Book club: Building a Just World Order

Book Club: Building a Just World Order with Alfred de Zayas

Photo credit: UN

Register here.

In October 2022, World BEYOND War will be holding a weekly discussion each of four weeks of Building a Just World Order with the author Alfred de Zayas as part of a small group WBW book club limited to a group of 18 participants. We will send each participant an epub or PDF or paperback. We’ll let you know which parts of the book will be discussed each week along with the Zoom details to access the discussions.

When: For one hour on four Mondays, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 2022. The time is 19:00 UTC (similar to GMT), 9 am in Honolulu, noon in Los Angeles, 2 pm in Mexico City, 3 pm in New York, 8 pm in London, 10 pm in Moscow.

Register here.
Where: Zoom (details to be shared upon registration)

This is a small group series with limited space of up to 18 people. Sign up to reserve your spot and allow for enough time to receive the book. We look forward to reading and discussing this important book with you!

Register here.

About the Author:

Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is a former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (2012-18), former senior lawyer with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee and Chief of the Petitions Department (registrar). Zayas grew up in Chicago, holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D., modern history from University of Gottingen, Fulbright Graduate Fellow in Germany. Retired member of the New York and Florida Bar, author of 9 books and more than 200 scholarly articles. He lives in Geneva.

Register here.

About the Book:

This book just won the 2022 International Book Award in the category of law.

A democratic and equitable international order is possible. Humanity needs this enforceable rules-based order for sustainable development and the welfare of future generations.

In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council created the mandate of the Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order. This book compiles 14 reports, info notes and comments of Dr. Alfred de Zayas, the first mandate-holder (2012-2018). It formulates 25 principles of international order, defines domestic and international democracy, the right of self-determination of peoples, and a human right to peace.

He proposes concrete reforms of the UN system, notably the Security Council and the functions of the Secretary General, and advocates reversing the adverse impacts of World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies, slashing military expenditures, rendering free-trade agreements compatible with human rights, abolishing tax havens and investor-state-dispute arbitrations, alleviating the foreign debt crisis, criminalizing war-profiteers and pandemic vultures.

Zayas denounces unilateral coercive measures, economic sanctions and financial blockades, because they demonstrably have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths — crimes against humanity under article 7 of the Statute of Rome of the International Criminal Court.

Zayas addresses the right to reliable information, freedom of expression, censorship by governments and private media, proposes a Charter of Rights of Whistleblowers, repudiates the anti-democratic “cancel culture” and demands accountability for crimes against indigenous peoples, ecocide, “extraordinary renditions” and torture in Guantanamo. He formulates pragmatic recommendations to States, international organizations and civil society.

In 2017 before the General Assembly Zayas deplored the implementation gap that renders the UN rapporteurs “an assembly of Cassandras”, calling for renewed commitment to ethical politics and the spirituality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, garnering unprecedented applause from UNGA delegates and NGOs.

Register here.


“Alfred de Zayas is a gifted human rights lawyer who, alongside Jakob Moller, pioneered the development of UN human rights jurisprudence. He was a dynamic Special Rapporteur, as is evidenced by his Principles for a Democratic and Equitable International Order.” Bertrand Ramcharan, Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 2002-2004

“The 25 Zayas Principles of International Order are a modern Magna Carta. If implemented by the international community, they would help ensure peace with social justice in the 21st century. Pursuant to the UN Charter member States bear responsibility for future generations. Hence, they should take concrete measures to achieve this rules-based order in international solidarity.” Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, 2018-19

“There are many books about human rights and international law, most of them a rehash of what we know. This book goes to the sources of law and justice and proposes pragmatic solutions to many problems, including those of Indigenous Peoples.” SHARON H. VENNE, Notokwew Muskwa Manitokan, Expert in International Law and Indigenous Peoples

Register here.

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Categories Human Rights, Independent expertTags

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