“We have all failed as a global community” – President Yushchenko (Ukraine) message on the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Former President of Ukraine (2005-2010) and Club de Madrid Member, Viktor Yushchenko, has launched a message to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which he laments the non-compliance of many of its articles and asks governments to “get serious”.

In a message recorded on video and in which he appears with the Ukrainian flag in the background, he recalled the deaths of civilians that have occurred since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and stressed that “war is the ultimate extreme in which these rights are not respected”. 

Yushchenko began his message by recalling that the Declaration arose from a world that had just lived through one of the worst wars and regretted that, despite the fact that 75 years have passed, several wars are still raging today.

For this reason, he emphasized the non-compliance with Article 3 of the Declaration: ‘All human beings have the right to life, liberty and security’. He made it clear that all wars erase these three principles at a stroke and added: “Nothing justifies taking a life and no one can justify throwing away this right”.

He also had time to remember those who are persecuted for wanting to live in freedom: “We cannot forget the number of people whose right to life is being taken away because they want to exercise their right to be free”.

The Ukrainian Former President highlighted the work of Club of Madrid in its work to promote the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also to promote democratic values: “It is no coincidence that the countries where most human rights violations occur are authoritarian or poor democracies”.

“As you will understand, as former President of Ukraine and in the situation in which my beloved country finds itself, I cannot celebrate this 75th anniversary”, said Yushchenko, who lamented how these rights are violated day by day. That is why he encouraged governments to get serious and to comply with and enforce these 30 principles. 

“Human rights first and foremost”, he concluded.