Contrary to the impression we might gain from the media the World is actually becoming safer and levels of lethal violence are diminishing. This is according to analysis from the Uppsala Conflict Data Project ( Uppsala University, Sweden) recording a decrease in “… individual incidents of armed conflict and organized violence (i.e. clashes, battles and attacks against civilians) globally for the period January 1989 to December 2015.” [see data at Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution Uppsala University ] Stephen Pinker also makes the same point in a Guardian article Guess what? more people are living in peace
Rotary International is pleased to see the decline and has long worked hard to promote a more peaceful and harmonious World through its education and community development programme. Some of the details of our work were covered in our previous Rotary and Peace the World over blog . This blog looks at the work of the prestigious Rotary Peace Fellows programme as another arm of Rotary’s peace promotion work.
[ Peace Fellows Brazil 2015 Rotary International photo credit]
Peace promotion not only in far away, war torn countries but much closer to home as this short video of Aruma’s Manchester (UK) based peace project Practising peace shows. Aruma was a peace fellow attending the Chulalong University in Thailand. There are five other Rotary funded Peace Centres at Duke (USA), International Christian (Japan), Queensland (Australia), Uppsala (Sweden) and Bradford Universities.
“…Each year, up to 100 Rotary Peace Fellows are chosen … whose commitment to peace and conflict resolution is demonstrated through academic, volunteer, and professional experience, as well as outstanding leadership abilities and high academic achievement. Through academic training, study, and practice the Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution in their communities and around the globe. Graduates of the program are reintegrating refugees in Sudan, creating jobs for disadvantaged women in India, and supporting reconstruction in devastated regions of the world.” [Rotary International 2016]
[Rotary Peace Fellow Caterina Becorpi 2016 Rotary International photo]
One of the great pleasures for Aireborough Rotarians is going to the inspirational annual presentation at Bradford University where Peace Fellows talk of their work and experiences. This short video by a former Bradford Peace Fellow Dr Saeb Erekat, [ video Bradford University] who is currently a member of the Palestinian parliament and is Chief Palestinian Negotiator gives a flavour of the experience.
In a world that is apparently becoming distrustful of experts Rotary remains committed to a Peace Fellows programme that seeks conflict reduction or resolution based on understanding that is gained through solid intellectual rigour and sound evidence based policy. Anyone interested in the interlinked issues of peace and global community development will find the video of Prof David Hulme 22nd Bradford University Development lecture a most interesting forty four minutes.
If you would like to join us, support us or sponsor us as we all work towards a more peaceful World you would be most welcome. For more information about the Club please find us on Facebook Aireborough Rotary Club
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