The 1948 UN Declaration on Universal human rights helped advance a step closer to ending the apartheid being experienced in South Africa. Although there were more efforts put in place in order to completely make South Africa an independent state and free of discrimination in 1994, the declaration played a major role and continued to play a role in other states concerning discrimination and other human rights.
The declaration enabled the establishment of a center against apartheid in 1976. Although the United Nations used such force as asking other states to stop supplying oil to South Africa and to withdraw all economic relation, the General Assembly finally removed the South Africa issue and apartheid from its agenda after the needed improvement was noted. The South Africans could finally enjoy peace and freedom in the land of their birth.
This document can be of assistance to other states including the United States as it a nation full of diverse races. Article 1 of this document declares that all people are born equal and free in rights and dignity. Article 2 also declares that every person has rights without distinction of any kind (UN, 2011). This article could have been greatly used when there was racial discrimination in the United States. Such activists as Martin Luther King Jr. were indeed greatly assisted by this document during those days.
The freedom to assemble and belong to an association, albeit not necessarily mandatory, which is stated in Article 20 (UN, 2011) could also been of influence in the 1950s and the 1960s when African Americans were fighting for their rights. Many peaceful meetings especially held by Martin Luther King Jr. were often dispersed and some ended with the death of individuals. The United Nations Declaration could and still can help many states in the world facing human rights challenges.
The United Nations defines poverty as a denial of opportunities and choices, a human dignity violation. It is the inadequacy of the primary capacity to take part in the society effectively. It is barely having enough to clothe and feed a family, visit a health clinic or school, land to till, no credit access and/or no job to earn from. Poverty means communities, households and individual exclusion, lack of power and insecurity. It means being susceptible to a violent, fragile and marginal environment, with no access to sanitation or clean water.
According to the UN, 925 million people are hungry worldwide and more than 1.7 billion people live under the poverty line worldwide (UN, 2011). Unfortunately, the number of poor people is increasing in the world especially due to the economic crisis being experienced worldwide. The number of jobless people has increased by 28 million people since the crisis started (UN, 2011). The number of people in the slums has also increased as people are trying to cut down on costs in order to cope with the tough financial times.
The United Nations formed goals during the World Social Summit to make sure that the poverty levels go down. The organization has formed many poverty eradication programs formed under the Poverty Eradication unit. This also includes the Millennium Development Goals Indicators, which constantly make sure that the goals targeted have been reached. Although the poverty level is on the increase despite the many measures that have been put in place to curb it, the UN is still doing its best to raise the people’s living standards. It offers food programs, as well as projects to ensure that people get sanitation and clean water in the slum areas. The difficult economic times are some of the challenges it is facing in the process of poverty eradication and lack of cooperation from governments in some member states.
United Nations (2011). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
United Nations (2011). Poverty: Social Development and Development Division. Retrieved from www.un.org.