In order to know the meaning of the term coexistence, it is necessary to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can establish that it is a word with Latin roots. Specifically, it comes from the Latin verb that is formed from the sum of the following components:
-The prefix “co-”, which means “all” or “together”.
-The element “ex”, which is used to indicate “out”.
-The verb “sistere”, which is synonymous with “take a position”.
The coexistence is the situation that occurs when a subject or a thing they exist at the same time than another or another. Coexisting, in other words, implies a simultaneous existence. For instance: “The coach has the obligation to ensure that the coexistence of both players in the team does not generate problems”, “The coexistence of people of different cultures in the same neighborhood is always a challenge”, “The government will analyze if it is convenient to allow the coexistence of both technologies or if one of them should be eliminated”.
The idea from peaceful coexistence is used in the field of international relations to refer to the rejection of violence as a mechanism for the resolution of a conflict between two countries or regions. The concept was coined by the communist leader Nikita Khrushchev with the intention of alluding to the acceptance by the Soviets of the existence of capitalist powers such as USA.
The origin of this concept can be found in 1955 when the aforementioned Khrushchev proceeded to “de-Stalinize” the USSR, with the clear objective of being able to achieve economic growth for all Soviets, promoting the modernization of the existing infrastructures in the country and even being able to get a little closer to the way of life that existed in the West.
The principle of peaceful coexistence must be applied when two towns with different characteristics (ethnic, religious, etc.) must coexist in the same territory. This position leads both to discard the use of arms to impose themselves: on the contrary, they must coexist in peace and resolve their conflicts through dialogue and consensus.
Within the historical scope we can highlight the existence of what was called the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence”. It is a group of norms that were presented in the 1950s, specifically in 1954, by the former Chinese leader Zhou Enlai. With these, what was intended was to establish or regulate international relations.
Specifically, those five principles were as follows:
-The mutual non-aggression.
-The mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
-Equality and mutual benefits.
-Non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
At the social level, coexistence requires accept the existence of the other. Those that coexist have the obligation to abide by certain shared rules that allow the organization of the society and the control of violence. In order to resolve conflicts, in this framework, a mediator body whose operation is institutionalized is used.