António Guterres warns of the growing threat of inequality on the anniversary of human rights

Guterres made these remarks during his speech celebrating today the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned today of the growing threat that inequality, authoritarianism and armed conflicts pose to the rights and freedoms of the planet's population.

Guterres made these remarks during his speech celebrating today the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The world is losing its way,” said Guterres.

“Conflicts are spreading virulently. Poverty and hunger are increasing. Inequalities are becoming deeper, climate change has become a humanitarian crisis, authoritarianism is rising, civil space is shrinking, the media is under siege, gender equality is a distant dream and Women’s reproductive rights are being set back”, lamented the UN Secretary-General.

All these crises threaten the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to the UN official.

“All human beings are born free and equal in their dignity and rights”, said Guterres, adding that this principle should be “the roadmap to end wars, heal divisions and promote a life of peace and dignity for all”.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights shows us the way to resolve tensions, exercise common values ​​and create the security and stability that our world so longs for”, said the UN Secretary-General.

In this sense, Guterres called on UN Member States to “strengthen their commitment to the timeless values” reflected in the Declaration, especially in view of the Future Summit, which will take place in September 2024, in which world leaders will discuss new social, cultural and economic aspects to follow during the next decade.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, also affirmed today the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Now, more than ever, is the time for Human Rights”, he noted, saying that the Declaration “is not just a historical document, but a living testimony” of the humanity we share, “a timeless guide”.

In the High Commissioner's opinion, the world is currently suffering from levels of violent conflict never seen since the end of World War II, with worsening inequalities, increased discrimination and hate speech, impunity, increased divisions and polarization, in addition to the climate emergency.

“This further highlights the need to take stock, learn lessons and jointly outline a vision for the future based on human rights. The Universal Declaration offers a promise that we are all born with equal rights and dignity and a plan of action. This act constitutes a moment of great reflection to jointly seek common solutions focused on human rights”, highlighted Türk.