Tuesday, April 16, 2013

UN must act now for a safer world

Cover of Sports Illustrated showing first responders immediately after first bomb blast at the Boston Marathon
Here I was, visiting family in a quiet US suburb, when we heard the horrific news of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  The three who were killed include an eight-year-old boy, waiting at the finish to cheer on his Dad. 

Now, what kind of evil mind would concoct such a terrible deed?  How could someone plot to build bombs and place them so that innocent folks from all over the world could be killed or hurt, so that Patriot's Day, a day of celebration would become one of mourning.

I believe there are many dangerous influences which contribute to such thinking and action.  Firstly, the video games which children are playing from a tender age, desensitising them from the real horror of killing in real life.  Then the limited educational opportunities for some folks who cannot think for themselves, but are easily swayed by cheap, divisive political arguments.  Then the extremists of all religions who are so rigid in their beliefs, that it overrides our basic humanity.

I grieve for the American people, who are the kindest folks I have ever met.  Even in the midst of yesterday's tragedy, there were moving stories of heroism as people ran, not away from the bombing site, but towards the victims to give help.

The United Nations, created at the end of World War II to preserve world peace by addressing global issues, must now take a more pro-active approach to the prevention of terrorism.  It should examine the mindset of those who commit these horrible acts and urge member states to enact policies and laws that will nurture peaceful, enlightened and productive citizens. 

Member states should take more active interest in the human resources at the United Nations - we need the brightest, best creative thinkers and implementers at the UN to address this growing threat to a life of order, goodwill and mutual trust.

This must now be the number one priority of the United Nations, with the wholehearted support of all its member states. We owe it to our children to do everything in our power to make the world safer and better for them.

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