U.N. Agencies Release Statements Recognizing Human Rights Day

PAHO: Human Rights approach eyed as way to cut maternal deaths
“An approach based on human rights using international legal instruments can help in the effort to reduce maternal mortality in the Americas, according to experts speaking … at a Pan American Health Organization symposium…” (12/8).

UNAIDS: Message on the occasion of Human Rights Day
In a statement recognizing Human Rights Day, Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS and under secretary general of the U.N., discusses the importance of upholding human rights in AIDS efforts, noting, “We have a moral and legal responsibility to act against discrimination and protect human rights. … On Human Rights Day, I urge everyone to reflect on how the AIDS epidemic has transformed our understanding of the structural, legal, and social determinants of health and on the power of people living with and affected by HIV, who came together to break the conspiracy of silence to demand the protection of human rights. The lessons from the past should reenergize us to face the challenges ahead” (12/10).

WHO: Health is a fundamental human right
In a statement recognizing Human Rights Day, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus states, “The central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to ensure that no one is left behind. I call on all countries to respect and protect human rights in health — in their laws, their health policies, and programs. We must all work together to combat inequalities and discriminatory practices so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of good health, no matter their age, sex, race, religion, health status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or migration status” (12/10).