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Rights to Peace-and-development, a Demand from the Common Destiny Community
Rights to Peace-and-development, a Demand from the Common Destiny Community
 

 
ZHANG Yonghe, Standing Director of China Society for Human Rights Studies; Executive Director of Center for Human Rights Education and Research, Southwest University of Political Science and Law

In current times, all mankind has already formed  a Common Destiny Community, in which every country and people are closely connected to each other, and the prosperity and decline of a nation closely relate to all other nations. In this world, the claims to rights are not only represented in the form of individual and specific rights, but also the rights in entirety. In coping with the global challenges toward the common destiny of all mankind, the right to peace-and-development is definitely our common pursuit, because within this Community, no member does not aspire to peace, and no member shall be deprived of the room and opportunity of development.
 
However, firstly we shall clarify the differentiation between development and right to development. In the past, these two notions are always mixed together. Development is the dynamic and positive process of a thing or phenomena, while the right to development is a desirable right in people's mind or already attained in people's hand.
 
The right to peace and the right to development are two independent and different notions. The former refers to a free state people live in, free from any external adverse effects; while the latter refers to the opportunity attained by people to development themselves in all aspects. These two notions sometimes are interdependent, sometimes conflicting with each other. Under certain circumstances, the right to development has to be abandoned for the sake of the right to peace; while the right to peace has to be disregarded for the purpose of realizing the right to development.
 
The rights to peace-and-development are the organic combination of the two rights, instead of simply putting the two together, which creates a new right mode in which development closely depends upon peace and peace needs support from development. From the English translation, we can see that it is a new term used in human rights field, which indicates that the right to peace and the right to development are intertwined together. If there is no "-" between "peace" and "development" in the English translation, i.e. "the right to peach and development", it can be still understood as two individual rights: the right to peace and the right to development.
 
1. Background of Proposing the Right to Peace-and-Development
 
To realize the right to development is a tough work for all humanity. We can see a bunch of obstacles lies in front of us, such as regional turbulence caused by unfair international political and economic order, big powers compete for resources and launch arms race in outer space, domestic and international spread of terrorism, and expansion of domestic social conflict caused by a growing gap between rich and poor. Peace is a common pursuit for every individual, every country and all mankind. Also, personal growth and human rights protection require peace as a bottom line.
 
Goals of development are no longer for a country or region's prosperity, rather than to promote human unity and peace. Peaceful coexistence of human being is a necessary condition for further development and prosperity of mankind as well. Evidently, peace has become the condition of human development and realization of human rights. Based on this matter of fact, China should take peace as an essential factor of the Right to Development from its values, its ways and conditions of realizing this very right.
 
2. Values of the Right to Peace-and-Development
 
2.1. To Create a Global Coordination Pattern
 
China ought to hold such philosophies that "peace and harmony should prevail", "harmony is the most valuable" in practicing principles of peaceful development, and convey China's traditional idea of "The going is difficult when doing it alone; the going becomes easier when doing it with many others" to the rest of world. All we want to do is to achieve our goal of "To reinforce each other" and "life and growth in nature". Moreover, in order to endow the whole international society with such a harmonious status, we are calling for different cultures may respect each other. Finally, our ultimate goal is to replace the current dominant mode of development led by western countries which treat power as advantages.
 
2.2. To Achieve the Peaceful Coexistence of All Mankind and Sufficient Protection of Human Rights
 
The Goal of the right to peace-and-development is a peaceful international environment which can exist throughout the ages or from one generation to another, and realize fully protection of human rights for all humanity. Literally, the goal is not limited to tranquility and interests of a defined period, a region or a country.
 
3. Contents, Subjects and Relationships of the Right to Peace-and-Development
 
3.1. Contents of the Right to Peace-and-Development
 
The Right to Peace-and-Development does not refer to a specific right, but rather a Rights Cluster that to realize ultimate goals of peaceful coexistence of all mankind and a world of universal harmony. The right has two aspects. One is a pursuit of freedom from all kinds of threats either at home or abroad and personal growth which respect others. Another is rights claimed by someone, due to new situation happened in the process of development, which means ownership and interest distribution.
 
3.2. Subjects of the Right to Peace-and-Development
 
Subjects of the Right to Peace-and-Development are state, the collective and the individual.
 
3.3. Relationships of the Right to Peace-and-Development
 
First is to coordinate relationship among countries. Dealing with issues concerning domestic governance should not be a threat or potential threat to peace and security of other countries
 
Second is to coordinate relationship between state and international society. Preventing National liberalism which emphasizes the supremacy of state-interest may sacrifice entire peace and security of international society.
 
Third is to coordinate relationship between state and individual. Every state may balance people's role between state citizenship and world citizenship and interests between provider of resource for development and holder of fruits of development.
 
Fourth is to coordinate relationship between central and local government. Every government may restrain extreme ideologies, such as regionalism and separatism and terrorism, from combining with each other.
 
4. Ways of Realizing the Right to Peace-and-Development
 
4.1. Respect Development
 
Every country should respect other country's right to development without threats, and choice of way of development made by other country or region.
 
4.2. Shared Development
 
The connotation of Shared Development not only means "Cooperation", "mutual benefiting" and "win-win" in the period of old-peace, but also means "Manage Differences", "Live Together" and "Share Weal And Woe" in the period of approaching new-peace.
 
4.3. Collaborative Development
 
Cooperation and sharing in economics; Communication and co-prosperity among different cultures; Collaborative governance in environmental protection; Cooperation and sharing in science and technology; Humanitarian aid should be coordinated across nations. 
 
4.4. Equal Development
 
The principle of equality should be reflected in International cooperation mechanism and framework. Equal distribution of public resources among regions.
 
5. Conditions of realizing the Right to Peace-and-Development and China's Responsibilities and Contributions
 
5.1. The Idea of Community with a Common Future for All Mankind
 
When the concept of human being as a whole rooted in everyone's consciousness, we may eradicate some extreme ideologies, such as Fundamentalism, Populism, and Racism. The main theme of "China Experience" is developing. There is no doubt that peaceful development discourse is a refining and sublimation of human experience in developing. China can express own nation's pursuit of national rejuvenation, and advance value of human being as a whole as well.
 
5.2. Domestic and foreign environment of Security and mutual trust
 
The old situation of "Peace in general, Conflicts in part" is no longer fitting for demands of peaceful development, we should advance and promote a new peaceful environment of security and mutual trust. The connotation of "Peace China" should be enriched during the period of an old transfer to a new. China should pay more attention to become "a participant" and "a governor" in this new period. The expression of "Peace China" is not only eliminate other countries' misunderstanding on China's road, but more importantly, enhancing understanding and respect on China's experience, and promote the combination of social ideals and beliefs of citizens from different culture.
 
5.3. Strengthen Collective security mechanism
 
Advance discourse of the right to peaceful development cannot be independent from Collective security mechanism which has took the UN security as the core, and was identified by various countries after the World War II. China should not only be a more determined supporter and vindicator of Collective security mechanism, but also be an agent and contributor to reform as well. China should play a more critical role in peacekeeping and stopping war through increasing own recourses sharing and consultation.
 
5.4. A Just and Reasonable International Economic Order.
 
Unreasonable international division of work and rules is increasingly becoming origin of constant expansion of "North-South gap", and creating discord among people. China should utilize a set of discourse and rules which have a spirit of respect, coexistence and universal love, especially in our projects, such as "One Belt One Road", Asian Investment Bank, etc., to help instable area or counties in conflict in order to make them live in harmony and gain development. Nevertheless, the premise is that we should guarantee every country's demands for the right to peace-and-development.