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Positive Peace report, Health Through Peace conference share common themes

October 26, 2015

A new report by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) defines Positive Peace  as the attitudes, institutions and structures which create and sustain peaceful societies. These same factors also lead to many other positive outcomes, such as strong business environments, higher levels of well-being and gender equality. Therefore, Positive Peace describes an optimal environment under which human potential can flourish.”

It goes on to say that, “Negative Peace is the absence of violence or fear of violence — an intuitive definition that many agree with and is more easily measured than other definitions of peace.  Measures of Negative Peace are used to construct the Global Peace Index (GPI)” – which measures peace, its causes and its economic value. The 23 GPI indicators are broken into three domains: ongoing conflict, societal safety and security and militarisation.

Infographic by Institute for Economics & Peace

Infographic by Institute for Economics & Peace

“A more ambitious conceptualisation of peace is Positive Peace, which IEP defines as the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. Well-developed Positive Peace represents the capacity for a society to meet the needs of citizens, reduce the number of grievances that arise and resolve remaining disagreements without the use of violence.”

Positive Peace posits that “understanding what creates sustainable peace cannot be found in the study of violence.  A parallel can be drawn here with medical science. The study of pathology has led to numerous breakthroughs in our understanding of how to treat and cure disease. However, it was only when medical science turned its focus to the study of healthy human beings that we understood what we need to do to stay healthy: the correct physical exercise, a good mental disposition and a balanced diet. This could only be learnt by studying what was working. In the same way the study of conflict is different than the study of peace.”

The upcoming conference Health through Peace: Confronting War, Militarisation and Global Insecurity   13-14 November in London organized by Medact (IPPNW’s UK affiliate), The Lancet and many others shares this approach to positive peace through the lens of how the health community can help create healthier and more peaceful societies.

Medact health through peaceAccording to Medact’s  Program and Finance Manager Chris Venables, “War, armed conflict and militarism blight and end the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. These problems are being intensified by climate change, resource depletion and increasing inequality. Our response to these issues relies on too narrow an idea of what it means to be secure, while we continue to believe we can protect ourselves from complex threats by military power alone. Health professionals have a key role to play in challenging the drivers of war and armed conflict. Together with researchers, campaigners and peace-builders health professionals can promote a vision of security that is based on equality, sustainability and justice.”

The two-day is event designed to help revitalize the health movement within the UK and worldwide to speak and campaign for a more peaceful world.  A renowned lineup of speakers will address such issues as climate change and conflict, using health research and evidence for peace, gender, militarism and violence, and much more. Register today!

One Comment
  1. October 26, 2015 1:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Green Living 4 Live.

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