“People get used to war. During the last battle, children were still coming to play. Can you imagine, a seven-year-old boy running through the bullets just to play video games,” says Mohammad Darwish, a calm man with a curled beard framing his face.
I recently visited Assisi, the home of St. Francis and St. Clare, two great spirits whose lives have inspired us and millions of people around the world.
“There are still prospects for a meaningful ACP-EU partnership, capable of contributing and responding concretely and effectively to the objectives of promoting and attaining peace, security, poverty eradication and sustainable development,” according to the top official of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
“Never was there a greater need than now for all the religions to combine, to pull their wisdom and to give the benefit of that combined, huge repository of wisdom to international law and to the world.”
How can we explain that in the 2lst century we are still training millions of men and women in our armed forces and sending them to war?
While the United States, United Kingdom and NATO are pushing for war with Russia, it behoves people and their governments around the world to take a clear stand for peace and against violence and war, no matter where it comes from.
“Strong together, we love Israel and trust the army” – while a tentative truce takes root, banners adorned with the national colours still dominate cities and highways across the country.
On this Friday, June 6, people from all corners of the world gather here in Sarajevo, Bosnia, to explore a plethora of ideas on the road forward to a world in peace.
The fresh Palestinian-Israeli peace drive stems from the realisation by all parties involved in the process that diplomatic isolation constitutes a strategic threat to Israel. This isolation whip will be held above Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s back for as long as it takes for him to agree to the pre-1967 lines as basis for the end of the 46-year occupation.
Wearing a dusty hat and a smile that lights up his face, the septuagenarian José Alicapa does not shrink from the overwhelming bustle of the Colombian capital, which he reached after a 13-hour bus drive from the western province in Caldas.
For the first time, ‘humanitarian diplomacy’ is being deployed to drive home the need for banning nukes - though under the self-imposed exclusion of the P5, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, who own a crushing majority of the 19,000 nuclear weapons capable of destroying the world many times over.
A UN summit designed to promote tolerance, plurality and global inclusiveness of civilisations has opened with dire warnings of the threat of religious and ethnic intolerance – at the same time as many states that have ostensibly signed up to the UN’s ideals continue to enforce laws and practices restricting religious freedom, and implicitly marginalising communities.
People in the streets and squares of the Colombian capital are breathing easier. The air is fresh with hope, in contrast to the former leaden and fearful atmosphere of eternal violence and interminable conflict.
When it voted to upgrade Palestinian statehood status from “observer entity” to “non-member observer state”, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) wanted the enduring Middle East conflict to come full circle. But it failed to take into account the Israeli Prime Minister’s opposition to a state of Palestine that isn’t on his terms.
Mamaduwa, a remote village in Sri Lanka’s northern Vavuniya district where scorching winds blow across parched earth, is trying to forget the past.