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Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace: a great step to harmonious peace

Kosta Makreas

 

News from the 3rd Global Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace

 

Dear Friend of World Peace,

 

Here is exciting news from the 3rd Global Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace

which just concluded in Japan.

 

Please forward this to your networks of friends, family and co-workers.

 

For more information, visit:

 

http://www.peoplesinitiativefordepartmentsofpeace.org/

 

 

SUMMIT CALLS FOR MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS OF PEACE IN ALL NATIONS

 

The 3rd Global Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace took place September 21-26 in

Kisarazu and Tokyo, Japan.This extraordinary event began o­n the International Day of Peace

and Global Ceasefire declared by the UN.It featured 21 country delegations*, representing

both civil society and parliamentarians, from all five continents, including Nepal, which became

the second country after the Solomon Islands to form a Ministry of Peace, and Rwanda, a

country that experienced genocide in 1994.The event was sponsored by the Global Alliance

for Ministries and Departments of Peace numbering more than 25 countries and hosted by its

Japanese member, Japan United for Ministry of Peace (JUMP).

 

Ministries and Departments of Peace are dedicated to creating a culture of peace within and

between countries where the Ministers of Peace would meet to reduce violence and war

through non-violent conflict resolution.

 

A principal purpose of this Summit in Japan was to support the peaceful nature of the Japanese

Constitution, now under review, and to advocate that all countries create peace constitutions.

Over the four days of meeting, the Summit heard reports from each country, carried out a series

of intensive training towards the formation of Ministries and Departments of Peace within their

respective governments, and resolved to witness the creation at least two more ministries by

the next Summit, with Costa Rica as the most likely to declare. "This summit empowered each

one of the participants and gave the Global Alliance the power to go forward," said Yumi

Kikuchi, founder and chair of JUMP.

 

At the summit the Africa Alliance for Peace emerged, initiated by delegates from Rwanda,

Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

 

The Global Alliance calls for structures in governments and civil society that support a culture of

peace, working together with all sectors in each country, especially youth, towards that goal.

 

*Countries represented were: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Italy,

Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal,

South Africa, Uganda, UK and USA.

 

http://www.peoplesinitiativefordepartmentsofpeace.org/

 

Thank you for supporting this most worthy global effort of people power!

 

In the Spirit of Peace,

 

Kosta Makreas

San Bruno, CA

14/10/07

 

 

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Gershon Baskin

 

Create 'ministries of peace' in every country

 

THE JERUSALEM POST

Sep. 24, 2007

 

I am writing from Tokyo, where I am attending a summit meeting of the "Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace." The aim of this global alliance is to foster the creation of governmental departments or ministries for peace throughout the world. This is the third Global Summit. In the years since its creation o­nly Nepal has actually moved forward with the establishment of a Ministry of Peace. There are about 20 countries being represented at the summit including a representative from Palestine. In the US Legislation for a Ministry of Peace has been tabled in the House of Representatives with 64 Members of Congress sponsoring the legislation.

 

The basic idea of having a Ministry of Peace is to work strategically toward the creation and the advancement of a culture of peace within the country and between a given country and its neighbors. A Ministry of Peace aims at enlarging the "tool box" of resources at the disposal of governments for dealing with conflicts, internal and external, and at enabling governments to develop alternative policies to the use of force. A Ministry of Peace would also be extremely useful in areas where there are o­ngoing peace processes especially when those peace processes emerge into peace agreements.

 

MANY OBSERVERS note the difficulty that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas are facing in their negotiations for a permanent status declaration of principles. Even o­nce that declaration is reached and the key issues are bridged into an agreement, the main challenges lie ahead of us. The most difficult part of any peace process is the successful and positive implementation of peace agreements. Here we Israelis and Palestinians have failed miserably.

 

When the Oslo agreements were first negotiated, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin instructed the IDF and the security services to be charged with implementing the agreements vis-à-vis the newly created Palestinian Authority. The generals in the general staff were very honest with the prime minister; they, in effect, told him: "We don't know how to implement peace agreements. If you want us to prepare the army for war or for any possible breakdown of the peace process, we are good at that, but we do not know how to implement peace agreements."

 

Unfortunately Rabin did not listen, mainly because he had so little trust in his fellow politicians. In the end, the military and security services o­n both sides were the main implementing bodies of the peace process (which failed). This is the tendency in places where the struggle, like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so heavily laden with acute violence.

 

IMPLEMENTING new peace agreements with the Palestinians will require extreme caution, sensitivity and a lot of strategic planning. It is essential that the implementation of any future agreements become "civilized," in other words, that the governmental ministries, other than defense, become directly involved in building cooperation and understanding. During the "good days" of the Oslo process, I was invited to a meeting in the Ministry of Finance to plan for an upcoming meeting between the economic ministries of Israel, Jordan and the PA. There were representatives there from all of the Israeli economic ministries. The meeting was also attended by senior representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the IDF. I was quite shocked when at the end of the meeting, the military representatives, who were silent during the meeting, took the floor to summarize the discussion.

 

I HAVE already written to Olmert, to Abbas and to other senior Israeli and Palestinian officials recommending that should they be successful in reaching agreement o­n a Declaration of Principles that they will bring to Washington in November, that it include, o­n both sides, the establishment of a Ministry of Peace in Israel and in the PA. The main task of these Ministries would be to coordinate the implementation of any agreements and the coordination of a "peace directive" that would be issued by both governments asserting that all efforts should be immediately undertaken to make peace into a reality.

 

Every single government ministry should devise a plan to build peace with its counterpart. The Ministries of Peace o­n both sides would serve as a coordinating body for the advancement of all of the peace-building activities that would be launched. The Ministries of Peace would also serve as a clearing house of knowledge, research, evaluation and collective know-how in the advancement of peace.

 

The Ministries of Peace would also play a significant role in advancing a public peace process bringing the reality of peace into every Israeli and Palestinian home and school. A major effort to build peace from the bottom-up based o­n people-to-people contacts, supported by the two governments and the international community would help to make the agreements tangible and substantive to Israeli and Palestinian citizens.

 

THE CREATION of the Ministries of Peace could immediately benefit a Minister currently serving in each government. In Palestine, Dr. Riad Malki, the current Minister of Information has been a long time peace activist who headed the Palestinian democracy and peace building NGO Panorama. Dr. Malki also served as the Palestinian Chairman of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum prior to being drafted into the government by PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. He is a perfect candidate to be the first minister for peace in Palestine. In Israel, Ami Ayalon, who brings with him the experience from the military but also the experience of being a peace activist through his People's Voice Campaign would be the perfect candidate from within the Israeli government.

 

Peace is more than agreements. Peace must be translated into reality. This does not happen o­n its own. A decisive and determined set of actions must be taken by both sides that are proactive and constructive must be employed. The establishment of two Ministries of Peace, o­ne in Israel and o­ne in Palestine, would be further proof that both sides were serious about making peace.

The writer is co-Ceo of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research & Information.

Gershon Baskin
Sep. 24, 2007


 

National Senate Call-in: Three in Three
September 19, 2007

 

Dear Supporter,

Thank you for supporting the Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace. We're taking three days - September 18, 19, and 20 - to call three specific U.S. Senators and ask them to come together for a nonpartisan introduction of the legislation in the Senate.

Today is your day to call in!

People who called in the past two days have already heard, "We're getting a lot of calls o­n this," so let's keep that momentum going!

Below are sample scripts, pertinent information, and the names of staffers with whom Department of Peace Campaign volunteers have previously met. We want them to know that we called. Please be courteous, professional and patient. Our goal is to invite them into courageous action. Remember: Connect rather than convince!

We're calling: Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) at (202) 224-4543 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) at (202) 224-5251 andSenator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at (202) 224-5141.

It is especially important that you call if you are a constituent of o­ne of these Senators! If you're not, it's important to tell them WHY you're calling - because this is a national issue - a GLOBAL issue - and we are counting o­n them to be national and global leaders.

It is especially important that you call if you are a constituent of o­ne of these Senators! If you're not, it's important to tell them WHY you're calling - because this is a national issue - a GLOBAL issue - and we are counting o­n them to be national and global leaders.

General Sample Script for All Senators Hi, my name is __________________ and I'm calling from _______________ [your state]. Even though I'm not a constituent of Senator _________________ [OR] As a constituent of Senator _________________, I'm calling to ask him to lead a nonpartisan introduction into the Senate of legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace. I'm making this request because the issue of violence is not limited to any o­ne state. It's a national and global issue, and we must increase our ability to nonviolently resolve conflict before it escalates into violence. I'm counting o­n Senator _________________ to be a national leader - a global leader - and introduce this legislation to create a legacy of lasting peace.

I'm also calling [choose the appropriate other two Senators: Senator Kennedy from Massachusetts, Senator Hatch from Utah, Senator Sanders from Vermont] to ask that they join Senator ____________ [whomever you're speaking to] in introducing this important legislation into the Senate.

[Insert other pertinent information if/as appropriate.]

Please give Senator ____________ and __________________ [name of staffer listed below] my message and thanks for the good work that you all are doing o­n behalf of all of us.

 

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)Call or leave a message o­n this main number - (202) 224-4543 - and ask them to forward your comments to Mike Stanton.

Other pertinent points for Senator Kennedy:

Ten Massachusetts grassroots members met with Mike in February 2007.

Senator Kennedy and Senator Hatch have a history of working together o­n important issues, from workers rights to AIDS to religious freedom. By joining together again to call for a U.S. Department of Peace, they can apply their wisdom, experience and true nonpartisan spirit to create a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Senator Kennedy considers "Real Security in a Changing World" to be o­ne of his top agenda items. A Department of Peace will provide the systems and structures needed to create just that.

Regarding Iraq, Senator Kennedy's website states, "We need to give greater priority to rebuilding Iraq, and promoting reconciliation between Shiites and Sunnis. We need to recognize the importance of Iran in stabilizing Iraq. Additionally, we need to promote diplomacy between Iraq and her neighborhoods to reduce outside interference." A Department of Peace will help do all of that, and help generations to come avoid future "Iraqs."

 

 

 

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)Call or leave a message o­n this main number - (202) 224-5251 - and ask them to forward your comments to Bill Castle.

Other pertinent points for Senator Hatch:

Bill met in February 2007 with Marianne Williamson, Denise Brown, Michael Shank, Trish Jones and the Utah grassroots team.

Senator Hatch and Senator Kennedy have a history of working together o­n important issues, from workers rights to AIDS to religious freedom. By joining together again to call for a U.S. Department of Peace, they can apply their wisdom, experience and true nonpartisan spirit to create a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Senator Hatch has historically supported violence prevention work, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 (co-introduced with Senator Joe Biden, D-DE). A Department of Peace will enhance work in that area.

In a floor speech o­n February 7, 2007, Senator Hatch stated, "Those who prepared o­nly for the military defeat of Saddam's forces committed such a profound error that it will be a lesson learned in the history books long after we are gone." We need not wait to apply the lessons of that mistake. A Department of Peace could have helped us prevent such an error, and will help us apply those lessons now and for generations to come.

 

 

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)Call or leave a message o­n this main number - (202) 224-5141 - and ask them to forward your comments to Huck Gutman.

Other pertinent points for Senator Sanders:

Huck met in February 2007 with the Vermont grassroots team

When a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Sanders co-sponsored the legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace

Senator Sanders has declared publicly that he'll co-sponsor the legislation when it introduced.

 

 

Thank you again for your courage, commitment and willingness to

take action FOR PEACE!


 

Saul Arbess, Diana Basterfield, Stephanie Jensen, Yumi Kikuchi, Dot Maver, Biannca Pace

 

Communiqué from the Second Peoples' Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace

Victoria, BC, Canada June 19-22, 2006

 

The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace gathered at Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada, to advance the establishment of ministries and departments of peace in governments worldwide. Government and civil society delegates from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Philippines, Romania, Solomon Islands, Spain, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States united to develop an effective global and national architecture for peace.

 

In plenary sessions and working groups, the foundations were established for local, national, regional, and international campaigns that will work towards conflict resolution and peacebuilding. "The role of governments in this initiative is crucial, in partnership with civil society," said Franklin Quijano from the Office of the Presidential Adviser o­n the Peace Process (OPAPP) in the Philippines. Fred Fakari'i, undersecretary in the Department of Reconciliation, Unity, and Peace in the Solomon Islands, noted that "Together we have the capacity to build the architecture that will make peacebuilding effective."

 

The Global Alliance calls upon governments of the world and civil society organisations everywhere to:

 

Develop the necessary resources and infrastructure for resolving conflicts effectively by peaceful means

 

Establish, train and develop civil peace services and the human resources and capacities for peacebuilding and conflict transformation

 

Incorporate conflict resolution and peace-building into school curricula from primary schools through university

 

Actively engage youth, women, and all communities to participate as equals in peace-building, to ensure participation and representation of all

 

Support and encourage coordinated efforts to gather lessons learned and best practices from peacebuilding experiences around the world

 

The Global Alliance is committed to partnership and cooperation with governments, organisations and institutions nationally and internationally working for the achievement of these goals and the promotion of peace by peaceful means. Governments such as those in the Philippines and Solomon

Islands who have already established secretariats and departments for peacebuilding, conflict transformation and reconciliation are pioneers and examples to the world.

 

"Collectively, the youth at the Summit call for a global youth cooperative network of the diverse local movements towards establishing departments and ministries of peace. We are excited to be able to offer a 'fresh' perspective for peace," said Tara Yip-Bannicq, Youth Delegate to the Summit.

 

"Everyone assembled here," said Dr. Saul Arbess, Summit host and Canadian Working Group delegate, "is determined to provide the energy, skills and momentum to realise these goals, working in concert and in harmony with peaceworkers worldwide."

 

28/06/06

 

Steering Committee Contacts:

Saul Arbess, sarbess@shaw.ca,

Diana Basterfield, diana.basterfield@ministryforpeace.org ,

Stephanie Jensen, stephjc@uvic.ca,

Yumi Kikuchi, yumik@fine.ocn.ne.jp,

Dot Maver, dot@thepeacealliance.org,

Biannca Pace, biannca@departmentofpeace-australia.org

 

28/06/06

 

www.peoplesinitiativefordepartmentsofpeace.org

info@peoplesinitiativefordepartmentsofpeace.org

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REPORT FROM VICTORIA: THE SECOND PEOPLES SUMMIT

FOR MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS OF PEACE

June 19-22, 2006

 

They came by plane, bus, car, ferry, and o­n foot. Sixty men and women, representing diverse

cultures, nations, ages, and languages, traveled to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, for the Second Peoples Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace held June 19-22, 2006. Speaking with o­ne voice they called o­n countries around the world to establish government structures whose goal is to work hand-in-hand with civil society - reflecting, building, and sustaining a culture of peace.

 

Government and civil society delegates from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, the Philippines, Romania, the Solomon Islands, Spain, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States gathered at Victorias Royal Roads University to give birth to the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace and to pose an effective global and national architecture for peace. Delegates from Cameroon, Congo, and Sri Lanka were unable to attend due to logistical constraints. In forming the Global Alliance, the Summit plenary established an intergenerational steering committee and five working groups (communications, networking, youth, research and field operations, and finance) to develop and carry out a plan of work up to the next Summit in 2007, which will be hosted by Japan. In its formal Summit Communiqué the Global Alliance affirmed its commitment to partner and cooperate with governments and civil society organisations nationally and globally in promoting peace by peaceful means and recognised thegovernments of the Philippines and the Solomon Islands, which have already established secretariats and departments for peacebuilding, conflict transformation, and

reconciliation, as pioneers and examples to the world.

 

Following the Summit, delegates traveled together to Vancouver to attend the first World Peace Forum, where the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace presented a half-day program o­n Creating National Departments of Peace. The program included an international panel of government leaders followed by a series of five related workshops. The panel was moderated by author and lecturer Marianne Williamson, chair of the Peace Alliance in the United States, and included Dr. Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, member of the legislative council of New South Wales, Australia; Fred Fakirii, undersecretary of the Ministry of Reconciliation, Unity, and Peace of the

Solomon Islands; Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich of the United States; Timothy Al Paulus, assistant secretary for youth in the Ministry for Youth and Sports in Liberia; Franklin Quijano, of the Office of the Presidential Adviser o­n the Peace Process in the Philippines; and Paul van Tongeren (the Netherlands), executive director of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict. In addition, statements were read from Senator Shokichi Kina of Japan and Senator Douglas Roche (ret.) of Canada.

 

Manish Thapa, Coordinator of the Nepal Peace Initiative Alliance, read the Victoria Summit Communiqué. Then the panelists spoke eloquently and passionately of their reasons for wanting a ministry or department of peace, the status in their own country of such a governmental structure,

and why partnership with governments and civil society is so important in our time. Marianne

Williamson made visible the interconnectedness and implicit possibilities for cooperation leading to

government and civil society partnership in building an infrastructure for peace. Fred Fakiri'i commented that, "All of you want a department of peace, and we have o­ne. Your challenge is to create it, our challenge is to sustain it. We need to work together." The sessions in Victoria opened with indigenous invocations, and each morning began with voices raised in harmony of song. At the end of the week, the delegates left Vancouver and returned to their homes around the world in harmony of purpose.

 

www.peoplesinitiativefordepartmentsofpeace.org

info@peoplesinitiativefordepartmentsofpeace.org

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Leo,

Your Harmonious Era Calendar is a grand idea.I absolutely love your statement: make the year to be so full ofcelebration that there remains no more days for war, enmity and humiliation. Iam delighted to know you.I told you that Iam among the many UnitedStates citizens who are working to establish a high-levelDepartment of Peace within the U.S. federal government. I think wecan make it happen not soon, but eventually. There are also Department ofPeace initiatives in Canada and other countries. Perhaps, we will be able to add a Department of Peace Day to your calendar.

 

Robert M. Weir

 

Writer, Speaker, Communications Consultant

Author of Star of Hope: The Life and Times of John McConnell, Founder of Earth Day; http://www.robertmweir.com/

Congressional District Leader for U.S. Department of Peace initiative in Michigan's 6th Congressional District; http://www.thepeacealliance.org/

E-mail: Robtweir@aol.com

 

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Dear Leo,

In my earlier e-mail, I mentioned that I am involved with the movement to create a Department of Peace within the U.S. government.

 

On July 22, I will be speaking to 350 to 400 people at a Department of Peace conference. I will be talking about John McConnell's concept of "peace, justice and care of Earth" as a connection between peace activists, social justice activists and environmentalists. My message will contain some of the same ideas you wrote in your letter to President Putin recently.

 

In my speech, I want to mention your Harmonious Era Calendar.Would it be possible for me to receive a copy of the Calendar prior to July 21? If so, I will also show the Calendar.

Robert M.Weir

29/06/06

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Dear Robert,

I very much like your activity o­n an establishment of a Department of Peace within the U.S. government and your offer to add our Calendar by the appropriate date. Please, look as it has made others in our Calendar and send me the appropriate text with date Peace Department Day. We shall include it in a new edition of our Calendar. I also wait your bio and statement (on o­ne page) for Calendar.

 

I am very glad to your speaking o­n July 22 concerning an establishment of Peace Department. It is very strong practical idea, which correlates with ideas of harmonious peace and its calendar. It is very much pleasant to me that you want to mention our initiatives in this direction. I also would like cooperation with your movement. As to our calendar, I should receive first ten books/ copies with it o­n July 7, and then I at o­nce shall send you three its copies (certainly free-of-charge). Probably they will come to you to July 22. Besides July 10-15 I shall send to you o­n email a leaflet of this book, which you could print out o­n the printer.

 

Leo Semashko,

June 30, 2006

 

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