Contemporary Challenges to Global Order: Toward a World Culture of Peace: IAAP, Session 7B, was held May 4, 2023 as part of Peace Summit 2023. The moderator was Dr. Thomas Selover, International Co-coordinator of IAAP.
Special Opening Remarks by Dr. Sakeena Yacoobi, Afghan Institute of Learning; Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate
Dr. Yacoobi gave a very rousing, passionate, dedicated testimony of her struggle in Afghanistan. She emphasized that women’s education is essential for a productive, developing society. Originally her work was to raise up Afghan women through education, but her purpose was thwarted by the withdrawal of U.S. protection and the Taliban takeover with imposition of strict Islamic Sharia law. She kept a positive attitude, took a flexible approach, and adopted televised programs which women, confined at home, can watch. She and her team continue to educate using new methods. Now many women are continuing to receive an education.
Prof. Dr. Mahendra Prasad Lama, Senior Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Prof. Dr. Lama spoke on the topic: “Soft Power and Public Diplomacy, an Alternative Paradigm for Global Peace Building: An Asian Perspective.” He commented that soft power can be powerful, and can work either for or against national well-being. Badges, images of public figures, symbols and brand-names wield power. It may also work as propaganda undermining the state or religious culture. Hard power (military, embargo) is destructive, damaging and self-perpetuating. India practices peaceful coexistence and non-alignment. Rather than depending on national government for social balancing, we ought to effect change through positive cultural initiatives, education and grassroots diplomacy.
Dr. Francisco Rojas Aravena, President, University for Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica
Dr. Aravena, speaking on the topic: “Security has taken the Latin American Agenda: We Need Dialogue and Consensus,” stated that peace must include security and cooperation. UPF and UPEACE share the same goals, methods and philosophy. We must cooperate and dialogue. While humanity faces nuclear holocaust, there is intense local conflict; also, we face climate catastrophe. We must create a forum for dialogue and educate new peace leaders. The Latin American situation is special and different: he outlined possible dangers to security. We have almost no wars, he said, yet Latin America is the most violent region. Latin American countries are divided into four groups by the Ukraine War: Threats from lack of security, organized crime and drugs; climate change and water shortage; social discontent, protests, and violence; migration; illegal economy, food insecurity, polarized politics. Latin countries are suffering from stagnated development, low foreign investment, and a lack of competitive spirit, together with no confidence in public institutions. There are failed areas where the state has completely lost control. Insecurity endangers families, education, economy and politics. The solution: women’s participation; awareness of complex global context; holistic views; conceptual maps; new ways to analyze and define problems; solidarity as humans; protecting the earth and biodiversity; uplifting human dignity; conflict prevention; and new technologies and AI.
Hon. Keith Best, MP (1979-1987); Chairman of the Board of Trustees, UPF UK
Hon. Keith Best’s presentation was entitled: “The Path to Peace: The role of the UN and UPF in achieving peace in Europe and the Middle East.” Currently there is great danger of catastrophic global conflict, he said. We must always seek dialogue rather than war. We need to balance principle with compromise. The UN Security Council needs to be reformed; member states must be held accountable for using the veto. The UN needs an early warning system for situations of developing conflict, to prevent conflict before it breaks out. This can be prepared by analyzing and identifying risks of human rights violations. People themselves do better than governments at avoiding conflict.
Prof. Heung-soon Park, Professor and former dean of the graduate school of Sun Moon University, Korea
Hon. Timothy Mtambo, Minister of Character Education and Civil Unity for the Republic of Malawi; Commander in Chief, Citizens for Transformation Movement (CFT), Malawi
Ms. Sagadat Sabitova, UN Expert on Family Psychology, Education, Gender Issues, and Domestic Violence; Kazakhstan
H.E. Timothy Mtambo: Why is the UN failing? The UN offeres secular values and military solutions. UPF addresses the whole human: soul, spirit, love, family, peace. Local wars are perpetually breaking out in Africa. The Holocaust keeps repeating. Foreign intervention in conflict is more a part of the problem than a solution. The UN and UPF should recognize and empower local initiatives. Indigenization is recommended. He suggested that a National Peace Commission be established in each nation. The UPF must serve as an axle for the UN in a spirit of mutualism. Hyojeong character education is essential for world peace.
Ms. Sabitova Sagatova: With forty years of experience visiting and counseling families all over her own nation and the world, she concludes that the family is important above all. All problems begin in the family and must be solved there. Domestic violence is ubiquitous, irrespective of nationality, religion, culture, income or social class. Education to prevent domestic violence and abuse of women and children is necessary from a very early age. Such education is most essential to prevent violence against ethnic and religious minorities, women, employees and gender nonconformists. We must get out among people and work with families personally.