Sydney's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
The newsletter of
peace studies, seminars, books, and peace initiatives
Promoting Peace with Justice
This newsletter is
an opportunity to showcase CPACS as a pro-active peace promoter.
By platforming issues of non-peace and bringing key participants to
address such problems, solutions start to emerge. This is the philosophy
behind CPACS' seminar, teaching, research and publications programmes.
In this Issue
HUMAN RIGHTS STAGE
COLLEAGUES TO CPACS
THE PEACE TRAIL
FORESHADOWED IN 1999:
Rees is going to Cambodia
Sydney Peace Prize
launch of first occasional paper for 1999
TO INSPIRE YOU:
Dates for your diary
all invited to the next CPACS council meeting to hear Dr David Bloomfield,
visiting from the UK, talk about his research into the peace negotiations
of Northern Ireland. Having completed a PhD on this topic, he's writing a
book profiling those individuals at the core of the peace process.
a Sunday in May to be advised. Starting point Dee Why Baths along the
coast to Manly. The walk is to celebrate and promote Peace-and remind
ourselves that we are not subject to the atrocities of Rwanda, the
Balkans; we are not starving in the frozen ports of Northern Siberia, nor
are we imprisoned for our political views. Australia is a good place to
raise issues of human rights, democracy and peace.
HUMAN RIGHTS STAGE
To highlight the
unjust world in which we live, and the enormity of the task to reverse
such injustice, this section is a window onto our warring world. The
first two examples are provided by our Director, Stuart Rees; the TV
segment from the editor.
On 17 February following the arrest of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan
in Kenya, and the occupation of the Greek consulate in Sydney's
Castlereagh street, Australians were able to register their reactions. The
human rights issues were at first overlooked as all sorts of politicians
and leaders of non-government organisations insisted that it was 'un
Australian' to occupy the consulate by force.
In these first reactions, decades of injustice to the Kurds were ignored.
Their claims to being a sovereign people in their own homeland were
overlooked. CPACS was slow to register its reaction and in future will
make a point of taking a firm and quick stand on human rights issues. But
we now take this opportunity to say that the Kurds' reaction to their
leader's arrest was understandable and should be praised as a reminder to
us of the injustices of history-David Carmody in his letter to the Sydney
Morning Herald sums up perfectly:
It is sad that it takes incidents of civil unrest to penetrate the white
fog of apathy and alert most of us to the history and current plight of a
nation more populous than Australia.
In the week beginning 15 February, the handcuffing and roping of alleged
illegal tomato pickers in Victoria and the Minister for Immigration's
apparent justification of the violent methods used, raised several human
- If overseas
companies pay the lowest possible rates to farmers for their produce,
isn't it inevitable that occupational health and safety regulations
will not be observed and the lowest possible casual rates of pay will
- If unemployed
Australians feel disqualified by geography and by Centrelink's rules
on taking on casual employment in distant places, should not some
recognition be given to the valuable, arduous work carried out by
mobile, casual, low paid labour?
- Officials from the
Department of Immigration could learn that heavy handed methods are
usually counterproductive. They would benefit from even a modicum of
training about the philosophy, language and skills of non-violent
- Perhaps most
important of all, wouldn't it be reassuring if the Minister for
Immigration started to explore how a touch of humanity could inform
his policies and affect his public utterances.
Peace on TV
For those of us
fortunate enough to watch the Cutting Edge on SBS on 9th February it was
heartening to hear the argument that economic trade and investment can be
linked to human rights and democracy. This is the main topic examined in
CPACS's forthcoming book:
The Price is Human Rights-a
project arising from our 1997 conference 'Corporate Success and Human
Another programme of note was a documentary on genocide in Rwanda where
1,000,000 Tutsis were systematically slaughtered by Hutus in a mere 100
days in 1994 whilst the world looked on and did nothing. Entitled 'When
Good Men Do Nothing' it revealed the workings of the UN and its lack of
political will to carry out its core mission, namely to prevent a repeat
of such genocide as witnessed in Nazi-torn Europe. Such inaction broke
every code of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, starting
with Article 1:
All human beings
are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with
reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of
brother [and sister] hood.
COLLEAGUES TO CPACS
We welcome Tony Vinson,
Research Fellow and Loret Bartos, Assistant Director.
I am a social worker with many years of experience in rural and remote
Australia. My interest and commitment to the promotion of human rights
comes from my experience with Aboriginal people who taught me a great deal
about personal hardship and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of
adversity. In my role as the 'white welfare', the forgiveness, patience
and understanding shown to me by Aboriginal people was exemplary. In
consultation with the Centre's executive, I will be responsible for
organising the seminar programme, reviewing and creating strategies to
attract new members, and developing a teaching programme. I would love to
hear from anyone who wishes to contribute to achieving these ends.
Professor Emeritus (Social Work) at the University of NSW, currently is
attached to CPACS as Visiting Fellow. Tony's past work has involved him in
a wide range of justice issues, most notably the prison system, justice
administration, homelessness and the prevention of child maltreatment. In
this first year of his direct involvement in CPACS, Tony is working, among
other things, on a study of social provision for the most disabled of
Sydney's homeless people, and is undertaking a project on the drying-up of
government funds for justice promoting programmes and services.
THE PEACE TRAIL
What CPACS members
are up to:
well as being part of the Aboriginal Night Patrol Research team (above),
also spent part of November last year in Tokyo as a workshop speaker
promoting peace education. This was part of a four day conference hosted
by the Japan Association for Language Teachers' (JALT). Her article 'Peace
education in the Language Classroom' was published in the Language
Teacher, Vol. 22, No. 7 1998.
received her PhD in social anthropology. Her thesis, a study of cultural
perceptions of nature in the conflict over wilderness in NSW, will appear
in a much shortened version as a CPACS occasional paper.
part of 1998 working with the UN in Geneva and the US. She learnt much and
will reveal all in the next issue of PeaceWrites.
is currently in Istanbul, Turkey for the first meeting of the
International Commission for Security and Cooperation in West Asia-a
peacemaking venture concerned with Middle East issues and sponsored by the
who organised our success 1998 seminar programme, is a Rhodes Scholar at
Oxford University, following in the footsteps of Bob Hawke and Kim Beazley.
Visiting Professor in Victoria University, Canada, is organising a
conference on cultural rights of indigenous people.
FORESHADOWED IN 1999
is going to Cambodia
this month to investigate human rights issues and to share with staff at
the Royal University of Phnom Penh the possibility of developing shared
teaching and research projects. This visit, sponsored by the World
Citizens Centre for Peace Work and Research, is part of a longer term plan
for CPACS to play in advocating peace with justice world wide, not merely
at home. Stuart's visit to Cambodia will enable CPACS to consider ways in
which we might respond to the formidable problems of social development,
human rights and social justice in that country.
On the administration
last year co-ordinated our successful Toda conference, has been employed
by the Sydney Peace Foundation as an administrative assistant with the
task of compiling a Foundation data base.
The Sydney Peace
A prize winner has been chosen with the award ceremony to take place at
the end of November. He is one of the world's greatest defenders of truth
The launch of first
occasional paper for 1999
High on the political agenda in the run-up to the 27 March State election
is the issue of law and order. THE
FUTURE OF POLICING: THE CHALLENGE OF NON-VIOLENCE,
is a paper based on last year's debate on non-violent policing. Its launch
is to be hosted by the Centre on Tuesday
16th March (see
front page for further details). Contributors to the paper have been
invited and include: Greg Chilvers, a member of the NSW Police
Association; Associate Professor Mark Findlay of Sydney University's Law
Faculty, and Tim Anderson, Secretary of the NSW Council for Civil
Liberties. The evening will raise crucial questions over how best Police
serve the community.
Discussion continues over possible topics for the 1999 seminar programme:
'Australia as a
one seminar pertinent to the life and times of this nation. Australia as a
fair, just, non-violent, civil, egalitarian, creative, peace-loving,
justice-promoting, democratic Republic? Just a dream or a reality for the
To avoid collusion with the notion that the only controversial issue about
the new Australian Republic is how do we elect a President, CPACS is
proposing to organise an evening forum to debate the question:
Will the quality
of life of all Australians be enhanced by our becoming a Republic? Will
the new Republic strive to promote a socially just and non-violent
Australia and so demonstrate a contrast with events which characterized
life for many Australians in the 20th Century?
CPACS thinks that
Republican controversies should be treated as human rights/quality-of-life
issues. We should aim to influence public interest and understanding,
hence the idea of a forum well before the proposed referendum. Late June,
early July is the tentative date for the forum. We will let you know but
urge you to be part of this dynamic debate.
a) Collaborations with
the Conflict Resolution Network (CRN).
- The development of a
Conflict-Resolving Media unit, funded by CRN, has been drafted for
inclusion as part of the graduate programme and will be submitted to
the University's Academic Board later this year. A 'peace journalism'
conference may be scheduled to launch this unit of study. (See under
heading 'Peace Journals' for more on this topic.) CRN recognised the
vital role the media can play in the resolution of conflict and in
collaboration with the United Nationals Association of Australia
initiated the annual Media Peace Awards in 1978.
- 'Work for All (Who
Want It)' is another collaborative research project funded and
supported by CRN. Tony Vinson (introduced above) will help provide the
background for a mentoring project and a research assistant will be
employed to develop guidelines and a kit for this research.
Night Patrols Project
Night Patrols are an indigenous initiative instigated by Central
Australian women in an effort to remove violence and help protect the
community in the absence of mainstream justice system support. As a
mechanism of alternative dispute resolution, Night Patrols aim to remove
'people at risk', especially youth, from public places to 'safe places'.
CPACS, in collaboration with the Koori Centre, has been funded by the NSW
Attorney General's Department to support and evaluate regional night
patrols in four country centres: Kempsey, Forster, Narrandera and Dareton.
- Final year Social
Work module: Peace and Conflict Social Work in Practice.
- Graduate programme:
Certificate, Diploma and Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. First
Seminar: Power Citizenship and Civil Society; Theories of Welfare and
Well-being; Non-Violence and Social Change; Gandhi, King and Suu Kyi.
Second Seminar: Violence in Europe and America since c.1600 (History,
Ken Macnab); Conflict and Peace in the Middle East; Israel and the
Arabs (Semitic Studies, Leanne Piggott) and Indigenous Rights and
Political Theory (Philosophy, Paul Patton).
TO INSPIRE YOU
This issue of
PeaceWrites will profile three peace journals. The next issue will look at
peace radio. Each issue will also provide a select list of peace promoting
Global Education Associates, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1848, New York, NY
A snippet from page 3 Jan-Apr 1999:
... there is
nothing automatic about the development of a culture of peace. The
process of conversion and social transformation requires conscious
choices and persistent effort on the part of many thousands of people in
all cultures and sectors of society.
Global Education Associates is an international network of individuals and
organisations in more than 90 countries with an emphasis on the
development of global ethics, values, and systems to secure greater
ecological integrity, peace, human rights, economic and social well-being.
2) Media and Conflict-Track
Two is a
publication of the Centre for Conflict Resolution and the Media Peace
Centre (c/o UCT, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701, S. Africa) promoting
constructive approaches to community and political conflict portrayed in
the media, as an alternative to traditional adversarial tactics.
Snippet vol. 7, no .4, 1998:7
generally follows the 'low road' in reporting conflict-chasing wars, the
elites that run them and a 'win-lose' out come. Johan Galtung urges an
alternate route: the 'high road' of peace journalism [which follows]
prospects for peace ...
Routes-A Journal for Peace Research and Action
published by the Life and Peace Institute, P O Box 1520, SE-751 45 Uppsala,
Snippet Vol. 3, No. 4, 1998: 2 [In light of revelations of UN inaction
over Rwanda, the following is salient:]
War takes many
forms. So does the return to peace that most hope will eventually follow
it. But while the science of war is engraved in politicians' hearts, a
well-grounded understanding of what promotes and sustains peace remains
hard to come by among decision-makers.
Sydney's well established Conflict
has a wealth of material on peace initiatives:
has its own site: http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/centres/cpacs
to keep you up to date with publications, seminars, teaching
programmes etc., thanks to the tireless input of Ian Mitselberg.
And the United
has a range of sites:
I visited New York and spent one afternoon at the UN, taking part
in a guided tour through an institution of chambers, brim-full of
icons-paintings, murals and sculptures dedicated to peace with
justice. The message seemed obvious, unquestionably right. But why
was this institution unable to enforce a world ban on land mines?
Why was it that the UN failed to protect Rwandans? And why, in a
tiny park opposite the UN, were passers-by failing to notice the
half dozen derelict homeless men slumped on benches. Then the
irony, almost overwhelming, when I bent down to look at an
inscription carved into the grimy pavement:
have meaning for many who have known only suffering in both
peace and war must be translated into bread or rice, shelter,
health and education as well as freedom and human dignity.
espousing essential peace, were spoken by Paul Johnson Bunche
(1904-1971), Under-Secretary-General for Special Political
Affairs, the United Nations, at the Nobel Peace Prize Lecture of
We have exciting
additions to our list of CPACS occasional papers and books for sale.
Enclosed is an up-dated list with order form. CPACS members are entitled
to a small discount; an incentive to join the Centre! Hazel Henderson's
book at $25 is a particularly good buy. It is the first report of the
Global Commission to Fund the UN. We are also able to offer Christopher
Hamer's A Global Parliament ($27.95) - a comprehensive discussion of the
idea of world federation. All sales help towards the costs of running of
centre, predominantly run by volunteers.
Comments and contributions
welcomed. Contact Editor and Publications Officer Jane Fulton on 9351
7686, or fax 9660 0862 or tel/fax 9960 4712 or email CPACS.
views in the publication are solely those of the contributors.