Faith Groups Sign Human Rights Statement

December 15, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Bahá’í World News Service

Groups and individuals around the world this month have been commemorating the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which occurred on 10 December 1948. The United Nations has designated the anniversary each year as Human Rights Day.

Last week the Baha’i International Community was one of 11 faith groups whose representatives gathered at an international interreligious conference at The Hague to sign the 2008 Faith in Human Rights Statement. The event was organized by Justitia et Pax Netherlands in cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For each of the signatories, the document represents a commitment to support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms both within and outside their faith community. Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations, signed on behalf of the Baha’is.

The document states, “While representing different faith traditions, we come together in unity to stress that religion has been a primary source of inspiration for human rights as our sacred writings and teachings clearly show.”

Organizers said the conference marked the first time that major world religions have jointly emphasized the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was on hand for the signing of the document, which occurred on 10 December.