Peace Day - September 21, 2008 - 61
hen we published the first Peace Day Magazine in 2006, there were 12 groups pursuing a Department of Peace in their governments. In less than two years that has tripled and the groups have formed a global alliance. Today people from 35 countries are actively proposing Departments of Peace, a coalition of African nations has formed, two have succeeded: the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction in Nepal and the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation, and Peace in the Solomon Islands; and the Ministry of Justice and Peace in Costa Rica will be the third very soon. This community of activists, organizations, and government officials in 35 countries constitute the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace. The Global Alliance was formed initially at the First Global Summit, which was held in London and jointly convened by Peace Partnership International (PPI) in the United States, the Ministry for Peace campaign in the United Kingdom (called ministry for peace), and the Campaign to Establish a Canadian Department of Peace Campaign. Perhaps the concept of a Department of Peace is summed Mike Abkin, Director of Operations, up by these words by Howard Rosenberg of The Peace AlliPeace Partnership International ance in the USA, “Instead of our political leadership asking, in our quest for national security, ‘How can we arm ourselves and defeat our adversaries like we did during the Cold War’, we now have the opportunity to ask ourselves: ‘How can we collaborate with the global community to create, by intentional design, a world where humanity thrives?’ The answers to these two questions may very well be the difference between a fearful society in decline and a hopeful energetic society that can help lead this world out of darkness.” Mike Abkin, Director of Operations at PPI notes, “We recognize that the world is interconnected and that everything influences the whole. As a consequence, there is no “them and us.” There is only us, and the welfare of others, indeed of all life, is our own welfare. Therefore, we must seek ways to consciously connect and build a culture of peace with nonviolence and cooperation as organizing principles. Indeed, all our systems of foreign policy, education, politics, business, health, and social welfare can and must be united in seeking, teaching, and living peace. Already, peacebuilding and conflict transformation technologies are being developed and put into practice around the world in a wide range of conflict situations within and between countries. The time has come to educate ourselves and help create the necessary infrastructure for peace in our culture.” Peace Partnership International (PPI) co-founded the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace in 2005, from which time the Global Alliance has organized annual Global Summits for Ministries and Departments of Peace, where the groups from countries all over the world can share their visions and help each other make bigger strides in the movement for structures in government that support a culture of peace. (Note that ministries and departments are words used by different nations for the same concept of representation at the cabinet level) The first Global Summit in London, in 2005, was attended by just a small group of 40 representing 12 countries, but in that meeting they began assessing their visions of what a Department of Peace would do, what its functions might be, and what problems it could address. Subsequent Global Summits were held in Canada in 2006 and Japan in 2007. W PEacE ParTNErSHIP INTErNaTIoNaL www.worldpeaceemerging.com 61
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