“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Sound familiar? It might well – those words form the opening of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The declaration was signed 70 years ago on Sunday, and to mark the date, HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein has shared a video of her reading the first of its 30 articles.

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It’s part of a larger project, with others contributing readings of the declaration’s later articles, but Princess Haya is a strong opener.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” her reading begins. “They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one and other in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Here’s the clip:

Princess Haya also posted about the anniversary on Instagram, saying “if we all followed the principles in the Declaration on Human Rights, the bloodshed we see today would end and the world would be at peace.”

It’s a big goal, but also the only one that makes any sense.

sheikh mohammed princess haya

Standing up for human rights is very much in character for Princess Haya, too. She’s one of the driving forces behind the UAE’s support of the Rohingya refugees who have fled their native Myanmar into Bangladesh.

Her Royal Highness’s humanitarian spirit is mirrored by other leaders around this part of the world. Her husband, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has even offered up his private plane as transport, while Jordan’s Queen Rania Al-Abdullah has made a heart-wrenching visit to meet families living in refugee camps.

Alongside these practical actions, it’s important to reflect on the principles that guide us. Princess Haya’s video is a great reminder.

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Images: Instagram, Dubai Media Office