For sustainable national peace, we must create personal peace

For sustainable peace to be built at a national level, individuals need to be able to find their own personal peacefulness and peace with each other, says Professor Mike Hardy, Executive Director of Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, and RISING Global Peace Forum.

Speaking this week at a peace conference in Vienna, Professor Hardy highlighted the new importance of cultivating peace in everyday life and not just as a special case.

He stressed the need to move from a focus on peacebuilding to one of sustainable peace through a shared responsibility within the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to create the conditions required for positive peacefulness.

Professor Hardy highlighted active work on trust and relationships, creating conditions for young people to be more at ease with themselves and each other and the importance of resilience for communities under strain from rapid change.

Professor Hardy was speaking at the inaugural session of the International Peace Studies Conference 2018 organised by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria, 28-29 May 2018.

The session included President Sardar Masood Khan, from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, who called for establishing lasting peace in South Asia by resolving all the outstanding issues, especially the Kashmir dispute through dialogue within the framework of the United Nations.

Also presenting at the Conference were:

  • Michael Spindelegger, the former deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Austria;
  • Emil Brix, Director of Vienna School of International Studies;
  • Kishore Mandhyan, former Director for Peacekeeping in Cabinet of UN Secretary-General;
  • Brigadier-General Walter Feichtinger from the Austrian National Defence Academy;
  • Walter Kemp, Head of Strategy and Policy in the Office of the Secretary General, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe,
  • Professor Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin, the chairperson of Punjab Higher Education Commission;
  • Lucia Mokra, Dean Social and Economic Sciences Comenius University of Bratislava, and
  • Monika Froehler CEO of the new Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizenship.

Later at the Vienna International Centre, at a session on Global Crime, Terror and the Sustainable Development Goals, Professor Hardy presented an outline of his recent work with UNESCO on the potential through the SDGs to improve symmetry in dialogue and remove old thinking regarding a ‘Global North’ versus a ‘Global South’, West and East, public and private sectors and civil society.

Along with Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director Division of Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC, Kishore Mandyan, the former Director Peacekeeping in Cabinet of the UN Secretary General, Michael Platzer, ACUNS Vienna, Professor Hardy stressed the new importance of study of the individual for peacefulness and security and the reduced focus on borders, states, communities and systems at the heart of understanding human security.

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