19 October, the United Nations General Assembly marked the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
In his remarks, Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said that half a century ago the Assembly adopted the two international human rights covenants, “marking the beginning of a global constitution of human rights protection”.
According to Mr Eliasson, the Covenants have inspired international human rights instruments and influenced national constitutions the world over. They have guided national and regional courts and provided a normative foundation for the work of national independent human rights institutions.
“They have confirmed a common universal language of human rights – at the heart of which remains the right to life,” continued the Deputy Secretary General, adding “the abolition of the death penalty has advanced significantly. But we must step up our efforts towards ending this inhumane practice of executions once and for all”.
Photo: UN Photo/ Rick Bajornas