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Rene Cassin

Similarly, the problem of the rights of the state in the disposition of inheritances left by individuals presents social aspects of the first importance.

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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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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.

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When France resolved, along with England, to lend assistance in the legitimate defense of Poland, the realization burst on us that a conflict of awesome proportions was inevitable.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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We were thus led to organize ourselves, as men who had fought the war together, in order to support those statesmen who had truly understood the lessons of that World War, thus attempting to prevent its recurrence.

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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.

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