UN Marks International Day of Peace

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The 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly officially got underway in New York with strong calls for world peace. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rang a peace bell and called for a global ceasefire. He specifically cited the situation in Syria, which will be high on the agenda as the world leaders meet over the next several weeks. At the Vatican, Pope Francis repeated his appeals for a diplomatic—not military—solution to the Syrian crisis.

  • Kimberlee

    Have we learned anything in the last 100 years? Excerpts from an interview of Mr. Hudson Maxim (H.M.), scientist, inventor and explosives expert, with Abdu’l-Baha (A.B.), son of the founder of the Baha’i Faith, New York City, April 15, 1912:

    H. M. “I understand you are a messenger of peace to this country. What is your opinion about modern war? Shall the great nations maintain armament and defenses as a guarantee or warrant against war? … Shall the nations have an international police navy which protects and insures peace in the world, or shall they disarm and have no navies?”

    A. B. “Everything that prevents war is good.”

    H. M. “Christ said He came to make war. Caesar was great in history because he was great in battle and military skill.”

    A. B. “We have the history of the world for nearly six thousand years. … During these six thousand years there has been constant war, strife, bloodshed. We can see at a glance the results, achievements and outcomes of war. The history of warfare and strife is known, the effect apparent. Have we not a sufficient standard of experience in this direction? Let us now try peace for awhile. If good results follow, let us adhere to it. If not let us throw it away and fight again. Nothing will be lost by the experiment.”

    H. M. “Evolution has now reached a period in the life of nations where commerce takes the place of warfare. Business is war, cruel, merciless.”

    A. B. “True! War is not limited to one cause. There are many kinds of war and conflict going on, political war, commercial war, patriotic and racial war; this is the very civilization of war.”

    H. M. “Do you consider the next great national war necessary?”

    A. B. “I hope your efforts may be able to prevent it. Why not try peace for awhile? If we find war is better, it will not be difficult to fight again; but if we find that peace is the glorification of humanity, the impulse of true civilization, the stimulus to inventive genius and the means of attainment to the good pleasure of God, we must agree to adhere to it and establish it permanently.”