Building a Just World Order

Building a Just World Order

by Alfred de Zayas
Building a Just World Order

Building a Just World Order

by Alfred de Zayas


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A democratic and equitable international order is possible. Humanity needs this enforceable rules-based order for sustainable development and the welfare of future generations. While inter-governmental organizations like the International Labour Office and the Food and Agriculture Organization have advanced the vision of a just world order and helped fulfil the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter — promoting peace, development and human rights — the efforts of the international community have fallen short. In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council created the mandate of the Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.
This book compiles 14 reports, info notes and comments of Dr. Alfred de Zayas, the first mandate-holder (2012-2018). It formulates 25 principles of international order, defines domestic and international democracy, the right of self-determination of peoples, and a human right to peace. He proposes concrete reforms of the UN system, notably the Security Council andthe functions of the Secretary General, and advocates reversing the adverse impacts of World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies, slashing military expenditures, rendering free-trade agreements compatible with human rights, abolishing tax havens and investor-state-dispute arbitrations, alleviating the foreign debt crisis, criminalizing war-profiteers and pandemic vultures. Zayas denounces unilateral coercive measures, economic sanctions and financial blockades, because they demonstrably have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths — crimes against humanity under article 7 of the Statute of Rome of the International Criminal Court.
Zayas addresses the right to reliable information, freedom of expression, censorship by governments and private media, proposes a Charter of Rights of Whistleblowers, repudiates the anti-democratic “cancel culture” and demands accountability for crimes against indigenous peoples, ecocide, “extraordinary renditions” and torture in Guantanamo. He formulates pragmatic recommendations to States, international organizations and civil society.
In 2017 before the General Assembly Zayas deplored the implementation gap that renders the UN rapporteurs “an assembly of Cassandras”, calling for renewed commitment to ethical politics and the spirituality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, garnering unprecedented applause from UNGA delegates and NGOs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781949762426
Publisher: Clarity Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/01/2021
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is a former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (2012-18), former senior lawyer with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee and Chief of the Petitions Department (registrar). Zayas grew up in Chicago, holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D., modern history from University of Gottingen, Fulbright Graduate Fellow in Germany. Retired member of the New York and Florida Bar, author of 9 books and more than 200 scholarly articles. He lives in Geneva.

Read an Excerpt

Achieving a just world order has been the goal of philosophers and religious leaders for thousands of years. History is full of noble projects that have not been successful in establishing such an order. In recent times the League of Nations attempted to keep the peace and promote human rights, notably labour rights and minority rights. Yet, the League of Nations was incapable to prevent World War II. After the great catastrophe of 1939-1945, the Holocaust and the dawn of the atomic age with the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world again attempted to establish a stable international order based on multilateralism and a commitment to peace and human dignity.

The United Nations Charter entered into force on 24 October 1945 and since then it has served as a kind of world constitution, a moral compass, a forum where international disputes can be settled peacefully through negotiation. Even if 76 years later, the United Nations still lacks the capacity to enforce its resolutions and decisions, it is certain that the world has benefited from its existence. It seems clear that without the United Nations the world would have stumbled into a new world war. There have been too many “close calls”, moments of very high tension and uncertainty, which could easily have led to nuclear Apocalypse – the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 being only one example. It is difficult to imagine the world without the United Nations, because its influence is ubiquitous. During its 76 years the United Nations has presided over the decolonization of peoples throughout the planet, and has established specialized agencies to advance public health, protect our environment, regulate telecommunications, intellectual property, patents, facilitate commerce, and provide for judicial adjudication of civil and criminal matters. ... This book describes the initiatives and reports of the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, whose mandate was established pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 18/6 of 29 September 2011,

Table of Contents

Un Reports viii

Glossary x

Table of Abbreviations xii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Mechanisms for the Democratic Pursuit of Human Rights 12

Chapter 2 Principles of International Order 46

Chapter 3 Peace as a Human Right 61

Chapter 4 Military Expenditures and Human Rights 88

Chapter 5 The Right of Self-determination of Peoples 117

Chapter 6 The Rule of Law and the Right to Truth: Information as a Key Element of Democracy 173

Chapter 7 The Prohibition of Interference in the Internal Affairs of States 203

Chapter 8 Business and Human Rights 231

Chapter 9 Taxation and Human Rights 300

Chapter 10 World Bank Group 336

Chapter 11 The Adverse Impact of IMF Policies on Human Rights 371

Chapter 12 Mission to Venezuela 408

Conclusion: Reflections on the Way Forward 446

Index 455

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