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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 19 August 6, 1968

Of Human Rights

page 2

Of Human Rights

Mr. Quentin-Baxter

Mr. Quentin-Baxter

"As the United Nations grows there is a relatively smaller part for New Zealand to play in the political arena. But in the field of human rights we have valuable experience to give, as for example, of our social security system," said Mr R. Q. Quentin-Baxter, Assistant Secretary of External Affairs, speaking recently on the "International Protection of Human Rights".

Mr. Quentin-Baxter, who is a member of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights said we had an opportunity to be more positively identified as a people, with what was happening in that field.

Public opinion could be brought to bear on these matters.

The Western world had made an enormous contribution to the furthering of human rights, and its experience had been utilised by the rest of the world.

There was no supreme power that could compel justice.

Human Rights had origin-ated in the domestic laws of the nations of the world, rather than in international law.

However, international laws pertaining to the rights of the human being were now much more vigorously pursued.

Meanwhile, the law of human rights dealt with sovereign nations as well as peoples. There was a need to draw together the world community, said Mr. Quentin-Baxter.

It must act as a world community.

"Law," he said, "is a weapon of the strong, for the protection of the weak. This is the central point of human rights."