Gandhi Peace Prize winner launches book at Irish School of Ecumenics

Posted on: 30 November 2005

Dr. Denis Halliday launched ‘The Ethics of Peace and War’ by Iain Atack on Tuesday 15 November in the Irish School of Ecumenics, TCD,.

Dr. Halliday, born in Ireland, served the UN for over thirty years and after four years as an Assistant Secretary-General, he resigned in 1998 when the head of the UN in Iraq decided to go public and highlight the genocidal consequences of UN Sanctions. Since that time Halliday has spoken with parliamentarians in such cities as Washington, London, Dublin, Paris, Rome, and Sydney to get them to focus on the failure of the UN relationship with Iraq. He has also served as visiting Professor at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, USA and lectures for the ISE in the course on the UN. Together with Cathy Kelly of Voice in the Wilderness, Halliday was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 and has been given the UK Gandhi Peace Prize. Swarthmore College awarded him an honorary Ph.D. in 2001. Halliday continues to do radio and TV interviews world wide on such issues as the UN, International law, invasion and occupation of Iraq, UN Reform and the consequences of the use of terrorism.

In his remarks, Dr. Halliday stated that “Given the modern history of mankind, it seems that warfare has become an inevitable feature of international politics. This book looks at this premise and seeks alternative responses to political and social conflict, that is, nonviolent peaceful means to resolution of differences. The ethics of peace and war is one of the central ethical issues in International Relations today.”

This book looks at three key theories which have implications for the role of ethics in war and armed conflict: cosmopolitanism; internationalism; and political realism. It argues for the appropriateness of cosmopolitanism above the other two general theories, with its emphasis on the equal worth of all human beings as the basis for a global moral community. This ethical theory is shown to have a vital role to play in international politics in light of changing conceptions of peace and security, the prevalence of internal over international wars, and the increasing emphasis on international humanitarian intervention as a justification for the use of military force.

Other speakers at the launch included Professor Eda Sagarra, Pro-Chancellor of TCD and member of the Steering Committee of the ISE Trust and the ISE/TCD Executive Board, Professor John May, Acting Director of ISE and Associate Professor of Interfaith Dialogue, and Dr. Iain Atack, Lecturer and Programme Co-ordinator of International Peace Studies.