Schlesinge Jr., Arthur
December 1978
Foreign Affairs;1978 Special Issue, Vol. 57 Issue 3
This article focuses on the concept of human rights and its association with the foreign policy of the United States, along with worldwide efforts to promote the cause of human rights. Nothing President Jimmy Carter Administration has done has excited more hope, puzzlement and confusion than the effort to make human rights a primary theme in the international relations of the United States. Human rights roughly the idea that all individuals everywhere are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on this earth is a relatively modern proposition. The United States was founded on the proclamation of "unalienable" rights and human rights ever since have had a peculiar resonance in the U.S. tradition. Americans have agreed since 1776 that the United States must be the beacon of human rights to an unregenerate world. The "Declaration by United Nations" (1942) called for "complete victory" in order, among other things, "to preserve human rights"; and the United Nations Charter (1945) pledged member nations to joint and separate action to promote "human rights." Three years later the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


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