Galvanising the Peace

Peter Osborne writes about the need to galvanize the peace process

Building the peace is not just a laudable aim; it is one of the most complex and toughest too.

There needs to be systemic and structural change, tackling the causes of division and the reasons why sectional and sectarian attitudes continue to prevail. Beyond that, relationship building work is critical for the trust which is a key component of a shared and reconciled society.

We need a vision that takes the best of what we all represent to create something special that hasn’t yet been possible on this part of Ireland and this part of the United Kingdom.

That is why a large number of practitioners and activists within the field of reconciliation have produced a discussion document called Galvanising the Peace. The process has been facilitated by the Community Relations Council but driven by the practitioners. They hope that after extensive discussion with civil society over coming months, a thousand and more voices will identify a way forward for developing the peace process that highlights the critical issues and outlines the key needs.

You can access the initial, short Galvanising the Peace discussion paper, and a summary of how to take part, here: 

The process will no doubt engage in civil society participation in government and policy development; in ensuring people are not left behind by the political system (or vice versa); in strengthening trust in the institutions. It may highlight a need for the final dismantling of paramilitarism and the reclaiming of communities by community. It may suggest structural and systemic reform around education and housing.

It will no doubt address the needs for relational change amidst a concern that an erosion of the reconciliation infrastructure is taking place which could have significant, detrimental consequences in years to come.

This feels like a crossing point in the peace process. It is a time that will be judged by history – was there serious intent by everyone to make the peace process work or was it a missed opportunity?

All of us can make a contribution, whether large or small. What we do now will have
long term impact on us, our children and our children’s children.

We need to reflect carefully, and find the courage to seize the opportunity rather than miss it.

Take part in the Galvanising the Peace process.
————————————————————————————————–
The short discussion paper, Galvanising the Peace, was produced by reconciliation and community relations practitioners. You are encouraged to add your voice by taking part in the initiative. Here is how: 

,

  • Chingford Man

    Is the former chairman of the Parades Commission really the best person to opine here?

  • Zeno

    “There needs to be systemic and structural change, tackling the causes of division and the reasons why sectional and sectarian attitudes continue to prevail.”

    There are 1.4 million people here over 18. I’d say the problems are all caused by less than 5% of them. Start there. The other 95% + of us are not shooting people or indulging in goading each other or being sectarian.

  • barnshee

    no

  • Turgon

    “The process has been facilitated by the Community Relations Council but driven by the practitioners.”

    And the mandate for this process possessed by said “practitioners?”

    Like all consultations no doubt the outcomes are already pre defined and considering the “practitioners” one can confidently predict the sorts of “outcomes” the “initiative” will propose.

    One day it is just possible that people will point out that this cod science is a classic emperor’s new clothes. In the meantime whilst no one outside pays any notice the “practitioners” will continue to… well I guess practice – using our money. Then one day just possibly we will decide to pay for hip replacements instead – the sooner the better.

  • Ha!

    Timing is everything. FFS.

    “The process will no doubt engage in civil society participation in government and policy development….”

    I’m sure I’ve heard something like this before.

    And, Processing On…

  • Robin Keogh

    We need to find away to get around the themmuns mentality. We have to realise that everybodys objectives are deserving of an equal level of respect and discussions need to accomodate that. Nationalists and Unionists getting their nacks up because the other sides aspirations are uncomfortable displays a gross immaturity. Nationalists and Republicans have to accept that they might never live to see a United Ireland, Unionists and Loualists must also accept the opposite. Once we achieve that compromise in our hearts and not just on paper; then we can truly say that we have matured as a political society. It means we can shelve the so-called ‘constitutional’ issue and focus on building a community that shares a common civic goal of building trust and prosperity. There is nothing threatening or dangerous about building an agreed society within a UK or All Ireland context so long as we are prepared to relax a bit about both. If we constantly see the ‘other sides’ gain as a loss to ussuns then we perpetuate a cycle of distrust and suspicion. It might be time to launch a GFA mark two, it might also be time to develop and design a final agreement for this generation where nobody gets everything but everybody gets something. In this we will find where lies true sincerity and mutual respect.

  • Redstar2014

    But the problem is for some their entire reason d’être is about highlighting, enforcing indeed ” celebrating” the ” us and themmuns” mentality.

    God knows there’s enough on the Nat side and of course we have the OO too.

  • Sylvie

    Hi,

    I’m Sylvie from France. I hope this project “ galvanish peace “ will work because
    the root of the problem does not only concern NI.
    You may not know but many French people feel concerned and sadly touched by what’s going on
    in NI and wish the successful building of a united community.

    All my encouragement,

  • Thomas Barber

    700, 000 people are engaged in shooting, goading and being sectarian ! Who are these people, are they republican, loyalist, unionist or nationalist, are they British or Irish, are they voters or non voters.

  • Zeno

    “700, 000 people are engaged in shooting, goading and being sectarian ! ”

    I didn’t write anything remotely resembling that. I’ve no idea what you are talking about.

  • Thomas Barber

    Ta bron orm Zeno should have been 70,000 people.

  • mac tire

    Stop goading Zeno by writing Irish. He might even deem it sectarian.

  • Zeno

    Doh, I should have picked that up, apologies. I know 5% is 70,000. I was making the point, or meant to, that it is less than 5% or 70,000 who are the problem and to start the problem solving with them.

  • Granni Trixie

    Would you like to take on such a challenge CM? So I would say that anyone who takes on the PC and lives to tell the tale is a resource we should welcome.

  • Zeno

    I love the Irish language and several of my friends speak it. You must have mixed me up with someone else.

  • Zeno

    The first step towards finding a solution to any problem.
    Identify what the problem actually is.
    So lets hear all your problems. Yes that is you. Republicans/Nationalists/Unionists/Loyalists and those who make up over half of the population that don’t subscribe to any group.
    Let’s go.
    (I am available for quango work at 100k a year plus expenses but can only do Wednesday mornings)