August 19, 2016

To Promote Human Rights is to Promote Peace

Dr. Khine Khine Win

Since 1945, the scope of human rights has been elaborated and the concept now permeates the fabric of international society. However, until today there is no real definition or articulation of human rights. Different people see human rights in different ways. The UNOHCHR define human rights as “Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination”. Vienna Declaration and Program of Action (1993) states human rights as “Human Rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human being”. Here we must acknowledge that all human beings are entitled to human rights and fundamental freedom. No matter who you are, where you are from and what you do, you have rights because you are human being. Universally agreed four characteristics of Human Rights are Universal, Inalienable, Indivisible and Interdependent.
Human Rights and fundamental freedoms allow us to develop fully and use our human qualities, our intelligence, our talents and our conscience and to satisfy our spiritual and other needs. However, without support and encourage from government for promotion and protection of human rights nothing can happen. Returning once more to the Vienna Declaration adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights; the first responsibility of Governments is to promote and protect human rights for their peoples.
The Charter of the United Nations is a guiding beacon along the way to the achievement of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the world. The United Nations goal is to keep peace in the world through international unity and collective security. In order to fulfill this goal, the international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. Without peace there is no human rights and no peace. Peace and freedom cannot be ensured as long as fundamental human rights are violated. Similarly, there cannot be peace and stability as long as there are oppression and suppression.
U.S President Mr. Obama made remarks at United Nations Generally Assembly in 2011 and he said “now we have learned that no matter how much we love peace and hate war, we cannot avoid having war brought upon us if there are convulsions in other parts of the world”. The fact is peace is hard. But our people demand it. Over nearly seven decades, even as the United Nations helped avert a third world war, we still live in a world scarred by conflict and plagued by poverty. Even as we proclaim our love for peace and our hatred of war, there are still convulsions in our world that endanger us all. Although this remark was made since five years ago, my personal view is that it is true till now. Based on his remark, if getting peace is hard, it is hard to bring human rights and freedom, too. There is a role of human rights here. Lasting peace cannot be realized without respect for human rights.
Three years after the forming of United Nations, in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR was come out which is the important document in the history of human rights and is the world’s first declaration that recognizes that all human being must enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Indubitably, it provides a value framework of human rights which many subsequent documents expand into legally binding texts. However, until today people in all over the world have not always had their basic rights due to many reasons: political, impunity, conflicts, poverty and culture etc. In recent decades, armed conflicts have blighted the lives of millions of civilians. Without doubt, conflicts weigh heavily on men, women, child, old-person, disable person and they suffer negative impacts on economically and socially. Conflict is not just violation of right to life; it is a breeding ground for mass human rights violations too. If there is conflict, it is hard to bring human rights and freedom.
Germany Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a speech on 28th Session on UN Human Rights Council in 2015 and in his speech he said “We cannot have human rights without peace and conflict resolution. But the reverse also holds true: peace can never be assured without respect for human rights.” Again Mr. Steinmeier said how impossible it was to talk about the global human rights situation without mentioning the key trouble spots in world politics.
To date, there are many people who fight for their rights in all over the world. Here, bear in mind that human Rights is not a political tool pushing to the corner, the Human Rights situation should be improved by the people themselves, through a bottom up approach. Third parties can only facilitate a peaceful atmosphere and occasions, so that respective Nations are willing to engage themselves to improve their own human rights situation. In order to become a peaceful world, we must cultivate peace, reduce and combat violence and insecurity, encourage government to improve human rights situation of their own country are essential. As global citizens, it is the responsibility of all of us, to do our part to make the world a better place.
To promote human rights is to promote peace. Work for human rights is inextricably linked with work for peace and security, no doubt.


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