The UN General Assembly has been the theatre of developments which cannot be considered civilized. When has a global leader, in this case the actual President of the United States, ever used the tribune of the body created in the aftermath of the Second World War to pronounce a threat of eradication against a country? Barely able to believe our eyes, or ears, we have to focus on the seriousness of the declaration and the mindset of its author. What about the lessons of the Cold War and the efficiency of diplomacy when listening to such threats and the risk of reciprocal or copycat threats? Trying to bind North Korea to a deal by stepping back from the agreement with Iran will weaken the credibility of the US. Who will be able to stop this dangerous stupidity?
Our SOLIDAR President Paca Sauquillo rightly reminded us that the celebration of World Peace Day is the best opportunity to consider the root causes of conflicts and the best means of conflict resolution.
Why celebrate the International Day of Peace
By Francisca Sauquillo, President of SOLIDAR and Movimiento por la Paz (MPDL).
On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, 21st of September, I want to write a short but reflective text on why we celebrate this day, why we focus on Peace, why we go out on the streets to claim it, why it is really important to be aware that a lack of Peace affects all our lives. Because Peace is much more than the absence of war. Peace is equality, human rights and social justice, in our streets, our neighbourhoods, cities and towns.
Our current World faces different crises – economic, institutional, territorial, political and demographic –; 12 ongoing armed conflicts in Africa and the Middle East: Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Ivory Coast; and multiple low-intensity wars that not only displace local populations massively but also tear apart the national economic, political and social fabric.
The European project must undergo profound changes, especially this year, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The EU’s answer to the economic crisis and to the citizenship and democratic deficit has led, in turn, to a deeper political and institutional crisis. This lukewarm answer to our global challenges has also highlighted the EU’s vulnerability. Perhaps the most illustrative example of this inadequate response is the arrival of thousands of refugees who leave their homes because of war, violations of human rights or economic and humanitarian crises, risking or losing their lives in order to reach Europe. The EU and its Member States should fulfil their commitments to receiving refugees and take action on the causes that induce people to migrate in the hope of a decent life in the host countries.
The economic crisis has significantly increased poverty, inequalities, social exclusion and the denial of rights in many Member States, including Spain. However, in a society without rights there is no equality, and without equality there is no peace.
So, do we wonder why we should call for Peace and why we should celebrate the International Day of Peace?
In addition, our Spanish member Movimiento por la Paz (MPDL) organised a gathering in the streets of Madrid with several activities in the light of the International Day of Peace, to get an impression, have a look at the photos below.