World Peace Forum Call for ProposalsWorld Peace Forum 2006
Vancouver, Canada
Bulletin #1, June 30, 2004
Call for Proposals

You've heard of the World Social Forum?

How about a World Peace Forum?  In Vancouver in 2006!

For the past year, peace and justice activists in Vancouver have been organizing and lobbying for a World Peace Forum to be held in Vancouver.  This proposal has gained widespread support.  In May, Vancouver City Council formally endorsed the idea that a World Peace Forum be held in Vancouver in June 2006. City council has asked for a concrete proposal to be presented by November this year. 

We are now looking for community input (local/global) to develop a vision and program for the World Peace Forum.  If you are interested in making World Peace Forum 2006 a reality, here's what you can do:

- Read this leaflet carefully-for further background information download the City Peace and Justice discussion paper available at http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/committees/peacejustice/

- Discuss the idea of World Peace Forum 2006 with your network or community group
- Pass a motion endorsing the World Peace Forum and send it to us
- If you or your affinity group have an idea or project that you would like to work on as part of the World Peace Forum, write up an initial proposal (to the extent possible include project goal, activities, sponsors, budget, site size necessary, and so forth) and send it to us as soon as possible (first deadline--September 30, 2004).  The World Peace Forum will at a minimum provide infrastructure support (site, promotion).

Background

Why a world peace forum?  Global militarism threatens our planet.  A world-wide peace movement re-emerged in opposition to the invasion of Iraq.  The movement is diverse, encompassing the more senior anti-nuclear movement on the one hand, the newer anti-war movement on the other, and a host of others.  City governments also played an important role in this renewal and city peace networks exist in many countries.  There are important regional dynamics, both in terms of peace movements, and in terms of the impact of militarism.  Today, the Middle East is the focus, tomorrow it may be East or South Asia.  A World Peace Forum and, just as importantly the process leading up to that forum, will have as its goal to help consolidate the capacity necessary for communication, coordination and action on a global scale to stop war and end global militarism.  Local governments and social movements working together could create the critical mass to turn the dream of a world of peace and justice into a reality.

Why in Vancouver?  Vancouver City Council has become active again in the anti-war movement.  It formally opposed the invasion of Iraq, re-established a peace and justice committee, and is working with other cities to stop the weaponization of space.  It is also participating in the World Conference of Mayors for Peace emergency campaign to abolish nuclear weapons (2020 Vision).  The anti-war movement in Vancouver has a long history and has gained new vigour through the efforts of StopWar.ca and others.  Social justice advocates are active everywhere and the progressive arts and cultural life is dynamic.  And Vancouver is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth with the capacity to help build the bridges to make a World Peace Forum a reality.

When would it take place? In June 2006.  This will give us the time necessary to organize.  We hope to dovetail our work with the World Urban Forum, which will also be held in Vancouver that month. 

What will the World Peace Forum look like?  One overarching theme of this World Peace Forum is the global implications of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Another is that local governments and social action groups can work together to defeat global militarism and build a world of peace and justice.  The World Peace Forum will be broad in scope, an umbrella under which dialogues for action can constructively take place.  It will allow city representatives, indigenous peoples, faith groups, women, youth, labour, gays and lesbians, peoples of colour, seniors, professionals and others to come together, network and demonstrate to the world the thirst for peace and justice.  It will allow for a major arts and cultural component, and maximize citizen involvement from the start.  It will be an international event guided in its key decisions through an ongoing dialogue among the key stakeholders, locally, pan-Canadian and internationally.  It will be multi-layered, including diverse sessions:  research and analysis; delegated meetings for peace movements; a cities session; women's and anti-racist sessions; varied workshops and activities (bicycling for peace?), specific times allotted to regional peace calls (Americas, Middle East, Asia, Africa, etc), major cultural events, space for self-organizing, as well as a final day of activities including a major event that would bring together peace activists at the forum with the citizens of greater Vancouver, including Victoria.  Many of these events could be simulcast over the Web or shared by other electronic means.

Who would be invited?  Everyone!  Based on past experiences, the main participants will probably be local folk, peace-loving people from the Americas including the U.S., and a good number of international participants.  In order to ensure a global perspective, special efforts to provide representative meetings will be essential and we will work to ensure peace activists from the South (including developing countries and indigenous peoples) can afford to come.  Those that can't come should be given the chance to participate from afar via the Web.

Who's organizing the forum?: Two groups are currently leading this initiative--Vancouver City's Peace and Justice Committee, and a recently-formed World Peace Forum Society, a group of individual peace and justice activists who are dedicated to making this dream a reality.  They will be sponsoring a preparatory meeting of the World Peace Forum on November 26/27 in Vancouver.  Mark it on your calendar-more details in the next bulletin.

To get involved or for further information, contact the World Peace Forum Society at:

Tel.:   604 687-3223
Fax:    604 687-3277
E-Mail: admin@worldpeaceforum.ca
Mail:  #10-111 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, B.C
        Canada, V5L 4C4