Last year, the United Nations on its 70th Anniversary, ushered the transformative Post-2015 phase with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . The Agenda provides the global architecture of security, progress and prosperity for all nations and peoples of this world. It is a new paradigm for harmonizing the three pillars of any society: economic advancement, human development and the environment. The Agenda was followed by the historic Climate Change Agreement signed in Paris in December 2015, to safeguard our precious planet from being ravaged.
Furthermore, the wars and conflicts of recent years have displaced and turned over 60 million people into refugees - the largest since World War II. We have witnessed gross atrocities and violations of human rights, especially of women and children. We are confronted by alarming nuclear tests, the launch of ballistic missiles, as well as modernization and proliferation of all forms of weapons of mass destruction – biological, chemical and radiological. These are compounded also by cybercrime that can disrupt the world order.
Let us all therefore observe a minute of silence, at noon local time, wherever you may be, dedicated to honour those killed in conflict and offer solidarity to the survivors who live with daily trauma and pain. We are thus called on to focus peace so as to revere life and build human capacity rather than deadly weapons. Perhaps it is easier to pick up a weapon than to lay down a grudge. It is simpler to find fault than to find forgiveness..
In 2016, when we begin to implement the SDGs, we need to affirm the right of all people to peace. Peace is a long road that we must travel together – step by step, beginning today. Let us all reflect on peace – and what it means for our common human family. In this complex and troubled world of threats and challenges of insurmountable proportions, we redouble our commitment to promote solidarity, human dignity, equality and social justice for all through our actions, thoughts and prayers. .
There can be no peace without development and likewise development provides the foundations for enduring peace. The SMVA Trust, as a committed partner of the United Nations, pledges to work for the ideals and objectives of this unique world body that has no parallel of its own. We will work to implement its mandates of poverty eradication, promoting social justice and fostering human rights for all, which can be achieved through the 17 Social Development Goals.
The SMVA Trust strives to foster global citizenship and building peaceful inclusive societies that embraces diversity through the values of tolerance and mutual respect. "Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future" should be our guiding dictum. Peace is precious.
In addition, let us also not forget that world peace is realized through individual inner peace as we engage in reflection, meditation and a spiritual transformation of ourselves.