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Los derechos humanos nunca serán viejos
23 December 2008 / 03:03

[Dateline: New York | Author:  iSeek]

In her remarks during the Human Rights Day related concert in New York last Monday, Vice-President and Minister of the Presidency of Spain María Teresa Fernández de la Vega said, 60 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that “Human rights will never become old.”

The Government of Spain sponsored the 15 December concert featuring Messenger of Peace Maestro Daniel Barenboim who gave a stunning performance with members of the acclaimed West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

The concert marked the grand finale to a year-long, worldwide celebration.

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was created by Maestro Barenboim and the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said in 1998 to bring young musicians from Israel and the Arab countries together to encourage dialogue through the shared language of music.

On the global stage of the General Assembly Hall, the musicians were the embodiment of peaceful cooperation as they performed masterful works by Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert.

Opening remarks were given by Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon (full text), President of the General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann and Vice-President of the Government of Spain María Teresa Fernández de la Vega.

Weaving the year’s theme of "Dignity and justice for all of us" into his remarks, Maestro Barenboim, “Before a Beethoven Symphony we are all equal.  Whether we come from Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Turkey or Syria, we must approach the music with the same humility, curiosity, knowledge and passion.  The attitude we must have towards the music forces us to develop the reason and conscience correctly presumed by the first article of the Charter of the United Nations to be inherent in human nature.”

Maestro Barenboim also told the audience, “I carry the title of United Nations Messenger of Peace, which I believe gives me both the right and responsibility to work towards abolishing ignorance, and to contribute in whatever modest way I can towards real equality.  Without equality, there can be no justice, and without justice there will be no peace.”

Following the concert, Maestro Barenboim and his fellow musicians hosted an informal “meet and greet” with audience members in the Indonesian Lounge.

The concert was organized by the Department of Public Information.

To learn more about the work of United Nations Messenger of Peace Maestro Daniel Barenboim, please watch his UNTV interview.