|Home||Student Resources||Chapter 12|
According to the Preamble of its Charter, the United Nations was established not only "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" but also "to affirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small." One of the basic purposes of the organization enumerated in Article 1 is "to achieve international cooperation in...promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion."
But the states-persons and international lawyers who constructed the United Nations had no intention of eroding the sovereignty of nation-states in the name of human rights. Accordingly, Article 2, Section 7 assures that "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter." Notably, the reiterated obligation in Article 55 to "promote...universal respect for, and observation of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all" is presented as a MEANS of ensuring the conditions of stability and well being necessary for peace and security, not as an equal in value to peace and security.