Other Times Than Peace

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We who carried on after him were inspired by his self-sacrifice and were determined to pay him the one tribute which he would have appreciated above all others — the successful completion of the task which he had begun, the restoration of peace to Palestine. In Korea, for the first, and it may be fervently hoped, the last time, the United Nations processes of peaceful intervention to settle disputes failed. They failed only because the North Korean regime stubbornly refused to afford them the chance to work and resorted to aggressive force as the means of attaining its ends.

Confronted with this, the gravest challenge to its mandate to preserve the peace of the world, the United Nations had no reasonable alternative but to check aggressive national force with decisive international force.

This it has attempted to do, and it was enabled to do so only by the firm resolve of the overwhelming majority of its members that the peace must be preserved and that aggression shall be struck down wherever undertaken or by whom 5. By virtue of recent setbacks to United Nations forces in Korea, as a result of the injection of vast numbers of Chinese troops into the conflict, it becomes clear that this resolve of its members has not been backed by sufficient armed strength to ensure that the right shall prevail.

In the future, it must be the forces of peace that are overwhelming. But whatever the outcome of the present military struggle in Korea in which the United Nations and Chinese troops are now locked, Korea provides the lesson which can save peace and freedom in the world if nations and peoples will but learn that lesson, and learn it quickly. To make peace in the world secure, the United Nations must have readily at its disposal, as a result of firm commitments undertaken by all of its members, military strength of sufficient dimensions to make it certain that it can meet aggressive military force with international military force, speedily and conclusively.

If that kind of strength is made available to the United Nations — and under action taken by the General Assembly this fall it can be made available — in my view that strength will never again be challenged in war and therefore need never be employed. But military strength will not be enough. The moral position of the United Nations must ever be strong and unassailable; it must stand steadfastly, always, for the right. The international problems with which the United Nations is concerned are the problems of the interrelations of the peoples of the world.

They are human problems. The United Nations is entitled to believe, and it does believe, that there are no insoluble problems of human relations and that there is none which cannot be solved by peaceful means. The United Nations — in Indonesia, Palestine, and Kashmir — has demonstrated convincingly that parties to the most severe conflict may be induced to abandon war as the method of settlement in favour of mediation and conciliation, at a merciful saving of untold lives and acute suffering.

Unfortunately, there may yet be some in the world who have not learned that today war can settle nothing, that aggressive force can never be enough, nor will it be tolerated. If this should be so, the pitiless wrath of the organized world must fall upon those who would endanger the peace for selfish ends. For in this advanced day, there is no excuse, no justification, for nations resorting to force except to repel armed attack.

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The world and its peoples being as they are, there is no easy or quick or infallible approach to a secure peace. It is only by patient, persistent, undismayed effort, by trial and error, that peace can be won.

Nor can it be won cheaply, as the taxpayer is learning. In the existing world tension, there will be rebuffs and setbacks, dangerous crises, and episodes of violence. But the United Nations, with unshakable resolution, in the future as in the past, will continue to man the dikes of peace. In this common purpose, all states, irrespective of size, are vital. The small nations, which constitute the overwhelming majority in its membership, are a great source of strength for the United Nations.


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Their desire for peace is deep seated and constant. The fear, suspicion, and conflict which characterize the relations among the great powers, and the resultant uncertainty, keep them and their peoples in a state of anxious tension and suspense. For the relations among the great powers will largely determine their future. A third world war would quickly engulf the smaller states, and many of them would again provide the battlefields.

On many of them, now as before, the impact of war would be even more severe than upon the great powers. They in particular, therefore, support and often initiate measures designed to ensure that the United Nations shall be increasingly effective as a practical instrumentality for peace.

In this regard, the Scandinavian countries contribute signally to the constructive effort of the United Nations.

How to Live with Steady Peace of Mind in this Unstable World

One legacy of the recent past greatly handicaps the work of the United Nations. It can never realize its maximum potential for peace until the Second World War is fully liquidated. The impasse between West and East has prevented the great powers from concluding the peace treaties which would finally terminate that last war 6. It can be little doubted that the United Nations, if called upon, could afford valuable aid toward this end. At present, the United Nations must work for future peace in the unhappy atmosphere of an unconcluded great war, while precluded from rendering any assistance toward the liquidation of that war.

These, obviously, are matters of direct and vital concern to all peace-loving nations, whatever their size. The peace of Europe, and therefore of the world, can never be secure so long as the problem of Germany remains unsolved. In this regard, those who at the end of the last war were inclined to dismiss Europe as a vital factor in reckoning the future security and prosperity of the world, have had to revise their calculations.

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For Europe, grievously wounded though it was, has displayed a remarkable resiliency and has quickly regained its place in the orbit of world affairs. But Europe, and the Western world generally, must become fully aware that the massive and restive millions of Asia and Africa are henceforth a new and highly significant factor in all peace calculations. These hitherto suppressed masses are rapidly awakening and are demanding, and are entitled to enjoy, a full share in the future fruits of peace, freedom, and security.

Very many of these millions are experiencing a newfound freedom. Many other millions are still in subject status as colonials. The aspirations and demands of those who have achieved freedom and those who seek it are the same: security, treatment as equals, and their rightful place in the brotherhood of nations. It is truer today than when Alfred Nobel realized it a half-century ago, that peace cannot be achieved in a vacuum.

Peace must be paced by human progress. Peace is no mere matter of men fighting or not fighting. Peace, to have meaning for many who have known only suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health, and education, as well as freedom and human dignity — a steadily better life. If peace is to be secure, long-suffering and long-starved, forgotten peoples of the world, the underprivileged and the undernourished, must begin to realize without delay the promise of a new day and a new life.

In the world of today, Europe, like the rest of the West, is confronted with the urgent necessity of a new orientation — a global orientation. The pre-war outlook is as obsolete as the pre-war world. The fury of the world ideological struggle swirls about them. Their vast numbers will prove a dominant factor in the future world pattern of life. They provide virgin soil for the growth of democracy, but the West must first learn how to approach them understandingly and how to win their trust and friendship. There is a long and unsavory history of Western imperialism, suppression, and exploitation to be overcome, despite the undenied benefits which the West also brought to them.

There must be an acceleration in the liquidation of colonialism. A friendly hand must be extended to the peoples who are labouring under the heavy burden of newly won independence, as well as to those who aspire to it. And in that hand must be tangible aid in generous quantity — funds, goods, foodstuffs, equipment, technical assistance. There are great issues demanding resolution in the world: the clash of the rather loosely defined concepts and systems of capitalism and communism; the radically contrasting conceptions of democracy, posing extreme views of individualism against extreme views of statism; the widespread denials of human rights; the understandable impatience of many among some two hundred million colonial peoples for the early realization of their aspirations toward emancipation; and others.

But these are issues which in no sense may be considered as defying solution. The issue of capitalism versus communism is one of ideology which in the world of today cannot, in fact, be clearly defined. There is but one world — a world of sharp clashes, to be sure — with these two doctrines at the opposite ideological poles.

In between these extremes are found many gradations of the two systems and ideologies. There is room in the world for both capitalism and communism and all gradations of them, providing only that neither system is set upon pursuing an aggressively imperialistic course. The United Nations is opposed to imperialism of any kind, ideological or otherwise. The United Nations stands for the freedom and equality of all peoples, irrespective of race, religion, or ideology. It is for the peoples of every society to make their own choices with regard to ideologies, economic systems, and the relationship which is to prevail between the state and the individual.

The United Nations is engaged in an historic effort to underwrite the rights of man. It is also attempting to give reassurance to the colonial peoples that their aspirations for freedom can be realized, if only gradually, by peaceful processes. There can be peace and a better life for all men. Given adequate authority and support, the United Nations can ensure this. But the decision really rests with the peoples of the world. The United Nations belongs to the people, but it is not yet as close to them, as much a part of their conscious interest, as it must come to be.

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Where their fundamental rights and interests are involved, it must never act from mere expediency. At times, perhaps, it has done so, but never to its own advantage nor to that of the sacred causes of peace and freedom.

1. Engaging with toxic people

If the peoples of the world are strong in their resolve and if they speak through the United Nations, they need never be confronted with the tragic alternatives of war or dishonourable appeasement, death, or enslavement. Amidst the frenzy and irrationality of a topsy-turvy world, some simple truths would appear to be self-evident. As Alfred Nobel finally discerned, people are never deterred from the folly of war by the stark terror of it. But it is nonetheless true that if in atomic war there would be survivors, there could be no victors.

What, then, could war achieve which could not be better gained by peaceful means? There are, to be sure, vital differences and wide areas of conflict among the nations, but there is utterly none which could not be settled peacefully — by negotiation and mediation — given a genuine will for peace and even a modicum of mutual good faith. But there would appear to be little hope that efforts to break the great power impasse could be very fruitful in the current atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and mutual recrimination. Fear, suspicion, and recrimination in the relations among nations tend to be dangerously self-compounding.

They induce that national hysteria which, in its rejection of poise and rationality, can itself be the fatal prelude to war. A favourable climate for peaceful negotiation must be created and can only be created by painstaking, unremitting effort. Conflicting parties must be led to realize that the road to peace can never be traversed by threatening to fight at every bend, by merely being armed to the teeth, or by flushing every bush to find an enemy. An essential first step in a civilized approach to peace in these times would call for a moratorium on recrimination and reproach.

There are some in the world who are prematurely resigned to the inevitability of war. To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of warmongering. The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace clearly must be to exhaust every honourable recourse in the effort to save the peace. The world has had ample evidence that war begets only conditions which beget further war. In the final analysis, the acid test of a genuine will to peace is the willingness of disputing parties to expose their differences to the peaceful processes of the United Nations and to the bar of international public opinion which the United Nations reflects.

It is only in this way that truth, reason, and justice may come to prevail over the shrill and blatant voice of propaganda; that a wholesome international morality can be cultivated. It is worthy of emphasis that the United Nations exists not merely to preserve the peace but also to make change — even radical change — possible without violent upheaval. The United Nations has no vested interest in the status quo.

It seeks a more secure world, a better world, a world of progress for all peoples. In the dynamic world society which is the objective of the United Nations, all peoples must have equality and equal rights.