First People’s Peace Summit
15 Dec 2005
The first People’s Peace Summit has launched an international initiative for the creation of Departments of Peace in governments throughout the world. The idea is to support the emergence of a culture, where non-violence becomes an organising principle.
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International Call for Departments of Peace
in Governments throughout the World.
‘It’s not a matter of simply getting another Department of Government. You’re
speaking of an entire philosophical revolution.’
Walter Cronkite, former CBS TV News Anchorman
Following a two-day summit at the Houses of Parliament, the first People’s Peace Summit launched an international initiative for the creation of Departments of Peace in governments throughout the world. The Declaration was presented to a packed public meeting in the Grand Committee Room and hosted by John McDonnel MP.
There is a rapidly growing international movement to establish Departments or Ministries of Peace everywhere. The idea is to support the emergence of a culture of peace, where non-violence would become one of the organising principles of society.
The meeting was attended by people from 11 countries and opened with video greetings from US Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, the originator of the concept. He said that more than 60 members of Congress have now signed on to co-sponsor his Bill, which is calling for a Department of Peace in the House of Representatives.
‘We can conceive of peace as not simply the absence of violence but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of human awareness. We may all tap the infinite capabilities of humanity to transform, not only consciousness, but the conditions that impel violence at a personal or national level, and instead create understanding, compassion and love.’
The campaign has attracted the sup-port of veteran TV news anchorman, Walter Cronkite, who interviewed the Congressman at the US conference. The highly respected newsman said: ‘What is quite clear, and will become clearer as you go along with the campaign, is that you are trying to create not only a massive, but a basic change in our culture and our entire approach to our relationships with other human beings. It’s not just a matter of simply getting another department of government. You are speaking of an entire philosophical revolution.‘
As a result of lobbying by those who attended the US Department of Peace conference in Minnesota, Senator Mark Dayton introduced the Bill into the Senate. Feedback, both from people who attended, as well as people in Congressional offices, was tremendous. ‘Our campaign to establish a Department of Peace took a quantum leap forward, as hundreds of attendees left Washington feeling their experience of citizenship had been expanded and revitalized,’ said Dot Maver, People’s Peace Alliance.
When the London Summit ended, Zoughbi Zoughbi, from Palestine, and Shiri Barr, from Israel, expressed their pleasure in standing together calling for peace, while John McDonnel MP said he would read the Declaration in– to the official record of the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity.
‘We can bring forth new understandings where peace and not war, becomes inevitable,’ said Congressman Kucinich. And he asked: ‘Can we move from war to end all war, to peace, to end all war?‘
The next People’s Summit for Departments of Peace, will be held in June, in Victoria, prior to the 1st World Peace Forum, in Vancouver.
Photo: Bronze statues in Peace Square Ouagadougou, Burkina Fasso. Photo: © Brigitte Verdiere, World March of Women
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