Need of World Peace and Disarmament #DisarmamentWeek (24-30 Oct)

Disarmament Week

At a time when the world is witnessing two major conflicts (Russia-Ukraine, Israel-Palestine) and numerous vulnerable points where conflicts can arise anytime; probably world peace seems a dire need of humanity.

During 24 Oct to 30 Oct, World observes Disarmament Week on the call of the United Nations. The Secretary General of the United Nations in a statement said ‘Disarmament must be brought back to the centre of our common efforts for peace and security.’ He also stated, ‘Disarmament and non-proliferation are investments in peace. They are investments in future’.

With the development of community living and division of the earth through national boundaries, divisions among societies seems increasing and there should be some common understanding to ensure that such divisions should not affect social fabric. Such boundaries should have been for administrative purposes only and with the aim to enrich humanity with more consciousness towards oneness.

World peace is a noble goal that we should all strive for. It means living in harmony with others, respecting diversity, and resolving conflicts peacefully. It also means creating a world where everyone has access to basic human rights, such as food, water, health, education, and justice.

World peace also requires disarmament as weapons of mass destruction are increasing and creating threats to human lives in conflict of states.

Questions asked about why is world peace important and sometimes people considered it as a hypothetical idea without even being concerned about data of its need. Here are some reasons:

●       World peace can reduce violence and suffering. According to the Global Peace Index, the economic impact of violence in 2020 was estimated at $14.96 trillion, or 11.6% of global GDP. This increased to $17.5 trillion or 13% of global GDP in 2023. Imagine how much better the world would be if we could use that money for development and humanitarian aid instead of war and destruction.

●       World peace can foster cooperation and innovation. When countries and people work together, they can achieve more than they can alone. They can share ideas, resources, and solutions to common problems. They can also learn from each other’s cultures, values, and perspectives. This can lead to more creativity, productivity, and progress.

●       By January 2022, there were approximately 13080 nuclear warheads worldwide, held by nuclear-armed states. Nuclear threats are more frequent now amid rising conflicts. During world war, we have seen huge destruction caused due to use of nuclear weapons and in today’s world, there seems to be a race to become a nuclear equipped state, without considering the huge potential of destruction it carries.

●       A report of Oxfam states that during 2018-2022, the world spent yearly an estimated $112 billion on arms import, while 9000 people die each day from hunger driven primarily by conflict. This reflects the contrast that exists in our world and how resources need to be mobilised in the right direction.

●       World peace can protect the environment and the future. War and violence often cause environmental damage, such as pollution, deforestation, and climate change. These effects not only harm the current generation, but also threaten the well-being of future generations. By promoting world peace, we can preserve the natural resources and biodiversity that sustain life on Earth.

●       Disarmament can achieve gender equality and can prevent gender-based violence as it is observed that in conflict zones, there are evidence of frequent violence against women and LGBTQ community. Many times, women and children have been used as human shields during conflicts.

●       More than 2.5 billion people globally live in dangerous places where violence occurs. These places account for more than 60 percent of poverty and more than 95 percent refugees come from such places. Though it does not directly reflect that all poverty or migration is only due to conflicts or violence, it surely reflects that there is a strong link between it and any place that is affected by continuous violence would certainly witness migration of refugees and poverty.   

World peace may seem like a distant dream, but it is possible if we all do our part. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Let us start today by being peacemakers in our own lives and inspiring others to do the same.

UN Secretary General’s 4 key pillars include Disarmament that Saves Humanity, Disarmament that Saves Lives, Disarmament for Future Generations and Strengthening partnerships for Disarmament with the aim to support sustainable development goals.

Let us strive to support world peace and disarmament.

Ravi Nitesh is a social activist. He tweets @ravinitesh

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