Prague, Czech Republic—Three distinguished speakers presented their ideas about peace at a special discussion organized by UPF.
The event commemorating the International Day of Peace was held in the UPF Peace Embassy on September 23, 2019.
The first speaker, Dr. Roman Joch, the director of the Civic Institute, gave a short overview of how peace has been understood throughout history. In ancient Greece there was either peace or war, but Christianity brought a new view: There are just and unjust wars. In war, some rules must be observed: Power must be used adequately, and civilians should not be killed. Peace is a state of a just order. Finally Dr. Joch also mentioned inner peace. According to Aristotle, only a virtuous person can live in peace.
The next speaker was Hon. Nina Nováková, a former member of parliament and the president of Central European Inspiration. For her, peace is a relational matter. Peace can be among two nations, two persons or two cultures. Someone who uses weapons is lacking in confidence and, according to the speaker, is a coward. It is wrong to think that if we do not fight against evil, we have peace, she said. The ideal of peace is not material because evil does not have only one concrete face, the speaker concluded.
Finally Dr. Juraj Lajda, the president of UPF in the Czech Republic, gave a PowerPoint presentation about the roots of conflict in the world and the ways to solve conflicts. The desire of all people is a world of peace, he said, but in reality there is a world of war, conflict and suffering. How to solve it? The conflicts start inside of an individual and then spread to the family, society and the world. Therefore, we need to solve the inner conflict, overcome selfishness and attain inner peace, Dr. Lajda concluded.
In the discussion that followed, many questions were raised concerning peace, war, conflicts, injustice and the causes of dissatisfaction in society. In the audience there were academicians, religious representatives and the general public.