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Ministry for Peace –- the Idea

The Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (resolution A/53/243) adopted in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly asks that governments work in partnerships with peoples from all parts of the community for the promotion of a culture of peace.

In Article 8 the Declaration clarifies this by saying that a key role belongs to: “parents, teachers, politicians, journalists, religious bodies and groups, intellectuals, those engaged in scientific, philosophical and creative and artistic activities, health and humanitarian workers, social workers, managers at various levels as well as to non-governmental organizations”. So we – all of us – must work together.

It is this concept, which provides the basis for OPTU’s call for the establishing of a Ministry/Department for Peace. We hope that it will become a ‘meeting place’ between government and peoples from all these parts of society. Here community and government representatives can discuss the issues and concerns presented with a view to finding a solution on each item that is of the greatest benefit to the whole; solutions which then can be further developed and implemented by the appropriate ministry, department, organization or group of people.

The First International Conference on a Culture of Peace in Madrid called for a “global plan of endogenous development”, based on four “new contracts”: social, natural and environmental, cultural, and ethical and moral.

The 1995 Report of the Commission on Global Governance, “Our Global Neighbourhood” underscores the need for a global ethic which would: “help humanize the impersonal workings of bureaucracies and markets and constrain the competitive and self-serving instincts of individuals and groups”. This would ensure, says the Report, that international society will be “imbued by a civic spirit”.

These are some of thoughts behind the proposal for a Ministry for Peace, which will bring the needed transformation to present governmental structures and provide decision making based on wholistic perspectives as well as shared responsibility and accountability.

 
Anthony and Gita Brooke email : optubrookiana@xtra.co.nz