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U.S. Ambassador: Together We Can Build a Future of Opportunity, Equality, And Dignity For All :: Uganda Radionetwork
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U.S. Ambassador: Together We Can Build a Future of Opportunity, Equality, And Dignity For All

Press release
While we celebrate the longevity of the Declaration, we also acknowledge that human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic governance have been and continue to be encroached upon across the world by autocracies and malign actors.
U.S. Ambassador W. Popp
On Human Rights Day, we reflect on the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, crafted in 1948 on the heels of WWII. The Declaration was an appeal to people of goodwill to build a world molded by the rights it enumerated. It serves as the catalyst for improving respect for human rights for all, including the most vulnerable.

The Declaration served as an inspiration for the African continent’s liberation movements and ultimately the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted on October 21, 1986.

In its 75th year, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains a guiding light for our shared aspirations. All human beings are equal in rights and dignity, no matter where they live or who they are, and it is the responsibility of governments across the world to protect those rights.

While we celebrate the longevity of the Declaration, we also acknowledge that human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic governance have been and continue to be encroached upon across the world by autocracies and malign actors. These actors undermine democratic processes, abuse the human rights of individuals, and betray public trust for personal gain. The erosion of individual rights weakens the integrity of nations and challenges the international order that led to the most peaceful time in world history. Together we must stand up to these threats, redoubling efforts to protect and promote respect for human rights.

We know that societies that protect and promote respect for human rights are stronger, more prosperous, more resilient, and more capable of resolving differences peacefully. It is for that reason that the United States continues to call on all governments around the world to uphold human rights for all their citizens, and it is why we confront our own challenges openly.  Just as the United States continues to work toward the aspirations that our founders set forth nearly 250 years ago in our Constitution of a “more perfect union,” so too do we hope that other countries around the world seek to adhere to the principles laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Human Rights Defenders advocate for others at huge personal risk, often receiving threats, suffering imprisonment, and in the worst situations, being murdered. These individuals put others before themselves in pursuit of a freer world in which all persons can enjoy their inherent human rights and fundamental freedoms. Those who support members of vulnerable groups and populations, including women and girls; persons with disabilities; members of marginalized racial, ethnic, or indigenous groups; and LGBTQI+ persons, are especially at risk.

In Uganda and around the region we have seen the brave work of human rights defenders every day advocating for the most vulnerable, fighting in the courts, and championing the safety and well-being of those in need. We see you. We support you. And we salute you.

As we mark 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us reaffirm our commitment to advancing human rights for all people, in every region of the world. Let us strengthen our efforts across governments, civil society, the private sector, and beyond. And let us unite in the spirit of collective action, knowing that together we can build a future of opportunity, equality, and dignity for all.

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