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  • Cited by 2
  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: July 2009

10 - Time for a United Nations' “Global Compact” for Integrating Human Rights into the Law of Worldwide Organizations: Lessons from European Integration Law for Global Integration Law


“Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Article 28

ABSTRACT. Most people spend most of their time on their economic activities of producing goods and services and exchanging the fruits of their labor for other goods and services that are necessary for their survival and personal development. Also, international trade and investments are never ends in themselves, but means for increasing individual and social welfare through voluntarily agreed and mutually beneficial transactions involving the exercise of liberty rights and property rights. Even though the economy is no less important for citizens and their human rights than the polity, the interrelationships between human rights and economic welfare – notably the enormous opportunities of the international division of labor for enabling individuals to increase their personal freedom, real income and access to resources necessary for the enjoyment of human rights – are neglected by human rights doctrine. The “Global Compact,” launched by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1999, calls upon business to “support and respect the protection of international human rights within their sphere of influence and make sure their own corporations are not complicit in human rights abuses.” This contribution calls for a complementary “Global Compact” between the UN and UN Specialized Agencies, as well as with other worldwide public organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO), so as to integrate universally recognized human rights into the law and practice of intergovernmental organizations, for example, by requiring them to submit annual “human rights impact statements” to UN human rights bodies and to engage in transparent dialogues about the contribution by specialized agencies to the promotion and protection of human rights. […]

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