Signup for the
It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
|L.N. Cabactulan: The Price of Violence and the Dividends in Healing the Wounds of History|
|By H.E. Libran N. Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations|
|Wednesday, February 15, 2012|
Welcome remarks at a conference on "The Price of Violence and the Dividends in Healing the Wounds of History"
This gathering is most timely and appropriate, given the many challenges our world faces today - challenges that call for a deeper introspection into the human dimension of global events that affect us all.
As we try to forge ahead resolutely with our common pursuit for a world that is more peaceful, more progressive, and more prosperous, we continue to be confronted by what I describe as the bane to humanity: violence.
Violence holds us from moving on, hurling the global community backwards with losses that are most tragic and at the cost of many, many precious human lives.
History is replete with accounts of violent wars that have been waged, won, and lost, and always at the expense of the most vulnerable and the weak.
Our United Nations was established as a response to two world wars. Together, we said, never again should the tyranny of violence reign over us all. We tell ourselves we have learned from our tragic experiences. Yet the truth is, we continue to wrestle with violence today.
For indeed, we grapple with violence in its many forms. Violence, after all, is not defined exclusively by war or the use of weapons or force. In our times, violence can be defined as the deprivation of inalienable rights that define one's humanity. As a function of its impact on individuals and societies, violence can also be defined as inaction or silence. I would submit that violence is a counter value that must be addressed by bringing to bear the values we hold dear.
This we have seen many times throughout the world: apartheid was ended in South Africa by the firm conviction of those who believed in the equal value and dignity of all human beings. Democracy was restored in the Philippines by the expression of a people's strong belief that a peaceful resolution could oust authoritarian rule. Now we see change sweeping the Arab region being bolstered by a realization that societies there value the freedoms treasured by others in the world.