Today is the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations offered a declaration celebrating this 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Bachelet calls us to breathe new life into the declaration. She says: “It is, I firmly believe, as relevant today as it was when it was adopted 70 years ago. It provides us with the basis for ensuring equal rights for groups, such as LGBTI people, whom few would even dare name in 1948. But, 70 years after its adoptions, the work the Universal Declaration lays down for us is far from over. And it will never be.”
Leading up to this 70th anniversary, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights organized “Shine Your Light for Human Rights” around the world, These Shine the Light events illustrate the wide range of human rights issues affecting people, communities and our planet. They also illustrate intersectionality—the interconnected nature of human rights. Read more
World AIDS Day was founded by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter in 1987 and they agreed that the first observance should be on December 1. Bunn was a broadcast journalist and Netter was a frequent contributor to the New York Times in the 1980’s. They were the first public information officers of the World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS. Their work drew attention to the AIDS pandemic, helped alleviate some of the stigma, and helped underscore the threat of HIV to people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. World AIDS Day has been commemorated on December 1 since 1988, making 2018 its 30th anniversary.
On this day, we remember those lost to AIDS-related illnesses. According to UNAIDS, we have lost 35.4 million people since the start of the pandemic and we lost 940,000 people due to AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. Let us remember, light a candle, say their names.