Why is peace with justice important?
Peace with justice is a way of thinking and acting which promotes nonviolent solutions to everyday problems and thereby contributes to a civil society.
Peace with justice:
- sets standards for the security of children and for primary health care
- promotes an end to the violence of poverty
- facilitates personal fulfillment through the creation of rewarding opportunities in education and employment
The Sydney Peace Foundation promotes peace with justice and the practice of nonviolence by awarding the annual Sydney Peace Prize and encouraging public interest and discussion about issues of peace, social justice, human rights, and non-violent conflict resolution. Read more on the Foundation’s advocacy priorities and achievements here.
Universal Rights and Responsibilities
International declarations of fundamental values and principles useful for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century:
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (English version online)
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Index to 385 Languages
- Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- The Earth Charter
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides a valuable summary of present and historical philosophical perspectives on War; on Justice; on Pacifism; on Human Rights; on Environmental Ethics and Ecology – all important intertwining issues related to moving toward more peaceful relations between humans, societies, and with our environment.
Click here for a list of recommended academic books and chapters on Peace with Justice, Non-Violence and Human Rights.
United Nations Cyber School Bus Peace Education states: “A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other.”
It also provides curriculum resources for teaching Peace Education: Unit 1 (8-12) – ecological thinking and respect for life Unit 2 (11-16) – tolerance and respect for dignity and identity Unit 3 (12+) – critical thinking and active non-violence Unit 4 (14+) – social justice and civic responsibility Unit 5 (14+) – leadership and global citizenship
These United Nations websites contain comprehensive indexes to peace with justice issues, and associated UN Bodies and resources on:
- Peace and Security
- Human Rights
- Humanitarian Affairs
- International Law
- More UN Links and Resources
The Global Peace Index
The Global Peace Index (GPI) is the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness. Now in its sixth year, it ranks 158 nations according to their ‘absence of violence’. The GPI is developed by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) under the guidance of an international panel of independent experts with data collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It is composed of 23 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the percentage of prison population.
The data is sourced from a wide range of respected sources, including the International Institute of Strategic Studies, The World Bank, various UN Agencies, peace institutes and the EIU. The index has been tested against a range of potential “drivers” or determinants of peace—including levels of democracy and transparency, education and national well-being. The GPI is intended to contribute significantly to the public debate on peace. The project’s ambition is to go beyond a crude measure of wars—and systematically explore the texture of peace.
Millennium Development Goals:
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The goals are:
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Sustainable Development Goals:
The Millennium Development Goals show that targets work. They have helped end poverty for some, but not all.
In September, United Nations Member States adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as part a new sustainable development agenda that must finish the job and leave no one behind. You can read the outcome document of the Sustainable development Summit here.
The process of arriving at the post 2015 development agenda was Member State-led with broad participation from Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders. The goals are:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development
TEDTalks –“Ideas Worth Spreading”.
It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED’s mission: Spreading ideas. More than 900 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.
Here is a link to TEDTalks on Peace
Peace Research, Journals and Academic Institutes
Peace and conflict studies is a social and political science field that crosses a number of academic disciplines including political science, geography, economics, psychology, sociology, international relations, history, anthropology, religious studies, and gender studies. There is now a general consensus of the importance of the interdisciplinary investigation of peace amongst scholars from a range of disciplines in and around the social sciences, as well as from many influential policymakers around the world. Peace and conflict studies today is widely researched and taught in a large and growing number of institutions and locations.
The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) provides a world-wide network for peace researchers seeking nonviolent ways to resolve conflict. Peace researchers explain how the conditions of peace can be advanced and/or the causes of war and other forms of violence be removed. This is a directory guide to peace research via an interactive map of the world (provided by IPRA)
The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) is the sister organisation of the Sydney Peace Foundation at the University of Sydney. CPACS promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching on the causes of conflict and the conditions that affect conflict resolution and peace. Research projects and other activities focus on the resolution of conflict with a view to attaining just societies.
Communities all over the world are actively working toward more peaceful, socially just and ecologically sustainable way of being in our world. These communities can take the form of government or non-government organisations; profit, non-profits or social businesses; religious, non-religious and inter-religious charities, activist organisations, peace tourism, fair trade, and many other forms.
Some of these communities provide valuable resources for individuals and groups looking to inform themselves about current and historical issues, as well as those wanting to participate in the resolution of specific conflicts.
A selection of active Australian communities:
Justice for Indigenous Australians:
Jumbunna (UTS) Alternatives to Intervention provides a list and overview of possible alternatives to the intervention, each complete with supporting references and video testimonies of people from the Indigenous communities.
Concerned Australians stand up for peace with justice issues in Australia
STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney) is an open collective of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people committed to the repeal of the NT Intervention and the struggle for Aboriginal self-determination.
The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) works for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and the prevention of armed conflict. We promote peace through research, advocacy, peace education and partnerships.
Stop the War Coalition aims to stop the so-called “war on terror” declared by the United States in 2001 and supported by the Howard, Rudd and Gillard governments.
Coalition for Justice and Peace for Palestine (CJPP) is a broad-based community organisation supporting a just peace in Palestine. Their aims include ending the apartheid policies of the Israeli government; the dismantlement of the Apartheid Wall, respect for human rights in the region; and raising awareness of Palestinian issues in the wider Australian community.
Mahbobas Promise is an Australian non-profit voluntary organisation dedicated to the women and children of Afghanistan. Mahboba’s Promise was founded by Mahboba Rawi, herself a refugee from Afghanistan, now an Australian citizen.
Go Back to Where You Came is a ground-breaking series on SBS One where Australians embark on a dangerous journey tracing in reverse the path that refugees have taken to reach Australia.
Internationally some communities doing inspiring work toward peace with justice include:
Amnesty International are a global movement of over 3 million people committed to defending those who are denied justice or freedom.
Action-AID are helping people fight for the rights that they are denied. Simple things, like the right to eat. The right to stay on their land. To an education. To have a say in the decisions that shape their lives… using their resources, influence and experience to help people find their own solutions.
Human Rights Watch are one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, Human Rights Watch gives voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.
Oxfam Working with communities for more than 50 years, and Oxfam provide people with the skills and resources to help them create their own solutions to poverty. Their inspiring work can be seen in initiatives from their Fair Trade products and shops, to their Grow campaign, the latter which encourages investment in small-scale farmers with sustainable techniques (like using organic fertilisers and drip irrigation techniques) to help produce enough to feed a growing population, without pushing our climate further out of control.
The Pachamama Alliance Indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest working to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from their work, educating and inspiring people around the world to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world. Their Changing the Dream Symposiums aim to awaken a transformed global vision: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet.
Four Years. Go. is a campaign for humanity to take its future into its own hands, to wake itself up to the harm we are causing to Earth and to ourselves, and to motivate itself into action. And to do it now – so that we have a planet that works for everyone.
Peace poster “PEACE IS IN YOUR HANDS” by Jill Carter-Hansen. Purchase for $50 ($25 of which Jill donates to the Sydney Peace Foundation).
Be curious… question!
Education and understanding the complexities of peace, conflict and justice, is a life-long journey. Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator, philosopher, and influential theorist of critical pedagogy, emphasised the need for students to think critically about their educative situation and participate reflectively in the process. Freire famously said that “Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift.” The end of the questioning is the sign of a new form of oppression. So we encourage you to be curious. Question! Here are a number of links and resources that may be useful for your journey…
“Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”
– Dalai Lama, Nobel Laurent and recipient of the Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal.
Diamond, Louise, and McDonald, John (1996), Multi-Track Diplomacy: A Systems Approach to Peace, Third Edition, Connecticut: Kumarian Press