To the attention of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission:
Conflicts are part of human relationships, they are inevitable. However, there are multiple ways to address them: Acting violently means harming the other person or acting non-violently: understanding the other person's perspective and restoring the damage.
War is a political conflict resolved violently. Political conflicts, just like personal ones, have always occurred throughout history, but they can also be approached in different ways. The consequences of resolving political conflicts violently are:
1-LOSS OF LIFE
An unavoidable part of war is, of course, the loss of life. Not only of the people who fight in the war, but also of the civilian population. Since World War II, in many wars, the number of civilian casualties far exceeds that of combatants.
2- HATE AND PROPAGANDA
War is often used to justify hatred and discrimination against certain groups. For example, the propaganda against the Jews of the Nazis.
Modern warfare is known to cause damage to the environment. For example, the US sprayed herbicides over the forests of Vietnam in an attempt to deprive guerrillas of any cover the trees provided. This resulted in numerous toxins sinking into the soil and sea, many plants dying, many animals spawning deformed offspring, and many other dire consequences.
4-DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURES
The destruction of can create a catastrophic collapse in the interrelated social structure, infrastructure services, education and the health system.
The destruction of schools and educational infrastructure has led to a decline in education.
5-CONSEQUENCES FOR HEALTH
Wars impede the population's access to medicines and medical services. In many modern wars hospitals are bombed, consequently there is no place to go to get healed.
The war prevents the arrival of necessary medical supplies and medicines.
6-CONSEQUENCES FOR MENTAL HEALTH
The occurrence of a wide variety of psychological symptoms and syndromes in populations in conflict situations is well documented by available research.
For example: The population lives in a state of constant fear. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety are some of the emotional effects.
Mental health care is part of the total relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction processes.
7- FORCED MIGRATION (REFUGEES AND DISPLACEMENT)
When war breaks out, many people flee their homes in fear of losing their lives and the lives of their families, and as a result they are left out of place, either internally or externally.
For example, the displacement of Palestinians after the creation of the state of Israel. Or the thousands of Syrian refugees today.
The economy of the countries suffers. Large amounts of money are needed to rebuild everything that has been destroyed
The destruction of crops and industry causes shortages and inflation. The population with fewer resources is the one that suffers the most from the rise in prices.
9-INCREASE IN POVERTY
The destruction of infrastructure, industry, crops together with the increase in prices makes poverty grow. The population's access to basic products can be complicated (Access to basic products such as water due to the destruction of pipes and water tanks, Access to food, medicine, electricity due to the destruction of roads, factories, etc.)
During a war, cultural property is threatened with destruction, confiscation, looting and theft. Cultural heritage can be archaeological finds, excavation sites, archives, libraries, museums and monuments that are sometimes simply vandalized or stolen by warring parties to finance war.
For all these reasons, we call on the European Union to:
- Prevent conflicts through educational policies and resolve conflicts that arise in a non-violent way.
- The creation of an international mediation committee, in which conflicts are debated and mediated to resolve favorably for the peoples and their civilian population.
- Create international laws to regulate the sale of weapons and their use.
Students of the Palomeras Cultural Center Institute, in Vallecas, Madrid