A World beyond the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By: Raphael Kutota Basisa, MBA


Economic deprave has long been classified as an item of Human rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25(1)). As an Administrator in Public sector in Developing countries; uplifting huge portion of the population out of extreme poverty is an important task and an ever ending one that one should continually face along their careers. Not attempting to alleviate poverty is outright Human Rights abuse. As an element of Human Rights, (13) Social Welfare Rights must be guaranteed for all human beings. This report will posit on the conditions and the environment within which that could be put into application.

In our today's advanced world, means exist about how to positively affect the economics of the underprivileged population of countries. Economic development is a branch of Public Administration and is no secret among experts on the field that with adequate leadership, fiscal discipline, responsible administration, and careful strategies, positive changes can be instilled to affect the overall quality of life in a city or town, local, state, and national governments– rather, for most of the nations referred to under the developing category, no or little effort of that sort is being put toward that end. Developing countries such as D. R. Congo, Haiti , Burundi , Guatemala , Afghanistan , and many others are public entities and falls under the realms of administration and other things learned in this course.

One major commonality among developing countries is the emerging or the persistent increase in the population of the have not's (the extremely poor) – the economic disparity between them and an extremely wealthy ruling elite class at the opposite end of the spectrum.

We will be first to admit that poverty issues of nations are very complex. There are internal and external, historical and present, natural and manmade woes at the core of the poverty of developing nations. For simplicity, we will tackle the internal debate in this essay – Externalities and others will be the topic of different discussions.

In this essay we will analyze the ethical and social justice implications attributed to the vices of this handful of an elite ruling class. Those men and women at the helm – to distinguish being at the helm and leadership is what makes most of the poverty in those countries artificial. The lack of leadership is resulting from reckless conducts of government affairs that withhold economic equity of the general masses for their own personal or just outright not at the best interest of the overall population the root cause of most of the disparity.

Thus, to achieve economic equity in these countries, serious issues must be taken against these ruling groups called public leaders and the authority figures there.

This report centers on the notion that country's leadership matters as needed transformation is concerned. It will attempt to pose and answer pertinent questions how leadership can affect the socio-economic rights of the citizenry and as result to achieve the uplifting of the pocket of humanity that so far has not yet to contemplate it.

Case Study:

During this week of January 15, 2010 as I begin to write this report, in the Media, the accounts of the developed world attempting to provide humanitarian relief supplies of Food, Water, Medicine, and temporary shelter to the victims of the earthquake that happened 3 days ago in the country of Haiti is taking place. The epicenter of this 7.0 Quake was assessed to be 15 miles from Port-of-Prince, the capital city of the country and a metropolitan area of nearly 3 million inhabitants. In recent years, there have been many acts of God resulting in material devastation and mutilation of human lives, but what made this one so important is that some reports that I was hearing in the media that the international community was waiting for Haitians Authorities to tell them the where, the when, and the how to distribute the tremendous amount of aid flown-in from various corners of the globe standing still on the tarmac while unable to reach places where they were seriously needed.

While this event was going on, the people of Haiti on the ground were telling the media in the interviews on the streets that they are counting on the outside help since their own government was never able and neither willing to assist them before the quake. They had no faith that it will come through after that.

This case is not only isolated to Haiti , a long list of others countries under the same circumstances can easily be collected on all five continents. Developing Nations are public entities and non-profit organization and should be administered under the same tenets as those of other public and non-profit.

In many of those developing countries, the extent of the mismanagement of the public affairs is so far at the extremity that simple events of natural misfortune are amplified exponentially to result to astronomic human disaster.

In their article from the Brookings Institution website, Cardenas and Tessada (2010) speaking at a current event highlighted that the recent natural cataclysm that had happened in the island country of Haiti . As they pointed out those natural disasters such that of Haiti are often uneventful calamities when occurring in the economically strong nation; even in many instances, it has become in spite of that a form of unintended economic boost. But for Haiti ; the poorest country in the western hemisphere which infrastructures was already in a state of brink had exasperated the tragedy. Thus, they concluded:

“ But very soon the cameras will be gone and Haiti 's problems will remain, beginning with lack governance and state capacity. Haiti simply does not have a government capable of providing basic public services such as order and security. Its administration is incapable of coordinating the reconstruction. Building a state goes beyond the reconstruction of the National Palace , government offices, schools, hospitals, and jails. It is about governance and the capacity to design and implement public policies, which are as weak as they get in the developing world. Haiti urgently needs a state and this is a good opportunity to get one ”.

In Haiti and other failing or at risk of failing states in the developing world, the lack of State (responsible party) and the absence of Governance (leadership capacity) are the two elements at the core of seating the people at harm's way. This level of negligence, carelessness, and inconsideration for human life can no longer be tolerated in this planet, on these days, and on these times. To justify that being at the helm is not having a free pass and not sufficient cause to behave unaccountably. They should be made to understand that (1) the basis of public administration is Ethics and Social Justice.

I believe, in these days, it is about time that the international community revert its non-interference policies of the past to accept to live with this kind of deliberate disregard, abuse, and carelessness toward human lives. We suggest that means to monitor and curtail incompetence and recklessness on public affairs of any country be developed - an adequate enforcement to alleviate this level of endangerment for human life. This is the core purpose of this report.

Consequently, good important questions ought to be asked for those people in leadership positions in some countries where deliberate neglect is prevalent. Are they truly the authority figure of the country? Or further, are they the legitimate representatives of the people of those nations? Should anyone respect their wishes in manner that things should be conducted in those territories? Especially in the dyer times of disaster when Humanitarian Doctrine should be a priori to get the needed supplies to save human lives.

For the last three centuries, many events had set precedents to the world current status: France's Declaration of Human rights and citizens, World War II and the post era when the world established the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, and the post era of George Bush's shuttering of the notion of country's sovereignties with the Doctrine of Preemptive Strike; similar devises ought be taking shape these days – simply this time, it must be pertaining to the socio-economic welfare of all people of this planet.

Haiti is a good representative example for conditions that goes on in many developing countries. The corruption and recklessness on the affairs of the state that poised it to vulnerability beyond bankruptcy to the point that natural calamity causes amplified damage on property and human lives that external assistance is mandatory to reduce harm.

If we want to reduce the type of devastation from simple acts of God in developing countries such that recently occurred in Haiti , specific mechanism has to be set in place. Under the ethical doctrine of “Cause No Harm”, a system of checks and interpellation to assure that leadership is not deliberately, recklessly, and destructively conducting the public affairs of the nation or performing in violation of the people's wish and acting on their own self-interest.

If contributory negligence makes one culpable under the law, it should certainly regulated at the same intensity, if not more, in the case of state affairs whereas such breach can result to injury and death over millions of innocents. It only left of to pinpoint a responsible party to accept due punishment.

There is a book written in 2010 by three prominent scholars from the Brookings Institution: Carlos Pascual, Corinne Graff, and Susan E. Rice. Similarly to Haiti , they speak about poverty issues but go a lot further than that by scaling-up to the level of global root cause for poverty under the hospice of failed States and those on the brink of getting there. They have developed a list of 141 at-risk counties from an algorithm inputting economic, security, social welfare, and political to result to a numeric score that they ranked. Their main objective in this “Weakest States Index” is to “ Confront […] Poverty [in] a timely reminder that alleviating global poverty and shoring up weak states are not only humanitarian and economic imperatives, but key components of a more balanced and sustainable U.S. national security strategy ”. The remainder of the book is a narrative of different measures and strategies to assist to alleviate these nations that are highest on the list – an investment, they said will be moneys well spent.

To essay the resolution of the issues affecting developing countries, we will analyze leadership of developing countries and development issues, other than economic, under the tenets of Ethics and Responsibility, Human Rights, Social-Economic and distributive Justice, Equality and Equity, Liberty and Freedom, Social Change.

Developing an Index of leadership linked to each country based on:

•  Ethics, Morality, Virtue, and Responsibility

•  Human Rights

•  Social-Economic and distributive Justice

•  Equality and Equity

•  Liberty and Freedom

•  Social Change

During the last half-century, much brain power had been spent on analyzing and recommending ways to resolve development issue. This paper is first to admit that the issue itself is broad and complex; not one single aspect is adequate to decide the end of it. This paper takes a theoretical approach and sheds light over case studies whereas leadership was primary element that affected change.

The Osama's administration, at the disbursement of the economic stimulus to back the failing financial institutions, the auto industry, and other; there was a feeling that if these enterprises should come to the government to seek backing, there must as well give government the legitimate power to monitor their performance and the compensation for their executives. Along the same vein, a developing nation pushing itself to insolvency while unable to defend itself an eventual natural calamity – it is therefore endangering its population. For, it must open itself to an international scrutiny of its financial affairs and the competence and effectiveness of the people at its helm.

A standards should be defined and a list of Countries which National Leadership should not be construed as the legitimate authority, unless it is there working toward those end. The fact that many of them came to power under gun points, illegal inheritance, or with rigged election results, is a good justification for this level of restraint. No more that the rest of the world will accept that plead of poverty, ignorance, and incompetence of the authority be used as defense and allow innocent population to fall vulnerable to such atrocity and live the rest of their natural lives trapped under its weight.

During this review, we have demonstrated that cost-effective use of impacting the social and economic landscape of a country by promoting sensible leadership cannot be ignored. Not recognizing the real value of spurring social and economic development will only continue to prolong poverty, illiteracy, and underdevelopment. Governments of developed nations are built on the over reliance on taxing the middle class. The large this class, the better situated the long-term of the financial security of the country.

Ultimately, these challenges can be overcome through the realization that political, social, and economic transformations of the country are contingent on the revamping of the economic well-being of the working class. Unfortunately, creating a well-off middle class may bring discomfort to the leaders and to many leaders of developing nations whose intent is on restricting upward mobility of the people at the bottom of the pyramid. It is viewed as threat to their political powers. This may, perhaps, explain partly why many developing countries have not yet to embrace economic development.

June 20, 2010

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