I am not going to argue that we are born with human rights given to us by a higher power. I do not believe this is true as so many people around the world are stripped of their rights almost daily. I do believe that we need to adhere to and respect human rights without discrimination in order to advance as a species which brings me to the declaration of human rights drawn up by the United Nations.
As said by Human Rights activist Shulamith Koenig "Human Rights are the banks of the river within which life can flow in freedom and dignity."
Does the U.N. declaration of human rights hold value in today's society? I believe the UN plays an extremely important role in today's society and therefore does hold value. As the nations of the world increase their interdependence of one another there will be an increasing need for a multinational body to act as peacekeepers, protectors & negotiators WITHOUT becoming world police.
The key to the UN's power is that it is made up of 99% of the worlds governments. The actions and motivations of the UN are firmly based on their Declaration of human rights which is the first document to receive multinational support for laying down the rights believed to be owed to each and every human being.
Human Rights is an issue that has gained much public notice over the last 60 years, mainly starting with the end of world war 2. This is because many of the world problems can be largely traced back to human rights abuses and their reactions. This creates a need for a globally accessible document even though many countries embrace some articles while disregarding others. It also acts as a benchmark
Why doesn't the UN take more action against countries violating Human Rights? As I mentioned earlier, the UN cannot act as world police as this would be stating that the world can operate under one legal system. Additionally the declaration is not a treaty and has no legal backing. We are made up of a planet of diverse cultures and beliefs which need to be respected and at times suppresses the ability of the UN to act.
Often the UN can do little more than to provide aid to the oppressed. In some countries where the majority of its citizens are oppressed, war is the only option for a change in power but to wage war might only plunge the country and its occupants deeper into a state of injustice & chaos. The UN does not have the resources to take military action and then maintain a peace keeping force for years after to see through the transitions in power.
The media is an industry that the UN needs assistance from in its struggle for human rights. As stated in the Charter, Article 1- The UN aims to achieve international cooperation in promoting & encouraging respect for human rights without distinction. However mainstream news sources seem engrossed with covering certain issues relative to their entertainment value while neglecting the many crisis's around the globe e.g. the iraq war, while hardly touching on other issues such as the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
further more, for example should the UN embark on a campaign enforcing their perceived rights around the globe, will this not betray its own beliefs of freedom of thought?
I will end by saying that although many believe the UN is losing its effectiveness as an organisation but times require it takes a more passive role. Although world peace may never be a reality it is a goal that should alway be persued.
As quoted by Kofi Annan "The united nations exists, not as a static memorial to the aspirations of an earlier age, but as a work in progress- imperfect, as all human endeavours must be, but capable of adaptation & improvement"