This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In 1948, the United Nations adopted the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, drafted by a committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Its principles have been incorporated into international treaties and national constitutions, including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the U.N. Convention Against Torture.
The United States has ratified many of these instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Since World War II, such treaties have done much good around the world, with no negative impact to the United States.
Now, Sen. Mike Lee (and his tea party wannabe, Sen. Orrin Hatch), are fearful that ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will harm the United States. Given our 64 years of experience, that paranoid, isolationist, xenophobic perspective is not worthy of a nation that aspires to lead the world. We need to project hope and optimism, not fear.
Salt Lake City