Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Issues for the World Peace Forum

Plans are in full swing to hold the 12th World Peace Forum in Toronto, Canada April 19 -22, 2018, organized by the Schengen Peace Foundation.

This year the program is "Leadership for Peace" — conflict resolution, connecting peacemakers to women, stability and peace, and finding common global values.

I will not be able to attend the Toronto Peace Forum. So I emailed to my peace network, some of whom are attending, a set of issues that I believe would make the Peace Forum more dynamic and relevant:
  • A paradigm shift from a war economy and culture to one based on nonkilling peace.
  • Support the United Nations to get rid of 'the scourge of war' and confirming that life is a human right and that nonkilling is the way of the future.
  • Disarmament is the road for getting rid of weapons of mass destruction and beginning a new era of normalizing civilized life.
  • Propaganda. Recognizing that wars have been started by misinformation. Because the media and the politicians have an important role in preventing wars, how do we encourage them to be professionally responsible?
  • Education. Bringing up children of goodwill requires good schools, full health coverage, housing, transportation, and a healthy environment; and continuing education for everyone.
  • Respect our neighbours including nations, via bridge-building, diplomacy, international laws, and Departments of Peace. Avoid regime change,  military bases abroad. Get to know the stranger.

Several people replied by email.
Also see comments at bottom.
From Steve Staples:

Thanks Koozma. First I had heard about it.
From Gord Breedyk:

Thanks Koozma, I will look for opportunities to make those points. We aren’t sure what the “Forum” will be like, never having attended before. However, we felt we couldn’t pass it up, since it is so close There are four of us from Civilian Peace Service attending.
From Bill Bheneja:

Thank you Koozma for pointing these excellent peace themes so succinctly.

Saul and I attended one of the earliest Peace Forums in Vancouver in 2006, one of the many workshops/seminars there was on Department of Peace; it was in connection with Second Global Summit of Departments of Peace conference being held in Victoria, we had several high level speakers including US Congressman Denis Kuccinich and Dot Maver.
From Peter Stockdale:

I agree.
From Murray Thomson:

Very good, Koozma, Champion of Nonkilling (I hate the word but love its meaning)! Stay nonkillingableforever.
Reply from Bill Bhaneja:

Thank you, Murray. It was great to be out with the like- minded. 100 years ago, people hated the word Nonviolence, except a few like Tolstoy and Gandhi. 100 years from now when we become sick of deliberately taking human lives, Nonkilling will be the word. That sounds so high minded!

As I post this article on April 4th, I am reminded that 50 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on this day in the USA by a lone gunman. Because King made a radical indictment of US empire, militarism, capitalism and racism, the main stream media demonized him. Here are King's words of wisdom which organizers of the World Peace Forum need to take to heart by speaking truth to power:
'We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. . . . When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.' — the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967.
King's legacy is a moral reminder to all of us that we must persevere against the forces of evil not just with words but with deeds for nonkilling peace — or face human extinction. The 12th World Peace Forum is an opportunity to address this challenge. The question is: Will the participants dare to do so?


  1. Ken Kensky Billings, Ottawa, Ontario6 April 2018 at 06:11

    We all have probably heard the adage "No Justice, No Peace". Well I would add a new one: No Public Banks, No Peace.

  2. Lawrence Klippenstein, Winnipeg, Manitoba6 April 2018 at 06:12

    Thanks much, Koozma, and the best for your 50th anniversary event for Martin Luther King. Not sure Winnipeg is doing something, but the papers have picked it up. Have sold a few more of my Peace and War books on Russian Mennonite COs under the tsars.

  3. Maxim Zbitnoff, Massachusetts, USA6 April 2018 at 11:59

    Don't know if you know but I am in Hospice staying in Massachusetts with son Sasha.
    Thanks for showing up and being a force for peace. It has been a pleasure to know you.
    Don't know how much longer I have in this body.
    May you and your family enjoy your lives.
    A quote from Rumi:
    'Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.'
    Much love.

  4. Gerald and Maas, Montreal, Quebec7 April 2018 at 17:36

    Hello Koozma,

    To comment on the issues you’ve posted: I find myself in agreement with each of your suggestions. However, I continue to have difficulty with the introduction of the word “nonkilling“ into the work of those seeking to create peace. I’m not sure it isn’t a threatening word. Aside from military and police officers, planners of war, and hunters, most people aren’t faced with the option of killing anything. Mosquitoes? To announce to someone that you believe in ”nonkilling” may seem essentially hostile to people who would never think of killing anything. And to limit our concerns to people, exactly who does believe in killing? Outside of the military or police or other mercenaries, and butchers too.... These are all paid to kill. Nonviolence is more than a tactic. It’s also a way to educate oneself, to rise to what some consider a meaningful and ethical existence. The meaning of “nonkilling” is included in nonviolence but so are the causes of mass suffering. Another way to approach the intentions of your usage of the word “nonkilling,” is to search out systemic violence and forsake the dehumanizing forces and acts which have caused a word like “nonkilling” to exist! As for myself, having met African Independence nonviolently with the staff of Dr. Schweitzer’s Hospital and hosting tribes as well, and having served nonviolence as a body shield for Dr. King at the Selma to Montgomery March, the faith in nonviolence was sustaining. Part of the force of both Dr. Schweitzer and Dr. King was that neither ever had to say ‘I believe in non-killing’.

    Very best to you and your efforts,

    1. Bill Bhaneja, Ottawa, Ontario8 April 2018 at 08:47

      Dear John Bart Gerald,

      You and I have argued on this before. This is not to change your mind about Nonkilling or preference for Nonviolence, but just to reiterate why some of us have chosen Nonkilling path as a step beyond nonviolence. Here's a summation:

      Late Prof. Glenn D. Paige who introduced Nonkilling paradigm at the turn of this millennium wrote: Our alpha to omega is defined by Life. From birth to natural death no human endeavor can be pursued if we are killed. Without life all issues/problems confronting us from wars, poverty, and environment cannot be solved."

      He saw Nonkilling as a fundamental human right similar to political constraints as justice, freedom and equality. It was adopted by Nobel Peace Laureates in their Charter for a World Without Violence in principle 13 wanting a killing-free world "in which everyone has the right not to be killed and responsibility not to kill others".

      Paige envisaged it to sharply focus upon the "deliberate taking of human life": mainly killings by war, capital punishment, homicides, and suicides.Compared to more abstract and philosophical concepts such as peace and nonviolence that were often limited to personal peace (non-injury in thought, words and deeds), he showed Nonkilling as a more precise tool for policy analysis and a measurable concept for building societal institutions having nonkilling as base. The Center for Global Nonkilling website ( has a wealth of well-researched books and papers on the subject.

      If the point of disagreement is not liking the term Nonkilling itself, then we have to remind ourselves that it took quite a while for West to accept nonviolence, it entered English vocabulary only around the 1850s. It may take another 100 years to feel comfortable with term Nonkilling.

      Warm regards

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