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Mayor Welcomes Peace Forum
an article by

Mayor Annette Main will welcome guests to the 'Building Peace in Whanganui' Forum on Thursday, November 10, which is held in association with Operation for Peace Through Unity and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS) at the University of Otago.

The Wanganui Peace Sculpture

click on photo to enlarge

The aim of the forum is to identify and enhance local strengths and capacities to build a culture of peace and understanding, and to promote community partnership and resilience.

The morning session will take place at the Quaker Settlement in Virginia Road and the afternoon session in the Council Chamber at the Municipal Building in Guyton Street.

A keynote address will be given by Professor Kevin Clements, Director of NCPACS. "The forum presents an exciting opportunity for the community to come together to brainstorm ways to work together to make this district the safest and most peaceful place it can be," says Professor Clements.

"As far as I know, this is the first time in New Zealand that local government has assisted in gathering together relevant stakeholders to think intentionally about how to create and sustain a peaceful community, rather than to do so reactively after some terrible event. In this respect, I believe the district to be a genuine pioneer."

Professor Clements has been a regular consultant to a variety of non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations on disarmament, arms control, conflict resolution, development and regional security issues. His colleague, Senior Research Fellow Dr Elspeth MacDonald, will also contribute to the event. Dr Macdonald coordinates the peace education activities at the Centre and developed and manages the education4peace website.

"For our community this is an opportunity to come together and share what we are doing well and look at how we can meet the challenges ahead to create a better and more peaceful society and place to live." says Mayor Annette Main.


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 November 13, 2011.