Written by Beni Williams, 29.
What is unity? Oxford Dictionary describes it as the state of agreeing and working together; the state of being joined together to form one unit.
War. Oppression. Hatred. Racism. These are a few words that have no place in today’s society, but unfortunately, they are all too commonplace around the World, from the United States to Europe, China and beyond.
Those four words represent just some of the things which are causing division between nations and neighbours and are preventing peace around the globe. In this piece of writing I will outline three areas that I believe are key to establishing a more unified and peaceful world. The topics are broad but have huge impacts on our ability as a society to move forward together rather than as individuals.
1. Racism and hate-crimes
The exposure of police brutality in the killing of the unarmed George Floyd in the USA has sparked mass protests around the World and, sadly, looting and rioting has followed these peaceful protests. I, for one, am outraged that there are people dragging the memories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery through the mud. This is not what they deserve. They have been unlawfully killed by people who should be protecting them, and they have now lost their voice, alongside their life. Instead it is up to their friends, family, community and country to stand up and say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!”.
We must teach the next generations that being a different skin colour does not matter
Now is the time to look past the skin of another human and to see them for who they are. They are a person who has a family, a person with a 9 to 5 job, a person who you sit next to and cheer with when your team wins and a person whom you can call a friend. I've seen videos of white people questioning why a black person is coming out of an apartment building or how they have gotten access to a gated residential area or even asking why they are sat in their car eating a burger. I am ashamed of the human race when I see examples of this unfold, usually in videos which surface online.
I am not more superior than a person of colour because of the colour of my skin. I was born in Europe to a pale white family. If I were born in Brazil, my skin colour would likely be different, and likely different again if I were born anywhere else in the world. The colour of our skin does not define us, our actions and our personalities do.
RACISIM HAS NO PLACE IN THE 21ST CENTURY! We have come a long way since the 1800s and the 1930s through 1960s...we must teach the next generations that being a different skin colour does not matter and that no race is more superior than the others.
2. International peace and cooperation
According to the UN there are 193 member states from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. There are also two non-members who hold observer status: Vatican City (under the name Holy See) and State of Palestine.
Surely, there are more than 193 countries worthy of representation and having their voice heard? Well there are many regions in the World that have little to no UN recognition as a sovereign nation, like Kosovo and Somaliland. But these two places, along with South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and several others have their own currency, government, flag, national anthem, identity etc and yet not one is recognised as a sovereign nation. Why? Because POLITICS!
Let us take Kosovo. Between 1998 and 1999 this small region in the Balkan region of Europe was thrown into the chaotic Kosovo War conflict. The war was fought between KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) and the Republic of Kosova against Yugoslavia (aka Serbia & Montenegro). The war started because the KLA was angered at Serbian persecution of Kosovo Albanians. This war fuelled the desire for Kosovo to pursue independence in 2008, 2 years after Serbia & Montenegro split into two sovereign nations. The independence of Kosovo had been recognised by 115 UN Member states but Serbia, who has been against Kosovo’s independence since Day 1, has managed to persuade a handful of nations to withdraw their recognition of Kosovo, these include; Madagascar, Suriname, Papua New Guinea and Ghana.
Some World leaders will have to step down so that all this can be achieved
One of my favourite TV programmes is the Eurovision Song Contest, which was created in the 1950s to UNITE Europe together after the atrocities of World War 2. Over the last few years, Kosovo has attempted to join the contest and when it came for the other participants to vote on Kosovo’s entry, although there is suspicion that Serbia persuaded other’s to vote against Kosovo joining, this has yet to be proven BUT there are several nations like Russia and Spain who do not recognise Kosovo as an independent, sovereign nation.
I feel that if a region has excellent reasons to declare itself independent, like Kosovo from its oppressor Serbia or like South Sudan who feel they were totally different from their northern neighbour Sudan, then that region should be freed, that is why I fully support the independence of the following regions; KOSOVO, SOMALILAND, SAHRAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, TIBET, TAIWAN, ABKHAZIA, SOUTH OSSETIA, PALESTINE, SRPSKA and VOJVODINA along with many others.
3. Worldwide disarmament
Now is the time that every leader in the World, from President Trump to Emperor Naruhito to sit down in one room and talk about World Peace and Unity. It is time to destroy the stockpiles of nuclear weaponry, lay down our guns, remove our tanks and move together as a World to better our Planet.
We need to start focusing on the more important issues facing our people, poverty, disease, malnutrition, lack of clean water and much more. Why must we continue to fight over land, religion and oil when we need to learn to share? We must share in each other’s beliefs, build pipelines so that nations can benefit from the rich oil and share in new ideas for greener and cleaner forms of energy.
It may indeed take more than 15 years to completely have unity and peace on Earth
It is time to offer the olive branch of peace to our enemies and for everyone to reach rational and practical ideals so that everyone is happy. So that Israel and Palestine can co-exist side by side, or the North and South Korea can unify, or for China to finally recognise Taiwan as a sovereign nation OR that they are the rightful Government.
Some World leaders will have to step down so that all this can be achieved. We just need to find a way to convince them that this must be done for the greater good of Planet Earth.
So, can we achieve unity by 2035? I feel that if we want to reach this goal then we need to start now. I would happily stand in front of our leaders and rant at them for a few hours about how we need to start looking after our people and how it is right to reach out to our enemies and make peace.
It may indeed take more than 15 years to completely have unity and peace on Earth but if we do not act now, then I fear conflicts will flare up more and more frequently.