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Human Rights Declaration of the City Graz

Taking into consideration the general acknowledgement of all civil political, economic, social and cultural rights, women's rights, rights of the child and the general and equal rights of all people whatever their nationality that are the basis of the human rights concept;
Taking into consideration that human rights must not remain an abstract concept but be made concrete and tangible in everyday behaviour;
Taking into consideration that the City of Graz has to date demonstrated its recognition of human rights with a multitude of activities including the following milestones:
- Decision of the Council of Europe in the year 1979 to award the City of Graz the distinction "Municipality of Europe";
- Establishment of the "Cultural City Network" in Graz with the focus on Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe;
- Establishment of the Office for Peace and Development in 1988 with 77 NGOs, including the universities and various educational institutions as members;
- Election of the first Austrian Advisory Council for Foreign Residents in the year 1996;
- Graz is City of Refuge in cooperation with the international P.E.N. Club: Writers in Asylum;
- The human rights award of Karl-Franzens University;
- The establishment of the David-Herzog Fund: municipality, province of Styria, Karl-Franzens University;
- Promotion of the WUS (World University Service) activities in the successor states of former Yugoslavia;
- The City of Graz promotes the Afro-Asian Institute;
- The City of Graz promotes organisations working in the respective field, such as "ARGE gegen Gewalt und Rassismus" (Working Group against Violence and Racism) and Amnesty international;
- Graz is member of Karl-Heinz Böhm‘s Ethiopia aid association "Menschen für Menschen";
- Graz held the Second European Ecumenical Assembly of all Christian Churches of Europe;
- Graz is a platform of the interreligious dialogue between Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists;
- Graz is member of the Bischof-Johann-Weber Foundation that supports primarily students from Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe;
- The rebuilt new synagogue was handed over to the Jewish Community on 9 Nov. 2000;
- The European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy was opened on 7 Dec. 2000;
- The World Buddhist Meeting 2002 (Kalachakra) with his Holiness the Dalai Lama was held in Graz from 11 - 23 Oct. 2002;
- The "Enhanced Graz Process", an educational initiative for Southeastern Europe was launched in the framework of the Stability Pact;
- Graz is partner to various city twinning projects with a human rights focus;
- Graz cooperates with refugee assistance organisations;
- Graz as European Capital of Culture 2003 is the only European Capital of Culture to have had a focus on Eastern and Southeastern Europe;

the Municipal Council of Graz, the capital of Styria, adopts the following...

The City of Graz, and in particular the members of its Municipal Council and the City Government, shall be guided in their actions by the principles of international human rights. The residents of the city, especially the youth, are to be informed about established human rights and the rights and obligations these human rights entail for them. The objective is to respect and meet the standards that are relevant for human rights in the daily life of the city - this applies in particular with regard to the people in charge holding duties in public institutions, organisations and associations. Wherever there are deficits in the field of human rights they are to be identified at all levels of society so that an appropriate response can be taken. This to ensure that human rights will play a vital role in the guidelines and decisions for the future development of the City of Graz. With this Declaration and the intentions and codes of practice associated with it, the City of Graz as European Capital of Culture 2003 gives expression to its understanding of culture and human dignity.
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