Category: Peacebuilding

East Asian Peace: Telling Japan to be Proud

To a Tokyo audience of Japanese peace practitioners, academics, journalists and diplomats, I recently chose to address the Japanese as East Asians. I had three important messages to convey: You East Asians have a Peace to Defend The East Asian Peace is at Risk Please overcome your differences and aim for an East Asian Security Community… Read more »

Peace Diplomacy: Finding Entry Points for Female Mediators

The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has invested in a network of female mediators to strengthen women’s roles in peace and reconstruction processes. However, it is not just the supply of female mediators that is the problem, but the demand as well. Where can opportunities be found for women to make contributions to these processes?… Read more »

Beyond Recognition to One, Ethical Reassurance to Many

An award can be backward or forward looking; this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is both. By awarding this prize in a moment of crisis for the Colombian peace process, it not only serves as a recognition of past efforts made by individuals, but also rescues an agonizing process and truly encourages further collective efforts for… Read more »

An Impossible Peace

The FARC and the Colombian government deserved to share this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, however, the prize was awarded to only one party. In general we are idiots if we let political correctness govern our views about how the world works. We confuse facts with latent sympathies – a widespread form of intellectual dishonesty,… Read more »

Most Importantly a Nobel for the Colombian People and the Victims of the Civil War

The Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasizes that the award of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to the Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos is not only a prize given in recognition of his own personal efforts to end the more than 50 year old civil war in the country, but that this award is also given to… Read more »

A Nobel for Colombian Peace Makers? Yes! (But to whom?)

In its current state, the Colombian peace process not only deserves but could in fact highly benefit from the symbolic effects that go hand in hand with being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Recently, in a tight vote, Colombians said ‘No’ to supporting the peace agreement between the government and the FARC-EP. While we, the… Read more »

No More Lost Opportunities

The leaders of Cyprus’ communities enjoy a rapport that would seem encouraging for settling decades-long differences. But new geopolitical realities could easily sideline progress. The time is now for visionary and credible political initiative, coupled with the constructive engagement of the international community. Few would disagree that negotiations for the solution of the decades-old Cyprus… Read more »

Peace is a Process

On 21 June 2016, UNESCO hosted a path-breaking Consultative Meeting on the contribution of the UN system to the promotion of peace. The meeting was attended by heads of 28 United Nations entities (programmes, funds, specialized agencies and bodies), who discussed the advancement of the global peace agenda and took stock of the present situation… Read more »

Interfaith Dialogue can Help Build Peace

Interfaith dialogue is a necessary aid in conflicts involving religion. Some years ago, many Western social scientists were claiming that religion was a dying phenomenon. Such assertions were part of an arrogant assumption that the entire world would soon come to resemble the north-western corner of Europe. In Eastern Europe, which lay under the yoke… Read more »