On 19 December 2016, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Right to Peace, which is the result of three intense sessions of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Peace of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva. Under the leadership of the Foundation Peace Without Borders, civil society played a very important role throughout the negotiation process of the Declaration on the Right to Peace in the United Nations.

The Declaration on the Right to Peace is the first declarative instrument on peace adopted by the UN General Assembly in the New Millennium. In addition, this text has become an important milestone in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, because it contains a clearly victim oriented approach of armed conflicts by declaring the following:

“Everyone have the right to enjoy peace such that all human rights are promoted and protected and development is fully realized“.

The Declaration invites “… solemnly all stakeholders to guide themselves in their activities by recognizing the high importance of practicing tolerance, dialogue, cooperation and solidarity among all human beings, peoples and nations of the world as a means to promote peace; to that end, present generations should ensure that both they and future generations learn to live together in peace with the highest aspiration of sparing future generations the scourge of war”.

In the context of this important first anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Peace, the United Nations mandated University for Peace and the UNESCO Chair on Peace, Solidarity and Intercultural Dialogue of the Abat Oliba University CEU, with the support of the Foundation Peace without Borders, have published the book “History of Peace in the West”.

As indicated by Miguel Bosé in its introduction, the publication aims to make a historical peace journey from the Ancient Greece and Rome to the modern times, through the living testimony of some well-known thinkers, artists and philosophers. In this way, this book promotes a broader exchange of knowledge and a better understanding of the cultural heritage of our humankind.

This book also outlines that the Declaration on the Right to Peace finds its roots in the Hittite – Egyptian Treaty, which marked the end of the long war between the two empires for the control of Syria in 1276 BC. This is one of the oldest peace treaties in the history of the world and diplomacy. The treaty, whose bronze replica is located in the United Nations headquarters in New York, contains more than 20 principles and obligations for both parties, including an emerging right to peace, by declaring that “… the country of Egypt and Hatti live forever in peace and fraternity”.

On the other hand, the same sponsoring entities have also wanted to publish the book entitled “The right to peace: past, present and future” and an “Executive Summary” in Spanish and English of this book to make easier the reading.

This book concludes stressing that 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 in the present and future generations. For the promotion of agreements and dialogue, we need to liberate peace from the chains of war, incomprehension and hate. Today our responsibility is to advance the world agenda for peace.

Sources: Paz sin Fronteras