Ministry of Peace sign now

Peace is an abstract term. Many believe that peace will one day be created from out of thin air. However, peace is not an objective, but an ongoing process, or a way of life. However, how can a society and alternating governments successfully navigate toward peace over the course of many generations?

The answer is in the institutionalization of the commitment toward peace, through the creation of a Ministry of Peace. The Ministry of Peace would allow for the organization of peace building activities and ensure the progress of society toward a certain direction. The Ministry of Peace would have the overall objective of creating a culture of peace, which would be achieved through the progress toward four specific targets:

1) Lead society generally toward a continuing path of peaceful development and prosperity;
2) Develop an atmosphere of trust;
3) To spearhead and maintain massive reconciliation efforts and;
4) To create and sustain education for peace.

The primary mandate of the new Ministry will be to re-invigorate Cyprus peace orientation, which was the main principle on which the state was founded upon. The Ministry will operate within the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration and Programme of Action for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace (1999) and other related UN Treaties, Conventions and Agreements.

An objective of the Ministry will be to infuse all departments and agencies of government with an ethic of peace as set out in Section IV of the Earth Charter: Values and Principles for a Sustainable Future (www.earthcharter.org)

The Minister would have human and financial resources appropriate with a full Ministry. The Minister would create policy on peace issues and be consulted and make recommendations on peace-related aspects of policies and programs throughout all government departments. The Minister would make annual reports to Cabinet and The House of Representative on the progress of Cypriot peace initiatives and the effectiveness of government policy overall in progressing in the direction of peace.

The Minister would facilitate the development of peace and reconciliation meetings to promote non-violent solutions and mutually beneficial outcomes in conflicts. Also, the ministry would actively promote exchanges between individuals from Cyprus and other nations who are endeavoring to develop domestic and international peace-based initiatives.

The Ministry would fund the development of curricular materials for use at all levels of education from pre-school to post-secondary, also to be made available to the general public. The Minister would provide funds for the establishment and continuing support of university-level peace studies and research.

We the undersigned, do hereby request that a proposal for the creation of a Ministry of Peace in Cyprus, as outlined in the campaign of FOYA Cyprus, be drafted and submitted to the House of Representatives for approval and enactment.

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Billie VasquezBy:
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President, Republic of Cyprus

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