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on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human rights.


  • that 60 years after the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights those same states that have signed and ratified it do not always guarantee the rights contained in the aforesaid declaration.
  • that freedom of expression, opinion, conscience are still designated as a political offence.
  • that persecutions, abuse of power ,torture , cultural intolerance,philosophical or religious reveal a denial of commitments made by the signatory states:
  • that minorities do not enjoy the respect and legal protection worthy of their identity.
  • that at the United Nations rostrum, the representatives of states unite or fight according to their own interests to the detriment of that of the people and of humanity. 


  • Each of the 30 articles contained in the UDHR and especially articles 21and 28.
  • That without individual or collective recourse to a supranational body, the fundamental human rights cannot be ensured in respect of the indivisible and inalienable nature of these rights.

We, Citizens and Democrats of the world, true defenders of the peoples’ sovereignty, united in a single requirement for an unconditional recognition of human dignity, the universality of human rights and freedoms, decided to act in the spirit of common brotherhood.


  • A right of expression for the people of the world within the United Nations existing institution. 

To this end

  • That the establishment of a representative assembly be created following the elections held at global level.
  • That this global assembly of the people become a deliberative assembly with real powers on issues relating to the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration .
  • That this Assembly decides and acts in accordance with democratic rules of procedure regardless of any state representation.

 In accordance with

  • Urge our Heads of State and Government to raise our requests to the agenda of the UN General Assembly and to reiterate it before the Security Council until a reform of the United Nations Charter, respectful of our will be undertaken.
  • Ensure with vigilance and determination the monitoring of the aforesaid request here-by delivered to our representative by delegation.
  • Affirm to be supportive of any commitment and mobilization of people throughout the world to support this cause.
  • Declare the legitimacy of our request in reference to the historical origins of the UN Charter and the soundness of its resolutions raised in the preamble.


Universal Declaration of Human Rights  

Article 21.3 The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 28 : Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Full text


HUMAN RIGHTS:60th Anniversary

A forum to beat the heart of democracy

Prezentation - introduction - debate - declaration

On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,several members of the collective association for Global Democracy''ASCOP'' launch a forum for discussion and proposal ''Human Rights : sixtieth anniversary''. This forum will remain open until the end of February.

Outside the institutional discourse, everyone,all those in charge of organizations or associations registered on the discussion list can be able to debate,exchange views,their thoughts,their ideas.These exchanges will be the object of a synthesis proposed in the Consultative Assembly of the Peoples Congress(ASCOP) to be held on March 30,2008 in Paris.At that meeting,the Assembly will adopt a joint declaration.

This declaration is based on the following reflection:


  • That 60 years after the signing of the UDHR states do not always guarantee the basic rights contained in the declaration;
  • That the freedom of expression,opinion,conscience is increasingly referred to as a political offence:
  • That persecutions,abuse of power,torture,cultural,philosophical or religious intolerance reveal a denial of the commitments made by the signatory states;
  • That minorities do not receive the respect and the proper legal protection for their identity;
  • That the peoples rights to self-determination has been denied in the name of economic,financial and political interests.
  • At the rostrum of the UN,representative of States come together or fight according to their own interests at the expense of the peoples interests and of the concern of humanity.

We,the World Citizens and Democrats, true defenders of the peoples' sovereignty,united in a demand for unconditional recognition of human dignity,the universality of human rights and freedoms will debate democratically in order to develop a joint declaration.Because it behooves us to inform our heads of state and governments our desire and that it is from the people that come public power and the laws.

Daniel Durand,World Citizen
Marie-Francoise Lamperti ''Act for Human Rights''

  • initiative of debate : Act for Human Rights
  • moderators : Marie-Françoise Lamperti (French), Karl Kpodo (English), Daniel Durand (Esperanto)
  • duration of debate : from January 5 to February 16
  • synthesis : Marie-Françoise Lamperti.
  • publication : To define on 30th March 2008


Hello, The idea of an Ascop forum(Peoples Congress Consultative Assembly) dates back to the creation of ASCOP in 2003. Since then,we had been in the search for technical support,an administrator and one or more moderators.

Of course,the Forum is a place where people exchange ideas,opinions,experiences in all freedom,respecting each other.However,the designers of the the forum have wanted it to be anything other than a place of chattering:taking the baton from the great thinkers of the postwar period--''globalist'' sites as are full of their quotes,texts or books--our mission is to organize and express the essential demands of the people of the world today.The purpose of this forum is through a public debate,to propose legislation,actions,events along the lines of global democracy.

We take the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to launch us. Not later than the end of February will close the forum.A summary will be prepared and we would arrive at the meeting of ASCOP, March 30,2008 with a proposed text,which could be put to a vote then transmitted to the Peoples Congress.

Information regarding this forum has been made to more than 500 persons or e-mail addresses.Some of them have passed the announcement on their own networks,to about hundreds more people.So far, 56 people have registered to participate in the discussion(from 16 different countries):
13 in English;
32 in French(English and French are in the same list:
13 in Esperanto.(
58 participants. This figure is quite appropriate for our first exercise.

Topic of discussion:The Universal Declaration of Human Rights viewed from the angle of global democracy.

For those of us who are World Democrats,it is neither intended to rewrite this declaration,nor to debate again on every detail of each item,or even the shortcomings of this historic text.Not. For us,the idea is to put the concept of global democracy at the heart of this declaration and thought must be given to it in two ways:

  • What are the rights that come within the jurisdiction of institutions resulting from global democracy?
  • What is the essence of Article 28 on the achievement of the rights and freedoms described in this declaration?

The filing of the forum gives us a technical problem that we have not yet been able to resolve.Please do not stop there too. It is better to keep all the messages you receive in your own directories.

If any problem(error message,non distribution.......)write to abc()

Some interventions in the debate (Chronological order) - the latest

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


I am a fan of human rights, and the UDHR. But find it clear that the articles of the UDHR make no sense ourside of a comprehensive get-well plan for humanity.

For one example, as the world oil production begins to peak, the world finds itself dramatically overpopulated, as well as under threat from climate change. As we enter a period of economic contraction and likely hardship, where is the vision of humankind working together to address our collective issues?

Rights without responsibilities don't seem to solve our problems.

Hank Stone


The United Nations " spells — and it ought to spell — the end of the system of unilateral action, exclusive alliances, and spheres of influence, and the balances of power and all the other expedients which have been tried for centuries and have always failed" said President Roosevelt after the Crimean Conference where plans for the UN were laid. Yet today most of the expedients that Roosevelt said had always failed are back in full force. We see this clearly in the field of human rights.

Governments at the UN have developed to a fine art the ability to use human rights forums as a tool to deal with issues making no progress elsewhere. This is most notably true with the Israel-Palestine question, largely blocked in the Security Council. The conflict provides the subject for endless resolutions in the Commission on Human Rights, transformed in 2006 into the Human Rights Council. Alas, the resolutions change little on the ground. The same was true for a number of years during which there was no bilateral movement on the question of Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Both states decided to move their differences to the UN Commission on Human Rights where they used up much time and energy with statements and points of order. Now China needs only mention "trade" in a soft voice for all pressure on human rights violations in China to disappear.

It is easy to grow cynical as diplomats read the fine print of the rules of procedure to find new ways to block action. But as we rededicate ourselves to work for essential liberties on 10 December — marking the day in 1948 when the UN Declaration on Human Rights was adopted in Paris — it is important to note the land marks of progress. These are some of the victories where intense effort and creative cooperation among representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UN Secretariat, independent experts, and a few representatives of progressive governments created awareness, got resolutions adopted, and built structures for follow up. Each case would merit a fuller analysis and character sketches of some of the players.

I list 10 victories which seem to me to be real advances. Others would no doubt make different lists, but as an NGO representative to the UN in Geneva, I had participated in each of these advances and knew the key players. Governments, who alone have the ability to vote UN resolutions in the end, happily take credit for advances. Yet in these cases progress was made by ideas coming from NGO representatives, helped by UN Secretariat who must keep a "low profile" and the representatives of some governments where an issue touched them personally — and did not go against their government’s policy.

1) Awareness of the rights and conditions of indigenous and tribal populations. When this issue was first raised in the early 1980s, "indigenous" was considered to be only the Indians of North America who had come in force to present their case in Geneva. Some governments finally went along thinking that such analysis would be a subtle criticism of the USA without it costing them anything. However, the International Labour Organizations Convention N° 109 on indigenous peoples speaks of "indigenous and tribal". Thus, it was possible to raise issues of tribal groups in south-east Asia such as the Chakma of Bangladesh. Much of the advance is due to the skills and dedication of Ms. Erica Daes who for many years chaired the Working Group on Indigenous Populations. Now the indigenous and tribal issues cover a wide number of countries and have moved to center stage.

2) Torture. When the use of torture was first raised, it was thought to be a rare practice limited to a small number of countries. It turns out that it is, in fact, widely used by a large number of countries. Getting torture to be a recognized issue and having the Commission on Human Rights create the post of Special Rapporteur on Torture owes much to Sean MacBride (1904-1988) at the time chairman of the Amnesty International Executive Committee (1961-1974) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1974). MacBride had been the Foreign Minister of Ireland (1948-1951) and knew how governments work. He had also been a long-time member of the Irish Republican Army (1917-1936) and knew well how police as well as insurgencies work.

3) Death Penalty. The efforts for the abolition of the death penalty also owes much to Amnesty International and its long-time Secretary-General Martin Ennals. His role, often in the background but always on key issues, is an example of how NGO impact can be made.

4) Conscientious objection to military service. Conscientious objection as a human right was a long but successful fight on the part of a small number of NGOs such as the Quakers, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the International Peace Bureau. It was led by the representatives of Ireland, Canada and Austria – all of which have armies but whose representatives went "that extra mile" to overcome opposition and get the resolution passed.

5) Child Soldiers. The attention now given to human rights violations from the existence of child soldiers – both the fact that children are taken as soldiers and the human rights violations that they are forced to commit- was brought to the attention of the Commission by the Quakers and the NGO Defense for Children. This has led to the creation of a Special Representative on Children in Conflict as well as attention at the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court.

6) The Right to Housing. The right to housing and especially the destruction of houses in the process of slum clearing, often done without rehousing the people displaced, owes its place on the human rights agenda to a small number of NGOs but who had dramatic examples of abuses. There is now an active Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing.

7) The Right to Religion and Belief. It was a 20-year effort to get the adoption in 1981 of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Belief. It was an effort kept alive by a small number of states and NGOs. It is not sure that as far-reaching and complete a Declaration could be drafted today. The Declaration serves as a guideline in many of the current religious-based tensions.

8) The Rights of Women. It is always strange how difficult it is to get proper attention to the rights and condition of women since they are half and probably more of humanity. Nevertheless it has been a long effort largely carried by NGOs. It is a multifaceted effort and was helped by a series of UN-sponsored Conferences on women. Geneva-based NGOs such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom have played key roles. That women exist and thus have rights has been a theme that has brought together NGOs who are often divided on other issues.

9) Systematic rape. The awareness of systematic rape as a crime against humanity has grown as part of the broader effort on the equality of women mentioned in point 8. Many of the NGOs concerned with equality of women have been concerned with domestic violence as well. Thus they reacted strongly to reports of systematic rape during the conflicts of former Yugoslavia. This issue has also been raised concerning the conflict in Darfur, Sudan and has become part of the mandate of the International Criminal Court.

10) Human Rights Defenders. I leave for last our auto-defense: the efforts to protect human rights defenders on the front lines. Raising human rights issues in a good number of countries can get you into trouble. Even writing to Amnesty International is not a danger-free practice is some places. The killing in Moscow of Anna Politkovskaia, a journalist critical of the conflict in Chechena, is there as a symbol of all those on the front lines of human rights protection. Thanks to NGO efforts, the UN has created a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders – A constant reminder to government and in some cases non-governmental militias that they are being watched.

All these victories are fragile, and there are governments who would want them reversed or forgotten. But on Human Rights Day we can welcome these advances, remember those whose drive, skills and determination helped bring forward these issues which many would have left in the dark. We need to prepare for the next battles which are not far away.

Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens


Baha'i in Iran and Article 18

As the persecution of the Baha'i in Iran and the role of the United Nations in the defense of their rights has been raised by participants in this discussion, I will outline briefly the role world citizens have played in this case and contrast it with two other religious liberty issues in which world citizens took the lead, both involving the government of China.

My first efforts on human rights at the UN concerned a short but hard repression of the Baha'i under the Shah. In 1955, I was the representative of the World Assembly of Youth which had consultative status with the UN, although NGOs were not playing as active a role in human rights efforts as they were to do later in Geneva at the end of the 1970s. In the 1950s the UN

Commission was working on general standards and not on specific country situations. Nevertheless, because youth are always seen as potential trouble-makers, and the World Assembly of Youth was the first NGO to have African states as full

members even though they were still colonies of England and France, we had a certain impact. My letter was given to the Iranian Mission to the UN by an American lawyer who was working on the case. Thus I was familier with the philosophy and status of the Baha'i when the change in government came in 1979 and restrictions on the Baha'i became a priority of the new Islamic government.

In the summer of 1979, I was one of the speakers at the Institut d'études Mondialist meeting at the home of Guy and Renee Marchand, La Lambertie. I wrote a petition to the Iranian government which was signed by most of the people at La Lambertie. It was given to the Iranian diplomats at the UN and then widely distributed to other diplomats and NGO representatives.

The Baha'i have offices to the UN in both New York and Geneva with full-time staff. I had worked closely with them on a number of issues. There was a discussion among the Baha'i staff and leadership to see if they should raise the issue of their status in Iran publically or not. To stress only their situation would be a departure from their usual statements concerning thewelbeing of all humanity. Thus, for two years, on behalf of the world citizens, I raised the persecution in Iran while the Baha'i Office worked behind the scenes. After two years, the Baha'i staff came to see that the policy of the Iranian government was not going to change, and the situation would grow worse. They then decided to deal publically in the UN human rights forums with the specific case of Iran and continue to do so.

By the fall of 1980, the Iran-Iraq war had started, and I was deeply involved to see if a negotiated settlement could be reached. Thus I had many contacts with the diplomats of both Iran and Iraq. The Iranians knew my position of the Baha'i but were happy to see someone trying to stop the war- which dragged on to 1988. I kept in contact with the Baha'i UN Office, but it was they who took the lead on religious libeerty in Iran.

I contrast the Baha'i case with the two others in which for the world citizens I took the lead - religious liberty in Tibet and the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual movement - both cases dealing with China. Tibet has a high-profile religious leader - the Dalai Lama. You say Tibet to people and they say "the Dalai Lama." even if they know little about Buddhism.

I had to insist with the Chinese diplomats that I was not the representative of the Dalai Lama. I told the Chinese that I had met with the Dalai Lama, that I knew the people who were in charge of political issues around him and that if they wanted to send a message, I would pass it on, since in the 1984-6 period when I started, contacts through the brother of the Dalai Lama had been cut off. However, I was not his representatives, and the world citizens were acting only on conviction. At the same time that I was taking the lead on the Tibet issue, I was helping to train young Tibetans in the UN human rights procedures. The Tibetans opened a UN Office in Geneva to carry on the human rights activities, and so I no longer play a public role.

For a number of reasons, the Baha'i do not have a highly visible public leader to serve as a spokesperson at the UN. Thus, when discussing religious liberty in Tibet, it is easy to refer to the Dalai Lama. His books are widely read and his public lectures attract a large number of people. When I mention the Baha'i in Iran or in Egypt, I can not refer to a religious leader that the Iranian diplomats or the Egyptians know.

Another case where the world citizens took the lead was the banning of the Falun Gong spiritual movement by the Chinese government. Again, I was the first to raise the issue publically at the Commission on Human Rights and its Sub-Commission. At the same time, I helped to train some Falun Gong members in UN procedures both in meetings in Geneva and New York. As many Falun Gong in Europe and the USA are young Chinese university students or young professionals, once they understand the procedures, the timing, and UN language, they have carried on themselves, creating a television station, a highly active press service in many languages and good contacts in the uS Congress and in the European Parliament. They have a sophisticated analysis of Chinese politics and the ways that change may be brought about in China.

I have not found the same sort of sophisticated analysis among the Baha'i as to the structure and trends of Iranian society. However, I have been more in contact with the top leadership of the Tibetans (who have now created a useful working group to analyse Chinese society) and the Falun Gong (some of whom are political science students.) There may be reports drawing on ideas of Baha'i living in Iran, but they are not made public or I have not seen them.

Work for human rights is a political struggle, and it can only come through a study of the socio-economic and political structures of the country involved;The defense of human rights requires knowing UN procedures, but also constant effort. With international attention focused on Iran, this may be a good time to advance on the rights of the Baha'i, but the world citizen organizations need to have the people and the money to keep up the pressure.

Rene Wadlow , Representative to the UN, Geneva of the Association of World Citizens


*One of the most debated issues in the world that has had the stature of fetching headlines of and on in the 20th century and still going strong, being debated at the dawn of 21st century as an unresolved issue, capable of dreadful transformation in a region which is already wrought with volatility. *

*Unfortunately for mankind the obscure solution to this issue is shrouded in a splashed blanket of distrust between **India** and **Pakistan**, in the geo strategical doctrine of powerful nations of the west, in the geoeconomic interests of rising economic giants of **Asia**. * *As if it was not enough it has become an arm twisting apparatus for the western countries to gain concessions from India in the field of defense economy or diplomacy, at the same time as a healing touch of diplomatic maneuver towards Pakistan when and if needed.*

*Historians, Archeologists, Writers, Poets, Travelers, have shrouded ** Kashmir** in their own model. In the mysterious finding of past, Professor von DenJenkin found Radio Activity in the Nara Nag temples of Kashmir in his book "Chariots of God" while Sir Aural stein described the importance of silk route in the ancient times that led to the lost tribe of jews to have settled in Kashmir and a safe shelter, in midievial times for Central Asian refugees in the times of Chengh`s Khan. Others who refute the death of Jesus on cross trace him to Roza bal in **Kashmir**.*

**Pundit Kalahan recorded the era prior to Muslim rule and others glorified chain of rulers from Shamiri dynasty to Zainul Abdeen. * *

*We read and heard of Sikh rule, Pathan invasion, the infamous treaties of * *Lahore** and **Amritsar**, the Dogra rule, the resistance and surrender of Sheikh Abdullah, the instrument of accession, then occupation of **India**and control of part of **Kashmir** by **Pakistan**.*

* We debated and heard of UN resolution in **New York** and agreements in ** Tashkent**, Simla, **Lahore** and **Islamabad** and today we are here to resolve that we continue to debate, discuss and support a debate between ** India** and **Pakistan**, and continue to aim at the mystery solution.*

*In the chronology of history lies a nation most debated about.*

*While the powerful nations and their institutions propagate the values and ethics of functioning governance, by pre conditioning it to respect for democratic and human rights. Ironically they are unconcerned and silent at the stumpy standards of moral and ethical code of behavior of **India** `s function as a democratic country, thereby negating , the concept and essence of democracy.*

*India, deceitfully, publicizes and takes refuge in calling itself as "largest democracy of the world". I do not refute the mathematical part of it, but I would say it is the largest non functional democracy.*

*The first Prime minister of India takes a solemn pledge in Indian parliament to allow referendum in Kashmir and never keeps it, the latest Prime minister of India talks of lofty principles of democratic functioning in the joint session of senate and congress of United states by saying that "Democracy is not defined by what is written in the constitution but how it functions on ground".*

* *While all these claims are made by India in international forums it continues to colonize Kashmir with its armed forces in histories largest recorded concentration of army, unprecedented , be it the army of Alexander the Great or the occupations of Nazi's in Europe.*

*If you want to find the reminiscence of 20th century colonial rule, ** Kashmir** is the place to visit.*

*You will find how claimant of largest democracy in the world holds civilian people under siege with 800 hundred thousand army presence within its streets, villages and hamlets.*

*You will find how claimant of responsible democratic country uses inhuman laws and methods to stifle the voice of freedom*

*You will find how under the garb of fighting terrorism it uses its acquired military might to unleash terror in the **Valley** of **Kashmir** upon civilian people in order to negate the basic unalienable right to decide their future as guaranteed by international community. *

*You will find how will fully it shut its eyes to daily killings of men, women and children as a matter of routine governance in Kashmir*

*Democracy do not function in the absence of freedom, it has no relevance when people are besieged.*

**Farooq Siddiqi*


*Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front*


Dear Colleagues,

While it is always useful to rethink philosophical positions, we need to keep in mind how we will use the results of this discussion: In September, in Paris there will be a large meeting of non-governmental organizations related to the United Nations. The meeting marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There should be some 2000 participants at the meeting from some 600 organizations. Each organization is likely to have prepared a statement. Some which are directly human rights organizations such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch have promotional material which sets out their aims, activities and accomplishments.

The World Federalist Movement, the Association of World Citizens, Garry Davis' World Service Authority etc will all have statements reflecting the ideas and priorities of their organization.

In addition to these statements of individual world order/world citizen organizations, can there be an additional, more common statement? By whom will it be signed - organizations or individuals?

The statement can also be used in activities around 10 December - Human Rights Day which this year is likely to have more activities.

For the Association of World Citizens what I propose is as follows, but could also serve as a structure for the text which this discussion is to draft:

I see a statement that fits on one page including the heading and address. 1) As world citizens, a re-affirmation of our devotion to the Universal Declaration.

2) Thanks to all those at the world, regional and national levels who have created the institutionss to safeguard human rights

3) A short list, probably of three items of areas where new efforts need to be made: a) human rights in areas of conflicts - the integration of human rights standards and humanitarian law (the Geneva conventions.)

b) the rights of migrants, especially 'illegal' migrants as I think that migration for economic and ecological reasons is the next big issue on the world agenda.

c) probably equality between men and women. Although the texts and conventions are in place, practice remains slow.

Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens


Following up the comments of Faroq Siddiqi, Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front,

There are two long-lasting conflicts - Israel-Palestine and India-Pakistan- which came on the world scene at about the same time and continue today. Each year in the UN human rights bodies, there are speeches given and literature available that stress human rights violations in these conflicts. There is very little spirit of compromise, and one step forward is often follow by one step back.

Basically, change has to come from within each society. Governments are unlikely to make efforts unless they feel that enough local leaders will support their efforts. In most cases, this means that new local leaders must emerge, since the older leaders are set in the thinking of the old conflicts. World citizens may have a role to play in encouraging new voices, and in bringing people from opposing sides together to see if there is any common ground. Such efforts take time and resources, but they may be a way beyond trying to distribute blame for the past. Therefore I share my review of a useful book of efforts to increase India-Pakistan contacts.

. René Wadlow


 In response to Rene Wadlow:

Many thanks to Karl on your time to translate my answer.

Admittedly,there are many associations across the world which will meet on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the UDHR to reiterate their commitment and so much the better!

But the open forum is clear on the angle of the debate raised by ASCOP.The non-compliance and violations cited as a basis for reflection on the forum are obviously also denounced by other NGOs and we would have no other light to throw on the declarations produced if we consider mainly the notion of human rights defence.Our initiative and the reason for our discussion is to go beyond pursuing a collective reflection according to the two main lines listed below:

What are the rights that come within the jurisdiction of institutions resulting from global democracy?

What is the essence of Article 28 on the achievement of the rights and freedoms described in this declaration?

This means that we place the UDHR in its relation to global democracy.It is set that together we revise Article 28 and open up a democratic debate from there.That is our key and no doubt our originality.



  I thank Karl Kpodo for having translated into French my earlier text concerning the statements we will write and how best to use them. At this moment, I am very busy sending to organizations two articles on situations which are getting worse: Sri Lanka and Gaza. If any particpants are interested in these articles they can drop me a line at _wadlowz@aol.com_ ( . I do not want to add them to this discussion as they are about specific situations.

The question was raised as to what we as world citizens can say that larger human rights associations such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch etc do not already say, since they are active in protesting current violations.

I see two elements. The first is to cite the contribution of new forms of democracy at the national and world level, by which I mean the growth of civil society outside the usual political framework. Symbolically, civil society as a major actor began in 1980 with the signing of the Gdansk Accord by Solidarity. Poland had all the formal institutions of a democracy: an elected Parliament, political parties etc. However, the will and the interests of a good percentage of the population was not able to express itself through the regular political mode. A new form of civic expression brought together intellectuals, trade unionists, some Church people into a new type of organization.

There is a certain irony in the fact that the next major expression of civil society power within the United Nations also came thanks to Poland. In part to have people overlook General Jaruzelski's imposition of martial law to counter Solidarity, Poland proposed at the UN that a Convention on the Rights of the Child be drafted. Children are always a popular subject. The Polish representative chaired the Committee which wrote the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but it was NGO representatives who took the lead in the content. It was also NGOs which pushed for the ratification of the Convention, once written. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has more ratifications than any other human rights treaty.

From 1980 on, with the high symbolism of the break in the Berlin Wall, we have seen the growth of civil society. We have seen different forms of expression at the national level and at the world level. This is the most important contribution to democratic structures since the 18th century which saw the creation of democratic, constitutional government.

The other contribution to human rights of the world citizen movement is its historic link to the world federalist movement. Garry Davis was a staff member of the United World Federalists when he left for Paris in 1948. I had joined the world federalists in 1951, and only met Garry Davis in 1955 on his return to the USA from India. We had mutual friends who had an interest in Indian philosophy, and so I learned of the world citizen movement from him then.

Therefore, except for two religious liberty issues - the Baha'i in Iran and Egypt and the Ahmadis in Pakistan, my human rights work has centered on cases where a minority at the national level lived in a compact geographic zone and wished a) to become a separate state, b) to have greater autonomy, c) to join a neighboring state, d) to have greater power within the national state. Many of these situations have led to armed conflicts. All have led to human rights violations on which there are UN texts: arrests, killings, displacement of people etc. In only one case has there been a relatively successful outcome: the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh: a cease fire has allowed most refugees to return from India to Bangladesh, but the situation is still fragile. I list all the current conflicts on which I work without going into detail.

  1. China -Tibet
  2. Israel-Palestine
  3. Kashmir-India-Pakistan
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. Burma-National minorities
  6. Kurdistan (Turkey and Northern Iraq)
  7. Ex-Yugoslavia with Kosovo as a last chapter (?)
  8. Chechenya-Russia
  9. Georgia-Abkhazia
  10. Nagorno-Karabakh - Armenia-Azerbaijan
  11. Sudan - currently Darfur
  12. The Chittagon Hill Tracts merit continued attention as its neighbors, Burma and northeast India are unstable.

To be effective, there needs to be continuing contacts with government. This requires more world citizen representatives beyond the UN in Geneva and New York. We would need to have people active in Vienna for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, and in Addis for the African Union.

With best wishes,

Rene Wadlow


Dear ladies and gentlemen.

My French is not good enough to write it and sometimes not good enough to read your good discussions. One thing howerver I would like to address myself to. That is the word l'homme. Further down it says that this word goes for men and women and eunuchs etc etc. In another mail I read someone regretting the fact that the French language would not have a word for the male human.

I don't think it is a matter of l'homme not being specifically male. It is very well male. The problem is that in many languages the male is just being equated with the human. The real human is male. This may well go back to Aristoteles (and Thomas Aquinus ...) who wrote his philosophy in perfect identification with the patriarchalistic world view considering the perfect human to be the male human. (If a human baby was born a girl, then there was something defect, at least not at its best...) One has to understand the whole revolution from the times when women were leading the community and society (until about 4-5.000 years ago, before the time of the so called "Hochkulturen") due to their being the born specialists in matters of life.

When the male species no longer accepted their social role as not being the most important part in life and for life, men (the male!) turend everything upside down and declared themselves to be the all important: e.g. the bearers of life (in the Bible Eve comes from Adam; in the Greek myth Athena is born out of the head of Zeus ... The name Abraham is a good example too fro this usurpation of female dignities by the male. Abram turned into Abraham becoming a father with a female womb. In German we have the wording: "... in Abrahams Schoß" ...). Women strong by nature they turned into the weak sex. This is a big story and it cannot be discussed in any full way here. I would like to add however one more very exciting example of how the male-dominated history, philosophy, theology ... turned everything, i.e. the natural order, upside down in their minds that is the fact that evolution and also the development of the embryo in early stages knows no male at all.

It was only after a malheur happened and brought about a defect: the original X X chromosomes turning into X Y one X losing a leg. From then on (after all it being congenial for evolution) we had the possible X Y pair for males. Aristoteles etc. turned even that the other way around. Not that we would expect of him to have known the biological and evolutionary process as we do today, but it is evident that his patriarchally formed mind unwittingly propagated this lie.

So, thinking in a deceiving patriarchalistic manner of the male as the! human ist the problem in many of our languages.In: The Problem of Evil - An Intercultural Exploration, ed. Sandra A. Wawrytko, you can read about this topic in a more detailed way reading the paper of Hedwig Raskob: Original Sin or "Verkehrte Welt" : The Reversal of Natural Order, page 101 ff.

Friendly regards, to male and female friends and world citizens

Hedwig Raskob

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