Universal Declaration of Human Rights @ 60+ logo
Gathering a body of global agreements
logo of United Nations General Assembly

  United Nations


un logo

General Assembly

Distr: General
15 December 1978
Original: English

black line

Thirty-third session
Agenda item 50

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

33/73. Declaration on the Preparation of Societies for Life in Peace

The General Assembly,

Recalling that in the Charter the peoples of the United Nations proclaimed their determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and that one of the fundamental purposes of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security,

Reaffirming that, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 95 (I) of 11 December 1946, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression are crimes against peace and that, pursuant to the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, of 24 October 1970,/1 and the Definition of Aggression of 14 December 1974,/2 a war of aggression constitutes a crime against the peace,

Reaffirming the right of individuals, States and all mankind to life in peace,

Aware that, since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed,

Recognizing that peace among nations is mankind's paramount value, held in the highest esteem by all principal political, social and religious movements,

Guided by the lofty goal of preparing societies for and creating conditions of their common existence and co-operation in peace, equality, mutual confidence and understanding,

Recognizing the essential role of Governments, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations, both national and international, the mass media, educational processes and teaching methods, in promoting the ideals of peace and understanding among nations,

Convinced that, in the era of modern scientific and technological progress, mankind's resources, energy and creative talents should be directed to the peaceful economic, social and cultural development of all countries, should promote the implementation of the new international economic order and should serve the raising of the living standards of all nations,

Stressing with utmost concern that the arms race, in particular in the nuclear field, and the development of new types and systems of weapons, based on modern scientific principles and achievements, threaten world peace,

Recalling that, in the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly,/3 the States Members of the United Nations solemnly reaffirmed their determination to make further collective efforts aimed at strengthening peace and international security and eliminating the threat of war, and agreed that, in order to facilitate the process of disarmament, it was necessary to take measures and pursue policies to strengthen international peace and security and to build confidence among States,

Reaffirming the principles contained in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, of 14 December 1960,/4 the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security, of 16 December 1970 /5 and the Declaration on the Deepening and Consolidation of International Detente, of 19 December 1977,/6

Recalling the Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples, of 7 December 1965,77

Further recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of 10 December 1948,/8 as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of 16 December 1966,/9 and bearing in mind that the latter states, inter alia, that any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law,


Solemnly invites all States to guide themselves in their activities by the recognition of the supreme importance and necessity of establishing, maintaining and strengthening a just and durable peace for present and future generations and, in particular, to observe the following principles:

  1. Every nation and every human being, regardless of race, conscience, language or sex, has the inherent right to life in peace. Respect for that right, as well as for the other human rights, is in the common interest of all mankind and an indispensable condition of advancement of all nations, large and small, in all fields.

  2. A war of aggression, its planning, preparation or initiation are crimes against peace and are prohibited by international law.

  3. In accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, States have the duty to refrain from propaganda for wars of aggression.

  4. Every State, acting in the spirit of friendship and good-neighbourly relations, has the duty to promote all-round, mutually advantageous and equitable political, economic, social and cultural co-operation with other States, notwithstanding their socio-economic systems, with a view to securing their common existence and co-operation in peace, in conditions of mutual understanding of and respect for the identity and diversity of all peoples, and the duty to take up actions conducive to the furtherance of the ideals of peace, humanism and freedom.

  5. Every State has the duty to respect the right of all peoples to self-determination, independence, equality, sovereignty, the territorial integrity of States and the inviolability of their frontiers, including the right to determine the road of their development, without interference or intervention in their internal affairs.

  6. A basic instrument of the maintenance of peace is the elimination of the threat inherent in the arms race, as well as efforts towards general and complete disarmament, under effective international control, including partial measures with that end in view, in accordance with the principles agreed upon within the United Nations and relevant international agreements.

  7. Every State has the duty to discourage all manifestations and practices of colonialism, as well as racism, racial discrimination and apartheid, as contrary to the right of peoples to self-determination and to other human rights and fundamental freedoms.

  8. Every State has the duty to discourage advocacy of hatred and prejudice against other peoples as contrary to the principles of peaceful coexistence and friendly co-operation.


Calls upon all States, in order to implement the above principles:

  1. To act perseveringly and consistently, with due regard for the constitutional rights and the role of the family, the institutions and the organizations concerned:

    1. To ensure that their policies relevant to the implementation of the present Declaration, including educational processes and teaching methods as well as media information activities, incorporate contents compatible with the task of the preparation for life in peace of entire societies and, in particular, the young generations;

    2. Therefore, to discourage and eliminate incitement to racial hatred, national or other discrimination, injustice or advocacy of violence and war;

  2. To develop various forms of bilateral and multilateral co-operation, also in international, governmental and non-governmental organizations, with a view to enhancing preparation of societies to live in peace and, in particular, exchanging experiences on projects pursued with that end in view;


  1. Recommends that the governmental and nongovernmental organizations concerned should initiate appropriate action towards the implementation of the present Declaration;

  2. States that a full implementation of the principles enshrined in the present Declaration calls for concerted action on the part of Governments, the United Nations and the specialized agencies, in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as well as other interested international and national organizations, both governmental and non-governmental;

  3. Requests the Secretary-General to follow the progress made in the implementation of the present Declaration and to submit periodic reports thereon to the General Assembly, the first such report to be submitted not later than at its thirty-sixth session.

85th plenary meeting
15 December 1978