PRESENTATION OF THE 2005 CANADIAN PEACE AWARD – CATEGORY OF GOVERNMENT – TO MAYOR DAVE BRONCONNIER, CITY OF CALGARY, REPRESENTING THE CANADIAN MAYORS FOR PEACE.

   

 

                    The Inukshuk Award

IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE IN THE PRESENTATION OF THE 2005 CANADIAN PEACE AWARD – CATEGORY OF GOVERNMENT – TO MAYOR DAVE BRONCONNIER, CITY OF CALGARY, REPRESENTING THE CANADIAN MAYORS FOR PEACE.

PEACE AND THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS.  OF COURSE, THERE IS AN EVEN HIGHER DUTY ON THE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY LEADERS TO SET THE EXAMPLE, PROVIDE VISION, DIRECTION AND SUPPORT FOR THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY.

MAYORS FOR PEACE IS AN IMPORTANT GROUP TO RECOGNIZE WITH THIS AWARD BECAUSE OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO WORLDWIDE EFFORTS TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS, TO INFORM THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE DANGERS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND TO ENCOURAGE THE UNITED NATIONS AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO MAKE NUCLEAR ABOLITION A PRIORITY. 

MAYORS FOR PEACE ALSO FORMALLY COMMIT TO PURSUING LASTING WORLD PEACE BY WORKING TO ADDRESS THE “PROBLEMS THAT THREATEN PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE”. 

PEACE STARTS AT HOME – IN OUR CASE, HERE IN CALGARY , WITH EACH ONE OF US.  I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT, FOR THOSE OF US WHO DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE IN OUR FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES AND WORLD, IT WAS A VERY PROUD AND PROMISSING MOMENT WHEN MAYOR BRONCONNIER AND THE CITY OF CALGARY JOINED THE OTHER 15 CANADIAN AND OVER 1,000 INTERNATIONAL MAYORS AND CITIES FOR PEACE.

APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR AGO, A COLLEAGUE, CALGARIAN AND MAN WHO HAS DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO TEACHING OTHERS HOW TO PREVENT VIOLENCE, DR. LARRY FISK, GAVE A SPEECH TO A LARGE GATHERING OF YOUNG PEOPLE AT SHAW MILLENNIUM PARK ABOUT A WIDE ARRAY OF NEW INITIATIVES TO PREVENT VIOLENCE, IN ADDITION TO THE MANY LOCAL AND PROVINCIAL PROGRAMS THAT HAVE BEEN GROWING FOR MANY YEARS, SUCH AS PROJECT PLOUGHSHARES.

DR. FISK, WHO NOMINATED MAYOR DAVE, THE CITY OF CALGARY AND THE CANADIAN MAYORS FOR PEACE FOR THE CANADIAN PEACE AWARD, LISTED A DOZEN NEW EVENTS OF SIGNIFICANCE CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE IN CALGARY AND AREA WHICH HERALD CHANGING ATTITUDES THAT WE MUST SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE THE HUMAN COST OF DIRECT AND INDIRECT VIOLENCE, AT HOME AND ABROAD.

THESE INITIATIVES INCLUDE:

·         NEW CONSORTIUMS FOR PEACE STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA IN EDMONTON (WHICH IS ALSO A MAYOR AND CITY FOR PEACE);

·         A THIRD ANNUAL ALBERTA PEACE EDUCATION CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY OCTOBER 21 – 23, 2005;

·         A MAJOR CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION WITH AS MANY AS 1,000 OR MORE RESEARCHERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY JUNE 29 – JULY 3, 2006;

·         THE YMCA CALGARY PEACE MEDAL AWARDS WHICH ARE GIVEN OUT EVERY YEAR TO HONOUR CALGARIANS’ ACHIEVEMENTS IN PEACEWORK BY INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS AROUND THE WORLD AND IN OUR COMMUINITIES (NOVEMBER 22 THIS YEAR);

·         A MAJOR WORKSHOP FOR PEACE AND WORLD UNDERSTANDING OF ROTARIANS FROM ALBERTA AND MONTANA AT WATERTON-GLACIER INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK THIS PAST WEEKEND. 

ALBERTA HAS A RICH HERITAGE IN PEACE, INVOLVING A WIDE VARIETY OF OUR CITIZENS.  FOR EXAMPLE, WATERTON-GLACIER INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK WAS INITIATED BY ROTARIANS FROM CALGARY AND ALL OVER ALBERTA AND MONTANA 73 YEARS AGO, AND WAS THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK IN THE WORLD, AND NOW A WORLD HERITAGE SITE. 

I WILL NOT GO THROUGH ALL THE OTHER NEW INITIATIVES, BUT SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT MAYOR DAVE BRONCONNIER, THE CITY OF CALGARY AND THE OTHER CANADIAN MAYORS FOR PEACE PLEDGING TO HELP PREVENT VIOLENCE AT HOME AND ABROAD LEADS THE WAY IN GUIDING CANADIANS IN THE CREATION OF A SAFER WORLD, FOR OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS.

 

AS MY FRIEND RETIRED SENATOR AND ACTIVE PEACE CHAMPION DOUGLAS ROCHE HAS SAID, “PEACE IS HARD WORK – IT IS VERY HARD WORK”.  THE WAY TO WAR IS A RICHLY PAVED AND TRAVELLED HIGHWAY, WHILE THE PATH TO PEACE LAYS AHEAD OF US AND IS 'STARVED' OF RESOURCES. 

I WAS VERY HAPPY, FOR EXAMPLE, FOR THE UNIVERSITY’S CENTRE FOR MILITARY AND STRATEGIC STUDIES WHEN THEY ANNOUNCED THAT THE ARTHUR CHILD FOUNDATION HAS DONATED OVER $1 MILLION FOR A CHAIR/PROGRAM IN DEFENCE ECONOMICS AND THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT HAS DONATED OVER $1 MILLION FOR A PROGRAM TO RESEARCH, TEACH AND EXPLORE A MILITARY CULTURE.  NOW WOULDN’T IT BE WONDERFUL IF SOMEONE WOULD CREATE TWO NEW CHAIRS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY FOR A PROGRAM IN PEACE ECONOMICS AND TO RESEARCH, TEACH AND EXPLORE A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE?  I AM WORKING ON THAT.

IN THE MEANTIME, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TO PATIENTLY SUPPORT EACH OTHER, AND TO CELEBRATE PEACE CHAMPIONS WHO HAVE STEPPED UP TO THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE.  

PEACE CHAMPIONS ARE DEARLY IMPORTANT TO US – WE NEED EVERY ONE WE CAN GET.  THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE GENEROUSLY COMMITTED TO “WALK THE TALK”, AND INVEST THEIR PERSONAL TIME, EFFORTS AND MONEY TO BUILD A PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE.  THIS IS NOT SOME ABSTRACT PROMISE TO THEM – IT IS THE ULTIMATE REALITY SHOW.

TO THE OTHER MAYORS AND LEADERS IN CANADA (GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, EDUCATIONAL, PHILANTHROPICAL AND OTHER LEADERS), AND TO ALL CITIZENS WHO HAVE NOT YET MADE A SINCERE PEACE PLEDGE, WE CHALLENGE YOU TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND ASK YOURSELVES “AM I DOING THE BEST I CAN TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD – A WORLD WITH PEACE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS EVERYWHERE?”

THE CANADIAN PEACE AWARDS ARE IN THE FORM OF AN ENGRAVED SOAPSTONE ‘INUKSHUK’.  FOR MILLENNIA, MASSIVE STONE FIGURES BUILT IN THE IMAGE OF A HUMAN HAVE STOOD SILHOUETTED ON THE TREELESS ARCTIC HORIZONS.  CREATED BY INUIT PEOPLE, THESE INUKSHUKS SERVE AS GUIDES TO POINT OUT A JOURNEY OR A SAFE PASSAGE.  THE CANADIAN CENTRES FOR TEACHING PEACE BELIEVES THIS IS A FITTING CANADIAN SYMBOL OF THE JOURNEY TO SAFE AND CARING COMMUNITIES AND WORLD.

WITH THAT SAID, I BELIEVE I CAN ASSURE YOU MAYOR DAVE, ON BEHALF OF ALL PEACEBUILDERS AND PEACE EDUCATORS IN CALGARY AND AREA, WE WILL PLEDGE OUR SUPPORT TO YOU TO HELP THE CITY MEET ITS PEACE GOALS, AND POSSIBLY BECOME AN INNOVATIVE CENTRE FOR PEACE EDUCATION IN THE WORLD.

 

WOULD YOU PLEASE JOIN ME IN CELEBRATING THE LEADERSHIP IN PEACE, ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION OF MAYOR DAVE BRONCONNIER, THE CITY OF CALGARY, AND THE CANADIAN MAYORS FOR PEACE.

 

PRESENTED THIS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE, SEPTEMBER 21, 2005 BY

ROBERT STEWART , C.A. , C.M.C.,

DIRECTOR, CANADIAN CENTRES FOR TEACHING PEACE http://www.peace.ca AND

DIRECTOR, CANADIAN CULTURE OF PEACE PROGRAM http://www.cultureofpeace.ca

 

[further background and detail, see http://www.peace.ca/peaceawards.htm ]