Give peace a chance

By Hassan Baig
March 25, 2023

We are living in the age of cut-throat competition where no one wants to see others grow. Humans have initiated a lot of fights against one another. The two world wars fought in the 20th century are proof of the inherent nature of human beings which keeps tilting towards wars and fights.


The ultimate goal of lasting peace could never be achieved although the UN was created for this specific purpose. Now the time has come to rethink and realize that unity is the way forward and that we have to give peace a chance to save humanity from poverty, hunger and starvation. Across the world there are instances of gross human rights violations – from Palestine and Kashmir to Ukraine.

The world has already passed through the trauma of the cold war – in the last century when the US and the Western world practising capitalist system were all-out fighting against the former USSR and its allies, which had adopted a socialist economic system. The Iron Curtain was the order of the day when the erstwhile Warsaw Pact was in the field against US-led Nato, which proved to be a strong threat against their rivals.

The UN could not do anything in the case of Nato when Iraq, Syria and Libya were invaded at the start of this century, threatening and shattering world peace. The Afghanistan war proved to be another case of typical helplessness. Following the 9/11 events, Nato forces invaded under the cover and auspices of the UN. The war carried on for years and finally ended when the forces withdrew in 2021. Millions lost their lives in these invasions.

All these cases led to world peace shattered at the cost of human lives and suffering. The issues probably could have been tackled had the UN played a more active role in a much better manner by ensuring that all stakeholders reach a consensus through dialogue. But this option was never considered. Now that the Ukraine war is creating ripples and leading to myriad issues like food shortages and energy crises, the world is more concerned about the grain deal to save people from hunger, inflation and price hikes.

Another crisis-like situation in the case of Taiwan is in the offing, as the US is bent upon waging an economic war against China, which may prove to be the start of a new cold war – this time against China. This will be detrimental for world peace and security and must be avoided at all cost.

The world is in the grip of economic crises where inflation and rising commodity prices are playing havoc with the lives of ordinary people. The supply chain issues are there to be tackled in a more coherent manner to save trade, commerce and business. The world – especially P5, G20 and G7 countries – must review the existing policies to ensure speedy progress in all fields including science and technology for a better future for the coming generations. Not only will peace and security suffer during the expected cold war but such tensions will also have a huge impact on technological advancements like fast internet speed, new OpenAI apps, etc, which play a crucial role in world trade and commerce.

A grand dialogue under the auspices of the UN is immediately needed to forge unity amongst the comity of nations and make the globe a symbol of peace and security. It is beyond imagination why the world is fragmented and cannot unite for the larger interest of humans.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has rightly said that “humanity is on thin ice-and that ice is melting fast” while referring to climate changes and challenges. The same is true for the people of the world facing threats owing to nuclear arsenals and debris in the hands of the world powers. About the Russia-Ukraine war, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva says: “one year on, global food prices remain high and many countries are still suffering from food insecurity.”

And it will not be out of context to quote the statement of Bill Gates regarding pandemics: “we must fight pandemics the way we fight fires. We can’t afford to get caught flat-footed again.” The purpose of quoting the statements of highly respectable world dignitaries is to emphasize that the eight billion population of the world need a more visionary leadership to achieve lasting peace as an ultimate goal. The role of the UN needs to be strengthened and reinforced.

The Chinese leadership is quite active these days to fix world hotspots to achieve peace and security. The recent Saudi-Iran detente and thaw in diplomatic relationship will go a long way bringing peace to the Middle East. Let us hope that the Palestinian issue gets attention and resolution in the coming days and months. China may play a greater role in resolving the Kashmir issue by bringing India and Pakistan together to a negotiation table.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was on a three-day visit to Russia holding meaningful negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, convincing him to end the Ukraine war. The negotiated settlement is the way forward for Russia and Ukraine to help save the grain deal, providing food security to the world.

There is an immediate need to give world peace a chance to save humanity from hunger. War-ravaged regions including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and some African countries need to be stabilized by the world powers. The Ukraine war must end to get along with peace and security by bringing the P5 together. The issue of Taiwan may not be the flashpoint of starting a new cold war. It also needs to be settled by the US which needs to accept the One China policy.

The world looks towards the developed world for better days to come after the pandemic. The supply chain issues may be addressed by the US and its allies for the growth of businesses and investment. Poor countries need support from the world powers to overcome the economic crisis to help save their people from high levels of poverty, hunger and hyperinflation.

The writer is a former additional secretary and can be reached at: