TOPICS: Seeking support for peace

Hiranya Lal Shrestha:

Three trends have emerged in the international politics after 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US — international cooperation and coalition against terrorism, expansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and unilateral imposition of wars. Terrorism is crime against humanity and poses threat to the civilised way of life. Countries need to strengthen their capacity to fight terrorism and the international cooperation against terrorism needs to be increased.

Seven East European countries — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia — joined the NATO in April 2004 taking the total membership of the NATO to 26. The Warsaw Pact, an apparatus of the Cold War, was dissolved while the NATO is being expanded. It is a serious threat not only to Russia, but it exerts an adverse impact on world peace. This is probably why former Russian premier Yevgeny Primakov mooted an idea to forge a strategic triangle between Russia, China and India to counterbalance NATO, although it is yet to be realised. This idea need not be dumped since a more persuasive global role of India, China and Russia could contribute to a more sustainable world order.

The US has imposed war against Afghanistan and Iraq, which has led to mass sufferings. In fact, war in itself has been proved as terror on a big scale. Not only have the weapons of mass destruction not been found in Iraq, but the US in its war in Iraq has sidelined the UN. The resistance of Iraqi people against the war imposed on them continues. History shows that unilateralists can never win. So, the UN should be given full play in the international affairs. The recent developments in the field of regional cooperation seen in Asia, Africa, Latin America and integration of EU are positive.

Some signs of transition from unipolar to multipolar world have been observed lately. The EU took a different position in Iraq war than the US. The third world countries like China, India and Brazil have taken collective positions in some of the international forums. The protests in many parts of the world like in the ministerial conference of the WTO in Cancun, Mexico, against the marginalisation of the poor are significant. India and Pakistan should become partners in the Shanghai forum that is comprised of central Asian countries and China; and the similar status to China in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation should be given. This would consolidate South-South cooperation and solidarity between Afro-Asian peoples.

The Nepal government is getting arms and ammunition from India, the US, the UK and other countries. The rebels are getting support from Revolutionary International Movement and Coordination Committee of Maoist People’s Organisation in South Asia. But, there are very few who support our peace process. Therefore, one of the objectives of the Nepali civil society should be to seek support for peace in home and abroad.

Attempts should be made at national, regional and international levels for the sake of cultural pluralism and unity in diversity. We must oppose both terrorism and war and discourage the cult of violence and militarisation. We must oppose unilateralism and promote multilateralism and cooperation for world peace. We must respect human rights and seek solution through dialogue.