Imagery is a derivative of NASA’s Blue Marble summer month composite with oceans lightened to enhance legibility and contrast. Wikimedia Commons - Photo: 2024

Why Not the Whole World as A “Zone of Peace”?

By P. Soma Palan*

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka | 21 April 2024 (IDN) — I refer to your Article under the Heading “Indian Ocean – a zone of peace sinking in troubled waters”. I wish to express my seemingly radical views on the subject of attaining world peace in the backdrop of the increasing militarization of a few superpowers.

Your article is interesting reading and highlights the predicament of an insignificant collection of small atolls called the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, which is threatened by the carnivorous greed of global Powers to dominate the Indian Ocean.

You aver that Maldives islands and Costa Rica have no “Armed Forces, fighter planes, combat Helicopters, warships, missiles or battle Tanks. Due to its defenselessness, Maldives was open to invasion by freelance mercenaries in 1979 and 1988”.

This led to a UN-sponsored International Convention to outlaw mercenaries. This is a lame, piecemeal, limited attempt to outlaw mercenaries only. This means the UN has no obligation to prevent nations with lawful standing Armies from threatening world peace with their aggressive intentions. Both standing armies of countries and freelance mercenary armies are threats to world peace.

Why should the pursuit of peace be confined to the Indian Ocean only? Shouldn’t all oceans and territories of the planet Earth be made a Zone of Peace? To realize this larger and humane goal, the need is to outlaw all standing armies of all countries and dismantle their accompanying military infrastructures and armament-producing facilities.

World Convention for total disarmament and abolition of all armies

The UN must sponsor a World Convention of all nations for total disarmament and abolition of all standing armies of the world that will result in total banishment of wars between nations or groups of nations. This will result in a truly equitable World Order where no nation can claim to be a Superpower by virtue of its military power.

A country’s power is its economy, and not the power of the gun that will determine its super status. The Planet Earth as a whole will be transformed into a veritable haven of a Peace Zone.

Disputes between nations relating to territorial boundaries and conflicting political and economic interests are bound to occur. But these can be resolved by recourse to international courts of Jurisdiction in a civilized manner rather than determined by military means.

Standing armies are relics of tribal societies, and are incompatible with values and civilized norms of modern times. If the UN can sponsor an International Convention to outlaw professional mercenary military outfits, why not an International Convention to outlaw the standing armies of all nations of the world?

Your article refers to a report in the New York Times under the heading” why India and China are vying for the tiny Maldives”. It is very clear that powerful countries with military might are “vying”, a euphemism for preying on other countries, for territorial expansion.

Every country, even tiny islands has the right to exist, without invasion. Interference into the affairs of other countries under the pretext of Development Aid amounts to aggressive intention. Powerful countries must look inward for the development and well-being of their subjects. The peaceful coexistence of all countries on the planet Earth should be an unassailable principle in international relations. It is abundantly clear that standing armies and stockpiling of destructive lethal weapons of countries is the root cause of the threat to world peace.

UN must take sincere and determined action

UN must take sincere and determined action through a World Convention of all nations to outlaw all standing armies of every country and simultaneous dismantling of all military infrastructures and weapons-producing facilities to achieve total disarmament of the world. This is the only surest and certain way to realize a world without wars and sustainable peace, and the resultant banishment of all forms of terrorism.

This will dawn the transformation of the Planet Earth into a utopia of peace and harmony. Every country has the right to maintain internal Law and Order. For this purpose, a Police Force is required with limited small arms for mob control and to quell people’s riots.

Of course, there will be intellectual pragmatists, sceptics, and so-called realists who will scoff at my views as impractical, idealistic, and unrealistic, in the present existential world, dominated by geopolitics. There will always be the complacent negativists who accept the world order as it is, and as unalterable.

They want to cope up, compromise and live with the imperfections of the world, and call it realism. Idealism propels progress, while coping up with imperfect realism engenders regression, stagnation and the final destruction of Planet Earth.

*The writer, who describes himself as a world citizen, is a peace activist with an abiding interest in the preservation of Planet Earth, and a votary of total disarmament and abolition of armies and wars. He has been influenced by spiritual celebrities like Swami Vivekananda, Sadh Guru, Jiddu Krishnamurti and others. He can be reached at: [IDN-InDepthNews]

Imagery is a derivative of NASA’s Blue Marble summer month composite with oceans lightened to enhance legibility and contrast. Wikimedia Commons

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate

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