The Indian Constitution is reflective of India’s essential quality, that of a pluralist and tolerant people, said United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for India, Shombi Sharp, on Saturday. The UN representative had been invited to speak at the Human Rights Day celebrations organised by the National Human Rights Commission. Also in attendance were the chief guest of the event, President Draupadi Murmu, and the chairperson of the commission and retired Supreme Court judge, Arun Mishra.
As the world’s largest democracy that occupies crucial positions in international organisations, such as the presidency of the United Nations Security Council and the G20, the world is increasingly looking to India’s leadership in furthering human rights and sustainable development, added Shombi Sharp.
After reading out a message from António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, about the urgent need for member states, civil society, and the private sector as well as other key actors to ‘put human rights at the heart of efforts to reverse today’s damaging trends’, Sharp observed, “Now, as member of the United Nation Human Rights Council, as the president of the Security Council, as president of the G-20, which will coincide with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development midpoint stocktaking summit at the General Assembly next year, the world community looks increasingly to India’s leadership in furthering the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and sustainable development for all, leaving no one behind.”
Sharp said that India had, in past decades, been a champion both of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights itself and the concepts of dignity, freedom, and justice for all, which was the theme of this year. “These ideas permeate the Indian Constitution which itself reflects India’s essential nature as a pluralist and tolerant society,” the UN representative said. He especially noted the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar and said that the world honours famous icons such as them. He added, “Thanks to an Indian woman, Hansa Mehta, Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises not the equality of men as originally drafted, but the equality of women and man, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Message on Human Rights Day by NHRC chairperson, Mr. Justice Arun Mishra
Meanwhile this message from the NHRC chairperson is interesting:
“Greetings to all on the eve of Human Rights Day, which is celebrated on the 10th December every year since 1950 in commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR by the United Nations in 1948. It is entering the milestone 75th anniversary this year and the Amrit Kaal to mark the global consensus on the importance of promotion & protection of human rights.