HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS: In the Scale of Human Conscience
Shambhu Ram Simkhada
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the best gift of the United Nations and its main human rights organ, the Human Rights Commission to “We, the Peoples of the World”. But that powerful instrument is often rendered powerless by the behaviour of individuals running the institutions and the states, arguably the most powerful institution conceptualised by human mind so far. In the process, the UN comes under serious criticism and its most important organ which helped give the UDHR was dissolved for “failing to live up to its ideals”. Ironically, the same states and their representatives most instrumental in creating the UN institutions, including the Human Rights Commission first but later vilifying it and leading the campaign for its replacement by the Human Rights Council are now once again attacking it as “hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights” and the most powerful member state feels compelled to walk out of the Council. As the world commemorates the 100 years of the end of the World War I and starts to celebrate the 70 years of the Universal Declaration, where does the world, the UN and “we the peoples” stand in the search for greater freedom from want and fear, better enjoyment of dignity and rights?
Travelling through an extraordinary journey of life, academic pursuits and expeditions of professional and diplomatic mountain climbing, including the Chairmanship of the 56th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights and its 5th Special Session on the Human Rights of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestine Territories, Shambhu Ram Simkhada presents a scholarly, diplomatic, advocate and defender perspectives on the contemporary state of human rights and human wrongs in the scale of his own human conscience.