Open Letter to Two World Leaders: ‘I Have No Enemies and I Don’t Want War’


Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service

26 April 2021

Dear President Biden and President Putin,

I hope this letter finds you and your families well. I hope you will continue in good health to perform your important work.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for our children. I write to you both as World Leaders to ask for your advice and help in these challenging times. I would like to know what I can do, together with my friends, to help avert a Third World War and prevent further suffering and death for millions of my brothers and sisters around the world.

I have been reading the news about military build-up in Europe, South East Asia, etc., and the rhetoric used by many world leaders (words cut deeper than swords and often can never be taken back!). I wonder, “What’s to be done to make peace and prevent violence and war?”

I know in your hearts you are good men.  You both know the pain and suffering of loss in your own lives, and I believe that deep inside you don’t wish others to undergo pain and suffering.  You both know that violence, no matter where it comes from, brings unbearable suffering into the lives of those already crushed by the toils and disappointments of living such as the pandemic, famines, poverty, climate crisis, and so on. You have the power to change things by working together.   Please join forces NOW and exercise your leadership on behalf of a suffering humanity.

Having visited Russia and the USA and having met your peoples, I know they are good and feel love for each other and humanity.   I believe your peoples are not, nor they wish to be, enemies. For myself, I have no enemies; only brothers and sisters.  Yes, there is fear and anxiety about differences, but they should not divide and separate us the human family.

The artificial enmity between Russia and the USA has gone on too long already, and the world asks you to end this by becoming friends and peacemakers not only for your own peoples, but for the entire world, especially the children who deserve your help to survive violence, hunger, pandemics, wars, climate changes.  Language is so very important and the tongue is mightier than the sword.   Please, put away rhetoric of insult and abuse and start a dialogue of respect for each other and your countries.

The war games being practiced in Europe are dangerous because something may happen that will trigger a war as evidenced by the two last World Wars.  We the Peoples of the World do not want war; we want peace and disarmament, feed the hungry, and provide a better life for our children.

Please, President Putin and President Biden: Make peace-not war, start to disarm, give the world some hope.

Thank you! Love and Peace,


Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of Peace People, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See:

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 May 2021.

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