The acting United Nations human rights chief today appealed to world leaders at the G-8 Summit to ensure that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be enshrined as the “international minimum standards” for all institutions of national and global governance.
“There can be no human security without human rights,” Bertrand Ramcharan, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a message to Heads of State and government from the Group of Eight assembled in Evian, France. The summit comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with the European Union. Leaders from various other nations are also participating in some of the meetings.
“The fundamental human rights norms must be the starting point for everything we do nationally, regionally and internationally,” Mr. Ramcharan said. “International cooperation, including international economic cooperation, must be judged by whether it upholds and advances human rights protection – civil, political, economic, social and cultural. Respect for the Universal Declaration is an imperative for governments; it should be obligatory for business.”
Mr. Ramcharan is Officer-in-Charge of the Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights during the four-month absence of High Commissioner Sergio Vieira de Mello in Baghdad, where he is serving as Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Iraq.