Manifest of the Global Ambassador of Activists for Peace, Dr. William Soto Santiago, in Reference of the International Day of Human Rights
Puerto Rico, December 10, 2014.
Today the world celebrates the International Day of Human Rights. It is a day to reflect on whether the barbarism that humanity lived through during World War II has ceased. A day to ask ourselves if the hatred, intolerance and discrimination towards our neighbor for thinking differently or being different has ceased. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Despite the lessons of violence and irrationality that history has left us, we have not learned the lesson. We still have not dimensioned and defined human dignity as a base of fundamental rights. So far, we are learning to respect otherness. When we see ourselves reflected in our neighbor, we learn that the respect for the dignity of others comes from recognizing my human condition.
It is an essential and unavoidable obligation of all States to recognize, protect and respect human rights of every members, without any distinction. Any groundless distinction, every differentiation of unfounded treatment, is discrimination. For that reason, I have insisted on the need for every country of the world to install Permanent Observatories to Monitor Exclusion, to track racism and xenophobia, among many other forms of intolerance, to thereby detect outbreaks of hatred and once detected they can be contrasted with positive actions against discrimination. Respect for otherness is fundamental, beside the guarantee of freedom of thought and expression. Respect for human dignity guarantees the free development of personality.
States of the world must, apart from recognizing human rights in their Constitutions, guarantee a minimum of material conditions, permitting the enjoyment of the same in dignified conditions. Human rights without an education in values and without a platform of material conditions and decent education, is merely rhetoric; the recognition of rights on behalf of the states, without effective positive actions, are a fallacy of political distraction.
If we want to live in peace we must learn to respect the way of thinking and being of our neighbor. The key to a peaceful coexistence, where truth is respected and justice is effective, is to disapprove and denounce all forms of discrimination regardless of the latitude where any violation of human rights occurs, regardless of the condition of the victim and the perpetrator's political position. Respect for human rights is a prerequisite for happiness. And to live in peace we must recognize that we are all brothers despite our differences, we all love life, long for happiness, and we are members of a large family: The Great Human Family.