At the first touch of the sword


    ‘The Philippine statement was on track, given that the Norwegian Nobel Committee had decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger…’

    ASK yourself: what’s more likely: nuclear war, or this company focused on competing with me as one of its top 3 objectives? If the answer is nuclear war, then that particular potential competitor is irrelevant.” — Reid Hoffman [Blake Masters, Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup — Class 12 Notes Essay, May 17, 2012]

    Yes? Nuclear war, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “It is 100 seconds to midnight.” []

    “Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.”

    Which world leaders? The puffy tyrant who dreams of upstaging the Great Helmsman of his country and history? His scam of a tributary system floats against the Spirit of Bandung and the Westphalian System on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. Recall Sukarno’s address on 18 April 1955: “Our nations and countries are colonies no more. Now we are free, sovereign and independent. We are again masters in our own house. We do not need to go to other continents to confer.” Recall, too, the Final Communiqué of the Asian-African Conference, which affirmed that the “subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.”

    This struggle of small and medium-sized nations for a just peace and against hegemonism is also reflected in the Belgrade Declaration of 1961: “All nations have the right of unity, self-determination, and independence by virtue of which right they can determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development without intimidation or hindrance.”

    This Non-Aligned Conference initiated by Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito lives on, and, in fact, the incumbent UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the online summit-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group in New York last 04 May 2020: “We must ensure that an effective response to COVID-19 reaches everyone, everywhere, and that equality prevails. With two-thirds of UN Member States, the Non-Aligned Movement has a critical role to play in forging global solidarity. We have three immediate priorities: to end the COVID-19 pandemic, to address its socioeconomic impacts, and to use the recovery to build back better and leave no one behind. We cannot afford to fall short on the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

    In addition, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines told the recent ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement: “In this year of landmark anniversaries, and of a pandemic that has upended our world, the Philippines values this focus on the 1955 Bandung Conference.”

    “The Online NAM Summit on COVID-19 and UNGA’s Special Session on COVID-19 initiated by Azerbaijan is an opportunity for NAM to reconstitute its relevance before reasserting it. We need to come clean first to restart clean — about our purposes, our commitments and our means…We need stronger cooperation in promoting and protecting the rights of migrants, regardless of their migrant status and nationality and even if they have lost their nationalities as refugees. NAM must rededicate itself to the great cause of plain decency.” []

    In another venue, the representative of the Philippines projected: “FAO has pronounced that the human and economic toll from the pandemic will be massive, and that low- and middle-income countries are poised to be worst affected. It is expected that about 270 million people in these countries will face acute food insecurity by the end of 2020.”

    [Enrique A. Manalo, Permanent Representative, Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and Chair of the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries;]
    The Philippine statement was on track, given that the Norwegian Nobel Committee had decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. “The link between hunger and armed conflict is a vicious circle: war and conflict can cause food insecurity and hunger, just as hunger and food insecurity can cause latent conflicts to flare up and trigger the use of violence. We will never achieve the goal of zero hunger unless we also put an end to war and armed conflict.” []

    Meanwhile, India detained then released a Chinese soldier (who was purportedly helping a search for a lost yak in a disputed border region), Taiwan and China officials scuffled at a Fiji soiree over a cake, South Korea was criticized for a “racist” handbook on marriages with foreign spouses, and an Islamist terrorist brutally murdered a history teacher in France (relaying a death note to President Emmanuel Macron, “leader of the infidels, I have executed one of your hell-hounds who dared to belittle {Prophet} Mohammad”).

    Once more, terrorists, racists and hegemonists mistreat pacifism and internationalism as the “vapourings of cranky windbags who have inevitably been punctured at the first touch of the sword…” [Wilfred Trotter. Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War. London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., 1921]