It’s time to stop categorizing people as VIPs

Mr. Editor,

Since the ratification of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, collaborative efforts have been made around the world to elucidate and support human rights. I lobby the United Nations (UN) through the Resident Representative and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), to work to stop the categorization of people as very important people (VIP ). Recognizing their valuable and indisputable contributions to mankind, the acronym might stay for an easy transition, but he would be interpreted as a very influential or impactful person. The continuation of the current interpretation of VIP encourages a proliferation of authoritarianism, narcissism, abuse and criminal activity.

Many philosophers theorize that the human need should be respected and appreciated. I would venture to add two more, which must be safe and healthy. Everyone should be respected and appreciated, unless their actions deviate from acceptable human behavior. Rightly so, those who are supremely good or able to flaunt their goodness or accomplishments may gain more accolades and respect than ordinary people. However, we see leaders of presidents, monarchical leaders, celebrities and organizational leaders abuse their positions. We wonder how we viewed these people as VIPs for an extended period of time, only to see them dishonored by their unethical and ruthless behavior.

The United Nations Resident Representative spoke eloquently and appropriately recently on World Environment Day, highlighting not only the importance of our mangroves, but also urban planning and design. I urge him to address this VIP issue and make representations regarding changing this description as applied to human beings. One of the world leaders, the United States of America, enshrined in their declaration of independence that all men are created equal. I repeat, they should stay that way unless they become unwanted.


Conrad Barrow

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