chapter  9
28 Pages

Human Rights and Cultural Values: The Political Values of the Dalai Lama and the People's Republic of China: John Powers

The preamble of the United Nations' "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" claims that its provisions constitute "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations," and since its ratification in 1948 it has in fact served as a general standard by which the conduct of nations is judged in international forums. Recently, however, some states have publicly questioned the universality of the rights outlined in the Universal Declaration, claiming that its provisions are based on Western concepts of government and human nature, that it is a tool of Western cultural hegemony imposed on non-Western countries, and that it ignores the distinctive cultural values of non-Western peoples.