The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - This great and inspiring instrument was born of an increased sense of responsibility by the international community for the promotion and protection of man's basic rights and freedoms. The world has come to a clear realization of the fact that freedom, justice and world peace can only be assured through the international promotion and protection of these rights and freedoms.
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As a Buddhist, I was trained to be tolerant of everything except intolerance. I was brought up not only to develop the spirit of tolerance but also to cherish moral and spiritual qualities such as modesty, humility, compassion, and, most important, to attain a certain degree of emotional equilibrium.
As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: "With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas," or, They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them.
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The law of love and compassion for all living creatures is again a doctrine to which we are all too ready to pay slip service. However, if it is to become a reality, it requires a process of education, a veritable mental renaissance. Once it has become a reality, national as well as international problems will fall into perspectives and become easier to solve. Wars and conflicts, too, will then become a thing of the past, because wars begin in the minds of men, and in those minds love and compassion would have built the defenses of peace.
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To understand my feelings "" and my conception of the role of Secretary General "" the nature of my religious and cultural background must first be understood. I should therefore like to outline not only my beliefs but also my conception of human institutions and of the human situation itself.