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Western View on Human Rights Needs Reassessment

In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, representing the “common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.”

Everyone possesses inherent rights that are equal in significance and should be accorded equitable treatment. Regrettably, this is not always the case.

Firstly, a disproportionate focus has been placed by Western countries on civil and political rights. Economic, social and humanitarian rights, despite their impact on the lives of countless individuals, receive scant attention.

Earlier this year, it was reported that 34 million people in the United States suffered from food insecurity, including 9 million children. It is also astonishing but true that in a leading country in science and technology, there are still 43 million individuals with serious difficulties in reading and writing, lacking basic literacy skills.

Some Western countries position themselves as champions against violations in other countries, driven by geopolitical motivations, yet they choose to overlook the plight of their own citizens. That makes their preaching unconvincing.

Secondly, Western countries should end their obsession with wars as a means to force other countries to toe their line. Wars and other forms of violent interventions have only exacerbated living conditions in many countries, reducing access to food, education, and healthcare needed by millions of people in war-torn countries.

Thirdly, some Western nations boast a “perfect” democratic essence, yet many people are excluded from enjoying the full benefits and rights.

The governments often consist of millionaires or oligarchs. Although the political system is labeled as “representative,” once elected, officials often forget the ordinary people who elected them.

In the 21st century, few assertions carry less substance than hollow demagogy.

Some Western powers arbitrarily establish and exploit divided narratives, such as the dichotomy of “democracy vs. autocracy,” while elevating a singular model of democracy and an exclusive set of “values” that often lack social inclusivity.

Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”

It’s the responsibility of all nations to strive for an order that promotes the common good and a future characterized by shared well-being.

Editor’s note: Eduardo Klinger Pevida is a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic and director of the Center for Analysis and Studies on China and Asia.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Xinhua News Agency.