On December 10, 2019 the Pioner cinema hosted the closing ceremony of the Human Dignity, Equality, Justice Film Festival conducted in Minsk for the 12th consecutive year. The festival is an annual event organized by the United Nations in Belarus in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus.

Speaking at the closing ceremony UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki marked that this year the call to action of the International Human Rights Day - Stand up for Human Rights - is dedicated to the role of the youth in putting the human rights into practice.

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«We are witnessing a growth of the capacities of young people, their active action against climate change, bullying at school, discrimination of any kind", said Ms. Kazana-Wisniowiecki, indicating that the activities of young people, their participation in public life and decision-making will translate into the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Acting Head of Multilateral Diplomacy Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexander Opimakh underlined that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had become a sort of Constitution setting the humane rules of human development. For ten days, the festival featured the films presented by the diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Belarus.

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“The Foreign Affairs Ministry welcomes the theme of the Human Rights Festival in Belarus. Without human dignity the right to life will be robbed of meaning,” said Alexander Opimakh noting that the Festival is well regarded as it brings up the important social concerns making everyone reflect on how we should treat each other, what kind of relations should be built between people and in the society, what is to be done in order to help all people feel important and enjoy the right to decent life.

The Ambassador of Sweden in the Republic of Belarus Christina Johannesson presented Sami Blood (Sameblod), the film co-produced by Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and stated that everywhere in the world human rights and their practical application are in the focus of the dialogue between different countries. The very word combination ‘human rights’ sometimes seems too abstract and it is the cinematic art that is able to show what human rights mean through the example of certain people’s life.

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“Our generation lives in the world where an enormous amount of prejudice is still present. I hope that due to such festivals even small changes can be possible allowing us to live on a planet with a little more equality and justice,” said Ms. Johannesson.

Before every screening representatives of diplomatic missions, state and international organizations spoke about universality and inalienability of human rights, about necessity to fight against hatred and discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, and urged the visitors to protect such vulnerable groups as children, violence victims, people with disabilities, and people living with HIV.

This year, cinema goers could watch the films from Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, United States, Sweden, and Estonia and visit the thematic exhibition of photo posters from the United Nations Organization’s archive dedicated to the Universal Declaration articles in Belarusian.