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Area Hindu leader Rajan Zed opened the event by reading “Gayatri Mantra,” most sacred mantra of Hinduism, from Rig-Veda, oldest existing scripture of mankind dated around 1,500 BCE, and the participants repeated after him.
Standing around the Christmas tree in front of Reno City Hall, participants then read together the preamble and all 30 articles of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” which was adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.
Besides Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, other participants included Rita Sloan, coordinator of Life, Peace and Justice Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno, and community activists Lisa Stiller, Rich Haber, Patricia Coia and Arthur Thomas Volpe.
Zed says the international community needs to do much more to show that they are serious and committed to protect human rights.
The theme for Human Rights Day this year was human rights defenders who act to end discrimination. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is based in Geneva (Switzerland), and Navanethem Pillay is UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.