Eight points to consider for the culture of peace

Eight points to consider for the culture of peace

By Fr. Rif'at Bader

The United Nations charters include the term "the culture of peace and non-violence". This culture is contrary to what has been termed as “the culture” of war and violence, in spite of the fact that some sides do not favor using the term "culture" when mentioning wars, violence and their ramifications.

The culture of peace is what our Arab society and humanity need nowadays. The terms relevant to war are used on daily bases in news bulletins which instills fear in people's hearts. This includes threats, violent tweets, proliferation of armaments and missiles, as well as trading insults among heads of state who lead countries armed to the teeth including with non-conventional weapons. Past events that have led to wars have been recurrent These wars have embedded memories of pain in the minds of people.

Faced with these terms that are hard to comprehend, the question that arises is: Is there a chance to produce benevolent forces that can withstand and confront the death camps and the terms of destruction?

No one should give in to evil as well as to its accomplices, planners and executors. The enlightened societies, supported by benevolent media outlets, ought to know how to impart the spirit of hope for a safer future.

Reviewing the UN charters, we find out that they include eight key points that can serve as milestones for the benevolent and noble forces encountering false cultures that trigger wars, violence and bloodshed. These points are: Education to serve the purpose of peace, promotion of sustainable economic and social development, respect for human rights, democracy, tolerance, free access to information, and disarmament.

It is great to have the UN legislators place "education" at the top of their priorities and scope of action. We badly need to reconsider education to bring about peace. This starts at home which includes considering more humane games practised by children and fewer pictures of bloodshed. Children who spend time on war games and feel the thrill of victory represented by the number of fatalities in their games are imbued with the sense of violence and entertaining this practice. We ought to give prime attention to school curricula so as to be supporters of love and goodness to everybody with no exception on the bases of respecting dignity of all creatures.

In this context, it is inevitable to reconsider a 55-year old document, namely the “Pacem in Terris” (Peace on Earth) by Pope John XXIII where he called in April 1963, two months before his passing away, for launching paths for peace instead of resorting to armament and wars. He presented five fundamental initiatives namely, the centrality of the human being, goodness to all people, the moral foundations of political activity, the power of reason, and the shining beacon of faith. This message focuses on the most important principles or values that establish and maintain a "culture of peace". The most important of which are namely, truth based on justice, justice protected by love, and love exercised in a framework of freedom.

May the culture of peace and non-violence prevail.

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