Human rights work must focus on lending voice to the underprivileged, former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has said, while asserting that India is not poor because it lacks resources but for the lack of its judicious use. Balakrishnan, also former Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, was speaking at a symposium, “Universal Respect for Human Dignity: The Great Path to Peace”.
The event was organised by Bharat Soka Gakkai, Indian affiliate of global Buddhist organisation Soka Gakkai International (SGI), which has come up with a peace proposal to the United Nations on universal respect for human dignity.
“I deeply hope that the United Nations passes and ratifies the peace proposals as conventions to be implemented by various countries. While countries are not strictly bound by UN conventions, they definitely can and do form their municipal laws on basic ideas of UN conventions, of which bringing happiness to the greatest number of people is most essential,” he said.
The former Chief Justice of India also said that India as a country is not poor because it lacks resources but because there is no judicious use of it.
Human rights activities must focus on giving voice to those who are stuck in various difficulties but whom we cannot see, he said.
Nitin Desai, former Under-Secretary General (Economic and Social Affairs), United Nations, said United Nations was designed to end the scourge of war and poverty.
“But, we have not succeeded in that task,” he said, adding “people’s lives have still not been made secure with all the things that we are trying to do.”
“The challenge we face is we live in a more globalised world for which we need a global ethic. Our challenge is to design a process that finds common ground,” Desai said.
Chairperson of Bharat Soka Gakkai Vishesh Gupta said through one-on-one dialogues, we can build strong and unassailable defences of peace in the heart of one individual after another. “Since war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed,” he added.