Working towards a culture of peace amidst COVID-19

A peacekeeper sanitizing a child’s hand A peacekeeper sanitizing a child’s hand MINUSCA

10 September 2020

Amidst the consequences of COVID-19, nations should strive to practice a culture of peace

Across the globe, nations struggle to face COVID-19. No longer do they solely fight off the pervading aftermath of losses due to the pandemic, but the continuous instability and grave humanitarian issues also add up to their community’s problems. While answering to the piling demands for humanitarian aid in the most fragile countries, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres poses Culture of Peace as a weapon to wield.

“In the face of this grave danger, it is more important than ever to work for a Culture of Peace, as the essential foundation for global cooperation and action,” says the UN Secretary-General in a virtual High Level Forum for Culture of Peace. The strong desire to imbue a culture of peace is greater than before. The nations haven’t braced themselves yet for the consequences of the pandemic, such as disruption to education, fight for extreme poverty and hunger, and rising cases of domestic violence and hate speech.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the President of UN General Assembly, says that a culture of peace sits far from the absence of conflicts and criminalities. “It embraces the inter-relationships between peace and development. Fostering a culture of peace means building global solidarity and cooperation much needed in these trying times,” he says.

Anwarul K. Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi diplomat and former senior UN official, coined the notion of culture of peace 20 years ago. During the forum, he remarked the importance of upholding its virtues. “We should not isolate peace as something separate or distant,” he says. “We should know how to relate to one another without being aggressive, without being violent, without being disrespectful, without neglect, and without prejudice.” 

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Author: Matthew Burgos

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