- By Sayar Mya (MOFA)
This article is neither a parallel to 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference nor an alternative of Road Map for Peace Negotiations in Myanmar but to exchange views and to simply share with the esteemed readers that our planet is in quest of peace as there are only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict.
All the nationalities young, middle aged and old in every nook and corner of our beloved country Myanmar are longing for peace and harmony for many decades.
It is quite sensible and sagacious.
The Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong was a Peace Conference which began on 31 Aug 2016 at the Myanmar Convention Centre II in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The first Panglong Conference was held in the Panglong Region of British Burma in 1947, and was negotiated between General Aung San and ethnic nationals.
Up till now in the 21st century, we all are striving for peace and harmony with all out efforts.
Perhaps, peace is so near and yet so far.
Mutual Understanding and Diverse Peace Paradigm Essential
In the context of international sphere, peace is a certain quality of existence which has been sought after, yet seldom found in a long enduring form, since time immemorial.
In a behavioral sense, peace is generally understood to be a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence between diverse social groups or different ethnic nationalities.
Throughout history, the benevolent and passionate leaders have often exhibited a certain type of behavioral manners or political restraint. They were often resulted in the establishment of regional peace or economic growth through various forms of agreements or diverse peace treaties.
Different areas have diverse peace paradigms.
The war, in any form, was a paradigm of the destructive side of human nature.
In fact, behavioral restraint has often resulted in the de-escalation of conflicts in a nation, or in multilateral or bilateral peace talks. The avoidance of war or violent hostility is often the result of compromise, and is often initiated with thoughtful active listening and communication, which may tend to enable a greater genuine mutual understanding.
War and Peace
World Peace, or Peace on Earth, is the concept of an ideal state of happiness, freedom and peace within and among all people and nations on earth.
This great idea of world non-violence is motivation, inspiration and impulse for people and nations to willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that avoids and prevents warfare.
Different cultures, religions, philosophies and organizations have varying concepts on how such a state would come about.
Various religious and secular organizations have the stated aim of achieving world peace through addressing human rights, technology, education, engineering, medicine or diplomacy used as an instrument and end to all forms of fighting.
Since 1945, the United Nations and the five permanent members of its Security Council (the US, Russia, China, France and the UK) have operated under the aim to resolve conflicts without war or declarations of war.
However, the world is not at ease and not at peace.
On the other hand, nations have entered numerous military conflicts since then.
International Day of Peace
The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples.
In 2013, for the first time, the Day has been dedicated to peace education, i.e. by the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.
Whole World is at War
There are only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
As new wars and civil unrests seem to be flaring up every week, a research article looks for the only countries in the world that could be considered ‘conflict-free’.
With the crisis in Gaza, the rise of Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria and the international stand-off ongoing in Ukraine, it can sometimes feel literally like the whole world is at war.
But analysts and experts believe this is actually almost universally the case, according to a think-tank which produces one of the world’s leading measures of “global peacefulness” – and things are only going to get worse.
It may make for bleak and grim reading, but of the 162 countries covered by the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study, just 11 countries were not involved in conflict of one kind or another.
It seems worse still, the world as a whole has been getting incrementally less peaceful every year since 2007.
The world is sharply unfolding a trend that had seen a global move towards conflict since the end of the Second World War.
The UK, as an example, is relatively free from internal conflict, making it easy to fall to thinking it exists in a state of peace. However, recent involvement in foreign fighting in the likes of Afghanistan, as well as a fairly high state of militarization could be interpreted that Britain actually scores quite poorly on the 2014 Global Peace Index, standing out and coming up at 47th overall.
Then there are countries which are involved in no actual foreign wars involving deaths whatsoever – like North Korea – but which are fraught by the most divisive and entrenched internal conflicts.
The IEP’s findings mean that choices are slim if the world wants to live in a completely peaceful country. The only ones to achieve the lowest score for all forms of conflict were Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Mauritius, Uruguay, Chile, Botswana, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Panama and Brazil.
Longest ceasefire without a peace treaty
North Korea and South Korea
The Korean War between communist North Korea, backed by China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and South Korea, supported by the USA and the United Nations, started with the invasion of South Korea on 25 June 1950. After the bitter fighting over three years ended, a ceasefire was agreed on 27 July 1953. Continuing difficulties in the relationship between the two parts of the Korean peninsula have precluded the signing of a peace treaty between the two states.
Hence they are still technically at war 57 years later.
Hope for Peace in Colombia
Farewell to Arms
Colombia’s FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels, who once terrorized the country with kidnaps, killings and attacks on towns, have ended half a century of armed insurgency at low-key ceremony in November 2016 in which the United Nations certified that more than 7,000 guerrillas had turned over their weapons.
“Farewell to arms, farewell to war, welcome to peace,” said the FARC’s top leader, Rodrigo Londoño, to a cheering crowd of former combatants at the ceremony in Mesetas, a mountainous area in south-eastern Colombia.
“Today doesn’t end the existence of the FARC; it ends our armed struggle,” said Londoño, best known by his nom de guerre Timochenko.
President Juan Manuel Santos said: “Today is a special day, the day when weapons are exchanged for words.” Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel peace prize for his efforts to secure a deal with the FARC to end their part in a 53-year armed conflict that has left an estimated 250,000 dead, tens of thousands of people missing and forced millions from their home.
“Our peace is real, and it’s irreversible,” said Santos, who is trying to achieve a similar deal with the smaller rebel faction the National Liberation Army, or ELN.
In Quest of Peace
History past and present shows that leaders with wisdom have patiently exhibited a bold type of political restraint. The patriotic endeavors often resulted in the establishment of agreements or peace treaties.
Different countries have diverse peace paradigms.
We all must never lose faith in humanity and also have confidence in the nation’s leaders in quest of peace.