60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
10 December 2008 marked the 60th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Declaration was one of the first major achievements of the United Nations, which set out for the first time universal human rights for all people as individuals.
The adoption of the Declaration stemmed from a strong desire for peace in the aftermath of World War II and a sense that such events could never be allowed to happen again. It was recognised that there was a need to develop the concept of human rights and to acknowledge that there were fundamental rights and freedoms that applied universally.
The Declaration has provided the cornerstone for the human rights architecture of the United Nations and all legally binding human rights treaties have their roots in the document. Since 1948, the Declaration has been made available in more then 337 languages, including in Irish, and according to the United Nations is the world’s most translated document.
Ireland was not yet a member of the United Nations when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 but human rights has been at the core of our foreign policy since the foundation of the State. Ireland has ratified the six core UN human rights treaties and a wide range of other international human rights instruments.