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LISTEN: A recipe for peace

Fear campaigns and enemy images seem paralyzing and make us believe that doomsday is near, writes chronicler Susanne Urban. She is calling for a peace ministry.

"Norway lacks good routines for going to war," it said on the leaderboard in Bergens Tidende 14. September this year, following the release of the report evaluating the bombing of Libya in 2011. Besides: "Norway has not sent fighter jets on NATO missions for the last time." It is precisely in such a situation that we need good routines for Never to go to war. We need an infrastructure for peace.

In 1972, Norway became the first country in the world to create an environment ministry. Since then, around 60 countries have established similar environmental ministries. This has strengthened efforts to safeguard environmental interests. Now it is time for a peace ministry – as in Costa Rica, Nepal and Ethiopia (the latter created one in October 2018).

There is a global movement for the creation of the Ministry of Peace, the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace. In the UK, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has a shadow government, with a shadow peace minister: Sir David Hamilton. Will Norway follow suit?

NATO could have tried peace

"Negotiations could have gone ahead," Labor Party leader Gahr Støre told the newspaper Klassekampen 21. September 2018, seven years after the bombing of Libya. What happened?

The peacebuilding structures were non-existent / absent / too weak to resist the mighty weapons. Arms manufacturers and exporters are making a big profit on war. They will sell just as many tanks and bombers, fighter jets and missiles – year after year – even if the market is saturated. A strong peacebuilding environment is needed to develop and point out that there are alternatives. That a peace economy is far more sustainable than a war economy.

Trident Juncture – NATO's largest war exercise in the northern world ever – is over.

Trident Juncture – NATO's largest war exercise in the Nordic region ever – is over. The party tents with the VIP stands are rigged down. Where some saw security and defense in the display of killing machines, others saw war-hoisting and aggression. Undeniably, the environmental degradation is on forests, land and cultivated land. However, no one takes primary responsibility for pointing out the fatal link between militarism and environmental destruction.

The media's demonization of Putin, enemy images of Iran and massive fear campaigns (terror, refugees, climate out of control) leave most in a state of apathy and powerlessness. We live side by side with such diverse realities of reality that society as a whole stares paralyzed at the doomsday writing on the wall – without being able to agree on anything. Or?

Most people want peace

We must then be able to find noe to agree? Perhaps we can agree with the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Peace work is under-funded over the military, which is over-funded.

97 percent of researchers agree: Vi has a main enemy. And it is not Russia. The enemy is called climate change and pollution. To combat this, our only chance is to work across borders. Then relaxation and confidence-building joint projects are the bids of the time.

The party tents with the VIP stands are rigged down.

War may not be preventable. Freedom is to think that there are alternatives to resource wasting in a Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) arms race: Peace Culture may not be is being built – peace journalism may not be strengthened – reconciliation may not be remedy of humiliation. We have war schools – but need to develop similar teaching in peace mediation, nonviolent conflict resolution and dialogue work. War may not be is prevented through peace exercises – not war exercises – and by giving the peace options a budget. Peace must be given a vote at the weekly ministerial meetings and in the Cabinet of Ministers at the king's table. We need a Minister of Peace.

The main goal of a peace ministry will be to reverse our current culture of violence by promoting a culture of peace. Tasks will be to prevent war, including by providing impact assessments for military operations, and to show alternative methods and resource use in conflict management. This is where the best brains are needed, "for everything we are and everything we have ..." The Ministry of Peace will coordinate peace education as a compulsory subject at all levels of the education system. The Ministry will be responsible for coordinating hate prevention, including through peaceful and humane inclusion of refugees and other migrants. In addition, the Ministry of Peace will administer the statutory military service to all – through the establishment of nonviolent peacekeeping forces and a community service – so that the young people themselves can choose which sector they wish to contribute to when they serve the military service.

An important aspect of establishing a peace ministry is to strengthen the UN's work, both in Norway and internationally, with the resolution on people's peace law and the UN program of action for peace culture. In 2015, the UN member states adopted 17 goals for sustainable development. Until 2030, countries will work hard to achieve these goals. Goal # 16, "Peace and Justice," focuses on eliminating violence.

To give peace a seat

The International Women's Peace and Freedom League (IKFF) in Bergen has had the study prepared To give peace a seat. The work was carried out in connection with the Hardanger Academy for Peace, Development and the Environment, by Léa Dupouy, with a master's degree from Sorbonne in Paris and peace studies from the University of Tromsø.

The study is about establishing a peace ministry in Norway. It is structured in seven parts that show different areas a peace ministry can work on: reducing violence (I); remedy for trauma (II); preventing hatred (III); protect civilians and build sustainable peace (V), create social and economic results (VI), develop international peace-building (VII).

Just like the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Peace will collect the threads that are spread across various ministries and agencies today.

What suggestions could a peace ministry make? For example, let's look at Exercise I, to reduce violence. What are the alternatives to deterring life-threatening people across the globe? Well, here's the short version: First distargeting and gun control. The most important step for relaxation is to remove weapons that can reach long-range targets – primarily nuclear weapons, but also assault weapons such as bombers and long-range missiles and missiles. Second: alternative conflict resolution – Transcendmethod. We have a conflict when actors with incompatible goals are at odds. A conflict can lead to violence when a party cannot realize its legitimate goals. TranscendThe method uses creative techniques to find ways for all parties to realize their legitimate goals and thus transcend the conflict.


avatar photos
Susanne Urban
Leader of the International Women's League for Peace and Fertility (IKFF-Bergen).

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