The Universal House of Justice has received your letter of 13 December 1984 inquiring about the Lesser Peace and the Supreme Tribunal referred to in the writings of the Faith. We are asked to convey the following comments.
Bahá’u’lláh’s principal mission in appearing at this time in human history is the realization of the oneness of mankind and the establishment of peace among the nations; therefore, all the forces which are focused on accomplishing these ends are influenced by His Revelation. We know, however, that peace will come in stages. First, there will come the Lesser Peace, when the unity of nations will be achieved, then gradually the Most Great Peace—the spiritual as well as social and political unity of mankind, when the Bahá’í World Commonwealth, operating in strict accordance with the laws and ordinances of the Most Holy Book of the Bahá’í Revelation, will have been established through the efforts of the Bahá’ís.
As to the Lesser Peace, Shoghi Effendi has explained that this will initially be a political unity arrived at by decision of the governments of various nations; it will not be established by direct action of the Bahá’í community. This does not mean, however, that the Bahá’ís are standing aside and waiting for the Lesser Peace to come before they do something about the peace of mankind. Indeed, by promoting the principles of the Faith, which are indispensable to the maintenance of peace, and by fashioning the instruments of the Bahá’í Administrative Order, which we are told by the beloved Guardian is the pattern for future society, the Bahá’ís are constantly engaged in laying the groundwork for a permanent peace, the Most Great Peace being their ultimate goal.
The Lesser Peace itself will pass through stages; at the initial stage the governments will act entirely on their own without the conscious involvement of the Faith; later on, in God’s good time, the Faith will have a direct influence on it in ways indicated by Shoghi Effendi in his “The Goal of a New World Order.” In connection with the steps that will lead to this latter stage, the Universal House of Justice will certainly determine what has to be done, in accordance with the guidance in the Writings, such as the passage you quoted from Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, page 89. In the meantime, the Bahá’ís will undoubtedly continue to do all in their power to promote the establishment of peace.
The Universal House of Justice is greatly pleased with the initiative you have taken with others to start an organization through which youth can contribute their considerable energies and creative abilities towards fostering world peace. It fully appreciates the wisdom of your approach in not affiliating your organization directly with the Faith and finds your leaflet describing the aims of Youth for World Peace most impressive. Since 1986 has been designated the International Year of Peace by the United Nations, your efforts are timely and will blend with the activities to be undertaken by the Bahá’í community during that year and beyond.
In your worthy endeavors to pursue your goal to create a peace movement of youth around the world which would draw non-Bahá’í youth within the influence of Bahá’í concepts, you should seek the advice of your National Spiritual Assembly, which is in a position to give you necessary advice.
Regarding your question about the Supreme Tribunal, enclosed are a few extracts from statements by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá and letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi on this subject; also included is a statement on the Lesser Peace.