Today, 10 December, on the International Day of Human Rights we celebrate the 71th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This year we also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe. These important anniversaries illustrate how far we have come towards the full realisation of the Human Rights.

The system of protection of the Human Rights of the United Nations and of the Council of Europe undoubtedly constitutes one of the great civilizational conquests of the 20th century. However, we must not fail to reflect on the challenges ahead and the regressions that threaten the universal application of the Human Rights. On this occasion, Portugal restates its firm commitment towards the universal realisation of all Human Rights - civil and political, economic, social and cultural -, transversal ambition, both internally and externally. This is the principle that will continue to be the touchstone of Portugal's action in Human Rights multilateral fora, as well as the bilateral relations that Portugal maintains.

Aware that the defense of human rights is a task of continued enforcement and still unfinished, the Portuguese State's action is guided by respect, promotion and implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the consecrated principles of the Constitution of the Republic and of all the legislation that derives from the Human Rights Conventions to which we are bound.

The realisation of human rights is not only a responsibility of the States. Its promotion and defense depend on our collective effort and dedication.

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