Shaping Peace Together

GS 2 INTERNAIONAL RELATIONS: Politics of developed and developing countries and India’s interests

Introduction 

       Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21st September. 

Theme for 2020 : Shaping Peace Together.

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  • There  is an occasion for deep reflection about the prevalence of war, violence and insecurity in many parts of the world.
  • This year, the 21th anniversary of the UN resolution on the programme of action on the culture of peace.

Background:

  • The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • In 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
  • United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day.
  • Commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

Contemporary Issues:

  • World Population Review(US Census Bureau) – eight countries(Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, Somalia, Iraq, Mexico and Libya) suffered at least 1,000 deaths each through militarised attacks and battles.
  • Maghreb and Sahel regions of North and West Africa, over 25 countries are being ravaged by deadly wars today.
  • UN Refugee Agency 79.5 million were displaced at the end of 2019, due to armed conflicts, persecution and other reasons.

Fuelling instability by permanent members of UN Security Council:

  • Russia and China uphold peace and stability(permanent members of UNSC):-But in practice, they fuel instability on most ongoing wars.
  • The tragedy in Yemen, the UN has declared as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, is the outcome of indiscriminate attacks by the U.S,Saudi Arabia and the UAE(whose geopolitical goal is to counterbalance Iran.)
  • The Donald Trump administration is selling copious quantities of lethal weapons to its Gulf allies in the name of their ‘security’.
  • War is at once a geopolitical game and big business.(U.S,Russia.)
  • Libya’s descent into Chaos is the product of involvement of mercenaries and weapons pumped by Russia and U.S allied Gulf Arab monarchies to push back Turkey’s influence.
  • Calamity in Syria, Yemen and Libya are victims of the conduct of great powers who arm and finance(counterbalancing rivals and sustaining profits of their military industrial complexes.)
  • China has the ranks of top sellers of weapon.Enable:-
    • ethnic violence and extreme human rights abuses from South Sudan,Democratic Republic of Congo,Pakistan and Myanmar.
    • aims to tighten its grip over developing countries through ‘internal security’ aid
    • a code for technological tools of domestic surveillance
    • repression, which in turn build up societal pressure and armed revolts against authoritarian regimes.
    • expansionism against its neighbours
    • its ‘new Cold War’ with the U.S. have raised risks of military clashes in Asia.

Core problem:

  • Targeted micro-level diplomatic initiatives cannot ameliorate the underlying macro-level problem of great powers and their allies.

UN’s measure:

  • The UN Secretary General is campaigning a “global ceasefire” so that everyone’s attention shifts to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The UN , the African Union and the European Union are trying to negotiate cessation of hostilities in various war zones.

India’s message:

Mahatma Gandhi throughout his life adopted

  • non-violent movements
  • harmony
  • brotherhood 
  • spoke highly about peace and solidarity.

Way Forward

  • Goals of education for all(SDG 4)
  • Ensure that children,benefit from education on the values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life.
  • Involve children in activities designed to instil in them the values and goals of a culture of peace
  • Ensure equality of access to education for women, especially girls.
  • Encourage revision of educational curricula, including textbooks:-
    • 1995 Declaration
    • Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace
    • Human Rights
    • Democracy
  • Technical cooperation should provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization upon request.
  • Developing values and skills conducive to a culture of peace,education and training in promoting dialogue and consensus-building.

Conclusion

       This day is dedicated to fortifying the principles of peace, both within and among all member states and peoples.

        Celebrate the International Day of Peace by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Intellectuals, social movements and responsible states should prioritise struggling for an equitable world order. Nothing less will suffice to silence the guns.

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