Human Rights for Sustaining Peace: Emerging UN perspectives

Journal article

Upadhyaya, Priyankar (2018) Human Rights for Sustaining Peace: Emerging UN perspectives, Journal of the National Human Rights Commission, India 17: 147–163.

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Human rights and peace are connected by an umbilical cord. Their relationship exemplifies a two-way street. There is no peace if human rights are denied and likewise human rights cannot be realized if there is no peace. The sheer absence of armed conflict doesn’t signify peace unless there is a healthy respect for human rights. This mutually dependent relationship between human rights and peace, so vital in today’s conflict torn world, is often overlooked in policy circles as well as in scholarly analysis. The United Nations has always been emphatic about including human rights concerns in its broader schema of peace. The recent passage of the Right to Peace is seen as a critical step forward in UN parlance. Mentioned seven times in the UN Charter, human rights are acknowledged as one of three founding pillars of the UN peace agenda. The coupling of peace and security with human rights and development highlights the pivotal role of human rights in the UN’s approach to peace. While celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), it is therefore instructive to explore the growing imprint of human rights on the emerging peace agenda of the United Nations.

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