“I see today’s event as a call to hope and a call to action,” Turk said, adding that the declaration inspired successes such as the end of racial segregation in the United States and apartheid in South Africa.
“In a time of so little solidarity and so much division and shortsightedness, I see it as a call to overcome polarization.”
But he also lamented the failures of the struggle, such as war, referring to “millions of people suffering unbearably in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, mainly in Gaza, and in Israel”, as well as hunger, discrimination, repression and pollution.
Never before in the period after World War II has the world seen so many conflicts, with 55 currently active, including a war between rival military factions in Sudan and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UN said.
In communications about the two-day event, Turk’s office avoided the word “celebrate” when referring to the anniversary, preferring the term “mark.”
Other UN officials were more pessimistic than Turk.
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