Panel on Gender and Patriarchy
Presenters: Seema Luitel, Anupma Sharma, Pongthorn Chanlearn
The World Peace Congress believes in “Building Peace from Below.” To that end, the Panel on Gender and Patriarchy proposes the following Resolutions:
- To facilitate formation of a Gender and Social Inclusion Network for advocacy and monitoring at county/regional/international level, which is vital for policy influence and for the necessary advocacy on different issues, more importantly gender issues.
- To empower and involve parents/families of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders (LGBTs) to fight against stigmatization of and discrimination against LGBT persons.
- To sensitize parents and other stakeholders on gender and patriarchy as well as on LGBT through various communication channels (mass media, local/national TV channels, flyers, campaigns, radio, and street drama).
- To provide necessary advocacy on formulation of relevant policies and programmes for the participation of parents of LGBTs across the world.
- To establish that gender should not always be perceived as a women’s issue, because the promotion of gender “as a women’s issue” might alienate men.
- To capture the information, experiences, progress, improvement as well as failures observed at the grassroots level so as to have Micro-Macro level linkages for necessary policy influences and replicating promising practices.
Panel on Politics, Nation-States and Militarism
Presenters: Padma Rao, Phongjarat Ruayram, Sirote Klampaiboon
The military, army, politicians are none other than people from our own communities. The institutional face of politics and state and military must be replaced by the human face. Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, third founding president of Soka Gakkai International writes, “No matter how great the divide between our ideals and reality may be, there is no need to give up hope or accept this. Instead, the ordinary citizens of the world need to come together to create a new reality. The prohibitions on land mines and cluster weapons that have been realised in recent years are the fruit of such solidarity.”
- Role of Military:
- Long Term
- Abolish armies.
- All foreign forces to withdraw immediately from sovereign soil.
- Use military expenditure in other sectors.
- Short Term
- Engage with army personnel at local, community level. Identify with army personnel at human level (e.g., He is Thai. He is someone’s son, father and nephew).
- Use dialogue to change perception.
- Convert army tactics of turning community members against each other to tactics of trust, friendship, and inclusiveness.
- Set up events where soldier is engaged as human without uniform i.e. joint student camps like Prem Tinnasulanon’s ‘Statesman’ programs with Mahidol University .
- Rights of Civilians:
- Connect local Human Rights for civilians to International UN standards. Empower local communities with means of enforcing their rights and fighting against false charges imposed on them.
- Abuse of state power during emergencies must be monitored and controlled (i.e. watchdog organisations consisting of local community members, military personnel, young, old, outsiders, etc).
- Speak Up Not Out:
- Encourage awareness in a multi-faceted way (all viewpoints) and discuss in every local forum (family, neighbourhood, community) under rules of respect for all views without censure.
- Individuals to use all forums of media and influence to exercise soft power of protest against force i.e. talk shows, peace yatras, etc.
- Empower Humanitarian Assistance:
- All neutral personnel in conflict areas i.e. Doctors, NGO personnel, etc. to be trained in dialogue skills, conflict area psychology and used for actively fostering cooperation between military and civilians instead of being instruments of the military.
- Empower Individuals, Local Communities:
- Strengthen community unity.
- Use existing local institutions such as women’s groups, schools, community and religious centres to build togetherness irrespective of diversity.
Panel on Religion, Morality, and Transcendent Ethics
Presenters: Ven. Dhammananda, Ritu Datta,
During mindful consideration of the relevant WPC 2007 Resolutions in contemporary contexts, and in collaboration with WPC participants, the Panel on Religion, Morality, and Transcendent Ethics, propose the following action plans:
1. Advocacy for Peace through Individual and Community Spirituality
We propose that the 2010 WPC declare the pursuit of spiritual growth and inner peace to be an inalienable human right; that we declare the nurturance of peace, religion, morality, and transcendent ethics to be an inalienable right of families, tribes, networks, and communities; and that we collaborate as a Congress to provide global advocacy in these matters.
2. Venues for Awareness and Sensitivity to Build Religious Tolerance
We propose that the WPC design and implement widely-accessible spaces to sponsor ongoing exchange on religion, morality, and ethics to raise awareness and sensitivity; these exchanges could take the form of online testimonials to human goodness, oral history podcasts to document diverse faith walks through autobiography, printed materials distributed at very low cost, cultural programs, films and other media (art, songs, graphic novels, etc.) that can bridge language and literacy gaps, etc.
3. A Curriculum to Support Spiritual Growth and Religious Tolerance
We propose that the WPC establish a series of instructional workshops (sponsoring existing efforts and/ or authoring new materials) all over the world, that promote inclusivity and respect; that focus on the transcendent elements of religions, beyond politics and faith differences; that evoke the mysteries of faith grounded in trust; that introduce daily practices such as prayer, meditation, communion, and worship; and that engage in a reciprocal process of design, so that content emerges from local, convivial networks. Children and young people, university students, health care and social service providers, spiritual teachers and novitiates, politicians, citizens, and others—all would serve as instructors, and all would constitute potential students. Examples might include: diploma courses or certifications in peace issues, educational materials in all media, shared participation in services and rituals across religions, games and activities related to issues such as love and compassion, instruction in daily spiritual practices for peace within, college conferences, and sessions at future WPCs that include children.
4. Personal Attention to the Work of Inner Peace
We propose that each one of us engage in the process of developing inner peace so that peace reverberates outward into society; thusly we give more power to the thought of peace, expanding peace consciousness.
Panel on Law, Human Welfare, Children and Other Species
Presenters: G. Venkatesh Rao, Phra Thanomsing Sukosalo
It is resolved that Law is an instrument of social change and human welfare, as it has brought about a great changes in the field of rights of Women, Children, Weaker sections, minorities, racial minorities, aged, unemployed, homeless, the physically challenged, for bringing reform in the areas of educational opportunities, health services, employment opportunities, dignified living and working conditions, Taxation, and retirement welfare etc. It is imperative for all states and Govts to constantly strive to enact and seriously implement legislation that will protect and promote the rights of these sections.
We propose that an annual audit be performed by review of relevant statistics, as to the progress of the implementation of these welfare legislations, by publishing the same and making them available to the people through, press, electronic media and internet web-sites.
Responsible Governments, all over the world have enacted and implemented social welfare legislation to protect the rights of these sections of the society, and to take care of their life and Liberty. If the governments fail to enact and implement such legislation immediately, it will only result in protests, social unrest, and sometimes even unnecessary/mindless violence and demonstrations.
It is further resolved, that the Thai Government has not done enough to enact and implement social welfare legislation for the protection of these above-mentioned sections of society in Thailand, who have no means of protecting themselves and/or earning a livelihood.
The following measures must be immediately undertaken:
- Free and compulsory education to children below 15 years of age.
- Creation of funds for juvenile detention centres.
- Homes for homeless.
- Adequate financial assistance to the unemployed.
- Necessary welfare measures for the care and attention of the elderly and aged persons.
- Welfare measures for the handicapped and physically challenged.
- Implementation of learning projects for the youth and for their personal development.
Panel on the Arts, Culture, Media and Communication
Presenters: Sornchai Chatwiriyachai, Prasard Prathedrut
World peace can be nurtured only by listening to each other and not by listening merely to our own voices. We only want “evidence” namely “words on paper,” but seriously, can we really count on those words? Words that speak about more words keep us from real understanding. The arts are beyond mere words and aesthetics is beyond logic or reasoning. Culture is a fertile ground where the seed of human compassion can grow and prosper. It is also a foundation in the collective soul of our ancestors. If we don’t have our cultural roots, we become strangers of peace. Children learn how to love other fellow human beings through culture. Culture and art help cultivate inner peace. “The heart that sings and dances can do no violence.”
- Children who want to learn about the arts and their local culture should be encouraged and supported.
- Governments and educational institutions should provide learners with open opportunities to learn what their hearts and minds demand. No student should be persuaded to give up arts or culture for whatever reasons conjured up by their governments or anyone.
- Policy makers should not allocate budgets and their resources based upon conventional economic indicators such as GDP, which prioritizes materialism and excessive consumerism. But instead they should consider and adopt GNH (Gross National Happiness) indicators as their policy rationale, with the realization that the arts and culture are the main contributors of happiness and civil welfare.
- Local community should be empowered to evaluate and determine the appropriate media content that will be publicly available in the community. The community should be able to reject any form of public media such as billboards, flyers, PR buses, local radio, cable TV and so which do not subscribe to the acceptable local values with ease if it wishes to do so.
- All forms of arts and culture that are not against local values should be encouraged universally. They should be treated with the same dignity anyone gives to their own culture. Past history should not be used as a reason to restrain or to banish other people’s cultures.
- Indigenous cultures and ethnic ways of life should be cherished and preserved at all costs, for nations should regard these various cultures as the weavers of their own unique cultures and national identities.
- Dialogue and deep listening skills should be encouraged and embraced as the means to cultivate real human bonding. Authentic communications can happen when we are able to talk to each other and mutually uncover our own prejudices or mental models which restrain us from more deeply understanding ourselves as fellow human beings. Newly emerging methods of collaborative conversation such as World Café, Open Space Technology or indigenous tribal talk circles should be explored and adopted as a means to hold conversations within the community. These collaborative conversations give people a chance to voice their thoughts and convey their feelings, their worries and their fears; but because talks of these kinds can be threatening for authorities, they are frequently sabotaged or discouraged. Governments and policy makers should commit to this mode of communication as an important stepping-stone for democracy and make sure no intervention occurs. Also they should provide necessary space and budgets to enable these kinds of conversations in all levels of society.
Panel on Modernism, Tradition and Eurocentrism
Presenters: Tung-Yi Kho, Tian Song
A. The Panelists and Participants in the Modernism, Tradition and Eurocentrism Panel, after careful deliberations, recognize that:
(i) Modernism and Eurocentrism, which consists of the belief in the universality and superiority of modern industrial civilization, contain de-culturing effects that undermine the autonomy/self-sufficiency of communities.
(ii) Modernism and Eurocentrism, by attempting to incorporate all societies throughout the globe into the modern industrial (capitalist) system, fosters an ethos of one against all in a war-generating competition for scarce resources.
(iii) Modernism and Eurocentrism furnishes us with a vision of a utopia with ever increasing levels of wealth and material and technological progress. This illusory vision leads us to pursue it at all costs.
(v) Modernism and its pursuit does not recognize the limits of the planet’s resources. Furthermore, it is wrongly believed that “Science” – modernism’s most esteemed knowledge form – and high technology will provide the solutions to such a problem.
(vi) Scientific knowledge is regarded to be the superior and only universally legitimate knowledge system in the modern world. Its institution as the only legitimate form of knowledge leads inevitably to the marginalization and elimination of alternative, local knowledge and cultures.
B. We should let people know that:
(i) Industrial civilization is not the only way for societies, and it is not the right way; it is simply unsustainable.
(ii) The real problem is not how to “develop,” but how to halt such “development.” If we cannot stop the process of industrial civilization, human civilization might not survive itself.
(iii) We need to revive a different type of civilization, an ecological civilization, in order to live harmoniously with others and with nature.
In order to overcome the pernicious de-culturing effects of Modernism and Eurocentrism, we propose through education to revive all forms of local/indigenous traditions and knowledge to inculcate in the young, an appreciation for the traditions of their ancestors. Examples: local song, dance, folktales, mythology, medicine and art etc. This can be done by creating opportunities to bring the young and elderly together to facilitate the inter-generational transfer and sharing of knowledge.
These can be pursued in less formal settings i.e. in the everydayness of ordinary living, as well as institutionally, i.e., through formal introduction into school syllabi, as well as the establishment of alternative educational spaces teaching place-based knowledge. Also, one could seek the production of alternative media emphasizing local knowledge and culture.
1. The fundamental way is education. We need to promote an education reformation, to make local knowledge a part of institutional educational systems, and to let local knowledge have as much legitimacy as that of modern knowledge.
2. Before we change the education system, we need to make use of all methods that may have an effect on the human mind, such as art, mass media.
3. We need to promote local government to establish local schools, teaching local knowledge in the schools.
4. We need to produce TV programs about local knowledge, and air them in local public TV channels.
5. We need to establish a prize, grant, or foundation, to support artists who promote the idea of an ecological civilization.
Means: to establish grants or foundations to support these initiatives.
Panel on Science, Cosmology and Metaphysics
Presenters: Kampanad Bhaktikul, Dr Art-Ong Jumsai Na Ayudhaya, Prasart Meetam
The Science, Cosmology, and Metaphysics panelists, after careful deliberation, submit to the assembled Congress the following resolutions:
- The simple discourses given by most famous peacemakers do not seem to be practical enough in the present world.
- The current energy policies bring the world into wars of individual benefit, cause global warming, and expand inequality gaps and local conflicts.
- Different philosophical and religious concepts and beliefs bring about intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts.
- Sciences usually focus on surroundings but not on the core of human beings.
- Truth cannot be exactly discovered in the universe because everything seems to be changing all the time.
In this impasse, we would like to adopt the following resolutions:
- That more effective methods be seriously implemented to build up individual’s physical and mental happiness.
- That a new renewable energy policy completely without exploitation and environmental destruction be brought into effect. This will include new laws, political will, and involve social participation and social support.
- That the beliefs of the world’s various philosophical and religious traditions serve as the basis for moral teachings and guidance despite the differences between them.
- That considerations of the mind and soul be included in scientific studies as they are as significant as that of surrounding matters; after all, peace starts within us.
- That science education be developed also for human development, not only for feeding the industrial plant.
- That people take care and be mindful not to disturb the existence of other creatures.
- That we leverage world peace conference as an equal to the World Economic Forum, G7, etc. i.e. Peace be a goal as much sought after as economic growth etc.
- That religious leaders be allowed involvement as stakeholders in decision-making on matters that have global consequences (eg. United Nations Environment Program).
Panel on Kinship, Community and Convivial Relations
Presenters: Pakorn Lersatienchai, Cynthia Maung, Lau Kin Chi
- To collect, document and circulate understandings and interpretations of the current crisis in Thailand from the perspectives of various grassroots communities and different social sectors, especially those which are marginalized, so as to make their concerns and plights visible and communicated;
- To seek support and solidarity for actions and interconnections to aid victims of violence and conflicts, and heal divisions within communities and in society;
- To address the structural, systemic and relational issues underlying outbursts of violence and conflict, and to end social inequalities, injustices and oppressions that are the conditions and contexts giving rise to outbursts of conflict;
- To promote reduction of communities’ dependence upon the state or the market, to strive for the spirit and practice of self-reliance, and to regenerate cultures of communities based on trust, care, tolerance and respect;
- To facilitate connections and interactions among the many communities and networks with which members of the World Peace Congress are already involved;
- To utilize low-cost, effective tools such as Facebook, websites or direct exchanges among communities to sustain long term interactions.
Panel on Race, Ethnicity and Indigenous Peoples: Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand
Presenters: Anchalee Ema Janchum
- Negative perceptions of Thai government officials and rural people towards Burmese migrant workers owing to the history of conflict between Thailand and Burma.
- Conflicts of different ethnic groups in Burma that continue into Thailand. Some people in Burma reject identifying as Burmese but instead identify as Karen, Kachin, or other ethnic groups in Burma.
- Migrant workers from Burma come under the responsibility of the Labour Department.
- The government officials use the term “National Security” in order to control migrant workers.
- Reinforce good relations between Thailand and Burma, especially by using religion and culture, in which they share much in common.
- Reinforce the education of human rights, the respect of human dignity, and understand and recognize the diversity of ethnic groups in both private sector and government sector.
- Encourage local authorities to take responsibility for migrant workers in their areas, and to accept that migrant workers are part of the local populationin need of their attention.
- Push to change the term from “National Security” to “Local Governance”
- Encourage the migrant workers to participate in solving the problem at every level.
Panel on Peace in Siam
Presenters: Nuttarote Wangwinyoo
Destruction of Human Life Is Unacceptable.
Regardless of people’s political views or their actions in following such views, all life should be protected, by any means, from being destroyed.
Responding to Violence with Inaction Could Be Interpreted as Accepting It.
This topic challenged the whole group to pay attention to how we felt about and responded to the situation. For some, doing something could also worsen the violence, and doing nothing but only observing can be helpful in toning down the violence, as well.
Structural Violence Needs to be Changed.
Structural violence is both internal and external. Internal structural violence involves attitudes, values and worldviews in people’s consciousness, such as “hill-tribe people are valuable only because they provide cheap labor, and their culture can make no contribution to modern development.” Or, “someone deserves punishment.” External structural violence is expressed in public policy and systems around which our society is organized and managed.
Structural Awareness and Conscious Living.
It’s equally important that we recognized our personal involvement with structural violence. Part of the reason it still exists, or even grows stronger, is that it relies on the complexity of a system in which people cannot perceive the reality of other parts of the system. This structural violence relies on the disconnection of the system’s members. So we need to reconnect with life in all parts and at all levels so that the illusion that perpetuates the violence can be understood and eradicated.
Pain Healed, Violence Understood
In order to create a peaceful society, we need to stop running away from experiences of pain, fear and violence. This does not mean that we have to be mean and love violence, but that we need to pay attention, with our eyes open. We cannot judge those who are in pain and find no way to be healed. Pain unhealed or unrecognized is expressed in forms of violence.
We need to study to understand the mechanisms that separate our society and find ways to reconnect the gap. Skills that deal with different views such as ‘dialogue’ needs to be practiced and served in needed situations, as a part of healing, expressing, and creating our society.
We Are the World in Change!
We recognize our roles and places in the social transformation process. No can stem this tide of change. Some may wish to reject it, but no one can escape from the reality.