Department of Peace

Proposed functions of a Department of Peace

  • With the growing plethora of Peace organisations and forums around the world and the burgeoning of doctorates now available on conflict resolution, reconciliation and Peace building studies, now is the time that governments institutionalise and implement peace building as a function.
  • The legislation would embody a broad-based approach to Peaceful and non-violent conflict resolution at both domestic and international levels.
  • The Department of Peace would serve to promote non-violence as an fundamental principle in our society, and help to create the conditions for a more Peaceful world.
  • Domestically, the Department of Peace would be responsible for developing policies to address issues such as: domestic violence, gang violence, child abuse, violence in schools, hate crimes, physical and verbal racial violence and mistreatment of the elderly.
  • The Department would have an Office of Peace Education that would work with educators in pre-school, primary school, colleges and universities in the development and implementation of curricula to instruct students in non-violent conflict resolution skills and non violent communication skills. (It is a recommendation that all cabinet ministers and other government officials follow such programmes so as to be an example to the citizens of South Africa.)
  • Create a National Peace Corps that could be modeled after a military service academy, for those preferring non-military service, to provide instruction in Peace education and offer opportunities for graduates to serve in programs dedicated to domestic or international non-violent conflict resolution, thus creating an array of jobs in this field, including support work in the health system, basic tasks in environment care etc.
  • Redefine National Safety and Security and initiate disarmament negotiations within military and domestic operations, monitor these agreements and institute the creation and maintenance of South African Peace research institutes in the same way that money is spent on research and development for science and technology.
  • Celebrate Peace Heroes – to erect statues of Peace heroes and celebrate national days with the emphasis on national identity, national interdependence and national unity, celebrating diversity, including the disabled and the disadvantaged.
  • Engage each Department within government to create strong links so as to prevent the typical hierarchical pecking order and create balance and greater co-creativity, cohesion and unity between each Department. Eg. Department of Justice and the Department of Home Affairs to holistically implement Restorative Justice and the Rehabilitation of Correctional Services inmates.
  • Internationally, the Department would analyse foreign policy and make recommendations to the President on matters pertaining to the protection of human rights and the prevention and de-escalation of unarmed and armed international conflict, particularly in Africa.
  • To ensure that the UN resolutions are carried out regarding women, child and gender equality, eg. UN Security Council resolution number 1325 of October 31st 2000 that states: that a woman must be present at every negotiating table and in all conflict resolution and Peacekeeping mechanisms.
In years to come let it be said let it be said that we upheld the wisdom that our Elders, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Steve Biko and Graça Machel and other great leaders left for us. In years to come let it be said that South Africa was the leading example of Africa by implementing a Department of Peace, which, in years to come, will raise the question, “what took them so long to realise that they needed to have organisational structure for Peace to become a reality?”
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