Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

United Nations NULL

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Intergovernmental Organization established 24 October 1945 to Promote International Co-operation, Replacement for the ineffective League of Nations

"Article 1 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

"Article 18 - Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

"All peoples have the right of self-determination."

"The Purposes of the United Nations are: To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace; To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace; To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends."

"Article 8 - The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs."

"Article 51 - Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security."

"Article 93 - All Members of the United Nations are ipso facto parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice. A state which is not a Member of the United Nations may become a party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice on conditions to be determined in each case by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council."

"Article 11 - The General Assembly may consider the general principles of co-operation in the maintenance of international peace and security, including the principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments, and may make recommendations with regard to such principles to the Members or to the Security Council or to both. The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations, or by the Security Council, or by a state which is not a Member of the United Nations in accordance with Article 35, paragraph 2, and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the state or states concerned or to the Security Council or to both. Any such question on which action is necessary shall be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly either before or after discussion. The General Assembly may call the attention of the Security Council to situations which are likely to endanger international peace and security."

"Article 92 - The International Court of Justice shall be the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It shall function in accordance with the annexed Statute, which is based upon the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice and forms an integral part of the present Charter."

"Article 34 - The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security."

"PREAMBLE - WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm 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, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations."

"Article 49 - The Members of the United Nations shall join in affording mutual assistance in carrying out the measures decided upon by the Security Council."

"Article 45 - In order to enable the United Nations to take urgent military measures, Members shall hold immediately available national air-force contingents for combined international enforcement action. The strength and degree of readiness of these contingents and plans for their combined action shall be determined within the limits laid down in the special agreement or agreements referred to in Article 43, by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee."

"After four years at the United Nations I sometimes yearn for the peace and tranquility of a political convention. - Adlai E. Stevenson"

"All countries, big or small, strong or weak, are equal members of the United Nations. - Nong Duc Manh"

"And I hope America will realize, as the only superpower now, it really must use its power in a way that's going to build up the world, and to support the United Nations. - George Carey"

"Another cause of change, one less noticeable but fundamental, is the modern growth of population closely connected with scientific and medical discoveries. It is interesting that the United Nations has set up a special Commission to study this question. - Emily Greene Balch"

"A new sense of shared international responsibility is unmistakable in the voices of the United Nations and its agencies, and in the civil society of thousands of supra-national NGOs. - John Charles Polanyi"

"A world without the United Nations or with a paralyzed United Nations would be far more costly to all of us and far more dangerous to peace and stability. - Richard Holbrooke"

"As a Nobel Peace laureate, I, like most people, agonize over the use of force. But when it comes to rescuing an innocent people from tyranny or genocide, I've never questioned the justification for resorting to force. That's why I supported Vietnam's 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which ended Pol Pot's regime, and Tanzania's invasion of Uganda in 1979, to oust Idi Amin. In both cases, those countries acted without U.N. or international approval—and in both cases they were right to do so. - José Ramos-Horta"

"But it is important to observe that when Europe or the United Nations impose sanctions that are supposed to be aimed against a certain regime, usually generally millions of people end up being directly punished. - Omar Bongo"

"As the highest ranking American official in the United Nations organization, I came to understand thoroughly that the national constitutional processes of the member states define the status of territories under their sovereignty. - Dick Thornburgh"

"Combat forces of the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Poland, and other countries enforced the demands of the United Nations, ended the rule of Saddam Hussein - and the people of Iraq are free. - George W. Bush"

"At (UNHCR's) headquarters, I met extraordinary people, men and women, especially from the emergency team, who shared with me their passion, their dedication and their commitment to this organization and refugees. They told me about the daily difficulties they have to face and also the joy they felt when they managed to save a person whose life was threatened. - Julien Clerc"

"Despite a decade of criticism and budget cuts, the specialized UN agencies have far more expertise and hands-on experience than any other organizations in the world. - Jeffrey Sachs"

"As the young leaders of tomorrow, you have the passion and energy and commitment to make a difference. What I'd like to really urge you do is to have a global vision. Go beyond your country; go beyond your national boundaries. You have to work and think about how we can make this world a better place for all. This is what I'd really like to ask our young leaders. We will try as leaders of today to minimize the problems which we will hand over to you. But it is to you. You have to take ownership and leadership of tomorrow. For that to be possible, you have to strengthen your capacity and widen your vision as a global citizen. - Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon"

"Convince all nuclear powers, including those which have been more reluctant up to now, of the necessity to respect the vital interests of all peoples and to become fully aware of the profound truth of the following conclusion which the United Nations approved by unanimity four years ago: Mankind is confronted with a choice: we must halt the arms race and proceed to disarmament or face annihilation. -Alfonso García Robles"

"Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves. - U Thant"

"Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can change the world. – Nelson Mandela"

"Fifty-seven countries in the world, a third of the United Nations, do not recognize Israel. In a way, I think North Korea has better international relations than Israel. - King Abdullah II"

"Everything will be all right - you know when? When people, just people, stop thinking of the United Nations as a weird Picasso abstraction and see it as a drawing they made themselves. - Dag Hammarskjöld"

"For all the civilians saved thanks to the presence of peacekeepers, there have been those who were lost – the United Nations personnel who sacrificed their lives for a noble cause. Even as we mourn our fallen colleagues, we are all uplifted by their unflinching commitment and are inspired to strive even harder for the collective cause so eloquently envisaged in the United Nations Charter: a world free from the scourge of war. - Jan Eliasson"

"Fortunately, the war has brought with it not alone a stark realization of what another war would mean to the world, but as well the creation of an international agency through which the nations of the world can, if they so desire, make peace a living reality. - Cordell Hull"

"From this vision of the role of the United Nations in the next century flow three key priorities for the future: eradicating poverty, preventing conflict and promoting democracy. – Kofi Annan"

"George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language. - Christopher Hitchens"

"However, if the religions in essence merely repeat statements from the United Nations Human Rights Declaration, such a Declaration becomes superfluous; an ethic is more than rights. - Hans Kung"

"Human nature being what it is, peace must inevitably be a relative condition. The essence of life is struggle and competition, and to that extent perfect peace is an almost meaningless abstraction. Struggle and competition are stimulating, but when they degenerate into conflict it is usually both destructive and disruptive. The aim of political institutions like the United Nations is to draw the line between struggle and conflict and to make it possible for nations to stay on the right side of that line. - Javier Perez de Cuellar"

"Humanistic values of equality and equal rights for all nations and individuals as crystallized in the principles of the United Nations Charter are mankind's great achievements in the 20th century. - Tran Duc Luong"

"Further, not only the United States, but the French, British, Germans and the United Nations all thought Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction before the United States intervened. - Jim Gerlach"

"I am very pleased to have been invited by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to become a United Nations Messenger of Peace. This is an opportunity to champion the United Nations' Millennium goals in a meaningful way. I look forward to being an advocate for the cause, working both through my own community engagement organizations and in collaboration with United Nations programmes. - Midori"

"I believe that our world needs an instrument of global action as never before in history. I believe that the United Nations is the instrument for securing peace and for giving people everywhere, in poorer countries as in richer, a real stake in that peace by promoting development and encouraging cooperation. But the United Nations is only an instrument, an actor in need of props and cues from its directors, and so I will paraphrase Winston Churchill: Give us the tools—the trust, the authority and the means—and we will do the job. - Kofi Annan"

"I believe in a world of justice and human rights for all. A world where girls can grow up free of fear of abuse. A world where women are treated with the respect and dignity that is their right. A world where poverty is not acceptable. My dear young friends, you can make this your world. - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon"

"I do believe that the United Nations needs to have more exacting, more enhanced professional standards for the military peacekeepers that are deployed. - Alex Morrison"

"I know that at times it may not have seemed like a home, but I think we can agree that today a new climate has taken hold in relations between Israel and the United Nations. - Kofi Annan"

"I think the American people, understandably, have sort of lost faith in the United Nations. - Cliff Stearns"

"If the military might of Germany and Japan are ultimately to be crushed, the United Nations, one and all, must definitely and urgently strive toward a total war effort. - William Lyon Mackenzie King"

"If the United Nations is a country unto itself, then the commodity it exports most is words. - Esther B. Fein"

"If the United Nations does not take over the situation and there is not a rethinking of this chaotic occupation we are living through, in which there are more dead in the occupation than in the war phase, the Spanish troops are going to return to Spain. - Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero"

"If the United Nations is to survive, those who represent it must bolster it; those who advocate it must submit to it; and those who believe in it must fight for it. - Norman Cousins"

"If the United Nations does not attempt to chart a course for the world's people in the first decades of the new millennium, who will? - Kofi Annan"