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The other salient characteristic of the Declaration is its universality: it applies to all human beings without any discrimination whatever; it also applies to all territories, whatever their economic or political regime.
The only compensation, gained through the influence of nongovernmental organizations, consisted in slightly broadening for private individuals the possibility of access and appeal to the agencies enforcing the Covenant concerned with civil and political rights.
The implementation measures of both Covenants, but especially those of the Covenant concerning civil and political rights, were considerably weakened to the point where they assumed an optional character.
The Covenant of the League of Nations had envisaged sponsoring only the protection of certain categories of men: national minorities and populations of territories controlled by other countries.
Similarly, the problem of the rights of the state in the disposition of inheritances left by individuals presents social aspects of the first importance.
In less than eighteen months, it prepared a first draft which it submitted to the General Assembly and which, at the end of one hundred sessions of elevated, often impassioned discussion, was adopted in the form of thirty articles on December 10, 1948.
I shall confess at the outset that it was only shortly after the beginning of this century that I entered active life - with a somewhat precocious capacity for involvement.
How is it that, once victory took form and the horrible spectacle of the extermination camps was revealed, we could have shamelessly broken the promises given to the peoples in those years of ordeal?
As corollaries to the right of every individual to life and to full participation in society, the Declaration incorporated in the list of human rights the right to work and a certain number of economic, social, and cultural rights.
As a privileged survivor of the First World War, I hope I may be allowed to interject here a deeply felt tribute to those who were not fortunate enough to succeed, but who shared the signal honor of trying to the last to salvage peace.
As a consequence of these hesitations and of the vague character of such innovations, the Commission on Human Rights itself had doubts from the beginning about its role and its functions in general.
And as a child I was filled with passionate admiration for acts of civic courage I had seen performed by an elderly military doctor, who was a friend of my family.
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