The Challenge of Peace Building
My study of human rights at ISS included a simulation of the United Nations Human Rights. The assignment was to pass a UNHR resolution on counter terrorism measures. However, the complexity of universal human rights presented itself in the staunch disagreement amongst my fellow classmates on the shades of meaning in the draft. Despite wide recognition of the constant balancing act of rights, it was difficult to reach a consensus on what rights received greater precedence. I am happy to report, that the resolution was passed, with the necessary two-thirds majority vote.
As a conglomeration of activities, peace-building is challenging. Countering terrorism, feeding populations, providing adequate education and health care, are all universally recognized human rights. Much like the UN motto, the roots of peace lie in a greater consensus of these rights, which, must be recognized, respected and fulfilled. However, when states as duty-bearers fail to recognize, respect and fulfill rights, the right-holders such as Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee take action to bring peace and thus, take ownership of their rights, demanding changes from governments, empowering themselves and setting a precedence for future generations.