Your one-stop shop for everything related to the Peace of Westphalia

Peace of Westphalia in the news, 9/2022

Our first entry today is a simple notice about a photo prize competition, the German Peace Prize for Photography. This was apparently added in 2019 as an additional category to the Felix Schoeller Photo Award competition, drawing on the fact that Felix Schoeller is from Osnabrück, and Osnabrück is associated with the Peace of Westphalia. The winning photographs are likely to have little to do with the Peace of Westphalia, of course, but it is interesting to see how the peace is being commemorated nearly 400 years after its conclusion.

The second article is a curious one called “Multipolar World Order – Part 1” in “Zero Hedge.” Much of it engages in mysterious talk of global bankers that control the world, which I won’t bother to engage. However, its discussion of sovereignty brings up some fair considerations. The author cites Westphalia as (sort of) the origin of sovereign, equal states. The U.N. charter states that it is based on “the sovereign equality of all its Members,” but gives itself permission to violate the sovereignty of individual members by sanctioning them. This seems inherent in the very nature of an organization designed to protect international peace. Moreover, the most powerful element of the U.N. is the security council, which consists of only a portion of member states, five of which are both permanent and have veto power. It is hard to see how it could function without some concession to the strength of major states, and especially of nuclear powers, but this arrangement does contradict the principle of its charter.

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