Human Rights Day 2017: Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal
20 March 2017
Human Rights Day commemorates a poignant moment in South Africa's history, in which we remember the country's struggle for the ideals of equality, freedom and dignity.
In 2017, South Africa celebrates the centenary of the birth of Oliver Tambo, a luminary whose vision for a multicultural society still pervades the national discourse. Unity to move South Africa forward is the national theme for this year and the University of Pretoria (UP) supports these ideals. To honour the life of Oliver Reginald Tambo, UP is hosting a series of guest lectures which will focus on aspects of his invaluable contribution to South African society.
Globally, the world is seeing a resurgence of polarising and divisive politics, inflammatory rhetoric and discrimination against people on the basis of religion, gender, race and sexuality. It is our duty as a community of intellectuals to actively seek to affirm each other's humanity through our teaching, research and community engagement.
Let us take stock of the importance of this historic day and in so doing, we can shape today with understanding and hope so that we may look forward to a society of greater equality and unity that is founded on the fundamental rights of all people to co-exist peacefully.
We call on staff and students to reaffirm their individual and our collective commitment to a culture of human rights.
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