Grassroots Peacemaking & Rotary
There is great interest in Grassroots Peacemaking in many areas around the world. Grassroots Peacemaking Groups, in different parts of the world, take advantage of formal and informal networks of leaders in Rotary, the United Nations, the Holy Sea and many NGO's. There are more than 1.2 million Rotarians in more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in more than 215 countries and territories around the world. Rotarians share a passion for enhancing communities and improving lives across the globe. With clubs in almost every country, the members embrace their diverse backgrounds and unite to exchange new ideas, apply expertise, and implement improvements that transform communities.
Rotary's peacemaking history goes back to the days when Rotary was active in the creation of the United Nations. The U.S. State Department asked Rotary International to help develop the Statutes of the United Nations. Rotary also organized and managed the United Nations charter meeting in San Francisco in 1945. Forty-nine of the delegates from different countries were also Rotarians.
Rotary Grassroots Peacemaking Groups have made positive differences in conflicts between Argentina and Chile, Cyprus, India and Pakistan, and between China and Taiwan. We have also seen interest in Grassroots Peacemaking in Zimbabwe, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Russia, Ukraine, and Mexico. Our Grassroots Peacemaking Group on Facebook has more than 3000 members and it's still growing!
It is a big challenge to develop peace and prosperity between nations that hate each other. The only possibility would be for the parties to agree on a common philosophy and vision of peace and prosperity on a win-win basis. It is in their self-interest to do so. The Grassroots Peacemaking Process provides a solution to a widespread problem in many countries. The problem is that the parties fail to agree on a common philosophy and vision. The result is that they pursue uncoordinated missions and actions with many people continuously killed. This also leads to a conflict escalation. The longer such a conflict lasts, the parties dig in more and become increasingly bitter and hostile.
The Grassroots Peacemaking Process has the following four steps that the conflicting parties create and develop together:
1. Philosophy - In peace everybody wins and in war everybody loses. Studies have shown that nowadays there are no winners in war. Once the conflicting parties can agree to this, it becomes in their own self interest to pursue peace.
2. Vision - The parties will jointly develop a vision of peace and prosperity on a win-win basis. Rotarians on each side of the conflict know each other and share the same values. They can use their relationships with leaders of their countries to promote a win-win vision of peace and prosperity.
3. Mission - The conflicting parties develop a joint mission based on their win=win vision. Local Rotarians can create peacemaking projects between groups of people in the conflicting area.
4. Action - The conflicting parties act to implement their mission plan. Rotarians can help by generating support from the United Nations, as well as different countries and NGOs around the world.
With tensions continuing to escalate with different countries around the world, this major focus area of Rotary, PEACE, is desperately needed. Do you know about our Rotary Peace Scholars? Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 individuals from around the world to receive fully funded academic fellowships to pursue a Professional Development Certificate Program or Masters Degree Program related to peace and conflict resolution and prevention at one of the participating peace centers around the world (USA, Japan, UK, Australia, Sweden, Thailand). Up to 50 fellowships for master’s degree and 50 for certificate studies are awarded each year.