It is often supposed that international human rights standards were negotiated without active participation by Middle Eastern and Muslim states. That was not the case. United Nations records document the contributions of Arab and Muslim diplomats from 1946-1966. Diplomats from the Islamic world did not always agree with each other, but their various contributions resulted in the assertion of a right to self-determination, the most comprehensive statement of universality, culturally sensitive language about religious beliefs, and a separate article promoting gender equality. Initially they proposed robust mechanisms for implementation, and they actively opposed the isolation of socioeconomic rights into a separate covenant. Not all of their efforts were successful, and not all of their positions were liberal. While their role as participants and promoters of human rights should not be exaggerated, neither should it be discounted.


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pp. 799-844
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