Sixty-five years ago, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution under which the international community marks Human Rights Day on December 10. This is the same day on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the fundamental human rights document to this day, was adopted on December 10, 1948.
This year saw a number of important anniversaries with a special significance for promoting the principal human rights and freedoms.
The international community celebrated the 70th anniversary of Victory over Nazism in the Second World War. The Victory signified the triumph of good and justice over the forces that were bringing evil and destruction to humanity. The countries that routed Nazism pooled their efforts to lay the firm foundations of the post-war world order and to preclude the recurrence of these tragedies.
The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is inseparably linked with the lessons that we learned after World War II and with the efforts that the majority of states are taking today to prevent the revival of the ideology of fascism and Nazism.
It must not be forgotten that earlier this year we marked the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, which punished those to blame for the death and sufferings of tens of millions of innocent people, for the elimination of entire ethnic groups and for the dissemination of misanthropic ideas, and recognised the ideology of Nazism and fascism as criminal.
Since the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community has gone a long way in ensuring human rights and freedoms and establishing an effective dialogue and cooperation in this sphere.
Russia remains committed to its international obligations in the human rights sphere and to constructive cooperation with civil society in promoting and protecting the principal human rights and freedoms. It is highly symbolic that President Vladimir Putin has instituted in this anniversary year Russia’s annual state prize for outstanding human rights achievements.
It is still a matter of urgency to consolidate efforts in the fight against new challenges and threats, including those leading to human rights violations. The most recent challenge to human rights and freedoms is coming from international terrorism. Humankind needs to join efforts to oppose this evil and to confirm in practice the faith in dignity and value of each person, as proclaimed by the UN Charter.
It is also important to step up collective action aimed at overcoming such negative phenomena as extremism, racial, ethnic and religious intolerance, revival of the Nazi ideology, and human trafficking, as well as at protecting the rights of ethnic minorities, children, people with disabilities and migrants.
It is inadmissible to use human rights pretexts to interfere in the internal affairs of states and to replace legitimate governments. Cooperation in protecting personal rights and freedoms should be based on an equitable and respectful dialogue that implies renunciation of double standards and consideration for the ethnic, religious, cultural and historical specifics of separate countries.