On 1 April 2022, Two Nobel laureates Jody Williams (Peace) and Richard J. Roberts (Medicine) spoke on an international webinar about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War. The webinar titled, “Is War Inevitable? Can We Change the Paradigm?” was jointly organized by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG), North South University (NSU) and the Daily Prothom Alo.
Nobel laureate Jody Williams was the keynote speaker in the webinar. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work toward the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines through the International Campaign against Landmines.
In her speech, she elaborated on the humanitarian aspects of the ongoing war in Ukraine. She added that if we allow human rights violations, the whole world will be in jeopardy in the near future. She also opined that people should not accept mutual destruction through use of nuclear weapons. So, the whole global community should strive to stop wars, especially the future nuclear wars. In her concluding remarks, Jody re-emphasized that we cannot allow a handful of people, no matter how powerful, to decide the fate of the world and urged that let the ongoing wars be the last wars in this world.
Richard J. Roberts, Nobel Laureate (Medicine), the special guest of the program, was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He has been involved in organizing a number of Nobel initiatives to correct scientific misunderstandings and promote humanitarian causes. He has recently organized a Nobel Laureates appeal for bringing peace in Ukraine.
He said that the ineffectiveness of the United Nations is alarming as it cannot bring nations together to stop the aggression by Russia. He also hailed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his brave role in this war and said that we need more brave leaders like him.
Among others, Mr. Azim Uddin Ahmed, Chair, Board of Trustees, NSU and Professor Atiqul Islam, Vice Chancellor of NSU were present in the webinar. The VC in his speech stated that there is genuine concern in some countries that large countries may get away with invading their small neighboring countries, and he hoped for a more active role from the UN rather than being dysfunctional in resolving the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Motiur Rahman, Editor of the Daily Prothom Alo delivered the concluding remarks and hoped that through collective action we can make this world a better place by avoiding wars and the youth has an important role to play in this regard.
The webinar started with a welcome speech by Professor Helal Mohiuddin from the Department of Political Science and Sociology (PSS), NSU. The moderator of the webinar was Dr. Ishrat Zakia Sultana, a member of CPS and an Assistant Professor of the Dept. of PSS. Academics, researchers, diplomats, journalists, and students were present at the webinar.