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Balancing dignity and identity: Pathways to global peace and justice

Respect both universal human dignity and individual cultural and security concerns to achieve lasting peace

DR WONG SOAK KOON/ALIRAN

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In any effort towards peace, there are two dimensions that need to be taken into account.

First is the universal respect for human dignity and life.

Second, in an equivalent way, is the respect for particularity, such as identity, culture and security.

Both these elements are critical to bring peace and justice to a world that is engulfed in strategic calculations.

An international summit on peace in Ukraine was held last weekend in Switzerland. But Russia’s absence created an imbalance since its particular national security concerns have been ignored.

The wars in Ukraine and Gaza are examples of world leaders failing to respect the dignity and right to life of all human beings, and of failing to listen to the particular concerns of nations in the areas of identity and security.

While Ukraine has the concern that its dignity and right to life of its people have been trampled on by Russia, it has failed to consider Russia’s particular security concerns related to the expansion of Nato in Eastern Europe upon Ukraine’s membership.

It is the same in Gaza where the universal rights of Palestinians to life, liberty, and dignity have been trampled upon without understanding that the Palestinians’ right to self-determination ignores Israel’s particular concern about security.

But one will not enjoy security in a real sense by denying others their rights.

Therefore, the Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue (Acid) urges world leaders to embrace the universality of human dignity and to respect the particularistic concerns of nations that each has its own identity and security concerns.

Holding on to these principles will, in a long run, create the necessary conditions for peace to prevail. – The Star

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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