On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia held an event titled “Serbia Equal for All” on December 9, 2019, at the Liberty Square in Novi Sad.
„Until now, the marking of Human Rights Day always took place in Belgrade. This year, we wanted it to be in another city and we chose Novi Sad, as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional territorial autonomy of all its citizens. We will strive to make this celebration a practice. Next year, we are going to pick another town in Serbia to mark this day. This is an excellent opportunity to point out the necessity and importance respecting human and minority rights not only on December 10, but throughout the year. The Government of Serbia is committed to the continuous improvement of the human rights situation, but we are also aware of the fact that there is more work to be done on this path.
There is a need to continue promoting the status of women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, children and members of the Roma national minority, and these topics are extremely important to the Government. We will continue to work together with civil society organizations to better implement the relevant laws, combat discrimination and improve the human rights situation. It is important for civil society to view the Government as a reliable partner and to recognize their willingness to hear and put their proposals into practice. Together, we have an obligation to continue improving the human rights situation in our country. Education of children, as well as the media, play a very important role,“ said Suzana Paunović, Director of the Office for Human and Minority Rights.
Ms Paunović also called on all cities and municipalities in Serbia to join in the celebration of the International Human Rights Day and to mark this important date in their communities.
The event “Serbia is equal for all” featured a show of folk costumes that occupy a prominent place in the culture and tradition of each nation, as their role throughout history is very important as a symbol of ethnic identity. The folk costume show highlighted the beauty of Serbia’s diversity and multiculturalism. In addition to the show, ISON, the first inclusive choir in our country the region, which brings together children with physical and mental disabilities, performed on the occasion. Also, promotional videos on human and minority rights were screened, plus, an exhibition of posters called “Tolerance 2” by Mirko Ilić was staged. This is a travelling collection of posters that celebrates and promotes tolerance among people.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10th as Human Rights Day in 1950 to draw the attention of the “peoples of the world” to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed two years earlier, as the first comprehensive human rights instrument. For the first time in the history of mankind, the Declaration proclaims common human rights standards to be attained by all peoples and all nations of the world. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” states the first article of this declaration.