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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace (GAMIP) 2013 Switzerland Summit
an article by Anne Creter

Video: U.S. Summit presentation

The Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace (GAMIP) held its 6th biennial summit at the College Voltaire, Centre International de Conferences de Geneve and the Palais de Nations from 14-20 September - theme Nesting Peace: Creating Infrastructures to Sustain Diversity. GAMIP is a worldwide community of civil society citizens, organizations and government officials who collaborate to establish "infrastructures for peace” – including national ministries and departments of peace, as well as other local and regional infrastructures such as peace councils and academies.


Group photo of 2013 conference participants

click on photo to enlarge

I was part of the U.S. delegation representing the Peace Alliance; my New Zealand based United Nations NGO, Operation Peace Through Unity and the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace initiative at the UN.

An I4P is defined by the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) as: A network of interdependent systems, resources values and skills held by government, civil society and community institutions that promote dialogue and consultation; prevent conflict and enable peaceful mediation when violence occurs in a society. UNDP adds that recurring conflicts at any level cannot be addressed through a single peace process but require long standing mechanisms for mediation and dialogue. I came away understanding I4P to be any institutional or organizational capacity or mechanism that supports peace building; i.e., any accepted, sustainable system, structure or process within government or civil society that promotes dialogue, mediation, right relationship etc., thus transforming conflict or violence. Such structures can be in the form of ministries or departments of peace, as well as peace academies, institutes, councils, commissions, committees and centers.

Over 160 people -- young and old -- from many countries gathered to collaborate on building various types of infrastructures to support a culture of peace. Countries represented were Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Costa Rica, Ghana, Pakistan, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Canada, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nepal, Lesotho, Uganda, United Kingdom, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Georgia, South Africa, Columbia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Mauritius, Italy, Germany, France, Romania and Denmark.

Many effective I4Ps have recently emerged globally. The Solomon Islands, Nepal, Costa Rica and Papua New Guinea have actual governmental peace ministries! Many others have a blossoming assortment of viable local, regional and national civil society structures, such as peace institutes, commissions, committees and centers (See CPNN September 29.

I was excited to have facilitated an Open Space discussion on seeking a United Nations I4P resolution. A global citizen petition drive was launched for it. You can participate in the on- line petition soon to be circulated globally. For details, keep checking www.gamip.org.

On the International Day of Peace, several GAMIP leaders presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council side event panel discussion on the “Role of National Institutions in the Promotion of Education for Peace and Peace as a Human Right.”

The summit was a bold experiment in many things – youth organization, employing restorative circles, modeling I4P and crowdsourcing to nest and hatch peace. It renewed my belief that peace on earth will indeed happen someday!

Click here for more information or here for the U.S. outcome report.

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This report was posted on October 29, 2013.