Global campaign launched to urge conflict transformation in Iran dispute
A new campaign has been launched urging governments to employ proven non-violent conflict transformation methods to resolve the growing international crisis involving Iran.
The campaign, 'Negotiate Peace' aims to act in a similar way to last year's MakePovertyHistory campaign, and mobilise people around the world to foster the political will to resolve the standoff peacefully.
The launch of the campaign comes before Saturday's demonstration in London against going to war.
The new campaign however is based on the premise that protest is not enough, and non-violent conflict transformation strategies must also be put forward to governments.
In the run up to the Iraq war, the thinktank Ekklesia, which is supporting the new initiative, was amongst those who proposed such strategies. Jim Wallis, recently dubbed 'Gordon Brown's Guru' on a recent visit to the UK, also led a delegation of US church leaders to meet with Tony Blair before the Iraq invasion, which put forward alternative ideas for dealing with Iraq. Wallis later reported that the Prime Minister was sympathetic to the proposals.
The new campaign, which is the brainchild of the group Ministry for Peace, emerged after a meeting in Parliament, attended by MPs, on March 1st.
Dr. Elaheh Rostami-Povey from the School of Oriental and African Studies (London University), Roya Kashefi from Iranian Researchers International and Paul Ingram from the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) were amongst those who addressed the meeting.
The campaign has formulated a statement, available on its website, which individuals and groups are being urged to sign up to.
The proposal is for a one year, worldwide call to all governments to use only proven conflict prevention/transformation methods to resolve the Iran crisis.
It comes at a time when non-violent conflict resolution is increasingly being employed by governments around the world in both the criminal justice system, and international diplomacy.
"We want this campaign to be the 2006 version of Make Poverty History using the internet to spread the message around the world that we, the citizens, demand that our governments use proven non-violent conflict transformation methods to resolve this and all future international conflicts." said Diana Basterfield, one of the founders of the campaign.
"We hope that this call will strike a chord with thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people around the world" she said.