Peace

By: Winny Moro                                                 

Canadian – Sudanese ANAJ Member                     

For the purpose of this 2016 International Day of Peace, I’ve chosen to subjectify peace at a macro level, referring to the efforts at the scale of countries, and governments.  A category for which Canada ranks highly is keeping peace and solidarity.  Our country Canada is, and has been for many years the envy of many nations when it comes to the peace keeping missions.

This should give Canadians the courage, and drive needed in order to advocate and create international scenarios that involves maintaining peace.  The reality is that solutions are almost always found within the individual people; therefore, we must lead by our personal example of “ microcosm” level .

One of the greatest things about Canada is its large presence of multiculturalism, particularly in Toronto, which is believed to be one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, an arrangement which in itself is considered as a very affective factor of peace keeping in action.

What is a better example of the true peace keeping exercise than having brought people who, in many cases are from opposing ethnicities and ways of life, to live next door to each other “ as neighbors “.  That results in “ passive “ creation of  tolerance and open mindedness, rather than “ active efforts “ which would cost greatly in all aspects and as far as we know does not seem to have been sufficiently effective.

At this point of history, there are over 1500 wars of different magnitudes in progress in our planet, most of which are being conducted between countries and groups that the average person has not even heard their names.

The writer of this article has attended a high school in Toronto, with the majority being immigrants, and can say that it had made her experience a lot more colorful and profound.  Being at a school with other children of many different countries was an experience above her formal education.

There are also a lot of programs in this country that equips immigrants and teaches them that one of the basic focus is that they learn to live with and learn about each other.  Canada has always been encouraging the “ Mosaic “ system in which every nationality is even assisted and encouraged to preserve it’s own heritage and culture,  unlike the USA which adheres to the concept of “the melting pot”, focusing on making an American from all of their immigrants. In other words, we approve with having hyphenated Canadians such as Chinese – Canadians or Lebanese – Canadians, while in USA it’s only recent that the word African American is officially in the use at the government level.

At the macro level, the peace is more than keeping calm and tranquility between nations.  True peace can never be achieved while there is an imparity of gains and a great gap between the poverty stricken nations, and those that are called capitalist first class nations.  The reality is that every day, hundreds of millions of eggs and other food elements are being barried under the ground or thrown into the ocean simply for keeping the prices high.  At present, ten multinational companies own 42% of the entire food and food seeds in the world.  In addition to that, with the rise of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) each year, the gap between the countries of have and have not is becoming wider, and these are the true factors that work against peace at the macro level. The poverty, food production, even access to new technology has to be first addressed before peace can be achieved.

You’ve heard the phrase, a happy wife is a happy life, in this case, a happy country is a happy life.  That happiness that brings peace within the people, is derived from freedom.  If article #19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights be observed and implemented, peace will come after.  In Canada, each citizen has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.  It is actually encouraged that you express your opinions and have the option to become active participants in shaping our country into what we believe it should be.

As Canadians we’ve had very influential leaders such as former Prime Minister Lester B Pearson, who introduced the first peace keeping force, and was the only Canadian to win the “ Nobel peace prize “. He established universal health care for all Canadians, introduced the Canada pension plan and student loans.  He also introduced foreign aid to help third world counties and is known for saving millions of lives.  What a way to build and raise the value of Canada, and its people.

Let us remind ourselves that there are many drugs that were invented in Canada, which if they be taken out of the market, probably over 50 million people would perish in three or four days worldwide on an ongoing basis.  One of the best examples of this is INSULIN, one that surely is the “ most effective “ drug for diabetes, which is life giving to diabetic patients with no replacement and was discovered and manufactured in Toronto by Dr. Banting and Charles H. Best.  These are the true factors that result in peace among people.

The Canadians who fought in Korea were part of world history and part of Canada’s honorable Peace Heritage. Canadians have always be counted as one of the “Key Nations “ for the peace keeping at any occasion that “Seize Fire “ had been an option, It is believed that our nation has “ sacrificed “ most from its youths in the last fifty years of the 20th Century  than any country.  A reputation that survives to this very day.

The writer would like to conclude

Our country has many peace education programs available and many educators.  These include:  ADR Institute of Canada, Canada World Youth, The Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society, The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies, The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace (CCTP), Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT), Canadian Council for Multicultural and Intercultural Education, The Canadian Human Rights Commission, Canadian Peace Research and Education Association, just to name a few.

The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies. – Lester B. Pearson

Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects. – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

“So I approach the pursuit of peace with determination, recognizing both the enormity of the task and the requirement for action. To those who say it cannot be done, I say it must be done. To those who say Canada can’t do it alone, I say we can do it together. And to those who claim it is none of our business, I say the search for peace is everyone’s business.” –Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

“The best defense of peace is not power, but the removal of the causes of war, and international agreements which will put peace on a stronger foundation, than the terror of destruction.”  Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“Since wars (and violence) are created in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” UNESCO motto

“The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein

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