let us stand against these negative forces. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world.  Let us together make sure the words are translated into action. Let us stand up and speak out for human rights. They protect us all.”

The International Human Rights Day celebrated on 10 December each year commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948. Since then it has become one of the most influential documents ever drafted in the history of mankind.

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