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UN chief issues "call to action" on human rights
update:February 25,2020
GENEVA, Feb.25,2020 -- United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday issued a "Call to Action for Human Rights" at the 43rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, which opened here on Monday and will last until March 20.
The call singles out seven areas where concerted efforts could achieve a quantum leap in progress or avert the risk of backsliding, Guterres explained.
He stressed that human rights were at the core of sustainable development.
"Human rights permeate the 2030 'Agenda for Sustainable Development'. The vast majority of the goals and targets correspond to legally binding human rights commitments made by every member state," he noted.
When the United Nations helped "lift people out of abject poverty (and) when everyone has equal access to opportunity and choice, we are enabling people to claim their rights and upholding the core pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind," he said.
The UN chief then emphasized the importance of rights in times of crisis, in gender equality and equal rights for women, in public participation and civic space, in the protection of the rights of future generations, in the collective action to address today's crises and in dealing with the new frontiers of human rights.
Recalling that this year marks the UN's 75th anniversary, Guterres said that he chose to launch his "call to action" now because "human rights are under assault."
"A new set of challenges is arising from megatrends, such as the climate crisis, demographic change, rapid urbanization and the march of technology," he said.
For the UN chief, human rights could be the ultimate tool to help societies grow in freedom, ensure equality for women and girls, advance sustainable development, prevent conflict, reduce human suffering and build a just and equitable world.
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