Constantin, aged 13

“Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us.  To build a world without fear, we must be without fear.  To build a world of justice, we must be just.” – Dag Hammarskjöld 

“Conflict is part of human nature, but violence is not” so says the slogan of the life and peace institute in the new routes magazine published in Feb 2011.This slogan tells us that conflict is a natural human characteristic but it can be addressed through verbal communication and not through violent acts.

Dag Hammarskjöld said “Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build a world without fear we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just”. This quote is worth elaborating.

Firstly, to be at peace with oneself is a state of mind and a way of behaving and living. This happens when values are supplemented in our daily life such as Integrity. Respect, Tolerance and Restraint. These qualities are very hard to obtain because no-one can hold all of these values- it is an everyday fight with yourself to improve one’s character and behaviour. However, most people   try to be good citizens but some do not succeed because of their environment, social pressure and the desire to have more than others. School and family work very hard at establishing a sense of ethics such as accepting the differences, learning about other cultures and religions, and to freely accept others ideas and opinions.

Secondly, having established peace within ourselves because of our tolerance for yourself and with others, we can then include   verbal communication in conflictual situations such as inSudan, the separation of the country to be able to establish peace. It is true that in the past and even in the present for example the Middle Eastern crisis, peace has not yet been solved – but one mustn’t give up- for example:  the recent conflict inLibya, the rebels did not give up and did not even consider it, so they won the battle.

Thirdly, is the cooperation “With one voice, you can hardly be heard, whereas with several the world will be at your heels.” Cooperation is essential for or security and peace. If you attempt to install peace alone you’ll probably not manage; if you’re a team you’ll then have hope. This is because others may have different ideas than you, this also enables you to reach out further and be able to work on different cases at once. Being a group may also be helpful because you can access advice from colleagues. This will allow the group to spread out globally.

Finally, democracy is the only way to achieve peace, it is a way to give people the right to express their choice on who will govern them- democracy is a step forwards, towards peace.


About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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