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BERLIN –  The year 2014 marks the most important anniversaries in the recent history of peace and conflict. These anniversaries both remind us of horrors that should not be forgotten but also inspire to boldly take action in the face of adversity.

100 Years Since World War I

100 years ago, in 1914, the First World War started and took over 9 million lives. After a century of peaceful co-existence, political developments in Europe led to a war that extended for the first time to further continents. US President Woodrow Wilson led his nation to join the war as he felt morally obliged to stop the slaughter, after the German scientist Fritz Haber invented chemical weapons and other until then unbeforeseen atrocities had been committed. After the first killings with chemical weapons Haber's wife immediately committed suicide, while he himself went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1919 for his inventions. Woodrow Wilson's vision was to end all wars and for this reason he initiated the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations.

75 Years Since World War II

75 years ago, in 1939, the Second World War started as German troops invaded Poland under a false pretext. Despite the goals set forth in the League of Nations, this global war was bloodier than any one before it, thanks to its numerous war fronts and significant developments in military technology. The Second World War was also marked by horrendous crimes against humanity in Nazi Germany's concentration camps, where during the Holocaust at least 6 million Jews were murdered. In Asia the worst fears became reality, when the United States used their nuclear bomb for the first time in history, killing over 200 000 civilians. In the end WWII is estimated to have caused at least 65 million fatalities. The Second World war led to the creation of United Nations, which was supposed to end all wars.

25 Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall marks a peaceful revolution carried out by the German people – under the protection of the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and further enabled by skillful behind the scenes diplomacy by Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Edward Shevardnadze, James Baker and Roland Dumas. The fall of the Berlin Wall brought the Cold War to an end, and thus finished the threat of World War III. In 1983the lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Forces Stanislav Petrov avoided the destruction of the United States by preventing the launch of Soviet Nuclear Missiles, while ignoring a series of false alarms that signaled a nuclear attack by US cruise missiles en route towards the Soviet Union.

20 Years Since the End of Apartheid
and Nelson Mandela's Presidency

Finally, 20 years ago, in 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa and abolished apartheid, the racial segregation system that had been in place for decades and discriminated people based on their race and ethnicity. In 1990, Mandela was released from jail at the age of 71, having spent 29 years of his life in prison due to political reasons. Yet, instead of retiring and leaving politics upon release, he worked furiously and with determination for the next decade in order to peacefully unite his people and bring down  apartheid. 

The Vision for 2014 & 2015 –
How To End All Wars?

After the world failed to answer the question 100 years and 75 years ago, Gorbachev and Mandela might inspire us in 2014 to answer the question of how to end all wars? How to reform the UN Security System and make the implementation of global peace the #1 goal for the UN and G8 in 2014 & 2015?

History has shown us that after great conflict the world is unified in its efforts to build an organization that would stop conflicts before they become uncontrollable. This is all incorporated in the current United Nations Charter. The UN Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which Kofi Annan started after Rwanda and Bosnia and Ban ki-Moon implemented, focuses on preventing and halting four crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing, which it places under the generic umbrella term of Mass Atrocity Crimes. In reality, however, the UN R2P has remained a pale shadow of what it was meant to be. The solution could be to transform the UN R2P from a recommendation into a binding law. Others consider this approach "pushing a dead elephant" and lobby for an extension to the rule of law and justice.

The member states of the United Nations should be reminded by the anniversaries in 2014to fulfill the original goal of the United Nations: to secure lasting global peace.

We invite you to watch the following trailers:
  • ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT by Lewis Milestone describes how a young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.
  • THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES by William Wyler tells a story of three WWII veterans returning home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.
  • GOOD BYE LENIN! by Wolfgang Becker. In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.
  • CRY FREEDOM by Richard Attenborough recounts how South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country after  attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend the black activist Steve Biko.
  • MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is a depiction of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. It is based on South African President Nelson Mandela's autobiography of the same name, which chronicle his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country's once segregated society.
  • INVICTUS by Clint Eastwood tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid.