Here to the side | Opinion

The war has returned to Europe.

Our world is headed for a dark future. The invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s army does not bode well for anyone. What’s more, it lights a fire that won’t be easy to put out. And here, in our country, in Aragon and in this Spain of ours, although we are ‘far away’, we will surely receive its effects.

Today it is noticeable in the escalation of prices and in routines that are no longer as they used to be. Trade exchanges, both exports and imports, have broken down. Matters as trivial as the Champions League final or the Eurovision Song Contest will not be as they were going to be. In addition, the long-awaited recovery of tourism and the desire to travel are slowed down. The economic cost is as incalculable as it is unpredictable.

The invasion of Ukraine represents a new violation of the founding principles of the United Nations

At the same time, with this war there will also be those who will increase their businesses and income statement, because as Mother Courage would say: “Wars are not bad for everyone.” It is evident that those who manufacture bullets, rifles and other weapons will be rubbing their hands selling to the highest bidder. Just as evident is that the Ukrainian population suffers from the nonsense of destruction and the deaths of both sides are already irrecoverable. We already know. And we have seen it before in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the Balkans, in Vietnam in so many places where what was written in the Charter of the United Nations is systematically forgotten.

We have to recover what was agreed there. That founding document signed on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco states: “We the peoples of the United Nations resolved to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has inflicted untold suffering on mankind , to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, to create conditions under which justice may be upheld and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law, to promote social progress and raise the standard of living within a broader concept of freedom…”. And he continues to trace some coordinates drawn with clarity and criteria. There is a commitment to tolerance, to maintain international peace and security, to limit the use of armed force, for social and economic progress, for so many words that have brought us to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Putin is not very different from other tyrants who came before him. And we still have no instruments to defend international law

However, those beautiful old words have been systematically betrayed by one and the other. The wars have occurred during the twentieth century and do not end in this new millennium. They have spread unapologetically to particular interests, forgetting that we are one Humanity, passengers on the same planet Earth. And on this spaceship that ‘old’ Charter is still pending. Perpetual Peace remains an aspiration. And it is still necessary to invent something like a ‘planet-state’ at the service of the security of people and not of territories, at the service of the population and not of tyrants. At the service of the worthy life of people above any other interest. We need to build a complete legal system where war is a crime, putting radical respect for human rights at the center. We already know where the lines to defend are. So what?

The difficult thing is the same as always. The problem is how to go from ideas and ideals to works and praxis. The problem is not in the definition of the objectives, nor in dreaming what Paradise will be like. The hard part is getting to work. The complicated thing is to reverse impunity, submission and lack of respect for life. Putin and his people are not very different from others who play in the same league. The war in Ukraine is a runaway horse that hits us after the plague of covid-19. It is here next door, we have to wake up, build instruments to defend human rights, democracy and international law. Starting by not agreeing and stop trading where those basic principles are not shared.

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