SDG 16 | Is Peace About You? And Only You?

Lamps might be different, but the light they shed is the same.

We are not that distant in the future from the devastating consequences of recent world wars in the past century.  For a brief moment of history, they forced us a step closer to eternal peace.

The 1940’s had not just been a dark decade of global warfare, but a hopeful one for a phoenix our predecessors summoned called AIESEC—a non-profit organisation which is striving to reach perpetual peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential. All the same, fast forward to the present, and, once again, the world is in an enormously disharmonious state.

First things first, what do you think about peace? Do you appreciate its importance on a daily basis or will you only do so when it is gone, just like so many other things in your life?

synonyms for peace
Synonyms for Peace

What is peace?

  •         Lack of war with other heterogeneous groups based on social labelling?
  •         Harmony with nature and all other living things or not so alive such as artificial intelligence?
  •         No conflict with the environment?
  •         No fear of violence?
  •         No fight with loved ones?
  •         Peace of mind?

Whose mind is at peace anyhow? Is it just mine? Or for our survival, must we rally behind the necessity to redefine the nature of groups themselves? I mean those where we mentally and sometimes entirely unconsciously feel we belong? What if the core converging force could be the fact that we all belong to the same race? Would such an ideal make us more likely to value peace? Would it make us more likely to persevere perpetually?

How well are we doing not being at war in August 2018? Let’s take a glimpse at the ongoing armed conflicts—right this very moment—on our tiny globe-shaped speck in the galaxy:

Current State of Ongoing Wars - How peace is evidently not perpetuating - SDG 16 Peace and Justice
Current State of Ongoing Wars aka how peace is evidently not perpetuating – SDG 16 Peace and Justice (1)

This blood-stained map doesn’t look reassuring. It seems as though almost half the world is at war!

What is scarier is that many of these conflicts have been here for decades. That says a lot about our abilities to make peace, not to mention our skills at keeping it. The most extended conflict, which is still causing fatalities at the moment, is in Iran—the Arab separatism in Khuzestan, ASMLA insurgency broke out way back in 1922(1). The most deadly still ongoing conflict is the 1978 War in Afghanistan which has a cumulative loss of human lives of nearly two million.

How does the state of humanity look in your mind after these morbid statistics came to your attention? Are you someone who is hiding a thought similar to the following in your mind? ‘Well, these places are all underdeveloped. But even if they weren’t, it is not my issue; some countries can’t make peace with each other. My tribe is different, you see? In my country, we managed to keep our act together.

Let me break it down to you why this mindset is distancing ourselves from other humans and may even annihilate us all. Firstly, let’s learn more about and consider our shared history of wars.

Global deaths in conflicts since 1400
Global deaths in conflicts since 1400

Most lives were sacrificed at the 2nd World War so far in the last circa 600 years. And that wasn’t that long ago. Around 70 years back, when we came out of it into a currently existing ‘peace’ state. No perpetuating of a longer peace period is found in our history. How does it make you feel?

After all, the scariest is to face with the fact that our conflicts are getting more in frequency, moving towards the current. As well as the total of deaths are on historical high. I mean from 1400 till today, the middle of the last century is the period we had lost the most souls on earth due to a war. Have we learned from it anything at all?

Until the millennium, deaths caused by conflict (military + civilian) are dropping. That is positive. On the contrary, it is worrying to see the last few years, the battle death rate is slightly climbing upwards again. Which is insane, considering the fact that the last moment we had this rate turning around and rising, was back in the 1960’s.

Read more at part 2 of this article:


If you got encouraged by this, please check out these options to ACT:

Call to action:

  1. Read more →
  2. Discuss the following topic with your sympathisers: Why creating peace and inclusive societies are relevant to create sustainable development?
  3. Find a project and reach out to the host entity to support them with advice or funds to deliver it, especially west African entities. The reason is the urgent need to deliver SDG-related changes there.
  4. Sponsor and motivate someone in your world to take a global volunteer project with AIESEC → I suggest one in the Benin Republic →

Admittedly, AIESEC initiatives have barely any resources to make things happen—it is a real struggle—I was the Marketing Director in Benin for the 2015-16 term. For more information about my predicament there, please contact me directly at

Article was written by Krisztina Kapuvári (findyourownlight) and originally posted on 3rd October 2018 on Alumnet of AIESEC Alumni International – the platform available only for registered AIESEC alumnus.

Reposted on “whatareyoustillwaitingfor” blog, available for public.

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of AAI.

Original Article Rights:

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