World Peace through the Town Hall
Going global: networking of local culture of peace commissions A Strategy for the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace

World Peace through the Town Hall

Introduction

1) The difference between "peace" and "culture of peace" and a brief history of the culture of war

2) The role of the individual in culture of war and culture of peace

3) Why the state cannot create a culture of peace

4) The important role of civil society in creating a culture of peace

--Peace and disarmament movements

--Ecology movement

--Movements for human rights

--Democracy movements

--Women's movement

--International understanding, tolerance and solidarity

--Movements for free flow of information

--The strengths and weaknesses of civil society

5) The basic and essential role of local government in culture of peace

--Sustainable development

--Human rights

--Democratic participation

--Women's equality

--Solidarity

--Transparency and the free flow of information

--Education for a culture of peace

--Security and public safety

--Some ongoing initiatives

6) Assessing progress toward a culture of peace at the local level

--Culture of peace measurement at the level of the state

7) Going global: networking of city culture of peace commissions

8) The future transition of the United Nations from control by states to popular control through local governmental representatives

9) What would a culture of peace be like?

References

Once culture of peace commissions have been established in cities and towns, the next step should be linking up with commissions in other communities and in other parts of the world. This will strengthen the process at the local level though the sharing of best practices and resources, including North-South linkages. It will also develop the basis for a new world order that is based on the culture of peace instead of the culture of war.

At the time of the first edition of this book, it seemed that the most appropriate mechanism for global linkage is the United Cities and Local Governments, which was founded in 2004 as a merger of United Towns Organisation, the International Union of Local Authorities, and Metropolis. The UCLG represents most of the national and regional local government associations throughout the world, which, in turn, represent most local governments in 112 countries. As mentioned earlier, in the fall of 2007, I was pleased to participate in a meeting that they organized in Barcelona about the role of cities in peace-building, and as a follow-up, we tried to engage them in an initiative for assessment of culture of peace in the Barcelona region. Unfortunately, the UCLG is no longer involved in peace-building as such, although they have committees concerned with components of the culture of peace such as climate change and urban sustainability, local democracy, gender equality and cultural development.

There are several other networks of cities that have the potential, not yet realized, to promote city culture of peace commissions. These include the IIPT/Skal Peace Town project (CPNN article at http://cpnn-world.org/cgi- bin/read/articlepage.cgi?ViewArticle=1276 ) and the International Cities of Peace (http://cpnn-world.org/cgi- bin/read/articlepage.cgi?ViewArticle=838 ).

Networking should also be done along the lines of the various programme areas of the culture of peace. We have already mentioned several global networks of city initiatives that concentrate on individual programme areas that are part of a culture of peace. These include:

* International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI at http://www.iclei.org )

* The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (OIDP) at http://www.oidp.net/

* International Association of Educating Cities at http://www.bcn.es/edcities/

* Mayors for Peace at http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/index.html

The advantages of global networking of local government culture of peace initiatives are many, including:

* Sharing of information, including best practices and innovative ideas

* Mutual inspiration and encouragement

* Increased visibility through partnerships and by attention from the mass media and academic researchers, as well as the potential for Internet site(s) devoted to local government culture of peace initiatives

* Linkages not only with other local governments, but also with the civil society initiatives that are engaged with them

* Opportunities for direct contacts through regional and international conferences and through pairing arrangements

* Eventual development of an international political force for the culture of peace that is independent of the state (see next section)


To take part in a discussion about this page, click below on the Culture of Peace Dialogues:

discussion board

The History of the Culture of War

What is culture and how does it evolve

Warfare in prehistory and its usefulness

The culture of war in prehistory

Data from prehistory before the Neolithic

Enemy images: culture or biology

War and the culture of war at the dawn of history

--Ancient Mesopotamia

--Ancient Egypt

--Ancient China

--Ancient Greece and Rome

--Ancient Crete

--Ancient Indus civilizations

--Ancient Hebrew civilization

--Ancient Central American civilization

Warfare and the origin of the State

Religion and the origin of the State

A summary of the culture of war at the dawn of history

The internal culture of war: a taboo topic

The evolution of the culture of war over the past 5,000 years: its increasing monopolization by the state

--1.Armies and armaments

--2.External conquest and exploitation: Colonialism and Neocolonialism

--3.The internal culture of war and economies based on exploitation of workers and the environment

--4.Prisons and penal systems

--5.The military-industrial complex

--6.The drugs-for-arms trade

--7.Authoritarian control

--8.Control of information

--9.Identification of an "enemy"

--10.Education for the culture of war

--11.Male domination

--12.Religion and the culture of war

--13.The arts and the culture of war

--14.Nationalism

--15.Racism

Summary of the history of the culture of war

References