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Organization: PeacefulSocieties.org
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: Mar. 27 2005,13:58 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

A modest number of small-scale societies around the world have developed highly peaceful cultures and social structures.  Among these societies, instances of internal violence or warfare against other groups are rare or virtually nonexistent.  While these people certainly experience conflicts, they have various ways of resolving them nonviolently.  A notable characteristic of these societies is that people usually have a lot of respect for others, particularly for women, children, and the elderly.  Most of them highly approve of harmonious, supportive, giving human interactions.  While none of them are utopias, their strategies for building peacefulness, both within their societies and in their relationships to other groups, can be intriguing for anyone interested in developing, as they have, cultures of peace.
The Peaceful Societies Website (http://www.peacefulsocieties.org), under development for nearly two years and opened to the public on January 20, 2005, provides access to information about the peaceful societies.  The Peaceful Societies Website is designed to complement the Culture of Peace program.  Individuals and groups can gain inspiration for their own efforts by learning about societies that have already achieved a considerable measure of peacefulness.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

Since the development of the Website is entirely based on volunteer time, progress is slow because we need to learn the skills to manipulate the numerous, sophisticated software programs used in creating dynamic websites.  Development of additional features on the website, such as better illustrative materials and an archive of scholarly resources on the peaceful societies, is moving slowly forward.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

MISSION.  The mission of the Peaceful Societies Website (http://www.peacefulsocieties.org) is to be a reference source for scholars, students, peace activists, and citizens who are interested in exploring the reasons why a small number of societies have become quite peaceful, the ways they maintain their nonviolence, and challenges to their peacefulness.
OBJECTIVES.  The first six Website objectives, listed below, have already been implemented, while the last three are still under development.

1. To introduce the scholarly literature about peaceful societies to peace studies, anthropology, sociology and psychology faculty and students worldwide, to the academic community in general, and to all interested readers.

2.To provide enough facts about the phenomenon of peaceful societies to whet visitors’ interests in exploring the Website further.

3.To present brief encyclopedic articles about selected peaceful societies so that casual visitors to the website will be enticed into delving into the scholarly literature on the subject.

4. To encourage users of the Website to explore specific issues relating to the peaceful societies, such as gender relations, child-raising strategies, approaches to conflict resolution, leadership practices, and relationships with other societies, as a means of developing insights for applications in the contemporary world.

5. To provide a list of “best books” for book and reading clubs, and people in general, who might be interested in peace topics.

6. To provide a news information service and reviews of current scholarship about peaceful societies.

7. To provide links to other peace studies sites that have a similar focus (under development).

8. To go beyond the bibliographic introduction of literature by scanning a selection of leading scholarly resources and making them available on this Website (under development).

9. To portray on maps the worldwide distribution of peaceful societies (under development).

AUDIENCE.  The intended audience for the Website:

1. Peace studies, anthropology, sociology, and psychology students and faculty:  Many contemporary students are willing to read materials that they find on the Web, but will not read materials in print format.

2. Adults with an interest in peace who are intrigued by the concept of existing peaceful societies.  While they may not be willing to pursue the scholarly literature, they may be interested in reading the encyclopedia articles on the Website which give specialist information in an understandable format.

3. People of all ages who fret about issues of war and peace but who want to go beyond politics to explore substantial issues of sustainable peacefulness.

ENCYCLOPEDIA.  A major feature of the Website is an Encyclopedia of Selected Peaceful Societies (http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/Society/intro.html), which contains 25 entries of 900 to 1100 words that portray a selection of the small-scale societies noted for their peacefulness.  The entries provide brief, factual information about the society and a discussion of the critical issues that relate to their peacefulness.  Some of the topics covered in the articles about the societies include: beliefs that foster peacefulness; conflict resolution strategies; gender relations; child-raising patterns; cooperation and competition; social control; and strategies for avoiding warfare and violence.  Each entry addresses the critical question, “but how much violence do the really experience?”

NEWS AND REVIEWS.  The News and Reviews feature of the Website (http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/News.html) has normally included two new stories per week: a news post and a review of a book, journal article, or article in a scholarly anthology.

ACADEMIC REVIEWERS. Development of the Peaceful Societies Website began in 2003 with the involvement and support of four academic reviewers, in New York State, Hawaii, Australia, and Finland, two technical advisors in California and New Jersey, and a webmaster/site designer in Pennsylvania.  These people are all listed on the "About This Website" page (http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/About.html).

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

It is essential to step back from the macro-level of international politics and diplomacy to look at smaller scale societies that have already developed peaceful cultures, beliefs, educational patterns, and social structures.  International, national, and community leaders need to reflect on the forces within societies that foster peacefulness.  These peaceful societies should inspire anyone who is working to build a culture of peace.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

While the Peaceful Societies Website already has many links to other organizations and to works specifically focused on the societies themselves, a broader effort to establish links with other comparable peace organizations has just been initiated.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

1. We are working to develop mutual links with other websites.
2. We plan to start contacting authors and copyright holders for permission to scan articles on the peaceful societies to include in the Website.
3. We plan to contact people who may have photos of the peaceful societies, to solicit donations for the website.
4. We are working to develop maps for the Website.  The first one appeared with a news story on March 24, 2005.
5. We plan to respond to several requests for a filmography, a listing of good films about the peaceful societies.
6. Later, in a few years, we hope to improve the design of the Website, to make it appear more graceful and attractive looking.

Postal address of organization

PeacefulSocieties.org
c/o Bruce Bonta
P.O. Box 68
Tyrone, PA 16686

E-mail address of organization

BruceBonta@PeacefulSocieties.org

Website address of organization

http://www.peacefulsocieties.org

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a culture of peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Understanding, tolerance, solidarity

Highest priority country of action (or international)

International

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: PeacefulSocieties.org

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