In the aftermath of World War Two (WW2), the demand arose for a new international body that would help resolve future disputes between nation-states and prevent tensions developing into war. There was also a contemporaneous demand to establish a set of universally accepted and respected human rights which would be the same for all human beings and based on universality. Linked to this was a view that the international community has responsibility to ensure that such rights are protected, particularly for vulnerable people and minorities living within states. Thus, an international human rights oversight framework was demanded that could police and enforce agreed rights. A transnational consensus emerged that such a body could underpin a new world order and address the causes of armed conflict.
This chapter explores the development of UN international human rights mechanisms and critical assesses their role in promoting global welfare and development since World War Two.