In the wake of WWII, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted by nine people from around the world. On December 10, 1948, the the General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eight nations abstained from the vote but none actively disagreed.
Hernán Santa Cruz of Chile, a member of the drafting sub-Committee, wrote about this occasion:
“I perceived clearly that I was participating in a truly significant historic event in which a consensus had been reached as to the supreme value of the human person, a value that did not originate in the decision of a worldly power, but rather in the fact of existing—which gave rise to the inalienable right to live free from want and oppression and to fully develop one’s personality. In the Great Hall…there was an atmosphere of genuine solidarity and brotherhood among men and women from all latitudes, the like of which I have not seen again in any international setting.”
This is the first time in human history that we all officially agreed that all human beings are entitled to basic rights, simply by virtue of being alive.
In Irish there is an expression – “Tus maith, leath na hoibre,” which translates as, “A good start is half the work.”
It was a good start.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.