On 18th January 1919, one hundred years ago, the Paris Peace Conference was opened after the First World War with the aim of preventing another war. Although, the agreements reached during the conference did not reflect the aim in mind, such gathering represented the first attempt at establishing peace on earth, fifty years after Bahá’u’lláh called on the kings and rulers of the world to be reconciled among themselves and enjoined on them to establish peace. In observing this occasion, the Universal House of Justice, the Supreme Governing Body of the Bahá’í Faith, has sent a message to the Bahá’ís of the World.
In this message, the Universal House of Justice identifies three instances at which human race thought that the peace on earth was being achieved, the Paris Conference and establishment of the League of Nations, formation of the United Nations after the Second World War, and peaceful termination of Cold War towards the end of the century. The present century has, however, brought along new challenges that have pulled humanity further away from achieving universal peace. Religious fundamentalism, the failing of many organisations and institutions, erosion of certain shared ethical principles, and resurgence of forces of racism, nationalism and factionalism are among some of these challenges.
The Universal House of Justice refers to the document “The Promise of World Peace” , that was addressed in 1985 to the people of the world, in which the Bahá’í perspective on the condition of the world and the prerequisites of universal peace were set out. In that document, the Bahá’í community was offered as a model, demonstrating the feasibility of achieving the unity of mankind. Since then, Bahá’ís have been refining that model and are learning how to develop communities that embody the prerequisites of peace.
The complete message of the Universal House of Justice can be downloaded from Baha’i Reference Library.