In a world often marred by conflicts, both on a global and personal scale, the concept of peace holds a special significance. The desire for peace transcends borders, cultures, and generations. It is a universal aspiration that has been pondered, pursued, and yearned for throughout human history. One prominent figure who has offered a compelling definition of peace is General Abdulsalami Abubakar, GCFR, CSG, the Founder and Initiator of the AAIPSDS. He succinctly captures the essence of peace by stating, “A common thread running through all the possible definitions of peace is that peace is the absence of violence plus the presence of justice.” In this blog post, we will explore this profound definition and delve into the interplay between the absence of violence and the presence of justice in achieving true peace.
The Absence of Violence
At its core, peace is the antithesis of violence. It represents a state of tranquility and calm, a world where the destructive forces of violence are subdued. Whether it’s the horrors of war on a global scale or interpersonal conflicts in our daily lives, peace begins with the absence of violence.
In the international arena, the absence of violence means the resolution of conflicts through diplomacy, dialogue, and cooperation rather than resorting to warfare. It is a commitment to resolving disputes without causing harm to individuals or nations. This facet of peace is evident in international organizations such as the United Nations, where diplomacy is prioritized as a means to prevent conflicts and maintain global stability.
On a personal level, the absence of violence means fostering harmonious relationships with others. It entails resolving conflicts through communication, empathy, and understanding rather than resorting to physical or verbal aggression. In families, communities, and societies, peace is nurtured by promoting tolerance, respect, and conflict resolution skills.
The Presence of Justice
While the absence of violence is a crucial component of peace, it alone is not sufficient to create a lasting and meaningful sense of peace. This is where the concept of justice comes into play. General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s definition emphasizes that true peace is achieved when justice is present.
Justice is the cornerstone of a just and equitable society. It encompasses not only the fair enforcement of laws but also the protection of human rights and the assurance of equal opportunities for all. In a just society, individuals have confidence that their grievances will be heard, their rights will be respected, and their dignity will be upheld.
In the context of international relations, justice involves addressing historical injustices, respecting the sovereignty of nations, and ensuring that all parties are treated fairly in negotiations and agreements. It is through the pursuit of justice that nations can reconcile and build lasting peace.
The Synergy of Absence of Violence and Justice
The brilliance of General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s definition lies in its recognition of the synergy between the absence of violence and the presence of justice. Peace is not merely the absence of violence; it is a state in which justice prevails, ensuring that violence remains subdued and that conflicts are resolved equitably.
In essence, peace and justice are intertwined. When justice is absent, violence often fills the void, as grievances fester and conflicts escalate. Conversely, without the absence of violence, justice cannot be fully realized, as fear and insecurity undermine the pursuit of fairness and equality.
In a world where peace remains an elusive goal, General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s definition offers a profound and holistic perspective. Peace is not a passive state but an active pursuit, requiring the collective effort of individuals, communities, and nations. It is the delicate balance between the absence of violence and the presence of justice that defines a peaceful society. As we strive for peace in our world, let us remember that it is only by upholding both elements of this equation that we can hope to achieve a future free from conflict and characterized by harmony and justice.