Reps. Lowenthal and Pocan, Sens. Coons and Tillis, introduce resolution honoring Human Rights Day

December 10, 2020
Press Release

Congressmen Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) today joined with U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, inintroducing resolutions in the United States Senate and House of Representatives honoring Human Rights Day and the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations’ ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) and 52 House Members also joined the resolutions.

"Since joining Congress in 2013, I have joined with my colleagues in introducing this resolution each December to remind us of the basic rights and freedoms we as Americans enjoy, but that are denied to so many people around the world,” said Congressman Lowenthal. “Our nation was founded on the basic principles of life, freedom, and humanity that are enshrined in the UDHR, and we must remain a beacon of freedom and hope throughout the world. It is our duty and responsibility to continue to advocate and fight for the universal protection of human rights."

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that we affirm global human rights and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Congressman Pocan. “As authoritarianism creeps into democracies across the globe, we must keep fighting to ensure freedom, equality and basic human rights for all people. I am proud to introduce this resolution honoring Human Rights Day and the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations’ ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

“As co-chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, I am proud to introduce this resolution on the occasion of Human Rights Day,” said Senator Coons. “In the face of growing illiberalism and authoritarianism around the world, let us celebrate the brave individuals striving for fundamental rights and freedoms, and fight for those who suffer from violence and oppression. Looking to the future, we must rededicate ourselves to the principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 72 years ago.”

“It’s an honor to co-chair the Senate Human Rights Caucus with my good friend Sen. Coons,” said Senator Tillis. “The mission of the Caucus is to defend and promote internationally recognized human rights norms around the world and contribute to global leadership in advocating for and protecting human rights. At the end of this difficult year, it is important that we take time to recognize these universal values as well as the courageous individuals who have dedicated their lives to upholding them by honoring the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

“Seventy-two years ago, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights was adopted, acknowledging every person is of equal worth and deserves equal dignity," said Senator Lankford. “The United States should continue to stand for fundamental human rights– the right to life, the right to freely speak and access information, and the right to freely practice your faith, change your faith or have no faith at all. I’m proud to reaffirm that commitment today.”

"As a Jewish organization working for Palestinian rights, we deeply understand that every person - with no exceptions - must live in freedom, equality, and with full human rights. This is at the core of ensuring justice and liberation for us all. JVP Action is proud to endorse this resolution to recommit to supporting human rights across the world,” said Stefanie Fox, Executive Director Jewish Voice for Peace Action.

Championed by former UNA-USA board chairwoman Eleanor Roosevelt, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law and has helped countless people achieve greater freedom and dignity across the globe. We sincerely thank Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Sen. Chris Coons, and Sen. Thom Tillis for helping commemorate the UDHR’s 72nd anniversary and honoring the core American values that underpin this historic document,” said Rachel Bowen Pittman, Executive Director, UNA-USA.

“Human rights are universal and indivisible. At AJWS, we have repeatedly spoken out against assaults on human rights around the world because we believe in the Jewish value of the inherent dignity of every individual, which is completely aligned with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We look forward to working with champions in Congress to rebuild and reinvigorate U.S. foreign policy with universal human rights at its core,” said the American Jewish World Service.

“The international community must always remember that human rights are a fundamental part of our mutual humanity and it’s up to each and every one of us to fight for them to be respected, protected, and fulfilled for allGenerations of people growing up in this country, many from different cultures and backgrounds from around the world, will now affirm – and perhaps even take for granted – the values of interdependence, inclusion, non-discrimination, and accountability -- which generations before them came together to declare. We must never forget the pain and tragedy from which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights first arose, nor how powerfully the document has guided us like a candle in the dark through many difficult moments, filling us with hope, community, and compassion in the face of cruelty, oppression, and injustice. The human experience knows no political affiliation nor no nationality - we are all part of the human family and we must cherish each other's rights,” said Joanne Lin, Amnesty International USA’s National Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs.

The resolution is endorsed by American Jewish World Service, Amnesty International USA, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), and Freedom House.

The text of the resolution is available here.