Peace

Kazakhstan’s Interfaith Initiative: Fostering Global Harmony through Wisdom and Leadership

In the heart of Central Asia, a nation renowned for its rich cultural diversity, multi-ethnic society, and spiritual traditions has emerged as a global beacon of interfaith harmony and understanding. Over the past two decades, Kazakhstan’s Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions (The Congress) has played an instrumental role in promoting dialogue, forging unity, and advocating for peace among diverse faiths worldwide. Rooted in Kazakhstan’s deep spiritual heritage and wisdom, this initiative has evolved into a symbol of international cooperation and tolerance. As we reflect on its remarkable journey and look ahead to its future under the leadership of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, it becomes evident that the Congress is poised to make even greater strides toward fostering global harmony and unity.

Religious Leaders Can Help Bring about World Peace

It is not a secret that the world is witnessing rising international tensions and erosion of the global order that has been in place since the establishment of the United Nations. Divisive blocs, which have not been seen since the Cold War, are making a swift return. As a result, our planet is facing severe threats, including a new global arms race, the threat of the use of nuclear weapons, and the proliferation of wars in all formats, including hot, hybrid, cyber, and trade.

Peacekeeper Cecilia Erzuah Promotes Gender Equality by Example

Cecilia Erzuah was torn between two opposite career paths at the end of university. The week she was supposed to begin military training, her professor offered her a position as an assistant to a lecturer.

Global Leaders Plead for Peace in Ukraine at UN

As it did last year, the 2023 United Nations General Assembly has been debating what role the United Nations and its members should play in the crisis in Ukraine.

Nature Doesn’t Know Borders: Collaboration for Conservation in Cyprus

Along the 180-kilometer-long buffer zone separating the north and south of Cyprus, there is a surprising sign of unity: recycled ammunition boxes no longer hold bullets. They are home to baby birds.

Barriers to Movement are the Never Ending Normal for Palestinians

Sundus* scans the news before she heads home, checking for signs that her 30-minute commute could turn into a four-hour-long slog. Any incident could make travel difficult. Sometimes Sundus waits for her father to call and tell her if the checkpoints around their home are open. After living in Hebron, a city in the West Bank, for the last 20 years, she is used to planning her day around unpredictability.

Kazakhstan’s Transition: From a Nuclear Test Site to Leader in Disarmament

Exactly 32 years ago, on August 29, 1991, Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union, made a historic decision that would alter its fate. On that day, Kazakhstan permanently closed the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, defying the central government in Moscow. This marked the start of Kazakhstan's transformation from a nuclear-armed state, possessing the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal at the time, to a non-nuclear-weapon state. Kazakhstan's audacious move to eliminate its nuclear weapons was rooted in a profound commitment to global disarmament, setting an inspiring precedent.

The UN’s Own Relevance Is at Stake at This Year’s General Assembly

This September, world leaders and public policy advocates from around the world will descend on New York for the UN General Assembly. Alongside conversations on peace and security, global development and climate change, progress – or the lack of it – on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is expected to take centre-stage. A major SDG Summit will be held on 18 and 19 September. The UN hopes that it will serve as a ‘rallying cry to recharge momentum for world leaders to come together to reflect on where we stand and resolve to do more’. But are the world’s leaders in a mood to uphold the UN’s purpose, and can the UN’s leadership rise to the occasion by resolutely addressing destructive behaviours?

General Assembly President Calls for a ‘Human-Centered Approach to Disarmament’

The President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, struggled to find a reason to celebrate the 13th International Day against Nuclear Tests. There have only been five nuclear tests, all conducted by North Korea since the day was declared in 2010. Still, Kőrösi said he sees a world plagued by more distrust, geopolitical competition, and conflict than before.

Guns for Hire? A Season for Mercenaries

Just after a band of mercenaries tried to oust the government in the Maldives back in 1988, I asked a Maldivian diplomat, using a familiar military catch phrase, about the strength of his country's “standing army.” "Standing army?", the diplomat asked with mock surprise, and remarked perhaps half-jokingly, "We don't even have a sitting army."

Water – a Weapon of War or a Tool for Peace?

The role of water in conflicts is changing, with more attacks against environmental and civilian infrastructure. Dr Martina Klimes of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) recently held a lecture describing the shifting security landscape and how water can be both a weapon and a victim of war – and sometimes a tool for peace.

Reshaping Multilateralism in Times of Crises

The world is in permanent crisis mode. In addition to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, the war in Ukraine and other violent conflicts, a worldwide cost of living crisis and an intensified debt crisis in more and more countries of the global South are affecting large parts of humanity.

Detoxifying Security: Recommendations for the G7 Summit on Nuclear Weapons

The current war in Ukraine has shown that nuclear deterrence is deeply flawed. It relies on the assumption of “rational actors” in power and credibility of threats, which we know are far from reality, especially in times of conflicts.

Ethiopian Government Must Prioritize Access To Quality Surgery in Post-War Reconstruction

There are about 5 billion people globally who cannot access surgery. In Ethiopia, for every 5,000 needed surgeries per 100,000 people, the country’s health system can only provide 192. Yet, this is Africa’s second largest population, with over 120 million people.

War Criminals & Military Aggressors Who Occupy Seats in the Security Council

Come April 1, a post-Ukraine Russia, will preside over the UN Security Council in a month-long presidency on the basis of alphabetical rotation. But Russia will not be the first or the only country – accused of war crimes or charged with violating the UN charter—to be either a member or preside over the most powerful political body in the United Nations.

Press Freedom Is an Illusion in Today’s Afghanistan

Every year, Afghan journalists celebrate their national day on 18 March. This year, there is little reason to party, because of general restrictions, increasing intimidation and a recent attack on journalists. However, at a unique gathering in Brussels, Afghan journalists showed resilience.

Commonwealth Day: Reminder of Values


 

 
On Commonwealth Day, a powerful reminder of the values—justice, peace, equality, and inclusion.

‘Outright Hatred’ Towards Muslims, Risen to ‘Epidemic Proportions’

Islamophobia is a ‘fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world.’

The Western Threat to Russia

Putin’s regime recently suspended Russia’s participation in a nuclear arms agreement with Washington. After the decision Putin declared that the move was a retaliation for the US’s, France’s and Britain’s “targeting” of Russia with nuclear weapons. He was forced to take action to “preserve our country, ensure security and strategic stability”:

The Dynamics of Violent Extremism in sub-Saharan Africa

There is no better environment for the expansion of violent extremist groups than a vacuum in state authority. It provides ideal conditions for these groups to prey on existing and historical grievances, fill the void with promises of financial support, access to services and attention for marginalized, neglected communities.

Israel Today and A Possible Israel Tomorrow

Israel of today as a Jewish and democratic state is a contradiction of terms and as such may possibly become transformed into a genuinely democratic Israel tomorrow with justice and equality for all.

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