In my opinion, article no 25, should be given the topmost priority for global implementation.
This article states that :
“1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.”
The situation in majority of countries is just the converse today.
Poverty is an issue which deserves the topmost priority. When people for some or the other reason are not able to earn enough amount to sustain themselves, how do they enjoy these basic rights stated as in this article ? ‘ Approximately one-fifth of world’s population live on less than US $ 1 per day, and half live on less than US $ 2 per day”, states a WHO report.(Rates of poverty across the world).
If half of the world’s population is living under an income of US $ 2 per day, one can safely presume that even two square meals a day is a distant dream for them. This clearly means that the article no. 25 has not been affective at all. So far it has existed on a piece of paper only. If attention is not given to implementation of this article on priority, the situation may still worsen, and the ‘epidemic’ of poverty may even spread to the developed nations.
Lack of income leads to starvation, and an ultimate death. The children of Ethiopia are a classic example of this phenomenon. UNO, as a nodal international agency must concentrate on pursuing all governments to ensure that citizens should not die due to starvation. Many governments may argue that implementation of this article is not practical due to lack of monetary resources. While the argument may have some substance in it, some action has to be initiated on a priority basis. Maybe the article can have a sub-clause which makes it mandatory for all governments to provide two square meals a day to all its citizens. In other words, this article can be implemented as a drive to eradicate human starvation from this globe.
One of the ways in which this article can be taken on priority basis is by formation of an international co-opted agency, under the UNO, which is accessible to each and every citizen of this globe for help. The barrier of national borders in this regard needs to be done away with. This agency will have operations in all the member nations of UNO, but will be answerable to its mother agency, UNO only. It will be mandatory for this agency to provide two meals a day to every citizen. If individual governments do not have the funds to implement article no.25, this can be the way out. “ We do not have the money to implement this article”, cannot be a permanent excuse.
Nothing seems to have been done in this regards so far, and if anything is done, the results are far from satisfactory. The paradox of the situation is that, hardly anybody knows that citizens of this globe are entitled to these facilities, as a matter of right !! The children of Ethiopia have a reason to rejoice !!
Rates of poverty across the world, The world health report 2002, World health
Organization, Retrieved on 17 April 07 from:
< http://www.who.int/whr/2002/chapter4/en/index1.html >