- Posted September 30, 2012 by
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PEACE GROUP IMPLORES CANDIDATES OBAMA AND ROMNEY TO HONOR THE KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT
Internet based pro-peace project, I Declare World Peace, which claims to have a cyberspace reach of well over 2 million people, is seeking a commitment from each of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to uphold and enforce the Kellogg-Briand Pact for the Renunciation of War. Documents made available by The Avalon Project at Yale Law School, describe the treaty, which was evidently drafted in revulsion over the terrible devastation of the First World War.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact, named for Calvin Coolidge’s Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg (winner of the 1929 Nobel Peace Prize), and French Prime Minister Aristede Briand (winner of the1926 Nobel Peace Prize) was ratified in 1929 and, according to records available from Yale Law School’s Avalon Project, remains good law in the United States (46 Stat. 2343) to this day. There appear to be at least 65 countries that have signed on to the Kellogg-Briand Pact and promised to renounce war.
“As far as we can determine,” said Lawrence R. Gelber, a lawyer and spokesperson for I Declare World Peace project, “all wars fought since ratification of the Kellogg-Briand Pact in 1929, including the current war in Afghanistan, have been and remain unlawful breaches of the [Kellogg-Briand] treaty.” Gelber wryly pointed out that, according to the documents made available by the Avalon Project, even Afghanistan ratified the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
So far, the only 2012 presidential candidate who has made world peace a cornerstone of his campaign is Gary Johnson, a Libertarian on the ballot in 47 states. “We think it is a shame that the only candidate to make world peace a priority is a third party candidate,” Gelber opined. “This is somewhat surprising because peace is inextricably tied to the economy – it would boost the economy – and the economy is a critical issue in the Obama – Romney contest.”
IDWP’s lawyer may be correct about the relationship between peace and economic balance or prosperity. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs “If the world had been completely peaceful in 2011, the benefit to the global economy would have been an estimated 9 trillion USD according to the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) 2012 Global Peace Index (GPI)….”
Gelber agreed with the observation that social media has taken center stage in transmitting political messages. He noted the sprouting of pro-peace endeavors like the I Declare World Peace project over a broad range of social media, and rattled off names like “World Peace Is Possible”, “Celebrate World Peace” and “Time 4 World Peace”, among many others. “The age old desire for peace is intersecting with the greatest communication mechanism of all time, the Internet. Add to that the already existing legal mechanism for world peace – The Kellogg-Briand Pact – and it becomes quite easy to grasp that peace is certainly possible, perhaps for the first time in history,” Gelber said. “President Obama and Governor Romney each have a chance to become the greatest hero in history, and all they need to do is embrace something that already exists,” Gelber observed. “The I Declare World Peace project urges each of them, Obama and Romney, to let themselves blossom into true leaders and lead the world to peace, instead of degrading themselves by wallowing in the muck of partisan politics,” he said.
“When the house is burning down, the most important thing is to grab the extinguisher, not argue over who started the fire. The Kellogg-Briand Pact is a promise we already made. We just need Obama or Romney to tell us they will keep it,” Gelber concluded.
Information about the I Declare World Peace project can be found at www.ideclareworldpeace.org. Information about the Kellogg-Briand Pact can found at The Yale law School Avalon Project website. Information about the other pro-peace groups mentioned in this article can be found on their respective sites.