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International Legitimacy and World Society$
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Ian Clark

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297009.001.0001

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San Francisco and Human Rights, 1945

San Francisco and Human Rights, 1945

(p.131) 6 San Francisco and Human Rights, 1945
International Legitimacy and World Society

Ian Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The draft proposals for the United Nations Charter that emerged from Dumbarton Oaks allowed only for one brief mention of human rights. The final version agreed at San Francisco gave human rights a much higher profile. Why did this change take place? There is a substantial body of literature that accounts for it exclusively in terms of the activities of the US Consultants (representatives of NGOs), attached to the US Delegation. However, the role of Latin American states, as well as of the Soviet Union, needs to be remembered. The chapter draws attention to the problems surrounding the heroic role of the US consultants. It traces the evolution of thinking about human rights during the war years, culminating in the attendance of some 1,200 representatives of NGOs at the San Francisco conference. There is no doubt, therefore, that state officials were conscious of wide public expectations on the human rights front. Since popular support for the UN would be vital to its future effectiveness, respect for human rights can be seen as a kind of ‘social wage’ in return. This gave the individual a new standing in international society and international law.

Keywords:   Dumbarton Oaks, international law, international society, NGOs, United Nations Charter, US Consultants

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