When U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the High-Level Forum on Culture of Peace later this week, he will transmit a message that underlines his political philosophy: all disputes need to be resolved by peaceful means, not through military might.
And time and again, he has warned that the militarization by both parties of the 17-month political crisis in Syria, which has claimed over 18,000 lives, would never result in a peaceful settlement.
The culture of violence, he believes, has to be replaced with the culture of peace – even as military conflicts and insurgencies have destroyed human lives and caused devastation in Sudan, Syria, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia, Colombia, Mali, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.
In his address, Ban is expected to reiterate the urgent need to comply with the basic principles of the U.N. Declaration and Program of Action on the Culture of Peace adopted by consensus by the General Assembly back in September 1999.
“Unfortunately,” said a Third World diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, “violence seems to be a cultural thing worldwide, judging by the recent shootings in South Africa, the ruthless suppression of demonstrators in Bahrain and Syria and the suicide bombings in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
As the Declaration points out, he said, the United Nations should strengthen its ongoing efforts to promote a culture of peace and effectively implement the Program of Action (POA).
Article 1 of that Declaration calls on all U.N. member states to commit to peaceful settlement of conflicts.
And Article 3 says the fuller development of a culture of peace is integrally linked to promoting peaceful settlement of conflicts, mutual respect and understanding, and international ...