The United Nations held a World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna on June 25th, 1993. It was the first human rights conference held since the end of the Cold War. The main result of the conference was the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action by a consensus of all 171 nations in attendance. The World Conference on Human Rights was attended by representatives of those 171 nations and 800 non governmenal organizations (NGO’s). In total, there were about 7,000 individual participants.
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action called for the creation of instruments to publicize and protect the rights of women, children, and indigenous peoples. It also requested more funding for the United Nations Center for Human Rights. Most significantly, it called for a new office, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which remains in effect today.
On December 17, 1998, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 53/202 by which it decided to convene the Millennium Summit of the United Nations as an integral part of the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations. The Summit opened at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 6 September 2000 (resolution 53/239).
The Millennium Summit was held from September 6-8, 2000 with the theme “The Role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century”. On 8 September 2000, following this three day Millennium Summit of world leaders at the headquarters of the United Nations, the General Assembly adopted the Millennium Declaration.
The Millennium Declaration has eight chapters and key objectives, adopted by 189 world leaders during the summit:
- Values and Principles
- Peace, Security and Disarmament
- Development and Poverty Eradication
- Protecting our Common Environment
- Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance
- Protecting the Vulnerable
- Meeting the Special Needs of Africa
- Strengthening the United Nations