Peace SOS works on: Peace and politics, the empowerment of other peace organizations and public advocacy. Our themes are being developed continuously, based on the current situation and information from our partners.
Peace and politics
Although we are fortunate that attention is being paid to diplomacy in politics, there is still a lot to gain when it comes to the use of nonviolent solutions to prevent and end violent conflicts.
Peace SOS is active in several fields:
a) Thinking along with politicians about nonviolent means to prevent or solve armed conflicts. For example, by:
– Demanding attention for UN reports about the violation of human rights in the case of wars.
– Stressing the need for a budget to be made available to prevent armed conflicts.
b) Thinking along in politics. Demanding attention for diplomacy and nonviolent solutions in various bodies (like congresses, member councils, Commission of Foreign Affairs). In addition, the Peace SOS staff may demand attention for the activities of local peace organizations. The staff are members of the political party due to their inner drive and commitment to world peace.
c) Making politicians aware of peaceful declarations and treaties such as:
– The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
– Resolution 1325 of the United Nations (e.g. an increase in the participation of women at decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes)
– Article 1 of the NATO Treaty (the Parties undertake to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means…)
Handing over the Peace Manifesto ‘Let the children play: Invest in peace’ to the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Dutch Parliament.
Photo: Robert van den Bosch
Peace and media
a) Peace SOS writes op-ed articles regularly and provides information to audiences to stimulate peace (see the headers ‘Media & Press’ and ‘Blogs’).
b) By raising the awareness of journalists and discussing with them about:
- The importance of balanced media coverage in the case of tensions or armed conflicts between countries.
- The importance of media coverage for nonviolent peace initiatives to end armed conflicts. The media pay a lot of attention to violence, which can lead to a new call for violence.
- The importance of providing insights in ‘closed’ societies, so that we become more familiar with the people who live there and the problems they face.
Cooperation with other peace organizations and peace initiatives
Peace SOS enjoys collaborating with other peace organizations. Examples include demanding attention from national political parties and thinking along when it comes to the solution of an armed conflict. Peace SOS believes that local people need to fulfil an important role in the prevention and solution of armed conflicts, because they are aware of the local culture and it is their country.
That’s why Peace SOS and Burundian Women for Peace and Development (BWPD) are partners. Stephanie Mbanzendore of BWPD demands attention for preventing war in Burundi. Peace SOS support her with contacts in politics, the media and commercial organizations. Stephanie Mbanzendore explains how local Burundian culture works and what initiatives will lead to success. Here is my blog about my conversation with Jean Minani, president of Burundi’s CNARED. CNARED represents 22 political opposition parties in Burundi, including ex-presidents of Burundi. We wrote an op-ed in a Dutch national newspaper: ‘Prevent war in Burundi’.
Empowerment of women
Peace SOS finds it absolutely essential that everybody is involved in maintaining and realizing peace. Women and children are often victims of armed conflict. In addition, women play a crucial role in the processes of preventing armed conflict and in solving these conflicts (UN resolution 1325). However, they are underrepresented in peace talks. That is why Peace SOS amplifies the voice of women and calls for the need for inclusive peace talks in the prevention of armed conflicts.