Elements of keynote speech at the OSCE supplementary human dimension meeting on human rights

In a recent public opinion survey in the member countries of the European Union, their ordinary citizens have demonstrated their usual blissful ignorance of political and strategic matters. Speech by Vojin Dimitrijevic.

Such ignorance included an amazing lack of information about member states other than theirs, and especially about the neighbours of the Union. However, the encouraging fact for me was that the interviewees, when asked about the basic values to which the Union is committed, indicated human rights (39%) at the first place, even before security and democracy.

This is another proof that the idea of human rights has been victorious in the period after Wold War II and that no political leader, party or movement can afford to be openly and explicitly against human rights. For national politicians, as well as those politicians who are leaders international organizations, this is an undoubted advantage because they do not have to prove that the very idea of human rights and human rights as a political and social goal are not desirable in spite of some doubts which – interestingly enough – subsist in some philosophical circles. “Human rights” has become a “good” word or syntagme, the way “democracy” has become a “good” term and “terrorism” an absolutely bad designation.

Keynote Meeting Vienna-Publications-2007 (full text, PDF)

Occasional PapersPublications