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Legalization of the Right to Peace in the Context of a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings
August 25,2021   By:CSHRS
Legalization of the Right to Peace in the Context of a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings
 
LIU Ming*
 
Abstract: The right to peace means that all people have the  right to resist aggression, and to safeguard and enjoy peace. As a collective right enjoyed by a country or people, the right to peace has not been clearly established as a legal right by international laws or international conventions. This situation is closely related to the Western countries’ long-term control of the individualistic human rights discourse. With the deepening of globalization and the addition of the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings in Un resolutions, peace is the common goal of all countries, and the whole of human society, and the international community is raising an increasingly higher demand for the right to peace based on the rule of law. The right to peace based on the rule of law requires that the international community stipulate the right to peace via international laws and conventions and clarify its connotations, the subjects of the right and their obligations, as the implementing agencies and ways to realize the right.
 
Keywords: right to peace     a community with a shared future for human beings     the international rule of law
 
The right to peace on a global scale emerged as the consensus and common goal of the international community at the end of World War II with the international conventions and international laws under the framework of the United Nations promoting peace. However, the practice of the international community during and after the Cold War period shows that realizing the lofty human goal of peace has been hampered by the interest game among the great powers. One cause of this dilemma is that the right to peace has always been attached to the framework of the system of international law, the ssystem for promoting international peace and security, and system of human rights law, etc. It is regarded as either a general and vague human goal or value, or an external condition for safeguarding human rights, but not explicitly established as a legal right. As globalization has deepened and the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings has been increasingly accepted by the international community, the conditions for the rule of law-based right to peace have come into being and the international community should regard peace as not only the right of each country, but also the right of the entire human society.
 
I. The Development Course of the Rule of Law-based Right to Peace 

Human beings have been striving to live in peace since ancient times, but for a long time this search has been a decentralized and unconscious process. Peace, as a common goal and cause of the entire human society, only emerged in the last century coming to the fore with reflection on the huge loss of life and devastation of two world wars and the strengthening of globalization. The two world wars brought unprecedented disasters to human society, letting all countries realize that peace is the common welfare of the world and mankind as a whole. An initial foundation for peace as a right has been established with the founding of the United Nations and the provisions of relevant international conventions or declarations. And the Charter of the United nations and the Universal Declaration of Human rights have laid the legal foundations for the right to peace.1
 
From the historical perspective of international relations, the first attempts by human society to promote the cause of international peace through global alliances and international conventions commenced after World War I. The League of Nations was founded after World War I with the mission to reduce the number of weapons and settle international disputes. But the League of Nations did not produce any substantial influence on the cause of global peace. First, the organization had a very limited scope. At that time, the League of Nations only had 42 founding members, which were mainly concentrated in Europe, with member states joining and quitting in a loose way; second, it was established out of an impure motive. One of the main purposes of the League of Nations was to contain the Comintern, which greatly impaired the purpose of maintaining world peace; third, the League of Nations was lacking in the power of execution and the necessary binding force. The erupting of World War II proved its failure. The formation of the right to peace in its true sense is actually closely related to the initiation and establishment of the United Nations. A general review of the international community before and after World War II shows that the development of the right to peace has experienced the following major stages.
 
A. The initial stage of the rule of law-based right to peace: from around world war II to 1948
 
Sparked by the rise of fascism, World War II, as the largest, most extensive, and deadliest world war in human history, inflicted unprecedented wounds on human society and world civilization. According to statistics, “in this global war that lasted for many years and involved most of the countries at that time, more than 100 million military and civilian casualties were incurred, the military expenditure was 1,300 billion US dollars, the material loss was as high as 4,270 billion US dollars, and the mental trauma was hard to calculate by numbers.”2 As the main Eastern battlefield in  the World Anti-Fascist War, China made huge sacrifices to promote the cause of world anti-fascism and peace of mankind, suffering over 35 million casualties.
 
During World War II, the right to peace began to emerge. In January 1942, in order to fight against the tyranny and barbarism of fascism, 26 anti-fascist countries, including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, signed the Declaration by United nations. The Declaration brought together all the  anti-fascist forces in the world, demonstrating the determination of the people of all  countries to resist war and safeguard peace. China, as one of the four leading countries  in the World Anti-Fascist War, signed the Declaration, demonstrating the great  contribution made by the Chinese people in the history of safeguarding world peace.  In December 1943, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom issued the  Cairo Declaration, which stated that the purpose of the three countries’ war against  Japan was to stop and punish Japanese aggression. Wartime declarations such as the  Declaration by the United Nations and the Cairo Declaration, in fact, expressed in the  form of international agreements the common political will of the Allies to strike and  punish the aggressors and maintain international peace. These declarations also imply that the invaded countries have the right to resist aggression, strive for peace and  enjoy peace.
 
After World War II, the publication of the Charter of the United nations and the Universal Declaration of Human rights provided a legal basis for the establishment  of the right to peace. The preamble to the Charter of the United nations clearly states that, “We the peoples of the United Nations determined, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small...and for these ends, to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims”. In order to achieve peace, the Charter of the United nations also set forth specific requirements of Member States. For example, Article 2 stipulates that “all Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means”, “all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force”, etc. The Universal Declaration of Human rights also contains the idea of the right to peace, as Article 28 states that “everyone has the right to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”
 
B. The nominal existence stage of the rule of law-based right to peace: the cold war period
 
The Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human rights, and other UN statute systems outlined a beautiful vision for human rights and peace for all mankind. However, the international community immediately entered the “Cold War” period, which lasted for nearly half a century. Referring to that period as the “Cold War” indicatess that the main theme of international relations in reality was still “war”. The two camps, respectively led by the United States and the Soviet Union, confronted and competed fiercely with each other. The interests competition and power games between big countries became the dominat world theme. The peace situation in international relations was an outcome not of the recognition and pursuit of peace as a human value by all countries, but of the power game and balance between big countries.
 
During the “Cold War”, local crises wars such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan became the “trial ground” for ideological confrontation and interests competition between the two sides under the background of the struggle for hegemony between the United States and the Soviet Union. The large-scale nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union shrouded the entire human society in the shadow of destruction. A series of military confrontations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the “Cold War” severely impacted and trampled on the peace and security system of the United Nations. Moreover, as the United Nations was dominated by great powers such as the United States and the Soviet Union, it was ineffective in dealing with issues related to war and peace and became a place for interest competition between the great powers.
 
The grim situation of the “Cold War” also made all countries realize that the  peace and security of human society were challenged in an unprecedented way,  which, from an objective view, fostered the perfection of the United Nations peace  and security system. The nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty signed by 59 countries including the United States and the Soviet Union in July 1968 aims to prevent nuclear proliferation, push for nuclear disarmament and boost international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
 
In 1970, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the Declaration on Principles of International Law, which established such international peace principles as “the prohibition of the threat or use of force, the peaceful settlement of international disputes, non-interference in internal affairs and international cooperation”, and established peace as a foundational principle guiding international law. In addition, the Declaration on the right of Peoples to Peace was  adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 12, 1984. But in  general, under the background of the “Cold War,” all of the declarative documents  on the right to peace established by the United Nations were in a state of existing in  name only. The confrontation between the two camps led by the United States and  the Soviet Union and the “Cold War” was the dominating pattern of the international  community during this period.
 
C. The exploration stage of the rule of law-based right to peace: after the cold war until 2012
 
In the nearly three decades after the end of the “Cold War”, peace replaced ideological confrontation to become the theme of the international community. However, local wars continued, and due to a lack of legally binding international conventions on the right to peace, the United Nations appeared inefficient in its response to these local wars, while some big countries even circumvented the United Nations framework to carry out so-called “humanitarian interventions” in other countries. The division among main member states of the United Nations over the issue of local wars including the Iraqi War and the Afghanistan War was a result of both differences in concepts and interests and a lack of an international convention on the right to peace with clear regulations. The practice of the right to peace in the international community was still in the stage of exploration.
 
During this period, the United Nations also tried to explore some new principles  for handling humanitarian crises including wars and genocides. For example,  the United Nations has tried to replace the original principle of “humanitarian  intervention” with the principle of “the responsibility to protect”. “The responsibility  to protect” principle emphasizes the responsibility of each government to protect its  people from genocides, war crimes, and other infringements, under which when a  state is “obviously unable” to protect its people, the international community will take  collective supplementary responsibility to protect them. The World Summit outcome  Document issued at the high-level plenary session of the UN General Assembly in  2005 supported the “responsibility to protect” and pledged to strengthen corresponding  international cooperation. On April 28, 2006, the Security Council, in its Resolution  1674 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made an explicit reference for  the first time to the “responsibility to protect.”3 The proposal of “responsibility to protect” was a further exploration by the United Nations to promote the rule of law- based right to peace in specific issues such as war prevention and genocide. However, the “responsibility to protect” is still controversial and has not been given legal effect, “the supplementary responsibility of the international community and its members to protect the peoples of other States has not yet been recognized as a mandatory and compulsory legal obligation.”4
 
During this period, China unequivocally resisted any act that jeopardized world peace and security. In November 1991, China published its first white paper entitled Human rights in China, which clearly stated that “China has always held that, in response to acts that threaten world peace and security, such as gross violations of human rights caused by colonialism, racism and foreign aggression and occupation, as well as serious human rights violations by apartheid, racial discrimination, genocide, the slave trade, and international terrorist organizations, the international community should intervene and stop them and implement international protection of human rights”5. In September 2011, China published a white paper entitled China’s Peaceful  Development, which further stated that “maintaining world peace and promoting  common development are the purposes of China’s foreign policy. China advocates and  is committed to working with other countries to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity”6. During this period, China took an active part in UN  peacekeeping operations and assumed its due responsibility for the cause of world  peace. From 1990, when China first sent military observers to the United Nations  mission area, to 2015, China has actively assumed the United Nations peacekeeping  responsibilities and obligations, and sent more than 30,000 peacekeepers cumulatively.  It is the permanent member of the Security Council that has dispatched the largest  number of peacekeepers, and the only Member State that ranks among the top ten in  terms of troop contribution and capital contribution.7
 
D. The rule of law-based stage of the right to peace: the period of a community with a shared future for human beings
 
In 2012, the 18th CPC National Congress put forward the concept of “advocating a community with a shared future for human beings, and accommodating the legitimate concerns of other countries while pursuing one’s own interests.” In an important speech delivered at the UN Headquarters in New York in September 2015, Xi Jinping pointed out, “In today’s world, countries are interdependent and share weal and woe. We should carry forward the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and build a community with a shared future for human beings”8. On January 18,  2017, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech entitled “Work Together to  Build a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings” when attending the  High-level Conference on “Jointly Building a Community with a Shared Future for  Human Beings Through Consultation” in Geneva, expounding the core concepts of  the community with a shared future for human beings, including sovereign equality,  dialogue, and consultation, win-win cooperation, exchange, and mutual learning,  green development, etc., which was recognized by most Member States and also  showed China’s great theoretical contribution to global governance.
 
In February 2017, at the 55th session of the UN Commission for Social Development, the concept of “building a community with a shared future for human beings” was included in a UN resolution for the first time. On March 23, 2017, the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted two resolutions on “economic, social and cultural rights” and “the right to food”, which clearly stated the goal of “building a community with a shared future for human beings.” This is the first time that the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings has been included in a resolution of the Human Rights Council, signifying that this concept has become an important part of the international discourse on rights.
 
In the period of the community with a shared future for human beings, to reduce differences among the United Nations member states on issues of peace including “humanitarian intervention”, “anti-terrorism”, “resistance of wars” and “prevention of nuclear proliferation”, and to enhance the legal basis and efficiency of the UN agencies’ peacekeeping operations, it is necessary to establish the right to peace in the form of an international convention on rights in the future. The proposal of the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings and its inclusion in UN resolutions may bring the right to international peace based on rule of law to a new historical stage. The basic concept of a community with a shared future for human beings is consistent with certain inherent requirements of promoting the rule of law- based right to international peace, which may add new connotation to the rule of law- based right to peace and promote its further development and improvement.
 
II. The Inherent Requirements for the Rule of Law-based Right to Peace
 
The rule of law-based right to peace can be regarded as a part of the international  rule of law, “International rule of law means the pursuit and construction of the rule of  law in the current anarchic but orderly transitional world,” “Its core manifestation is  the legalization of political relations. International rule of law requires the realization  of ‘good law’ and ‘good governance’ at different levels, that is, norms with good  content and goal setting and complete forms are generally respected and followed  in international affairs.”9 In view of the current development of the right to peace,  the right to peace is not authentically included in the human rights framework or the  United Nations convention system, but is attached to other international laws. The  African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights explicitly states in Article 23 that all  peoples are entitled to “national and international peace and security.”10 This is the only regional international human rights instrument that regards “the right to peace” as a legally binding right, but no global instrument on the right to peace with legal effect has yet emerged.
 
At present, the United Nations instruments on the right to peace are mainly represented by two declarative documents. On December 15, 1978, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Preparation of Societies for Life in Peace, which was the first UN General Assembly resolution to declare the right to peace; The Declaration on the right of Peoples to Peace, adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 12, 1984, affirmed that “the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace.”11
 
In the international law system, the right to peace is still relatively vague in concept and mainly manifested in the form of declarations, lacking in legal force. As far as the cause of peace of each country and the entire mankind is concerned, there is an increasingly stronger demand for realizing the rule of law-based right to peace. Different from the previous declarative international instruments, the rule of law-based right to peace has the following inherent requirements.
 
First, the rule of law-based right to peace requires that the right to peace be established in the form of an international convention on rights. The two declarations on the right to peace adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1978 and 1984 lacking any legal force appeal merely in a moral sense. At present, international conventions on rights are mainly targeted at individuals. In the international community, states or peoples as a collective group also have a series of rights claims. The right to self-determination, the right to peace, and the right to development, as the three collective rights enjoyed by countries or peoples, should be established in the form of international conventions.
 
Second, the rule of law-based right to peace requires a clear definition of the subject and specific claims of the right to peace. In the two Declarations on the right to peace in 1978 and 1984, when defining the subjects of the right to peace, the instruments used the words “Societies” and “Peoples” respectively, which in effect regarded the right to peace as a collective right, that is, the right enjoyed by a country or the people. Although the 1978 Declaration also refers to the “right of individuals to a peaceful life”, the right of individuals to peace is actually asserted and realized through the State or as a collective people. In addition, the “emerging rights” enjoyed by individuals, such as the right to development, self-determination, and peace, are actually scattered in the major international human rights conventions. For example, the right to development of individuals is affirmed primarily through the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, and the right to self-determination of individuals is affirmed primarily through the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights. More importantly, realizing a certain right based on law or convention requires a clear definition of the subject attribute of the right. Therefore, on the path of realizing the rule of law-based right to peace (including the right to development and self-determination), it is suggested that the subject of the right be defined as the state or the people, rather than individuals.
 
Third, the rule of law-based right to peace requires the establishment of relevant  subjects of duty, accountability mechanisms, and implementing agencies. The 1984  Declaration recognized that “the preservation of the right of peoples to peace and the  promotion of its implementation constitute a fundamental obligation of each State.”  Its Article 3 stipulates that “ensuring the exercise of the right of peoples to peace  demands that the policies of States be directed towards the elimination of the threat  of war, particularly nuclear war, the renunciation of the use of force in international  relations and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means on the basis  of the Charter of the United nations?”12 The right to peace requires a State to pursue a peaceful foreign policy, which is incompatible with a State’s policy of aggression or war. If a State threatens to use or use force against another State, the infringed State has the right to oppose aggression, to maintain peace, and to uphold the right of its people to peace through individual or collective acts of self-defense and through the United Nations or regional collective security regimes13 Similar declarative  propositions can realize their legal effect through advancing the rule of law-based right to peace. From the relevant provisions of the 1984 Declaration, it can be seen  that the subjects of duty of the right to peace mainly refer to each country. In addition, the United Nations and regional security regimes also assume relevant obligations.  The accountability mechanisms and implementing agencies of the international right to peace are mainly completed under the framework of the United Nations.
 
Fourth, the rule of law-based right to peace requires that peace be regarded as the right claim of the entire human society. The right to peace of human society can be interpreted at two levels. First, the right to peace of all mankind is regarded as “derivative”, that is, “from the right to peace enjoyed by all individuals and all peoples, it can be inferred that the right to peace is enjoyed by all mankind as a whole.”14 Second, the right to peace of all mankind is regarded as “irreducible”,  that is, all mankind is regarded as the subject of the right to peace itself, rather than  derived from the right to peace enjoyed by all peoples or countries. The inclusion of  the idea of a community with a shared future for human beings into the agenda of  the United Nations means that the world should no longer be viewed only in terms of  relations between countries, but global issues should be viewed in terms of the integral  community of mankind. Under the background of globalization, the entire human race  has become a community with a shared future, which means that there is already an  external objective environment for mankind to become a subject of rights. Under the  concept of the community with a shared future for human beings, the waging of war  against a certain country violates not only the right to peace of this country and its  people, but also the right to peace of the entire human society.
 
Finally, the rule of law-based right to peace requires that the ways of realization  of the right to peace be determined. The realization of the right to peace generally  includes two main aspects: first, to eliminate direct violence and its root causes, “The  most direct content of the right to peace is to control and eliminate direct violence and  its threat... Its specific requirements include the elimination of the threat of war, the  punishment of war crimes, the fight against terrorist acts, and the prohibition of the  advocacy of war and incitement to hatred,”15 and Article 1, paragraph 1, of the Charter of the United nations also explicitly stipulates, “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace;” second, to eliminate violence through peaceful means, settle international disputes through consultation and dialogue within the framework of the United Nations and relevant international laws, and strictly limit the scope of application and degree of violence of intervention through the use of force as necessary for the purpose of stopping violence.
 
III. The Concept of a Community with a Shared Future for Human  Beings: A New Opportunity for the Rule of Law-based Right to Peace 

Since World War II, although peace has become the consensus of the international community, the right to peace has not been confirmed in the international convention on rights because the discourse system of rights in the international community has long been dominated by the European and American individualistic view of rights. Previous declarative discourses on peace have, in fact, treated peace primarily as an external condition for the protection of human rights or as a human value, but did not see peace as a right in itself. The right to peace means that peace is a right in itself, which the subject of the right can claim to enjoy, and is no longer a means or external condition for the realization of other human rights.
 
At present, the conditions and opportunities for the rule of law-based right to peace are constantly emerging. First, the breadth and depth of globalization have reached an unprecedented level, and the entire human society has become increasingly interdependent. Second, after World War II, the pattern of ideological confrontation and the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union was broken, and peace and development, as the consensus and theme of the whole world, are have been moving toward an increasingly deeper dimension on a substantive level. Third, in the last 20 to 30 years, numerous “humanitarian interventions” and international peace conventions have been implemented over the collective rights of particular groups in a way lacking regulation or restriction, leading to constant conflicts and disagreements, and the demand for standardization and rule of law to protect rights has continuously grown. Fourth, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings has been written into UN resolutions and human rights resolutions, and peace has been highlighted as an interest shared by the entire human society and has become the consensus of people of all countries.
 
The community with a shared future for human beings and the right to peace  are closely linked. In his Address at the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People’s War of resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, President Xi Jinping explicitly mentioned, “In the interest of peace, we need to foster a keen sense of a community with a shared future. Prejudice, discrimination, hatred, and war can only cause disaster and suffering, while mutual respect, equality, peaceful development, and common prosperity represent the right path to take. All countries should jointly uphold the international order and system underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and advance the noble cause of global peace and development.”16 To regard peace as the common future  of mankind as a whole means that the right to peace has become the consensus and  fundamental interest of all mankind. Any country or other party trampling on the  right to peace is not only an infringing on a certain country or its people to enjoy that right, but also an objective infringement on the overall interests of mankind and a challenge to human civilization. The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings has brought the right to international peace to a new historical stage. The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings provides a new opportunity for realizing the rule of law-based right to peace in at least the following three aspects.
 
First, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings is an objective interpretation and summary of the new situation of current international relations and international order. For a long time, the realization of peace, as one of the core themes in international relations and international order, has always been subject to the influence of actual international relations. The ideological confrontation and superpower confrontation during the Cold War period made it impossible to provide a favorable international environment for the substantive advancement of the right to peace. In the two to three decades after the Cold War, the international community was in a transitional period from “bipolarity” to “multi-polarity,” during which the interest game among major powers still dominated the practice of the right to peace under the framework of the United Nations, causing a lack of foundation of legitimacy for the occurrence of, response to and handling of many local wars. The proposal of the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings, which calls for “mutual respect, equality, peaceful development, common prosperity” among all countries, actually provides two revolutionary interpretations ofcurrent international relations: (1) International relations should shift from “polarization” and “multi-polarization” towards “de-polarization,” and each country should be respected and treated on an equal footing; (2) Each country, when participating in international relations, should not only focus on national interests, but also focus on the overall interests of mankind, as human society has already been placed under a shared future featuring a series of common topics including peace and development.
 
Second, it is fair to say that resisting war and maintaining peace have in general become the “shared future” humankind desires, especially considering that restricting and reducing weapons of mass destruction is a top priority crucial to the survival of mankind. In this respect, the whole world is in a community sharing a high degree of consensus. In particular, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings has defined the cause of peace for mankind at a height that decides the future of the entire human race. Establishing the right to peace as a legal right in the form of international conventions is an integral component of a community with a shared future for human beings.
 
Third, the inclusion of the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings into the UN resolutions and Human Rights Council resolutions means that its core ideas have been accepted by the United Nations, which produces a certain legal effect and can provide theoretical support for the formulation of relevant international laws or international conventions on rights. The “sovereign equality, dialogue and consultation, win-win cooperation, exchanges, and mutual learning, and green development,” “mutual respect, equality, peaceful development, common prosperity” and other ideas emphasized by the community with a shared future for human beings share similarities with the goals and ideas of the right to peace.
 
China has always been committed to the path of peaceful development. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence put forward in the early stage of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the idea of a harmonious world put forward at the turn of the century reflect the basic attitude of China taking peace and development as the theme of the world. The proposal of the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings is a summary and further development of China’s traditional ideas of international relations. On the basis of upholding sovereign equality and national interests, the concept has taken global interests into consideration, which provides possible guiding principles and theoretical support for the rule of law-based right to international peace.
 
IV. The Concept of a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings Adds New Connotations to the Rule of Law-based Right to Peace
 
At present, there are still many barriers to realizing the rule of law-based right  to peace. For example, the tradition of “nationalism” and the long presence of  superpower hegemony are key obstructive factors to the realization of the rule of  law-based right to peace.17 Besides, the international discourse system on human rights dominated by Europe and the United States has been denying the existence of collective rights, holding that to incorporate collective rights including the right to peace into the human rights system and to promote the rule of law of such rights is a kind of “human rights inflation.”18 The realization of the rule of law-based right to  peace in the international community requires both the elimination of realistic barriers  such as political hegemony and the end to dominance Europe and the United States  exercize over the the discourse system on human rights . The concept of a community  with a shared future for human beings has been put forward with a focus on the  overall interests of mankind and has added new connotations to the right to peace,  which, actually, provides further guidelines for advancing the rule of law-based right  to peace.
 
First, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings regards sovereign states as the main subjects of right and duty of the right to peace. The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings proposed by China stands for the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which is composed of “mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.” The Five Principles of Co-existence aims for “peace” and upholds that countries, big or small, strong or weak, should respect each other and refrain from aggression against each other. In fact, it maintains that all countries have the right to peace and that all countries have the duty to respect and safeguard the right to peace.
 
Second, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings  establishes the basic principles for realizing the right to peace. Besides the “Five  Principles of Peaceful Co-existence,” the concept of a community with a shared  future for human beings also advocates “a vision of global governance featuring  extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, greater democracy in  international relations, that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor,  are equal members of the international community, and that we should support the  United Nations in playing a positive role and increasing the representation and voice  of developing countries in international affairs.”19 The vision of global governance featuring “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” and the call for greater democracy in international relations can help dispel the shadow of hegemonism and power politics that has long hung over international peace, providing the basic norms of principle for the realization of the right to international peace.
 
Third, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings identifies the basic goals of the right to peace. The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings upholds “adherence to the foreign policy purpose of maintaining world peace and promoting common development,” efforts to “advance the fostering of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, and cooperation for mutual benefit,” and efforts to “build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.”20 The concept of a community with a shared future for human  beings focuses on the overall interests of mankind and regards peace and development  as the theme of our times. The construction of a new type of international relations  requires the abolition of hegemonism and power politics that threaten international  peace. “Lasting peace” and “universal security” are the basic goals of the right to  peace and the premise for the common development of human society.
 
Fourth, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings  identifies the approach to realizing the right to peace. The concept of a community  with a shared future for human beings calls for “mutual respect, equal consultation,  resolute rejection of the Cold War mentality and power politics, and a new path  of state-to-state relations based on dialogue rather than confrontation, partnership  rather than alliance. We should resolve disputes through dialogue and differences  through consultation, coordinate responses to traditional and non-traditional threats  to security, and oppose all forms of terrorism;” “We should respect the diversity of  civilizations, and replace estrangement with exchanges, clashes with mutual learning  and superiority with coexistence.”21 “Dialogue,” “consultation,” “partnership,” “exchanges,” “mutual learning,” and “coexistence” as defined by the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings provide a path to the realization of the right to peace in the international community.
 
Peace is the eternal theme of human society and the goal of all mankind. But the history of human society, which has long been plagued by wars and conflicts, has also demonstrated the fragility of peace. This situation is caused on one hand by the long-standing existence of hegemonism and power politics and on the other hand by a lack of a binding international convention on the right to peace in the international community. Only by realizing the rule of law-based right to peace can relevant international actors have rules to follow. The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings adds new connotation to the right to peace, and in fact provides a referential concept to follow for realizing the rule of law-based right to peace. However, restricted by hegemonism and realistic constraints in international relations including “nationalism,” there is still a long way to go to fully realize the rule of law-based right to peace. The concept of a community with a shared future, with some basic principles identified, provides possible rules to follow in promoting the rule of law-based right to peace, but the full realization of the rule of law-based right to peace still requires concerted efforts by the international community.
 
(Translated by NIU Huizi
 
 
* LIU Ming ( 刘明 ), Research Fellow and Associate Professor of the Human Rights Research Center, Nankai  University. This paper is one of the periodic achievements of the National Social Science Foundation Youth  Project “Research on Human Rights in Contemporary Western Political Philosophy” (16CZX057). 
 
1. Zhao Jianwen, “The Origin and Evolution of the Right to Peace”, Human rights 6 (2015): 89.
 
2. Peng Xunhou and Xu Xinmin, “The Influence of the Second World War and Its Implications”, Military  History 5 (2001): 28. 
 
3. Thomas Buergenthal et al. International Human rights Law in a nutshell, trans. Li Zuoheng (Beijing: Law Press, 2010), 80.
 
4. Zhao Zhou, global governance of the Protection of Fundamental Human rights: A Study on “the  responsibility to Protect” (Beijing: Law Press, 2016), 77.
 
5. Dong Yunhu, The greater Charter of Human rights (Beijing: Central Party School of the Communist Party of China Press, 2010), 55. 
 
6. “The State Council Information Office: White Paper on China’s Peaceful Development”, the website of  the State Council Information Office, accessed January 6, 2021. http://www.scio.gov.cn/zxbd/nd/2011/  document/999798/999798.htm.
 
7. Wang Honghai and Liu Ming, “China’s Contribution to the World Human Rights Cause by Participating in  UN Peacekeeping Operations”, in Human rights Blue Book: China’s Human rights Cause Development  report 6 (Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press, 2016), 299.
 
8. Xi Jinping, “Xi Jinping Attends the General Debate of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly and Delivers an Important Speech”, People’s Daily, September 29, 2015. 
 
9. He Zhipeng, “International Rule of Law: The Definition of a Concept”, Tribune of Politics and Law 4 (2009).
 
10. Dong Yunhu, The greater Charter of Human rights, (Beijing: Central Party School of the Communist Party of China Press, 2010), 142.
 
11. UN General Assembly, Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, A/RES/39/11, 1984. 
 
12. UN. General Assembly, Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, A/RES/39/11, 1984. 
 
13. Zhao Jianwen, “The Origin and Evolution of the Right to Peace”, Human rights 6 (2015): 98.
 
14. Ibid., 97.
 
15. Chang Jian and Yin Haozhe, “On the Four Levels of the Conception of the Right to Peace”, Academics 10 (2017): 51. 
 
16. Xi Jinping, “Address at the Commemoration of The 70th Anniversary of The Victory of the Chinese People’s  War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and The World Anti-Fascist War”, People’s Daily, September  4, 2015. 
 
17. He Zhipeng, “The Vision, Reality and Dilemma of the Right to Peace”, Human rights 5 (2015).
 
18. Ye Yanan, “The Realistic Dilemma and Implementation Path of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Peace”, Human rights 2 (2019).
 
19. Xi Jinping, Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All respects and Strive  for the great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a new Era (Beijing: People’s Publishing  House, 2017).
 
20. Ibid.
 
21. Ibid. 
 
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