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In a world scarred by violent conflicts and ideological confrontations, made worse by religious misinterpretations and cultural extremism and bigotry, the global community is threatened with endless conflicts and wars. The United Nations, set up to prevent wars and to achieve peaceful solutions to world conflicts has been denigrated by the very nations which founded it. Now peace is getting even further from becoming a reality. We are still primitive beacuse we believe in killing people to solve our problems.

Emasculated though the Unitaed Nations may be, it is still the only hope of mankind. Setting up another institution would do no better. Like it or not, humanity must once again make a commitment to the UN. We need to appeal to the ordinary people in every country to reject leaders who ignore the UN and who reject its mission.

We now have this Declaration of the International Day of Peace every 21st day of september, which "is meant to be a day of global ceasefire, when all countries and all people stop hostilities for the entire day..." If the leaders will not, then the people should. They should for one day in a year stop all hostilities. The media should cease for one day from inflaming passions and hatred in the name of peace.

In modern war, leaders and generals stay far behind the lines and are in no danger of getting killed or wounded. The supreme sacrifice must be made by the young people. Knowing this, the leaders and generals still see war as an option in settling conflicts between nations. By their soldiers ceasing hostilities for one day, the leaders and generals will be forced to appreciate that they have no right to sacrifice young peopl in wars which will solve nothing.

If this annual International Day of Peace could be a small step forward in addressing and raising global awareness on the inhuman afflictions caused by war, it would certainly be a most laudable endeavour. If this UN call for cessation of hostilities for just one day on September 21st is observed by all warring factions in the world, then we can say that the global peace agenda is starting to get dividends. Of course the ultimate objective is for all nations and their leaders to one day agree that for mankind to survive, for modern civilization to be meaningful, there must be a unified effot to criminalize all wars!

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
Global Peace Forum
Kuala Lumpur

20 September 2006


The astounding success and overwhelming support given to the Perdana Global Peace Forum in December 2005 by distinguished international speakers and participants alike saw the immediate launching of  the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalize War on 17th. December 2005.   Led and inspired by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,  this pro-peace and anti-war sentiment quickly transformed into a movement, supported by international anti-war activists, both individuals and groups.  It was clearly evident that an organisation structure was needed to implement and put into fruition the Kuala Lumpur Initiative; thus under the chairmanship of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the Perdana Global Peace Organisation  (PGPO) was formed.  

In June 2006, a three-day follow-up programme to the December Forum saw a core group of renowned activists coming together for in-depth discussion sessions with Tun Dr. Mahathir, before addressing NGO’s and interested individuals in public forums on the second and third days.  Once again the public forums were a resounding success,  with participants, both local and foreign, acknowledging the timeliness of Tun Dr. Mahathir’s call to Stop World War IV, a nuclear war, before it gets launched.  Earlier, it was agreed that this group of distinguished anti-war activists would be appointed as members of the International Advisory Panel to advise the Perdana Global Peace Organisation, especially in matters related to international networking, countering disinformation and dissemination of research-based information.

As a largely volunteer-based organisation, PGPO welcomes contributions and support from individuals and groups who share and are committed to implementing the ideals of the Kuala Lumpur Initiative.


Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.
12/13/07 "Information Clearing House"

The New Webster Dictionary of the English Language describes culture as education, improvement by mental or physical training, the way of life of a people. The same dictionary describes war as hostility, a contest between nations or within the same nation, a state of violent opposition. And peace is described as tranquility, freedom from war, cessation to hostilities. Whereas peace is characterized by love and respect, war is characterized by hatred and revenge. Whereas peace leads to healing and life, war leads to human suffering and death.

History Dominated by War

During the last 6,000 years of recorded history we discover wars were the dominant focus of almost every historian. Peace seems to have taken always a marginal place. With few exceptions, every war has been waged by the leaders of the various involved nations or by the leaders of the various political factions within the same nation in the case of a civil war. People in general tended always to focus on the welfare of their children and their entire families that included relatives and friends. If there is one thing they never wanted was war.

This explains why former US President Eisenhower, in his farewell address to Congress uttered the famous words: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, only their government wants war. Since World War II ended in 1945 and the United Nations was established, there have been several wars across every continent. They were mostly instigated by governments or by the leaders of various political factions within the same country. No wonder why so many governmental leaders have been referred as criminals.

The waging of wars has evolved into a culture that forces the human mind to resort to violence when things do not go as desired. As stated earlier, culture is viewed as education, derived from two Latin words: e+duco – out of+lead. Hence, in education we have a process where we hopefully lead people from ignorance into knowledge, from confusion into clarity of mind. But in education we may also lead people the other way round. It depends on the educators themselves.

Those that were born and raised in the culture of war tend to look for the solution of every problem they encounter with the waging of wars, regardless of the tens of thousands of innocent people that may be killed in the process. By way of contrast, those that adhere to the culture of peace tend to look for the solution of every problem they encounter in the promotion of peace through the development of healthy and constructive dialogues. In the sphere of politics this amounts to sound diplomacy.

Assessment of Political Leaders

Consequently, we are in a position to judge fairly accurately the head of states and eventually the government of every single nation without exception. We may figure out who are those that are imbued in the culture of war versus those that are determined to promote the culture of peace. Since the year 2002, the eyes of the world were focused mostly on the war in Iraq. Unfortunately, this war did not start with a civil war, as it turned out to be today. It started with the United States’ invasion of Iraq. As the entire world has realized, the reasons given for the US instigation of such a war were all proven to be false.

Besides, the United Nations and respected personalities of the caliber of Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela condemned this US invasion as illegal and immoral. Shortly after the war started, the entire world did not hesitate to view this American invasion of Iraq as abusive and even criminal. More than 3,000 young Americans lost their lives and a few thousands more were maimed, not to mention those that committed suicide. More than 600,000 innocent Iraqis were brutally massacred while the infrastructure of their cities was destroyed.

If the US President was not born and raised in a culture of war, he would have never dreamt in a million years to invade a nation that posed no threat whatsoever to the United States. If he were born and raised in a culture of peace he would have resorted to a healthy, positive and constructive diplomacy. The tens of thousands of innocent people that were massacred would have still been here with us enjoying life with their beloved ones. Over the past 6,000 years of recorded history, the culture of peace has proven the truthfulness and wisdom of the traditional saying: One catches more flies with honey.

The culture of war is built purely on violence which tends to instigate and promote more violence. The military personnel were never trained to perform humanitarian work. On the contrary, those in the military have been trained to fight and kill anyone they come across, as US soldiers in Iraq confessed to their relatives in their letters. The military is the only organization in the world that can do what it likes without being held accountable.

By its very nature, the military is a negative and destructive force in spite of the nice and elegant uniforms it provides. It is brutal and inhuman when put into action. Surprisingly, the military is held accountable to no one for the enormous suffering it inflicts on people many of whom are sent to the grave so prematurely. To the amazement of every sensible and intelligent person, once the soldiers return from the battle ground after having destroyed a number of cities and killed mercilessly so many innocent people, they are received as heroes.

Perspective of War and Peace

The responsible government leaders that sent them to war would then congratulate returning soldiers for “having served their country so well!” Those that were born and raised in the culture of war like the current US President cannot comprehend that what goes around comes around. They cannot understand what the Master Teacher of Nazareth said: What you do to others it will be done to you afterwards. They reject categorically what the same Master Teacher of Nazareth said that he who kills by the sword will die by the sword.

We learn from history that the most powerful people on earth that exerted great influence and contributed toward a better and more stable world were all an integral part of the culture of peace. This consists of a philosophy that advocates positive and constructive approaches to every problem we encounter. The leaders of every religion managed to get millions of followers because they showed love and respect for everyone. As St. Augustine said, once you carry love in your heart you are equipped with the most powerful tool to literally conquer the world.

We may begin to realize with clarity why the United States, as long as it is guided by a belligerent President and war-minded government officials, can never serve as an instrument to bring about peace into the world. Instead of conducting a program of international disarmament and arms control, a program that would lead to the abolition of all nuclear weapons and landmines, the United States chose to embark on a program of world-wide rearmament that would retain nuclear weapons.

The current US War President is endangering our earthly community by trying to put many warheads orbiting in space over our heads. The Iraqi War is heading toward becoming another Vietnam War where the Americans would eventually leave after having had thousands of their young men and women massacred and after having inflicted tremendous crucial suffering and death on millions of Iraqis. However, all of this nightmare could change overnight if the USA were to have as its next President one who is well versed in the culture of peace of the caliber of Dennis Kucinich who is one of the presidential candidates.

Charles Mercieca, Ph.D. - President International Association of Educators for World Peace. Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament. Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University


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