Peace in Ukraine: more ethical diplomacy needed

26 Jun 2023 | Editoria, Life, News

Courageous analyses and proposals for setting aside political realism by academics Valdo Spini and Patrizia Giunti, along with Ambassador Pasquale Ferrara, author of the book “Seeking an Innocent Country” (Città Nuova Editrice).


Ambassador Ferrara, what are the prospects for peace between Russia and Ukraine? “Peace proposals are being worked on, but the conditions are not there yet. There is talk of peace plans, but for now these are texts that make explicit general principles also contained in the UN Charter.” What is missing? “A peace plan means outlining solutions acceptable to both sides, and first and foremost Ukraine: for the territories, for sanctions, for a qualified ceasefire, which is not just limited to freezing the situation on the ground. Even the ceasefire, in fact, must arise from an agreement, the result of diplomatic negotiations.” “Possible Peace” is the title of the reflection meeting on war and diplomacy, held on Monday, June 19, in Florence at the headquarters of the Giorgio La Pira International Student Center, promoter of the initiative.

The occasion is determined upon the release of the book “Seeking an Innocent Country” (Città Nuova Editrice), written by Pasquale Ferrara, a diplomat and university lecturer also at Sophia, in Loppiano (FI). “The book is courageous and demanding,” stressed Carlo Cefaloni, journalist for the monthly magazine Città Nuova. Ferrara exposes himself, especially since he is an important figure in Italian diplomacy, and he holds the position of Director General for Political and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Equally clear on his assessment of the volume was Valdo Spini, a socialist matrix, former minister and university professor of economics, and president of the “Fratelli Rosselli” Circle. “It is a valuable book. It is a guide to understanding international politics today.”

Spini then made a splash about the concept of political realism, which conditions international thinking. He appreciated Ferrara’s “commitment to address the question of whether diplomacy should be ethical or realistic,” agreeing as he does with the author “who highlights the need for a diplomacy of reality, which nevertheless is related to ethics.” “Only such diplomacy has peace as its goal and can play that fundamental preventive role that reactive diplomacy, which tries to put the pieces together after the fact, lacks.” On the Ukrainian affair, Spini possesses a certainty-“Peace with Ukraine’s surrender would not be such”-and a hope: “That China can intervene on Russia on the diplomatic side.

“The war in Ukraine has produced personal and global disorientation and caused a political weakening of international actors, from the UN to the European Union, while a process of delegitimization of institutional bodies is underway”, Patrizia Giunti, president of the La Pira Foundation and professor of Institutions of Roman Law at the University of Florence said. And again, “Now the themes of just war, military war and civil war have re-emerged. We have to question ourselves, because before, a civilian died for every eight military personnel who were killed, now eight civilians die for every military personnel killed.”

The conclusion was entrusted to the author of the book. “Now the global confrontation,” Ambassador Ferrara said, “is no longer simply between great powers, but between states-civilizations (China, the US, Russia). We need to get used to living with diversity and work for convergence on common goals, starting with caring for the environment.” On realism, he pointed out that “contrary to what one might believe, Gandhi and Mandela were very realistic, in that they started from a realistic analysis of the situation of their time and were able to identify novel solutions.”

He explained the reason why he adopted a line by the poet Giuseppe Ungaretti as the title of his book: “Poetry is a way of reading and interpreting reality, not of escaping from it.”

What peace is possible in Ukraine? Not just any peace and not even a peace imposed on one of the parties. We need a negotiating table and a basic negotiating platform. Above all, there is a need for the realism of possibility and not the realism of inevitability.”


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