Yesterday was the United Nations International Day of Peace with the theme being ‘together for peace, respect, safety and dignity for all’.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
According to the UN the theme honours the spirit of ‘TOGETHER’, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for people forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. It is a UN campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for refugees and migrants. Launched in September 2016, its aim is to counter the rise in xenophobia and discrimination.
TOGETHER unites the organizations of the UN System, the 193-Member States of the UN, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens. This is a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on September 19, 2016.
“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He said, “together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”
His speech and the UN celebrations and the UN celebration of the spirit of togetherness came two days after the United States President Donald Trump made what many international observers saw as the most negative speech made by a US leader at the UN General Assembly. Stressing again his determination to put ‘America First’, which is a subtle way of promoting selfishness and isolationism, Mr. Trump also made one of the most dangerous threats by an American leader. He described North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a ‘rocket man on a suicide mission’ and warned the US would destroy North Korea if Mr. Kim’s regime took any military action.
Also vital for a sustainable peace or the spirit of togetherness are measures to promote poverty alleviation and to intensify the battle against climate change. On both these issues, Mr. Trump maintained his hardline. He has cut aid to poor countries by more than 50 per cent and vowed he would not bring the US back to the historic Paris Climate Change Accords of December 2016. Many of his top ministers including Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson have indicated that the US is ready to observe the climate change accords if some clauses are changed but Mr. Trump is insisting ‘no means no’. Regarding the Iran nuclear agreement, which was signed not only by the US but also by China, Russia, Britain and France and Germany, Mr. Trump is still threatening to cancel the agreement which was negotiated over several years. International analysts say such a drastic move could pose a major threat to peace with the North Korean crisis on one side and Iran on the other.
Overall it appears that the unpredictable and impulsive Mr. Trump is the biggest threat to world peace. The question that most analysts are asking is whether he is being controlled or manipulated by giant transnational corporations which are known to be running the world and especially the multi-billion dollar arms industry, the pharmaceutical trade, the food industry and other vital sectors.
So, is Mr. Trump trying to make America great again or make it a puppet of giant transnational corporations?