For International Day of Peace 2016 we are running a campaign asking you to share your #messageofhope and stories of peace. In a world where violence and war dominate headlines we want to draw attention to the everyday acts of peaceful change, and show there are many reasons to hope. Over the last few weeks, you have been sharing your own stories and messages of hope and peace with us. Here are some of them.
Despite more than one year of armed conflict, thousands of deaths and even more people displaced by violence, Yemen remains strikingly absent in reports of conflicts raging around the world. Ahead of an upcoming US arms deal, Peace Direct joined 44 other organisations in signing a letter to Senators urging them to reject the planned $1.15 billion foreign military sale to Saudi Arabia.
Across the United States, our news channels are plagued with stories of gun violence and recent killings have opened up another tense debate around racial tensions, police officers and the use of force. Communities in the U.S. need support to tackle these challenges now more than ever, and we should take a moment to evaluate what is going on in our own backyards and work together to find solutions.
This week saw the launch of the 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) report, which made difficult reading for anyone in our sector working to build peace around the world. According to the report the world became less peaceful and more unequal in 2015, with the world’s least peaceful countries seeing further conflict and violence.
From May 24-26, we joined some 400 diverse peacebuilding experts, practitioners, policymakers, and NGO representatives at the Alliance for Peacebuilding’s (AfP) annual conference in Washington, DC. The theme of the gathering, “Next Gen Peace”, spoke to the future of peacebuilding as a field, and the three days were full of energy, insightful panels, and thought-provoking discussions. For us, the event was a time to listen and learn from others, share our own work, and collaborate with the AfP community to encourage greater support for local peacebuilding, including the critical role of youth as peacebuilders. Our experience at the conference highlighted six key lessons for the future of peacebuilding.