Media Cautioned About "Forgotten Wars"

Sant'Egidio Spokesman Urges Efforts for Peace

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ARICCIA, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The media have a great responsibility to spread the culture of peace, in part by avoiding the manipulation of terms and by not ignoring certain world conflicts, conferees were told.



Mario Marazziti, spokesman of the Rome-base Community of Sant'Egidio, a group that has mediated political disputes in Africa and elsewhere, delivered that message Friday when he addressed the National Congress of Pauline Co-Workers.

Speaking on the topic "The Media at the Service of Authentic Peace," Marazziti said that diplomacy and politics are not used today "as usual instruments" and that "war has become an ordinary means to try to resolve difficult situations."

Moreover, war "has been joined to the term 'humanitarian,'" Marazziti noted. "In recent situations of war there has been talk of humanitarian intervention or preventive war, which tears apart international law and launches a time of continuous war."

"War, from being the last resort, has been transformed at present into normality; even our language has changed," he said, according to the Italian bishops' SIR agency.

Currently there are 32 ongoing wars, although "there is talk of only a few," Marazziti observed. The challenge, he said, lies in "not closing one's eyes, but in opening them to the forgotten wars and the world that disappears from the newspapers and television."

In the decade 1990-2000, wars in the world left 5 million dead, 6 million wounded, and produced 50 million refugees, the Sant'Egidio spokesman said.

He contended that it is necessary to give "equal dignity to all the victims. I am referring to the need to resist the technological fascination of war," and "to put the accent on the other's suffering as the key to reconciliation."

Sant'Egidio is made up of 40,000 people in 60 countries.