Nobel laureate Amartya Sen who chaired the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding
7 November 2007
Conflict and terrorism better addressed through civil, not military means says report
A report looking into the causes of conflict, violence and extremism in Commonwealth countries will be launched on 9 November 2007.
The report -- ‘Civil Paths to Peace’-- is the result of a mandate from Commonwealth Heads of Government to explore these issues both within and beyond Commonwealth nations.
Prepared by the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding which is chaired by the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, the report focuses on the problem of group-based violence and its impact on communities, and advocates solutions based on individuals’ multiple identities.
This new approach to looking at violence and how it is manifested marks a departure from cultural or ‘civilisational’ explanations of conflict and terrorism.
‘Civil Paths to Peace’ argues that solutions to conflicts should be rooted in the Commonwealth’s core principles which lay at the heart of the 53 member states. Human rights, democracy, gender equality, the rule of law and a transparent and accountable political culture are some of these shared values.
The report also recognises that the Commonwealth’s focus and successful track record on promoting dialogue and consensus-building has a renewed urgency.
The Commission supports the use of civil paths to peace: paths, which the Commission believes, yield better results than military action.
Recommendations in the report include new forms of political participation; an emphasis on non-sectarian, non-parochial education that expands rather that reduces the reach of understanding; and greater support to young people, who represent over half of the Commonwealth’s two billion citizens.
The report will be launched by Professor Sen, and fellow Commissioners including Lord Alderdice and Joan Rwabyomere, at 10.30am on Friday 9 November, at Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5HX.