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YANG Chengming & YE Yanan Right to Peace Based on the Attributes of Human
September 19,2015   By:chinahumanrights.org

Right to Peace Based on the Attributes of Human
YANG Chengming & YE Yanan

Ways to Promote and Protect the Right to Peace

New threats and the endless non-peace factors nowadays keep threatening the right to peace of people. The shadow of war and non-peace factors hangs over this world where we are living. There are still many people suffering from flames of war, and countless lives were ruthlessly claimed. However, we see that “peace and development”has long been the theme of the times. With the development of the current trend of multi-polarization of the world, violent conflicts and non-peace threats would surely be denied and abandoned by mankind. This seems to be a paradox: everyone is looking forward to peace, but war and conflict have never stopped; violence and war are condemned and denied from time to time, but acts detrimental to the peace of mankind arenot uncommon. When we unveil the mystery of history, and go back to examine the nature of man, it seems that everything has got an answer. Humans have both natural attribute and societal attribute. People exist as natural human beings, who have various desires based on physiological instincts shared by animals. As Engels pointed out, “The fact that human beings originated from the circle of animals has determined that they can never get rid of the nature of beasts.” “Humans often launch wars or conflicts out of lust or greed.” Humans have also societal attribute. Their thought and actions will inevitably be subject to all kinds of social relations, thus affecting their natural attribute. That is to say, societal attribute tends to correct and regulate people’s thinking and behavior. With the development of human civilization and the continuous extension of societal attribute of human, the concept of the right to peace will be strengthened bit by bit. In the repeated competition between peace and war, peace will inevitably become the final common option of the mankind. It is of great significance for promoting the right to peace to fully recognize and develop the natural attribute and societal attribute of human.

In terms of societal attribute, with its continued extension and development, the right to peace will be realized with higher standards. The thought of peace has always been spread and praised since ancient times. Even though wars have never ended in history, the thought and idea of peace is still widely agreed with and recognized all over the world. The idea and thought of peace should be further spread in today’s society, so that itcan be firmly rooted in the relations between people and people, and country and country. If the idea and thought can truly integrate into people’s hearts, and people can have strong recognition of and desire for peace from the bottom of their hearts, then the binding power of peace on people’s behavior can be enhanced, and the scourges of wars can never take place again.

In today’s international community, the United Nations plays an important role. The UN is of great importance for promoting the development of world peace, and protecting the right to peace of human. The role of the human rights protection mechanism under the framework of the UN should be given full play, and the peace and stability of the international community should be safeguarded. In the meantime, the right to peace under the treaty institution should be protected, and the role of existing international treaties and rules should be given full play, so as to maintain world peace and stability, and fully guarantee the right to peace of human.

While recognizing the importance of societal attribute to the right to peace, we should also realize the significance of natural attribute to the right to peace. To promote the right to peace calls for our respect for the natural attribute of every human being. We should recognize that the satisfaction of people’s natural attribute is the foundation for all other rights. Only when we respect humanity, meet the basic human physiological needs, and recognize that the basic human physiological appeal is inalienable can the right to peace have even more solid foundation.

The natural attribute and societal attribute are interrelated and inextricable. They influence each other and constrain each other. The unreasonable exaggeration of any side and ignorance of the other is irrational. Throughout human history, two extremes often occur: one is to see only the societal attribute but ignore the natural attribute; the other is to one-sidedly emphasize on the natural attribute while ignoring the societal attribute. For the former situation, humans are only subject to various social relations, and ignore the basic demands that make people who they are; in the latter situation, the features that define a human is over-emphasized, and the relations and connections between people and people are ignored. To promote the development of the right to peace, we need to recognize: first of all, we must meet the basic physical needs as a human, and peace is everyone’s need for survival and development and what everyone desires; besides, we should notice that for people living in societies, only good social structure and atmosphere can promote the realization of the right to peace.

Peace is the tireless pursuit of human, and it is also the unswerving desire of human. As a human right, the right to peace is closely associated with the survival and development of human. Whether in natural attribute or in societal attribute, signs of the right to peace can always be found. In this era when peace and development are the theme, harmony should be an eternal theme of human society. As what was said by Mr. XIA Yong, harmony is the root of the universe. It spreads in the natural universe as well as the world of human culture. The three major kinds of spirit of human rights,namely, humanity, rule of law, and integrity, have all reflected the harmonious pursuit of mankind.1 Although the nightmares of war and conflict have never faded away, we are convinced that the right to peace is not merely a hope or expectation. Rather, it is an inherent basic human right of people, which will always be part of human development. The right to peace is where the legitimacy lies when we fight against wars and conflicts.

(Yang Chengming is Director of Center for Human Rights Studies of School of Law, Beijing Institute of Technology(BIT); Ye Yanan is Postgraduate Student of the International Law Department, Schoolof LawofBeijing Institute of Technology.)