The General Assembly of the United Nations...

... described the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10, 1948 as the common ideal of all peoples and all nations. Every individual and every organ of society should strive to promote respect for these rights and freedoms through teaching and education. The cultural project FACING NATIONS has made a commendable effort to express and promote this ideal; FACE HUMAN RIGHTS is a logical and even more substantial continuation.

The many faces form a “panorama of mankind”, in which the respect for each individual and his or her life story blends in with the colorful diversity of peoples and cultures.

FACE HUMAN RIGHTS reflects the very essence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The attention, dignity and respect paid to every person with regard to their individuality and uniqueness as the basic measure of humanity.

President of the Republic of Austria

President of the Republic of Austria

Photo: Präsidentschaftskanzlei

Faces are maps of the human soul...

... and thus of our humanity. Nothing could therefore be more suitable than combining a multitude of individual portraits in one overall piece of art, in order to symbolise the idea of humanity and human rights. The FACE HUMAN RIGHTS project, which during 2010 can be seen at the United Nations headquarters in New York, clearly – and in an artistic form – bears witness to Austria’s unequivocal commitment to human rights.

Austria’s candidacy for membership of the UN Human Rights Council 2011 to 2013 is a political expression of the fact that humanity, tolerance and human rights are key concerns in Austria’s foreign policy.

As Foreign Minister I do a lot of travelling. But even a widely travelled person like myself has scarcely witnessed more wonders than those expressed in a human face …

Federal Minister for European and International Affairs

Federal Minister for European and International Affairs

Photo: Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten

A couple of years ago...

... a unique project of art and culture has been launched in Graz: FACING NATIONS portrays – 60 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed – the diversity of mankind as well as the fruitful interaction of all the different cultures that are part of the social life in the Styrian capital. By realizing this great project, Graz has not only made a clear statement for its cosmopolitanism.

We have also contributed to the intercultural exchange that is the basis for living together in peace.

As provincial governor of Styria I am very pleased that the initiative FACE HUMAN RIGHTS is now presented at the UN headquarters in New York City. We, the people of Styria, are thus given the excellent opportunity to demonstrate our strong commitment to tolerance and global solidarity in an international light.

Mag. Franz VOVES
Governor of Styria

Mag. Franz VOVES
Mag. Franz VOVES
Governor of Styria

Photo: Melbinger

We may introduce to you...

... the faces of people from Graz, a city of culture and science in Austria, in the heart of Europe. With its 300,000 inhabitants, Graz is no metropolis; however, since people from 152 nations live in Graz, we dare call it a “small cosmopolitan city”.
It is a great honor for us to be the first UN Human Rights City in Europe that has been invited to UN Headquarters.

We live in challenging times. The financial crisis has shaken our confidence in politics, the economic downturn has caused difficult personal situations for many employees. In times of insecurity, populists' easy solutions may seem attractive to many. Ignorance, superficiality and the constant use of concepts of enemies are typical for those stirrers; however, they do not stop at those who publish their opinions, i.e. journalists, either.

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Tibor TÓTH
Mag. Siegfried NAGL
Mayor of Graz

Photo: ÖA Stadt Graz

In 2008...

... the ORF Styria started in the Human Rights City Graz FACING NATIONS – an innovative art-project to enhance the central relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now, more than two years after the inception of this cultural project, FACING NATIONS has developed into an even more inspiring initiative, including so far the artwork and social advertising spots: FACE HUMAN RIGHTS.

People are members of thousands of cultures, lifestyles, socializations, and religions: FACE HUMAN RIGHTS is based on the idea of giving a face to all people in our global society. The initiative has dedicated itself to this variety with an artistic, socially relevant medium. It attempts to create an interactive convergence between what is different and what is similar. It represents freedom, equality, tolerance, and respect and should serve as a conspicuous signal for human rights and solidarity in our society.

FACE HUMAN RIGHTS is a symbol for the endeavor to be constantly aware of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common ideal of all peoples and nations and to demand awareness of human rights in daily life!

Gerhard DRAXLER,
Managing Director, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) Styria

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Gerhard Draxler, Managing Director, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation)-Styria

Photo: ORF
facing nations