In 2008, The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society received a grant from the Folke Bernadotte Academy to implement a peace monitoring in the region of Manipur, in northeastern India. The project was called “Manipur Peace Monitor”. This became the beginning of a concept called Peace Monitor that we aim to further develop into a higher level.
The background of the initiative behind Peace Monitor, is that many research projects around the world are focused on researching and documenting the armed conflicts in itself, and the abuses that occur in its wake. Many peace research institutions around the world should rather call themselves as an institute of war research, because this is what they are actually working with. We are convinced that there is a need for a more concrete and accessible research and it is also important to highlight good examples of what creates peace.
We believe that there is a need to – in addition – to highlight the fantastic initiative that is actually made in the midst of fiery conflict, to prevent violence and to resolve conflicts. There are many good examples of successful peace initiatives, especially at the grassroots level, which needs to be highlighted more. By documenting and reporting these initiatives and success stories, and the problems they may face, we hope to strengthen the capacity of civil society in its efforts for peace. We also want to show that in the middle of the everyday life marked by violence, there are positive examples that we can learn from and be inspired by instead of getting depressed by the mass media’s constant gloom reporting from conflict zones.
We are confident that the Peace Monitor will fill a void that are currently lacking. We aim to focus on concrete positive examples to create an easily accessible material that can reach out to both policymakers and to a wider public. We are also convinced that the report will have a positive and wide reception. But more important than that – we are convinced that the Peace Monitor could make a substantial contribution to increasing awareness of how we can break the pattern of violence and instead build peace in practice. There is also a tendency to an increased militarization of peace work and with the Peace Monitor we hope we can be a part of changing this trend. We want the Peace Monitor to be an essential tool and a recognized reference in international conflict resolution, to both policy makers and community stakeholders.
The vision in the future is that Peace Monitor becomes an annual book that lists and contains peace accords, peace initiatives and successful peace projects in the past year. If you want to be part of or contribute to fulfill this vision, don’t hesitate to contact us!