The universal nature of human rights, founded on human dignity, is threatened today. It is not new that their universal nature is contested. During the Cold War, the primacy of economic and social rights over civil and political rights was, for instance, affirmed. The optimism, which reigned after the East/West confrontation came to an end, as there was important progress in the respect of human rights, is now over. Human rights seem nowadays the hostage of an emerging North-South bipolarisation.
Their universal nature is threatened indeed, because of cultural and religious relativism in particular. In some international fora, totalitarian and theocratic regimes sometimes ally around the idea that the interests of the group as a whole shall prevail over the interests of the individual.
Human rights do not belong to any specific civilisation. It is true that their enforcement is not yet universal. However, their universal nature implies that they be valid wherever the place, whenever the time and for all men without distinction. Human rights are based on values, which can be shared by the entire humanity. They shall not be interpreted according to such-and-such particularity. Their universal nature is no obstacle to cultural diversity.
Our Assembly rejects the arguments of those who deny the universal nature of human rights and commits itself to contributing to better promote and protect human rights.