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Culture of Peace for Public Policies - 1st Cycle of Conferences in São Paulo
an article by Lia Diskin, Association Palas Athene

From March to June, 2007, the Conselho Parlamentar pela Cultura de Paz (São Paulo, Brazil) is promoting six conferences for "mulipliers" by specialists in strategic tools for culture of peace building. The purpose is to offer support for the creation of public policies based on culture of peace principles and values at the São Paulo legislative branch. Admittance is free for opinion formers, civil servants of the judiciary branch, social agents and ConPaz counselors. Prior to each conference participants receive reference texts and materials in order to intensify participation during conferences.

"It is an honor to be here with those who are working to build a Culture of Peace", said José Gregori, President of the São Paulo Human Rights Committee, ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, when he opened the first conference on March 21. 60 persons, among deputies, leaders of ONGs, journalists, lawyers, civil servants of the legislative branch, and parliament representatives attended.

At the second conference on April 10, Lia Diskin concluded with a quotation from Artistotle that "Amongst all human activities that of the politician is the most noble, for he invests his time and talents in the welfare of the community". Reminding us of the origins of the word ethics - home, habitat, refuge - Lia Diskin outlined the history of this concept leading us to a fresh approach. It is necessary to transform values if we are to build a Culture of Peace, and this will require redirecting potency. "We must stimulate young persons to become political protagonists". Ethics must be discussed and put into practice in all areas of our life if we are to coexist in peace and partnership.

"We have to regain the ability to think together", was the motto of the third conference on April 26. The 55 participants were challenged from the start: they had to choose a subject and try to reach consensus. After taking note of the reactions Arnaldo Bassoli explained how thoughts are formed. Psychologist and coordinator of dialog groups based on David Bohm's ideas, Arnaldo Bassoli admits "it is not easy to listen to others, but we must recover our ability to think together".

Further conferences will be held on May 10 (Democracy, Power, and the Legislative Process), May 22 (Restorative Justice and Public Policies) and June 14 (Complexity in Public Policies). The Series will be concluded on June 27 with presentation of the Monologue: "Gandhi, a serving leader" by actor João Signorelli. Certificates will be given to those with over 75% attendance.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?,

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Latest reader comment:

International Cities Choose Peace

J. Fred Arment

International Cities of Peace, an association of global cities of peace, is using the U.N. Culture of Peace tenets as the guideline for forming initiatives. To date, thirty-one cities are part of the association. Some are grassroots organizations, others have the firm commitment by resolution or proclamation from the city council.
International Cities of Peace include the following:
• Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
• Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.
• Unity Village, Missouri, U.S.A
• Coventry, England
• Bradford, England
• Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
• Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Mataki, Philippines
• Pathuthani, Thailand
• Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Lake County, California, U.S.A.
• Aba, Abia State, Nigeria
• Nagpur, India
• Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.
• Bujumbura, Burundi
• Mzuzu and Lilongwe, Malawi
• Tunis, Tunisia
• Tuolumne County, California, U.S.A.
• Bihac, Bosnia, Herzegovina
• Yaounde, Cameroon
• Freetown, Sierra Leone
• Nyala, Darfur, Sudan
• Bujumbura, Burundi
• Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
• Nakuru, Kenya
• Calgary, Alberta, Canada
• Kathmandu, Nepal
• Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
• Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
• Warrake, Nigeria
• Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A.

To start an initiative, go to the association's website for resources and tools.

This report was posted on May 17, 2007.