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75th UDHR: CNDH launches the International Symposium on the Universality of Human Rights “30 Universal Commitments for Human Dignity”

30 Universal Commitments for Human Dignity

Under the Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) launches the proceedings of the International Symposium entitled “Is the Universal Humanist Ideal Unfulfilled?”, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

This event will take place on 7-8 December 2023, at the National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat, Morocco.

In His Message celebrating the 75th UDHR anniversary, delivered by Ms. Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson, at this International Symposium, His Majesty the King reminds the international community of the need to "renew universal pledge to protect rights of individuals & groups, especially those living in precarious conditions” in light of the recurring violations contravening the UDHR ideals.

In His Message, his Majesty also stated that Morocco is committed to promoting human rights as a defining element of public policy and a fundamental determinant of strategic decisions in economic, social, cultural or environmental sectors. It is a sovereign choice to bolster the rule of law and strengthen national institutions.

His Majesty calls for the effective participation of Global South in the formulation of approaches to the implementation of the principles of the UDHR, noting that “Resolving current cross-border challenges can hardly be envisaged without this effective participation.”

Mrs. Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, welcomed Morocco’s engagement with UN human rights mechanisms, affirming that Morocco has completed its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) fourth round in 2022. She also urged the country to continue the harmonization of legal and developmental frameworks with its international commitments in the field of human rights. UN Deputy Secretary-General emphasized the CNDH leadership and its significant role in supporting the national strategy for migration and asylum, backed by a joint program with the UN development system in Morocco. She said, “We hope to see this initiative replicated elsewhere in Africa and other regions.”

Mr. Abdelhay El Mouden, a University Professor and Writer, drew attention to the increasing disregard for human rights discourse, considering the ideal of universality in this context as irrelevant or useless. He highlighted the existing gaps in defining human rights at the global level. In his assessment of the current situation, Mr. El Mouden noted disregard for human rights values by international powers amid ongoing conflicts. However, he underscored that there is a glimmer of hope for achieving global peace and security.

Mr. El Moudden shed light on ways to achieve the universality of human rights. He underlined that defending human rights should be ensured through judicial diligence, diversity of ideas, public engagement, and political pluralism. He focused on the increasing movements and parties that challenge the fundamental principles of freedom and human rights, hindering the effective implementation of the UDHR.

Mr. Atiq Rahimi, Afghan writer, stressed that realizing the effectiveness of human rights universality is an ongoing process requiring new methods and values to address emerging challenges in the field of human rights. He focused on the necessity of safeguarding global human values, including freedom, justice, and dignity to face the disappointment burdening humanity. Mr. Rahimi called for developing social perceptions and fighting against hate speech and exclusion.

Several ministers and senior officials participated in the opening session of this symposium.

Writers, philosophers, historians, journalists, and artists, along with Moroccan and foreign intellectuals, experts and activists discussed issues related to the universality of human rights in light of profound transformations and emerging challenges facing the world.

Discussions focused on institutional and civic efforts made by African countries to promote human rights, strengthen their democratic and legal structures, and actively participate within the international human rights system.

At the end of the first day, Ms. Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson, Mr. Amin Benjelloun Touimi, Poste Maroc Director General, Mr. Abdellatif Jouahri, Wali of the Bank Al Maghreb, Mr. Hassan Regraga, Director of Dar Es Sikha, Mr. Fathi Debbabi, UN information center Director, participated in the presentation of a postal stamp and a commemorative coin at the National Library of the Moroccan Kingdom in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the UDHR.