The ink on the statement from the XV Summit in Barcelona, Spain, of the Nobel Peace Laureates and Peace Organizations was barely dry when Ingeborg Breines sent it to me. She is the co-chair of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and former UNESCO director in Pakistan.

She is the most enthusiastic and substantive peace activist I know, now retired, traveling the world but always coming back to Oslo and Sortland, the far North of Norway, where the destruction of the Second World War was worse than the rest of the country. That must have shaped her mind and character, and, among other things, encouraged her to teach peace education everywhere, including at the University of Gujrat a few years ago.

Back to the Peace Summit in Barcelona last week, during and after the horrendous terrorist attacks in Paris on Saturday evening 13 November 2015. Unlike the reactions and ‘solutions’ proposed by many other leaders, including President Holland of France, the statement focuses on the root causes of insecurity and the current refugee crisis. The statement doesn’t ask for more security staff, surveillance technology, weapons and arms. It goes beyond such immediate measures that may even be counterproductive. It warns against stigmatizing Muslim refugees and other migrants and displaced people, saying: “We collectively raise our voices in compassion for the millions of refugees who have been forced to leave their homes. We affirm that the manner in which we honour and protect their inherent dignity and human rights is a measure of our own humanity.”

It goes on to say that the refugee and migration crises do not exist in isolation; it is a symptom of the broader problems that confront humanity. The list includes a number of such problems, notably: conflicts within many countries; militarism, extreme nationalism and the use of force and proxy wars by global powers in pursuit of strategic, financial and ideological interests; distorted religious beliefs that lead to horrific acts of violence, indeed intolerance towards religious and cultural diversity; the failure of governance and the absence of democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law; the gross inequalities in opportunities and in economic and social wellbeing between and within the so-called developed and developing countries.

The Peace Laureates and Organizations gathered in Barcelona a few days ago stressed that they believe that many of these problems can be solved if the international community fulfils its commitment to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that nations have already adopted as the framework for a comprehensive, practical and achievable path to a secure and peaceful future. The laureates recommend that ten percent annually of the world’s military budgets (of about 1.9 trillion dollars) be redirected to the SDG activities.

My friend and ‘comrade in arms’ (although that term she would detest) Ingeborg Breines in IPB tells me that in the autumn of 2016 the organization will hold a conference to investigate how the military budgets can be redirected in practice. Indeed, a most important contribution to a more peaceful and secure world – provided that the world’s civilian and military leaders will listen. But they will, eventually!

Let me underline the main points of the Nobel Peace Laureates, indeed IPB’s advocacy, notably that that there will be no peace and security in the world unless we take a broader and all-inclusive approach. More police, military and new generations of weapons will not lead to lasting solutions. The only way forward is through compassion, finding ways of improving the living conditions in the countries that send refugees and other forced migrants; we must reduce the differences between the developed and the developing countries. Step one, is to take a historic view and make a contemporary analysis of the life in today’s migrant-pushing countries, and their relationship with the migrant-pulling countries.

True, this is difficult, and it is more difficult now than if we had begun decades ago, as we should have, instead of slumbering, somehow believing that the North-South inequality could go on, or go away. I should add too that the rich in the South form part of the upper-class in the North, hardly interested in change.

Obviously, it is not only the Westerners and the reach that can be blamed. We are all responsible for the community, country and world we live in. If we don’t have money and material resources, we can and must talk and discuss issues, even if it is just among family and friends – or in a newspaper column and elsewhere in the public.

I was quite optimistic when the Cold War ended 25 years ago, and I believe people everywhere had visions and dreams for a better and more peaceful world. Somehow, we have drifted more and more into a harder world, and we have also given too much attention to what we call the ‘War on Terror’, a scantily defined concept, that is actually beginning to become real, perhaps because we want it to.

Is it that after the Cold War was over, the military men and alliances, including NATO, needed new enemies, and now they have found one, not one, but many, like in a guerilla war? Military people, and equally ignorant politicians, seem only to think of short-term ‘solutions’, based on outdated paradigms and understandings of how the world is and how people and it to be. Today, people everywhere want the same; a poor farmer wants a mobile phone, good health, educated children, and a say in his or her society. Poor people like rich people want to be part of the world they live in; nobody just wants to produce and work or, for that matter, consume and live a lazy, unproductive and selfish life. Many terrorists cry for help, but some are criminals, too. And help and inclusion must come early, not when it is too late.

I believe we must focus entirely differently than we usually do after terrorists attacks in the West, including the latest in Paris less than a week ago. We have the knowledge, but we seem not to have the ability and mind-set to analyze the issues in the right way. Even Pope Francis, otherwise so wise and modern, was out of focus when after the Paris terrorism drew some parallels to a third world war. He should have known that there is such a war already, but we shouldn’t use the term. But that war is not about terrorism. Terrorism is just the symptom and the visible consequence of the real and deeper issues of world segregation, the haves and the have-nots.

I am saddened that I have to say that those who engage in terrorist attacks many times do so not entirely without reason – albeit, entirely without rhyme. I will never accept violence – and as a pacifist, I also don’t accept war. I will never accept anyone using ‘non-parliamentary’ means and techniques in debates and fights for their rights, resources and ways. At the same time, I would also want those I disagree with to be able to work for their opinions and rights.

On this future road to peace and security for all, we will do many things right and make life better for the downtrodden, and they will be listened to, not only given crumbles from the rich man’s table. We will also make mistakes, and it will take time. However, as long as we have a clean heart and right attentions, even those who have much less than us, will know that we are on the right course. In the end, we are all in the same boat, to be judged of the same god.

Let us get rid of the chilly reactions to the chilly and desperate actions by the terrorists. Let us pray for all, and let us welcome and work for realization of a new spring and a new day in the West, all the world’s countries and peoples, and in the relations between countries and groups. It is all manmade; it is only man and women who can change it, you and me together.