Colin Charles Agenda

Musings on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

While waiting on a bunch of compiles I kicked off, I couldn’t help but laugh, when Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said:

“Why should Gore and the former US Vice-President give judgment of evaluation of a country; does he not know the meaning for the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and the UN Charter – respect for the internal affairs of a country”.

I love the Universal Declaration of Human Rights document. Its so well formed, I’ve used it in training classes as a sample document back in the day when I used to actively give OpenOffice.org training to businesses, government, and schools. Anyway, why did I laugh? (emphasis, and excerpts are mine)

Article 1.
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.

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

Looks like the Malaysian politicians should go back and read the declaration (heck, they’re getting more web savvy, Wikipedia has an interesting page on human rights too). They may learn a thing or two, before shooting their mouths off the next time..