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.