FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2012: Human Rights
Charter has 3 purposes: the prevention of war and the maintenance of peace,
the promotion and support of development, and the promotion and support
of human rights. All are interdependent.
Article 55: deals with economic and social cooperation—“with a view
to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are
necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on
respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of
peoples, the United Nations shall promote:
a. higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of
economic and social progress and development;
b. solutions of international economic, social, health, and related
problems; and international cultural and educational
c. universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and
fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex,
language, or religion.
Article 56: All Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate
action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of
the purposes set forth in Article 55.
It is very clear in the charter that when you ratify the Charter, you are
committing yourself to these three things.
Preamble of UDHR: 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.
For development to be successful, the world needs peace
o What’s the point of building infrastructure/development, if someone
blows it up the next day? When they realized this, the United Nations
began sanctioning weapons, especially those which could be
considered nuclear and mines, chemical weapons, biological weapons.
o Human Rights are important too, because without the right to express
their views and speak their minds, the people in the village you want to
develop couldn’t be consulted on whether they need a well, a road or a
school. o The UN began intervening when countries were attacking each other
unprovoked, but they found it hard to define “aggression.”
o The UN held world conferences to oversee what could be done to
improve peaceful relations
Set up Office of High Commission of Human Rights—to achieve their human
rights obligations outlined in the Charter.
Set up Economic and Social Council of the UN - dealt with economic, social
and cultural issues
Part 10 of the UN Charter deals with ECOSOC, the main part of the UN
dealing with economic, cultural and social rights.
Set up special funds to advance development goals
1970 : the General Assembly adopted a resolution that stated that the goal of
all countries with respect to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) was
.07% of GNP. It was almost unanimously adopted, but very few countries
have achieved this. Only 5 countries have achieved it (including Norway,
Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands).
For years in Canada, NGOs and Human Rights Organization kept
lobbying the government to provide more in ODA (and between 1975-
1994 we almost did).
The ODA system was promoted by Lester B. Pearson at the UN.
In absolute dollars, the USA is giving the most in development
assistance, but they don’t meet anywhere near the 0.07% of GNP.
1986: the UN adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development (by a
large majority), which recognized that development was comprehensive
(economic, social, cultural and political process). It also emphasized that
peace and security are essential elements to the realization of development.
It stated that the right to development was inalienable. It never became a
convention or treaty so is not legally binding.
Preamble: “Recognizing that development is a comprehensive
economic, social, cultural and political process, which aims at the
constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and
of all individuals on the basis of their active, free and meaningful
participation in development and in the fair distribution of benefits
Article 1: “The right to development is an inalienable human right by
virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to
participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental
freedoms can be fully realized.”
Article 2: “The human right to development also implies the full
realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, which
includes, subject to the relevant provisions of both International
Covenants on Human Rights, the exercise of their inalienable right to
full sovereignty over all their natural wealth and resources.”
Some of the Western countries did not vote for it (the USA, Canada and
the UK were among these countries). They support