Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 113 Part 3.djvu/523

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PROCLAMATION 7158—DEC. 10, 1998 113 STAT. 2041 eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-third. WILLIAM J. CLINTON Proclamation 7158 of December 10, 1998 Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week, 1998 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Thanks to the foresight of our Founding Fathers and their commitment to human rights, we live in a Nation founded upon the principles of equahty, justice, and freedom—principles guaremteed to us by our Constitution. With the memory of tyranny fresh in their minds, the members of the First Congress of the United States proposed constitutional amendments known as the Bill of Rights, making explicit and forever protecting our Nation's cherished freedoms of religion, speech, press, and assembly. But human rights have never been solely a domestic concern. Americans have always sought to share these rights with oppressed people around the world. In his aiuiual message to the Congress, on January 6, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt articulated this desire: "In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—ev - erywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want.... The fourth is freedom from fear... anywhere in the world.... The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society." Fifty years ago, on December 10, 1948, the world reached a major milestone toward FDR's vision when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Himian Rights. This Declaration—drafted by the U.N. Commission on Hrnnan Rights under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt—established an international standard that recognized the "inherent dignity" and the "equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family...." It denoimced past "disregard and contempt for human rights [that] have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind...." Today, a majority of the world's people liye in democracies and exercise their right to freely choose their own governments. International war crimes tribimals seek justice for victims and their families by working to ensure that war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide do not go impunished. And we are heartened by the progress toward peace made in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and elsewhere, which advances the cause of human rights. But there are still many areas where hvmian rights abuses are committed with impunity—^imchecked and impunished.