On December 10, the world celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The landmark anniversary of this historic document gave us all cause for reflection; despite the significant advances in human rights over the last half century, violations continue to occur on a large scale.
Rights & Democracy also celebrated its 20th anniversary on December 10th by awarding its annual John Humphrey Freedom Award in honour of the Canadian jurist who wrote the first draft of the Declaration. This year, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights were honoured for their courageous efforts to bring about justice and democracy in their troubled land.
I invite you to visit the 20th anniversary brochure which presents our successes and continuing efforts in countries such as Zimbabwe and over 30 others around the world, including a number of special initiatives we have led since our establishment in 1988.
Our struggle for democracy and human rights will continue as Rights & Democracy embarks on a new chapter in its history of promoting the universal values of human rights and democracy on behalf of Canadians.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our dedicated employees and Board members in Canada and overseas, our partners in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia, as well as all our supporters and collaborators at home.
Best wishes to all for the holiday season, and we look forward to continuing our work together in 2009 and beyond.
Rémy M. Beauregard