Update: 08.12.2008

Agenda for Human Rights: a Swiss Initiative

As part of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Swiss government asked eight human rights experts to reflect together on actual challenges of human rights and to prepare an Agenda. The result, an 8 pages document, was presented in Geneva on 5 December 2008. It identifies key issues and proposes the most urgent next steps to protect human rights at national and international level.

Calmy-Rey: “do something for the future”

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides an opportunity to look back on the achievements of the past 60 years in the promotion and protection of human rights. This is what Micheline Calmy-Rey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, writes in the introduction to the document. She recognizes the gap between aspirations and achievements and reminds that too many people in too many regions of the world are still waiting to enjoy their rights and freedom. By launching this initiative, the Swiss government looks towards the future and explores new ways of giving human rights the weight and place they deserve in the 21st Century. The text entitled “Protecting Dignity: An Agenda for Human Rights,” presents concrete proposals, and, together with the follow-up research projects, aims to further enhance respect for human rights.

Eight proposals

The Agenda was prepared by a panel of eight human rights experts, eminent personalities coming from eight different countries. Co-directors are Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Brazilian human rights expert Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro. It identifies eight specific areas for further study by research institutes on different continents. These are: human dignity, prevention, detention, migration, statelessness, the right to health, climate change and human rights, and a world court of human rights.

Further information



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