In conjunction with the rapid revolutionary peaceful demonstrations currently occurring across the Arab World. I've decided to publish my participating essay in the global peace initiative organized by The Goi Peace Foundation & UNESCO and Endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nikkei Inc. and Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education.
Note: The content of the essay is free to be shared on the condition that the author's name should be referenced.
Aung San Suu Kyi (Essay in Quest of Democracy)
Justice and peace are highly correlated. Whenever justice is served in a certain community, peace and harmony will prevail. It can take place in both internationally or within a certain country or society. In a society, justice is needed within the system to prevent chaos from reoccurring. Iraq for example is one of those societies struggling to maintain and promote a post-war justice in order to regain back its sense of peace. There can never be any development or social progress in any society without having a strong governing system that enforces the laws of justice and equality within all ethnicities. Such good governing system can only exist by having healthy non-violent practices within a country’s political system. Through the means of democratic elections and transparency, a good governing system will emerge. This democratic government will strive in establishing and enforcing effective anti-bureaucracy and anti-corruption mechanisms and promoting human rights laws.
World peace can occur through the cumulative efforts of those good governing democratically-elected systems and through securing international justice within world nations. Today’s world conflicts are the result of the absence of effective international laws that ensure everyone’s right to exist. Tensions caused by some relatively powerful countries oppressing the rights and sovereignty of the weaker ones by imposing their cultural values and diminishing local values are the main reasons of the world major problems. Palestinians for example, haven’t got the sovereign independent country they’ve struggled for since 1948 and today we could see how horribly the situations in Gaza strip are after Israel’s blockade of that territory. The vast majority of the people there are on the edge of malnutrition, depending on international charities for their daily nourishment. At the meantime, Israel itself is being considered, by some, a democratic country with relatively effective governing system. Thus, this made me believe that promoting democracy and good governing practices alone don’t serve global justice. Therefore, a crucial factor that needs to be considered in order to promote a peaceful and harmonious world is the importance of global integrity. Hatred and discrimination are overwhelming the world nowadays despite all peace initiatives to bring societies closer together. Stereotypes particularly in relation to race, culture, gender, religion, class and nationality are among the sensitive issues that need sincere efforts from us especially from those role models and social innovators capable of applying major, needed structural social changes locally and internationally. Interfaith initiatives such as the one called by King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia in Madrid, July 2008, were ways to bring cultures closer together through mutual respect. It is this type of interreligious and intercultural dialogues that promote understanding, tolerance, coexistence and global integrity among the world community.
I’ve come to realize that the world’s harmony we hope to achieve comes by cultivating the mode of peace in ourselves. As a youth, I’ve always encouraged myself to engage into social activities that helped realizing such harmony. Youths of the world can play important roles and take peaceful initiatives by engaging into those activities. Through interfaith dialogues, we can learn how almost all religions of the world support and strongly encourage peace not only within ourselves but also within our surrounding nature, our neighbors and our societies. Through charities, we can grow a sense of care and awareness of those needy and victimized people from catastrophic disasters around the globe. Through drama and group discussions, we can eradicate misconceptions and stereotypes caused by nowadays media. Youths especially younger generations can generate a more sense of harmony than many adults. As Mahatma Ghandi once said, "And believe me, from my experience of hundreds, I was going to say thousands, of children, I know that they have perhaps a finer sense of honour than you and I have. The greatest lessons in life, if we would but stop and humble ourselves, we would learn not from grown-up learned men, but from the so-called ignorant children." (Ghandi, 1931: 361)