Moscow Human Marathon for Peace and Human Rights
Runs to a Successful Completion
August 26, 2005
The multi-sport marathon throughout Moscow, established to promote and forward peace and human rights athletes, has successfully completed its journey.
Speakers and distinguished guests who participated in the marathonís events included the Chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, the President of the International Society of Human Rights, the Deputy Chairman of the Moscow City Council of Veterans, and the Deputy Prefect of the South Administrative Division of Moscow. The Chairman of the Unit Center of the Movement for Human Rights encouraged participants and members of the audience to look at how they, as individual citizens can assume more responsibility for implementing human rights, rather than simply depend on governments to do so.
Ms. Elena Shklyarova of the Church of Scientology of Moscow who chaired the Steering Committee of the Multathlon 2005* announced the intention of the group to make this an annual event. She described how the inspiration for this series of events came from a pan-European human rights program in 2002. "Russia had its first Multathlon in 2002 when athletes carried a 'Torch of Freedom' from Saint Petersburg to the Palais de Chaillot in Paris where, on December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "We are proud to adopt this wonderful tradition in our city. We intend to hold multathlon events every year to make people more aware of the importance of human rights," she said.
Participants agreed that human rights is a pivotal issue that will determine the quality of life for the future. Will we deal with violence and terrorism with more force and violence or will we really address the underlying causes of the conflicts and implement human rights universally at a grass roots level around the world? "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted almost 60 years ago," said Ms. Shklyarova. "It is up to us to demand that these rights be upheld for all people."
*Multathlon: A coined word that means "many contests." Participants run, walk, cycle, swim, roller blade, sail, ride etc., in this case for a worthy cause.