عنوان مقاله [English]
Human rights reflect a natural order from which fundamental freedoms flow. The exercise of human rights reflects this order and these freedoms. These are the key principles which inspired the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. International practice, however, shows that, while the importance of human rights is almost universally recognized, in practice the exercise of individual rights is subjected to numerous constraints. In spite of substantial amounts of legislation enacted around the world to promote and protect human rights, the rise of nationalism and the return of identity politics generate discrimination and hamper dialogue. Increasing constraints imposed by governments on the freedom of the media are an additional obstacle to the fight against injustice. The international community, however, is not doing enough to tackle this fundamental problem. The United Nations remain the bedrock of any effort to foster security, stability and prosperity with full respect for human dignity and human rights. The principle of humanitarian intervention should be further explored with an open mind, since it may provide a key towards more effective policies aimed at addressing serious violations of international humanitarian laws, including genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. Yet, the members of the United Nations are unable and unwilling to reform and modernize its institutions and procedures, beginning with the Security Council, an outdated symbol of power politics inherited from the last century. Similarly, the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council should be enhanced. The issue of the presence within this Council of States whose democratic credentials are questionable and which appear openly disrespectful towards human rights should be better leveraged to promote human rights standards, to avoid weakening the credibility of the action of this institution. As human rights cover the whole spectrum of human activities, a special thought should be given to women’s rights, which in many of our countries have been to varying degrees disregarded for centuries. Important steps have taken place in recent years, especially following the adoption in 1979 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. A stronger legal basis for all these steps, however, must be ensured to provide the international community with a more effective and efficient tool to address serious cases of discrimination and promote concrete steps toward a real recognition of the equal role that women do play in every aspect of everyday life.