Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Shawwal 6, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

A fresh threat to global peace

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Even as human beings around the world have worked hard to maintain peace for generations, it still remains elusive. There is war, conflict, and violence in many parts of the world!


Although we all long to live in peace and never see the death and devastation that war can bring, some are engineering situations of conflict that cause hardship.


Wars and conflicts over the last few years have caused immense human suffering and had an enormous global impact. We’re shocked and anguished by the loss of life and the pain and suffering of so many people around us. All of us fear for the future, as the destruction directly or indirectly affects us.


History shows that the present is only the product of the past, and no one can cut themselves off from history. Time and again, the past seems to have reached out to wreck the hope for peace.


Sadly, 2022 and 2023 will be added to the war years, as these two years will go down in history as very deadly and destructive, possibly spilling over into future years.


Reports indicate that battle deaths spiked by 45 per cent between 2020 and 2021, predominantly in the Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa regions.


The 2023 Global Peace Index report reveals a concerning surge in global conflicts, with pre-existing tensions predating even the significant Russian war on Ukraine, touted as the most significant conflict since World War II.


This year’s results found that the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.42 per cent. This is the thirteenth deterioration in peacefulness in the last fifteen years, with 84 countries improving and 79 deteriorating in peacefulness in 2022.


"As we look to the horizon, potential challenges such as climate change, economic disparities, and political instability could arise in the future, potentially affecting regions globally," says the Global Peace Index report.


IMF and World Bank officials pointed out during their meeting in Morocco last week that a wider conflict in the Middle East poses a fresh threat to the global economy just as the world emerges from shocks triggered by Covid-19 and the Ukraine war.


Like the wars of the past, the conflict between Israel and Hamas has the potential to even tip into recession if more countries are drawn in.


The cost of wars and conflicts is almost immeasurable. In addition to human suffering, social unrest, and damage to infrastructure, they impact the affected countries’ economies. They disrupt access to basic services like food and water and force people into extreme poverty, with the poorest and most vulnerable paying the highest price.


Though the United Nations member states came together to prevent human suffering and promote peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, violent conflicts are increasingly becoming one of the big obstacles to reaching those goals.


It is projected that more than half of the people living in poverty will be found in countries affected by high levels of violence by 2030. This is utterly contrary to the promise contained in the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.


The fact is that while talks about peace continue on one side, groundings for war progress on the other. If you talk to parties on either side of a conflict, each side can convince you why they need war for their survival and self-defence. We found a trust deficit!


There appears to be an abyss between moral ideas and actual work! And what we find today is that might is right, and the more powerful a country is, the more secure it is! Hence, as the Global Peace Index report points out, "the need for a systemic response to building peace is urgent”.


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