The Culture of Peace, Nobel Peace Prize 2021

The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

George Bernard Shaw

Last week, on Friday the 10th, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in Oslo to journalists María Ressa, from the Philippines, and Dmitri Muratov, from Russia, who were awarded by the Norwegian Academy in recognition of their efforts to safeguard the freedom of expression. In their respective acceptance speeches, they warned that the world needs independent journalism to counter the power of authoritarian governments. María Ressa expressed that it is necessary for independent journalism to survive, first by providing greater protection to journalists and defending them against states that attack journalists. For his part, Dmitri Muratov declared that journalists are the indispensable requirement for progress and the antidote to tyranny.

It is evident that both the laureates and the Norwegian Academy are aware of the importance of transparency by governments and that the word leaves its mark, has power and influences positively or negatively and that the measure of the power of language is the measure of the ability to influence oneself or others.

Let us remember that in every word we have the power of peace and, therefore, the power of the culture of peace.

While the highest world level is awarded to those who defend freedom of expression, as we commented in our previous collaboration, the tenant of the National Palace, acting as spokesman for his government, strives to dilute transparency by appearing daily before the media, both in his morning sessions as in his tours, to spread inaccuracies and fallacious data that are the mainstay of his popularity. Since June 30 of this year, he has included a weekly section in his morning newspaper in which he talks about the “lies” that, in his opinion, are published in the media. This section called “Who is who in the lies of the week” is far from being an exercise of the right of reply, since it does not clarify the information or deny what has been published with data. Sadly, it is used to disqualify journalists and the media, slander them, insult them, accuse them and diminish them for daring to exercise freedom of expression, exposing analyzes based on real data that sometimes contradict what the President said. It is, therefore, to maintain popularity regardless of the generation of more conflicts, more controversies and greater polarization. With these smokescreens the culture of peace and dialogue is hindered.

More than half of the President’s term has passed and we see, with growing concern, that he still does not take advantage of the element on which solutions are built or conflicts are disarticulated, which is communication. Working on the disarticulation of the conflict and the construction of solutions is a different way of interacting and relating, that is possible if the type of communication is modified.

With efficient communication through dialogue, consensus, tolerance and respect, as well as a firm adherence to the law and therefore the unwavering will to comply with the Constitution and the laws derived from it, we can restore the social fabric, recover harmony, as well as build national unity to achieve the desired general well-being.

As we have commented on several occasions, the institutionalized polarization from the official discourse fosters discord that, taking into account the economic, insecurity and health situation that affects everyone, translates into a breeding ground for violence and hatred.

It is known that the concept of hatred is opposed to the culture of peace. It is our duty to address such a delicate issue and insist on the danger involved in promoting it and the need to mitigate it. Especially at this time of the end of the year that invites reflection.

The season of end-of-year festivities, which in Mexico traditionally begin on December 12 and end on January 6, known colloquially as “Puente Guadalupe Reyes”, is an opportunity to consider a change of course using dialogue, the construction of bridges with all sectors and apply an orchestration policy that allows the participation of all through synergy projects.

This year, like the previous one, has been atypical for various reasons: the persistence of the pandemic, the shortage of medicines, rising inflation and the increase in violence, among other adversities. For this reason, instead of enjoying the passage of a festive bridge, we are experiencing something that we could call, as a year ago, “Guadalupe Reyes Tunnel”. Indeed, it seems that we are still in a dark and hostile tunnel through which we travel and that seems to have no end.

This situation leads us to greater weakness, it translates into a disorganized, threatened and attacked civil society that puts harmony and our future at stake.

The contempt for harmony, science, education, public institutions of higher education and culture that is evidenced in daily measures and actions promoted by the National Palace is worrying.

The reality imposed by the new normal demands that we all promote a harmonious coexistence, in a culture of peace.

It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent growing discord from turning into hatred that can spiral out of control.

Solidarity among all can be a retaining wall against violence, to strengthen the economy and to avoid the contagion of Covid 19.

Let us remember that every conflict or controversy deserves to be managed, prevented or resolved so that it does not escalate and become a large or noisy conflict, a social crisis that triggers violence that would place us at risk of self-destruction, of destroying the other and life. Social.

It seems unknown that the value of the truth gives value to the word. We insist that dialogue is the path to detente.

* The author is a lawyer and professional mediator.


Twitter: @Phmergoldd

Professional lawyer and mediator

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The Culture of Peace, Nobel Peace Prize 2021