At this time of great opportunity and great promise, the charge to the international community is clear: we who are on the right side of freedom's divide have an obligation to help those who are unlucky enough to be born on the wrong side of that divide.
The hard work of freedom is a task of generations. Yet it is also urgent work that cannot be deferred. Now more than ever, the UN must play a critical role as it strives to fulfil the dreams and hopes and aspirations of its original promise: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
While the UN has had its successes in the human rights field, there have been problems as well, such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. For too long, some of the most egregious violators of human rights have undercut UNHRC's principles and its effectiveness.
The consequence, as Secretary General Annan has said, is that the commission's important work has, and I quote, 'been increasingly undermined by its declining credibility and professionalism'. …