Advocacy Organizations, Africa, Alfred, Alfred de Zayas, Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, Brussels, Civil society, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, de Zayas, European Parliament, Geneva, UN, UN Parliamentary Assembly, United Nations, United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Human Rights Council, United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, United Nations Security Council, United States, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, World Trade Organization
Dear Christian, dear colleagues
Allow me to suggest adding two new paragraphs to the operative part of the Declaration. These paragraphs could come immediately after article 2:
States should engage in disarmament negotiations as a necessary condition for peace and sustainable development. The continued arms race and growing arms trade constitutes a grave danger to peace.
States should promote the progressive implementation of the right of self/determination of peoples as a contribution to national and international peace and security.
In the alternative I suggest redrafting the second sentence of article 2 to read as follows:
In this regard, States should undertake measures to bring about, maintain and enhance conditions of peace, particularly by refraining from the threat or the use of force, prohibiting war propaganda, engaging in disarmament negotiations, regulating and reducing the arms trade, suppressing illegal commerce in all kinds of weapons, progressively implementing the right of self-determination, and assisting people in situations of humanitarian crises.
I would also like to ask all stakeholders to reread the Draft Declaration elaborated by the Advisory Committee to the Human Rights Council. We all agree that the Advisory Committee text was too complex and that it would have been difficult to reach consensus on it. However, that does not mean that we have to throw the baby out with the bath water. There was much substance and good reflection in the Advisory Committee text that should be saved, particularly in articles 2 “human security”, 3 “disarmament” and 4 “Education for peace”.
Allow me to read excerpts from some sub-paragraphs of the Advisory Committee text, which I think should be incorporated in the current draft declaration:
All peoples and individuals have a right to live in a world free of weapons of mass destruction. States shall urgently eliminate all weapons of mass destruction or of indiscriminate effect, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
States are invited to consider the creation and promotion of peace zones and of nuclear weapon-free zones.
All peoples and individuals have a right to a comprehensive peace and human rights education.
Everyone has the right to have access to and receive information from diverse sources without censorship … in order to be protected from manipulation in favour of warlike or aggressive objectives. War propaganda should be prohibited.
I could continue reading from the Advisory Committee draft, which truly represented an effort at the progressive development of international law, strongly endorsed by civil society.
We should endeavour to save as much of it as possible.