The Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights (MFHR), firmly dedicated to a militant defense of internationally recognized human rights, wishes to remind us all that on 10th December 2017 we honor the 69th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
In the aftermath of World War II, people began realizing that it was indispensable to restore human rights protection, which had been practically abolished by the policies –national and international – of totalitarian regimes, namely Nazis and fascists. Within this context, the United Nations created a Committee in order to draft a Universal Declaration containing the fundamental principles on which the peoples of the world should rely. Head of the Committee was named René Cassin, a renowned French jurist and judge, who insisted that both individual and political rights, defended by the western bloc, and social, economic and cultural rights, defended by the eastern bloc, should be considered as fundamental principles.
The greatest contribution of Cassin was that in spite of the ferocious reactions by both sides he did not concede and remained faithful to his position that all kinds of Human Rights are equally important and respectable. He had the courage – bearing the risk of the rejection of the draft – to put a Universal Declaration to a vote by the peoples of the world which covered all kinds of Human Rights avoiding thus that the one or the other position dominated. This way the UDHR was finally voted by 48 states without any vote against it – only 8 States abstained.
Today, nobody dares to declare that respecting only one kind of rights would be sufficient. Unfortunately, in reality we find ourselves in situations where the powerful of the world, peoples as well as individuals, try in practice to distort their meaning so as to benefit only themselves to the detriment of others.
For this reason, our duty to fight for true democracy and full respect of all Human Rights is higher and harder, since modern scientific and technological means allow the powerful to engage in dangerous destructions. Our Foundation, on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the UDHR, reaffirms his will to continue this fight with the same strength in spite of the great difficulties that arise due to the effectiveness of destructive means on the one hand and their proliferation on the other.
Athens, 10 December 2017