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THE PEACE NATION: Peace policy ends up outside the focus of both the media and politicians.

(Note: The article is machine-translated from Norwegian by Gtranslate)

Alexander Harang
Harang is the editor of "Fredsnasjonen", the magazine MODERN TIMES published in the summer of 2021.

(LEADER: written by Harang, Kviseth and Lie. See The nation of peace here)

We live in a time where peace policy ends up outside the focus of both the media and politicians. The peace commitment in the population has also been declining over time. This is a natural consequence of a lame change of peace policy. Therefore, the public's experience of how important peace actually is, and what it takes to preserve peace, is weakened. MODERN TIMES and the editors of this magazine's ambition is therefore to contribute to a renewed, more concentrated and constructive exchange of peace policy words.

This issue of the magazine Orientering with the name "Peace Nation" is thus intended to contribute to public information about Norwegian peace policy and peace work. We want to present this in a comprehensive, open and open-minded way – based on Norway's reputation as a «peace nation». We therefore consider the obvious tensions between the venerable ambition to contribute to peace in the world and Norway's contribution to the opposite. We consider Norway's reputation building as a nation of peace through peace diplomacy; Nobel Peace Prize and Norway in the UN Security Council. But also Norwegian arms exports, nuclear disarmament policy and Norwegian base policy. We also want to see the world's view of the state and future of our "peace nation". With a parliamentary election just around the corner, it was also time to evaluate the parties' election program and what they say about peace policy.

The term fred has in recent years experienced a strong dilution. Because if peace can mean everything, it also means nothing. We therefore choose to use the term in a consistent and limited way in this magazine. When, for example, poverty reduction, military deterrence and climate policy measures are in themselves defined as peace policy, our understanding of what peace is actually about diminishes. It is far from obvious that such measures contribute to peace – or are necessarily exercised by contributing to peace as an objective.

Thus, a clear clarification of concepts must form the basis for a peace magazine like this: Peace work is essentially about promoting non-violent conflict management. This involves three basic pillars: prevention, conflict management og reconciliation. War resistance, detente, disarmament and trust building must thus be understood as classic themes of peace. Methods such as mediation and dialogue also belong here.

We take the temperature on the shores of Norway's peace work, and aim to cultivate an environment for further discussion and strengthening of the peace environment. Here we want to introduce different peace workers to each other – across both sectors and political dividing lines – and open up for conversations that cross these lines.

Our hope is that you as a reader will find something you can get involved in – be it defense policy, Norway in the Security Council, nuclear disarmament, the Nobel debate, or a peace organization that suits you. The peace work withers if we all shout in separate echo chambers, so here is your invitation to gather around the table. With this magazine we want to establish a space for you where you can listen, express yourself, and learn.

So how do you participate in the conversation? On pages 30 and 31 you will find a collection of peace organizations in Norway, with information on how to get in touch. There is something for everyone. Through the magazine, we also portray other organizations, such as ICAN (page 14) and the Norwegian Peace Council (page 28), which you can also get involved in.

Join the peace policy debate and take a stand. Update on work from PRIO (page 13), SIPRI (pages 4-5) and other peace research institutions.

But remember to be open-minded and willing to listen – only in this way can we be sure that the conversation continues, is strengthened and creates results.

Questions, comments or anything else directly related to the magazine can be sent by e-mail to:  fredsnasjonen@nytid.no

Alexander Harang, editor

Inger Hovstein Kviseth, ass. editor

Truls Lie, editor-in-chief

Peace Magazine

The flare-up between Israel and Gaza this May shows how relevant such a peace magazine is. MODERN TIMES's editorial line is based on individual freedom and international solidarity. We therefore have a special commitment to peace – and through enlightenment to be able to contribute to the reduction of conflicts. This edition of ORIENTERING was created through several conversations between the undersigned and Alexander Harang – who sits on our editorial board. The magazine called "The Peace Nation" also received financial support from Fritt Ord and the Peace Foundation. In addition, a lot of volunteer work has been put in by many peace friends. Fredsmagasinet will also be distributed to a number of peace environments, and during the year we will return with more follow-ups on peace topics in MODERN TIMES – the idea is to inspire an environment. Another eternal work for peace is the ongoing conflict with Israel. This autumn, you will therefore receive the film The Meaning of Freedom – Palestine via MODERN TIMES and elsewhere, with the undersigned as director. Wish you a good read!

Truls Lie truls@nytid.no

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