The world stands at an existential crossroads.
The nightmare scenario of a global nuclear holocaust is frighteningly becoming a possibility. The massive attacks on Ukraine and the impending threat of use of Weapons of Mass Destruction have brought the world to the threshold of self- annihilation. The heart-wrenching scenes of Ukraine attacks have shocked the world.
This has to stop.
We join Pope Francis in appealing to the rulers of Russia — and to all others who believe in the power of violence to solve world problems through peaceful means and dialogue in the UN. We are heartened by the united response of the world community in the UN where more than 140 countries voted against this war of attrition which threatens to destroy human security, respect for global institutions.
Humanity is the main stakeholder in these geo-strategic war games. History is a cruel teacher. Exactly a century ago, when a spiralling pandemic strangled the world, megalomaniac men unleashed the demons of two sadistic world wars. More than 135 million people were killed by war in the 20th century. The memory of the holocaust remains a festering wound in the human conscience.
There were no victors in those wars. History mummified those evil men in unmarked graves as fossils of human cruelty.
Let not history repeat itself in the 21st century. The world has suffered a lot, encountering the multidimensional crisis of a pandemic that killed millions dealing a blow to the economy, impoverishing millions. This is the time for global healing not hurting.
We appeal directly to President Putin. Russia is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, tasked with promoting world peace and ensuring the rights of every nation. We appeal to Russia to cease attacks on Ukraine, and return to the UN for peaceful resolution of all issues.
Peace is always possible, peace is the only way for humanity’s future.
Cardinal Charles Bo, SDB
President, Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC)