WORLDVIEWS

The Devastating Decline of Human-Rights Justice Across the World

The soul of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being destroyed with the disappearance of human-rights justice in the world. Everyone should be concerned if not frightened. The appointment of Michelle Bachelet of Chile as UN high commissioner for human rights, who has personally experienced injustice, offers hope that her voice will be … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Secretary-General’s Human-Rights Crisis Can Be Solved

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organization. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realizing … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Thank You, United Nations, for Helping Victims of Nazi Experiments

As World War II ended and the horrors of the Holocaust unfolded before a stunned humanity, the victims, their families and people of good will sought to construct a new world order of justice grounded in recognition of inalienable human rights. Prof. Hersch Lauterpacht made the case for an International Bill of Rights, the first … Read more

Thank You, UN, for Protecting Victims of Slavery and Other Cruel Practices

While slavery and inhumane practices have still not been eradicated, the United Nations has done much to expose them and to help stamp them out. Its efforts continue. Early after its establishment, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights carried out a study on slavery. Its findings were riveting, and it made several policy recommendations to … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

Is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Dead?

When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted 70 years ago, the hopes of its drafters and of people across the globe was that it would help transform the world into a place of freedom and justice. Sadly, the declaration is now being challenged as it has never been before. This leads to pondering about … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Thank You, UN, for Protecting the Rights of Women

There is still a long way to go to uphold the rights of women worldwide, and UN Women, a department of the Secretariat, is now carrying the torch in this struggle. It builds on the efforts of the UN human-rights program going back to the earliest days of the organization. For International Women’s Day, on … Read more

Thank You, UN, for Validating Indigenous People

Indigenous people, several millions of them, live in more than 80 countries and have long suffered, and continue to suffer, from injustices. Until 1981, they had no global forum in which to appear to plead for justice and for respect of their inalienable rights. That year, the director of the United Nations Division of Human … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Thank You, UN, for Defending Our Human Rights Against Gross Violations

From 1970 to 2000, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the predecessor to today’s Human Rights Council, considered in closed meetings and acted on some 80 country situations where there were reliable allegations of gross violations of human rights. In parallel, the UN Decolonization Committee and the Special Committee Against Apartheid gathered information, listened … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Thank You, United Nations, for Our Freedom

During some of the darkest days of the Cold War, thousands of people gained their freedom, thanks to the United Nations, in a story that has never been told before. It is time that this story — and others to come originating from UN archives — be put on record. From the early days of … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

Leave the UN’s Human-Rights Treaty System Alone

The United Nations Charter requires each and every member state to discharge its obligations by faithfully carrying out norms of legally binding international human-rights law. These may be norms of international customary law, those contained in treaties or those flowing from general principles of international law. The human-rights provisions in the Charter were amplified by … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Modernizing the Role of Human Rights in the UN Security Council

The Security Council is the most authoritative organ of the United Nations, and supporters of the Council naturally expect it to exercise that authority when gross violations of human rights shock the conscience of humanity. During the Cold War, such actions were rarely done, except partly in relation to situations in southern Africa. Since the … Read more

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