While there are many laws and agreements that cover the entire spectrum of human rights, it is the simple and unequivocal declaration that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” that fully encapsulates what it means for all of us to live lives free from fear and want.

And yet, realizing this declaration in itself has proven to be a challenge. 

The commitments that were made through the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on this day seventy-three years ago has led to the prevention of conflict and violence and has helped with the attainment of independence and autonomy for many peoples around the world. However, we continue to struggle with a myriad of issues that keep us from securing rights and freedoms in full. 

As we continue to fight for our economic, social, political, cultural and civil rights, alongside our continued action efforts to upend a global pandemic, may this year’s Human Rights Day remind us of the need for constant vigilance and struggle towards work ensuring equality and dignity for all. With this, every state must live up to their obligation in guaranteeing that every right is respected, protected, and fulfilled, and it is only in an environment of equality and non-discrimination can human rights be fully upheld and enjoyed. 

Here in the Bangsamoro, we will continue to honor our commitment to build a region that is genuinely inclusive and relevant to all, as we continue to work on eradicating discrimination and marginalization among our people. It is only through a human rights-based approach that we can truly eradicate poverty and conflict in our region, while building a just and sustainable future for all.