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Sustainable Peace from an International Perspective

Sustainable Peace from an International Perspective

A Discussion Note

For the Webinar to be held on July 18th, 2021 at 5-7pm (IST)

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This webinar brings together four eminent speakers who share how they carry out programs for achieving sustainable peace. Sustainable peace occurs in communities or among groups of people who do not sanction violence; instead, they continually lay pathways towards positive peace. Although peace often remains elusive, reinforcing inclusion and respect among group members helps enable joint action and potentially results in more harmonious development that can lead to sustainable peace.

Each of the speakers bring a unique aspect to the discussion both in terms of action and training. For instance, Kaloor Scaria will speak on the Peace Movement in Kannur in Kerala and the strategies that led to its success. What can be said by way of introduction, is that this was an incredible experiment of consolidating a 60-member peace organization that had a wide constituency. It succeeded in nearly halting the political violence in Kannur which had resulted because of polarized politics. The effort grew out of two complimentary initiatives: firstly, a wide-ranging educational intervention that exposed youth in secondary schools and colleges to peace; and secondly bringing associates of Gandhian organizations and others together with the youth.

Shanta Premwardhana, another of the speakers, is from Omnia Contextual Leadership program in the US and it focuses on facilitating interfaith peace maker teams (IP) at the community level. Omni works with people across diverse cultures and religious traditions in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Uganda. Their main aim is to shift the culture from one that tolerates extremism to one that affirms pluralism.

Lee Ann McKenna, a speaker who runs the NGO Partera, a training program in Canada focuses on conflict transformation and nonviolent action in relation to religious, gender and economic violence. Lee will show through her various interactions with local groups in South Sudan, Nagaland and Columbia.

Pushpanath Krishnamurthy, the final speaker, is originally Tamil from Banglaore, and now lives in the UK having worked many years on Fair Trade and climate justice issues. In addition to being an exceptional trainer for local grassroots communities  using the arts, Pushpanath has also used the padyatra (footmarch) as a way to inspire people to take up social change. In October, Pushpanath will be walking 400 kilometers from London to Glasgow to celebrate the COP 26.

All of these different kinds of peace initiatives will be shared and in the process, helping people to understand the range of strategies that can be employed in various situations in making change.