Time to establish a Ministry of Peace

Published 28 November 2006

The need to establish a ‘Ministry of Peace’ at all levels of government will be the focus of two forums hosted by Southern Cross University’s Centre for Peace and Social Justice.

Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, leader of the Australian Democrats in NSW, will be the guest speaker at the forums at the Tweed Gold Coast campus on Tuesday, December 5, and in Lismore on December 6.

“Peace is not just anti-war – it’s a way of thinking and a way of educating people,” Dr Chesterfield-Evans said.

“We talk about wars, but not long periods of peace. In history we talk about a great war and then another great war, but not the peace in between.”

Dr Chesterfield-Evans said a Department of Peace would advocate the implementation of peace-active policies, both at domestic and international level, and act as a counter to the institutionalised power of violence.

“If you said 30 years ago we need a Department of Environment people would have thought that was silly. Now we couldn’t imagine not having one,” he said.

“We want a situation where everyone will think ‘what is the peaceful solution?’”

Dr Chesterfield-Evans was the Australian representative at the first World Peace Forum in Canada earlier this year and has had a long-held interest in peace and justice issues.

Southern Cross University’s Centre for Peace and Social Justice brings together researchers from the fields of law and justice, cultural studies, politics and policy, Indigenous studies, education, social sciences, and media.

The first forum will be held at the Tweed Gold Coast campus, Harvard Room 1, on Tuesday, December 5, at 1pm. The second forum will be held at Caddies Café, Carrington Street, Lismore, on Wednesday, December 6, at 7pm.

Photo: Arthur Chesterfield-Evans.

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.