Cadmus

The 70th Anniversary of the Creation of the United Nations: Giving Peace a Chance

5. The Future Declaration in Perspective

The future Declaration, which is being discussed within the Human Rights Council, shall help the UN entities, bodies, international humanitarian organizations and civil society, among other actors, to develop its programmes of peace building and reconciliation, as follows:

  • It would help to achieve a coordinated response on a world-wide scale to those threats to human rights arising from the global interdependence of all individuals and nations;
  • It would strengthen international cooperation, united interests and joint action in order to achieve its collective goals;
  • It would provide a solid basis to elaborate progressively the Programme of Action on establishing a culture of peace;
  • It would proclaim the universal principles developed under international human rights law (i.e. freedom from fear and want, equality and non-discrimination and justice and rule of law);
  • It would recognize that the holistic concept of peace goes beyond the strict absence of armed conflicts (negative peace). Peace is also positive, since it is linked to the effective respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination (civil, political, economic, social, cultural rights and the right to development);
  • It would help to understand that the enjoyment of peace is both the precondition and the final purpose of international human rights law.
  • It would assist States and International Organizations to focus on the development of the three pillars on which the Charter of the United Nations is based, namely: peace and security, human rights and development.

6. Conclusions

The aspiration to create a society in which war plays little or no part in the life of our fellows has fired the human imagination throughout the history of humankind. The champions of peace have only obtained half-triumphs in their attempts at reaching a more peaceful world, because “peace has always conduced to a war”.1

The future Declaration to be elaborated by the Chairperson-Rapporteur will surely contribute to the strengthening of international cooperation and multilateralism and will also influence the current objectives of the United Nations as a fundamental step towards the promotion of peace, tolerance, friendship and brotherhood among all peoples. Today the obligation of the international community is to hear the voice of victims, which strongly demands the right to live in a world free of wars and conflicts.

This year the United Nations is commemorating the 70th anniversary of its inception. The most important message that should be given by the United Nations is the adoption by consensus of a Declaration which takes into account all different positions, and above all pays real tribute to all victims of war and conflict. The Declaration shall be an instrument aimed at raising the voice of the voiceless.

The future of peace deserves our efforts and imagination. For global problems affecting peace and stability, we need global solutions based on cooperation and multilateralism. For the maintenance and perpetuation of humankind, we need to concentrate our thoughts on the present and future generations. For the promotion of agreements and dialogue, we need to liberate peace from the chains of war, incomprehension and hatred. Today our responsibility is to advance in the world peace agenda.

Our children will always thank us for our compromise and engagement with this noble cause. Let us not fail in our attempt to make peace prevail over earth! Let us not close the door to our dreams and hopes of a better world! Let us not ignore our basic need to live in harmony and brotherhood! Let us make an effort to give peace a real chance….

 

Annexure
[United Nations Declaration on the Right to Peace]
Preamble

The General Assembly

Art. 1 and 2 of the UN Charter

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations

UDHR, UNGA Resolution 217 A (III), 10 December 1948; ICCPR, UNGA Resolution 2200A (XXI), 16 December 1966; ICESCR, UNGA Resolution 2200A (XXI), 16 December 1966

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

UNGA Resolution 41/128 on Declaration on the Right to Development of 1986, UNGA Resolution 55/2 on Millennium Declaration of 2000 and Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of 1993

Recalling the Declaration on the Right to Development, the Millennium Declaration, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

Resolution 33/73 on Declaration on the Preparation of Societies for Life in Peace, 15 December 1978; Resolution 39/11 on Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, 12 November 1984 and Resolution 53/243 on Declaration and Programme of Action on Culture of Peace, 13 September 1999

Mindful of the Declaration on the Preparation of Societies for Life in Peace, the Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace and the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace

UNGA resolution 25/2625, 24 October 1970

Recalling that the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations recognised that friendly relations among nations are based on the respect for the principles of equal rights, self-determination of peoples, territorial integrity, political independence, international cooperation, peaceful settlement of disputes, sovereignty and non-interference in domestic jurisdiction of any State (notions included in the Declaration)

Art. I.2, UNGA resolution 49/60, 9 December 1994

Recalling that the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism recognised that acts, methods and practices of terrorism constitute a grave violation of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, which may pose a threat to international peace and security, jeopardize friendly relations among States, hinder international cooperation and aim at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the democratic bases of society

First Pillar: Peace and Security

Preamble, para. 1 and Art. 1.2 of the UN Charter

Recalling the determination of the peoples of the United Nations to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors in order to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom (Partially drafted on the basis of the inputs received at the 2nd session of the OEWG)

Preamble, paragraph 6, Resolution 60/251 on the Human Rights Council adopted by the General Assembly on 15 March 2006 and Art. 72, World Summit Outcome Document, Doc. 60/1, General Assembly, 24 October 2005

Recalling that peace and security, development and human rights are the pillars of the United Nations system and the foundations for collective security and well-being, and recognizing that development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing

Preamble, paragraph 4, Declaration on a Culture of Peace, 13 September 1999

Recognizing that peace is not only the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process where dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.

Second Pillar: Human Rights

Preamble, paragraph 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948

Recalling also that the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, and that freedom, justice and peace are prerequisite for the enjoyment of dignity and of inalienable rights by all members of the human family

Preamble, paragraph 2, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948

Recalling that disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind

Art. 28, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948

Recalling in particular that everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be fully realized

Part. I, Art. 5, Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action on Human Rights, 12 July 1993

Recalling that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and that the international community should treat human rights in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis

Art. 5, paragraph f, Resolution 60/251 on the Human Rights Council adopted by the General Assembly, 15 March 2006

Recalling that the United Nations contributes, through dialogue and cooperation, towards the prevention of human rights violations and abuses and prompt responses to human rights emergencies (Partially drafted on the basis of the inputs received at the 2nd session of the OEWG)

Third Pillar: Development

Art. 19, World Summit Outcome Document, Doc. 60/1, General Assembly, 24 October 2005

Recalling the world commitment to eradicate poverty and promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and global prosperity for all and the need to reduce inequalities within and among countries

Art. 74, World Summit Outcome Document, Doc. 60/1, General Assembly, 24 October 2005

Recalling the importance of prevention of armed conflict in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter and of the commitment to promote a culture of prevention of armed conflict as a means of effectively addressing the interconnected security and development challenges faced by peoples throughout the world

Preamble, paragraph 12, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 18 December 1979)

Recalling that the full and complete development of a country, the welfare of the world and the cause of peace require the maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields

Peace Education and Culture of Peace

Preamble, paragraph 1, UNESCO Constitution, 16 November 1945

Recalling that since wars begin in the minds of human beings, it is in the minds of human beings that the defenses of peace must be constructed (This provision has partially been cut and pasted. The notion of “men” has been replaced for “human beings”, in order to include a more neutral language and take into account the gender approach)

Art. 74, World Summit Outcome Document, Doc. 60/1, General Assembly, 24 October 2005

Recalling also that the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of human beings and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfil in a spirit of mutual assistance and concern (This provision has partially been cut and pasted. The notion of “men” has been replaced for “human beings”, in order to include a more neutral language and take into account the gender approach)

Art. 1.A and 1.F, Declaration and Programme of Action on Culture of Peace, 13 September 1999

Recalling that a culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and modes of behaviour and ways of life based on, among others, respect for life, ending violence and promotion and practice of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation and the right to development

Art. 34, Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action on Human Rights, 12 July 1993

Recalling that a culture of peace is greatly enhanced when Governments, the United Nations system as well as other multilateral organizations increase considerably the resources allocated to programmes aiming at the establishment and strengthening of national legislation, national institutions and related infrastructure, which uphold human rights awareness through training, teaching and education (This provision has partially been cut and pasted, by linking the notions of culture of peace and the role played by the United Nations and multilateral organizations)

Preamble, paragraph 7, Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, UNESCO, 2 November 2001

Recalling further that respect for the diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, in a climate of mutual trust and understanding are among the best guarantees of international peace and security

Art. 1, Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, UNESCO, 16 November 1995

Recalling also that the tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world‘s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human, as well as a the virtue that makes peace possible and contributes to the promotion of a culture of peace

Art. 1, Declaration on the Preparation of Societies for Life in Peace –adopted in 1978 with two abstentions. On 12 December 2002, the UNGA adopted the resolution 42/91 “Implementation of the Declaration on the Preparation of Societies for Life in Peace” without vote which invited “all States to guide themselves in their activities by principles enshrined in the Declaration aimed at establishing, maintaining and strengthening a just and durable peace for present and future generations”

Recalling that every nation and every human being, regardless of race, conscience, language or sex, has the inherent right to life in peace

Purposes of the Declaration: Elimination of the threat of war and responsibility of present generations

The first part of the paragraph is language proposed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur and the second one makes reference Art. 9.1 and 9.2, Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations Towards Future Generations, UNESCO, 12 November 1997

Inviting solemnly all stakeholders to guide themselves in their activities by recognizing the supreme importance of practicing tolerance, dialogue, cooperation and solidarity among all human beings, peoples and nations of the world as a means to promote peace through the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the right to life, and dignity. To that end, the present generations should ensure that both they and future generations learn to live together in peace and brotherhood with the highest aspiration of sparing future generations the scourge of war and ensuring the maintenance and perpetuation of humankind:

Article 1

Art. 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 38 of the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights and the three UN pillars

Everyone is entitled to enjoy peace and security, human rights and development.

Article 2

Inclusion of equality and non-discrimination, justice and rule, freedom from fear and want (Preamble, paragraph 2 and Art. 2 and 8, UDHR)

States should respect, implement and promote equality and non-discrimination, justice and the rule of law and guarantee freedom from fear and want as a means to build peace within and between societies.

Article 3

Language proposed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur after consulting UN entities and humanitarian organizations.

The United Nations and specialized agencies, as well as international, regional, national organizations and local organizations, including civil society, should take appropriate sustainable measures to act, support and assist in achieving the present Declaration.

Article 4

Principlepro homineorpro persona. Language proposed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur

Nothing in the present Declaration shall be construed as being contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. The provisions included in this Declaration are to be understood in the line of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and relevant international and regional instruments ratified by States.

1 Gaston Bouthoul, Huit mille traités de paix (Paris: René Julliard, Sequana, 1948), 12-13


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