70 YEARS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER AS THE PEOPLES’ CHARTER
Seventy years ago the Charter of the United Nations Charter was signed. The Charter begins:
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,
The signing of the Charter was an historic event in the history of mankind. For the first time, the world signed a treaty based on universal and egalitarian principles of international law with mechanisms for implementation. It outlawed war and use of force in international relations.
However, over the years references to the United Nations are to acts of the United Nations as an organization and not to the Charter. But the United Nations was created by the Charter for its implementation. Because peoples are the main victims of wars, the Charter makes their sovereignty the pillar of international law and calls for the peoples’ full enjoyment of their right of self‐determination and their safety, based on mutual respect it is imperative that the people be aware of the content of the Charter and celebrate it as a document embodying the most progressive principles of law and international relations.
People must know the terms of the Charter in order that it is respected and to ensure it is not violated even by the United Nations itself. Therefore there is a need during this 70th year of the Charter to teach its provisions to the people and to widely publicize it through education and information.
Lawyers have a special duty to be the teachers. This is why IADL decided to hold this International Conference in Paris on December 4 and 5. It is organized by IADL’s French Affiliate Droit Solidarité, in partnership with associations of veterans and peace movements in France. The first day of the conference feature speakers celebrating the achievements of the Charter while the second day will be devoted to educational initiatives to promote the Charter, examples of how the Charter can be used to further peoples struggles and to addressing obstacles to implementing the Charter.
Place: Paris (France) Musée Social, 5 rue Las Cases (Metro Solférino)
Dates and Times: December 4: 2 to 6 pm; December, 5: 9.30 to 12.00 and 2 to 5 pm