Ministry for Peace Uganda Working Alliance; Project of Uganda Peace Foundation Initiative
“Peace in our Hands”
Support the calls for the establishment of Department of Peace/Ministry for Peace in Uganda
The conflict in Uganda borrows substantially from the colonial past in causes, nature and consequences. It is therefore no surprise that the current conflict, particularly in northern Uganda has its roots in the unfolding events before, during and in the trouble times of Ugandan Independence of 1962.
The analysis of the root causes of the conflict and general content of conflict and violent in Uganda clearly illustrate that Uganda is a country deeply wounded by injustice, fear, war, prejudice, hatred, violent conflicts, intolerance, and deliberate falsification of its history by successive regimes and is continuing to face the same in the years to come and generation after generations. The political campaigns is yet another clear indicator for further instances of violent conflict, instability and all other forms of aggressions and the Peace dialogue currently on a litmus test.
Leaving alone the existence of internal conflicts, Uganda is/has been involved in armed conflict and war with her neighbouring countries like; The Republic of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Sudan, and at the same time neighbored such countries with internal warring factions within the great lakes region without inserting much influence to institute peace, dailogue and harmonised co-existence.
In order to address issues of violence, prejiuce, injustices and facilitate peace talks, and subsequently institute a value and culture of peace, non-violence and tolerance; establishment and existence of a functionally sole institution-department /Ministry for Peace within the Government structure is a necesscity and a vital measure to foster a better understanding of a culture of peace and non-violence among the population, a culture where nonviolence is an organising principle of society, and promote democracy and sustainable development through active processes of reconciliation and dialogue at all level and across all regions in Uganda and it neighbours.
There is a rapidly growing international movement to establish Departments for Peace or Ministries of Peace in countries around the world with the goal of supporting the emergence of a culture of peace in those countries. This global movement is premised on the understanding that all of our systems of foreign policy, education, politics, economics, business, health, and social welfare are interdependent and therefore can and must cooperate and coordinate with one another in seeking, teaching, and living in peace. These campaigns are motivated by both a recognition of the alarming levels of violence in the world and an awareness that humanity actually knows how to curtail or even eliminate it – if we would choose to do so. The Global Allaince for departments/Ministries for Peace is the umbrella global body launched in United Kindom, London (Oct 2005) to strengthen and grow the international movement for a culture of peace and for government departments of peace and ministries for peace by: Building a global network of, and a sense of community among, country-level campaigns; Developing coordinated strategies for strengthening and financing country-level campaigns and for encouraging the establishment of campaigns in other countries.
Already Active campaigns are currently exist in the following countries;
- UK under UK department of peace campaign;
- Japan, Australia; Nepal and India, Costa Rica
- And groups in other countries are exploring launching similar campaigns.
The Ministry for Peace Uganda Working Alliance was concieved in September 2005 prior to the first peoples summit for the department of peace in October London, and it’s a special project of the Uganda Peace Foundation Initiative; as a national Organisation which will be advocating for the establishment of a department of peace/Ministry for peace within the government structure. This emerging advocacy working group will also form part of the Global Alliance for Departments/Ministries for peace,worldwide movement.
A lot of preliminary progress towards designing and mapping strategies for the camapiagn has been drawn. Already several powerful individuals both in and outside governments have been approached, intsance; Hon. Henry Okello Oryem MP and Minister of State for International Affairs, Including other Parliamentarians as well as a growing number of peace building organizations in and outside the country have all positively responded to call for the rationale for a such a Ministry and we hope to continue with establishing such close collaborations.
- To be a member of a Global Alliance for Departments /Ministries for Peace that advocate for a Ministry/departent of peace with the minister for Peace as a senior member in the cabinet within the government, in Uganda and throughout the world.
- To foster a better understanding of a culture of peace and non-violence among the population.
- To nurture a deeper appreciation among people of the urgent need for peace, and to promote a culture of peace, democracy and development through the active processes of reconciliation and dialogue.
- To provide resources for training in peace-building and conflict transformation to People everywhere.
- To research, articulate and help bring about non-violent solutions to conflicts at all levels.
- To direct government policy towards non-violent resolution of conflict and to seek peace by peaceful means in all conflict areas;
- To promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights and the security of persons and their communities, consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other related UN treaties, conventions and the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace(1999);
- To promote disarmament and strengthen non-military means of peacemaking and peacebuilding;
- To develop new approaches to non-violent intervention, and utilize constructive dialogue, mediation and the peaceful resolution of conflict at home and abroad;
- To address matters of concern both domestic and international in scope
- To encourage the development of peace initiatives from local communities, faith groups, NGOs and the formation of civilian nonviolent peace forces;
- To facilitate the development of peace and reconciliation summits to promote non-violent communication and mutually-beneficial solutions;
- To act as a resource for the creation and the gathering of best practices documents, lessons learned, and peace impact assessments;
Basic functions of the department of peace will:
- to foster a culture of peace through education
- to promote sustainable economic and social development
- to promote respect for all human rights
- to ensure equality between women and men
- to foster democratic participation
- to advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
- to support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge
- to promote international peace and security
Our strategy for achieving a Department of Peace/Ministry for Peace:
- work with the Ruling Governemnt and other political parties, parliamentarians, Ministers and other influential persons, to bring forward a motion/bill in the Ugandan Parliament to proclaim a new Minister for Peace within the government structure.
- Directly approach , lobby and coordinate with the office of the President of Uganda.
- Develop a movement by forming Advocacy groups across Uganda, generating publicity, and building a grounds well of support that becomes irresistible to politicians.
- Closely develop networks and collaborations, and form joint partnerships with the various Organisations working on peace building and Conflict resolutions as well as the media houses.
- Build a web-based campaigns and, an on-line interactive forum, letter writings, a newsletters publication, flyers and on-line petition.
- Work with the other nations to build an international coalition to further our mutual goal.
- Be part of the International initiatives such as; the Global Alliance for Departments/Ministries for peace and Other peace working groups around the world, to get inspired ,share experiences, technical expertise and resources.
- Work closely with other multilateral organisations and agencies engaged in peace building and conflict resolution ensuring promotion of sustainable peace and development.
- Participate in the annual Global Alliance for departments/Ministries of peace summits, to share expriences and challenges and learn aditional concrete skills and strategies, building collaborative networks.
Networks and collaborations with Parliamentarians, Political groups, Civil society organizations and Individuals with enormous expertise and interests in Peace building and Conflict resolution activities are currently being established, to partner in the campaign and to form a national coalition and international framework for this initiative through which we shall together dialogue and advocate for the establishment of a ministry for Peace in Uganda. This is to be followed by drafting of the first proposal/manifesto for the Ministry for peace in Uganda.
You may ask and subject yourselves to the following questions, bearing in mind the unforgettable history of violent conflicts of Uganda.
- Does Uganda as one of the developing countries in Africa really needs a department and ministry for peace?,
- Is the current political situation suitable for the establishment and existence of department of peace?,
- How can the independence for ministry of peace be significantly justified without it being compromised politically?
- How can it be empowered, structured, administered or should it be a replacement of an existing Ministry…? Etc.
This is a long term commitment whose objectives are set henceforth; it is not a one year ‘process neither is it an individuals’ struggles, but a progressive process and commitments for all of us. Wonderful experiences can, however be borrowed from other groups notably in the UK, US, and Canada, who have their legislative bills to call for ministry and department of Peace presented in the house of representative/Parliament. But note that your support and active engagement can bring this into reality. The peace process starts from where you stand. You have made a contribution to all peace initiatives when you resolve any conflict non-violently and creatively. It can be personal, within family, community, governmental or international; each arena helps us build the Culture of Peace.
We cannot expect our leaders, be they political, community, religious or the media to give us policy and program which we, the people cannot ourselves understand and practice. We cannot depend on others, as helpful as they may be, to take responsibility for us. To take action learn the Conflict Resolution skills yourself and then go on to teach them to others.
We are excited by the prospect of the Ministry for Peace for Uganda and hope that our enthusiasm is contagious. We honour all the efforts of the peace movements and activitis through times and solicit the support of those long-established in the movement. We are energized by the knowledge of the ability of social movements to galvanize the people and believe that indeed, if the people lead the leaders will follow. “One alone can not build peace, together we shall achieve a great deal” and have in our hands a culture of peace with a concept that inspires the work of individuals, groups, organizations and institutions around the world.
“Peace in our Hands”
Peter P. Lukwiya
Founder, Ministry for Peace Uganda Working Alliance
Executive Director, Uganda Peace Foundation Initiative
Contact: Uganda Peace Foundation Initiative Plot 65-75, Pager Crescent P O Box 123, Kitgum Uganda.