Today, as we celebrate Human Rights Day, marking the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), we are reminded of the powerful framework it provided for addressing current human rights challenges globally and safeguarding the rights of all residents in Kosovo.
The UDHR and its principles, which have been incorporated into the Kosovo legal framework, continue to guide Kosovo’s efforts to build trust within a democratic and just society. Trust, between communities and between communities and institutions, can only become genuine if it is anchored in human rights and its core principles, such as equality and non-discrimination, accountability, and participation. These principles are key to addressing grievances, inequalities, and exclusion, which are often the root of instability and tensions.
“Human rights are the foundation for human dignity and the cornerstone of peaceful, inclusive, fair, equal and prosperous societies,” said SG Guterres. Indeed, they are a unifying force and a rallying cry. They reflect the most fundamental thing we share – our common humanity.
“Strengthening the existing legal framework, empowering the local institutions, and nurturing trust among diverse communities will surely enable Kosovo to further embrace the ideals enshrined in the UN’s Universal Declaration on HR, creating a society where every individual can fully enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms,” said SRSG Ziadeh.
UNMIK, alongside OHCHR and the UNKT, remains committed to empowering all stakeholders in Kosovo to leverage the transformative power of human rights. This approach underlines the importance of human rights as the cornerstone of a thriving and inclusive Kosovo.