New Delhi, Dec 11 : On the occasion of Human Rights Day on Friday, President Ram Nath Kovind said that equality is the very soul of human rights, referring to Article 1 of the Universal Declaration which says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
While non-discrimination is the first condition for absolute respect for human dignity, the world is beset with countless prejudices. They, unfortunately, hinder the full realisation of individuals’ potential, and thus are not in the interest of society as a whole, Kovind said, as per a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“This day (Human Rights Day) presents us with an opportunity to reflect upon what it means to be a human being, and our role in enhancing the basic dignity of humankind,” he added.
The President said that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights spells out a series of rights and freedoms which every single human being is entitled to. These are inalienable rights, dependent solely on the fact that each person belongs to humanity, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, language and other divisions. With the Declaration, the global community made formal recognition of basic human dignity though it has been part of our spiritual traditions for millennia.
The President said that on this day, the world should also debate and discuss the ‘Right to Healthy Environment and Climate Justice’.
“The degradation of nature is leading to irreversible changes in climate and we are already witnessing its harmful impact. The world is waking up to the harsh reality, but it is yet to build the resolve to make decisive change. We owe it to our children that we save Mother Nature from the worst effects of industrialisation. The time is running out,” he said.
The President was happy to note that India has taken initiatives at home as well as at the recently-held global climate conference, which would go a long way in restoring the health of the planet.