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4 Educators, Lawyers and Individuals
EDUCATORS, LAWYERS AND INDIVIDUALS
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS, GENERAL ASSEMBLY
RESOLUTION 34/169 (1979)
Law enforcement ofﬁcials shall at all times fulﬁl the duty imposed upon them by law, by serving
the community and by protecting all persons against illegal acts, consistent with the high
degree of responsibility required by their profession.
In the performance of their duty, law enforcement ofﬁcials shall respect and protect human
dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons.
Obviously, the human rights alluded to include provisions of the basic international (and indeed
regional) instruments. Inevitably, it is necessary for all law enforcement officials to be aware of the provisions and accordingly their impact and effect on the scope of their work. Elements of human rights
training thus have to be incorporated inter alia into police training. Some of the issues concerning the
treatment of detainees are discussed in more detail in Chapter 11. Note that such a requirement has a
precedent: the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of hostilities and protection of injured armed forces
and the civilian population must be taught to all members of armed forces within each and every State.
For a State to discharge its positive obligation under international human rights law, all officials
must be aware of the relevant international standards.
Consider mechanisms by which States can discharge this positive obligation and ensure the practice of law enforcement officials
conforms to the international standard.
Similarly, lawyers require knowledge of human rights and the mechanisms for their enforcement.
Through lawyers pushing the boundaries of international human rights, the parameters of protection will become clear. Consider the progress in the United Kingdom: England has a common law
tradition with a strong civil liberties flavour, yet since the introduction of the Human Rights Act
1998 (extracted above) lawyers have embraced human rights and fundamental freedoms with
haste, resulting in a comprehensive jurisprudence in but a few years. More generally, if lawyers
are unaware of the opportunities available at the international and regional levels to enforce and
implement human rights, progress towards securing and realising rights will be slow.
Education is a right recognised by international law. It appears in several treaties:
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION 1948, Article 26
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.
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD 1989
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this
right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:
EXTENDING THE DUTIES TO PROTECT AND RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general
and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take
appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering ﬁnancial
assistance in case of need;
(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate
(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all
(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is
administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the
3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters
relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance
and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientiﬁc and technical knowledge
and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of
Obviously these provisions impose obligations on the State. However, the right to education also
imposes obligations as to the nature of the education provided. ‘Education involves much more
than the transmission of knowledge and skills’, as the then Special Rapporteur commented in
a report on her Mission to the United States of America (UN Doc. E/CN.4/2002/60/Add.1,
para 76). Note therefore the international espoused purpose of education.
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION 1948, Article 26(2)
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the
strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall
further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
VIENNA DECLARATION OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS 1993, para. 33
The World Conference on Human Rights reafﬁrms that States are duty-bound, as stipulated
in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights and in other international human rights instruments, to ensure
that education is aimed at strengthening the respect of human rights and fundamental
freedoms. The World Conference on Human Rights emphasizes the importance of
incorporating the subject of human rights education programmes and calls upon States
to do so. Education should promote understanding, tolerance, peace and friendly relations
between the nations and all racial or religious groups and encourage the development of
United Nations activities in pursuance of these objectives. Therefore, education on
human rights and the dissemination of proper information, both theoretical and practical,
play an important role in the promotion and respect of human rights with regard to all
individuals without distinction of any kind such as race, sex, language or religion, and
this should be integrated in the education policies at the national as well as international
levels. The World Conference on Human Rights notes that resource constraints and
institutional inadequacies may impede the immediate realization of these objectives.
EDUCATORS, LAWYERS AND INDIVIDUALS
Note in particular the link to international peace and security. Arguably, everyone has a duty
to respect and preserve international peace and security. By making this link, the United Nations
avoids complicated issues over jurisdictional competence (or at least attempts to). Comprehensive
information on the obligation to provide education and on the nature of education permeates many
international documents. Key provisions are found in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD 1989
1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to
their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the
principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language
and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country
from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of
understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples,
ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the
liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always
to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the
requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum
standards as may be laid down by the State.
To what extent do resource implications (Vienna Declaration) limit the nature of education as opposed to the basic provision
Arguably education holds the key to the future of the human rights movement which has characterised international development in the last 50 years. Strong parallels can be drawn between the
right to education and the development of respect for human dignity; the involvement of human
rights in the equation strengthens this connection.
Having compared and contrasted the various provisions on education, Professor Manfred
Nowak extracts four principal goals of education in accordance with international human rights.
Nowak, M, ‘The Right to Education’ in Eide, A, Krause, K, and Rosas, A (eds), Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, 2nd edn, 2001, Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, pp 245–71 at p 251
Notwithstanding all the controversies about the universality of human rights preceding the
Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, one may conclude that there exists today at least a
fairly broad universal consensus on the major aims and objectives of the right to education: a)
to enable a human being freely to develop his or her personality and dignity; b) to enable a
human being to actively participate in a free society in the spirit of mutual tolerance and respect
for other civilisations, cultures and religions; c) to develop respect for one’s parents, the
national values of one’s country and for the natural environment; and d) to develop respect for
human rights, fundamental freedoms and the maintenance of peace.
EXTENDING THE DUTIES TO PROTECT AND RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS
Education is not just directed at children. Children obviously benefit from compulsory and free
primary education and an evolving right to free education at subsequent levels. (Note the potential
problem of university tuition fees.) Education extends to tertiary level (university) and beyond into
community education and lifelong learning. As discussion enters the realm of adult learning
(including universities in this), there is clearly an element of individual responsibility. It is not
simply the State discharging an obligation, but rather an individual seeking educational provision.
In this respect human rights education is most successful: teaching those who want to learn is
easier than teaching those obliged to learn. However, this concept also places an onus on universities and further education centres to ensure that appropriate quality of education is provided.
UNESCO WORLD DECLARATION ON HIGHER EDUCATION FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST
Article 1 – Mission to Educate, to Train and to Undertake Research
We afﬁrm that the core missions and values of higher education, in particular the mission to
contribute to the sustainable development and improvement of society as a whole, should be
preserved, reinforced and further expanded, namely, to:
educate highly qualiﬁed graduates and responsible citizens able to meet the needs of all
sectors of human activity, by offering relevant qualiﬁcations, including professional
training, which combine high-level knowledge and skills, using courses and content
continually tailored to the present and future needs of society;
(b) provide opportunities (espace ouvert) for higher learning and for learning throughout life,
giving to learners an optimal range of choice and a ﬂexibility of entry and exit points within
the system, as well as an opportunity for individual development and social mobility in
order to educate for citizenship and for active participation in society, with a worldwide
vision, for endogenous capacity-building, and for the consolidation of human rights,
sustainable development, democracy and peace, in a context of justice;
(c) advance, create and disseminate knowledge through research and provide, as part of its
service to the community, relevant expertise to assist societies in cultural, social and
economic development, promoting and developing scientiﬁc and technological research
as well as research in the social sciences, the humanities and the creative arts;
(d) help understand, interpret, preserve, enhance, promote and disseminate national
and regional, international and historic cultures, in a context of cultural pluralism and
(e) help protect and enhance societal values by training young people in the values which
form the basis of democratic citizenship and by providing critical and detached perspectives to assist in the discussion of strategic options and the reinforcement of humanistic
(f) contribute to the development and improvement of education at all levels, including
through the training of teachers.
Similarly, within Europe, the European Union and Council of Europe promulgate education
grounded in cross-cultural democratic values. European bodies are particularly concerned with
developing plurilingual skills and historical and cultural understanding. The work of the OSCE also
impinges on this (as part of its Human Dimension). European integration and the harmonious
coexistence of many small States is aided by developing appropriate education strategies underpinned by mutual tolerance and enhanced understanding of interrelated histories and cultural
differences (Recommendation Rec (2000) 24 of the Committee of Ministers on the Development
of European Studies for Democratic Citizenship).
EDUCATORS, LAWYERS AND INDIVIDUALS
The United Nations concluded its Decade for Human Rights Education in December 2004 and
launched a World Programme for Human Rights Education. The rationale underpinning this
initiative was partly the need to develop awareness of human rights. Generating an awareness of
human rights clearly empowers individuals to call their State to account for violations and effects,
over time, a cultural shift towards promotion and respect of norms of international human rights
law. 2009 was the International Year of Human Rights Learning. As noted above, the UN Declaration
on Human Rights Education and Training 2011 adds further weight to these initiatives.
Perhaps that is the final frontier for human rights – creating an environment in which all
human beings can and do learn of their ‘birthright’ of human rights. With knowledge comes
empowerment (as the Millennium Declaration and multiple United Nations declarations enforce).
With empowerment comes the possibility of grass-roots activism and non-governmental organisations influencing State authorities. Thereafter, consumerism ethics can influence global business
and corporations themselves may elect to acknowledge, at least in part, basic human rights
standards. All of the foregoing should help to affect a cultural shift towards respect for human
rights. There are many problems with individuals passively waiting for the State to conform to
international and regional norms. There is a limit to the power of international and regional organisations as regards enforcement of international human rights (see Chapters 5, 6 and 9). Accordingly,
it is perhaps reasonable to extend to non-State actors (individuals, non-governmental organisations
and multinational corporations) the opportunity to embrace, claim and develop international
human rights. They can best exploit the opportunities presented by National Institutions (see
Chapter 7), and can bring a State to account nationally and, if applicable (see Chapters 5 and 6)
internationally. If the international and regional systems along with States cannot be relied on to
secure human rights, alternative avenues of reinforcing the message of human rights must be
Alfredsson, G., ‘The Right to Human Rights Education’ in Eide, A., Krause, K., and Rosas, A. (eds),
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2nd edn, 2001, Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, pp. 273–88.
Alston, P. (ed.), Non-State Actors and Human Rights, 2005, Oxford: OUP.
Arajarvi, P., ‘Article 26’ in Alfredsson, G., and Eide, A. (eds), The Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, a common standard of achievement, 1999, The Hague: Kluwer, pp. 551–74.
Backer, L., ‘Human Rights and Legal Education in the Western Hemisphere: Legal Parochialism
and Hollow Universalism’ (2002) 21 Penn State International Law Review 115.
Baxi, U., ‘Human Rights Education: the Promise of the Third Millennium’ in Andreopoulos, G., and
Claude, R. (eds), Human Rights Education for the Twenty-ﬁrst Century, 1997, Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press.
Baxi, U., ‘Human Rights Education’ in Smith, RKM, and van den Anker, C (eds), The Essentials of
Human Rights, 2005, London: Hodder Arnold, pp 159–62.
Blowﬁeld, M. and Murray, A., Corporate Responsibility, 2nd edn, 2011, Oxford: OUP.
Breed, L., ‘Regulating our 21st-Century Ambassadors: A New Approach to Liability for Human
Rights Violations Abroad’ (2002) 42 Virginia Journal of International Law 1005.
Breen, C., ‘The role of NGOs in the formulation of and compliance with the Optional Protocol to
the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Involvement of Children in Armed Conﬂict’
(2003) 25.2 Human Rights Quarterly 453.
Carey, H., and Richmond, O., Mitigating Conﬂict: the role of NGOs, 2003, London: Frank Cass.
Crane, A., et al (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility, 2008, Oxford: OUP.
Crick, B., et al. Education for citizenship and the teaching of democracy in schools, Final report of
the Advisory Group on Citizenship, 1998, London: QCA.
Joseph, S., ‘Pharmaceutical Corporations and Access to Drugs: the “Fourth Wave” of Corporate
Human Rights Scrutiny’ (2003) 25.2 Human Rights Quarterly 425.
EXTENDING THE DUTIES TO PROTECT AND RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS
Josselin, D., and Wallace, W. (eds), Non-State Actors in World Politics, 2001, London: Palgrave.
Kuper, A., Global Responsibilities: Who Must Deliver on Human Rights, 2005, London: Taylor and
Lillich, R., ‘The Teaching of International Human Rights Law in US Law Schools’ (1983) 77
American Journal of International Law 855.
Macleod, S., and Parkinson, J. (eds), Global Governance and the Quest for Justice: Corporations,
Governance and Globalisation, 2005, Oxford: Hart Publishing.
Monshipouri, M., Welch, C., and Kennedy, E., ‘Multinational Corporations and the Ethics of Global
Responsibility: problems and possibilities’ (2003) 25.4 Human Rights Quarterly 965.
Muntarbhorn, V., ‘Education for Human Rights’ in Symonides, J. (ed.), Human Rights: New
Dimensions and Challenges, 1998, Aldershot: Ashgate/Dartmouth/ UNESCO, pp. 281–301.
Murray, R., and Wheatley, S., ‘Groups and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights’
(2003) 25.1 Human Rights Quarterly 213.
Nowak, M., ‘The Right to Education’ in Eide, A., Krause, K., and Rosas, A. (eds), Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights, 2nd edn, 2001, Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, pp. 245–71.
Nowak, M., ‘Prioritising Human Rights Education and Training’ (2004) 3 European Human Rights
Law Review 235.
Pasternak, S., ‘The International Legal Obligation to Teach Worldism in US Classrooms’ (1999) 10
Indiana International and Comparative Law Review 51.
Poullaos, I., ‘The Nature of the Beast: Using the Alien Tort Claims Act to Combat International
Human Rights Violations’ (2002) 80 Washington University Law Quarterly 327.
Steiner, H., ‘The University’s Critical Role in the Human Rights Movement’ (2002) 15 Harvard
Human Rights Journal 317.
Stone, A., ‘Human Rights Education and Public Policy in the United States: Mapping the Road
Ahead’ (2002) 24 Human Rights Quarterly 537.
Tomasevski, K., Human rights in education as prerequisite for human rights education, 2001, Right to
Education Primers 4, Lund: Raoul Wallenberg Institute.
Tomasevski, K., Report on the right to education by the Special Rapporteur (2004) UN Doc. E/
UNESCO, World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty-ﬁrst Century 1998: Vision and Action,
1998, Paris: UNESCO.
United Nations Ofﬁce of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Defenders:
Protecting the Right to Defend Human Rights, Fact Sheet No. 29, 2004, Geneva: OHCHR.
United Nations Ofﬁce of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Working with the United
Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society, 2008, Geneva: OHCHR.
United Nations, Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education 1995–2004:
Human rights education – lessons for life (1996), UN. Doc. A/51/506/Add.1, Appendix, 12
United Nations, Revised draft plan of action for the ﬁrst phase (2005–2007) of the World Programme
for Human Rights Education, UN Doc. A/59/525/Rev.1, 2 March 2005.
United Nations, Draft plan of action for the second phase (2010–2014) of the World Programme for
Human Rights Education, UN Doc. A/ HRC/15/28, 27 July 2010.
Van Tuijl, P, ‘NGOs and human rights: sources of justice and democracy’ (1999) 52(2) Journal of
International Affairs 493.
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Dublin: Liffey Press.
Weiss, T., and Gordenker, L. (eds) NGOs, the UN and Global Governance, 1996, Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
Information on Non-Governmental Organisations appears in Chapter 1.
www.unglobalcompact.org: The United Nations’ Global Compact.
www.unhchr.ch/business.htm: Ofﬁce of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: Business and
Human Rights: A Progress Report.
www.ilo.org: The International Labour Organisation.
www.oecd.org: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
www.amnesty.org.uk/business: Amnesty International UK Business Group.
www.right-to-education.org: the website established by the former United Nations Rapporteur on
education, Katarina Tomasevski, and now maintained by the current rapporteur.
www.unesco.org: UNESCO’s portal with various instruments on education.
www.europa.eu.int: The European Union’s portal with links to its social policy and law provisions.
Reforming the International and Regional
Human Rights Systems
The Bigger Picture – Human Rights
and United Nations Reform
The Human Rights Council – Review
Towards Universal Ratiﬁcation of Key
Dissemination and Technology
REFORMING THE INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEMS
Modern international human rights law is a comparatively young system. As States become more
accustomed to the idea of external organisations being interested in how people are treated within
a State, and as notions of national sovereignty change, so too international human rights law
evolves. International human rights law has matured into a distinct branch of international law and
politics, as well as a central aspect of theoretical disciplines. Nevertheless, the system is constantly
changing, and needs to change. As Navanethem Pillay noted in 2011, ‘[t]here is no denying that
treaty bodies’ own success over the past four decades is now straining the system at its seams’
(Launch of the Poznan Statement, Human Rights Council 16th Session, 7 March 2011).
Current issues on reforming the human rights system include:
UN reforms and evaluating the Human Rights Council.
Increasing the efficiency of treaty monitoring bodies.
Key challenges remaining in securing universal human rights.
Many issues preventing the full realisation of human rights have been identified in the preceding
chapters. Problems prevail at the regional as well as international levels. Inevitably, the very nature
of international law exercises a restraint on developing a system of effectively implemented and
protected human rights. Considerable advancements have been made over the last 60 years: the
evolution of a permanent court within the structure of the Council of Europe has exerted a strong
influence over the development of human rights not only in Europe, but also in the other regional
systems; the expansion in ratified treaties under the United Nations system has led to increased
human rights protection (at least on paper); and the continual rise in popular awareness of human
rights has contributed towards the development of a human rights global culture. However, realising international human rights remains beset by problems as recognised by the Vienna World
Conference some 20 years ago.
VIENNA PROGRAMME OF ACTION 1993
17. The World Conference on Human Rights recognises the necessity for a continuing adaptation
of the United Nations human rights machinery to the current and future needs in the promotion
and protection of human rights, as reﬂected in the present Declaration and within the framework of a balanced and sustainable development for all people. In particular, the United Nations
human rights organs should improve their coordination, efﬁciency and effectiveness.
The need to improve the coordination, effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations human
rights organs remains an issue high on the international agenda. The importance of ensuring an
effective functioning human rights system is self-evident.
Bayefsky, A, The UN Human Rights Treaty System: Universality at the Crossroads
If rights are not followed by remedies, and standards have little to do with reality, then the rule
of law is at risk. The extent of the shortfalls in the implementation of the treaties now threatens
the integrity of the international legal regime. Ratiﬁcation for a very large number of participants in the treaty system has become an end in itself. The large numbers of ratiﬁcations
reﬂect the widely held view by states parties that there are not serious consequences associated with ratiﬁcation. The price of joining has generally been appearing relatively infrequently,
before a small number of individuals, in comparatively remote sites in Geneva and New York,
for a brief period of time taken up by frequent monologues by state representatives or
committee members. Many states parties ratiﬁed precisely because the international scheme
was evidently dysfunctional and the lack of democratic institutions at home made the likelihood
of national consequences comfortably remote.
REFORMING THE INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEMS
Considerable impetus was given to calls for reform by the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges
and Changes whose report the then Secretary-General transmitted to the General Assembly during
its 59th session in December 2004. Kofi Annan opined that the report ‘offers the United Nations a
unique opportunity to refashion and renew our institutions’. Human rights issues formed but a
tiny fraction of the report. However, it was followed by the then Secretary-General’s own report In
larger freedom, towards development, security and human rights for all, UN Doc. A/59/2005. That report was
directed towards the meeting of the heads of State in September 2005 which reviewed progress
towards the Millennium Declaration. Many of the matters raised were on the agenda of the General
Assembly at its December 2005 meeting. The reform process was then given further impetus with
the High Commissioner’s report on Strengthening the United Nations human rights body treaty system (UN Doc
A/66/860, June 2012). Many of the issues raised have been addressed in previous reports and
This chapter will focus on two distinct issues: first, overall reform of the United Nations and
its human rights monitoring system and second, the processes currently underway to improve the
treaty monitoring bodies (conventional mechanisms) operating under the auspices of the United
Nations. Progress towards the latter is ongoing, the former is more extensive and many of those
aspects proposed will address the issues raised elsewhere. Finally, some additional comments will
be made as to the current and pending regional reforms.
9.1 The Bigger Picture – Human Rights and United
The former Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, was long a proponent of change within the United
Nations Organisation, a role enthusiastically embraced by his successor, Ban Ki-Moon. A number of
initiatives aimed at reforming the organisation and increasing its efficiency have resulted. These are
ongoing. To an extent, the existing system has come under increasing pressure and opened itself to
criticism as the UN membership expanded and more States ratified human rights treaties. This
expansion has been contemporaneous to the maturation of the UN system with a greater understanding on the responsibilities incumbent on States emerging through the work of treaty bodies
and special procedures. Finally high profile incidences of systematic violations of human rights
and/or instances of abuse of State powers have focused attention on the failings of the current
system as a framework to protect individuals against the might of certain States. The collective
nature of responsibility to all people is evident from the Millennium Declaration.
UNITED NATIONS MILLENNIUM DECLARATION 2000
1. We, heads of State and Government, have gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New
York from 6 to 8 September 2000, at the dawn of a new millennium, to reafﬁrm our faith in the
Organization and its Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and
2. We recognize that, in addition to our separate responsibilities to our individual
societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality
and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty therefore to all the world’s people,
especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future
3. We reafﬁrm our commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United
Nations, which have proved timeless and universal. Indeed, their relevance and capacity to
inspire have increased, as nations and peoples have become increasingly interconnected and
THE BIGGER PICTURE – HUMAN RIGHTS AND UNITED NATIONS REFORM
4. We are determined to establish a just and lasting peace all over the world in accordance
with the purposes and principles of the Charter. We rededicate ourselves to support all efforts
to uphold the sovereign equality of all States, respect for their territorial integrity and political
independence, resolution of disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles
of justice and international law, the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under
colonial domination and foreign occupation, non-interference in the internal affairs of States,
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the equal rights of all without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion and international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character.
5. We believe that the central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization
becomes a positive force for all the world’s people. For while globalization offers great opportunities, at present its beneﬁts are very unevenly shared, while its costs are unevenly distributed. We recognize that developing countries and countries with economies in transition face
special difﬁculties in responding to this central challenge. Thus, only through broad and
sustained efforts to create a shared future, based upon our common humanity in all its diversity, can globalization be made fully inclusive and equitable. These efforts must include policies
and measures, at the global level, which correspond to the needs of developing countries and
economies in transition and are formulated and implemented with their effective participation.
The prevalence of conflict, the impact of the US ‘War on Terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan and indeed
within the US itself, the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, unprecedented (in recent times) natural
disasters and a political climate which appears to recognise that the world is changing made
an appropriate response necessary. These combined to prompt the work of the former
Secretary-General in his report In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all, UN Doc.
In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all, UN Doc.
154. Clearly our Organization, as an organization, was built for a different era. Equally clearly,
not all our current practices are adapted to the needs of today. That is why Heads of State and
Government, in the Millennium Declaration, recognized the need to strengthen the United
Nations to make it a more effective instrument for pursuing their priorities.
155. Indeed, ever since I took ofﬁce as Secretary-General in 1997, one of my main priorities
has been to reform the internal structures and culture of the United Nations to make the
Organization more useful to its Member States and to the world’s peoples. And much has been
achieved. Today, the Organization’s structures are more streamlined, its working methods
more effective and its various programmes better coordinated, and it has developed working
partnerships in many areas with civil society and the private sector. In the economic and social
spheres, the Millennium Development Goals now serve as a common policy framework for the
entire United Nations system, and indeed for the broader international development community. United Nations peacekeeping missions today are much better designed than they used to
be, and have a more integrated understanding of the many different tasks involved in preventing
a recurrence of ﬁghting and laying the foundations of lasting peace. And we have built strategic
partnerships with a wide range of non-State actors who have an important contribution to
make to global security, prosperity and freedom.
156. But many more changes are needed. As things stand now, different governance
structures for the many parts of the system, overlapping mandates and mandates that reﬂect
earlier rather than current priorities all combine to hobble our effectiveness. It is essential to
give managers real authority so that they can fully align the system’s activities with the