As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates its 60th anniversary, events in the Balkans, Sudan and Myanmar continue to challenge its idealism, while raising new questions about the prospects for humanitarian interventions.
Do human rights transcend national borders and customs? Is the definition of human rights changing?
Ralph J. Begleiter
Ralph Begleiter brings more than 30 years of broadcast journalism experience to the University of Delaware, where he teaches communication, journalism, and political science. During two decades as CNN's œworld affairs correspondent, Begleiter was the network's most widely-traveled reporter.
He has visited some 95 countries on 6 continents. He continues to travel, with university students to Cuba, South America, Turkey and Antarctica, and conducting media workshops in several countries under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State.
In 1998, Begleiter wrote and anchored a 24-part series on the Cold War. He covered many historic events at the end of the 20th century, including virtually every high-level Soviet/Russian-American meeting; the Persian Gulf Crisis in 1990-91; the Dayton Bosnia Accords; and Middle East Peace efforts.
He has received numerous press awards including, in 1994, the Weintal Prize from Georgetown University's Graduate School of Foreign Service, one of diplomatic reporting's highest honors.
Hurst Hannum is Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, teaching courses in international organizations, international human rights law, peacekeeping, and nationalism and ethnicity.
From 1980 to 1989, he served as Executive Director of The Procedural Aspects of International Law Institute, in Washington, DC, and he was a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace in 1989-90. He received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.
Professor Hannum has served as counsel in cases before the European and Inter-American Commissions on Human Rights and the United Nations; he also has been a member of the boards of several international human rights organizations.
Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, a post he has held since 1993. Human Rights Watch investigates, reports on, and seeks to curb human rights abuses in some 70 countries.
From 1987 to 1993, Mr. Roth served as deputy director of the organization. Previously, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. He also worked in private practice as a litigator.
Is the question "why did the U.S. disengage from the Human Rights Council" meant to be serious? I think it might have been about the same time that the Human Rights Council itself disengaged from sanity, started adopting resolutions that insulted half the world and, in some bizarre parody of itself, pushed states like Libya into leadership roles. This isn't a difficult question to figure out.