The peoples of the earth have a sacred right to peace. This is the conviction and the theme of this book by Canadian Senator Douglas Roche, who builds upon a long career in politics, diplomacy, and social activism in examining the requirements for peace in the post-9/11 world.
The Right to Peace has already been defined by the United Nations, but its meaning has been muted by the continuation of the culture of war. The UN is now working to animate the Right to Peace so it can finally take its place among the other recognized human rights that breathe life into the international system.
Some discount the emerging Right to Peace and doubt that it can be achieved in a world driven by excessive militarism, revivified in the aftermath of 2001's terrorist attacks. But Senator Roche turns the prevailing logic on its head by showing that wars are not inevitable, and that the modern world possesses the creativity and political and legal instruments to resolve conflict without war. Achieving this goal is within our reach, but it requires a fundamental change in our attitudes. The religions of the world have a real and important service to render in the cause of peace.
Far from "changing the world," the terrorist attacks of September 2001 were a brutal introduction to the world of insecurity and fear that is commonplace for much of humanity. In a world where our destinies are increasingly held in common, a culture of peace can bring genuine hope to the lives of millions who need and want to be uplifted from the horrors of their daily lives. Our very survival demands success in the creation of this culture.