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Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(Coordinator Comment)

A good argument can be made that the greatest accomplishment of the United Nations in its first half century was the writing, adoption and dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The official text is available on the website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Declaration is a major contribution to a culture of peace, as recognized in the third programme area of the United Nations Declaration of Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace which calls for respect for all human rights.

In addition to the contribution of the United Nations, much of the credit for the success of the Declaration belongs to the civil society. For the first 30-40 years after the Declaration was adopted in 1948, there was not very much use of it. But in recent years, civil society organizations have used it to press for civil and economic justice and as a result it has become known, at least in general, by perhaps a majority of people in the world.

There are two parts to the Universal Declaration of human rights. The first part, Articles 1-21, consists of civil and political rights. The second part, Articles 22-29, consists of economic and cultural rights. When the Declaration was being formulated, the rich capitalist countries opposed the inclusion of economic rights, but the socialist countries and those newly liberated from colonialism succeeded in getting them included. To this day, the United States has not signed the protocols for economic rights and does not recognize such rights as the right to a job and the rights to food, clothing, housing and medical care which are specified in the Declaration.

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game administrator Jun. 13 2008,14:55
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