35th Human Rights Council – The Human Right to Peace

On the 13rd of June 2017, the CIPADH took the opportunity to attend one of the many side events of the 35th session of the Human Rights Council offered by the civil society, permanent missions; the OHCHR and other international intergovernmental organizations. This informal meeting was organized by the NGO Asociacìon Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (AEDIDH) with the central point of the codification of the Human Right to Peace.



The Chair, L. A. Hermann introduced the debate by remembering the floor that women want peace. And that today there is no United Nations treaty or document to enable peace and the culture of peace in each country. The Human Right to Peace is firstly based on the UN Charter but its sources can be found in other documents. Upon a recommendation of the Human Right Council; the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a declaration on the right to peace in 2016. But this declaration is not satisfying and another one should be adopted as soon as possible.

Firstly, M. Alfred de Zayas, Human rights expert and promoting the Human Right to Peace, took the floor to talk about the processes of the Human Right to Peace. In his Mind the new Secretary General, M. Antonio Guterres seems to take the issue of peace very seriously and wants to “relaunch” the movement of a Human Right to Peace in order to adopt a “real” resolution.  The International Community needs to adopt a document on the Human Right to peace in its "individual in collective dimension". For now, there is no clear right to peace but only the promotion of peace for security purposes. As what's concern the basis of this right, most country does not want to address the issue and does not see any basis to this right. M. Alfred de Zayas advocates for the codification of the right to peace as it should be considered in all activities of the United Nations: peace is the starting point of enjoying other Human Rights. The will of codification of this right emanates from the civil society and should get support from the Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Right. The will of the international civil society already led to the declaration of Santiago on 2010 written by members of NGOs. M. Alfred de Zayas insisted on the fact the peace is “at the beginning and at the end of the Human Right process” and the realization of this right led to the realization of the Human dignity. It is important to remind that the matter of peace should not be only the matter of the Security Council but is a Human Right too.

Secondly, M. Carlos Villàn Duran, president of this NGO AEDIDH, reiterate the element of the Human Right to Peace. The declaration adopted by the General Assembly through the resolution A/RES/71/189 following the resolution of the Human Rights Council A/HRC/RES/32/28 “fail to recognize the Human Right to peace and its essential component”. In the mind of M. Carlos Villàn Duran, the response of the International Community on the subject of the Human Right to Peace should have more motivated. Nowadays a right to peace is more than never necessary because of increasing terrorists’ attacks and armed conflict. Peace is necessary and needs to be “at the center action of each state”. The Santiago declaration, a declaration written and adopted by organizations of the civil society at the end of the Santiago de Compostela Summit in 2010 gave an impulsion for the Human Right to Peace. A project for a right to peace supported by the Human Right Council in 2016. The Human Right to Peace should be a right to the peace and a right to education to peace. According to the president of this ONG, the state are in majority responsible to the codification and implementation of the Human Right to Peace but unfortunately the declaration of the General Assembly on the Human Right to peace does not take all the component of this right into account. Furthermore, the Santiago declaration “provide room for substantive improvement”. The speaker reiterates that the Human Right to peace is needed in the world and the civil society shall continue their support to the recognition of this right and of the recognition of the Santiago. This implication of the civil society shall led to the revision of the already approved by the Assembly General Human Right to Peace.

The last panelist, Miguel de la Lama, former secretary of the working group on the arbitrary detention of the Human Right Council demonstrated again that there is legal foundation of the Human Right to peace: in the Charter of the United Nation the main goal is peace and security to avoid at any price another war as the World War II. The legal basis of the Human Right to peace can be found in other international documents as the two UN International Covenant of 1966 (ICCPR and ICESCR) and supported in other resolution and numerous organs of the United Nations. But still the Human Right to Peace is violated today. The Human Right to Peace include numerous condition as a safe environment, the right to a sustainable development and the right to the education to peace. This last speaker concluded his speech by asking the civil society to continue its fight for a Human Right to Peace with the hope that this right to peace will be fully recognize for every person and people by 2018.


EF - Research Assistant at CIPADH