Friday, October 29, 2004

Encouraging people to become agents of a Culture of Peace

The Vatican's Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore,
made an intervention to the Plenary of the 59th General Assembly, on October 26th, in the debate on a Culture of Peace.

In his speech he said that: "For many decades now, the need to promote an effective culture of peace has been widely acknowledged and, since 1967, the Popes too have played their part, sending a Message on the first day of January every year to all people of good will, each time proposing a fresh theme concerning peace and how to achieve it. These Messages have already started to build up a mosaic of topics and experiences for the realization of a culture of peace in the sense under discussion today.

....the usually more dominant culture appears sometimes to trigger cultural reactions against true peace and create suspicions about it. Similarly, globalization seems unable to prevent threats to peace because cultural revivalism tends to create walls that separate people from one another. Cynicism emerges from misunderstanding among peoples that are the results of unnecessary barriers. The concept of security itself has come to create a continuing tension between national, international and global security interests.

To address the problems of security at any cost, all labors toward authentic peace must be nurtured unceasingly, balancing threat-based with cooperative security interests. The defense of peace, so often a fragile entity, must be reinforced. This can be achieved by cultivating in the minds of all people of good will the imperative to become in some way agents of peace. They are its architects, its builders and even its bridges. [my italics] Making peace a reality is possible, through the education of consciences that an openness and respect for others can produce. ....

The full text is available at