The International Day of Peace (IDP), celebrated on September 21st each year, highlights the need for global peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. The 2023 theme, “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals,” emphasizes our collective responsibility in promoting peace, recognizing its crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which, in turn, creates a global culture of peace for all. UN Secretary-General António Guterres underscores the imperative for peace in today’s world saying, “peace is needed today more than ever. War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization.”
Human rights are the cornerstone of peace, as they empower marginalized groups, establish social justice, and reduce the potential for conflict and violence. Upholding principles like non-discrimination and the rule of law fosters inclusive, democratic societies where peace can flourish.
To address conflict root causes, peacebuilding must combat inequality, injustice, discrimination, poverty, and social exclusion. Engaging stakeholders, building trust, fostering dialogue, promoting accountability, and addressing past injustices are key components of human rights-based peacebuilding.
Human rights defenders play a vital role in advocating for justice, exposing violations, and pushing for accountability. Governments, international organizations, civil society, and individuals share the responsibility of upholding and protecting human rights.
Peacebuilding and human rights are inseparable, forming the core of a just and peaceful society. Upholding human rights creates conditions for peace, while prioritizing peacebuilding lays the foundation for protecting and fulfilling human rights. These principles guide us toward a world where individuals live in peace and dignity.
Books relevant to human rights and peace available in the library:
Protecting human rights and building peace in post-violence societies / by Nasia Hadjigeorgiou.
On the RWI shelf under: 71:5 HAD
From the publisher: This book critically examines the relationship between protecting human rights and building peace in post-violence societies. It explores the conditions that must be present, and strategies that should be adopted, for the former to contribute to the latter. The author argues that human rights can aid peacebuilding efforts by helping victims of past violence to articulate their grievance, and by encouraging the state to respond to and provide them with a meaningful remedy. This usually happens either through a process of adjudication, whereby human rights can offer guidance to the judiciary as to the best way to address such grievances, or through the passing and implementation of human rights laws and policies that seek to promote peace. However, this positive relationship between human rights and peace is both qualified and context specific. Through an interdisciplinary and comparative analysis of four case studies, the book identifies the conditions that can support the effective use of human rights as peacebuilding tools. Developing these, the book recommends a series of strategies that peacebuilders should adopt and rely on.
Peacebuilding paradigms the impact of theoretical diversity on implementing sustainable peace / edited by Henry F. Carey.
From the publisher: Through the lens of realism, peace is a macro-level top-down outcome that is primarily governed by state behavior. The spectrum of peace concepts associated with realism primarily relate to peacemaking and peacekeeping. Leading proponents of realism do not grapple with peacebuilding. Peacebuilding is a post-conflict process that transitions a society from war to peace, which includes a variety of sub-elements including: development of infrastructure, sustainable economy, public health system, institution building, rule of law & human rights, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping, security & disarmament, education, justice & reconciliation forums
Inclusive peacebuilding : recognised but not realised / editors: Sigrid Gruener, Matilda Hald.
On the RWI Shelf under JOU
From the publisher: This volume aims to contribute to the discourse on how to support and practice inclusive peacebuilding by unpacking and problematising some of the key issues that are widely recognised as critical but often poorly implemented, such as participation of women at all levels, the engagement of youth, the roles of religious and traditional leaders, the importance of supporting existing community structures and potential positive contributions of the private sector. In addition, this volume adds to the increasingly loud call for the international community to enshrine the principle of inclusive local ownership and leadership in all its peacebuilding efforts
Communication in Peacebuilding Civil Wars, Civility and Safe Spaces / by Stefanie Pukallus.
From the publisher: This book is concerned with the role that communication – understood as including both the factual and fictional mass media as well as the performative and visual arts – can play in post-civil war peacebuilding. It engages with questions of how a society can move from the civil war conditions of discursive dehumanisation to peaceful cooperation in post-civil war settings and how peacebuilders can help communities utilise the transformative capacity of communication to encourage the reimagining of and engagement with former enemies as co-citizens. Ultimately, civil and peaceful cooperation depends on the observance of discursive civility and the building of safe discursive spaces in which civil engagement between different groups of society (including former combatants and survivors) can safely take place. This book argues that understanding communicative peacebuilding in this way is fundamental to the achievement of self-sustainable everyday peace.
Adaptive Peacebuilding: A New Approach to Sustaining Peace in the 21st Century / edited by Cedric de Coning, Rui Saraiva, Ako Muto.
From the publisher: This book introduces Adaptive Peacebuilding approach in response to the urgent need to ameliorate existing methods of preventing and resolving contemporary violent armed conflicts. The book utilizes five case studies (Colombia, Mozambique, Palestine, Syria, and Timor-Leste) to comparatively examine whether context-specific and adaptive approaches are more effective than determined-designed approaches to ensuring sustained peace in contemporary conflict-affected societies. The book also reflects on the ways in which China and Japan view and practice peacebuilding, focusing on how they design, implement, and evaluate programs to sustain peace.