On the Eve of UN International Day of Peace: The Mother of Peace Yet to Be Born

THE UNITED NATIONS, 29 Sep 2014

Surya Nath Prasad, Ph. D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

Initiator of UN Day and Year of Peace

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21 each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. And the UN Year of Peace was celebrated in 1986 and most of the member states of the UN held over 1,000 activities throughout the world such as special lectures and commemorative concerts, and many heads of states affirmed their pledge to work for peace.

Here I would like to enlighten the people, especially those who are not aware, about the beginning of the UN Day and Year of Peace before to start to write on the theme of the event – “The Mother of Peace yet to be born”. The story is very interesting, encouraging, inspiring, motivating and eye-opener for all, and particularly those who are engaged in the peace studies, peace education and peace activities. A South Korean world renowned peace thinker, Dr. Young Seek Choue, Founder and Chancellor of Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea and one the initiator-Founders of International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), was the original and sole initiator and advocate of the UN International Day and Year of Peace (1986). Dr. Choue’s dream for world peace through education has become true in reality when his basic concepts of International Day and Year of Peace, which he presented in his Keynote Speech entitled “The Great Imperative: Peace is More Precious than Triumph” at the International Association University Presidents ‘s Triennial Conference in San José, Costa Rica in July, 1981. The draft resolution of the International Day and Year of Peace was unanimously adopted by157 member countries of the United Nations on November 30, 1981. Dr. Choue was honored with the Award of the UN Medal in 1984 from the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his contribution of proposing the UN International Day and Year of Peace. Dr. Choue was honored with the United Nations Special Award of Meritorious Services on peace at the 51st the Commemorative Ceremony for the United Nations Day on October 24, 1996 at the UN Headquarters, New York, USA in recognition of International Day and Year of Peace for the first time in the history of the UN.

Apart from the celebrations of International Day of Peace every year in different nations of the world, Dr. Young Seek Choue being its sole initiator had been celebrating International Day of Peace every year in his own country, with a few exceptions, by organizing International Peace Conferences on different themes of peace since 1982, and still it is celebrated every year under the auspices of his university even after his demise in 2012 (on February 18). The author of these lines was also invited by Dr. Choue as a Guest Speaker for six times at the International Peace Conferences taking the responsibility of his travel and accommodation expenses. In 2004, Dr. Choue invited the author of this article Dr. Surya Nath Prasad for teaching as a Visiting Professor at The Graduate Institute of Peace Studies (the sister institution of his Kyung Hee University), where he taught the Concept of Peace. The Graduate Institute of Peace Studies of Kyung Hee University is unique and exceptional in the world in the sense that it provides full scholarship covering tuition fees, living expenses and necessary books for two and a half academic years to all the admitted students. The UNESCO awarded The Graduate Institute of Peace Studies in 1993 with UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.

Besides the creation of original idea of International Day and Year of peace, Dr. Choue’s contributions are in all the tree areas of peace, viz. peace ideas, peace studies and peace activities. We know the contributions of the recipients of Nobel Peace Prize whose contributions are in any one field of peace. More than 125 Celebrities of different of different parts of the world have written essays on Dr. Choue with different titles including Former Secretary-General of the          United Nations Javier Perez de Cuellar and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Who have written on the theme: “Dr. Young Seek Choue, Peace Pilgrim”, and “Chancellor Choue and the United Nations” respectively. The author of these lines has also written on Dr. Choue on the theme “Dr. Young Seek Choue: An Apostle of Peace” and this essay of the author of this article has been included as leading and opening article in the book published in two Volumes with the title: Global Leader with Great Vision Who is Dr. Young Seek Choue. However, Dr. Choue’s achievements, contribution activities and services to the mankind for their peace are so wide, deep and vast that nobody can write on all spheres of his riches and competence. Though Dr. Young Seek Choue is not in this world physically, his ideas and works of peace are still with us.   Therefore, with the submissions and presentation about Dr. Choue’s ideas, studies and activities of peace, I appeal to all the peace lovers to pay deep homage and thanks to Dr. Young Seek Choue for his initiation of International Day and Year of Peace on this auspicious occasion of UN International Day of Peace on September 21, 2014, and to follow the path shown by him through the practice for peace and its sustenance.

Education: The Mother of Justice

I shall try to deal with the following terms, viz. literacy, learning, mis-education, non-education and education (man-making), and how education can be the foundation of justice or how it can be called the mother of justice.

Literacy:

In the beginning, there were 3 Rs, viz. Reading, Writing, Arithmetic as principles for literacy, later 4 Rs were added in the aims of literacy, viz.:, Responsibility (Civic), Relationship (Social), Reliance (Self Economically) and Respect ( of Differences). But it is not education in true sense as based on man’s innate power in all without any discrimination to be unfolded. Certainly sometimes even some people everywhere are highly educated among the illiterates and less-learned. Some saints and sages, philosophers, educationists and even scientists were, and may be in this category.

Learning:

Learning knowledge contained in different disciplines and getting degrees of Bachelor, Master and Doctorate and joining indifferent professions like professors, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyer, judges, bureaucrats, and other professionals, is also not education. Learning the warning “Cigarettes smoking is injurious to health” written on the pockets of cigarettes, not only illiterates and literates smoke cigarettes, but learned people like doctors, professors and other professionals also smoke cigarettes. What you may say them? Can they be called learned? In all the leanings of different subjects are leading to the same happenings and results. Hence learning without awakening and practice is not education.

Mis-education:

Everywhere from nursery to higher education, there is preparation for better and high salaried posts. A very few privileged well-to-do in every society have opportunities and means to get these education. And they exploit each other of their ignorance by their expert and specialized knowledge gained with license to practice. And the most exploited are those by all of them, whose numbers are many, everywhere in every society, are those who have neither opportunities nor means to afford these exploitative so-called higher education. In fact, this also is not education, but this is mis-education, which manifests intellectual body neglecting other bodies in every man and woman and only to those who have the chances to have this.

Non-education:

57 million children and 69 million adolescents are still out of school as per UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 2014, and numbers are more adults everywhere who are not in classrooms of the institutions of so-called higher education, they are all out of in touch with mis-education. However, they are products of non-education of exploitative mis-education. Hence there is no hope of peace from the products of mis-education and non-education of mis-education., because this education destroys those to whom it reaches, it destroys those to whom it is denied.

Education:

True education is the mother of justice. The nature of true education everywhere is the same, because integrated manifestation of universally inherent five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit in every man and woman without any discrimination, is education. If education is based on the above cited elements and practiced in campus and out of campus education till the end of life by ever one everywhere, justice will prevail and peace will come out, and violence has no place there.

Justice: The Mother of Peace

Justice is the mother of peace. But it is yet to be born. Because players in the games of justice, law, judiciary, legislative, executive, bureaucracy and other different professions are the products of existing mis-education and non-education everywhere. If men and women have mis-education and non-education, they would practice injustice, they would take law in their own hands; judiciary, legislative and executive would become the centers of smugglers, anti-social and criminals. People would exploit people. People would hijack justice entitled for other people. And justice and peace would be the greatest casualties.

The heads of nation-states did not listen nor they are listening to set right the education on the advises of Upanishads (700 BC), Buddha (500 BC), Socrates (400 BC), and Christ about “Know thyself”, nor they follow the advice of John Amos Comenius of 17th Century about education for all men and women to be educated fully to full humanity and wholly educated for perfect human nature, views of Swami Vivekanand about education as manifestation of perfection already in man, understanding of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi of 19th Century about education as natural, harmonious and progressive development, thinking of John Dewey of 20th Century about education as the development of capacities in the individual for control his environment and fulfill his possibilities, definition of Mahatma Gandhi about education as drawing out of the best in man and child–body, mind and spirit, ideas of Abraham Maslow about man’s hierarchy of needs, and findings of the study of Johan Galtung, and Anders Wirak on 12 human basic needs plus ecology of man which they consider peace (security) when the basic needs are fulfilled, and violence when the basic needs are threatened. However, every man and woman everywhere without any discrimination is made of five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit; therefore education must be based on these elements for integral manifestation to be just leading to peace.

This education was not in practice anywhere in the past hence there was injustice everywhere which led to violence, killings, wars including world wars, genocides, ethnic cleansing, poverty, exploitation and oppression . In the modern times also, this education is neglected everywhere hence there is massive injustice in every part of the world, which has led to global terrorism including exploitation, oppression, poverty, disease and ignorance.

Therefore, we shall have to give birth to justice for giving birth to peace. For this, we shall have to set right to education (man-making) for all and for life-long everywhere. And this education would be in two-fold: one for existing generation, and other for coming generation. For category one, some are crippled physically, some vitally, some mentally, some intellectually and some spiritual, and many are crippled in all parts of their body. Hence we need compensatory man-making integral education for all the five bodies within ourselves to recover health. Man-making integral education based on five elements will be for coming generation because their five elements are un-crippled, uncorrupt, raw pure and very prone to be unfolded integrally to be just leading to peace. Only integral man-making education based on five elements in every man and woman universally everywhere can give birth to justice. Then justice will enable to give birth to peace. But justice – the mother of peace is yet to be born till the education based on five elements implemented and practiced everywhere.

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Dr. Surya Nath Prasad is M. A. (Sociology), M. Ed. (Experimental Education), M. Phil. (Nonviolence and Peace Studies), and   Ph. D .( Education). Dr. Prasad is a recipient of Honorary D. Lit. (Peace Education) at the hands of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma then Former President, Government of India and has taught for three decades as Assistant and Associate Professor of Education in India.  He is Former Visiting Professor of Peace Studies at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies in Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea. He is Former President and Currently Executive Vice President of International Association of Educators for World Peace. Dr. Prasad is Hon. Associate Editor of Diplomacy Journal (Republic of Korea). He is a Member of Editorial Board of Peace and Conflict Review – A Journal of UN mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica). Dr. Prasad is Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Peace Education: An International Journal. The Journal has ISSN number.  He distributes the Journal free of cost throughout the world. Website of his Journal is: http://www.sites.google.com/site/peaceeducationsnp/ One may reach him at dr_suryanathprasad@yahoo.co.in.

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 29 Sep 2014.

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