Statement By AAPSO

Statement By AAPSO On The Occasion Of The 50th Anniversary Of The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights


* 10/12/1998

Fifty years have elapsed since the inception of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although, this Declaration was the outcome of immense sacrifices paid by humanity for generations, although the Declarations had expressed aspirations and ambition yet it encountered unlimited violations and breaches perpetrated under the false and erroneous pretext of human rights and in the name of humankind.

The Cold War has frozen the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has become a political card in the hands of the West against the East, a matter which made the socialist East very sensitive from the very mention of human rights. The purpose behind this was to implement an international imperialist conspiracy against socialism. For America attacks others as if it had initiated this Declaration. The U.S defends the human rights of the Russians, Poles and Chinese but turns its back to the American Indian, the American Negro and the Latin American, as if they were not part of the political population. Moreover, it also turns it back to the Iraqi and Libyan people, and watches children, women and the elderly being killed as if they were outside the scope of humanity and human rights.
The two super powers have isolated, each in its own circle, an integral part of human rights. There were economic and social rights in the socialist side but there were totalitarian regimes and lack of political will for individuals and groups. On the other hand the West had political rights although economic and social rights could not be guaranteed with respect to their sustainability primarily the rights to work. In the South, internally there was no country that escaped human rights violations, politically, socially and economically. While externally South countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America were exposed to American, French, British and Israeli aggressions that wreaked havoc, undermined sovereignty, independence and breached all legitimacy under ridiculous allegations. The South suffered from two violations: self violations by its rulers or extremist groups and violations perpetrated by others from the outside.
There was not one country where human rights had been upholded one way or another. Furthermore, the Declaration was misinterpreted and become a means of pressure. This in itself is considered a violation.
Nonetheless the national, democratic and progressive forces benefited considerably from the Declaration because it was the Magna Carta of the twentieth century. The militants in the U.S. straining for rights and equality before the law also benefited in terms of rights and obligations as well as the democratic forces in Europe before colonialist and racist policies. The national democratic forces benefited as well in their struggle for liberation, independence and especially in exposing regimes such as apartheid and racist Zionism. Religious, ethnic and national minorities benefited in their struggle to find for themselves a place under the sun.
The forces hostile to human rights have manipulated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whereas those with integrity adhered to human rights and to this Declaration.
The Cold War ended to give rise to the unipolar era in which one power sought to impose its hegemony on all the world, politically, economically, militarily and culturally. Globalization became an instrument used to achieve this purpose after its privatisation, that is keeping it at the source of the unipolar power. Globalization is a phenomenon that cannot be overlooked, but the problem is how it is implemented. Will it become a result of the dialogue of cultures and civilizations, different specificities that will interact and give humanity an impetus to proceed forth? Will it become an attempt to impose a certain culture or civilization on others in the name of civilizational superiority? Stereotyping others is contrary to the Declaration and to human rights because this is at the expense of peoples’ rights, interests and sovereignty.
Human rights in the post - war period is exposed to great danger by the use of double standards. While a certain country is punished by blockade and famine, another country finds financial, moral and political support. Thus the true context of human rights has been undermined as well as the credibility of those who pose as its advocates.
The evolution of globalization towards the hegemony of one power that uses all international organizations to serve its interests such as the United Nations, the Security Council, World Bank, IMF and WTO negates the Declaration because one is imposed over others world wide.
There are operation aimed at breaking up and destroying entities in the name of diversity to ensure universal splintering thus reinforcing the hegemony and domination of the unipolar power.
There is support lent to totalitarian and client regimes who are hostile to their peoples and whose existence are based on isolating human rights.
There is support for poverty and resistance against all progress. Pollution is imposed and our planet is endangered.
There are ethnic struggles that have reached the extent of ethnic cleansing and genocide.
There are terrorist groups who give themselves the right to eliminate others and act as custodians in the name of religion, nationalism, or racism. The violations of the Declaration are numerous however there are three major factors that support and safeguard it. 1-to expose those who resort to double standards in order to enable people to side with what is right with respect the Human Rights Declaration, 2- to clarify the human rights issue where by it involves not only individuals but also the public in general and becomes part of their ideas and daily lives. 3- the number of NGOs who support human rights has increased and they are mostly committed to human rights issues.
Thus platforms are created to rally around the Declaration.
The role of NGOs in this respect is a major one, not only human rights organizations but all NGOs for one way or another they rest on this Declaration and these rights.
AAPSO, having played a significant role in the achievement of independence, sovereign rights and liberation, joins all organizations who defend human rights in order to create a wider base aimed at humankind and human rights.

* 1/12/2000

International Day For Human Rights

More than fifty years have elapsed since the Declaration of Human Rights. Nevertheless, violations continue to be perpetrated in the name of human rights. The Human Rights Commission in Geneva last week issued its decision condemning the flagrant perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians.
AAPSO denounces the barbaric practices perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people who are struggling to restore their legitimate rights in accordance with UN resolutions.
AAPSO urges all NGOs and human rights organizations to carry out their obligations regarding human rights issues, a matter that will create platforms raising the flag of the Universal Declaration.
Human rights are exposed to great danger. Double standards are implemented against a certain country for a certain reason to the extent of imposing siege and famine whereas another country similarly will not be punished but will have financial and political support. Thus, the true content of human rights is lost as well as the credibility of those who claim to advocate them.
AAPSO, having played for the last forty years a significant role in the achievement of independence and liberation for Afro-Asian countries, calls upon all concerned organizations with human rights and public freedoms to support human rights categorically without discrimination and to stand resolutely behind the squandered rights of the Palestinian people particularly, the right to life and self determination.

* 10/12/2001

Anniversary Of The Universal Declaration
Of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights comes at a time when the world is witnessing extraordinary circumstances, that are quite contrary to the exceptional international situation that prevailed on the eve of the Declaration in 1948.
Following World War II, humanity at large, congregated for the first time in history; kings, heads of governments and peoples to declare that, "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and are fundamental for freedom, justice and peace in the world", "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, 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." “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized."
Although the Declaration expressed the collective interests of the international order and existing balance of power in the world, as well as the interests of super powers in liberalizing labour and markets, first and foremost, and although the entire Declaration deals with the individual's rights and does not address the social, economic, cultural rights of peoples and continues to have no power nor implementation mechanisms, yet the Declaration and its Covenants were and continue to be one of the major events in the 20th century.
If liberating labour from the shackles of slavery and bondage and liberalizing markets from the clutches of conventional imperialism indicate the interests of emerging victorious powers from the heart of the devastation wrought by the world war which prompted the proclamation of the Declaration, then has the international arena and interest of world powers in the third millennium changed to the extent of sanctioning the violation of human rights and peoples and nations as witnessed at large?
The humanitarian face of globalization, regarded to have reached the highest stages of human, scientific and technological development, has been concealed behind the excessive ferociousness of giant transitional corporations backed by governments, who have sapped the capabilities and resources of peoples and individuals. In fact, 20% of the richest in the world possess 82% of total world revenues, whereas 20% of the poor only possess 1.4% of these revenues. For there are numerous ethnic, racial and religious conflicts and wars that ravage the globe, millions suffer from famine and entire peoples and countries have dropped from any consideration. Women, children and the elderly are usually the most vulnerable groups, many children, boys, are recruited in mercenary armies; young girls are forced into prostitution so that global monopolies amass weapons, drugs and promote prostitution to accumulate more profit.
International institutions that emerged in the wake of World War II have gradually moved to serve giant transitional corporations, economic centers and countries affiliated to them. International charters and conventions relevant to human rights, international humanitarian law and the spirit of the UN Charter and its agencies are blatantly violated. Thus international legitimacy with its charters and institutions has collapsed to a large extent after having been consecrated in the wake of World War II. The United States, after the disintegration of the socialist bloc in the beginning of the 90' s, has unilaterally determined the destiny of peoples and humanity in terms of reconstructing international legitimacy, its charters, concepts and institutions.
On the other hand, giant international monopolies with American leadership have concluded a close alliance with the World Bank, IMF and WTO. Moreover, the 11th September events have cast their dark shadow over the international arena. Consequently, there is no doubt that this grave decline in the global system has been internationally acknowledged. Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, a general staff council for the new international economic order was formed, headed by the United States and arms industry monopolies accompanied by what they represent in terms of violence, ferocity and brutality against so-called rogue parties.
The worst forms of systematic international terrorism are perpetrated under the pretext of combating terrorism after the September 11th events and where unprecedented breaches of human rights are committed allegedly in the name of democracy, free world order and human rights. The Palestinian issue was the first victim to suffer this trend. After the American discourse sought to draw Islamic countries to the ranks of the international alliance by announcing statements and pledges to support the Palestinians, establishment of a Palestinian state and implementation of the Mitchell agreement, the US administration regressed on its discourse after succeeding in imposing its hold on Afghanistan and ending the Taliban regime. Since then, the US administration gave Sharon green light to terminate the Palestinian Intifada and oust Yasser Arafat and the PLO without giving any consideration to the tragedy and destruction wrought upon civilians, children, the elderly, women and nascent economic structure of the Palestinian people. This truly indicates the lies and double standards practiced by the US regarding human rights. Moreover, more plans are underway which include Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia in the American terror list. Hence terrorism and human rights violations are consecrated systematically by international institutions.
Although AAPSO condemned the terrorist acts of 11th September in New York and Washington, the Organization has demanded that this crisis should be confronted within the UN and by means of its spirit and Charter in an international conference that will address and determine the concept of terrorism, and differentiate between terrorism and national liberation movements according to UN provisions. Furthermore, the conference should discuss ways and means to find international mechanisms for averting the threat of terrorism.. .etc
Undoubtedly, international legitimacy, its institutions and concepts need to be reformed and restructured in order to realize the interests of the wide categories of peoples and countries worldwide, not in a manner that will entrench terrorism, breach human rights, social and economic injustice and violence stemming from the international system as consecrated by USA.
The true concepts of human rights, its provisions and related international institutions as well as international humanitarian law are currently undergoing the most severe crisis since the proclamation of the Declaration. It is an institutional and legitimacy crisis, one that undermined credibility in the entire international human rights system and shook peoples' and countries' faith in the possibility of achieving the lofty objectives of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the dignity of mankind, justice, peace, the rights of everyone and all peoples to enjoy a social and international system that will promote their national and human aspirations.
However, the world has witnessed, for the last two decades, a resistance movement organized by NGOs in the world expressing their protests in Seattle, Davos, Genoa and Durban where Southern and Asian NGOs in particular were distinguished. In fact, supporting this trend and restoring credibility to international solidarity values among peoples and countries in the world and calling for the formation of an international front comprising popular movements and NGOs worldwide who confront violence and greed of the new international economic order and its militarization, this historic task will produce the necessary balance required in this critical stage currently experienced by mankind. Consequently, credibility in human rights values and charters of international humanitarian law will be restored.

* 10/12/2002

10 December: Human Rights Day
More Challenges-less Response!

At the outset of the new Millennium, the world is witnessing evidence that suggests hopes for a meaningful implementation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR) have been overlooked. The multiple violations of these rights tend to tarnish the image of the United Nations as a sanctuary of virtues of humankind.
As we mark this day the anniversary of the UDHR, more cases of such violations are being committed worldwide. AAPSO would like to draw the attention of the international community on the danger that threatens the very life of the whole humanity.
Owing to the failure of the world to cope with the growing deterioration of human rights situation, it is demonstrated that a number of provisions enshrined in the UDHR have turned out to be below expectations.
Many aspects of manifestation of human rights violations are being observed everywhere. What is happening in the Middle East in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a serious breach of internationally recognized rights by the racist, Zionist regime against the Palestinian people, causing more deaths, more destruction, and more sufferings. Using pretext of combating terrorism, the Israeli racist regime continues to carry out the policy of state terrorism coupled with practice of double standards backed by the sole superpower. The so-called coalition against terrorism turned out to be a terrorization of the world, giving the green light to perpetrators of excessive human rights abuses.
Realities regarding the question of human rights could be indicated by facts, which greatly affect the lives of populations mainly in the developing countries. Forced labour, child labour, child prostitution, sexual harassments and abuses, human trafficking are common practices in every corner... the reality of our time has demonstrated, for example, that the process of globalization contains elements of what is called now modern slavery, which in its nature doesn’t differ from the ancient, be it overt or covert. Many countries from developed to underdeveloped are currently the theatres of slavery acts.
This same globalisation has aggravated the state of illiteracy and sanitation in the developing countries. Owing to the increasing polarization of populations, mass poverty, diseases an malnutrition, a growing number of people are denied access to fundamental education and decent sanitation. The situation in Africa is a reflection of what happens in the other underdeveloped countries. Although 17 million more African children are in school today than a decade ago, 42 million have never been in school, out of 113 million worldwide, according to UNESCO. Now, the challenge of education for all is becoming the greatest one. Access to safe water and affordable drugs against infectious diseases like AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, is another big challenge for the developing countries. Financing programmes related to these issues is almost impossible for these countries. If in 2001, low developed countries (LDC) generated 7 billion dollar for health care, domestic resources for health would have to increase to $11 billion annually by 2007 and to $16 billion by 2015. Abject poverty, mismanagement and collapsed infrastructure make it impossible to deliver effective health care in the poorest countries and to reach this target of financing .Not to mention the commercialization of education and health triggered by corruption and race to immediate profit by irresponsible individuals or hidden corporations. Developing countries should have the right to produce generic drugs by compulsory licensing to meet their needs.
In this very beginning of new century, the practice of torture as means to extract confession, remains as barbaric, humiliating and repressive as it was once before. Torture is not only physical. In many occasions, torture gets moral and psychological which would lead to mental disturbance. In addition to torture, the use of summary executions is practiced in defiance of all equitable justice. Mysterious disappearance of detained persons, discrimination with respect to race, sex, religion and ethnicity are frequent. Worst still, high ranking officials in some countries are implicitly or explicitly involved in amassing the wealth of their countries, increasing the dimension reached by the poverty situation, misery and starvation, furthering large scale globalized corruption. In many circumstances social and political position are used to influence courts and judges, resorting to threats, blackmail or carrying out repressive operations and rape, inciting xenophobia and intolerance.
Minority people should deserve due attention by international community. The aggravation of their political, economic and social situation in many parts of the world has raised more concerns.
Working children remains a plague of our time, characterizing the daily life in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is sad to note that Africa has a world record in this regard: 41% of African children work, as compared to 21% in Asia and 17% in Latin America. The issue of child trafficking is also of great preoccupations… Child traffickers commit abominable crimes in breach of the most basic children’s rights as the latter are sold or exchanged through good bargains, can be sacrificed and easy to train under dire conditions forcing them to commit exactions, to kill, or to terrorize. All these practices seem to have unlimited bounds.
Being the cause of backwardness of the people in developing countries, the debt question resulting from the stubborn policy of international financial institutions has become an eternal harassment for them. Poverty and misery help this debt to hold entire populations and generations hostage for many years. The right to development has thus turned out to be empty words.
More alarming facts have revealed that civil wars, conflicts and many kinds of confrontations, be them inter-ethnic or inter-religious as it is happening mostly in Africa, do not spare innocent people including the vulnerable ones, children, women and elders, from gross violations of human rights. In many theatres of conflicts, armies, militias, guerrillas and rebels commit massacres, undertake summary executions, carry out looting and plundering of national riches and natural resource, which these countries need for their development. Arms acquisition has sapped resources which could have been utilized to combat poverty. The proliferation of arms, mainly small arms, generates violence, which in turn can likely lead to terrorist acts. Because of conflicts and civil wars, the number of refugees and displaced persons has kept growing. This situation used to constitute a major setback for the development, security and stability of countries and has created a propitious terrain for the propagation and dissemination of diseases like AIDS. AIDS has already claimed the lives of 3 million people this year alone with 42 million worldwide infected by HIV/AIDS. Africa is the most hit with 30 million, and more than two million deaths this same year. It is likely that the globalization aggravates the scale of these facts as well as the consequent disparity caused by the polarization of the world population. The human rights issue arises with force because this globalization has given birth to poverty and seems to have created the "right to poverty" breaking the lives of entire populations.
The world is aware of the superpower deliberately ignoring or refusing to ratify international Covenants on human rights, be it on that related to women, children, and environment or on other provisions of United Nations instruments of human rights, while this superpower continues relentlessly to lecture the world people about human rights, democracy and good governance. This erodes the credibility of international organizations like the UN in addressing these rights in general. The inadmissibility of such conduct lays on the fact that impunity and the state of being above international laws is a means to impose will and whims over the people of the world. In this context, the danger may loom for the UN to become a subservient instrument of the global politics of one superpower.
Under all circumstances, the role and responsibility of the United Nations should be reinforced. The international community should make rigorous condemnation against any abhorrent, reprehensible and loathsome practices regarding respect of human rights.
Before all these challenges, the response from the world community lamentably lacks the necessary energy to cope with all breaches about respect of human rights and fundamental freedom. That does not mean that improvement observed in many fields of human rights problems will be underestimated. But the danger is ahead if laxity prevails.
The globalization of the world system revealed another aspect of international relations. It is overwhelmingly in favour of those who wield superiority in science and technology who are tempted to exercise their potentialities over those lacking it.
Taking into account the diverse interpretations of the provisions of human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, AAPSO suggests that these provisions should be considered as reference basis to values, cultures and other specificities manifested in the world. That is one of the challenges of the Twenty-first century in the regime of human rights. It is hoped that the positive aspects of the globalization, many of which are yet expected to be discovered and exploited for the sake of marginalised and poor countries, could lead to needed improvement in many domains of human lives..
AAPSO calls for more efforts to be deployed in eradicating the roots of breaches related to respect of human rights. Legitimate struggle for political liberation and freedom from the yoke of colonialism, racism or fascist-minded criminal acts, be it in Middle East, in the large of Oceans or everywhere in the planet, against perpetrators and abusers of human rights, against all forms of racial discrimination, should be the object of sustaining strong support.
AAPSO also suggests that the United Nations agencies and relevant commissions, civil society, NGOs as well as the International Criminal Court and all institutions dealing with human rights should play a role in coping with all crimes related to human rights, the organized crimes, international criminal networks, terrorism and other mafias, taking these issues among their priorities. The people in the world need peace and stability, development and progress. Time is ripe to take effective action.