War and Conflict

 
We cannot fight our way through the problems we face. We need to resolve differences in other ways.

 

 
War and conflict have long been part of humanity’s story. The world has seen more than 8,000 wars in recent human history. We now live with the potential firepower to blow up the earth hundreds of times over.

 
Peacebuilding cannot be separated from how we live day-to-day. Our consumption of resources and our ability to sustain a reasonable lifestyle are part of building a world that works for all.

 

“You cannot have peace without human rights,
democracy, gender equality, and clean water.
Look to the root causes of war and you will find,
in their reverse, the root foundations of peace.”

—Cora Weiss

 

The Challenge

 
In violent conflict, people are being killed or don’t have access to their basic human rights. This sort of conflict happens for every conceivable reason. The increasing capabilities and availability of weaponry have made modern-day conflict all the more dangerous and deadly.

 
Militarized economies draw available resources from other life-enhancing purposes. Eventually all are on hair-trigger alert, with no one feeling safe.

 
Types of conflict include:

 
• War between nation-states

 
• Domestic political conflict within a nation state

 
• Competition for increasingly scarce resources, especially energy and water

 
• Genocide

 
• Ethnic-based conflict

 
• Religious-based conflict

 
• Gender-based conflict

 
• Post-colonial power disputes

 

Solutions

 
Extraordinary work is being done around the world to reduce conflict and nurture peace. There are upwards of 500,000 of organization self-identified as ‘Peace’ organizations, working largely independently of each other. This work is well underway, and is something most people can easily participate in.

 

 

“Conflict is inevitable. War is not.” 


—Beyond War

 
Initiatives to bring about a peaceful world include:

 
• Conflict prevention and de-escalation

 
• Humanitarian intervention

 
• Human rights protection

 
• International institutions

 
• Restorative justice

 
• Citizen-to-citizen diplomacy

 

 

“I offer you peace. I offer you love.

I offer you friendship. I see your beauty.

I hear your need. I feel your feelings.

My wisdom flows from the highest source.

I salute that source in you.

Let us work together for unity and love.”


—Mahatma Gandhi