"Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace" (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26.2)
10 December 2005: 57 th Anniversary of the International Declaration on Human Rights After concluding the UN Decade on Human Rights Education, the year 2005 was marked at international level by the commencement of a new World Programme for Human Rights Education. The importance of human rights education has long been highly recognized by the international community. The prominence accorded to it at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, and the fact that the United Nations decided to establish a Decade for Human Rights Education, are evidence of this. In the words of the UN General Assembly resolution establishing the Decade, human rights education is intended to be "a life-long process by which people at all levels of development and in all strata of society learn respect for the dignity of others and the means of ensuring thatrespect in all societies". In this sense, human rights education significantly contributes to promoting equality and sustainable development, preventing conflict and human rights violations and enhancing participation and democratic processes. The intention, to develop societies in which all human rights of all are valued and respected. Fifty-seven years ago, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the equal and inalienable rights accorded to every human being by adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration calls upon every individual and every institution of society to strive, by teaching and education, to promote respect for human rights and to secure their universal and effective recognition and implementation. Education International strongly reaffirms its commitment with the complete implementation of the system of Human Rights as a whole, from politic and civil rights to economic, social and cultural rights, including labour and trade union rights that have a crucial importance to the world of work. At the same time, Education International encourages all member organisations, teachers and education personnel at every level, to use the opportunity provided by Human Rights Day. For example, to organize educational activities, disseminate good practices and launch future initiatives in this area, with a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect among all those involved. Human Rights Day should provide us with an opportunity to pay tribute to human rights educators - indeed, human rights defenders - who, in formal and informal settings, in small or large communities, and often encountering obstacles and hazards, contribute to building a universal culture of human rights.