Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Deputy UN Secretary General: Free Speech is a Privilege Granted by the UN

Apparently, according to Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson, you had no right to free speech before 1948 (h/t Mark Steyn):

When I was President of the General Assembly [in] 2005 and 2006, and some of you were here, then you remember how sensitive the discussions were on the Human Rights Council in the spring of 2006.  In the midst of our negotiations, we had this so-called Danish cartoon crisis.  And it almost stopped the Human Rights Council from coming about.  There was enormously strong reaction.

So this issue comes up every now and then, and there are three dimensions to this issue that we always should keep in mind, and sometimes they are difficult to reconcile.  The first one is the basic human rights of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  The second one is the respect for the value and beauty of this right, that provocations, a lack of respect towards others, in a world where there is enough of contradictions, antagonism and even hatred, that we should recognize that you have this gift given to us by the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights, but it also implies some type of responsibility to use that in such a way that you don't cause situations; which brings me to the third point, namely, of course, always strong reactions, condemnations of the violence, as a result of the provocation.  So you have to have to keep in mind, yes, this is the basis for, I hope, most of the countries in the world — the freedom of speech, the freedom of expression, since this is in the Universal Declaration — but that this also is a privilege that we have, which in my view involves also the need for respect, the need to avoid provocations, in a world where we have enough of contradictions and hatred;

So if we only have freedom of speech because of the UN, does that mean they can take it away too if it gets too complicated and provocative?  That's the problem when bureaucrats say they gave you something, they easily take it away.  Personally, I prefer this view:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Neither governments nor an international body give us rights, we have those rights naturally.  It is us who give power to the governments.

I really think we need to exit the UN already and kick them out of New York.  Why are we linked to this organization that is dominated by dictators and anti-Americans?  Shelling out our hard earned money so they can party in our largest and most expensive city?  We shouldn't have to put up with dictators like Ahmedinejad (pronounced iminadouchebag) prancing around our country.  We get nothing out of it.

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