There is no shortage of official recognition for the importance of peace education.
25 June, 2:00 p.m., Annex
Hosted by Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)
There is no shortage of official recognition for the importance of peace education. The basic assumption behind this is that for true and sustainable peace to prevail, people on all levels of society need to have an understanding of peace and the desire and abilities to maintain it. Similar to peace itself, few would argue against the desirability of peace education. But is it really possible to teach people peace? Or is it merely a beautiful illusion?
The commonplace skeptical smirk about peace work seems to be inevitable when thinking of teaching people whose everyday reality is violence and armed conflict about non-violence, conflict transformation and reconciliation. In times of crisis and conflict, a choice between the practical consideration of surviving through the use of a gun or the moral decision to stand against the use of violence seems to be idealistic. But at the same time, if people continue to choose violence, there will never be sustainable peace.
This panel will try to tackle these considerations in two ways: Firstly, by looking at the overall issues, including whether peace education is a requirement for there to be true peace or whether it is a concept prevalent in the West that does not apply to actual conflict situations. Secondly, the workshop will look at peace education during different stages of conflict - in the lead up to, during and after war. Is it possible to teach people peace when a society is gearing up for conflict? Is it possible to teach people peace when they are trying to survive a war? And is it possible to teach people peace when they are traumatized, mourning the loss of their loved ones and trying to rebuild their destroyed homes?
de Souza, Alvito
Secretary General, World Catholic Association for Communication, Brussels, Belgium
Founder and Director, Nansen Dialogue Centre Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
Founder and Executive Director, African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, Mount Edgecombe , South Africa
Programme Manager Public Outreach, Global Secretariat of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, The Hague, The Netherlands
Programme Manager Action Learning, Global Secretariat of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, The Hague, The Netherlands
Founder and Director, Middle East Non-Violence and Democracy, East Jerusalem