December 10th is a day deserving all the attention it can get.
It is the day of the Nobel-celebrations in Stockholm and Oslo. It is also the International Human Rights Day – the day when the UN declaration on human rights was adopted 63 years ago. http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/2011/
The significance in a Polish context is obvious – here where people for such a long time were denied the fundamental democratic rights that were simply taken for granted in my own country.
I have been spending part of my week preparing a speech for the traditional Lucia celebration December 13th next week and thereby had reason to recall what happened inPoland exactly 30 years ago: the introduction of martial law, the last shivering steps of dictatorship before the democratic break-through 1989.
This year, December 10th , a special tribute is paid to human rights defenders all over the world. The statement by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton is a case in point. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/126713.pdf
So many people in this country were participating in that kind of struggle. The Arab spring has been driven by the same kind of courage and conviction. And I have met so many brave people myself in other countries, clearly prepared to great personal sacrifices just to stand up for the rights of others.
At the same time this day gives us all an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to fight against all kinds of discrimination. InWarsawa video-spot addressing the need for equal treatment of all individuals, regardless of disability, age, race and sexual orientation will be presented in trams and buses during the coming weekend. http://www.swedenabroad.com/News____23201.aspx?slaveid=134280
There are some linkages between the two tomorrows. The Nobel peace prize giving attention to the struggle for women’s rights, their security and participation.
And the linkages are there also in seen in a broader context – some lines in the poem “Romanesque arches” by the Swedish Nobel laureate in literature Tomas Tranströmer that I read some time ago reflected in such a fantastic way the complexity and capacity of individuals:
“Don’t be ashamed of being human, be proud!
Inside you vault opens behind vault endlessly.
You will never be complete, that’s how it’s meant to be.”
Blind with tears
I was pushed out on the sun-seething piazza
together with Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Mr. Tanaka, and Signora Sabatini,
and inside each of them vault opened behind vault endlessly.
December 10th is a day deserving all attention that it can get.