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Remember the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

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Message Stephen Osborn
I recently posted an article on OP Ed News reminding us of the Nuremberg Principles. I got some feedback decrying something that had been done so long ago, and that things were not all sweetness and light in those days either.

The point I was trying to make, and am trying to make in this article is that, in the late forties, we were still reeling from one of the most destructive wars in history. We were trying to figure out how it had come to pass, and how we could head off a repetition in the future. The cold war was just beginning it's international freeze, but still we had hope.

The League of Nations had been established at the close of the first "war to end all wars." It failed because it had no teeth, no authority. It was just a debating forum.

The UN was formed with the intention of avoiding that problem and giving the UN the ability to maintain peace, through peace keepers. A number of times, the UN successfully put peace keepers between warring factions, to keep them separate until negotiations could solve the problem.

The UN might have worked except for the fact that the "big five," the "winners" in WW-II, refused to support the UN unless they had veto power over the wishes of the world body. Nobody was going to tell the "superpowers" what to do. They got it. As the cold war got more intense, what it boiled down to was, anything that the US was supportive of, the CCCP vetoed. Anything Russia was for, the US vetoed. Every little thing that got accomplished was by kowtowing to and caging votes from the US and the CCCP. If things did not go their way, they refused to fund UN programs, or the UN itself. Gradually, the dream died and the UN became essentially the same debating forum that the League had been.

The site below has the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. Read this over and think about it. It embodies the hope we had in that far off time. Compare it with the current nightmare. We need leadership that will try to live up to the dream of humanity, not the greed of billionaires and power brokers who only want more at our expense.
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

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Biobyte: Stephen M. Osborn is a freelance writer living on Camano Island in the Pacific Northwest. He is a columnist for the Populist Party website and has had a number of articles published internationally. He is an "Atomic Vet." (Operation (more...)
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