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The Social Geography Project of Hamilton
an article by Culture of Peace Hamilton

Although much collaborative work is already being done, Culture of Peace Hamilton [Ontario, Canada] is conducting research to assess the size and social attitudes of literally hundreds of Hamilton individuals and groups whose voices of concern and compassion are often overlooked or discounted when important decisions are being made.

click on photo to enlarge

The missing link that binds so many smaller groups together is their passion for social justice and the desire to be heard. This is the bond that links faith groups with environmentalists; those who support food banks with youth gyms; disaster relief workers with women’s shelters; and anti-bullying programs with health promotion or poverty reduction.

The outcome of this research will contribute to the establishment of a Culture of Peace Commission in Hamilton, based on the six principles of a Culture of Peace as sponsored by the United Nations.

Using the principles of the Manifesto 2000 as guides for poverty reduction, social inclusion, environmental protection, and anti-bullying, a Culture of Peace Commission could use our kind of research to audit progress towards a more equitable, less violent society. The Manifesto’s six principles are applicable to small groups as well as nations. They can apply to powerful institutions like corporations, city councils, school boards, and even the police.

See examples below:

Respect All Life:

City Council
Public education – Schools, Colleges, Universities
Safe and respectful Police Services
Upholding human rights – International and Charter

Reject Violence:

Anti-bullying groups
Violence against women, sexual assault etc.
Victim services
John Howard Society, Elizabeth Fry Society etc.

Share with Others:

Public services – water, electricity, transportation, etc.
Poverty reduction
Food Banks etc.
Immigration Services

Listen to Understand:

Restorative Justice
Gay rights initiatives
Non-violent Communication (NVC)
Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Healing circles and circles of support

Preserve the Planet:

Anti-pollution – all environmental groups
Alternate energy initiatives
Greenhouse gas reduction targets
Conserving green space

Rediscover Solidarity:

Interfaith Groups
Block Parent
Women’s groups
Local citizen initiatives


Question(s) related to this article:

What is a culture of peace city, and how does one become one?

* * * * *


I believe that the development of a network of culture of peace cities can be a decisive factor in the transition from a culture of war to a culture of peace based on a profound reform of the United Nations system.  The following are excerpts from my book World Peace through the Town Hall.

My experience working in the United Nations system for ten years and observing it closely for seven years since my retirement makes me optimistic that the UN system is capable of managing a transition to the culture of peace. The various specialized agencies that deal with health care, education, food and agriculture, science, communication, not to mention technical questions such as aviation, shipping, atomic energy, etc. are staffed by a capable international secretariat with experience in the day-to-day management of global issues. The UN General Assembly, as well as the international assemblies of other agencies such as the General Conference of UNESCO, provide important forums. Even the Security Council, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which are now in the hands of a few powerful states and used to support their culture of war could play important roles in the transition to a culture of peace if they were transformed under control of "we the peoples" instead of the state.

For the reasons given throughout this book, a global network of local authorities is the best chance for an international political force independent of the nation-state that could take responsibility for the United Nations and direct it towards a culture of peace.

In summary, the cause of the United Nations seems hopeless for a culture of peace as long as it is under the control of the nation-states of the world with their culture of war.

Without being able to predict a precise date, we can expect within the next few decades that the American Empire and the globalized economy associated with it will crash as did the world economy in 1929 and the Soviet economy in 1989.

A global crash sets the stage for two possible political solutions which are diametrically opposite. One is a strengthening of the culture of war at the level of the state into fascism which was the predominant reaction in the 1930's. . ...more.

This report was posted on August 11, 2011.