To my delight, two themes we heard repeated over and over from many speakers throughout the day were:
- Violence and peace are products of the mind, the result of our mindset. The mind is the source and cause of violence.The UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, its 'little blue book' for peace (citing the Constitution of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) states on page 1: “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”
- Emphasis on education and investment in education for tolerance, respect, peace and conflict resolution as the solution for violence we all yearn for.
- Non-violence is not passive or merely "the absence of violence" but active and requires effort. Non-violence is the most effective and quickest way to resolve conflicts.
- Sustainable development depends on peace and peace depends on sustainable development.
- Poverty is extreme violence.
- Peace cannot come from the top down, from a government or law. This expectation is totally unrealistic. Peace requires the involvement and investment of each and every person, and can only come from the bottom up, from many people who manifest peace in their minds and in their lives.
- Everyone can contribute to peace, every teacher, student, worker, farmer, parent, every person whomsoever.
- The media, including social media, has an important role in bringing peace. An entire hour-long panel was devoted to the importance of the role of the media in bringing peace. (The second of two panels in the afternoon session.)
- Neither G-6, G-8 nor G-20 – the United Nations is the only entity in the world that represents all of humanity. Therefore, it is important to find and strengthen ways to implement its decisions.
- The full power of the internet needs to be harnessed for peace.
- It is recommended that every person practice some form of spirituality. This recommendation came from Ambassador Chowdhury, the initiator of the forum, and from Prof. Michael Nagler, Metta Center for Non-Violence. Prof. Nagler recommended that we each do three things:a. Boycott the commercial media.b. Fill the hole left by a. with study and implementation of non-violence.c. It is recommended that everyone engage in some kind of spiritual practice.
|Dr. Janna Weiss -- but definitely not on behalf of The Holy See|
When the floor was given to the general public, I spoke for one minute. As soon as I finished speaking, an irate Chinese man ran over to me and said, “You said 'Dalai Lama'.” Oh my goodness! I'm guessing the Chinese man must have demanded from the Holy See to know who was sitting in their seat and if I represented the Holy See or not. (It's pretty obvious that I do not.) Ambassador Chowdhury, the forum organizer and initiator, approached me and very graciously asked me to give my information to the security on behalf of the Holy See. The assigned security guard was Catholic and we both agreed that Pope Francis is a wonderful pope. He added that Pope Francis is likely headed for sainthood.
|The United Nation's 'little blue book' for a culture of peace|
Ambassador Chowdhury ended the panel by stressing the contribution of individuals to peace while holding up the 'little blue book,' the UnitedNations Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which is available for each and every one of us to read and apply. He also reiterated the importance of the contribution of women for world peace.
May we all have genuine happiness, peace and well-being in our hearts and throughout the world.
UN site search: High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace - video - includes past years
United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace - program, documents
Getting to the Root of Violence: Integrative Public Health Model to Heal Violence