Monday, December 29, 2008

The Price of Silence

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The following 48 countries voted in favour of the Declaration: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela. Eight abstained (all Soviet Bloc states [i.e., Byelorussia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukraine, The USSR and Yugoslavia], South Africa, and Saudi Arabia).

Yet, as I read the Declaration, I wonder how much the countries who voted for the declaration actually take to heart the commitment they made 60 years ago. How do we create a renewed commitment to this...and what is the price of our silence?

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