By resolution 2860 (XXVI) of 20 De-cember, 1971, the General Assembly, noting that Human Rights Day in 1973 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declara-tion of Human Rights, expressed its con-viction of the historic significance and enduring value of the Declaration as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. Recalling that the United Nations had provided for special observances of the tenth, fifteenth and twentieth anniversaries of the Declaration, the General Assembly expressed the desire to mark, in 1973, the twenty-fifth anniver-sary in a manner which would fit the occa-sion and serve the cause of human rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was conceived by its authors and approved by the General Assembly as ‘‘a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”. Since its adop-tion, a number of international instruments including the Covenants and declarations on specific questions as well as important resolutions have specified the scope to be given to the standards proclaimed in the Universal Declaration and given them legal and practical precision.
The twenty-fifth anniversary of the adop-tion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be celebrated with particular effectiveness and the cause of human rights well served if the anniversary could be accompanied by a marked extension in the teaching of the international system of protection of human rights not only at the university level, but also at the interme-diary and specialized levels of education. In some cases, courses could be expanded, in others, separate courses might be institu-ted, devoted to the international system of promotion and protection of human rights, and could deal also with the teaching of national systems of protection of human rights. All endeavours at international approaches to education, such as interna-tional universities, staff colleges, regional colleges, should leave sufficient time for comprehensive imparting of knowledge and discussion of the work accomplished by the United Nations during the last quarter of the century in the field of human rights.
The purposes of the International Con-ference on Human Rights held in 1968 on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration were three fold: (1) to review the progress which had been made in the field of human rights since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (ii) to eva-luate the effectiveness of the methods used by the United Nations in the field of human rights, especially with regard to the elimi-nation of all forms of racial discrimination and the practice of the policy of apartheid; and (iii) to formulate and prepare a prog-ramme of further measures to be taken subsequent to the celebrations of the Inter-national Year for Human Rights. The discussions relating to objective
(iii) have been particularly helpful for United Nations work and several of the major activities of the United Nations in the field of human rights have originated or have received new impetus in the resolution adopted by the International Conference of 1968 and the Proclamation of Tehran. It may not be desirable or possible to hold another International Conference of Human Rights in 1973. However, it would un-doubtedly be useful if gatherings could be initiated by the United Nations or held under United Nations suspicious at which, after adequate consideration of human rights problems of our time in the light of past and anticipated developments, further areas of action and fresh priorities for United Nations action might be given to the organization of seminars in various regions or sub-regions where problems des-cribed above would be discussed by emin-ent personalities with special experience and qualifications in the field of human rights.