United Nations Charter Day
Promoting Peace and Human Rights with Love and Conscience
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze
President of Federation of World Peace and Love
Vice-President of Association of World Citizens
Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men
June 26, 2022
From 1914 to 1945, in just 30 years, the world experienced two world wars. More than half of the world's population was involved in the wars, and more than 100 million people lost their lives. After suffering the pain of war, on June 26, 1945, representatives from 50 countries signed the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, USA, signifying people's good intentions, aspirations for peace, and willingness to maintain international security. On October 24 of the same year, the United Nations Charter came into force and the United Nations was officially born.
However, the smoke of war has never been far away. Today marks the 77th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. The current global situation is tumultuous: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, extreme weather events are becoming more common, natural and man-made disasters are increasing, and regional tensions are escalating. Unease pervades the globe, as déjà vu to the scenes right before the outbreak of two world wars. UN Secretary-General António Guterres once again called on the world to pay attention to the original purpose of the United Nations Charter, saying, “The document enshrined a determination to establish a new international order built with the purpose of avoiding a third world war.” He also emphasized, “In an era of spreading hatred and impunity, the Charter reminds us of the primacy of human dignity and the rule of law.”
The UN Charter places particular emphasis on the inseparability of human rights and peace. Human rights are innate and cannot be taken away, including the right to life, equality, property, physical freedom, economic freedom, freedom of religion or belief, and others. Disregard for, or even violation of, any of these human rights is the source of conflict between people and potential unrest between nations. To solve the root cause of problems, we cannot rely solely on the United Nations Charter to constrain all countries in the world. The fundamental way is to awaken everyone’s conscience, and everyone should start with themselves and take voluntary action to safeguard human rights together.
Over 500 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, and over 6.2 million people have lost their precious lives. Human rights violations and contempt are like viruses, spreading silently from person to person and from country to country. It is also like a frog being boiled in warm water, and the danger is not easily detected, but when problems emerge and conflicts occur, they may cause more damage than the COVID-19 pandemic. War is the most obvious example. There is a famous saying in the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine: "Ordinary physicians treat diseases, extraordinary physicians treat people, and superior physicians treat ‘the heart.’” There are vaccines and medicines to fight viruses, but how can we treat the poison of the heart? Awakened conscience is the medicine for the heart. People can find this antidote by rediscovering themselves and listening to their inner voice.
Everyone has a pure heart like a lake, which is the conscience hidden deep within; it is inherent and not sought from outside. Conscience is the eye of the soul, which knows what is good and can remove what is harmful, illuminates our lives and the world, and is a positive force to stabilize the globe. Only with conscience can there be true love. Only with true love can there be human rights. Only with human rights can there be true peace and stability in the world.
The United Nations Charter sprang from an awakening to the risk of war and chaos, and this awakening of conscience must be implemented in our daily lives. We must first change ourselves before we can influence others and thereby transform the world. The key is to unite ourselves and to continuously apply our conscience, use our abilities, and take conscience-driven actions.
Today, as we commemorate the United Nations Charter Day, it is important to remember the original purpose of the Charter. We hope that everyone can calm their hearts and reflect on themselves daily, find their pure conscience, continue to cultivate and improve their hearts, as well as help others and themselves for altruistic purposes, allowing more people to get on board with the “culture of conscience,” which is Noah's Ark for the heart in the 21st century." As time is running out, let us practice the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and return to the original intention of pursuing peace. We call on the world, governments, international organizations, and the United Nations to work together to guide the people of the world to love themselves and others. Leaders of all nations are encouraged to practice compassion and love their own countries and the countries of others, so that the increasingly disordered world can return to a sustainable future of love and peace.
Thank you all!
*Presented at the ICDAY’s virtual event in Celebration of the 77th Anniversary of the UN Charter