YES, let us continue to observe the International Day of Peace “by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred.” [https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace]
The special day (September 21) is the fruit of a resolution adopted by the General Assembly in its 53rd Session (Agenda item 31), a Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which, among others, champions sustainable economic and social development: “Promote effective and equitable development-oriented and durable solutions to the external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries through, inter alia, debt relief.” [A/RES/53/243 B] Thus, any country that purports to be a friend of the Filipino nation should NOT tie its loans with conditionalities like forced hiring of its workers.
Yes, let us persist in marking the International Day of Peace by rekindling the Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace (Approved by General Assembly Resolution 39/11 of 12 November 1984), which, among others: “Emphasizes that ensuring the exercise of the right of peoples to peace demands that the policies of States be directed towards the elimination of the threat of war, particularly nuclear war, the renunciation of the use of force in international relations and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.”
[https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/RightOfPeoplesToPeace.aspx] Thus, any country that pretends to be a buddy of the Filipino polity should get rid of its weapons of mass destruction and return our islands that it is belligerently occupying.
‘Yes, let us persevere in touting the International Day of Peace by re-animating the Southeast Asian Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN adopted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 27 November 1971) as well as the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone…’
Yes, let us persevere in touting the International Day of Peace by re-animating the Southeast Asian Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN adopted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 27 November 1971) as well as the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ signed in Bangkok, Thailand on 15 December 1995). Thus, the acts of aggression perpetrated by the wannabe-superpower against Rizal’s homeland are insults against the Republic of the Philippines and its sibling-states in the single ASEAN Community.
Yes, let us sacralize the International Day of Peace by fighting poverty (as emphasized by Pope Benedict XVI in his message for the celebration of the World Day Of Peace on 01 January 2009): “Another area of concern has to do with pandemic diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. Insofar as they affect the wealth-producing sectors of the population, they are a significant factor in the overall deterioration of conditions in the country concerned…It also happens that countries afflicted by some of these pandemics find themselves held hostage, when they try to address them, by those who make economic aid conditional upon the implementation of anti-life policies.”
[http://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/messages/peace/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20081208_xlii-world-day-peace.html] So which neighboring country conducts abortion on demand upon its non-voting citizens?
Yes, let us sanctify the International Day of Peace by supporting the church leaders of South Sudan who had urged the speedy implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (signed by the government and opposition parties on 12 September 2018 in Khartoum), a “crucial roadmap to peace and stability in world’s youngest nation.” [https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/on-international-day-of-peace-sudanese-church-leaders-call-for-speedy-implementation-of-key-peace-pact]
We should also acknowledge the accord reached between the United States, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates on August 13, 2020, a “courageous step toward a more stable, integrated, and prosperous Middle East…(which) has led to the suspension of Israel’s plans to extend its sovereignty…(and) focusing on pragmatic steps that have tangible, practical outcomes.” [https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/joint-statement-united-states-israel-united-arab-emirates/] Moreover, the deal between Israel and the U.A.E. can “counter the extremists who use the false narrative that the Al Aqsa Mosque is under attack and that Muslims cannot pray at this holy site.” Additionally: “The Israel-Bahrain agreement further enhances the security of both nations while creating opportunities for them to deepen their economic ties.” [https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-promoting-peace-stability-middle-east/] So, what peace initiatives has the East Asian hegemon sponsored lately?
Yes, let us celebrate the International Day of Peace by recalling choice scenes from the past. FACT: Adolf Hitler was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. What?!? This Western Horn of the original Axis of Evil was put forth as a nominee of a prestigious global peace prize? The mastermind of the Holocaust who wanted to eliminate the Slavs and resettle the so-called Aryans into Eastern Europe as part of the Third Reich?
“As unlikely as it may seem today, Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939 by a member of the Swedish parliament, E.G.C. Brandt. Apparently, Brandt never intended the nomination to be taken seriously. Brandt was a dedicated antifascist and had intended this nomination more as a satiric criticism of the current political debate in Sweden. At the time, a number of Swedish parliamentarians had nominated then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin for the Nobel Peace Prize, a nomination which Brandt viewed with great skepticism. However, Brandt’s satirical intentions were not well received and the nomination was swiftly withdrawn in a letter dated 01 February 1939.” [https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/facts/facts-on-the-nobel-peace-prize/]
Yes, let us reconsecrate the International Day of Peace by reviewing the words of Mohandas K. Gandhi: “What I want you to understand is the message of Asia. It is not to be learnt through the western spectacles or by imitating the atom bomb. If you want to give a message of truth. I do not want merely to appeal to your head. I want to capture your heart. In this age of democracy, in this age of awakening of the poorest of the poor, you can redeliver this message with the greatest emphasis.” [Speech Before Inter-Asian Relations Conference (02-04-1947) https://www.mkgandhi.org/speeches/interasian.htm]
Finally, famine due to structural inequities, starvation due to poverty is injustice. “As the world stands on the brink of a hunger pandemic, with the impact of coronavirus threatening to almost double the number of acutely hungry people to 270 million, those living in conflict-affected areas are suffering the most.” [https://insight.wfp.org/no-end-to-world-hunger-without-an-end-to-conflict-wfp-warns-4630db6b710b]