Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
It is rather ironic that as the global community marks International Day of Peace on Wednesday this week, the United Nations, the body committed to the promotion of peace and understanding among nations and people, recognize the embroilment many nations find themselves in.
The intricate and serious situation has rippling effects that has alarmed the international community.
No less than UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres articulated the grave upheaval confronting the community of nations.
Guterres, in his speech at the opening of the 77th General Assembly, said: “We cannot go on like this. We have a duty to act. And yet we are gridlocked in a colossal global dysfunction.”
Saying that the world is in ‘rough seas’, Guterres called on global leaders to forge immediate action as he underscored geopolitical divides challenging international laws and seriously threatening trust in democratic institutions.
The General Assembly, which is usually held around the Sept. 21 International Day of Peace, opened on Sept. 13 and runs until Sept. 23.
Among the critical situations The General Assembly is tackling are global health and health security issues, widespread and mounting food insecurity, concerns over climate change issues and the renewed escalation of war in Ukraine and other conflicts, like the China – Taiwan tension and other regional upheavals.
Guterres reiterated the critical situation saying the assembly comes “at a time of great peril.”
Ours has become a politically-divided world, added Director Richard Gowan of the UN International Crisis Group.
Taking the spotlight as another grave threat to peace is racism, which is the central focus of this year’s IDP observance. “End Racism Build Peace”. The theme advocates the proposition aimed to make a new world that is free of racial discrimination.
As Guterres put it: “Racism continues to prison institutions, social structures and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental rights.”
It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakably, he further said in his message for the event.
Succinctly, he said, “it pushes people apart at a time we should be coming together as one human family to repair our fractured world.”
He made a call for action for people to do their part in fostering peace by, among others, dismantling structures that encourage and entrench racism, supporting movements that promote equality and human rights as well as engaging in information and education activities countering racism.
IDP celebrates the power of solidarity toward the building of a world that is peaceful and sustainable one.
Ironic, it may seem that we celebrate Peace Day in the midst of global cruise. Perhaps, however, it is one occasion that should remind us that we should free ourselves from hatred and intolerance in their various forms so that we can create a culture of amity and harmony in the midst of diversity.
For whatever peace and contentment we have, we must be thankful to God and our Creator. I would like to think that this is the reason that proponents of another global event timed their celebration on the same day IDP is observed.
The event is World Gratitude Day, an occasion to remind us of the value of thankfulness, gratefulness and appreciation to recognize the benefit we have received or is about to get.
Gratitude, advocates of the observances say, has been a key or central thought in the discourse of moral philosophers as well as of religions in the world.
Our Christian faith is at the forefront in advancing expressions, especially to God, our Redeemer and Savior.
The book of Psalms, is a testimonial to this. The book as a collection of poetry, is blissfully filled with pieces focus on “praise for God for his power, and benevolence…”
Advocates of the event, likewise, are findings of studies that show the correlation between gratitude and wellbeing.
Expressing gratitude should, however, be not limited to Sept. 21 alone, but more so in our daily lives if you are convinced of what Philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote during his life in ancient Rome.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.”
Thank you, Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (Psalms 9:1) – NWI