United Nations & the Human Rights
By Patanjali Nandan Chaturvedi
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
For half a century, the rality on the ground was been marked by a cold war, more than 100 regional hot wars and several genocides. Then the new century ushered in a novelty in the strategic use of violence, terrorism with suicide bombers, with non state actors using war tactics and attacks on civilians, and provoking equally non traditional forms of response. Questions abouth the usefulness of the United Nations declarations and agreements seem a logical first step. If the right to life is denied, civil and political liberties ignored and the right to development forgotten, then the temptation follows to look at United Nations as an old, rusty machine weighed down by a nontransparent bureaucracy or as a supranational authority often distant from the feelings of ordinary people and quite different from the organization meant to serve national governments in specific sectors of their activity.
But the theme of human rights and the needed institutional framework to defend and promote them have also attracted much attention. In fact it is becoming clearer that peace and development cannot be sustained unless rooted in human rights. Without a guarantee of the dignity of the human person, issues of security terrorism, freedom of religion and belief, poverty, the environment and similar themes of primary importance cannot be properly and effectively dealt with. Human rights become the touchstone to measure the soundness of international relations and of the political and legal systems of states.
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