While it is difficult to find progress in the culture of peace in international relations, the methods of the culture of peace such as mediation and restorative justice continue to advance at the level of inter-personal relations.
The greatest advances continue to be seen in Latiin America.
In Brazil, two years ago CPNN reported that almost all state courts and judicial policy makers took part in a debate at the Superior Labor Court in Brasilia on the current stage of restorative justice in the country. And recently we have seen developments in restorative justice aimed at promoting a culture of peace in the Brazilian states of Pernambuco and Ceará.
In Argentina, the National Directorate of Mediation and Participatory Methods of Conflict Resolution, held the “National Meeting of the Federal Network of Community Mediation Centers and Training in School Mediation”. In the CPNN article they list the advantages of community mediation and the responsibilities of the mediators and the parties concerned.
In Panama, the Coordination Office of the Community Mediation Program presented the main results achieved during the year 2021. Most cases continue to be initiated voluntarily, that is, that the citizen directly attends the Center to request the conflict management service without the intervention of a judge or other authority.
In Mexico, 13 mediation centers are available in the capitol state. The CPNN article describes the process of mediation in detail.
In the Dominican Republic, the National Conflict Resolution System (Sinarec), reported that in the past year 2021 it trained more than 11 thousand people in its citizen education programs for alternative conflict resolution and culture of peace. Among those trained were members of public ministries, psychologists, teachers, members of the National Police, community and ecclesiastical leaders.
Europe is advancing as well. Ministries of Justice of the Member States of the Council of Europe took part in the Conference on the theme of restorative justice, in Venice in December. The two-day Ministerial Conference concluded with the signing of the Venice Declaration, a joint document that stimulates policies aimed at a wider dissemination of restorative justice, access to which “should be an objective of the national authorities”.
In Spain, the Specialized Mediation Group of the Granada Bar Association has discussed and described the transformative practice of mediation. This type of mediation orients the participants towards conflict transformation, maximizing the choice and control of the parties in terms of content and process, increasing the intervener’s transparency, avoiding the use of pressure, manipulation and overreaction and promoting the conversation between the parties.
Over the years CPNN has carried many articles about the use of restorative justice in the United States. And most recently, the law school of Marquette University has established a Center for Restorative Justice. The center will train law students in how to use restorative justice at local, national, and international levels in a guided civil dialogue to address conflict, promote healing, and facilitate problem solving.
A bill was introduced in December in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India to promote mediation (including online mediation), and provide for enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation. The bill sets out the procedures that must be followed in mediation and among other measures, it would require the central government to establish the Mediation Council of India.
If only these principles of mediation and restorative justice could be used at the level of international relations ! For example, Russia has recently proposed peace treaties with the United States and with NATO, but so far they are being completely ignored, not only by the USA and Europe, but also by the mass media in these countries.
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