US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced the formation of the Commission on Unalienable Rights based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Pompeo said the Commission, which is to be composed of human rights experts, activists, philosophers and members of both political parties, will guide him regarding the role of human rights as they relate to American foreign policy.
The Secretary went on to say that continued human rights abuses around the world in the seven decades since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified by the United Nations were a “sad commentary on our times.”
The Secretary has named Professor Mary Ann Glendon, the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, as chairperson of the commission. Glendon is an expert in the field of human rights, comparative law and political theory, and Pompeo called her the perfect person to head the Commission.
In her remarks Glendon acknowledged that the Commission’s mission is a challenging one and that they are being asked “to work at the level of principle, not policy.” She went on to say that they will keep the rights traditions of the US, which is grounded in “constitutional government and the rule of law,” at the forefront when making recommendations to the Secretary.