Why the "Universal Declaration of Humankind Rights"?
The time has come to recognize the rights and duties of humankind. Why so? Because, although our societies differ in culture, religion and history, one important point they have in common is this: they belong to one and the same planet and, as such, must live in interdependence with it. What they have in common, with a few individual exceptions, is a common respect for human life and making of it a cardinal rule that leads to rejecting barbarism and seeking peace. This observation – which integrates both the consequences of globalization and the ecological challenges linked to climate change – means that it is essential that a legal text be drafted for defining the rights and duties which are instrumental to meeting such an obligation.
Such a text has now come into being in the form of the Universal Declaration of Humankind Rights and we aspire to see it adopted. The Declaration is not a convention and would be non-binding in nature for the States which choose to adopt it.
This is the next step, as was the Declaration of the Rights of the Child thirty years ago, which later gave place to the Convention on the Rights of the Child twenty years later. Similarly, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is simply a declaration, but it has helped to mold our rights for half a century.
The Declaration has not been designed to replace the existing texts, but to act as a complementary text establishing rights and duties, as no longer merely individual, but collective.
The declaration notably proposes the creation of recognised interdependence between living species, to ensure their right to exist and the right of humanity to live in a healthy and ecologically sustainable environment.
We are aware that this is only the beginning of the road. If this declaration were adopted, it would serve first of all as a source of ethical standards. The following step would be to see how to sanction breaches of these principles, but this is not where we are at currently.