Shabkas Lukas Wank had the pleasure of giving an Input to ISCAN’s International Security Dialogue Series iSEDI. In an open and friendly environment, iSEDI 3.0 on 24 February 2020 discussed the role of social justice in preventing conflicts and explore actions needed at the international, regional and national levels to achieve social justice for all.
Social justice has been discussed since before the birth of Christ and continues to be greatly debated today. However, unlike justice in the broad sense, social justice is a relatively recent concept, born out of the struggles surrounding the industrial revolution and the advent of socialist (and later, in some parts of the world, social democratic and Christian democratic) views on the organization of society. Social justice still plays a tremendous role at levels varying from individual fulfillment to state legislation.
Contemporary understanding of social justice has evolved a lot from the original works on social contract and categorical imperative to a broad understanding of it as the fair and compassionate distribution of economic growth. The United Nations has chosen the year 2020’s theme to focus on closing inequalities to achieve social justice, which is considered to be an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within, and among nations.
The iSEDI’s third Edition topic coincided with the commemoration of the Social Justice International Day, observed annually on 20 February since 2009. The said declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights. The recognition of a need to promote social justice raises a need to address such issues as poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections, which are all interconnected with a wider understanding of human security in its holistic sense.
The main questions of the discussion were
- What does social justice mean to you?
- What role does social justice play in maintaining peace and security? (Could social justice be used as a conflict-prevention mechanism? If so, how effectively?)
- What are the challenges that humanity faces in ensuring social justice?
- How can we better promote social justice?
A reflection of iSEDI 3.0 is available on the ISCAN Website under this link.