NATUREThe peace embassy is a tool of
peoples' diplomacy. Its full name is:
- INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR PEOPLES' DIPLOMACY situated in ..........
Being its task the peoples'
diplomacy, the peace embassy must be independent from all governments,
financially and politically. The peace embassy is a tool of the
civil society and of the peoples and must therefore take its working
guidelines and financing only from them. It is, however, possible
and desirable that local, national or international institutions
should help, from time to time and in different ways, the peace
embassy's activities without, however, ever becoming the determining
By civil society we mean all those organisations, international
and not, active on our planet in the widely varying fields of voluntary
work who now wish to take on this task.
TASKS OF THE PEACE EMBASSY
1) To open and consolidate
the communication between peoples.
This is the prime task of the peace embassy. It concerns getting
different peoples to know one another by overcoming the difficulties
that governments often put in their way. It concerns working to
build strong social and human relationships, able of resisting a
future construction of the image of the enemy (cultural, religious,
artistical exchanges, economical trades based on equality and solidarity).
IN PARTICULAR, IT CONCERNS OPPOSING SANCTIONS USED FOR THE PURPOSES
OF POWER (embargo as a war weapon).
2) To help peoples in
need as a result of wars, forced expulsion, sanctions, epidemics
disasters (humanitarian help). Particularly, in the event of a large
number of refugees, it is necessary to
work to avoid the splitting of families and people being sent to
places they don't want to go to.
If possible, one should at the same time work to prevent that too
many people stay for a long time in a single place.
3) To be a helping tool
in logistics and organisation for all NGOs who want to contribute
to peace with
humanitarian help, aimed particularly at refugees or, more generally,
at people affected by war.
4) To give correct information
to the international community about the living conditions of the
possible violations of the human rights, which may occur internally
by groups or by the government or
externally because of military or economical attacks. The role of
information is very
important generally; it becomes even more so in the period preceding
a war. THAT IS WHEN CORRECT,
SUFFICIENTLY WIDESPREAD INFORMATION CAN CARRY OUT A REAL TASK OF
INTERPOSITION BETWEEN THE PARTIES IN CONFLICT (Permanent peace observation
5) With the realisation
of the above four points, the peace embassy – international centre
for peoples' diplomacy - reaches its main objective, which is working
for the PREVENTION OF CONFLICTS
BETWEEN PEOPLES by putting forward to the International Community,
from time to time, proposals
to mediate a conflict.
Besides receiving, if not recognition, at least acceptance by the
host country, the peace embassy must
make contact with any UN organisations in the country and, above all,
with associations, groups, political
parties and lay and religious authorities. In the lack of any of this
(i.e. in fiercely repressive dictatorships), it must manage to deal
directly with the population through the channels of targeted humanitarian
aid and defence of violated human rights. The aim is, when needed,
to have a detailed knowledge of the problems and to have enough credibility
to support the method of negotiation in the solution of the problem.
TO SUSTAIN THE METHOD OF NEGOTIATION, IT IS ALWAYS NECESSARY FOR THE
EMBASSY TO WORK ON THE WILL FOR PEACE OF THE PEOPLE ENDURING THE WAR.
Basically these working guidelines involves two tools:
a) a capacity for listening
b) a capacity for giving help.
THE CAPACITY FOR LISTENING:
it can be summed up as the will never to represent ourselves, not
to speak of ourselves, but rather always to keep in mind our need
to know the other one. We must always remember that, apart from
this need, there is no relevance for the peace embassy to exist,
because it is not possible to oppose the
war without feeling in one's heart the need to know the other one.
Without this knowledge, moreover, it will be impossible for us to
build up the solidarity to try to oppose war.
THE CAPACITY FOR GIVING HELP:
there is no doubt that any peace embassy, even one with the worst
possible organisation, will have a certain capacity to give help.
But to be truly effective, this help must be distributed and interspersed.
It will be necessary to try to see and understand the problems from
the different points of view of the parties in conflict, because
the intervention of the peace embassy must tend to build, outside
inside the country in which it operates, SOLIDARITY for all and
not only for one side. Much of the trust that the peoples will be
able to put in the peace embassy will depend on this attitude.
NEVER PROMISE WHAT WE ARE NOT SURE OF BEING ABLE TO KEEP: to avoid
between individuals and peoples, we must always stick to this rule.
REGARDING LOCAL NGO:
in its activity, the embassy, as International Centre for Peoples’
Diplomacy, will have to interact with local NGOs or correlated groups,
urging the formation of MIXED AND JOINT WORK COMMITTEES concerning
peace and interventions in solidarity (PEOPLE'S PEACE). These committees
should be entrusted with the task of practically elaborating the
actions to be carried out on the ground (opening up lines of communication,
solidarity and peoples' diplomacy).
The competence for determining and choosing the participants for
the work committees remains the chief task of the embassy.
Text drafted by
from the Secretariat of the White Berets