Peace be with you! What does that mean? What is peace? It is more than just a state of tranquillity, more than just the absence of war. Who would deny that peace is desirable, vital even? When you have lived, loved and lost because of war you long for peace. Idyllic visions of the wolf, the symbolic aggressor, and the lamb, the symbolic victim, its natural prey, coexisting in harmony, led by a little child, should mean heaven on earth and families together again, an end to the suffering and loss of young men and women.
The United Nations was the answer of the international community of countries to maintaining peace after the second world war. Then it was strong, seen as relevant and did its job; now, sadly people have forgotten how essential it was and how necessary now. The UN’s Millenium Development Goals achieved very significant advances in the conditions of millions of people and now we have practical steps towards achieving more peace with justice and universal harmony with the 17 sustainable development goals. One of these which relates to all the others, is “Ensure peaceful and sustainable societies” But how is this to be done? Four steps include reducing violent deaths and eliminating all forms of violence against children, as well as tackling causes of conflict through UN programmes of peace building and peace making and peace keeping, including those related to organised crime.
What then are the root causes of wars which persist despite the lessons of history? I see them as lack of communication, inadequate education, including education in relationship to others, family breakdown, poverty, emotional and environmental deprivation, fear of the “other,” who may be perceived as a threat because of difference. It is natural for poorer nations to want what we in the West take for granted...basic human rights. BUT violence always breeds more violence and leads to retribution. Should we be spending money on Trident when children die of hunger? Examples need to be set and real sacrifices made by, perhaps ourselves and possibly even our country, for the sake of humanity and the planet. PEACE in our time? PEACE in time, please.
Current measures include The Nuclear Ban Treaty, which will be ratified by 122 counties but, as yet not the UK, 205 million pounds allocated to the crisis in Yemen by the UK, persuasion of Crown Prince of Arabia to reopen the Port of Hodeida for humanitarian and commercial supplies. He has also begun a social and economic reform programme which embraces a more tolerant and inclusive Saudi society. Engagement and communication with all protagonists , including Israel do matter.
How might UNA Shropshire help? How could we? By promoting discussion, encouraging and actively campaigning for positive planning for peace, NOT at any price, but with honour, justice, reverence for life, in hope and love? By asking for Britain to use its skills of diplomacy and tolerance to cooperate in fighting the evils that threaten us , rather than denigrating and belittling each other? Politicians have a thankless task and most earnestly endeavour to bring about peace by whichever methods seem to them necessary to do it. Would you join with us in UNA Shropshire in a local effort described below?
BY SUPPORTING THE PEACE TRAIN ON UN DAY WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER IN ONE WORLD WEEK 2018. A PETITION WILL BE TO TAKEN TO WESTMINSTER URGING THAT BRITAIN SIGN THE NUCLEAR BAN TREATY . 122 OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE ALREADY AGREED TO RATIFY IT.
THE TRAIN LEAVES FROM HOPE IN CHESHIRE AND WILL CALL AT STATIONS EN ROUTE TO LONDON INCLUDING CHURCH STRETTON. THERE WILL BE OPPORTUNITIES TO SIGN THE PETITION.
For further information please contact Kim Holroyd at UNA Shropshire.
by Jill Clark.