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Mizanur RAHMAN Right to Peace and Human Rights: Challenges for International Law
September 23,2015   By:chinahumanrights.org
Right to Peace and Human Rights: Challenges for International Law
Mizanur RAHMAN
Peace and human rights are interlinked. There is no peace without respect for human rights and human rights cannot be fully protected in case of deficiency of peace. This fact is recognized in several international agreements including the UN Charter. Despite its overwhelming importance, unfortunately there are attempts in the west to not to accord the right to peace the status of a human right yet. According to some authors, the right to peace ‘can be qualified as an emerging right or just aspiration, but not as a human right for which respect is guaranteed by binding international law’.
The culture of war so pervades public opinion that it has drowned out voices asserting that the human right to peace is a fundamental right of every human being and is, in fact, the major precondition for all human rights. The time is ripe to emphasize that the peoples of the world have a sacred right to peace.
That very sentence - “the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace”- was inserted into the first operative paragraph in the Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 12, 1984. One does not need to be reminded of the countless deaths in wars- local or international-that have occurred since the adoption of this unique document. Such a recounting does not invalidate the UN Declaration; it only underlines the point that this right needs to be better understood from the perspective of the rule of law.

(The author is Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh)