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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. “It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe in it, and it isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work at it. '' Analyse this statement in the context of international relations. (150 Words)

    07 Jul, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Begin by establishing a relationship between peace and prosperity, and its desirability in international relations
    • Justify the statement with examples from world history
    • Contextualize India’s efforts in building peace through its foreign policy choices
    • Conclude by emphasizing the importance of peace for addressing challenges like Global warming etc.



    Despite tied by a common thread of humanity the world is divided into different nation-states which are often at loggerheads with each other due to multiple differences. But all these countries have a natural desire to prosper and flourish which could only be achieved when there is peace and order in the world. The need for peace becomes much more desirable in this age of globalization when we are living in an increasingly interconnected world where the conflict in one part has global repercussions.


    • In the international arena, it is expedient and fashionable to talk of peace but historically peace has prevailed only when leaders went beyond paying lip service and acted upon it.
    • For example:
      • Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the Oslo accords under the leadership of Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, which was a serious attempt to settle a long-drawn conflict. In 1999, AB Vajpayee took a bus ride to Lahore and tried to normalize relations with Pakistan after the nuclear tests.
      • More recently, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the prime minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.
      • Undoubtedly, these leaders exemplified peace not only in words but also in their deeds. However, in other instances, countries and leaders have talked of peace but failed to put it into practice like the US and North Korea failing to agree on disarmament.
    • Just as an individual loses integrity and credibility when there is a contradiction between words and practice, so does a nation. For example, China projects itself as a peace-loving nation but countries have apprehensions in engaging with China.
    • In contrast, India is seen as a benign power; it has not only talked and believed in peace but has also acted upon it. India at various instances has exhibited its commitment to peace and tranquility in the international arena.
    • One of the founding principles of India’s Foreign Policy is “Panchsheel” which promotes “peaceful co-existence”. As a moral responsibility during the Korean War, India positively intervened for restoring peace and order in the Korean peninsula. Also, India continues to contribute significantly to the UN peacekeeping force which serves across the globe in conflict areas.


    When the world is facing problems that extend beyond the boundaries of nations and require concerted efforts for mitigation, peace amongst nations has become ever more necessary. Challenges like climate change, global warming, desertification, etc. can only be tackled when countries are united and act upon building peace and consensus amongst them.

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