The fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was both a moment of celebration for achievements well beyond reasonable expectations in 1948 and a time of renewed resolve to address the varieties of acute deprivation of fundamental rights that remained widespread at the end of the twentieth century. There is little doubt that the early impulses to put human rights on the global agenda were rather faint efforts to satisfy segments of public opinion without any serious expectation that the relationship between state and society could be effectively regulated by limits imposed in the name of international human rights. Too many UN member states in 1948 were themselves authoritarian and oblivious to the social responsibility of the state to make the implementation of human rights seem as if it were a genuine political project. Global statecraft was, and still is, firmly in the hands of a political leadership that overwhelmingly embraced a realist or Machiavellian ethos with respect to international law and morality. As the cold war unfolded, security was considered the core national interest in the countries of both the East and West, which left little room for the independent promotion of humane values in intergovernmental settings.