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International Community deliberates on Redefining Peace at 3-day long conference at USTM

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Khanapara, Oct 10: Mahatma Gandhi envisaged and proposed freedom for India through non-violent means, and the power of non-violence was firmly established by Gandhiji. “Empire, idea, dissolves. And word state takes its place in which all the states of the world are free and equal. No state has its military. There may be a word police to keep order in the absence of universal belief in nonviolence. India can be a leading unit in World Federation only through nonviolence,” quoting Gandhiji, this was stated by Prof. Christian Bartolf, President, Gandhi Information Centre, Berlin, Germany while addressing the inaugural of the 3-day long International Conference on “Redefining Peace towards a Just, Non-violent and Sustainable Future of the world” at the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya (USTM).

The conference has been organised by Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA) in collaboration with Indian Political Science Association (IPSA) and USTM and attended by delegates and participants from across India and several countries, including Germany, South Africa, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Turkey.

Delivering the keynote address, Prof. Christian Bartolf said that the concept of sovereignty is linked to right to warfare. He referred to the role of United Nation’s Security Council and deliberated upon the security aspects of countries that are under threat of warfare.

The inaugural session of the conference was also addressed by Prof. Prasad Golanapalli, President, Gandhi King Foundation, Hyderabad; Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor, USTM; Dr. Aslam Khan, Dr. Manish Sharma, Dr. Sri Nuryanti, Co-Secretary General, APPRA, Jakarta, Indonesia and Dr. Leban Serto, Director Centre for Peace Education, Manipur.

Speaking as the chief guest, renowned Gandhian scholar Prof. Prasad Golanapalli said that peace will never be meaningful without the basic 3 ingredients: Justice, Non-violence and Sustainable Future. Gandhian peace study is most relevant today because Gandhiji’s approach to understanding violence is to remove not only the direct forms of violence, but the indirect forms such as poverty, pollution, corruption must be eliminated. Peace is possible when all human beings are equal, and education is indispensable for promotion of peace, he said.

Dr. Leban Serto, on the other hand, emphasised that Global peace is dependent on local peace, and vice versa.

The various sessions of the conference would discuss on how peace researchers from Asia-Pacific can contribute to understanding and transforming the new conflicts and challenges. The conference aims to explore ways to enhance mutual understanding, dialogue, and collaboration among policy makers, scholars, activists, academia and others with vested interests on the development of bilateral relations, multilateral relations and international relations affected by the current pandemic and several challenging situations.

The themes of the conference include: a) Challenges to Peace and Security in Asia-Pacific regions, b) Innovations and Ways of Promoting Peace and Justice, c) Arts, Performance and Creative Methods to Promote Peace, d) Religion, Spirituality and Cultural Consciousness for Peaceful World, e) Climate Justice, Just Transition and Sustainability, f) Protecting People’s Lives/Livelihoods and Issues of Indigenous People, g) Gender and Peace, h) Human Rights During COVID 19, i) Role of Media and Peace Journalism, j) Different dynamics of Refugees and Migrations and Mobilities of People, k) Pandemics and Various Policy Governance Including Health, Economic, Social and Political Policies, l) Changing power dynamics and world order.

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