1986—A Year “to Safeguard Peace”?
THE UN has proclaimed 1986 as the International Year of Peace. What progress is there toward world peace? The following comments come from around the globe.
From April 7 to 12, 1986, legislators from 103 countries took part in the 75th IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) meeting in Mexico City.
UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar conveyed this message to the Union: “As the International Year of Peace begins, let all be mindful that its theme—‘To Safeguard Peace and the Future of Humanity’—provides an important focus not only for 1986 but for the years ahead. Let us seize the opportunities of 1986 with determination.”
The president of IPU stated that he had visited a number of countries “to ask whether the parliamentarians there could not become parliamentarians of peace.” His conclusion: “I found out how difficult this is, indeed in some cases hopeless.”
The Mexican Group itself expressed “grave disappointment that despite growing public concern at the dangers of the arms race and the efforts made by the United Nations, no substantive progress has been made in recent years in the field of disarmament.”
The Argentine Group took into account “that neither the sixty million dead in the second world war, nor its nuclear epilogue in Hiroshima, nor the one hundred and thirty armed conflicts since then have been sufficient to teach mankind that he is on the threshold of self-destruction.” It was deeply concerned that “five nuclear Powers have accumulated more than 50,000 nuclear weapons, an amount that equals three tons of conventional explosives for each inhabitant of our planet.”
The permanent members of the UN Security Council were represented, and some of their comments were as follows:
The British Group stated: “A key policy objective must be to prevent an arms race in space. However, we need to be realistic . . . Space is already militarized.” The French Group stressed “that the inability of the United Nations to maintain collective security and peace stem in particular from the violation by some States of the essential principles of international and morality law.” The U.S.S.R. Group expressed “grave concern over the danger of nuclear catastrophe threatening mankind, which can lead to the end of civilization on earth.” The U.S. delegation was reported as saying that it would “attempt to communicate the need for international cooperation to combat terrorism.”
On the other side of the earth, the International Year of Peace was marked on March 21 by a rally in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Chinese premier Zhao Ziyang was more optimistic than others in saying: “So long as the people of the world keep up their unremitting efforts, they will certainly win peace.”
In connection with the UN International Year of Peace, Pope John Paul II has said that the Holy See wants to inspire a “worldwide movement of prayer for peace involving all nations and all religions.”
Peace eludes this world. And why? Real peace must be based on love; the world is divided by nationalistic pride and hatred. Real peace requires wise and just rulership; imperfect human rulers cannot measure up to this standard. Real peace must center around united worship of the one true God; the world’s religions are divided hopelessly into thousands of sects, none of which honor Jehovah as Sovereign Lord. Real peace requires the removal of “the god of this system of things,” Satan the Devil, and his system of rulership; only Jehovah’s Kingdom in the hands of His Christ can crush Satan and his works.—2 Corinthians 4:4.
[Pictures on page 15]
Australia’s gold “peace” dollar
Kenya’s 10-shilling “peace” stamp