Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, announces his support for the DHR in a letter accompanied by an introductory commentary by Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber.
“Human Rights Watch is the world’s largest NGO to monitor and report human rights violations. I have been a member for twelve years and as such founded the HRW Paris Committee.
I asked my friend Ken Roth (who directs and develops HRW) for his assessment of the Universal Declaration of Humankind Rights. Here is the text he sent us where he expresses, as an expert, all the interest he sees in our approach. He sees it as a necessary good to extend the scope of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights.
His support is decisive.”
Jean-Louis Servan Schreiber
“What are the ethical precepts that compel us to address the mortal threat of climate change? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights speaks to the rights of us all as individuals in the here and now, but climate change poses a threat that is collective and endangers not only those living today but also our descendants. The environmental movement is working intensely to address that threat but lacks a simple set of prescriptions akin to the requirements of human rights. The Universal Declaration of Humankind Rights is a valiant attempt to bridge this gap. Like the original Universal Declaration, it imposes a simple set of rights and duties, but they speak to humankind as a whole and recognize that the rights holders include those not yet born, but who will suffer if we neglect their fate today.
The original Universal Declaration, as its name suggests, is an assertion of principle, not a binding treaty, yet it spawned a series of human rights treaties that today are broadly subscribed to and legally binding on governments. The threat of climate change will require a similar evolution. If this new Universal Declaration succeeds, it will be as an assertion of moral principles that attracts sufficient popular and official support to be translated into a set of legally binding precepts. Just as our rights are not secure so long as adherence to them is optional, so our climate, and existence, depend on a broadening sense of obligation among governments to address this potentially existential threat. This new Universal Declaration is a laudable attempt to spark this urgently needed process, before it is too late.”