The Middle East: a Fresh Approach

The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace have issued a communiquÈ calling for a co-ordinated strategy for peace-building in Lebanon/ Israel/Palestine and the region as a whole. “Citizens in the Middle East and globally, in cooperation with governments, the United Nations and each other, can bring an end to the violence and conflict which has affected the lives of so many, and work for the establishment of a just and sustainable peace. We want everyone to engage in this fresh approach, which calls for negotiation rather than war,” says Diana Basterfield, the founder of ministry for peace in London.With the possibility of US military action in Iran, ministry for peace has set up a specific site ñ ñ devoted to keeping people informed and listing ways to be active peacebuilders. There is also an online petition.”As Earth’s climate warms up at an alarming rate, threatening widespread global devastation, humanity faces the biggest challenge to its survival ever in history,” says Diana. “For our children, our children’s children and the planet, we must now avoid wasting our precious resources engaging in costly destructive wars and instead employ well-tried and non-violent methods of resolving conflicts around the world. We can then focus our energy creativity, wisdom and prudence of providing for a sustainable, thus safe and secure, future.”The Alliance proposes that national and regional Ministries and Departments of Peace should be created throughout the Middle East. “The needs of all sides and parties must be recognised and addressed, and the human rights and human security of all peoples in the Middle East guaranteed, as a fundamental foundation for an effective peace process. This should address the root causes of the conflicts in the region if we are going to build lasting and sustainable peace.”Proposals include the development of civilian peace services, the effective co-ordination of peacebuilding efforts, the release of prisoners held on all sides and a Conference on Peace and Security for the Middle East. Contact: ministry for peace,Riverbank Hse., 1 Putney Bridge Approach, London, SW6 3JD. Tel: 07795 217701Email: [email protected]: www.ministryforpeace.organd www.msp-dop.orgAhlam Akaram, Diana Basterfield and Sian Rees of ministry for peace demonstrating in London. Photo: © ministry for peace

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