Is it possible to reach an agreement?
Every year NGOs from all around the world gather in New York to shear their experiences and best practices in addressing the problems that women are facing in their own countries. Prostitution, girl’s trafficking, abortion, maternal health, hunger and poverty, are some issues that have been already discussed during the past three days. I could have written about any of these issues, but something happened yesterday that called deeply my attention.
During a discussion, a young woman made a comment that made me wonder: How can be possible that in so many essential issues we cannot achieve an agreement? How can be possible that so many people are capable to defend and promote prostitution, abortions and other acts that violates human freedom and dignity, and use human rights language to do so?
This young woman mentioned that -in her opinion- the Declaration of Human Rights was just a document that reflected the political ideas of an especial historical moment, rather than the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family (Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
I know that this assertion it is not something new. This is not the first time I hear something like this. However, it always surprises me. How can be possible to be “working” in the UN and -at the same time- don’t trust in the UN? How can be possible to talk about human rights and -at the same time- don’t believe in human rights? Is it possible to recognize human rights to some human beings, and at the same time deny the same human rights to others?
Human rights are for all human beings or they are for none. The Declaration of Human Rights expressly states that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, 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” (article 2). Therefore, no distinction can be made. This must be the starting point of every discussion. As long as we are not able to recognize, protect and defend these rights to everyone, no agreement nor progress can be achieved.
Hope this meeting at the UN help promote opened minds, but specially, opened hearts!