'Peacemaking is not a sprint. It is more of a marathon.'
May El-Khalil, Making peace is a marathon
With conflict, unrest and terrorism affecting the lives of many people around the world, the need for peace building is essential.
When conflict breaks out lives are at risk. Civilians are forced from their homes. Courts can cease to function. Weapons are everywhere and no-one feels safe. Instead of being ruled by law, societies are plunged into lawlessness. The injustices that can follow are too numerous to count and too grave to ignore.
United Nations peacekeepers, military, police and civilian personnel are deployed to deliver security and create the conditions for lasting peace. Currently there are 118,111 personnel from 122 countries serving in 17 missions at a cost of about $7.83 billion.
May 29, the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, acknowledges the important role peacekeepers have and honours the memory of the 3,215 people who have lost their lives in missions. Since its beginning in 1948, United Nations peacekeeping has evolved into one of the main tools used by the international community to manage complex crises that threaten international peace and security. Their mandate has been extended to protect civilians who have increasingly become the victims of conflict.
There are many inspirational people, organisations and groups who work for peace, building understanding between groups and creating hopeful new futures. As global citizens we can all play our part to address social injustice and build peace for a sustainable future.
Australian Aid, Fragility and conflict
Caritas, Peace building and reconciliation, Kony 2012
Together for humanity, Difference Differently
Global Education, Peace building
Nobel Peace Prize laureates
Reconciliation Australia, school resources
Simply Sharing, peace and development app
TED talk by May El-Khalil, Making peace is a marathon (in Lebanon)
World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2014