In a world marred by conflict and rivalry, the Paris Peace Forum 2023 emerged as a beacon of hope, gathering government officials, business leaders, and civic representatives in a collective pursuit of common ground. The two-day event, scheduled for the 10th and 11th of November held under the theme “Seeking Common Ground in a World of Rivalry,” witnessed impassioned discussions, poignant moments, and a fervent plea for peace echoed by none other than the Pope himself.
On the inaugural day of the forum, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the apostolic nuncio to France, delivered a powerful message from the Pope, highlighting the sanctity of human life and the inherent responsibility to protect it. The unequivocal assertion that “no war is worth the loss of the life of even one human person” resonated throughout the forum, setting the tone for discussions that unfolded in the subsequent days.
French President Emmanuel Macron, a pivotal figure at the forum, emphasized the importance of inclusive governance and environmental preservation. Central to his address was the “Paris Pact for the People of the World,” a commitment to preventing nations from facing a false choice between combatting inequality and preserving the planet. Macron called for sovereign decision-making by nations, rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach imposed by external powers. This stance aligned seamlessly with the overarching mission of the forum: rejuvenating global governance mechanisms and fostering collaboration on pressing global issues.
A defining moment of the forum came during an aid conference for Gaza, where President Macron passionately appealed to Israel for an immediate halt to the bombing of civilians in its conflict with Hamas. Macron’s call for a humanitarian pause leading to a ceasefire underscored the human toll of the conflict and the imperative to protect innocent lives. The gravity of the situation was further accentuated by the director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who highlighted attacks on hospitals, clinics, and ambulances in both Gaza and the West Bank.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, participating remotely, advocated for a paradigm shift “from a world of rivalry to finding common grounds.” Stressing the need to address root causes of conflicts and prevent the emergence of war, Guterres echoed the forum’s core mission.
As the forum unfolded, a collective call for reform and a united approach to global challenges resonated, encapsulating the forum’s mission to create a platform for dialogue and collaboration. However, the translation of these discussions into tangible actions remains a challenge for the international community as they strive towards a more peaceful and sustainable world.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and his Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinyan contributed significantly to a panel discussion on cooperation in a world marked by rivalry, offering insights on crafting peace and building a safer world.
The Paris Peace Forum not only served as a meeting ground for leaders but also as a crucible for ideas, emphasizing the urgent need for collaborative efforts to navigate the challenges of the modern world. As the international community grapples with these discussions, the future beckons with the promise of a more harmonious and sustainable world empowered by the responsible use of artificial intelligence.
In the concluding session, the forum announced the 10 Scale-up projects that will benefit from dedicated support, reinforcing the commitment to turn discussions into concrete actions. The inclusion of a special artistic performance by the Good Chance Theatre added a touch of creativity to the closing, leaving participants with a sense of accomplishment and anticipation for the future.
As the curtains closed on the Paris Peace Forum 2023, participants became part of the PPF community, carrying forward the shared vision of a world united in its pursuit of peace and cooperation. The challenges may be immense, but the collective determination displayed at the forum suggests that the journey towards a more harmonious world has gained momentum, and the echoes of the Paris Peace Forum are bound to reverberate in international efforts for years to come.
Written by Olivier Noudjalbaye Dedingar, USA Correspondent