Event: Roundtable on Eleanor Roosevelt & UDHR

On 10 December 2018 the RIAS organized a roundtable at the Middelburg bookshop De Drvkkery, to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Seventy years ago, on 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That seminal document, which still represents the cornerstone for the protection of collective and individual freedoms and for the safeguard of minorities, was the product of a fine negotiation between contrasting and seemingly antithetic interests. Different cultural backgrounds, judicial philosophies, forms of government and worldviews were masterly harmonized so as to find a common base upon which to build a new idea of citizenship and humanity. One of the main architects of this enterprise was former US first lady and the chair of the UN Human Rights Committee, Eleanor Roosevelt.

But what was, more specifically, her contribution? What role did she play in paving the way for the achievement of such a workable compromise? And how do the legacies of her actions, views, and methods still reverberate today, in our contemporary world?

The Eleanor Roosevelt specialists at the RIAS, Dario Fazzi and Nanka de Vries, interogated both each other and the audience about the relevance of human rights, and had made use of Eleanor Roosevelt’s exemplary story to skim through their evolution, codification and modification over the past seventy years. 

Roundtable UDHR and audience
Dario Fazzi and Nanka de Vries