The Universal Declaration of Human Rights The idea that all humans have equal dignity and rights began with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Throughout the two World Wars, people had to witness savage war crimes such as the genocide of Jews and the human experimentation. While these wars were happening, the world was full of fear and hunger. People were no longer humane. At the end of the terrible World War II in 1945, people around the world learned a great lesson: that a righteous and peaceful world will never be created if no one is respected as a human. This led to the World Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It calls for humanity's reflection on human rights violations that prevailed around the world during the World Wars and embodies the purpose of the United Nations (UN) to respect the basic rights of all humans for the future. World Human Rights Day By Jeong Seon-woo KT Reporter Focus of the Month Looking at the enactment process, the declaration is a historical result of the participation of all 58 UN member states with different cultures and religions. For the two years from January 1947 to December 1948, all UN member states examined the document closely to complete the declaration. Even a draft of it had been thoroughly reviewed several times. For example, Article 1, influenced by the U.S. Declaration of Independence, stipulated that all men are created equal. Regarding this clause, India's Hansan Meta assemblywoman raised the issue on the grounds that the expression ‘men’ could literally be interpreted as a man; the Soviet representative also had different interpretations the verb ‘create’ for religious purposes. Eventually, this article was amended to ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ A total of 1,400 votes were held amid such numerous debates and meetings. Through this process, the 30 articles of the declaration were completed. Finally at the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted with the approval of 50 countries. There were abstention votes from eight countries, but none of them opposed it. Among them, there were other opinions, but no country opposed the meaning and value of the declaration. Basically, it has been recognized as a world standard for human rights for all countries, cultures, and religions. This is the basis of freedom, justice, and peace that we should enjoy, and the whole world agreed upon it by setting the standards for what human rights are and how they should be protected and guaranteed. After the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to commemorate it, a resolution was adopted at the 1950 UN General Assembly, designating December 10 every year as the World Declaration of Human Rights Day.
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