Visualize, Then Realize: Giving World Peace A Chance
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Have you ever thought about world peace? Have you thought about what the phrase means? And have you considered what we could all do to achieve it?
It's a Wedding!
After World War II, world leaders were thinking about these questions, too. So they created a world organization, called the United Nations (UN). Through the UN, countries would be able to come together, and work towards achieving world peace.
The UN knows that most wars arise out of social problems like poverty, inequality, and poor education. So, the UN helps countries avoid these situations by promoting education, jobs, health care and other basic rights in all countries. With these things taken care of, the country is less likely to go to war. Patricia Seghers, who works for the UN, explains, "The overarching goal of the UN is world peace. But what does that mean? It means other things because how can we have world peace if we're hungry? Or if we don't have an education? Peace means education; it means you can vote for your own leader; it means you can observe a religion of your choice."
There are several UN agencies that work around the world to provide food, clean water, shelter, medicine, and schools to people. There is still much work that needs to be done before all people have these basic things.
In 1948, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which asked governments to ensure that all human beings, rich and poor, strong and weak, male and female, of all races and religions, be treated equally. See Daphne's article on Eleanor Roosevelt
When I visited the UN headquarters in New York for the first time in '95, I was awed. I took the tour, bought a T-shirt and took a copy of the Declaration home with me. I felt incredibly inspired by the idealism that guided the formation of this organization and hopeful that "world peace" didn't just have to be a bumper sticker slogan.
So what happened? Why are we still waiting for peace? Why are many men, women and children still oppressed?
Unfortunately, many countries don't seem as committed to world peace as before. As Patricia puts it, "The problems are enormous and the UN is limited in its functions - it has the largest membership of any world organization but not universal mandate because it's not a world government."
I don't want to sound as though the UN hasn't been able to accomplish anything. It has. Thanks to UNICEF and WHO, 80 per cent of the world's children have been immunized, saving 3 million lives a year. UN forces have helped bring peace to in Mozambique, El Salvador, Iran, and Iraq.
But, the world still spends a lot more on military spending then it does on basic social services. Many people now believe that, in the long run, the world can either continue to pursue the arms race or achieve social development for the benefit of all. It can't do both. Unfortunately, governments such as the United States find it easier to increase military spending rather than fund development projects, leaving the UN to chip away at the problems instead of battling them head-on.
Working for the UN - or at least living by its ideals - means caring for the welfare of all peoples across the globe. It means accepting that each life matters, whether it's a Mozambican woman stuck in floodwaters, or a Sudanese farmer fleeing the civil war, or an American youth caught up in the drug trade. They need our help, our resources, and our commitment.
Visualize again world peace. Imagine a world where human rights are upheld, where all children go to school, and where our environment is protected. If you like what you see, then rekindle your idealism and help make it come true.
Please email me at:
Becky - Suit up! It's time for Zooting in Los Angeles
Irene - You are a U.S. citizen but we will still put you in a concentration camp
Stephen - What did the war mean to the fighters?