This Update presents examples of resources to help build, restore, and maintain peace. Given the ongoing reality of armed conflicts (see map below) it is no surprise that the areas of human security, conflict resolution and peace studies are increasingly being emphasized in graduate programs, non-governmental organizations, and the global agenda for sustainable development. Peace at so many levels of course (ranging from interpersonal to international) is far too often elusive, as evidenced by a) the over 125,00 personnel currently deployed in 16 United Nations peacekeeping operations (UN Peacekeeping Fact Sheet, 31 March 2015); and b) the estimated 70,000 direct conflict deaths per year (Global Burden of Armed Violence 2015). We follow our list of resources with some closing reflections on our perilous age--"the age of egregious."
Admittedly, we are just scratching the surface in this Update (we have included 25+ resources/links). Yet hopefully it will spur on many colleagues to further involvement in this multi-faceted, crucial, growing area. Here are some reasons why this topic is particularly relevant for member care in mission/aid:
1. An estimated 1.5+ billion people live in countries affected by political or criminal violence and war--the people that are the focus of mission/aid work are often in places of great instability and danger.
2. Many mission/aid workers are thus themselves at risk, located in places where there are ongoing threats to personal security.
3. The areas of peace, conflict, and human security are inseparable from sustainable development efforts--they present many new opportunities for training and involvement for mission/aid workers, sending agencies, and NGOs.
Warm greetings from Geneva,
Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell
Peace: The Macro Picture
"Many regions face transforming security landscapes. Key elements driving these transformations include chronic political instability, persistent social volatility and conflict, the proliferation of non-state armed groups and transnational actors, disputes over land and natural resources, weak state systems, and recurring cycles of violent competition over the state or markets. These transformations manifest themselves differently across regions but are particularly powerful in the Middle East and North Africa; East, Central and West Africa; Eastern Europe; Southeast Asia; and Central and South America. Some societies in these regions face an erosion of the social fabric, albeit for different reasons. This erosion is not new, but has intensified in many regions..." (p. 7). White Paper on Peacebuilding (2014), Geneva Peacebuilding Platform
Armed conflicts. May 2015
Major wars, 10,000+ deaths in current or past year
Wars, 1,000–9,999 deaths in current or past year
Minor conflicts, 100-999 deaths in current or past year
Skirmishes and clashes, fewer than 100 deaths in current or past year
Resources for Promoting Peace
^^Proposed Sustainable Development Goal 16
"Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
16.1 significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
16.2 end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children
16.3 promote the rule of law at the national and international levels, and ensure equal access to justice for all
16.4 by 2030 significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, and combat all forms of organized crime
16.5 substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all its forms” etc.
Source: Open Working Group Proposal for Sustainable Development Goals (July 2014). Stay up to date with the SDG process on the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
^^Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN)
“PCDN is the leading global portal connecting over 35,000 individuals/organizations engaged in social change, peacebuilding, social entrepreneurship, development and related fields
. We provide a one stop shop to inspire, connect, inform and provide the tools and resources to scale social change.” See for example the Resource Guides for networking, careers, training, funding, etc.
We have signed up to receive the free daily resource updates, which number usually 10+/day—easy to skim to see what is the most relevant for us. Two examples:
--2015 Interaction Forum (22-24 June, Washington DC).
This gathering brings together around 1000 participants from 350 organizations to learn and network within the humanitarian and development sectors.
--Rotary Peace Fellowships
. “Are you looking to make a significant impact on the world by promoting tolerance and cooperation? Rotary selects some of the world’s most dedicated and brightest professionals to receive fully funded fellowships to study at our Rotary Peace Centers. In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 900 fellows for careers in peace building. Many of them go on to serve as leaders in national governments, NGOs, the military, law enforcement, and international organizations like the United Nations and World Bank.”
^^Peacebuilders Toolbox: 52 Online Resources for Peace Work
Canadian School of Peacebuilding, Canadian Mennonite University.
^^Peace Psychology, special issue of the American Psychologist, October 2013
(note: this special journal issue must be purchased) See also:
--the Peace Psychology entry on Wikipedia
--Psychological Dynamics of Protracted Ethnonational Conflicts
(note especially the five summary, collective dynamics in this classic article: totality, protractedness, centrality, violence, and perception of irreconcilability)
^^Geneva Peace Talks
Short video presentations related to peace by people from a variety of backgrounds and from around the world. Given on or around the International Day of Peace (21 September).
The 2014 speakers highlighted “how they have personally overcome the challenges of communication in their involvements in peacebuilding, communications, peace negotiations, as well as discussions with perpetrators of violence and underrepresented groups to build lasting peace.”
^^NonViolent PeaceForce (NP)
This organization “fosters dialogue among parties in conflict and provides a protective presence for threatened civilians. With the headquarters in Brussels and an office in Minneapolis, NP peacekeeping teams are presently deployed in the Philippines, in South Sudan, Myanmar, and the South Caucasus. Our peacekeepers include veterans of conflict zones, experienced peacekeepers, and those new to the field with the right combination of experience, skills, aptitude and attitude.” See also the special course on Strengthening Civilian Capacities to Protect Civilians
, developed in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
^^Health, Healing, and Shalom: Frontiers and Challenges for Christian Health Missions (2015), edited by Bryant Myers. "...authors with an interest in health missions from a wide variety of experiences and disciplines examine health and healing through the theological lens of shalom. This word, often translated “peace,” names a much more complex understanding of human well-being as right relationships with one another, with God, and with creation."
^^Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative. This is a concise inter-faith Statement by various religious organizations, resulting from a recent gathering convened by the World Bank Group (April 2015). Peace-war and poverty-wealth are connected.
Living in the Age of Egregious
On the border of the divided capital: Nicosia, Cyprus (Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot).
This monument is a shattered version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
conspicuously, flagrantly, and extraordinarily BAD
We recently did a series of blog entries on "living in peace" as part of a more extensive series of entries on loving "truth and peace" in our relationships (LTP--Zech. 8:19). These entries represent a lot of what we have been learning over the past 10+ years regarding healthy and unhealthy interpersonal relationships, along with leadership and organizational transparency/accountability and dysfunction/deviance. One entry in particular is a serious spoof on the Age of Aquarius, called the Age of Egregious. It opens with a music video from the popular 1960s group, the Fifth Dimension, and closes with a music video from Christian musician Randy Stonehill.
When the moon is in the seventh house
and Jupiter alligns with Mars
then peace will guide the planet
and love will steer the stars.
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius...
When our doom is just like that of Faust's
and stupid persons are blind to scars
some Beast will guide our planet
and fear will steer the wars.
This is the conning of the Age of Egregious...
Actively integrating our lives (connecting and contributing) with global realities
(skillfully addressing the major issues facing humanity and promoting well being)
in light of our core values (e.g., ethical imperatives, commitment to humanity, faith-based).
More MCA Resources
Global Portal for Good Practice (website)
Reflections, Research, and Resources for Good Practice (weblog)
Global Mental Health: A Global Map for a Global Movement (website)
Global Integration: Connecting and Contributing (updates, materials, webinars)
Global Member Care: (volume one): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (2011)
Global Member Care (volume two): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013)
(the e-book version is available on Amazon)