Home > Conflict

Conflict

conflict content

Moving for Peace & Justice amidst Violence & Insecurity: This is our life in Afghanistan

By Raz Dalili

On an otherwise ordinary Tuesday in early January, an Afghani man in his mid-30s was in the courtyard outside his house in the eastern part of the country, towards the border with Iran. He heard fighting far away, but his village seemed calm. Then, a mortar flew over his walls and exploded.

"It destroyed my house and wounded 11 members of my family," he later told told an interviewer from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Four of his children were seriously injured.

Peace and security are not abstract concepts in my country. Every day, every single day, people are killed and maimed, homes destroyed, livelihoods ruined by this war that does not end.

During the first six months of the year, the UN documented 4,853 civilian casualites, including more than 1560 deaths. The UN mid-year report notes that this is a 24% increase from a year earlier. But statistics do not convey the impact that insecurity and fear have on our lives.

Let me share with you two more stories.

#withSyria

GCAP has joined with more than 110 other civil society networks and organisations to call for a peaceful resolution to the violence in Syria.

Three years after a brutal crackdown and civil war have forced 9 million Syrians - some 40% of the country's population - from their homes and killed at least 100,000 more, civil society activists across the globe held #withSyria peace vigils to show their support for the Syrian people.

From Za'atari - the largest Syrian refugee camp in Jordan - to New York, Khartoum, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Melbourne and London's Trafalgar Square, people lit candles, uploaded photos and released red balloons, a symbol of 'There is Always Hope' popularised by the British graffiti artist, Banksy.

G20 Update: Syria

Leaders from the world's richest countries traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia for the 2013 G20 Leaders Summit to discuss quantitative easing, tax policies, commodity markets and other financial matters. But the question of possible US military strikes against Syria overshadowed the meetings.

GCAP and the Feminist Task Force have issued a media release on the issue with several main points:

1.  Don't bomb Syria.  

2.  G20 countries and the United Nations must address the humanitarian crisis.  Over four million families have been displaced from their homes and 110,000 have died from conflict since the uprising against Syria's dictatorship started two and a half years ago.

3.  A political solution is needed.  And the G193 (the UN) is the proper forum to address this.

4.  Those responsible for using chemical weapons should be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court.

Arms Trade Treaty

On 3 June 2013, UN members will begin to sign a new global Arms Trade Treaty, which for the first time will regulate the international trade in conventional arms.  The treaty was overwhelmingly endorsed by the UN General Assembly two months earlier and now requires fifty signatories to come into force.  Has your country signed?  If not, press for it!

  

The Value of a Life: Peace and Human Security in a Post-2015 World

Is a life in one country worth less than a life in another?  Paul Okumu poses this question as he explores why there are more than 190 conflicts endangering lives and affecting communities across the globe . . . and why there is not greater outrage.

If 1.5 billion people don't matter, who does?

In the short travels that I have made to 'developed' countries across Europe, North America and some parts of Asia and Latin America, I have noticed one common denominator:

People value life.
Each life.
Individual life.

Peace and Human Security in South Asia: Challenges and Solutions

When it comes to security, South Asian governments take a traditional view – focusing on securing national boundaries and amassing military power. The region currently spends more than US$22 billion a year on the military. But Irfan Mufti writes that while elites in the corridors of power celebrate missile tests and military hardware purchases, little serious thought seems to be given to human development.

Syndicate content