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Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy Symposium Offers Sobering Look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


March 14 was a day packed full of riveting speakers from around the world on topics of vital importance at the Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy Symposium, "The 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Reality Check." The symposium began the evening before with dinner and a keynote address by Dr. Johannes Van Aggelen, senior officer of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. He discussed the Implementation of Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN Conferences in the 1990s, which he said needs the political will of governments in order to be achieved. "This is all the more challenging as 9/11 and its aftermath seems to have partly undone what the UN conferences projects," he said.

"The recognition by the UN General Assembly that all human rights are interrelated paved the way for a thorough discussion of article 28 in order to strive for a social and international order in which the whole gamut of rights and freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration could be realized," Dr. Van Aggelen said, adding, ". . .We witness at the beginning of the 21st century not just an epoch of transformations, but rather the transformation of an epoch. This latter has been marked like profound contradictions: on the one hand there is incredible development in communication facilities, and on the other, the growing social-economic disparities between countries and within countries, caused by the outbreak of violent internal conflicts in various parts of the world.

Two of the sessions have recorded audio available for download and listening:

International Civil Service: Ethics and Self-Care and Correspondence Between the Evolution of Humans and the Progress of Human Rights