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Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind by Adopting a Comprehensive Southern Vision on Human Rights
December 12,2017   By:chinahumanrights.org
Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind
by Adopting a Comprehensive Southern Vision on Human Rights

Tom ZWART

Netherlands

 
Abstract: During the past decades the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereafter: UDHR) has wrongly been portrayed as an ode to Northern human rights positions. It is important to put a halt to the tendency to exaggerate the Northern role at the expense of the Southern contribution to the human rights system. Setting the record straight is part of the initiative to build a community of shared future of mankind as stated by President Xi Jinping. In this spirit the Cross-cultural Human Rights Centre has taken the initiative to draft a document which highlights the elements of the UDHR which resonate in particular in the Global South. This has resulted is the 'Comprehensive Southern Vision on Human Rights' (hereafter: CSVHR). The CSVHR emphasises that the UDHR is a people-to-people charter, and a 'big tent' document which does justice to all civilizations and has the potential of touching the soul of every human being. It makes clear that the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms must be balanced with the performance of corresponding duties. The document sends the message that the universality of human rights should be secured through their socio-cultural embeddedness. It emphasises that culture an religion are important building blocks for human rights. It calls on religious minorities to localise, which consists of accepting the existing legal and constitutional order, playing a constructive role in developing society and the nation and exercising the freedom of religion in such a way that it matches the core values of society. It underscores that the right to development and the right to subsistence are paramount as part of human dignity. And it states that although human rights are a matter of international concern, the subsidiarity principle, in which respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal af airs of states culminate, ought to be respected at all times.