At the end of World War II, the need to create spaces for dialogue to prevent the outbreak of new wars was clear – and the UN appears in a world with 2.5 billion people. Today, 75 years later, in a world with 7.7 billion inhabitants, it is evident that the methods of that time are no longer able to cope with the complexity of humanity’s current challenges and need to be redesigned.
The Paris Peace Forum recognizes and values multilateralism, while proposing to discuss what should be improved to build consensus and debate its main challenges.
Without improving the dialogue and the way of deliberating globally, it will be difficult to move forward. The Peace Forum, by stimulating the meeting between Nations, draws attention to the weaknesses of the current process, and proposes to rethink ways of building consensus to face global challenges.
Increase the participation of countries in decision-making and incorporating the participation of civil society are some of the elements that can increase the legitimacy of decisions, surpassing the current anachronistic security council and its five countries with the right to veto. That, failing to move forward on the important issues of the moment, they reduce their performance to a poor repertoire of individual or regional geopolitical interests, leaving issues of common interest in the background.
In the opening session of the Forum 2021, Kamala Harris, Vice President of the USA, focused his speech on the inequality evidenced in the pandemic, citing the existence of more than one billion people who are hungry in the world and more than % who do not have access to the internet, concluding that we can no longer accept these facts.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, drew attention to the need for cooperation between States, companies, NGOs and social movements, in addition to the universal commitment to combat the pandemic, with the climate, biodiversity and defense of freedoms and democracy.
This was the tone of the opening, making clear the general satisfaction with the return of the USA to the multilateralism arena, after the removal during the Trump era.
In current times, the concept of peace goes far beyond avoiding wars and the need to deepen the issues that can lead to the imbalances that give rise to violence in society is evident.
In this sense, reducing inequalities, which generate enormous suffering and social embarrassment, is advancing in peace. Confronting climate change, which affects everyone, but the vulnerable more strongly, is also advancing peace.
Improving democracy, improving digital governance, fighting fake news and threats to the press, is to promote the culture of peace. Achieving equality between men and women is peace. These were some of the topics discussed at the Forum.
If we do not work on these issues, we are at risk of repeating history and maintaining current imbalances at a critical moment, when we are reaching the limits of the planet .
Our inability: to reduce inequalities between countries and within countries; to face the climate crisis that is having an ever-increasing impact on people’s lives; to diminish the influence of companies on democracy, which reduces trust in politics and institutions; and of reducing the impact of social networks on electoral processes with misinformation and fake news, it has generated risks of authoritarian governments, which benefit from democracy to reach power and, once there, attack it.
*) These are issues that we must be aware of if we believe that overcoming this moment involves building a culture of peace that also incorporates solidarity, justice and coexistence with differences.
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