PeaceBuilding for a Culture of Peace
I have recently reviewed a thesis received from Angela Ward, who is a Canadian currently residing in Amsterdam and has just graduated from the University of Amsterdam's Graduate Program in International Relations. Her thesis research received the program's top grade (9) and is entitled "Peace-building for a Culture of Peace". Her specialisation has been in the area of conflict resolution throughout the course of her study.
I found her thesis to be very worthwhile for anyone considering implementing a Culture of Peace Program. I have summarized, in a series of 6 articles, the highlights from my perspective. You may not agree with some of the issues, but they all must be considered, debated and acted upon. While it is slanted toward post-conflict peace-building, the lessons are important
for developing a Culture of Peace in any country, and in any community. I recommend the summary for your reading. If you would like a copy of the detailed thesis (it is over 100 pages) it will be available at the end of the series. Any comments on the summary issues would be appreciated for my own consideration.
PEACEBUILDING FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE
- a bottom up approach: the people have not had the opportunity to work through their anger and hatred to come out of their distrust and dislike of their perceived enemy. The citizens in each region, state and community have not met the levels of resolution to pursue tolerant co-existence.
- " The world today spends billions preparing for war: shouldn't we spend a billion or two preparing for peace." Kofi Annan, Jan 1997
- The research in this thesis highlights the need for empowerment of United Nations operations in order to empower civil society to create self-sustaining peace.
- The deficiency will be proven to be the result of a failure to fully incorporate a key actor in the processes of peace-building, civil society.
- It will be proven that a Culture of Peace is capable of legitimating post-conflict peace-building and providing it with the necessary elements for self-sustaining peace.
- This analysis of the fusion of peace-building with a Culture of Peace will reveal the international community is not poised to undertake such doctrines and practices, despite the potential for mutual gain. There would necessitate a revolution at the level of ideology, economics, and politics in order for such an occurrence to be realised. Despite the advantage to the
resolution of conflict, the viability of operationalizing a Culture of Peace within the as yet unrealised doctrine of post-conflict peace-building is thus unrealistic given present international and domestic structures. The transformation of these very structures into cultural norms of a Culture of Peace is the objective; thus it is limited in its ability to convince of its own viability. The difficulty in producing communities which live a Culture of Peace is during its proliferation when imbalances based on unequal
application exist. Post-conflict peace-building for a Culture of Peace is a long-term and ongoing process which would require significant transformation at all levels of interaction for an open awareness and understanding of the mutual advantage and sustainable security which it can bestow.
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