By referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as "purely programmatic" (line 49) in nature, the author mo...

on July 22, 2020

need clarification

The question seems to throw the reader off unless its just me. Can an expert please go over the question? thank you

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Shunhe on July 23, 2020

Hi @gharibiannick,

Thanks for the question! So we’re asked what the author is emphasizing when they say that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are “purely programmatic” in nature. Well, they gave us a line, so we should go there and read above and below the line for at least a few lines in order to get the full context of the quote. Since it’s near the beginning of a paragraph, I’d just start from the beginning of the paragraph and work my way to that line, and maybe a bit below if I think that’s necessary.

So we’re told at the beginning of the paragraph that even though the UDHR is progressive, it has weaknesses. So we should expect that we’re told about these weaknesses in the next line, and we are. We’re told that the biggest weakness (or “most regrettable”) is its nonbonding legal status. So what’s that mean? It’s nonbonding, it can’t actually force anyone to do anything. And then we’re told in the following sentence that even though the UDHR has strong language and high ideals, it’s a resolution of “a purely programmatic nature.” Well, that’s clearly referring to what the author was just talking about, which is how the document is non-binding. And that makes sense, by describing the UDHR as “purely programmatic,” the author is basically saying that it’s just some program that you can follow. And (D) points this out. The author calls the UDHR purely programmatic in order to emphasize what they talk about in the previous sentence, which is that the guidelines are non-binding, or ultimately unenforceable.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.