Global Affairs January 5, 2024 by

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Is peaceful coexistence possible?

  • The United Nations was established in 1945 with the mission of maintaining international peace and security.
  • The primary responsibility for preventing wars lies with the UN Security Council, which is the most powerful body. It has full authority ranging from economic sanctions to international military intervention.
  • The establishment of a Peace Council could be very useful in supporting the Security Council, which has failed due to its structural problems. The UN Peace Council could be a turning point in achieving lasting global peace.


Global competition has been on an alarming rise lately. It seems that old blocs and confrontations are already being reshaped. In this sense, we are witnessing a political trend that bears signs that history may repeat itself again. The rapid and dangerous polarization could lead to a great war.
Proxy wars have begun to heat up the Cold War, and artificial theories aiming to separate cultures, such as the clash of civilizations, are coming to the fore. In this case, the question is “Isn’t it possible to live together in peace?” or ‘’Will it be more difficult to talk about peace?’’


Reasons that may cause a major war may arise from economic, political, military and ideological conflicts. This may be a war in which nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as well as deadly tactics aimed at destroying each other with cyber-attacks, terrorism, information and the dark web, will be in full force. Global sensitivities such as the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Palestine wars, China-Taiwan or South China Sea tensions pose a potential danger of a third world war if any of these conflicts escalate into an East-West conflict.


Despite deep despair and disappointment, it may seem difficult for international competition to evolve into a new world order based on peace, but it should not be considered impossible.
It should be considered that the new network of relations and the search for peace can gain momentum by only bringing the Eastern and Western hegemons into the same emotional alignment.
In this context, it may be possible to open the doors of peace with the concern for total and mass extinction, nuclear deterrence, reactions and warnings of global organizations, including sanctions, and diplomacy initiatives.

Any change in balance that may occur due to the exclusion of one of the global actors or the pressure of country groups such as regional powers or non-aligned movements may create an opportunity for the peace environment to mature.


Although it may seem like utopian optimism, the idea of “living together” is an understanding that needs to be developed and tested.
The essence of the “peaceful coexistence” approach in the 1950s was to end destructive competition and aim for conflicting groups to live together peacefully on the basis of certain principles. Its principles were formulated as mutual recognition of territorial integrity, respect for sovereignty and non-aggression.

Efforts to prevent nuclear armament and produce common humanitarian solutions to hunger, famine and climate disasters should also be considered as ways of softening that countries cannot refuse.


Today’s United Nations is reminiscent of the League of Nations in the 1930s in the context of international peacekeeping.

The League of Nations was founded by the victorious states at the end of the First World War. Its purpose was to revive the world order that was disrupted by the war and to preserve peace. However, It could not prevent Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia, Japan’s attack on China, and the German invasion of Poland, which started World War II.

The League of Nations, which could not resist the disobedience and defiance of its member states, could not prevent World War II, one of the greatest tragedies in human history.


The United Nations, established to prevent world wars, has a primary role in maintaining international peace. However, due to the structural problems of the Security Council, the veto mechanism and the stubbornness of major actors, it is insufficient like the League of Nations.

The UN is helpless in the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza. When the South China Sea and a possible Balkan chaos are added to these, new humanitarian dramas and tragedies may be inevitable.


The UN is capable of taking all necessary measures in accordance with its obligation to preserve peace and has a historical responsibility.
However, as of today, it does not seem possible to achieve peace and prevent wars by overcoming the structural problems that have been discussed for a long time.

A structure that will overcome this dangerous impasse can be implemented. The establishment of a consultative “Peace Council” under the auspices of the Security Council may be considered.
It may be possible to establish the Peace Council, which will assume responsibility under the auspices of the Security Council, in a format that will receive the support of international institutions, organizations and civil professional groups that can produce ideas for permanent global peace.

Groups such as politicians, diplomats, economists, strategists, futurist thinkers, civil society and humanitarian experts can form the backbone of the Peace Council.

The UN Peace Council may forward its recommendations and views for the survival of humanity to the UNSC through UN specialized agencies for mandatory joint instructions.
It should not be forgotten that the primary responsibility for ensuring international peace and security lies with the UN Security Council.

To the extent that the United Nations fulfills its obligations, it will avoid the fate suffered by the League of Nations.

The Security Council has the authority to take enforcement measures to prevent wars, from economic sanctions to international military action. In this sense, the Peace Council can carry out a vital role that will ease the burden of the Security Council.

In summary, what we asked at the beginning was;
Is it possible to live together peacefully?
Of course it is possible to say “yes” to this question without hesitation, even in the most hopeless situations.

Any method that can create synergy in preventing wars and ensuring global peace should be deemed appropriate and worth trying.

About the author

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Hasan Sevilir Aşan