著者
小阪 裕城
出版者
一般財団法人 日本国際政治学会
雑誌
国際政治 (ISSN:04542215)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.2018, no.193, pp.193_92-193_107, 2018-09-10 (Released:2018-12-19)
参考文献数
62

This article examines the politics involved in the right to petition the United Nations (U.N.) in the drafting process of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Experiences of war and ideas such as “the Atlantic Charter” published by the allied countries inspired people around the world to become politically active. They started to seek not only a victory over the Axis countries but also a victory over injustices they face in their respective countries. When the U.N. Human Rights Commission began drafting the International Bill of Rights in 1947, it had already received many petitions from those people. This paper tries to answer the question of how nations responded to this situation, and how and why the article on the right to petition the U.N. was finally deleted from the drafting process of the declaration.As major African American civil rights groups were trying to send their petition to the U.N., internationalizing racial problems in the United States, the issue concerning the right to petition became an important issue for the U.S. government. The Interdepartmental Committee on International Social Policy, which was established by the Truman administration in 1946, discussed the issue of whether the international bill of human rights should be a legally binding “convention” or “declaration,” which was not supposed to be legally binding. While some countries such as Australia and India proposed mechanisms to implement a human rights charter, the U.S. State Department was reluctant to draft a binding convention at that moment, fearing that it was so provocative for the conservatives that they would disagree with the U.S. commitment to the United Nations.Separate from the American concern, the U.N. Human Rights Commission decided to draft both a convention and a declaration and started to make a series of drafts of the declaration that included the article on the right to petition the U.N. U.S. policymakers discussed these and were concerned about the article of the right to petition. What worried the U.S. is that recognizing the right to petition would stimulate “unwarranted hopes” around the world. The U.S. tried to revise the draft articles by replacing the “right to petition the U.N.” with the “right to communicate with the U.N.” From the U.S. viewpoint, the right to petition the U.N. was misleading because people might think that the U.N. would consider petitions and would take action for redressal of grievances in their respective countries.Eventually, in 1948 the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights without an article on the right to petition. Most of the earlier studies on the drafting process of the declaration have not examined international and domestic politics over the right to petition. Thus historians have usually described the Declaration as a part of the history of the formation of U.S. hegemony or as the beginning of the history of the successful development of the international human rights regime. Keeping in mind individuals as a subject of international law and politics, politics concerning the article on the right of petition allows us to analyze history from a different angle.

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