FEBRUARY 7, 1948
NEW YORK, Friday—I had an interesting audience the other day at the Chelsea Vocation School, where I spoke on the United Nations and the Human Rights Commission and on their relationship to the youth of today. As I looked at the young faces before me, I wondered if it would be possible to make them understand how much the success of the United Nations might mean to them in the years to come. I realized that practically all of them had had older brothers on some front during the war. Perhaps this was why they were an attentive and interested group of youngsters.
Yesterday morning, when I went out to Lake Success to present the report of the Human Rights Commission to the Economic and Social Council, I thought again of the youngsters growing up in the hope that they would not have to repeat the experiences their elder brothers had been through. I wondered how many people in the United States realize that the building of peace means putting one stone upon another until we have a firm foundation—and that the "stones" are the things which all of us do in our daily lives.
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The work of the Human Rights Commission may be a pretty big stone in this foundation for peace. Now that the commission, in its recent session, has drafted a tentative declaration and a convention on rights and has sent them to all the member governments for comment, I wish that our newspapers would print these documents in full.
Last autumn, considerable publicity was given to the short-form declaration which the State Department had worked out as a basis for discussion. This embodied the United States' views for the commission to consider as a working paper. But now we have the results of the thinking of the representatives of eighteen nations, and it seems to me that it would be valuable for the people of our country to have these documents made available.
They could keep them so that, as each point comes up for discussion and final wording during the next session of the commission, they could refer to the basic documents and be able to note the changes. In the meantime, they could be going over the declaration and the convention and perhaps express their opinions to their representatives in Congress and in the United Nations.
In that way, those who sit on the Human Rights Commission and in the Economic and Social Council could have a clearer idea of how the people of the United States really feel about these documents. Any move which may affect the peace of the world in the future should be of paramount interest to every citizen of this country.