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So the charge you for the fear of neo colonialism may apply in certain African states and where we are aware of the sensitivities in newly created states but it doesn't in the United States and I know that is just how it has been very close. To some of the efforts to put into law some of the principles established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I think you can tell us a really a sad and slow story of the lack of progress in the United States. Why is it that I can and I think that we had some reports in this assembly pointing to the difficulty in many nations of implementing human rights and getting at governmental ratification of the conventions dealing with human rights. I worked very closely in the United States with the efforts to educate the citizens about the dangers of apartheid. I've been working very closely with organizations to have government
ratification conventions. And I'm I feel there's a great gap of ignorance when you. Talk about human rights. They move from the right. If existence to a struggle for a 40 hour week we have a tremendous education problem like to understand but underline what Mr. Corey said about this that's a communication problem is distressing. We must help our citizens to translate the kind of talk that we have United Nations circles into concrete community problems in understanding. I think that we can identify certain aspects of social justice but human rights we're taking a step. I would like to say that the problems are being identified here but I I'm one of the hopeful guy and I think that things that can be done as one person said if the assembly if we can shift a little bit of the stone of resistance then let's do that. There are steps we can take a short range steps that are middle range steps in the long range that I think
we should keep pressing although we do recognize that if we have won one of using illustration of that was Professor Asad who cited the case of the. Child who petitioned his government for with respect to his rights being violated because his parents were opening his mail before he did. Well yes I knew somehow I know the video education public information had reached that youngster that there were certain things he was entitled to terms privacy even with within his own with that window within his own home. But broadly I know we feel that the United States that we have a vast educational task ahead of us in bringing the Human Rights home to speak of civil rights that the meaning is clear in fact to many civil rights and human rights have almost been Howel and want to see what are the
major obstacles. I'd feel that there is some way to help the nation and the nation state to place somebody is probably not the right word but to limit that. Holding on to all decisions and sharing something at international instruments possibly at the Regional Commission which we're talking about is as one of the steps along the way of having nation states cooperate and concern for human rights and in a large area. I wonder if it's true with Mr. Gundry in your country that human rights. Seem to. Be an abstraction in people's minds until the issue becomes national or local. And if there are illustrations of this out of your own experience in your own nation and culture that you could cite and I think your human rights have to go to human face human rights portrays different meaning to different people depending on what stage of development you
and when you go to remote villages the first thing get the individual he's really concerned to start with. Is he did I to his right of survival. And did I get to hear she has three children and two of them didn't die before the age of 3 or 4 that they would soon find medical care would be provided but if his wife is expecting a child there will be someone to take care of him at the time of childbirth and she wouldn't die due to trying to get it. So many of them have seen these things so new and Civil and Political Rights are essential and very important and one can't really draw a line between civil and political rights economic and social rights. The order of priorities differs very often. I would like to come in at this point. You were talking about Iran and I would like to have one more thing which goes to the heart of one of the Scotians that took place at the assembly on a somewhat different area outside of that which we have been discussing. Iraq has
had an extraordinarily excellent history with reference to the treatment of Jews and as a matter of fact on the occasion of the coronation of the Shah not too long ago the Jewish community throughout the world was sent congratulatory letters of appreciation for his his active and courage month of. Jewish culture in independence and integrity we discussed in the assembly group rights. And there was a. Expressed concern raised on and on a number of levels that the tendency to homogenize civilizations through the use of either political pressures or through the news. Lord Ritchie Calder pointed out the margin I imagine as a nation of civilisation through new technical instruments where everyone will simply lose their their
heritage their religious and cultural and linguistic heritage. This is a matter of increasing concern to a great many minorities not to long ago the UN held a seminar three years ago I think it was in the line of where they were concerned with protecting the cultural and religious rights of multi million multinational States. Most states or many states have a great many minorities whose whose rights are jeopardized or deprived of their linguistic heritage or their cultural heritage. This is a matter of increasing concern and I don't know whether the answer lies in the suggestion that you made the Reverend Albert about the about chipping away at sovereignty. My own guess is that this is a forewarning cause I think Mr. Gandhi made the observation that nations our states are here to stay but I think the answer really lies and alert and alive and conscience of
conscience concerned world citizenry that are simply going to compel their their leadership to take positive action. Why haven't you put your finger on the dilemma of all this. We want a world government we want world society world understand at the same time we don't want to lose our local personalities or national individuality. Got to maintain a greater individuality. You come from peace and law and order than it can through conflict that we must maintain and then of course toward what you call it this morning when you heard that your mind would I think like a burger with a debt of no i the agenda item that he spoke into the areas of concern and new dangers. In other words what he was really pointing out that man hasn't yet overcome his inhumanity to man. Now he's threatened with an inhumanity of machines that he created. The other day I heard a high official. Are you
talking in the confines of the United Nations. He was a private remark said you know I think all of this discussion was repetition was a German is nonsense because it is going to come in time and will fill the problem with the problem that we're not talking about into a computer. And the answer will come up with absolute certainty. We have to be able to have the answer to this without spending three weeks in the jungle. And Garces Absolutely. Dangers. I mean if the time comes when the masters of this earth will be the people the cooky able to feed the answers on the computer because someone has to put something in there for something to come out and call them as part of another great scientific threat to us. A sign of the threat to our own individual liberties by a great computer system the everything that any of us ever get and. That there's a bend in the thrust of modern science
to individual liberty can hardly be described in the limited time you know of today so that's something else that we and I must say the Carter speech has done because of the way he acts in a way which delivered the star he actually had with one of the high spots of the conference would you say that no yes no no doubt of it. He went out there walking down the streets of my tree all he could pick up in some local store bugging devices and what have we come to in terms of the right of privacy when any kind of telephone call he might make is simply bugged that the simple instrument cell you have there was equip yourself with some fundamental love some simple knowledge of how to attach a bugging device and the fact that anybody can pick it up in any store whatsoever means that all of us terms of our privacy is open to inspection by anybody else. I'm concerned not only that the human rights as we know of the new dangers. We still cannot seem to be related Ysleta the concern. Well I think this is
what we must clarify and we all have her homework every citizen of every nation in the homework to understand that human rights are the cornerstone of peace will be. And would you say the greatest threat to human rights of the well the vicious and the regimentation war produces this gaji. You're going to have a very central role. As a representative of the host government during the intergovernmental official United Nations conference on human rights in Tehran we have doubt during this assembly in Montreal with some topics that are not on the agenda of the United Nations conference. New dangers the electro electronic menace to the right of privacy the new developments in medicine and biology and their impact on human rights just as two examples. I wonder if you can project what influence the report of the assembly private sector assembly in
Montreal may have in stimulating the delegates of nations at the Tehran meeting. Have we pioneered the way have we pave the way as the secretary general of the United Nations said private organizations should for governments. And I said that to start with in my opening remarks that I think gave him he has really assisted in helping to take on conference to achieve better concrete results then he would have achieved a kind of parity would the test come. On here in Montreal what I think their own conference will undoubtedly bring out and it's the hope of many that it will bring this home to all of us. He's first of all I was it was very rightly pointed out earlier in this discussion that education is very important and that led to public opinion is essential if human rights are to be protected. And whatever violation takes place.
The other factor is that public opinion should be and should reach the point that it would demand action in cases of violations of human rights no matter where the violation takes place. In addition to that I think if they're on the brink home to all of us that human rights and protection of men's rights is not and cannot be a concern of only one the state and cannot prevail in one state and not the in the others that all of us really feel that international protection of human rights. There is a great deal of interdependence. There was about six seven centuries ago an Iranian poet if I may be allowed it just came to my mind said this sounds of men who are members of a body hold related sort of a singular sense out of each and all create. When fortune persecutes one member of this body slowly surely the other members of the body cannot stand Security now
when the wild nations of Human Rights takes place in all corners of the world you can't possibly have three four five countries peoples of which would feel free and would feel that their rights are guaranteed. We would we would have to think more on an international level. And this there on the whole would bring go out and mobilize opinion to an extent that there will not be one government which would not feel that the fate of its citizens and no one people would feel that their fate is not interdependent on the fate of my much much less very wise quotation you've given us with. Jacques Maritain those statements that we know are knows more and more what he ought to do and we hope that as a result of these conversations these debates are the same way that man that everyone will know a little bit more what they want to do with what I have another
coming by a poet. With a very distinguished Italian poet Dante and his he made the observation that the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in times of crisis remain neutral. Our responsibility is to play an active role and in that sense I would like to raise this particular point that was discussed to some extent by those people here who represent non-governmental organizations at the United States United Nations. They have had the responsibility over the years of raising issues before various U.N. bodies and today they're confronted by the problem of all kinds of restrictions being placed upon them or all kinds of. Questionnaires which they feel and I think justifiably so may hamstring
their independence and integrity and right to speak from an unnatural stance if we're to avoid neutrality if we're to be partisans in the fight for human rights they must be given. As much freedom of expression that is possible and I think it might be useful if Mr. Ganji who has been a very active member at the various U.N. organs were to comment on this because this is a matter of very definite concern for various segments of the nongovernmental. With pleasure. I think the non-governmental organizations have played and have a very important role to play on the matter for international protection and national as well as international protection of human rights. They have certainly those in concert of the status with the Economic and Social Council have over the past 20 years played the most important. It's only
unfortunate that within the last year or two certain facts have been brought into light. And with regard to some non-governmental organizations which were not at all in concert the state has Economic and Social Council. Unfortunately some circles have used these facts which were brought about I say about NGOs. We doubt having any consultative estate as we saw to shed some light on other NGOs and and this has created this state of opinion within the United Nations that these NGOs are mostly Western oriented. They are they have their headquarters in the Western countries and there therefore they represent only one shade of you whereas the fact of the matter is that generally we know enough experience that their interest is international. Most of them are indeed independent and it would be to their this advantage of the United Nations to curtail their little power they don't have any power. They learn to write they have in the United Nations to
express opinion at times due to consent of the body's consent and indeed and this has been and most many of us particularly the Asian delegates we have hoped that this course of action would not take place and there may be other NGOs from Asia Africa if they are constituted would come also to acquire the position that these NGOs at present have and that they will continue to serve the high ideals that they have served in the past 20 years. We've already begun to think of future developments that might come out of this Montreal assembly for human rights. And I'd like to because we haven't talked about it at all before I'd like to try it on Mr. Al but this idea. That an assembly. With. The experience of the present planet was being used might be drawn up. With its own agenda. Not necessarily imitating this agenda at
all which would be an assembly for petition of us and assembly for those who are the voices of the aggrieved or even the aggrieved themselves those in assembly that would receive in an orderly fashion receive instances and reports of violations. I ask you because Mr. Corey and I have talked about it a little bit and I know he might have a more prepared answer and we'd like something spontaneous from you. How does it strike you is this something to be that immediate response is an excellent idea. I think this is something that we have needed for a long time. In summing up this assembly I think we had this kind of a situation where. Representatives from all parts of the world Africa nation Latin America and the Middle East and Europe and represents the UN could sit down and talk together about common problems and even the voice of the young I was glad this assembly the voice of the Young was recognized and heard at this assembly would set a model for the kind of assembly where petitioners representing
you know the conflicts in north and south east and west and the rich and the poor could have an opportunity to talk together. Mr. Gandhi at a meeting of the Steering Committee was the author of a phrase that we hope doesn't copyright it because we'd like to use it. There's a need for a People's Assembly. People's Assembly. That's what this is but an assembly of experts not it has as it is that it hasn't been the people's assembly but it's been an assembly of expert people and that is what we mean with an assembly for protection as well as the any other reactions to this. We might even make this a first planning meeting for an assembly Oh I forgot your violations I think it's an excellent idea but you know one has to go about this to some degree of planning and you know. For a fact that unfortunately not all petitions from individuals may really be related to their rights and freedoms. Therefore we can say that any petition that comes you should act
on certain procedures for being such a case established to examine and see that there is a primary Fasher case of violation to start with that local remedies have been exhausted. That there is a relationship between the petition at all and what he claims the rights that have been violated. These are all factors then which should evolve and the procedure established and in such a case I think it's an excellent idea. The assembly itself should not be the only organ. There should be an organization which which would service this and it would process these petitions and bring information to the attention. I can see is one of the first petition is our 13 year old daughter who probably would like to petition an assembly on the basis of having to wash and dry dishes at home. That isn't what you have a 13 year old son you know about his rights to not wash behind his ears. I mean how do you respond Mr Eichelberger to and assembly that would be an assembly of the people to which they could come in an orderly
under an orderly process and cite violations of human rights. I think it's part of the process of putting the human rights of the general welfare of mankind above the subsidy of individual governments. A while ago you gave an illustration of how there's been an evolution away from absolute suffering. I remember when the colonial powers said that it was a violation of Article 270 for the United Nations to discuss colonial problems. There came a time in the assembly one resolution in a sense like what it is the whole colonial system. You see in that development I think the right of the individual must be more important than the separate in his own country. It's going to take a while to work that out without the abuses that you fear. But it was also a suggestion made that we really haven't had a parliamentary body. An assembly made up of. On the basis of the end of parliamentary people says I have
had the feeling that much of the discussion. Had been observed by the front line people. In the areas of deprivation the professionals who are working under conditions where they face every day of hunger poor housing a lack of housing the lack of applied or preventive medicine might have felt that much of what we were doing was abstract. I wonder how some of you would comment on again the translation of these concepts of the machinery that we've been seeking to refine into into. Programs that will touch the lives of people particularly the young people of the world. As you know young people that at least that I'm aware of that dissipated as observers were
very anxious to deal with concrete cases rather than with any abstractions and they thought in terms of the kind of violations that we read about in the press that they are familiar with that touches their very heart as you know in the United States the civil rights movement has taken on extensive proportions and has become interlocking with the peace movement and their interlock to with the poverty movement and the anti-poverty movement. And they too would find themselves much more involved where they do feel that the abstractions that were conceived of here the kind of instrument Teletubbies that were projected the instruments that were projected were of a character that would deal effectively with the problems that confront them. This is what they've always come down to the bedrock to translating into reality the concerns that they
have. I don't know how one goes about. Doing that I don't know how one goes about dramatizing issues in such a way as to make the issues felt. One thing that is clearly Mr Guy G's copy of that for petitions to be receivable they must be legitimate and therefore some kind of clearing house is essential for clearing agent to see that there are crackpot proposals. Yes there are legitimate young people are going to identify and their moral concern with with with the aggrieved parties and this will be a challenge to them. I feel it and I agree wholeheartedly with you Steve and me what is important. No youth is impatient and wants to see concrete results and rightly so
that unfortunately in the cases of fire nations are so numerous. It's not 1 2 3 4 5 places and that if you were at this assembly assembly of this kind force in taking place over a period of six days to give that petition we would not have done nearly justice to the cause of protection of human rights. So before the step is taken towards that direction some a preparatory book should be undertaken and this assembly undoubtedly address itself to that first stage and in future if we hope it will continue then of course gradually it will evolve into a system that it could help petitioners such as the ones who have come before the system. Mr Eichelberger will remember that after a long struggle to find the right title for an important book the great historian James Shotwell
came to rest on the title of his book The Long Road to Freedom there cursed me somehow out of some computer process that a great quotation Pascals that the man becomes old but mankind remains young. I think in a sense this is what the Montreal assembly for Human Rights has been working for to prove that there there is a great future of hope through work for mankind always young. You've been sitting in on a roundtable discussion summarizing the work of the Assembly for Human Rights which has been progress here in Montreal Quebec during the past week. Our moderator was Mr. Leslie packrat cochairman of the Assembly president of the Johnson Foundation of Racine Wisconsin. Our panel speakers were Dr. William Corey chairman of the observer's program at the assembly. Director of the B'nai
Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal
Summing Up
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University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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For series info, see Item 3739. This prog.: Summing Up. Dr. William Korey, director, B'nai Brith U.N. Office; Rev. Herschel Halbert; Manouchehr Ganji, Iran; Clark Eichelberger, U.N. Association of the U.S.; Leslie Paffrath, moderator
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-43-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:28:53
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Chicago: “Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Summing Up,” 1968-11-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 6, 2023,
MLA: “Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Summing Up.” 1968-11-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 6, 2023. <>.
APA: Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Summing Up. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from