By Ved Nanda
President Ikeda’s reflections in the aftermath of 9/11 on the power of dialogue above all and his sage advice to listen and learn from those different from us should resonate with all who aspire for global peace. Today’s world, torn by ethnic and religious conflicts, suffers from mistrust and hatred, leading to widespread death and destruction. This has led to humanitarian crises in several countries. Take for instance the Republic of Congo, where 6 million people have died and precious minerals fuel internal conflict. Look at Syria — 125,000 people dead and six million displaced, including two million refugees. We are indeed compelled to find alternatives to the use of force in resolving disputes.
The UN was established for just this purpose — to create a neutral setting where world leaders could enter into dialogue, exchange ideas, and create a climate of mutual understanding, which would eventually lead to stable and lasting peace. We have to live up to these ideals and, along with President Ikeda, believe in the power of dialogue above all.
Dr. Ved Nanda is Evans University Professor and Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law at Denver University. His focus is international law. Among many positions of international service, he is Past President of the World Jurist Association and now its Honorary President, former honorary Vice President of the American Society of International Law and now its counselor, and a member of the advisory council of the United States Institute of Human Rights.