On 10 December 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a world emerging from unseen war and destruction, it was the first international agreement on the basic principles of human rights. The Declaration was composed by participants from all over the world, from different cultural, legal and political backgrounds.
Egypt was among the key countries participating in the drafting of the Declaration, part of a strong movement also ensuring that the voices of Arab and African participants and developing countries were heard, and all citizens given part in the same fundamental rights, equal in our humanity.
The anniversary of the declaration is an occasion truly worth celebrating and remembering, as a true breakthrough and a formative document for the international community and the United Nations. Then as now, the concept of human rights is not uncontroversial, but the Declaration was passed unanimously, thus highlighting our commonalities and what we share as common fundamental rights, despite our differences.
[...] The world, however, does not stay unmoving and new challenges emerge. A key priority for the new EU leadership currently taking office will be the threat posed to people's livelihood by climate change and environmental constraints. Today when we talk about human rights, we also have to talk about it from the perspective of environmental issues.