“Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” So begins the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948 by the UN General Assembly. The concept of human rights as laid out in the Declaration forms the cornerstone of liberal democracy. But it has been challenged by some who argue that unique historical experience and cultural, religious and civilizational traditions provide better ways to ensure human rights.
And what of identity? How does identity in both its individual and collective dimensions inform an understanding of human rights? Recognition by others is a key driving force of today’s “identity politics” and underscores the basic human need for validation. Are “inherent dignity” and “identity” compatible concepts in a human rights paradigm for the 21st century?
Join us for a conversation with Francis Fukuyama, Jacques Rupnik and Nicole Bibbins-Sedaca to address these questions as we commemorate International Human Rights Day.