Every March 5th, the United Nations (UN) launches a global effort to “maintain international peace and security” with the commemoration of the International Day for Disarmament  and Non-proliferation Awareness Day. However, what good is a holiday intended for a cause, when bullets and bombs continue to shower the world in a blatant attempt to attain power and encourage an ideology of violence. 


And this is not an isolated case because the world, as we speak, is born out of blood and war, and the glory that comes with it. But to even think about starting a war in today's age is both foolish and insensitive. 


The world has seen a history of major conflicts from the past such as World Wars 1 and 2 that led to destruction of life and culture itself. By the onset of the 21st century, there was the infamous 9/11 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the ongoing Ukraine vs. Russia war, and the blatant take over of the Taliban group in Afghanistan to name a few. 


Locally, the Philippines have recorded conflicts that have always ended with death such as the Maguindanao massacre which is considered as the “the single deadliest event for journalists in history,” the Mamasapano clash in 2015 which killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) officers, the Zamboanga crisis in 2013, and the Marawi siege in 2017. 


The cycle of violence continues and mankind has seems to found itself its favorite toys when in conflict: a gun, a huge tank, and missile bombs. 


Most recently, we have seen the surreal effect of the Israeli attacks on the Hamas group in the Gaza strip which had killed more than 30,000 Palestinians and misplaced millions of residents in the area as of this posting, and just as I write this article, more casualties are being added to this number. This has never been about protecting one’s land, it's been a genocide since its inception. 


A word that you’ve probably already heard of, the Oxford Dictionary defines genocide, as “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.” And if you want some visual representation of how genocide works, watch the news, search for photos, and observe how Israel’s attack in the Gaza strip has now become a war against the more than 2 million Palestinians.


It's funny how the UN calls for “peace and security” with the commemoration of this day when in fact, it refuses to recognize that what Israel is doing to the Gaza strip is a destruction to the values mentioned before. The very global organization that seeks to protect the rights of the people is siding with the ones destroying it. And it's not just the UN. Even the Marcos administration has its eyes more on strengthening the geopolitical relationship between the two countries over a commitment to addressing the broader humanitarian issues at play.


For context, in October of last year, the Philippines was among the 45 countries that chose to abstain from voting on a nonbinding resolution at the UN General Assembly. This resolution calls for an immediate humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas, as well as an unimpeded aid access to Gaza. Instead, the Philippines acknowledged Israel's "right to self-defense" and remain tight-lipped on the human rights abuses and war crimes of Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza.


This is not surprising considering how the country has managed its own conflicts and overlooked several human rights cases in the past including the victims of the infamous “war on drugs” campaign of former President Rodrigo Duterte. And where do we even start with President Bongbong Marcos? Even if one plays into the idea that he is a considerable deviation from his dictator father, that could never be enough to sway the fool in proving that his blood doesn’t stain the same way like the other Marcoses do. 


As we enter the age of technology, expect to see more revolutionary advancements to mankind’s favorite toys where the world becomes a playground, and the situation becomes a twisted game of "might makes right." The world only awaits its own destruction at the palm of its hands. 


We continue to live in a world where fear fuels the oppressors' grit to destroy and it's always the muzzle of a gun that gets the final talk. The innocents with little to no voice at all are silenced, sometimes through oppressive measures, sometimes through killing. Even children that can barely fight for themselves have to experience a war like this early in their life. It's cruel enough to be stripped of peace and security but what about hunger and poverty, and the right to live a normal life?


While disarmament and non-proliferation are undoubtedly crucial for creating a safer world, they cannot exist in a vacuum, let alone be words mainly printed on paper. Only through a combination of “real” disarmament efforts, commitment to international law, and unbiased dialogue and diplomacy can a path towards a peaceful future be paved. A dialogue that is not centered on political consideration but rather with the main goal of saving those who need saving. Let us not wait for our children to learn to use a gun just because we ourselves failed to protect them.

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