Today is International Human Rights Day. Sixty years ago, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.” Read the declaration>>
Speaker Pelosi on International Human Rights Day:
Today we recognize International Human Rights Day and renew our call to protect and uphold the principles and ideals upon which America was founded.
Everywhere I travel, the call is clear: the world needs America to lead with a sustainable foreign policy that reflects American values. In doing so, we can help make countries plagued by conflict and repression better places to live, and better partners in creating a safer world.
The world needs our leadership. In Darfur, the genocide continues. In China, people are languishing in prisons for only demanding their basic human rights. Since the protests last March, hundreds of peaceful monks and nuns in Tibet have been arrested and detained.
Extreme poverty and infectious diseases continue to fuel the fury of despair in the developing world. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has devastated families and entire communities, discouraged economic development, and orphaned millions of children. I am proud that the President signed into law the Tom Lantos and Henry Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act that shows our commitment to fighting this disease and America's true face of compassion.
Earlier this year, we lost a great champion of human rights, Chairman Tom Lantos. As the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, Congressman Lantos dedicated his life to shining a bright light on dark corners of oppression. On International Human Rights Day, we vow to continue his work to protect and promote human rights around the world.