This Saturday, the leaders and the citizens of the world have a collective responsibility: to show that Humanity has passed the test of civilisation at the beginning of the third millennium.
The world’s leaders have the responsibility to listen to their people, to see that the citizens they are responsible for care about important issues, which they expect their governments to respond to. This Saturday, the world’s leaders have the obligation to take into consideration the number of their subjects who gave up their free time to make themselves count in an issue which they feel in their hearts.
Friday 14th was Valentine’s Day, the International Day of Love. Love and Peace are ideals which are preached in every religion, and honoured in every creed. Love and Peace are the two objectives towards which Mankind has been striving for the last five thousand years, since the first books of the Old Testament were written. Love and Peace are held sacred by practically every thinking man, woman and child on our planet.
This weekend, the world’s leaders have a collective responsibility to make sure that Love and Peace are given a working chance. If there is evidence that Iraq has moved consistently in its position, if there is evidence that it is willing to destroy the weaponry considered illegal by the UN Security Council, then the path of peace should be taken into consideration.
The UN Security Council is the only proper forum of debate and it is there that important decisions are to be taken if Mankind is to call himself civilised. If there are members of the Council who wish to wage war, then there are others who do not and it is their responsibility to put principles and pride before cowardice and subservience and to make their vote count, even if this means using a veto.
Love and Peace, together with Honour, are the noblest goals which Mankind strives towards. If a person can look at his image in the mirror and not turn away, feeling proud that he has taken a decision which was difficult, but right, this man has gained much more than the admiration of his people.
This Saturday, the responsibility is not only with the world’s leaders, but also with its citizens. Every individual counts, whatever his or her walk of life. Every voice matters, every presence in the Demonstrations for Peace will be felt, and valued. This Saturday, everyone who values the principles of life, of love, of peace and personal honour should make their statement by joining the rallies in a civilised, peaceful and dignified way, showing their leaders, who they have elected for good reasons, what the people of the world feel and desire.
Let us not begin a new millennium with a war. Let the United Nations disarm Iraq in a new world order which is multilateral, based upon debate and dialogue, at the the UNO, and let us above all not begin the new year with a humanitarian catastrophe. The children of Iraq have suffered enough.
Finally, a message to those who wish to wage war, whatever their motives. This Saturday, take a good look at your own children and grandchildren. Look them in the eyes and say to them, honestly and frankly, that if they were in Baghdad, you would love them any less.
Please, give peace a chance. We are one family, with many squabbles, but to start a new millennium by destroying the berth of civilisation is a very sorry comment on our ability to call ourselves civilised.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.