History of the United Nations




Volgograd (Stalingrad)
War Memorial




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Volgograd (Stalingrad)

In Honour of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

by Klaus Hagendorf

When during World War II in the end of 1941 the battle of Moscow between the German army and the Soviet Red Army turned into favour of the Soviet Red Army the Declaration of the United Nations was achieved.

This declaration, also called the Washington Declaration was signed on Jan. 1, 1942 by the representatives of states of the anti-Hitler coalition - Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, the Union of South Africa, the USSR, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia.

The states' signatories declared that complete victory over their enemies was essential "to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice" and that they were "now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world."

They pledged themselves to employ their full resources, military and economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which they were at war, to cooperate with each other, and conclude no separate armistice or peace with their enemies.

The declaration was left open for signature by other nations that were, or might be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

The state signatories of the declaration and those that subsequently adhered to it were named the United Nations.

After World War II, in 1945 the United Nations Organisation was founded and the Charter of the United Nations declared.

In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed.

The battle of Moscow was a very important victory of the Red Army in World War II. In the class struggle the communists had achieved a decisive victory at the military front. The consequences were immediate and shaped the whole post world war order.

The President of the United States initiated the "White Plan" and the work on the post war International Economic Order. The basic ideas of the Welfare State received highest priority and work began to put them into practice. However many experts like J.M. Keynes were disappointed about the reforms now being prepared as they were not decisive enough.

At the Potsdam Conference the conflicts between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies became apparent. The Cold War had already begun.

Nevertheless the victories of the Red Army at the battles of Moscow and Stalingrad have laid the foundations for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the expression of Common Values of the World Community.

Source: Soviet Encyclopedia, Declaration by United Nations, 1968.



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