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22 September 2001
If there is no peace - there is war. War has never built the world - it has destroyed the world. Ninety per cent of the world's misery, hunger, disease, famine, drought, poverty, refugees and backwardness are caused by war.
Terrorism and war are the two sides of a coin. When two elephants fight the grass will be destroyed. When any kind of war or terror is applied in a country the children, women and the elderly - all innocent civilians - are the victims.
Over the last few decades the world has forgotten one important point. The world is travelling blindfold - not looking back at human history - and that is why we are in a global crisis.
Let us look back - at the world structure globally, at the way the UN was structured (over 50 years ago) and at the way it is trying to move ahead using the same structure, yet within a new century, using "veto power". At this time the world political clergies are preaching peace and democracy but applying the opposite. The good words now belong in a museum - democracy, human rights, truth, honesty, and peace. In the real world their applicability has been taken over by the opposite.
The UN has to be changed to a position where every nation has an equal voice and equal power in the making of decisions - not just a few powerful nations. There is a proposal to reform the UN, but reform is like a mechanical repair - trying to fix broken things - it is worthless and the world now needs that essential tool for human progress - Change!
There is a durable solution for the current global dilemma, but what happened in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania is sad. Innocent people have lost their lives. What happened there is unforgettable and unforgivable. No one in their right mind as a human being will support that sort of action unless they are truly evil. But this type of tragedy is happening every day in the voiceless part of the world - people are killed, bombed, attacked by terrorists - by war mongers - every day, every hour, every second in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and in other poverty-stricken parts of our globe.
War has never solved any problem in human history, is not solving any problem and will not solve any problem - Ever! In the past, primitive justice called for an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth - this will not heal the world's injuries - this type of justice will only cause more damage.
The world has to draw a new strategy of peace and justice, not revenge or vengeance. Those who apply terror and war should be brought to justice and for this to succeed on a global scale we will need to create a global justice system.
We should be able to see the devil's teeth behind the smiling face. In this technological age we cannot move ahead using the old global systems - we cannot travel with a rusty, worn-out transportation system.
I am one of the luckiest people in the world - human fate brought me to the most peaceful part of the world. New Zealand is not only my second home, it is a country of good, peace-loving, concerned, wise, intelligent citizens. It is a country that fought with South Africa against apartheid, a country that fought across the oceans against colonial invasion in Africa. It is a small but beautiful country with a good name and history. We should keep that history alive as we are doing today.
Let us unite to build a new and peaceful global order.
God bless New Zealand. God bless the world.
Yilma Tafere Tasew, Ethiopian poet, now living in Aotearoa.