DPI/NGO panel discussion on “Determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” (organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI), in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland)

Date/Location: Thursday, June 6, 2013; 10:00-12:15; CB Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal (Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information), H.E. Mr. Paul Seger (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Switzerland), Ms. Jody Williams ( Nobel Peace Prize Winner of 1997), Mr. Ralph Zacklin (Former Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affais of the UN), Ms. Nounou Booto Meeti ( Programme Manager at the Center for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention)

Attended by: Janice H.W. Wong, Iman Yashruti

Mr. Paul Seger began the meeting by quoting the lyrics of a well-known song ”Imagine” by John Lennon – “ Imagine all the people living life in peace”- yet he questioned whether is it only dreamers that want peace. He suggested that the global community should take real actions to build peace. The Arm Trade Treaty (ATT) being signed on June 3 should be fully executed by member states to ban the illicit trades in weapons that fuel conflicts and wars.

Mr. Ralph Paul suggested that there is a strong correlation between law, war and peace. Even though there are existing laws and treaties prohibiting the use of force as a means to resolve conflicts, each country has its own interpretation of these laws and treaties is and failure of compliance is often observed. He urges the global community to take real actions to build peace. Ms. Nounou pointed out that the global military expenses reached $1.7 billion each year.

 Thehe cost of war carries on even after the war has ended because of the aftermaths – such as physical and psychological harm to time victims, destruction to infrastructure. She called for actions to eradicate the root of these problems by stopping wars from happening around the world.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner of 1997 Ms. Jody Williams made a speech regarding the negative consequences brought by wars. She encouraged people all around the world to imagine a world without war that we can live in.

She proposed that the governments invest the military expenses to improve the living condition and welfare of the people. She underscored the importance of implementing what is written on documents and treaties – turning dreams into reality.

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