No. 2002/1                                                                                                                              April 2002

The University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies —

PeaceWrites                                   

The newsletter of peace studies, seminars, books, and peace initiatives


Dates for your diary

*Mondays: 6, 20, 27 May; 3 June. CPACS Seminar Series: Israeli/Palestinian Conflict details page 2.

*Wednesday 8 May The War on Terrorism

Lunchtime seminar, 12.15-1.45pm, History Room S223, Quadrangle, University of Sydney ­ no charge. Shortly after the 11 September attacks in America, a ‘War on Terrorism’ was announced by President Bush. Terrorism was denounced as ‘criminal’, ‘evil’, and an attack on ‘freedom’ and ‘civilisation’. But it has been said: “One person’s terrorist in another person’s freedom fighter.” What this means, and the definition, history, purpose and methods of terrorism, will be examined as a prerequisite to an assessment of the divisiveness and dangers of this form of world-wide ideological conflict.

Dr Ken Macnab is President of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney. He recently retired from the Department of History where he taught courses on the history of crime and punishment, deviance and violence. Dr Macnab believes strongly in the value of the historical and comparative approach in order to understand current themes and issues. Without this historical understanding, people run the risk of repeating the same mistakes.

 
*Wednesday 8 May. Announcement of the fifth Sydney Peace Prize recipient. See page 8. 

*Sunday 26 May.  Award of the Sydney Peace Medal to

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in recognition of his untiring work for non-violence, human rights and world peace. The presentation will take place at the Dalai Lama’s Public Talk in Sydney ‘Happiness and Universal Responsibility’, held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, 2pm ­ doors open at 1pm. Entry is free, seating on a first-come-first-served basis. For further information: National tour Office (03) 9663 2953  www.dalailama.org.au/

*Wednesday 6 November, 6.30pm Sydney Peace Prize Lecture. As with all previous Peace Prize lectures, this event promises to inspire. Seymour Theatre Centre, 9351 7940.

*Thursday 7 November. Sydney Peace Foundation gala dinner to award the Sydney Peace Prize. Contact:

Antonia Stephenson 9351 4468. www.spf.arts.usyd.edu.au

Inside this Issue

Graduate Peace and Conflict Studies                   1

CPACS Seminar Series                                       2

Research at CPACS: New Research Officer           2

Projects on: Refugees;

West Papua; and Cambodia

On the Peace Trail: People Trafficking                3

Australian Tibet Council   

Social Entrepreneurs                     

Lecturers’ Travelogues                                       5

Special Visitor to CPACS                                   6

Volunteers for Peace                                           6

Non-violence in the Middle East:                                     7

Leadership from Australia?

University Senate Motion                                    8

Sydney Peace Foundation                                   8

           

Graduate Peace and Conflict Studies

As in previous years, enrolments in Peace and Conflict Studies continue to rise, but this year has seen an exponential   growth towards a three-fold increase on the 2001 intake. Approximately half our students are international students. This is most encouraging and is line with a growing worldwide interest in Peace and Conflict Studies. For more on the growing awareness of the importance of peace education, see page 7.

A recent edition of Social Alternatives, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2002 is dedicated to “Peace Education for a New Century”. It provides an overview of peace education in the new century. Dr Jane Fulton of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney has co-authored a chapter entitled “Studying Peace: Opportunities for Peace Studies at Two NSW Universities” pages 39-41. Opportunities to study have increased, not only in the number of courses offered, but also in new initiates for local students in the provision of student loans and deferred payment schemes. The University offers a Masters or Diploma or Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies. An update on our 2002 programme is as follows: The Peace-Building Media unit will be offered during the January Summer School programme; our core unit will be offered in both semesters, helpful to those students commencing in semester two; and two new units have been added to our Semester Two 2002 programme:

PACS6901 The United Nations and International Conflict Resolution. Students will critically examine the role of the United Nations in promoting international peace and security. The various international conflict resolution mechanisms employed by the UN will be defined and analysed, including preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and peacebuilding. Students will learn to assess the contribution of the UN to the attainment of peace with justice by considering historical and contemporary case studies such as Cambodia, Rwanda and East Timor.

PACS6903 Peace and the Environment: Issues of Conflict and Security. This unit will consider the relationship between the environment and human conflict, from community conflicts over wilderness and logging, to international negotiations over measures to reduce global warming, and social unrest caused by unequal access to resources. Students will be challenged to consider the inherently violent nature of our relationship with the environment, and to explore the concepts of holistic peace, environmental ethics, sustainability, and the rights of nature.  A case-study approach will be utilised to demonstrate how environmental degradation is a security issue that contributes to conflict in different parts of the world. We will also explore the question, how environmental protection can contribute to peace-building initiatives at the local, regional and international levels.

 

For full details on the Peace and Conflict Studies programme, information can be obtained from:

http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/centres/cpacs/

Dr Jane Fulton, Coordinator, Graduate Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney

Email: cpacs.teaching@arts.usyd.edu.au

Tel: 02 9351 5440

CPACS Seminar Series, Semester One, 2002

THE ISRAELI / PALESTINIAN CONFLICT:

TOWARDS PEACE WITH JUSTICE

This free lunch-time series is held every second Monday between 12.30-2pm in Woolley Tutorial Room N208, Downstairs, John Woolley Building, Science Road, University of Sydney.

The aim of the seminar series is to promote understanding and dialogue about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and how it might be resolved peacefully. This dialogue is not easy. It challenges us to understand and address the issues involved in building peace with justice in our communities as well as in war-torn countries around the world.

 

11 March: How It All Began: Zionism, Israel and the Palestinians. Dr Paul White, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney

­­­­­­­­­25 March: Camp David, Oslo and Beyond: The Peace Process and the Role of the West. Associate Professor Ian J. Bickerton, School of History, University of New South Wales

8 April: Grassroots Peacemaking: People Building Peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Zeena Elton, Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education

22 April: The Peace Process and the Right of Return

Dr Helen McCue, Visiting Honorary Associate, University of New South Wales

6 May: Political and Economic Implications of the Oslo Collapse for Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Middle East. Dr David Beirman, Director, Israel Government Tourism Office and Lecturer, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

20 May: What is Stopping Peace? A Palestinian Perspective. Professor Ahmad Shboul, Department of Semitic Studies, University of Sydney

27 May: What is Stopping Peace? An Israeli Perspective.      Dr Gil Merom, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney and Department of Political Science, Tel-Aviv University. Captain Nicholas Weininger, Israeli Army

3 June: Towards Peace With Justice for Israelis and Palestinians: Where To From Here? Abraham Quadan, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney. Dr Ephraim Nimni (to be confirmed), School of Politics and International Relations, University of New South Wales.

Our first seminar entitled “How It All Began: Zionism, Israel and the Palestinians”, conducted by Dr White, research officer at CPACS, stressed that the path to peace in the Israel/Palestine conflict is complex, but must include the abandonment of all forms of nationalism. Both Zionist nationalism and Palestinian nationalism had failed and can only bring more carnage, he argued. Dr White’s presentation detailed the origins of both Zionism and Palestinian nationalism and showed how these movements were supported by various outside states for their own purposes. Prior to the Holocaust, Zionism was a fringe movement among Jews. As the ‘democratic’ countries left the Jews to their own devices with the onset of the Holocaust, an increasing number of Jews were drawn towards Zionism as the only apparent solution. Although Jews and Arabs had lived together in Palestine for thousands of years, it was only after the UN resolution to partition Palestine in 1947 that a fully-fledged Palestinian nationalist movement emerged.
Opposition to any sort of peace process has been seen among elements on both sides. A global solution must be found to alleviate a situation which is becoming increasingly critical.

The tapes of the seminars will be transcribed and, together with the papers provided by speakers, will be compiled for publication.

Research at CPACS

New Research Officer:

Dr Paul White is the Research Officer at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney. He has a PhD in Middle East politics and is the author of ‘Primitive Rebels’ or Revolutionary Modernizers? The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey (Zed Books, London, 2000). Specialising in Turkey, the Kurds, as well as in Refugee Studies, Dr White has taught Middle East History and Politics at Deakin University, Melbourne, for several years, and worked as a volunteer researcher with the Ecumenical Migration Centre in Melbourne, for over two years. He is the co-editor of and contributing author to the collection of scholarly articles Remaking the Middle East (Berg, 1997). He is one of two contributing editors of a forthcoming edited collection on the Alevis of Turkey (The Alevi Enigma, Brill, 2002). He has also had several articles published in international scholarly journals, and made presentations at international and Australian conferences. Furthermore, he has written over 50 expert witness reports for applicants appearing before the Refugee Review Tribunal in Melbourne, Sydney and Port Hedland. 
Tel 02 9351 3971
 
Research Projects. Three projects are underway at CPACS: on Refugees; West Papua; and Cambodia, all with a focus on achieving peace, as outlined below.
 
Refugees.  Dr Paul White is conducting research into the perceptions, views and experiences of participants on ‘both sides of the fence’ in Australia’s refugee crisis. Interviews will be conducted with not only recent refugees, but also with government, private sector and relevant non-government agencies at the point of crisis. The project will examine the historical context and an analysis of the points of conflict, while identifying the causes of the growing international refugee crisis, by setting the whole ‘refugee problem’ in a broader, global context. In short, the project aims to contribute to an informed, and therefore more enlightened, public perception of Australia’s current ‘refugee problem’, by drawing conclusions from the experience of refugee resettlement in Australia. 
 

West Papua. West Papua Project update by project member and PhD student Julian McKinlay King.

The West Papua Project continues to monitor the conflict occurring in West Papua where indigenous communities are struggling for self-determination. Recent promotion included West Papua representation at the Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference held in Sydney (29 March to 1 April) where a workshop was given focusing upon the Javanese ‘Laksar Jihad’ activities in the Sorong region in unison with the Indonesian military forces; the illegality of the UN sponsored ‘Act of Free Choice’ of 1969; and the global political connections hindering self-determination.

At the Washington conference of the Association for Asian Studies (April 2002), Dr. John Ondawame, a key member of the West Papua project at CPACS, presented a paper with other representatives of cultures seeking an end to injustice. Ondawame described the process of ‘peaceful dialogue’ facilitated by CPACS as a means to towards peace.

The progress of peaceful dialogue with Indonesian representatives is ongoing. On Monday 22nd of April, representatives of the West Papua Project met with the Indonesian Ambassador and Consulate General at CPACS to pursue this issue with a view to hold a conference in Bali which would be sponsored by Indonesia and facilitated by CPACS.

Later this year it is planned to bring West Papua representatives to the University of Sydney to assist in the resolution of internal conflict between West Papuan communities, and discuss strategies for the resolution of conflict with Indonesia. A similar workshop was conducted at this University, through CPACS, earlier this year.

Cambodia. Cambodian scholar Souk Narin from the Royal University of Phnom Penh is here on a UNESCO/Keizo OBUCHI Research Fellowship to conduct research on a

culture of peace and what it means for Cambodia. Narin is a living example of peace ­ having lived through some of the bloodiest episodes in recent times, he is always ready with a smile.

On the Peace Trail: Three University of Sydney Peace and Conflict Studies Masters students describe their work in the promotion of peace. 
Sverre Molland, one of our 2001 graduates, is soon to commence a position as ‘Project Management Support Specialist’ with the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Mekong sub-Region. http://www.un.or.th/TraffickingProject. Sverre is employed through the United Nations Volunteers program http://www.unv.org  and will be  stationed in Vientiane, Laos. 

Jane Sloane is completing her Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies as a part time student. She is the Chief Executive of  Social Entrepreneurs Network, a network of enterprises that take an entrepreneurial approach to tackle social problems. Jane outlines a recent conference on social enterprise she ran in Melbourne. Another part-time Masters student in Peace and Conflict Studies, Julie Smith, gives us a glimpse of her work as the Campaign and Lobbying Coordinator for the Australian Tibet Council.

The violence of human trafficking ­ Sverre Molland 

We are all accustomed to perceive peace in contrast to violence: there is peace when there is no violence. Violence, in turn, is usually thought of in terms of physical harm. Bombs, machine guns and landmines are all images that come to mind. However, peace and conflict also involve more subtle forms of violence. Human trafficking is arguably one of the least talked about and most hidden forms of violence. In contrast to the overt violence displayed in war, human trafficking is usually unnoticed. It is an imperceptible, ongoing, insidious form of violence, which tends to occur within spheres of intimacy. Women and children, arguably the most muted victims of violence, are believed to constitute the highest proportion of ‘cargo’ in the trafficking.

Tragically, in the third world, those to have most successfully embraced globalisation are the international crime syndicates, who, by manipulating global trends in trade have expanded their illicit trades in drugs and people. It is estimated that some 30 million people have been ‘trafficked’ in South East Asia in the last decade. Human trafficking is estimated to be a US$30,000,000 business, amassing profits similar to the trade in illegal drugs.

So, what is human trafficking? Being a relatively new phenomenon, little, until recently, has been written on the issue. In broad terms, trafficking is intertwined with migration, the opening of borders and socio-economic disparities. As Rubens Ricupero, Secretary-General of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) noted: “international migration is the missing link between globalisation and development.”[1] Trafficking is part of the black economy. It is similar to people smuggling, as it involves unlawful movement of people. However, the major distinction between trafficking and smuggling is that trafficking is both the unlawful movement of people, and the exploitation of these people once the transportation has occurred.

Exploitation can take many forms. The sex industry quickly comes to mind, but the trafficking-industry involves a range of other forms of exploitative labour, such as domestic work, sweat-shops, forced begging, forced, or non-consensual removal of organs, as well as work in the construction and fishing industries. Victims of trafficking get drawn into it in different ways. On the one hand you have highly coercive and exploitative slave-like trafficking through professional trans-national organisations resulting in gross abuse and violation of human rights. On the other side of the pendulum you have women who ‘voluntarily’ make their way to the host country through family and other informal networks.

Importantly, trafficking is an issue that is understood differently across different cultural and social strata. Whereas certain activities might be seen as morally repulsive and illegal by some, such activities might be seen by local communities as opportunities and alternative incomes.  For instance, a child from Poipet in Cambodia can make 300 - 1000 Baht (US$7-US$25) a day from begging on the streets of Bangkok, which is five to sixteen times the adult labouring rate in Poipet. Further, not all victims of trafficking perceive themselves worse off - in spite of their hard working conditions, many perceive themselves to be better off than staying home. Huge differences in socio-economic development between the first and third worlds make it difficult to articulate a moral and cultural-neutral language in reference to trafficking. Nevertheless, the human misery produced by the phenomenon should not be underestimated.

Since trafficking comes in different forms, a variety of responses are needed to combat it. Law enforcement has been emphasised. However, both within NGO’s, governments and the UN, there are ongoing debates over the efficacy of the legal process. Tragically, although being effective in certain respects, increased law enforcement can result in driving trafficking further underground, pushing victims further into the hands of organised trans-national crime organisations and away from protective legal mechanisms. This begs the question: who is hardest hit by law-enforcement: victim or perpetrator?

Hence, there are increasing efforts to combat the phenomenon by creating alternatives, such as:

The challenge of human trafficking is enormous, especially in a context where it seems political discourse is more concerned with state security, rather than human security. Hopefully, projects, [like the one Sverre is about to join ­ editor’s note!]: ‘United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Mekong sub-region’ can articulate alternative views on issues of globalisation, and migration. The real issue is not only protection of borders, but also protection of human rights.

Disclaimer: the views expressed by Sverre Molland are his own, and do not represent the member countries or the institutions of the United Nations.

The Social Entrepreneurs Network Conference ­

Jane Sloane

Over 450 people attended the 2nd national Social Entrepreneurs Conference in Melbourne on 4-5 March, 2002,  entitled “Working at the Sharp End”. Social enterprise is taking an entrepreneurial approach to tackle social problems. The conference attracted key international speakers as well as Australian social entrepreneurs including Noel Pearson and Nic Frances, head of the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Noel Person was awarded the inaugural “Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award”, sponsored by the AMP Foundation, for his work among Aboriginal communities in Cape York.

CPACS Director, Professor Stuart Rees, spoke at two lively forums, one on the topic of Social Entrepreneurship and the Culture of Business; and the other on Universities and Community Engagement.

The essence of social enterprise can be found in projects in Aboriginal communities on the Cape York Peninsular such as the one described by key architect and implementer, Noel Pearson. This is an extract of his address to the conference audience:

‘The thing that social enterprise does with people who have been written off is that it engages them in real economic life and it is this material engagement that underpins a change in social outlook and preparedness…  Whether it was the subsistence economy of hunter-gatherers or work in the modern market economy ­ it is a fair opportunity to engage in one’s own material existence that underpins skill, pride, purpose, a sense of achievement and fulfilment, dignity and hope.  This is well-known, yet the Welfare State forgot this when it confronted people who became more and more dependent upon it for their subsistence.  Social entrepreneurs understand the centrality of economic engagement in individual and social wellbeing.’

These benefits are borne out in Pearson’s description of the “Boys from the Bush Project”.

‘ “The Boys from the Bush Project” was developed by a one-time youth justice caseworker from the Queensland Department of Families, Milton James.  Milton developed a methodology for working with indigenous youth offenders who are subject to a court order …  It centres around the development and operation of an real enterprise, in which the youth participate in all aspects of harvesting, production and marketing of niche melaleuca oils.  Counselling of youth, who without this opportunity would likely continue their careers of increasing interaction with the juvenile, and eventually adult, criminal justice systems, takes place in the context of real (hard) work, business planning and operation (production, selling) and personal income earning.  These simple ingredients of work, enterprise operation and income earning are, in my observation, the key to success and they add true meaning to the personal and group counselling which accompanies the enterprise.’

To address youth issues closer to home, interactive workshops focusing on Youth Partnerships and Urban Renewal will commence in Sydney in June.  For further information contact Jane Sloane at the Social Entrepreneurs Network on

(02) 9339 8097 or go to

Campaigning and Lobbying for the Australian Tibet Council ­ Julie Smith

Following an early career in mainstream media and a year working in Zimbabwe for a development agency, I came to advocacy work in September 2001 when I joined the Australia Tibet Council (ATC).  As the Campaign and Lobbying Coordinator, my role is to raise community awareness of the Tibetan struggle, through community education, public relations, government and bureaucratic liaison and the media.

ATC’s work has two main goals: to support the Tibetan Government in Exile’s call for negotiations with China to bring about a true Tibetan Autonomous Region and to campaign for an end to the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Government in maintaining dominance over Tibet and its people.

With our current campaign theme: “Support Non-violence: Free Tibet”, we ask governments, individuals and organisations throughout the world to show support for one of the most enduring struggles for freedom of our age.  But our campaign is potentially undermined by the fact that Tibet is not officially recognised, at the international diplomatic level, as an occupied country. Rather it is recognised as part of China.  How to negotiate for freedom from occupation and an end to oppression, when neither occupation, nor oppression is acknowledged, is our greatest challenge.

From a campaigner’s point of view, a violent conflict is more likely to bring pressure on oppressors. For example, recent television coverage of gruesome violence between Israel and Palestine has been a catalyst to bring international pressure demanding an end to violence. By contrast, Tibetans’ commitment to non-violent principals is such that violent struggle is not depicted on television. This begs two related questions: is the world deaf and blind to a non-violent campaign for peace? Is the world only able to understand conflict and oppression when it sees face to face combat?

Sadly, it would seem that the answer to both questions is “Yes”. Most people don’t realise that Tibet is not a free country; that its nuns are imprisoned, tortured and raped; that more than 6,000 of its monasteries have been razed; that the Tibetan language is no longer taught in schools; and that photos of the Dalai Lama are banned. We are not conversant with the language and symbols of peace and thus fail to recognise this struggle because it is a non-violent struggle. The intransigent response of the Federal Government to the Dalai Lama’s May 2002 visit to Australia illustrates this failure to acknowledge the Tibetan crisis.

Our campaign is to increase public understanding of, and hence interest in, the plight of the Tibetan people in the hope that this will, in turn, influence our government. Lobbying the Australian Government is one key campaign strategy. We continue to hope that Australians see non-violence as a cause worth supporting and we encourage them to exercise their political voice.

To coincide with the Dalai Lama’s tour, ATC is bringing The Tibet Museum to Australia.  The museum looks at Tibet and Tibetans in the light of more than 50 years of Chinese occupation ­ it is a memorial, commemoration and hopeful expression of the future. The Museum is on display at NSW Parliament House from 6th ­ 31st May 9am-5pm weekdays with evening openings on 7th ­ 9th & 28th ­30th May (until 9pm).  Admission is free.

The Museum will be launched on Thursday 9th May at 6.30pm with guest speakers Justice Marcus Einfeld AO QC, Neville Roach AO and Representative of H.H. The Dalai Lama, Chope Paljor Tsering.  The opening will also feature performances by prominent Australian Tibetan musicians.  Tickets are available from the Australia Tibet Council on 92833 466 for $20.  Wine and cheese will be served on arrival.

In Pursuit of Peace ­ Travelogues of two University of Sydney Peace and Conflict Studies lecturers: Wendy Lambourne in the US; Stuart Rees in Oxford, UK.

Wendy Lambourne: Over the past year I have made several trips to the US, in most cases spending some time in Washington, DC, the home of the US government and the US Institute of Peace.

The US Institute of Peace (USIP) was created by the US Congress in 1984 as “an independent, non-partisan federal institution dedicated to research, education, professional training, and policy development on matters of international conflict prevention, management, and resolution”. Unlike its Australian equivalent, the former Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra, USIP’s continuing existence is not threatened by the policy priorities of different governments.

I have conducted much of my PhD research in the USIP library which houses more than 10,000 books and periodicals and provides access to the internet from terminals in the library ­ and offers free photocopying to all library users! USIP also produces many useful publications and hosts topical workshops and seminars, many of which are accessible live via the internet.

Of particular interest to me is the Institute’s Rule of Law program that focuses on policy-oriented research and practical assistance in the areas of war crimes accountability, transitional justice and reconciliation. Other special program initiatives cover the Balkans, Virtual Diplomacy, and Religion and Peacemaking. USIP also emphasises the importance of education and professional training, offers scholarships and fellowships to peace researchers, and provides grants to institutions and individuals for peace research in the US and throughout the world. You can find out more about USIP, its publications, events and grant programs at http://www.usip.org.

In July last year I was invited to present a session on post-conflict reconciliation in Rwanda at USIP’s 2001 Summer Institute for Secondary School Social Studies Teachers. High school teachers from throughout the US had competed nationally to win a place in the program. The theme of the summer institute was on linking the local and global in the areas of peace, security and conflict management. Topics covered included human rights, Asian politics, Serbia, Macedonia, the changing role of the military, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, peacemaking, post-conflict reconstruction, and electronic resources for teaching.

Also last northern summer (i.e. July 2001) I participated in a “Training for Trainers in Peacebuilding” course at the School of International Service, American University, also in Washington, DC. Students from many nationalities including Indonesians, Palestinians, Americans, a South African, Burmese, Albanian, Nigerian and, of course, Australian participated in the program. It was a fascinating course, challenging us to question and explore the various methods and philosophies of training available to us whether in the development field, in peacebuilding activities or in the classroom. One particularly moving exercise involved groups modelling the concepts of peace and violence. The human sculpture of “violence” created by one group depicted someone holding a gun at a crouched individual, with others lying prostate (presumably already killed) and others mourning. The Palestinian in the group depicted himself begging the one with the gun not to shoot. He left the course one day early to return to his home town, Ramallah, that was under siege from the Israeli government.

In February this year I attended a meeting of the Great Lakes Policy Forum in Washington, DC that discussed the challenges of ongoing violence and creation of refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo; a seminar on theories of terrorism at George Mason University; and a USIP presentation by the incumbent President of Burundi on that country’s transition to peace and democracy.

Most recently I participated in the 43rd Annual International Studies Association Convention in New Orleans. The ISA Convention is the largest and most important international conference for academics in the field of international relations. This year the conference comprised more than 2000 papers at about 550 panels and roundtables in 16 sessions over four days from 24-27 March 2002.

I have presented papers at two previous ISA Conventions (in 1997 and 1999), but this year for the first time I organised two panels for the Peace Studies section ­ one on “Multiple Meanings of Reconciliation” and the other on “Justice and Reconciliation: The Political Dilemmas”. I chaired and presented a paper at the second panel, focussing on the dilemmas of pursuing justice and reconciliation in Cambodia and East Timor. Both panels stimulated a great deal of discussion on the complexities of defining reconciliation and analysing the relationship between justice and reconciliation.

Other discussions of interest during the conference addressed the need to bridge the gaps between theorists and practitioners in peacebuilding, between theorists in different disciplines associated with peacebuilding, and between practitioners in the government and non-government, international and local spheres. Themes of other panels and paper topics included the challenges of evaluation in the field of conflict resolution and peacebuilding; cross-cultural approaches to conflict transformation; the characteristics of a peacemaker; the contested relationship between human rights and peace; and the issues that affect the “success” of peace settlements. More information about the ISA and papers from the conference will be available at the ISA website http://www.isanet.org.

Stuart Rees: During 17-21 March, 2002 Professor Stuart Rees attended “Democracy, Globalisation and the Prospects for World Peace” a conference at Oxford University run by the Toda Institute to which 70 peace scholars from all over the world addressed three major issues:  the relationship between democracy and peace; violence generated by the consequences of globalisation; and controversies over the universality of human rights. The conference reached two major conclusions: the need to address violence associated with poverty; conundrum of how to deal with US policies of unilateralism. It proposed the following strategies for change, which included research projects which will be the responsibility of peace centres in different parts of the world. These projects will address the following issues: The role of the media in reporting world affairs to promote peace; the promotion of democracy in regions of Africa and South America; and the demilitarisation in the USSR along with the emergence of provinces in place of the former Soviet Nation.

Special Visitor to CPACSAs part of the Australian Government’s Special Visits Program, we were delighted to meet Mrs Irene Santiago of the Philippines at CPACS on 12 April. Mrs Santiago is Chair of the Mindanao Commission on Women, and a Member of the Government Peace Panel Negotiating Peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Through her work, Mrs Santiago promotes peace in her region, with a focus on the role of women as peace builders, particularly at the local level. For peace to be lasting it has to be a just peace, negotiated by all stake-holders, from all racial and ethnic groups. A key aspect of Mrs Santiago’s work is to facilitate dialogue. Such dialogue provides a voice for all Philippinos to participate in the building of a democratic society, that respects the human rights of every individual.

Volunteers for Peace

Hussein on the Peace Trail ­ on the University Campus! During Orientation week Hussein Chami, an undergraduate in the Department of Government, represented CPACS tirelessly at the stall shared with the United Nations Society. Hussein was able to spread the word among local and international students, with over 100 joining our email list. Hussein’s enthusiasm in promoting our work, via email and publicity fliers, has had a lot to do with attracting capacity audiences to the CPACS seminar series on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Hussein writes: “Personally, I have enjoyed my time with a dedicated CPACS team, as well as my time with many students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives and the opportunities to share with them ideas on peace.”

Undergraduate students, Shu-fang Wei and Goranka Slavujevic, have been instrumental in organising the Israeli/Palestinian seminar series and also deserve acknowledgement. Wendy, Shu and Goranka met several times before the beginning of semester to plan the seminar series and the Orientation Week stall. Their ideas, vision and commitment have resulted in an impressive series of lunchtime seminars. Also on the seminars team, Abe Quadan has contributed his ideas and energy to organising speakers, and Paul Clark has volunteered his time and equipment to tape the seminars. Chris Sargant, another undergraduate, has helped with photocopying and publicity for the seminars. Many thanks to all these committed volunteers.

Non-violence in the Middle East: Leadership from Australia? Stuart Rees Professor Emeritus and Director, Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies

 

The slaughter of Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp is followed by suicide bombings in Israel. The case for a policy based on justice through non-violence has never been stronger, yet Australian politicians stay mostly silent, unless they merely voice support for US positions. Saying nothing about destructive violence may be tantamount to saying ‘yes’ to everything described as a war on terrorism but it also reads like a refusal to think for ourselves.

A distinctive Australian policy to promote non-violence would encourage politicians to think in ways which they may have seldom embraced openly.  The philosophy of non-violence is not passive. It teaches that inaction in relation to injustice is to collude with violence.

A first strand in a non-violent alternative in the Middle East would mean efforts to secure equal access to resources such as water. It would require the creation of employment without which hope evaporates and violence looks like the only option. A major issue of injustice concerns Israeli settlements which are addressed in the current American proposal merely by asking the Israelis to cease settlement activity. Yet the Israeli organization Peace Now has spotted 34 new settlements started since Sharon became Prime Minister and pleas to remove illegal settlements have come from within Israel. The speaker of the Knesset says, ‘Israel now has a violent government out to destroy the Palestinian Authority and to avoid giving up the settlements’. 

Violence begets violence: In the past 18 months over 400 Israelis and over 1600 Palestinians have been killed. Politicians who are locked into militaristic beliefs that military power brings order and security have learned little from history. Exposing bullies who may become killers is a central feature of an active non-violence but so is the need to have dialogue between enemies. Sadat embraced Begin. Rabin did shake hands with Arafat. The identification of dangerous leaders in the Middle East can be conducted by Australian politicians with a sense of openness and even handedness. Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and so does Israel. Opponents of dictatorships may be given summary trials and then locked up but the west’s war on terrorism has seen an erosion of civil liberties and the young Mordecai Vanunu who exposed Israel’s nuclear arsenal is still in prison after 16 years. What threat does he pose?

Dialogue with enemies means respect for identity and a willingness to avoid interaction on the basis of stereotypes such as Palestinian fanatics, Jewish fundamentalists or the notion that only the United States can influence Middle East politics. 

There already exists sufficient international law to provide for peace and to struggle towards peace with justice ­ an important distinction. But it requires imagination and courage to implement UN resolutions and human rights covenants: courage to advocate a common good rather than sectional interests, to see that security comes through commitment to implement UN agreements not through preoccupation with border protection. 

If Australian politicians engage in dialogue with Palestinian and other Arab leaders as well as with brave Israelis who are advocating justice, Australia would be making a significant contribution to brokering a peace. Such an initiative would also revive this country’s  reputation as a responsible global citizen,  a reminder perhaps of the significant role of Australian personnel in East Timor. Through dialogue lies security, the acceptance of different religions and lifestyles, albeit under the umbrella of international standards which seek to outlaw all forms of violence, in the home, on the streets, in school playgrounds, corporate boardrooms, in policies related to poverty or in other aspects of international affairs.

A policy of non-violence may not be seen as a real alternative to militarism yet most of the world’s soldiers are now engaged in peace building and peace keeping. Even if they have been fighting, their leaders will have to engage in dialogue when conflict ends. In a week when carnage on the West Bank almost certainly guarantees more suicide bombers and the opening of a second front in southern Lebanon, reports about peace talks and peace settlements have come from Angola, from Sri Lanka and from the two Koreas. After decades of violence and cruelty, these optimistic signs teach that most wars can never be won, that eventually peace will have to be brokered even from sheer exhaustion. Before exhaustion and more despair is reached in the Middle East, Australian politicians could commit themselves to the philosophy of non-violence and could start to explain what that means in terms of refreshingly distinct Australian policies.

Peace Education and an understanding of international human rights law.

Following on from Professor Rees’ request for a more active role by Australian politicians in the promotion of human rights, Margaret Reynolds recent observations from London are most apt. As National President of the UN Association of Australia (UNAA) Reynolds is working on the European-funded Indigenous Rights in the Commonwealth project at the University of London. She noted the debate over the Middle East is conducted in the media and among parliamentarians with an understanding and respect for international law. She writes: “Sadly this level of respect for international law seems less visible with our own [Australian] Parliament. I cannot imagine either a Coalition or Labor Government being under attack from within its own ranks for failing to put international law ahead of narrow national interest. The lesson we must draw from this as members and supporters of UNAA is that much more effort must be put into human rights and international legal education to ensure that our future decision makers are better equipped to understand Australian responsibilities in a global community.” (Unity, April 19, 2002, No. 294, item 11. http://www.unaa.org.au/ )

In Semester Two, the University of Sydney offers SCWK6941 Understanding and Attaining Human Rights, the very unit able to address this learning gap. This unit recognises that the management and resolution of conflicts in diverse countries requires the staff involved to understand the development of human rights in general and the application of current human rights protocols and covenants in particular.

 
 
The University Senate
Thalia Anthony, Post Graduate Senate Fellow, represents CPACS on the University Senate. She has been instrumental in bringing about the following Senate initiative:
 
“That the Senate notes opposition among University of Sydney students to the Federal Government’s “Pacific Solution” and its policies of Mandatory Detention of refugees in Australia, and supports students calls for policies that are based on a compassionate and humane approach to asylum seekers.  The Senate will raise awareness within the University, in cooperation with the student bodies ­ the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), University of Sydney Union and the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA), on the issue of a compassionate and humane attitude to refugees. Specifically, and recognising the continuing tradition of universities as centres for public and intellectual inquiry, Senate will support and widely promote a public lecture, through the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, by a scholar working in this field. This lecture is to be opened by the Chancellor and chaired by the Deputy Chancellor and is to take place as soon as practicably possible.”

We are delighted to announce that Father Frank Brennan SJ AO will conduct this seminar at the beginning of Semester Two, date to be advised. Father Frank Brennan, a Jesuit priest and lawyer, is an Adjunct Fellow at the Australian National University in the Research School of Social Sciences, Honorary Visiting Fellow in Law at the University of New South Wales, the Director of Uniya, the Jesuit Social Justice Centre in Sydney. He has written extensively on Aboriginal Land Rights and is the author of a number of books, including One Land One Nation, Sharing the Country and Land Rights Queensland Style. His books on civil liberties are Too Much Order With Too Little Law and Legislating Liberty.

His currents interests and commitments include Aboriginal rights, refugee rights, the bill of rights and constitutional reform, intercultural and inter- religious perspectives on human rights in East Asia. During his involvement in the Wik debate, the National Trust named him a Living National Treasure.

Many thanks to Jane Sloane for her generous donations of books including volumes on peace poetry; and to our seminar speakers, all have donated their time and expertise to broaden our understanding and promote dialogue.

Update on the Sydney Peace Foundation. Over the Christmas break, members of the executive committee held a think-tank session and devised the following mission statement: The Sydney Peace Foundation’s purpose is to develop the world’s best peace organisation through dialogue with the widest possible audience promoting the extraordinary benefits of just peace and human rights.

The Foundation celebrates the achievements of peacemakers through the awarding of the annual Sydney Peace Prize which includes a monetary award to further their valuable work. Past recipients have included Professor Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank founder), Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Xanana Gusmao and Sir William Deane.

The Foundation sponsors the work of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, particularly in areas of peace research and conflict resolution by funding jobs in these area and also by awarding scholarships in peace and conflict studies.

The Foundation has its own constitution within the University of Sydney, but is funded by corporate and individual donations.  Support from the corporate sector is crucial to the achieving the aims of the Foundation and this year it plans to broaden its base of support among the business community, as well as lobby government (State and Federal) to provide funding and/or match supporters’ funding. 

The main fundraising drive is the Annual Peace Prize Award Dinner, which this year will be held on Thursday, 7th November.  There will also be a breakfast forum, planned for mid-year.  As I am fond of saying: “Peace - What a nice idea! Everybody wants it, but nobody’s buying it!”  However, we are fortunate to have our Partners in Peace, who provide courage, vision and financial support, namely:

Gilbert & Tobin Lawyers, Publishing & Broadcasting Limited, Rio Tinto Limited, Salomon Smith Barney, and    The Conflict Resolution Network.

To find out about the Sydney Peace Prize recipient for 2002, visit our website after 8th May www.spf.arts.usyd.edu.au

Antonia Stephenson, Sydney Peace Foundation 9351 4468

Last Words

 

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council on 30 March, 2002, on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, declared: “Security and peace must be addressed in parallel in the spirit of Security Council resolution 1397 and 1402. In other words we need to take into account the legitimate security concerns of Israel and the legitimate political aspirations of the Palestinians ­at the same time.” 

 

Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights wholeheartedly agreed with the Secretary General in her recent statement to the 58th session of the Commission on Human Rights, Geneva, on 2 April 2002, in which she calls for a UN mission to assess the destruction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. She asks: “Would it not be right for this Commission to dispatch immediately a visiting mission that would travel to the area and return expeditiously to the Commission with their findings and recommendations. Surely, the protection of human rights would require such a step as a very minimum?”

In spite of Israeli resistance, this call has been heeded. A hand-picked UN team is to embark on a fact-finding mission into the Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp.

Comments and contributions welcome. Contact Editor and Publications Officer Dr Jane Fulton on tel 02 9351 5440, fax 02 9660 0862 or cpacs.teaching@social.usyd.edu.au

Mackie Building KO1, The University of Sydney, 2006. Web address http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/centres/cpacs

Disclaimer—the views in this publication are solely those of the contributors.



[1] International Organization for Migration, “The Link Between Migration and Development in the Least Developed Countries”, Geneva, 2001.