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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a historic document that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its third session on 10 December 1948 as Resolution 217 A (III). Of the then 58 members of the United Nations, 48 voted in favor, none against, eight abstained and one did not vote. The declaration consists of 30 articles affirming an individual's rights which, although not legally binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties including protocols to the Convention on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights; regional human rights instruments such as African Charter on Human & Peoples' Rights; national constitutions; other legal acts such as laws prohibiting gender discrimination or guaranteeing equal opportunity for all races. The UN member states who are signatories to these human rights instruments are obliged to ensure that they are respected by their own governments. The UDHR became more than just a symbolic statement about fundamental human rights – it has served since its adoption "as an authoritative guide for both defining specific entitlements [and] interpreting existing obligations.