Is global peace possible?
Global peace is undoubtedly the foundation for the global prosperity in the long run. Therefore, it is also the shared aspiration of almost all countries world. However, the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war has shattered this aspiration. Since February 24, 2022, despite the global backlash, Russia still waged war against Ukraine. This war has been shaking people’s confidence in global peace (The United Nations). It was against this backdrop that I interviewed a best friend of mine who has been following the global dynamics for a long time. He is working on his Master’s Degree in international relations, and has a keen interest in the issue of global peace. Based on the ideas that he shared with me during the interview, global peace is indeed possible in our lifetime.
He mainly pointed out globalization as the leading factor that will lead to sustained global peace. To be more specific, he listed three sub-factors. First of all, the globalization has connected all countries to one another in the last two centuries. For example, due to the trend of globalization, the trade volume of the world has been climbing sharply from 1950 to 2018 (Esteban and Beltekian). In order to reach out into larger market share, countries have to forge better relations with their trading partners. Therefore, there have been a rising number of mutual exchanges including high-level meetings between government officials and state visits etc. Therefore, it is fair to say that countries, big and small, cannot afford to wage wars against each other and interrupt the current momentum of the international relations. This is the reason why the last decades have been relatively peaceful worldwide in general despite the conflicts in the Middle East and the on-and-off wars between Russia and Ukraine. Therefore, it is justified to say that the global peace will be achieved in our lifetime, and it will continue to be sustained as well.
Second, all countries will work together to deter the emergence of regional conflicts that would threaten the global peace. Given that all countries have to rely on each other for their own growth, it would be imperative for all these countries to intervene in the potential or existing conflicts and even wars. For example, when the current Ukraine-Russia war broke out, many countries did not stay put and let the situation deteriorate. Instead, many countries have already placed sanctions on Russia, and tried to dissuade Russia from intensifying the relations between Russia and Ukraine. For example, severe sanctions have already been placed on two of the most important Russian financial institutions, namely Sberbank and Alfa Bank (“What Sanctions Are Being Imposed on Russia over Ukraine Invasion?”). Besides, many global chain stores such as McDonald’s and Starbucks have already decided to withdraw from the Russia market. All in all, all these economic sanctions and interventions demonstrate the willingness of countries worldwide to maintain the global peace. This synergized energy would also suggest that global peace would be achieved and sustained.
Last but not the least, there are a lot of global conventions, conferences and forums that are aimed at dealing with the global disputes that would threaten global peace, such as the World Peace Forum, The Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, International Conference on Global Peace and Security (ICGPS), and International Peace Conference etc. During each of these events, countries would gather together to discuss their regional issues as well the global disputes so that all the participants can join hands to discuss the solutions to these issues. In this sense, these events would raise global awareness of the potential threats to the global peace, and also galvanize global efforts to deal with these issues as well. Besides, there are also many international organizations that have been dedicated to maintaining global peace, such as the United Nations, International Peace Institute, Global Peace Foundation, and the US Institute of Peace etc. These organizations have also been trying to keep the good momentum of global peace. This would also forge the sustained global peace in our lifetime.
Despite these factors mentioned by my friend, there are some counterarguments that globalization is coming to an end, and there will be large-scale wars between the old and emerging superpowers in the world. After analyzing the global reaction to the pandemic and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, many experts have predicted that the era of globalization is ending. For example, O’Sullivan mentioned that many countries have been boosting their domestic market, and have been trying to be more economically independent so that they would not be impacted by international disputes or even wars. Besides, some experts have also been citing the Thucydides Trap theory to support that opinion that there will be wars between China and the US, which would have triple effect in the entire world. These arguments have been gaining a lot of attention in recent years.
In conclusion, as my friend pointed out in his ending remarks, the theories of deglobalization and the possibilities of the upcoming wars do not hold water. At least the two world wars have already demonstrated to the world the damages that war can do to people’s daily lives. Therefore, people in the world all share the aspiration that global peace is the foundation for the shared prosperity. In this sense, countries around the world would all work together to forge and maintain global peace. Therefore, global peace is definitely possible, and it will be sustained in our lifetime.
Esteban, Ortiz-Ospina, and Diana Beltekian. “Trade and Globalization.” Our World in Data, ourworldindata.org/trade-and-globalization#trade-has-changed-the-world-economy. Accessed 11 Apr. 2022.
O’Sullivan, Mike. “Globalization Is Ending – What’s Next?” Forbes, 11 Dec. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/mikeosullivan/2020/12/11/globalization-is-endingwhats-next.
The United Nations. “As Russian Federation’s Invasion of Ukraine Creates New Global Era, Member States Must Take Sides, Choose between Peace, Aggression, General Assembly Hears | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases.” The United Nations, 1 Mar. 2022, www.un.org/press/en/2022/ga12406.doc.htm.
“What Sanctions Are Being Imposed on Russia over Ukraine Invasion?” BBC News, 6 Apr. 2022, www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60125659.
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