Peace for the New Millennium?
THE International Year for the Culture of Peace was launched in Paris and New York City on September 14, 1999. This was proclaimed for the year 2000 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Federico Mayor, former director general of UNESCO, made a solemn appeal “to create a global movement for a culture of peace and non-violence.”
UNESCO has a maxim that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” In harmony with this, the organization intends to promote a culture of peace through “education, dialogue and co-operation.” Mr. Mayor commented that it is not enough “to be peaceful, not even to be pacifists, but to be peacemakers.”
Sadly, the year 2000 was far from peaceful. Modern history—including events in the year 2000—has highlighted man’s inability to prevent war and violence despite sincere efforts to the contrary.
It is, however, worthy of note that peace is indeed linked with education. Some 2,700 years ago, the prophet Isaiah foretold: “All your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant.” (Isaiah 54:13) The same prophet foresaw a time when people of all nations would stream to the pure worship of Jehovah God to learn of His ways. With what result? “They will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4) In harmony with that prophecy, Jehovah’s Witnesses are engaged in a worldwide educational work that has already helped millions to overcome the nationalistic and racial hatreds that are at the root of most wars.
Wars will finally be no more under God’s Kingdom, which will bring lasting peace and security to the earth. (Psalm 72:7; Daniel 2:44) Then, the psalmist’s words will be fulfilled: “Behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.”—Psalm 46:8, 9.