Seoul, South Korea, December 24, 2018
Last September, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) selected South Africa (125th, 2.328 points) as one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
This was based on the frequent instances of assault and violence, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) evaluation of 163 countries around the world.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, which produced the greatest number of casualties following World War II, is ranked at 126th on the GPI with 2.343 points, and Iceland is ranked number one with 1096 points. It was reported that in South Africa, China, and Russia, the economic impact of violence has increased due to greater spending for national security.
Measure and Rank
The GPI, which measures the economic value of peace, quantifies and ranks 23 indicators, including: national military budget, weapons exports, degree of violent crime, war casualties and relations with neighbouring countries.
According to a report in 2018, over the past 70 years, countries with a higher peace figure have seen their growth triple per capita compared to the countries with low peace figures. Over the past decade, countries with a higher peace figure also experienced a growth rate that was seven times higher than countries with reduced GPI.
Crime in South Africa
South Africa is dealing with violent crime, one of the indicators of the peace index. According to the South African police department’s white paper on criminal statistics, in South Africa there have been about 20,000 murders in the past year, from April 2017 to March 2018.
This means 57 people were murdered daily. This figure is the highest since apartheid was officially abolished and increased more than 7% in the last year.
Gareth Newham, an expert in crime at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, said “the rise is a wake-up call” and pointed out, “we are not going to reduce property crime or violence if we do not get our economy growing.”
Diversity, the key
The United Nations International Human Solidarity Day was observed on December 20.
It celebrates unity and diversity and promotes a joint discussion between citizens and states on the methods for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes the eradication of poverty and reduction of inequality.
The concept of solidarity has defined the work of the United Nations since the birth of the organisation.
The creation of the UN in 1945 drew the people and nations of the world together to promote peace, human rights, and social and economic development.
In the United Nations Millennium Declarations, published in 2000, Freedom, Justice, Tolerance, Respect for Nature, Shared Responsibility and Solidarity were cited as the most fundamental principles of international relations in the 21st century.
From December 18 to 20, 2017, ‘the International Human Solidarity Day’ posted the phrase ‘What does solidarity mean to you?’ on Facebook, which enabled citizens to recognize the importance of international solidarity to solve problems.
If solidarity pursues the values of a nation or a community, individualism prioritises individual freedom and rights.
Individualism originated from the basic view that it is necessary for a democratic and mature society. This is debated however, because there is also the argument that individualism goes against the interests of society and the community.
Value of Solidarity
Michael J Sandel, Professor of Political Philosophy at Harvard University, criticised extreme individualism and liberalism, saying, “the hurricane in New Orleans exposed the weaknesses of American society with thin social solidarity.”
“Opening to diverse cultures is an advantage for the United States but as a result, the spirit of solidarity (between the members of society) weakened as diversification and personalisation progressed. This is the cause of weakening the social welfare system.”
Democracy and Social Cohesion
The former Mbeki government, which held democratic elections after apartheid was abolished, popularised terms such as social cohesion, democracy, economic reconstruction and growth, and emphasised the role of the people and states in national change and development.
In 2004, the Former President Nelson Mandela said at a lecture at the University of Cape Town, “The values of human solidarity that once drove our quest for a humane society seem to have been replaced, or are being threatened, by crass materialism and pursuit of social goals of instant gratification. One of the challenges of our time, without being pietistic or moralistic, is to re-instill in the consciousness of our people that sense of human solidarity, of being in the world for one another and because of and through others.” He emphasised solving the problem (in South Africa at that time) through solidarity and integration.
The international NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), affiliated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), held the 2018 HWPL World Peace Summit, in September.
This was the fourth anniversary of the WARP Summit with the theme of ‘Collaboration for Peace Development: Building a Peace Community through the DPCW,’ supporting the common goal of the two heads of state for realising a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. Around 250,000 participants, including heads of state and religious leaders, from 21 countries attended the summit.
The Conference emphasised the need for a binding bill to fundamentally end war and support world peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
The above is the edited version of a Press Release by the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL).