Peace groups and social organizations, on both local and international levels, have important and effective roles to play in the process of peace resolution. However, political efforts alone are not sufficient in dealing with multiple causes of conflict.
Globalization and the rapid progress in communications, have caused a shrinking of international boundaries, bringing the nations of the world closer together than ever before. The impact of an event, in any part of the world, is bound to set forth its contagious ripples across those ever shrinking boundaries, and in significant measures, through myriad channels of communication.
Due in part to this phenomenon, there has become an interdependency between the developing and advanced nations of the world. The direct or indirect influence of the dynamics of a changing world order will be felt, depending on the extent and mode of interrelationships under given circumstances. “One finds this relevant reality, in scanning the dynamism of the global political and socio-economic scenario,” Nepali journalist IK Pradhan said recently.
Most assuredly, the role of political pressure groups and the international community is crucial in peace resolution and plays a vital role in the overall process. However, a lack of insufficient attention paid towards critical factors and causes during the early stages of conflict, such as economic disparity and lack of democratic institutions, may only exacerbate tensions which lead to violence.
Once violence is allowed to become a means of addressing such internal political strife, the ability to resolve the conflict becomes far more complex.
Pradhan further added, “In the light of goodwill attitude of the international community, any friendly country of the world may express its opinion concerning the welfare of the people. What is required of that, one should have the agility and clear perception to understand well, the issues bearing relevance to the implacability of time-demanded diplomacy in the larger interest of the nation. It necessitates on the part of one, to remain stable without being pushed off the track by sheer political sentimentalism. One should neither prostrate under the overwhelming influence of being subservient to external interest, at the cost of the people of the country. This is exactly the subservient policy, adopted by the morally rusted, double standard politicians, who have betrayed public aspiration again and again.”
Furthermore, “we are unable to make the appropriate initiation toward establishing a durable foundation in which to sustain a permanent peace within a country, due to mutual discourse and consensus. Meaningful, goodwill attitude shown by the well wishing countries in this respect may be seen, from the point of view of essential practical diplomacy. Stress must be laid on the question of bringing about developmental progress through peaceful measures and stability. This alone will enable one to solve the country’s problems for the benefit of everyone.”
Without question, the international community can play a complementary role. They must demonstrate a strong commitment to moving beyond analysis and to a deeper understanding, undertaking concrete actions in their respective sectors.
Additionally, social organizations must be committed to supporting each other’s efforts through the sharing of experiences, knowledge and information. The opinion of organizations must be considered in the decision-making process prior to the waging of armed conflict.
During on-going violent conflicts, the roles of both social organizations and that of the international community are more circumscribed. Thus, there is a wide range of models from which leaders and organizations alike, can draw from in implementing effective structures for peace negotiations. Effective conflict prevention, therefore, requires the design of institutions and strategies that address the sources of conflict, both before it erupts and once violence has been quelled.
An ever-important challenge facing organizations committed to the peace making process involves the design and building of a peace culture.
At the same time, the international community could take part in a broader role. The international community can play a vital role in facilitating a “truth and reconciliation” type tribunal by systematically exploring and sharing lessons learned from the experiences of other countries. In addition, confidence-building techniques must be incorporated as part of the overall peace process. Perhaps confidence-building should be viewed as less than a “measure,” but rather, part of the institutionalization of a permanent dialogue between parties.
In conclusion, working in conjunction, social organizations and the international community may be seen as partners in conflict prevention and resolution, in helping to resolve the factors that lead to conflict and/or violence.