Guest Post – Is it time to resurrect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

The second world war occurred almost immediately after the first. Both wars claimed the lives of countless soldiers and civilians. Almost 100 million people died under the most desperate, dire and cruel circumstances. It was Armageddon and genocide all in one.

A  further 300 million people became displaced or homeless, the European economy had totally collapsed and countless infrastructure was destroyed. The economic cost of both wars was about 15 Trillion Dollars in today’s terms.

Peoples belief systems were challenged, so desperate and devastating, that world leaders collaborated and formed the United Nations the same year the war ended.

In 1945 nearly all civilised countries signed up to the new Charter, avowed to prevent a reoccurrence. The United Nations began to immediately (and desperately) create a new universal code of cooperation that every nation could aspire to in order to bring tolerance and peace.   

In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was created and released in over 500 languages. Please read the UDHR, it is one of the most amazing document that crosses over all ethnical and religious boundaries.

It is important to mention – the UDHR is not perfect but sufficient. It provides the all-important foundation that all people can respect and aspire to irrespective of religious or cultural backgrounds. The UDHR is totally apolitical and neutral, built purely on common sense and a common understanding.

“The UDHR has to be the most important document of our time. It  crosses over all ethnical and religious boundaries, ensuring we can  live together peacefully even though we differ on so many levels.

It is not logical or practical to argue that if everyone converted to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity etcetera, that only then there could be peace. Firstly without rules man will never be at peace and secondly this is not reality.

The UDHR is not meant to replace religion but rather to promote respect and tolerance irrespective of belief.

What has happened to the UDHR – Is it obsolete or forgotten?

In a sense it must still be working albeit in a small way. Mankind has not had another  major conflict since 1945. This small period of peace is apparently the longest since the fall of the Roman Empire.

How many of us have actually read the UDHR or actually accept it as a means to achieve a common understanding – we need to ask why?

  1. Most of the survivors of the two World Wars are already deceased, frail or busy dying. The living memories are dying with them and will be replaced by more compelling and current issues.
  2. The UDHR is no longer marketed by the United Nations. They have lost their first love and original purpose. Gone is the urgency and passion of 1948.

The Charter is not taught or promoted in schools. How many young people are even aware it exists let alone have read it?

Without any ill intent it appears the UN is incapable of making any decisions at present. Syria is a classic example. The war has gone on for longer than four years and the UN are still debating who is right and wrong within the conflict.

While all this is going on 500,000 people have been killed. Many were woman and children. Their only crime was being there at the time. Unbelievably we are still debating if actual war crimes have occurred and by whom? It literally took two years for the UN to acknowledge that chemical weapons were being used within the conflict.

Another example is the refugee crisis. Post WW2 there were 200 million displaced and homeless people. Today’s 16 million refugees are but a drop in the ocean. There are even member states who have blatantly refused to take in refugees using baseless political agendas to justify their cause.

Agreed, some of these refugees are criminals and terrorists, however there is still a lack of direction from the UN on the issue. The refugee crisis can be resolved but only once the squabbling stops. It is not the responsibilities of individuals or non-profitable organisations to independently resolve this with their limited funds and mandates.

Case in point – Mashal Khan has just been sentenced to death for Blasphemy over an alleged Facebook post.  All the UN did was condemn through a press statement. These actions are a deliberate disregard for the 1948 UDHR Charter and for international law. Will the UN act on this – personally I don’t think they will bother.

The united Nations are excellent at intellectualising the world’s problems. They have become far too politically correct. Right and wrong is clouded, with pockets of grey, sucking up time and resources – where is the black and white decision making of 1948?

Not too dissimilar to a large corporate organisation, there is far too much focus on self indulgence and power. The Executive Leadership spend their days justifying their own existence within the organisation. These retired heads of states are playing political games for positions within the UN’s political ecosystem and have lost focus.

“In my opinion the UN needs a huge shake up and commit to the  original purpose and mandate, which is to serve all of mankind.

Maybe its time for a complete change of leadership at the UN?

A focus on the UDHR Charter would remove political correctness, opinions and religious differences. It is a means to empower people to seek solutions in a collaborative environment.

If the UDHR was applied correctly, it has the potential to resolve most if not all of today’s issues. It will strengthen and draw together  nations in a healthy alliance. It will remove intolerance, cruelty, war and aggression. In fact it will promote religious tolerance, gay rights, woman rights, children rights across all borders or boundaries.

For the Charter to work – all people need to believe in it and embrace it.

Read the Charter again and ask yourself why it is no longer enforced or promoted.

 

Ash Heap


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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