75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - 29 November 2023

At the initiative of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, the European Parliament will organise a High Level Conference on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The event will take place within the European Parliament in Brussels, on 29 November 2023, from 10:15 to 18:30. It will be opened by EP President Roberta Metsola, followed by keynote speeches of Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships.

The Conference will bring together representatives from international and regional human rights mechanisms, EU national parliaments, international and local civil society organisations, as well as young voices from around the world to address human rights challenges.

The Universal Declaration is a milestone in the history of human rights. It remains a compass that guides us in addressing ongoing conflicts and emerging crises the world is facing.


30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

High-level Conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the rights of the Child,
20 November 2019, from 14.30 - 18.30
Plenary Chamber, Brussels

The European Parliament celebrated Human Rights week from 19 to 22 November 2018

Programme of the high-level conference held on 20 November 2018

© EP
Hemicycle of the European Parliament

14:45 - 14:50
Musical introduction
Jeunesses Musicales, with the cooperation of BOZAR

15:00 - 15:30
Opening speeches
  • Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament
  • Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
  • António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations (video message)
15:30 - 17:00
Panel I: Universality and indivisibility of Human Rights in today's global and digital world

  • Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights
  • Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Fatou Bensouda, General Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
  • Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative on Human Rights
  • Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman
  • Patrick Gaspard, President of the Open Society Foundations
Q&A session with the active participation of UNICEF and EU-NGOs Forum

Closing remarks:
  • Claude Moraes, Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affaires

17:00 - 17:25
Video stories
Human Rights Defenders: Journeys and Struggles

17:30 - 19:00
Panel II: Synergies in strengthening the global human rights architecture and mechanisms

  • David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (video message)
  • Joel Hernandez Garcia, Commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and vice-President of the Inter-American Juridical Committee
  • Prof. Remy Ngoy Lumbu, Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights
  • Katarzyna Gardapkhadze, First Deputy Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
  • Beate Rudolf, Chair of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) and of the Board of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI)
  • Prof. Pamela Palmater, Lawyer and Member of the Eel River Bar First Nation
Q&A session with the active participation of UNICEF and the EU-NGOs Forum

70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

© EP
The European Parliament has highlighted the universal and indivisible nature of human rights as it celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during the week of 19-23 November 2018.

A high-level conference in the Brussels hemicycle on Tuesday 20 November 2018 introduced by European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, drew prominent participants from around the world, including UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, ICC General Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and EU Vice President / High Representative Federica Mogherini.

Throughout the week, many of Parliament's delegations and committees - including DROI and several others - also marked the occasion by organising hearings that connected their area of expertise to human rights.

The Declaration and the Parliament

Adopted at the UN on 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first international document establishing basic rights and freedoms for all people.

Since then, the European Parliament has become one of the most committed defenders of these rights.

This is true within the EU, where Parliament has worked to defend the personal, civic, political, economic and social rights of all people within the Union.

It is also true beyond the EU's borders. Parliament has drawn attention to serious violations around the globe, while also celebrating human rights defenders, notably through its annual Sakharov Prize.

Human rights and the external actions of the EU and Member States

Meeting of the European Parliament in its hemicycle
© European Parliament 2018
On Tuesday 20 November, Members of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) met with members of national parliaments of the EU Member States to discuss experiences at national level, as well as strategic action and ideas for the way forward at European level.

The discussions of this interparliamentary committee meeting (ICM) were based on three thematic sessions:
  • "Mainstreaming human rights into external action",
  • "Business and Human Rights" and
  • "Sustainable development and human rights".