A TIME FOR REFLECTION AND A RECOMMITMENT TO ACTION
Overlap of Easter, Passover and Ramadan
The overlapping of Easter, Passover and Ramadan this year comes against the backdrop of the continuing brutal war in Ukraine and exacerbates the already horrific escalation in violence against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
The broader context is “the climate time-bomb” and our “suicidal war on nature” propelled by a “savage capitalism”, the hallmark of which is gross inequality both within and among states and a seemingly unstoppable militarism.
Cooperation not militarism
There are solutions to all of these problems — solutions grounded in the UN Charter and international law more broadly, and detailed in UN Reports and Plans of Action to which most countries have signed on.
All of the proposed solutions have one thing in common: they require cooperation and collaboration among UN member states to implement the agreements reached and to fulfill the obligations undertaken.
And they also require sustained attention and commitment, which is sorely lacking when Western countries are preoccupied with the Ukraine conflict and the global South is struggling to deal with debt crises, a slowing global economy and climate change.
In 2020 the UN celebrated its 75th anniversary. In their Final Declaration, UN member states, inter alia, agreed:
We will promote peace and prevent conflicts. The ongoing armed conflicts and threats against international peace and security must be urgently resolved through peaceful means.
RI President Peggy Mason comments:
This is an unqualified commitment to diplomatic peacemaking, whatever the cause of the armed conflict in question.
In short, it is the obligation of every UN member state to do whatever it can to assist in finding a negotiated solution to the Russia–Ukraine war — regardless of its origin in Russia’s illegal invasion, and regardless of Ukraine’s right to militarily defend itself until a ceasefire is mutually agreed.
Let us take time over this holiday weekend to reflect on the ways that we can, individually and together, reassert our common humanity and redouble our peacemaking efforts.
Photo credit: Wikimedia (Al-Aqsa Mosque)
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