The necessity to create a viable and secure political, social, cultural and economic environment that would allow people to exercise their rights continues to be the primary essence of peoples’ movement, the world over. As another International Human Rights day is commemorated to reaffirm the collective commitment of states, governments and nations to safeguard the rights of all, it is quite essential to point out that the question of human rights today will decisively determine the fate of future human relationship.
Real politik has consistently attempted to push issues of human dignity to the margins of national and international politics by branding and calling it names to delegitimize its credibility and undermine its role in human affairs. Yet, with every passing generation, the realization that human rights needs to be at the center of all relationship gets deeper in understanding, broader in scope and more profound in application. Hence the inevitable clash between human values and state narcissism. The regional alliance among States around national and international interests is the result of such a clash.
It is in this clash between human values and state narcissism that we realize that the state system is inherently bankrupt with monopolizing dependence on use of force as its principal agent in imposing a parochial and dehumanized reality. Consequently these overwhelming circumstances has affectively ensured that human rights movements are reduced to mere fire fighting capacities, having little democratic space to be involved in nation building processes. The key therefore is to engage with human rights issues from a structural level, rather than fire fighting at the functional level.
The link between rights and its implementation is defined by the structures of government and unless the structures are founded and reflective of values of humanization, the path towards a culture of human rights becomes unrealistic. Consistently one must turn to critically question the very structures that define and determine the patterns of human association and organizations. It is in the process of self-criticism that we develop and create alternative participatory solutions to the problems of structural legitimacy and structural relevance; not by ignoring or bypassing them.
It will not be wrong to point out that my generation has inherited a legacy of extraordinary changes of the last century, and now as we are in the first decade of the new century, we are faced with greater dilemmas and newer opportunities in our search for human security. I therefore claim that we are at a unique turning point and it is for us to be steadfast in affecting and redefining dignified patterns of interaction in human affairs and conduct.
Therefore, is it possible then to engage in a collective process to define a future inspired by values of shared humanity and with the ability to equally meet the fundamental human needs of all? Today, we are challenged by the forces of history to adequately demonstrate the basic idea that human rights are the touchstone of any viable and dynamic democratic system. It is a matter of factual truth that most of today’s conflicts around the world can be peacefully resolved only through the effective implementation and exercise of human rights. To realize peace, there is no other option but to ensure the full realization of human dignity for all peoples!