It is undoubtedly a noble aspiration for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to launch a Commission on Unalienable Rights (“Fundamental freedom underscores the basic rights of all humanity”, 9/7), but the US Secretary of State needs to understand freedom is relative, with no harm to others a logical consequence, as British philosopher J.S. Mill espoused in On Liberty in the late 18th century.

The UN promulgated its Declaration of Human Rights nearly 70 years ago, but it’s ironically human beings who choose to live them out. The issues to be addressed by the commission are indeed urgent, but it behoves ordinary people to choose whether to adhere to them or not.

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