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FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: Essays for the Presidency

The Promise of Human Rights

Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. FDR Library

The real importance of the Human Rights Commission which was created by the Economic and Social Council lies in the fact that throughout the world there are many people who do not enjoy the basic rights which have come to be accepted in many other parts of the world as inherent rights of all individuals, without which no one can live in dignity and freedom.

At the first meeting of the Economic and Social Council in London, early in 1946, a Nuclear Commission was named to recommend a permanent setup for the full Commission of Human Rights, and to consider the work which it should first undertake. These first members of the Nuclear Commission were not chosen as representatives of governments, but as individuals. Naturally, however, each government was asked to concur in the nomination from that country. There were nine members nominated, but two of them were not able to

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