So it has been one year now that we have been writing online at A Peace of Conflict and I couldn’t be more excited about what we have accomplished in that time. We have expanded from our original hardcopy journal to our online presence that now includes weekly conflict updates from around the world and our collaborative online conflict dictionary (which we still need your help with please!). In this time we have also written more than 75 posts about conflict and conflict related issues.
During this time, I have discussed many things, including:
- Canadian complicity in human rights abuses around the world;
- problems within UN structures (also here);
- the lack of respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- whether ethnic violence is really a problem of ethnicity;
- water issues;
- constructive agreements;
- the failings of democracy and its connection to human sacrifice;
- economic growth;
- the international financial institutions and economic violence;
- development and its racist undertones;
- the negative sides of international assistance and the fair trade industry;
- common misconceptions of violence in Africa;
- the conflict in Israel-Palestine;
- relations between Iran and the US;
- violence in Madagascar;
- the Taliban;
- Somali pirates;
- the possibility of a Canadian army of peace and problems with the Canadian government;
- the atrocity that allowed a 3 year old to be ganged-raped and killed;
- the lack of human rights in refugee camps;
- the different forms of violence, conflict mediation and social trust;
- environmental abuses.
- several posts about my quest for a conflict free laptop, and about violence;
- and many, many on my most researched topic– conflict resources specifically those in the DRC (including that on corporate accountability, corporate rule, or Canadian connections to violence).
- We have also had some amazing submissions from our readers and friends.
I love reading about and researching global issues and I love ranting about them even more than that. The state of the world frustrates me beyond belief and sometimes I wonder how we got here, to this place of such violence. I always hope for a better way and have faith that humanity will learn to make better choices someday. That they will actually learn from the mistakes they have made in the past and do better in the future.
I have been asked why I always write about violence and so rarely about peace; I struggle with this myself as well. I feel one must know what’s going wrong in as much detail as possible before you can try to figure out a reasonable solution. So I highlight some of the biggest problems as I see them and sometimes offer suggestions as what I think would be a better way. For me, I find it difficult to see the options for peace without discussing the violent roots and stopping them from expanding first. I encourage submissions from others on peaceful solutions and demonstrations of peaceful actions around the world and I will try to write more on this topic in the future.
I think that education in mediation techniques, conflict transformation and peaceful solutions should be taught from childhood and ingrained into all our systems, to help create a culture of peace rather than a culture of war. I think our structures need to be modified to be more equitable and fair and representative of the needs and wants and well-being of the people, rather than focusing on economic or productive capacities. I think we need to educate with compassion rather than instantly punish or abhor differences. We are all humans and deserve to be treated with respect. We have more in common with each other than differences.
This year will be an exciting one for me. I will be returning to West Africa again in May for at least a year. I will still be writing posts during that time, although probably mostly of a different and more localized nature as I will be doing some heavy research while I’m there and will want to share what I have learned.
Thank you to all our readers, and those who have written pieces for us. We hope you have found some useful posts and that you will continue to interact and enjoy our work in the future.
Please be sure to bookmark us and forward our address to your friends and family (www.apeaceofconflict.com). You can also join us on facebook or follow us on twitter if you’d like to receive regular conflict or posting updates.