World Peace Under Threat - Eastern Mirror
Friday, April 19, 2024

World Peace Under Threat

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 27, 2024 11:14 pm

The 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) commenced in Geneva on Monday, just two days after the Russia-Ukraine war entered its third year, with top UN officials calling for prioritising the protection of human rights and stressing the need to escalate humanitarian aid in places devastated by armed conflicts. Speaking at the opening session of the top human rights body, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world is becoming less safe by the day with the multiplication of conflicts causing unprecedented suffering and human rights violations around the world. He is right in his assertion that the world has become unsafe amid ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza, Myanmar, Congo, Sudan and many other places. The UN high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, also lamented millions of civilian lives being battered in these conflict zones, terming it as “unbearable”. “At a time of such atrocious violations, is it naïve to demand that all States uphold their human rights commitments?  Or is it crucial—the most important, the most consequential, the most urgent task that any of us could possibly undertake?” he asked. These questions give a pessimistic outlook about the future of the world; it should serve as a warning bell against the common endeavour towards world peace, inclusive development, eradication of poverty, fight against discrimination, and many more pressing issues. Polarisation based on ideological differences and warmongering have become a serious threat to world peace and human rights today.

Myanmar was accused of violating international law when the democratically elected government in the country was overthrown in a military coup in 2021, and then Russia, after it invaded Ukraine a little more than a year later. Israel is the latest to come under attack, with the majority of the countries arguing that it is violating international law following its retaliatory action in Gaza after the horrific terror attacks by Hamas in October last year. The failure of the world’s apex human rights body in effectively implementing international law in the face of several violations is what the council should seriously look into and work on unitedly taking punitive actions. The killing of civilians by Hamas can’t be justified, and so too can Israel’s brutal action against the Palestinian people in the name of retaliation. The allegation that the Israel government is blocking humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is another matter of grave concern that the international community can’t turn a blind eye to, considering the consequences it can have on millions of civilians. It also calls for the need to reform the council and make it a driving force to end conflicts as well as prevent violations of human rights. We should remember that respect for international law is imperative for peace and prosperity. The price of war is always hefty and all countries have to bear the brunt. This is evident from the food crisis, global economic slowdown and undermining of climate change mitigating efforts the ongoing conflicts have caused. The world is certainly not safe if warmongers can violate human rights and dignity at will.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 27, 2024 11:14:04 pm
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