Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Eight centuries on from Magna Carta and 67 years from the adoption of UNHDR, never has the fight for universal human rights been more important. The event celebrates the four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy, as set out by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941:
1) Freedom of speech
2) Freedom of worship
3) Freedom from want
4) Freedom from fear
This is the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon’s Message today:
“Amid large-scale atrocities and widespread abuses across the world, Human Rights Day should rally more concerted global action to promote the timeless principles that we have collectively pledged to uphold.
“In a year that marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, we can draw inspiration from the history of the modern human rights movement, which emerged from the Second World War.
“At that time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States identified four basic freedoms as the birthright of all people: freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, joined forces at the United Nations with human rights champions from around the world to enshrine these freedoms in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Today’s extraordinary challenges can be seen – and addressed – through the lens of the four freedoms.
“First: freedom of expression, which is denied to millions of people and increasingly under threat. We must defend, preserve and expand democratic practices and space for civil society. That is essential to lasting stability.
“Second: freedom of worship. Around the world, terrorists have hijacked religion, betraying its spirit by killing in its name. Others are targeting religious minorities and exploiting fears for political gain. In response, we must promote respect for diversity based on the fundamental equality of all people and the right to freedom of religion.
“Third: freedom from want still plagues so much of humankind. World leaders in September adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the aim of ending poverty and enabling all people to live in dignity on a peaceful, healthy planet. Now we must do everything possible to realize this vision.
“Fourth: freedom from fear. Millions of refugees and internally displaced persons are a tragic product of the failure to fulfil this freedom. Not since the Second World War have so many people been forced to flee their homes. They run from war, violence and injustice across continents and oceans, often risking their lives. In response, we must not close but open doors and guarantee the right of all to seek asylum, without any discrimination. Migrants seeking an escape from poverty and hopelessness should also enjoy their fundamental human rights.
“Today we reaffirm our commitment to protecting human rights as the foundation of our work. This is the spirit of the UN’s Human Rights up Front initiative, which aims to prevent and respond to large-scale violations.
“On Human Rights Day, let us recommit to guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and protecting the human rights of all.”
What is Human Rights Day?
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day (10 December 1948) the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
What is the focus of Human Rights Day this year?
This year Human Rights Day highlights ‘Freedoms,’ recalling the four freedoms that underlie the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and two major human rights covenants, and first articulated in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his “four freedoms speech” to the US Congress.
Why are the Roosevelts being honoured on Human Rights Day?
In 1941 the world lived through dark times: the Second World War had started. In response, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered a clear vision for a better future centered around four freedoms (freedom of speech, of religion, from want, and from fear). Eleanor, his wife, helped his vision to be included in major UN human rights documents.
Why is Human Rights Day being marked at the Four Freedoms Park this year?
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is the first memorial dedicated to the former President in his home state of New York. The Park celebrates the Four Freedoms, as pronounced in President Roosevelt’s famous January 6, 1941 State of the Union speech.
What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
A milestone document in the history of human rights, the most translated in the world, it was proclaimed “a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.” It sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected. It consists of a preamble and 30 articles.
What are the two Human Rights Covenants?
They are: The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both adopted in 1966. The preambles and articles 1, 3 and 5 of the two International Covenants are almost identical.
What is the International Bill of Human Rights?
It consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. It represents a veritable Magna Carta marking mankind’s arrival at a vital phase: the conscious acquisition of human dignity and worth.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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