Human rights and conflict resolution can be Mandela’s legacy post-2015

Written by Lord McConnell, former Scottish First Minister, on the Lords of the Blog site:

“Today we celebrate the life, the struggle and the message of Nelson Mandela.

His struggle for a better world helped shape the second half of the 20th Century, but Mandela’s legacy should both inspire and empower us to take action to address the global challenges of the 21st century.

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

And today is also Human Rights Day. A time not only to honour the UNGA’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), but to reflect on recent developments and reinforce our commitment to fight against discrimination, prejudice and exclusion everywhere.

2013 also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which established the new mandate, is a historical milestone in the promotion and protection of human rights, but many more challenges lie ahead to fight inequality.”

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