Jacob Blaustein was drawn into the complex world of government service that included diplomatic negotiation, peacekeeping missions, and the extraordinary beginnings of the new nation of Israel. His gifts of statesmanship derived in part from his own passionate belief in the idea of universal human rights.
Jacob Blaustein was an early proponent of the formation of an international human rights commission and often quoted his friend, Dag Hammarskjold, who believed that "without recognition of Human Rights we shall never have peace." Perhaps, too, he was motivated by witnessing many horrific events before and after the Second World War.
Jacob Blaustein first proposed the appointment of a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in his Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Lecture, delivered at Columbia University in 1963.
It took thirty years, however, before this dream became a reality. The United Nations adopted resolution 48/141 on December 20, 1993.
Through a grant from the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Jacob Blaustein was instrumental in the execution of the memorial sculpture, "Single Form," for Dag Hammarskjold at the United Nations, described in this article from the New York Herald Tribune.
|In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Blaustein to the formative meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, where he played an important role in placing the human rights provisions in the UN Charter. When Blaustein returned to Washington after Roosevelt's death, he reported to the new president, Harry S. Truman. This was the beginning of a long association. In fact, Jacob Blaustein served as an advisor to a number of US Presidents, including John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon Baines Johnson.|