Declaration of Peace
and Cessation of War
Recalling the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and other international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Acknowledging that all members of the human family enjoy human dignity and equal and inalienable rights, and that these rights represent a necessary tenet of the preservation of freedom, justice and peace throughout the world,
Aiming to maintain international peace and security and determined to pass on to successive generations an invaluable inheritance of a world free of wars,
Ensuring the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force should not be used, save in accordance with the limitations prescribed by international law,
Reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women, the promotion of social progress and better standards of life for people and future generations and the need to facilitate peaceful coexistence among the world’s religions, beliefs, and ethnicities;
Recognizing that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples constitutes a significant contribution to contemporary international law, and that its effective application is of paramount importance,
Bearing in mind the universal commitment of the world’s religions to the promotion of peaceful coexistence, tolerance and mutual respect, and the common spirit that permeates all religious scriptures and holy texts,
Bearing in mind the sovereign equality of states, and
Convinced that judicial and other dispute resolution measures can replace the rule of war with the rule of law
Call upon states
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from international law can be maintained, and
in accordance with the common spirit that permeates all religious scriptures, and the rules of international law including fundamental rights guaranteed, to undertake to prosecute and sanction gross and systematic acts of violence undertaken in the name of religion
to bring about gradual disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and weapons capable of causing widespread and unnecessary suffering and weapons incompatible with international humanitarian law.
The signatories to the present Declaration do hereby urge that all efforts be made so that this Declaration is adopted and respected by all states.
Article 1 - Prohibition of the threat or use of force
1. States should solemnly reaffirm that they refrain from the use of force in all circumstances, save where permitted by international law, and should condemn aggression as constituting an international crime.
2. States should refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of military force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations Charter or international law in general.
3. States should prohibit any act or threat of violence, whatever its motives or purposes, that occurs for the advancement of an individual or collective criminal agenda.
4. States should abstain from interference in the internal conflicts of other States.
Article 2 - War potential
1. States should co-operate with a view to the gradual global reduction of armament production.
2. States should not produce, assist in, encourage, or induce; the production of weapons of mass destruction, inter alia, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, or weapons capable of causing indiscriminate or widespread and unnecessary suffering, or weapons incompatible with international humanitarian law.
3. States should take measures to ensure that existing weapons of mass destruction, weapons capable of causing widespread and unnecessary suffering and weapons incompatible with international humanitarian law are gradually dismantled or destroyed. States should cooperate in disarmament and the reduction of arms stockpiles, ideally under international supervision. Decommissioned weapons manufacturing facilities should be repurposed, so that they may serve purposes that are beneficial to humanity in general.
4. States should strive to reduce excessive standing armies and military bases.
5. States should cooperate to gradually diminish trade in weapons and attempt to reduce the flow of small arms to non-state actors.
Article 3 – Friendly relations and the prohibition of acts of aggression
1. In accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV), States should develop friendly relations based upon respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and should take appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.
2. States have the duty to refrain from any forcible action that deprives peoples of their rights to self-determination.
3. States should condemn the illegal occupation of territory resulting from the threat or use of force in a manner contrary to international law.
4. States should promote accountability, including by investigating alleged violations of international law, in particular, grave violation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and should take measures to ensure that states, citizens and corporations do not contribute to the commission of violations of international law.
5. States should condemn, and should criminalize in their domestic law, the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over, or to direct, the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of international law, thus amounting to a crime of aggression.
6. States should refrain from allowing their territories to be placed at the disposal of other actors, whether States or otherwise, to engage in armed force against a third State.
7. States should bear in mind the principle of sovereign equality of states, and should seek to consult all other states, on the basis of reciprocal respect, on issues that may relate to them, in order to resolve and pre-empt disputes which may arise. This provision should apply without prejudice to human rights law and human dignity.
Article 4 – State boundaries
1. In accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV), every State has the duty to refrain in its international relations from military, political, economic, or any other form of coercion aimed against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. This is without prejudice to instances when such forms of coercion may be lawfully applied, inter alia, to induce states to cease internationally wrongful acts, or when sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council.
2. Every State has the duty to refrain from the threat or use of force to violate the existing internationally recognized boundaries of another State, or as a means of resolving international disputes, including territorial and frontier disputes, in a manner inconsistent with international law.
3. Every state has the duty to refrain from any act of incitement, planning, preparation, initiation or commission of an act of aggression by a state, a group of states, an organization of states or an armed group or by any foreign or external entity, against the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of any State.
Article 5 - Self-determination
1. The duty of every state to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any other state includes the duty not to engage in any action that would result in the dismemberment of any state, or force the secession or annexation of any territorial unit from that state.
2. Subject to the right to self-determination of peoples, states shall not engage in any intervention that seeks to divide or separate a state in a manner that is contrary to the rules of international law.
3. Every state has the duty to refrain from prematurely recognising an entity that has purported to secede from another state, until such a time as the latter entity has developed the necessary attributes, capacities and legitimacy to function as a state.
4. Subject to the provisions of the present article, States should encourage identifiable nation-states that have been divided by longstanding external or historical factors to engage in co-operation and dialogue. States should ensure that divided peoples are provided with their right to self-determination, including, inter alia, measures which may result in unified government.
5. Any political system in which power is exercised in perpetuity by an individual or regime amounting to a manifest denial of the right to self-determination should be condemned.
Article 6 - Dispute settlement
1. States should recognize the obligation to settle their international disputes through peaceful means including reference to the International Court of Justice, other judicial bodies, regional judicial arrangements, or through arbitration, mediation, conciliation, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution and in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered. States should carry out any judgment or decision reached by a judicial body in good faith.
2. All states are encouraged to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, in accordance with Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Court, without reservations, as a means of ensuring that disputes are settled peacefully and in accordance with international law.
Article 7 - Right to self-defence
1. Nothing in the present Declaration should be construed so as to impair the inherent right to individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a State, until such time as the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.
2. Measures taken by states in the exercise of their right to self-defence should be immediately reported to the Security Council and should not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the United Nations Charter to take, at any time, such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Article 8 - Freedom of religion
1. States should unite to strengthen international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and diversity of religions and beliefs.
2. States should activate and participate in systems to enforce and protect fundamental human rights, eliminating discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, and should refrain from and prohibit the usage of religion by governments, groups, or individuals in order to justify or to incite acts of violence against others. These systems should include, inter alia, judicial mechanisms.
3. States should foster religious freedom by allowing members of religious communities to practice their religion, whether publicly or in private, and by protecting places of worship and religious sites, cemeteries, and shrines.
Article 9 – Religion, ethnic identity and peace
1. States should engage in multilateral consultations to deal with situations where differences attributable to religion or ethnicity pose a threat to peace so that necessary remedial action may be taken and to identify the root causes of a situation causing tension between different religious or ethnic groups, in order to adopt necessary measures to promote mutual understanding between the groups concerned.
2. States should take measures to ensure that religious belief or ethnic identity are not utilised as a pretext for gross and systematic acts of violence. In circumstances where individuals or groups perpetrate or assist in such acts in the name of their religion, states should take adequate measures that lead to the prosecution and punishment of such activities.
3. Recognising the threat to peaceful coexistence that violent religious extremism may cause, states should implement, in good faith, legal measures against individuals or groups attempting to perpetrate or assist in gross and systematic acts of violence in the name of religion. Such measures should, in extreme cases, include the proscription of faith groups – including sects or cults – that perpetrate acts of violence against the territorial integrity and political independence of any state.
Article 10 – Spreading a culture of peace
1. States should recognize and engage with groups and organizations that seek to further the cause of peace as a global movement. States should facilitate such groups in their awareness-raising activities, including providing tuition in human rights and peace studies, as provided for, inter alia, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1999 UN Declaration on a Culture of Peace.
2. States should recognize that, in order to preserve a lasting culture of peace, public awareness of the need for, and value of, peace should be created. In this regard, states are encouraged to facilitate activities, commemorations, and initiatives that engage public consciousness with peace, including the erection of peace monuments as an alternative to war monuments.
3. Heads of state and heads of government should acknowledge that they are uniquely well placed to encourage a culture of peace, and should act to support this declaration to bring about the cessation of war.
4. States should promote a culture of peace including ensuring conditions in which-
(a) citizens are able to participate in the political affairs of the state as equals regardless of religious or ethnic differences;
(b) a free media is maintained which allows grievances to be aired and addressed;
(c) education is imparted to promote respect and mutual understanding among different religious, belief and ethnic groups;
(d) the right to development of peoples, including the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals, can be realized; and
(e) the wellbeing of all human kind with the participation of women and men to ensure peaceful coexistence amongst nations, states, and peoples may be guaranteed.