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Asia and the Drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Authors: Ramcharan, Robin, Ramcharan, Bertrand

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  • Contributes to dialogue on universal human rights values in Asia on the 70th anniversary year of the UDHR
  • Argues that the values of the UDHR are Asian values
  • Illustrates the strong contributions of Asians to the drafting of the UDHR
  • Capacitates Asian civil society to argue for universal values with assurance
  • Based on the official UN records of the drafting of the UDHR
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eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2104-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2103-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This is the first book that explicitly outlines Asian contributions to the elaboration of universal human rights values that were proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Evidence of Asia’s contribution from the historical records of the Commission on Human Rights (1946 to 1948) profoundly refutes any remnants of the relativist ‘Asian values’ discourse. Asians shaped the ‘new humanism’ of the UDHR and the universal values that they also brought to bear on the drafting of this document. The book brings this evidence into focus in order to enter them into contemporary human rights discourse in Asia. The book coincides with the 70th anniversary (2018) of the UDHR and contributes to the ongoing global dialogue between states and societies in the development of human rights norms. At this time, the elucidation of the Asian contribution in this work is part of this dialogue.  

About the authors

Robin Ramcharan is Professor of International Relations at Webster University Thailand.  He is Executive Director of the Asia Centre, a neutral and independent think-tank in Bangkok that conducts evidence-based research on human rights in Asia. Previously, he was Professor of International Relations and Law at Alliance University, Bangalore. He has worked in international development cooperation with the Academy of the World Intellectual Property Organization. 
Bertrand Ramcharan served as High Commissioner for Human Rights 2003-2004, following the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello in August 2003. Over his three decades with the UN, he served, inter alia, as Special Assistant to the Director of the Centre for Human Rights. He held many senior positions including Chief Speechwriter of the UN Secretary-General, Director of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in UNPROFOR, Director of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, political adviser to the peace negotiators in the Yugoslav conflict, and Director in the United Nations Political Department, focusing on conflicts in Africa. He has been Professor of Human Rights at the Geneva Graduate Institute and Chancellor of the University of Guyana.

Reviews

“This original book makes a powerful argument that Asian states contributed to the framing of universal human rights values in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The authors provide strong evidence from the drafting process of the Commission on Human Rights. Interestingly, the UDHR, adopted 70 years ago, benefited from insights from many parts of Asia, including Iran, which gave the world the first human rights document - the Cyrus cylinder - centuries before.  The authors are both highly accomplished in this area, as scholars and practitioners. Advocates across Asia will gain new inspiration from this book as they champion human rights in an uncertain geopolitical context in which the protection of human rights appears to face an uphill battle.” (Ali Dizboni, Professor of Politics, Royal Military College of Canada)

“The values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are very much Asian values – at a time when the post-World War II liberal international order is in retreat and Asia ascends to global prominence, this book offers a timely reminder that the region played a pivotal role in the articulation of the 1948 document. By meticulously unearthing and interpreting documentary and other evidence, Ramcharan and Ramcharan bring to life the vision, charisma and influence of Charles Malik (Lebanon), P.C. Chang (China) and their Asian colleagues felt throughout the declaration’s drafting history. Their travails not only refute conventional wisdom that the Universal Declaration was a Western instrument imposed on Asia against its will; they also reaffirm Asia’s substantial ownership and stakes in its genesis. This provides a welcome counterpoint to the resurgent relativist discourse that questions the universality of modern human rights in what is often touted as an “Asia-Pacific Century.” States in the region have far more than merely a lip service to perform at their periodic reviews before the UN Human Rights Council.” (Nobuo Hayashi, PhD, LLM, Visiting Lecturer, UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2104-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2103-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Asia and the Drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd., part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-981-13-2104-7
DOI
10.1007/978-981-13-2104-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-13-2103-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 255
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics