Scarlett, aged 14

“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 

Peace is not just the absence of war, it is much more complicated. It is a goal so great it is almost impossible to achieve. People do not know where to start when asked how to achieve it. This is because we are aiming too high to reach. We need to focus our attention on the different aspects of peace, the different areas. By focusing our attention on the smaller parts of the big picture, we can accomplish these goals, and by accomplishing these smaller goals, we will easily succeed in accomplishing our overall goal.

For as long as men have been around, there have always been conflicts. Conflict is a huge obstacle to obtaining peace and such a hard obstacle to overcome. Conflict is ever present, whether it be between countries, people or ourselves. To stop a conflict is not simple, it never has been, but by taking small steps, we can achieve anything. We take our lives for granted; it may sound strange, but people all over the world wake up everyday in terror for their lives. Everyday is a struggle to survive; to build a world without fear we must be without fear, this to us is inspirational, this to them is unimaginable. They cannot imagine fear not being a part of their lives. We can be without fear, but they cannot. Therefore we must be without fear for them. Everyone has a voice, but many voices are silenced or else left unheard. We must give them a voice, let those people be heard, give them a safe environment where they feel free to speak their opinions without placing their lives in jeopardy. When we think about goals for peace we must think about them, and how these goals would affect them, or if it would be possible for them to reach these goals.

To help promote peace, we need to promote awareness of the social issues that need to be addressed; issues such as human rights violations. By making even a few people aware in a community, awareness of these problems will spread. Governments will soon start to realise what is happening and all over the world, people can come together to try to improve the situation. This can all be started by one individual.

Peace in this present moment can be hard to achieve. However, more and more countries and schools are trying to help encourage respect and acceptance. Schools are teaching children about peace, and the children are the future. If each child believes in peace, then peace will be achieved. As a child there is not much I can do to promote peace around the world. But I am at peace with myself, I am accepting of others and I in turn can do something to help peace. I can raise awareness of conflicts and other world problems, I can raise money to help humanitarian workers or think of resolutions to problems one step at a time.

The UN is a huge aid to peace. If every country in the UN has a representative, and all these representatives were able to sit together in one room and work together, then in theory each country should be able to work with another and be accepting of their differences. Unfortunately, not every country is in the UN and some countries may sit together in a room, but they are not willing to work together outside of the room. If we can resolve these conflicts between two representatives in the UN room then it would be the equivalent of resolving conflict between two countries in the real world. We are all one world. If we had to fight another world, we would all certainly end up working together, so why can we not learn to work together now?

It wouldn’t be possible for us all to suddenly drop our weapons, either physical or verbal; there will always be conflicts and for two countries that have a history of hatred or fighting, it would be very hard, almost impossible, for them to suddenly forget that past and stop their present conflict to hold hands in harmony. It would be a wonderful idea, but it would be almost impossible to achieve. However, we can stop the conflict one step at a time to try to lead the two countries into a better future. If we could somehow get the two countries to join the UN then it would be much easier to resolve the conflict. To solve a conflict between two people is simple, but with two countries it is much more complicated. In the UN, people represent countries, and so in theory if we could get the two representatives to stop the fighting and resolve their problems and forgive what is past, but still acknowledging what has happened, this would be the same as resolving the conflict between the two countries. This is difficult however and many countries that are at war are not even in the UN and are not interested in joining. To help these countries is complicated, but if somebody could gain their trust and then persuade them to do things that would benefit both the country itself and others around it, then this could be a huge step closer to that harmonious world we speak of hopefully achieving in the future. Such actions are hard to pursue, especially gaining not only the leaders trust, but also that of the people of the country, but as we have seen in many situations throughout history, gaining the trust of people that could easily demolish you is possible and this gives hope.

If one person were to try all this alone, they would not succeed. However, if many stand together, the ideal world that we would all love to succeed in establishing, that world of peace, harmony and justice, would be in our reach. Alone one may not be able to pursue much, but together we can make a difference.

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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