Why Positive Peace is Transformational

Humanity is now facing challenges unparalleled in its history. The most urgent challenges are global in nature, such as climate change, ever decreasing bio-diversity, increasing migration and over-population.

These global challenges call for global solutions and this will require cooperation on a scale unprecedented in human history.

Peace is an essential prerequisite. Without peace it will not be possible to achieve the levels of trust, cooperation, or inclusiveness necessary to solve these challenges, let alone empower the international institutions and organisations necessary to help address them.

Without the appropriate measures and understanding of the factors that support peace, it is not possible to know what policies work, what programmes need to be implemented, when, how, and where. Practically identifying what resources this effort requires is complex and calls for a shift to new ways of thinking about peace.

Positive Peace provides a framework to understand and then address the multiple and complex challenges the world faces. Positive Peace is transformational because it is a cross-cutting facilitator improving progress, making it easier for individuals to produce, businesses to sell, entrepreneurs and scientists to innovate and governments to effectively regulate.

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.

Seen in this light, Positive Peace can be used as an overarching framework for understanding and achieving progress in many other areas of economic and social advancement.

The shift in global development circles to understanding fragility, resilience and peace is underscored by the inclusion of peace and governance in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. This reflects the growing recognition of the importance of identifying the drivers of peace.

Next month (October 2015) the Institute for Economics and Peace will release our in-depth Positive Peace Report including an index of Positive Peace for 162 countries - so watch this space! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates. 

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Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

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