“We must wage peace with sophistication and commitment just as we now wage war.” Marianne Williamson, US Department of Peace Initiative

“We must wage peace with sophistication and commitment just as we now wage war.” Marianne Williamson, US Department of Peace Initiative

A Bill was presented to Parliament to pave the way for the formation of a Ministry for Peace. Introducing his Bill, Labour MP John McDonnell called for a new Government Department whose sole purpose would be to focus the resources of government on the promotion of peace and the eventual abolition of war.
The Bill was initiated by Diana Basterfield, who chairs the steering committee promoting the Ministry of Peace. “We came into being to be a voice for the millions who marched for peace through the UK in 2003,” she explains. A Minister for Peace would be a voice at the Cabinet table to speak up for non-violent conflict resolution and alternatives to war.

John McDonnell told the House: “The Ministry would provide within Government an expertise in non-violent conflict resolution, through which Government could be advised on how policies can be developed to reduce the potential for conflict. Secondly, it would provide and co-ordinate Government resources to foster greater understanding in Britain and the world of how war can be avoided and peace achieved.” In the last thousand years, England has been at war for 56 years out of every hundred. Diana Basterfield says, “What is needed is a shift. Our culture must be permeated with the tools of non-violence and conflict resolution.” A Ministry for Peace would support and promote a renaissance of research in this country into the causes and impacts of conflict, monitoring potential areas of conflict and advancing practical techniques to avoid outbreaks of violence before they arise.

The idea for a Ministry of Peace originated in the United States where Dennis Kucinich introduced a Bill for a Department of Peace in Congress. Representative Kucinich is seeking the Democratic nomination for President advocating the elimination of all America’s weapons of mass destruction. The American Initiative for a Department for Peace has been working closely with its British counterpart.
The idea has also been taken up by the General Assembly of the European Women’s Lobby, which recently called on the European Union Commission to create the post of Commissioner for Peace. If you wish to get involved please encourage your MP to support the call for a Ministry for Peace.
FURTHER INFORMATION : John McDonnell MP, House of Commons, London, SW1.
Tel: 07870 852639
WEB SITE : http://www.ministryforpeace.org.uk EMAIL: [email protected]

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