In his message for the World Day of Peace on 1 January 2017, Pope Francis called for a renewed culture of nonviolence to inform global politics today, saying military responses to conflicts only breed more violence. In his statements to the international community and in meetings with world leaders from around the world, he has been recalling this important and timely call.
Pax Christi International has a long-term commitment to active nonviolence as a way of life and as an effective political strategy. We are therefore releasing a position paper calling the international community to support nonviolent policy options for sustainable peace. It further builds on the Pope’s message, the work of our Catholic Nonviolence Initiative project, the panel discussions on nonviolence we have organised in the EU and UN context in 2017, and the work of our members and partners.
We ask the international community that, instead of spending huge amounts on wars and weapons harming people and the planet, they invest their resources in policies that promote nonviolent approaches that have proven to be effective in reducing violence and conflict.
Concretely, we propose they take these 12 policy actions:
- Increase national, regional and international budgets for conflict prevention and peacebuilding (SDG 16) and for achieving all of the SDGs by 2030.
- Strengthen early warning and response systems, including through the involvement of local communities and effective follow-up with long-term peacebuilding efforts.
- Review peacekeeping operations and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), refocusing on nonviolent methods of prevention and protection.
- Push the UN Security Council to step up its core task of conflict prevention with scaled-up, proven-effective nonviolent strategies.
- Monitor the reform of the UN peace and security architecture, emphasising the peacebuilding responsibilities of the entire system and other regional and non-state actors.
- Align the UN “sustaining peace” agenda with UNSCR 1325 and the principles and commitments associated with the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
- Support Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping as an effective civilian protection approach.
- Facilitate exchanges between governments, intergovernmental organisations and civil society for capacity building in diplomacy and mediation.
- Use nonviolent communication for conflict resolution of political disputes.
- Support local communities to identify and build capacity in contextually appropriate approaches for nonviolent resistance.
- Involve religious leaders in peacemaking and mediation processes at all levels.
- Enable youth to participate in a meaningful way in peace and security agendas and facilitate interregional exchanges between them.
The full document in English is here.