Peace and Security

Commentary: Liberty and Justice for All

As the year 2011 gets underway, we are witnessing a sudden, dramatic and unexpected emergence of popular uprisings in the Arab world. The political and social landscape in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have already been permanently changed, and every nation in the region now wonders if it will be the next.

As the world watches the brave young people of North Africa take a stand for democracy and freedom, UPF urges governmental, religious, and civil society leaders to commit themselves to peaceful transition, and to ensure that changes result in widespread human development, empowerment, and expanded liberties for all.

There can be no peace without reconciliation, and there can be no reconciliation without forgiveness. Every religion and every social institution should stand ready to make a new start for peace, preferring the promise of a united and inclusive future to the understandable yet unproductive desire for retaliation.

For any nation to enjoy a lasting peace, all of its peoples – minorities and majorities alike – need to be free to play a part. All faiths need to be respected, and protected. The rights of women and youth need to be protected, and representatives of diverse groups must be encouraged to take leadership roles.

The United Nations, the United States, and the developed nations of the world, along with faith leaders and private sector representatives, now have an opportunity to make an unequivocal commitment to the cause of good governance and peace in the region, in order that the dramatic actions taking place on the streets may bear fruit as stable, prosperous, and free societies.

News: New York Times' latest reports by nation
Commentaries: US Institute of Peace, Tikkun, Fellowship of Reconciliation

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