|Posted: April 27 2005,02:12
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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?
We have contributed to the peaceful resolution of a number of
international conflicts. In 2005 alone, Transcend has mediated in Sri
Lanka, the Middle East, Chiapas, Aceh, Uganda, Liberia and many other
As an earlier example, one positive
experience was the creation of a BINATIONAL ZONE between Ecuador and
Peru which has been an example for other conflicts. In 1995, Johan
Galtung had an opportunity to meet with the former President of Ecuador
who was involved in border negotiations with Peru. In the peace
treaty of Rio de Janeiro of 1941, it was agreed that the border should
run along the watershed in the upper Amazon basin. But depending
on rainfall, the watershed has
shifted. Each country insisted
that the true border is where the watershed once was closest to its
neighbor. Since 1941, Ecuador and Peru have fought four wars over
this sparsely populated 500 square kilometer territory.
Galtung patiently listened to the Ex-President complain about
Peru's inflexibility. But he also always carefully listens to
what people do not say. The Ex-President never said that each
square meter of territory must belong to one and only one country,
because he assumed that was obvious, since that principle was adopted
at the peace treaty of Westphalia in 1648. So Galtung asked him
what he thought of the idea of making the disputed border territory
into a jointly administered "binational zone with a natural park,"
attracting tourists to benefit both countries. The Ex-President
said, "This is very original--but it is too original, it will take at
least 30 years to get used to such a new idea, and another 30 years to
implement it." But out of curiosity he did propose it to
in the next round of peace negotiations, and to his surprise, Peru
accepted it with minor modifications. This led to the Peace
treaty signed in Brasilia on October 27, 1998.
Galtung pointed out that this initiative cost him only $250 for
an extra stopover in Quito, a night in a hotel, and a very lavish meal
for the Ex-President and his wife. By comparison, the Gulf War
cost $100 billion, not counting the destruction it caused. Most of all,
peaceful conflict transformation can save many lives.
Most governments wait until a conflict erupts in war and then
intervene with military force, instead of seeking to find a peaceful
solution long before it leads to violence. Such a policy is
comparable to driving a car with closed eyes, waiting until we hit an
obstacle and then calling an ambulance, instead of anticipating dangers
and avoiding them.
OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?
- Only run by volunteer work, lack of permanent staff
- No grants or financial support.
ACTIONS: What actions have been
undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and
nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?
is based on four pillars/modes of activity: action, education/training,
dissemination, research. Take Peace Museums: Action is to stimulate or
build a peace museum. Education/training would have participants who
want to know more about peace museums or work in them. Dissemination
would inform about existing and future peace museums. Research would
explore artifacts to exhibit in a peace museum and the causes and
consequences of peace museums.
Action will always be the most
important pillar. So far the activity has above all focused on peaceful
conflict transformation, using the TRANSCEND method based on extensive
dialogues with all parties, one at a time, to stimulate their
creativity about possible outcomes and processes leading to those
outcomes. This is then written up as a "conflict perspective", posted
on the TRANSCEND web-site www.transcend.org, and updated occasionally.
The reader can know more about this mediation process during the last
40+ years by reading about it in the book introducing TRANSCEND, Johan
Galtung and Carl Gustav Jacobsen eds., Searching for Peace: The Road to
TRANSCEND (London: Pluto, 2000), pp. 101-227.
The 45 conflicts attempted mediated can be seen on the Web-site, here we shall only list the most important ones right now:
HAWAII-PACIFIC SRI LANKA COLOMBIA CHINA
EUZKADI JAPAN/KOREA-CHINA- and USA
YUGOSLAVIA NORTH-SOUTH, DEVELOPMENT CRISIS
EAST-WEST/USA-EURASIA/COLD WAR II CAUCASUS CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
AFGHANISTAN GLOBALIZATION KASHMIR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
expertise has been developed on these conflicts. However, it should be
emphasized that TRANSCEND's focus is on therapy/transformation/solution
rather than on diagnosis/prognosis.
The TRANSCEND Peace
University (TPU) is TRANSCEND's peace education/training arm,
delivering on-site and on-line courses. It was established formally at
a TRANSCEND meeting held in Cambridge, MA March 2001. TPU's purpose is
to prepare participants with the knowledge and skills required for
professional peacework, focusing on the creative transformation of
conflicts. While emphasizing graduate courses, it also provides
educational programs suitable for motivated non-academic participants.
All courses emphasize professional practice. Most participants have had
relevant field experience and are also resource people, drawing on
their own experience as they expand that experience through the course
TPU is a network of cooperating TRANSCEND sites where TPU
courses have been tried out on-site as intensive skills institutes from
one day to one week, first time Wien September 1996.
mid-2001 there had been about 200 such workshops (Galtung had offered
133), about 3,000 participants in 30 countries, in dialogue groups in
many languages; about conflict transformation using the UN/DMTP manual,
and peace-building, peace journalism, democracy and human rights,
nutrition rights, peace pedagogy, peace analysis, dialogue,
reconciliation, nonviolent approaches to security. Participants have
been ambassadors/diplomats, professors, NGO workers, students,
journalists, psychiatrists, peace researchers, social workers,
international civil servants. Countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria,
Azerbaidjan, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Georgia,
Germany, Hungary, Italy, India, Japan, Jordan, Macedonia, North-Korea,
Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania (Cluj), Russia, South-Korea,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, US, Yugoslavia.
the sites can be viewed as a node in the TRANSCEND-TPU network. The hub
of the network is the TPU Global Center. Thus, the TPU courses expand
the capacity of the Network Sites to offer on-site graduate education
in peace studies, generally in their own language, and eventually also
on-line so that participants can have the advantages of both on-site
and on-line. TPU can assist them in working out recognition of TPU
courses by their universities.
TPU started offering courses
on-line from January 2002. The target participants are practitioners
more than academics and students since this is where the demand has
been articulated: UNDP and other UN personnel in the field, NGO people
in the field, and, possibly, embassy personnel in conflict areas.
II and III will expand to academics and students and add more
theoretical courses like a core course in peace, conflict, development
and civilization). More particularly, five courses of 15 weeks duration
with up to 25 participants (fee $4-500) are envisaged for Phase I:
CONFLICTS, building on TRANSCEND's experience around the world,
comparing Hawaii-Pacific, Colombia, Ulster, Euzkadi, Yugoslavia,
Israel/Palestine/Middle East, Caucasus, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Korea and
the USA/Eurasia Configuration (Cold War II).
Basic text: Carl Jacobsen & Johan Galtung, Searching for Peace (London: PLUTO, 2000) and articles on all conflicts.
Instructor: Jörgen Johansen and experts on the specific conflicts.
CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION, based on the manual for UNDP/DMTP, Conflict Transformation by Peaceful Means Geneva: UN, 2000.
Instructor: Johan Galtung, with teaching assistants.
PEACE BUILDING, based on a forthcoming book/manual.
Instructor: Kai-Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen.
RECONCILIATION, based on a revised manual, and other sources:
After Violence: 3R, Reconstruction, Resolution, Reconciliation.
Instructor: Jan Öberg.
PEACE JOURNALISM, based on a revised manual, and other sources:
Jake Lynch & A. McGoldrick, The Peace Journalism Option: No. 3
Instructors: Jake Lynch and Annabel McGoldrick.
the exception of Peacekeeping and Peace Zones (for which we are not yet
ready) these are the basic courses for conflict workers in conflicts
with violence. These courses will be offered often.
TPU has a Board of Advisors and an Executive Committee. The TPU on-line and on-site rectors is Johan Galtung.
TRANSCEND AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENT. We have already launched,
for peace education: TRANSCEND Peace University (TPU), and work on for peace action: TRANSCEND Conflict Service (TCS)
for peace dissemination: TRANSCEND Media Service (TMS)
for peace research: TRANSCEND Research Institute (TRI)
in these directions are being carried out on some of the TRANSCEND
sites making them TRANSCEND centers. A fully fledged TRANSCEND center
would work on all four modes of activity.
Some experience in
dissemination was gained publishing about 30 columns through
Inter-Press Service in Roma, reaching 70-80 papers, mainly in the Third
World. These columns are available from TRANSCEND as #1 in our Booklet
Series (#2 gives background material for several of the conflicts, #3
gives the memoranda to groups that have consulted TRANSCEND about how
they could work more actively for peace, and #4 is an important tool in
conflict work: Jokes to be taken seriously - to be used with care and
By and large TRANSCEND draws upon 40 years of research
experience, since peace research started becoming institutionalized at
the end of the 1950s. In a sense TRANSCEND is an effort to put all of
this intellectual activity into conflict transformation, peace and
development practice. But in so doing needs for new research arise,
stimulated by practice. Thus, there is a need for a summary, in index
form of much available information, like a
War Participation Index (WPI), measuring the extent to which a state historically has been involved in war;
Warning Index (EWI), measuring the inclination of a state (and other
actors) to be involved in wars, based on the tendency to do so (WPI)
and the levels of structural and cultural violence.
Transformation Index (CTI), measuring the transformation level in a
given conflict, facilitating comparisons of the same conflict over
time, and with other conflicts. and pointing to missing efforts as a
guide to action.
TRANSCEND AND FUNDING. TRANSCEND has so far
practically speaking neither asked for, nor received, any funding.
Our basic philosophy is to "earn our way", offering
education/training against fees. Working for peace, like for health,
should not be for profit but be a publicly available service.
Consequently all our perspectives etc. are freely available.
capital is human: the skill, knowledge and experience of our members;
social: the capacity of the network to generate teams for specific
tasks even at very short warning, and political: no hidden agenda,
independence. But there is also volunteerism presupposing jobs or other
sources of income.
Under no circumstance will TRANSCEND receive any
funding from governments or others who may be parties to conflicts
TRANSCEND may be asked to mediate, and we are deeply skeptical of
organizations willing to accept such support, thus giving up their
However, untied funds will continue to be welcome,
also in small quantities, to facilitate unsolicited conflict mediation
(when asked by, say, OSCE or UNDP expenses are of course covered),
preparation of TPU courses, stipends for participants on-site or
on-line from poor countries, travel expenses, etc. Grants from the
North-South foundation in Zürich and the Welden Foundation in New York
have been very useful for covering scholarships for participants in two
workshops in Eastern Europe.
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?
of a UN Agency for Mediation, with several thousand professionals and
similar to other international organisations, who can detect emerging
conflicts and help transform them peacefully before they lead to war.
That would be an excellent investment for a more peaceful world.
PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and
networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the
global movement for a culture of peace?
Centro de Estudios Internacionales http://www.ceinicaragua.org.ni/
Focus on the Global South http://www.focusweb.org/
Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania. PATRIR www.patrir.org
The Coalition for Global Solidarity www.globalsolidarity.org
The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) www.transnational.org
Transnational Institute http://www.tni.org/
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)?
Training a large number of people in peaceful conflict transformation
Supporting peace initiatives
Conflict mediation at global, national, local and personal level.
Postal address of organization
Tel: +40 742 079 716 ; Fax: +40 2 64 420 298
E-mail address of organization
Website address of organization
Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace
Education for a culture of peace
Second priority action domain of a culture of peace
International peace and security
Highest priority country of action (or international)
Second priority country of action (or international)
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