10 years after 11/9 we need to change the perspectives and change the direction towards a new culture of peaceful conflict resolution. There needs to be a shift in the thinking of how media, research and politics approach conflicts and peacebuilding. Our vision is increased peace monitoring.
Many books and annual reports focus on the number of conflicts and wars in the world, as well as military spending and arms trade. Media reports from conflict and war zones mostly convey the bad news about the number of casualties and the injured, as well as misery among people and failed political processes. At the same time, we know that many people work hard, especially on local levels, to find peaceful resolution for conflicts; several peace initiatives are taken and many peace projects are actually successful in its implementation. However, these stories are seldom told to a major audience.
Our vision with Peace Monitor is to have an annual book published, which e.g. lists peace agreements and peace initiatives around the world in the past year, gives examples of preventive actions where wars have been avoided due to peaceful conflict resolution and shows inspiring examples of successful peace projects on local levels. Our vision is also that the perspectives will change increasingly and that focus be more on positive examples. Instead of mostly viewing what went wrong and learning from the mistakes, one also needs to study the positive examples to learn the lessons from the successful outcomes as well.
We can all become better in telling the success stories of peaceful conflict resolution. We need to communicate this better and we need to show the alternatives to military solutions. If we can tell all the positive stories, this might outweigh the predominantly negative reporting from conflicts and counter the thoughts that only military solutions can prevail. We hope this initial Peace Monitor will inspire a change of perspectives and contribute to a change of directions towards increased peaceful conflict resolution.
Christoffer Burnett-Cargill Secretary General Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society