The 61st anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was commemorated at a meeting in Luton Town Hall this week.
The meeting, chaired by Councillor Qurban Hussain, brought together local residents from across all of Luton’s diverse community to discuss the importance of the United Nations and human rights.
The United Kingdom played a central role in the formation of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights argues that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and has been at the centre of UN foreign policy since its adoption.
After presentations and speeches by leading academics and community representatives’ local residents took part in a group discussion to talk about the issues raised at the event.
Speaking after the event Qurban said:
‘International Human Rights Day brings together the very best of our community here in Luton. As Lutonians we are proud of our diversity and our commitment to working together for a better future for our town and families.
It was important for our town, which suffered terrible losses and attacks in the world wars, to commemorate the United Nations which was formed to ensure that our country never faced such attacks again. It was the generations that fought for our country in those difficult times that first supported the UN and I sincerely thank them for protecting freedoms we enjoy today.
At the meeting local residents spoke with passion about how they believed that our town was stronger when we worked together in the spirit of cooperation that we are all rightly proud of. After recent events, tonight showed our town at its very best and clearly demonstrates that the wrong, misguided views of some are by no means a reflection of our community.
The message from the evening was clear; we in Luton are proud of those who serve to protect our country, that the struggle to preserve our freedom continues but that the values of cooperation, respect and the tolerance are not only those of the UN but are those of all Lutonians.’