Could we be headed toward a new era of peace?
In his latest essay, PeaceQuest Cape Breton’s Sean Howards wonders if the very dark period we find ourselves in may lead to a new international period of relative peace?
Sean looks back at the 1960s period of “détente” or “the easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries” according to the dictionary.
He writes, “For six years after the invasion [in 1956 by the former Soviet Union] of Hungary, tensions between the Superpowers built to the breaking point of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, an intolerably close call concentrating diplomatic minds wonderfully and producing two important steps back from the brink: the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), ending over 15 years of routinely massive atmospheric test explosions by the USSR, USA and UK; and the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a supposedly ‘grand bargain’ inextricably linking non-proliferation and disarmament.
Sean notes the crisis period pushed the idea, “Europe must never again descend into general war.” Instead, the notion of “Common Security” required “respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief,” and respect for the “equal rights and self-determination of peoples”.
- Read “The Darkest Hour Before Detente?” by Sean Howard, published by the Cape Breton Spectator on December 7, 2022
(Cover: The Unisphere, symbol of the New York 1964-65 World’s Fair. Flushing Meadow Park, New York. Via Shutterstock)