Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, December 10, 2003

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Hyde Remarks on Anniversary of
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, remarked today on the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was approved unanimously by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, and has become the international standard by which nations and governments are judged for their record on upholding essential human rights, including freedom and democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, religious liberty, equality among races, and rights of women:

Few documents in the post-World War II period have done as much to raise the worldwide profile of human rights than the Universal Declaration. Often quoted in national Constitutions and international conventions, the declaration serves as a beacon of hope for millions struggling for greater political freedom and human dignity.

In the past year, the world has witnessed free and fair elections in countries that have never known freedom and political dissidents winning international recognition for their work to bring greater pluralism to nations that routinely suppress the will of their people. However, success is tempered by the sad truth that freedom remains under assault in far too many places in the world.

At the dawn of the 21st   century, in an increasing dangerous world, there can be no doubt that the future of democracy is linked inexorably with efforts of nations to advance the interests of human dignity and human rights about the globe.


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