ME and Ophelia

Thursday, August 12, 2004

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As the prerequisite for enjoying the privileges listed

This post is in response to recent ones by Jim Moore and Clive Soley involving Human Rights, the Sudan and failing states.

Today, I received an email from the non-blogging friend I spoke of in my previous post (see below) re the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was in reply to mine that explores "Why we should help our fellow man when in need - whether he is next door or in Africa?" Part of the reply from my friend says:

"The Bill of Human Rights is largely silent about requiring matching obligations, as the prerequisite for enjoying the privileges listed.  Why don't you try and compose a corresponding list of logical Human Obligations?"

By writing: "The Bill of Human Rights requires matching obligations as the prerequisite for enjoying the privileges listed", my friend has unwittingly put into a nutshell what I was trying to suggest here in yesterday's post about the Declaration forming the basis of all new U.N. policies, papers, debates, etc. In my first draft, I did use the word "obligations" but changed it to "responsibilities" because I had no idea if "obligations", in relation to the Declaration, existed in a legal sense.

As I know nothing about international law on human rights, I can't see how I alone can compose a corresponding list of "logical Human Obligations". Hopefully, Jim and Clive might be willing to open a discussion at their blogs where readers could contribute thoughts and ideas to such a list for putting forward to the U.N.

As stated before, in previous posts here, I am planning to follow through on my friend's suggestion of June 26, to make contact with the U.N. to ask them about the official guidelines which clearly delay UN action until matters (like Darfur) have reached disgraceful proportions. Maybe it can be put forward with the list.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 8/12/2004
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