The reconciliation of transnational economic, social and cultural human rights via the common interest
In general, human rights obligations are restricted to states' actions within their own territory in relation to their own citizens and residents. However, article 55(c) of the Charter of the United Nations refers to the promotion of 'universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion', while article 56 affirms that '[a]ll Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action, in cooperation with the Organisation, for the achievement of the purposes set forth in article 55'. Thus, states must promote human rights both individually and jointly. Furthermore, the Vienna Declaration affirms that the promotion and protection of human rights is a legitimate concern of the international community. Therefore, the implementation of human rights is clearly not a purely domestic matter. This is also evident from the horizontal operation of human rights between states as it is actually states which are the principal addressees of international human rights law. Inter-state complaint procedures are used to 'act in the common interest of protecting human rights'. Furthermore, jurisprudence, international treaties, soft law, and customary international law provide examples of a progressive development of the extension of the scope of human rights obligations beyond state borders. In particular, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), has interesting provisions which reveal that the 'existence of extraterritorial obligations in relationship to international cooperation and assistance based on specific provisions of the Covenant [is] clear'.