Building Ministries for Peace


Dr Keith Suter


The chapter recommends that each country create a national Ministry for Peace[i]. Not enough detailed attention has been given by academics and peace activists as to how the peace perspective can be institutionalized within government. The peace perspective will not suddenly emerge within government; it has to be worked at. Creating such Ministries is a very practical way of working for peace.


The Ministry proposal is based on a principle of organizational change: can an old institution create and implement new policies? Such institutions are often too locked into the past to adopt new worldviews. They have too much invested in justifying their previous policies. Therefore, a new quest for peace requires a new institution.


Similarly, national governments are often structured on the basis of competitive bidding between ministries. This gives rise to a pecking order of ministries, usually with treasury at the top, environment at the bottom and peace virtually non-existent. Thus, a response to a country’s problems is usually fragmented. There is no overall national ministry working for a country’s long-term peace interests. A Ministry for Peace would provide an institutional focal point for a country’s peace policies.


This chapter begins with the six components of the concept of a Ministry for Peace. It then looks at what the Ministry would do. It concludes with an overview of the campaign to create a Ministry. Once one country has set the pattern, others will follow.





A Ministry for Peace would have six components.


Non-Violent Resolution of Conflict

First, a Ministry for Peace would emphasize the importance of the non-violent resolution of conflict in international politics. Some progress has been made in domestic politics in some countries but a great deal remains to be done in international politics.


Such a Ministry would provide an avenue for the expression of people’s desire for the peaceful resolution of conflict. It would be the institution with which they could identify their legitimate aspirations for a peaceful international society. All people should have the inherent right to be assured that no armed force is invoked until every means of achieving a non-violent resolution has been explored. It is necessary to give peace a chance.


The Peace Perspective

Second, such a Ministry would institutionalize the peace perspective in the government. In politics, where you stand depends on where you sit. This helps explain why ministers change their views when they are moved from one department to another.


There are various perspectives already in government. There is, for example, a distinct treasury perspective in all government deliberations (usually to the extent of opposing as much proposed expenditure as possible). There is a distinct social welfare perspective (usually in favour of extending the government’s mantle of care over its citizens). However, there is not a distinct peace perspective. There is no cabinet minister specifically engaged on peacebuilding activities. In other words, put a person in a military department and that person will absorb that perspective. A Ministry for Peace will likewise mould the outlook of its personnel.


Consequently, the Ministry should be recognized as a senior Ministry and its Minster should be a member of the inner Cabinet. The military-industrial complex has long been represented there – which is why it has no need to organize rallies. The military-industrial complex’s perspective needs to be balanced by the peace perspective.


The creation of the Ministry will not mean that the peace movement will become redundant. The movement will be very important until global peace breaks out, with or without Ministries of Peace. The establishment of Ministries for the Environment around the world has not made the environment movement redundant. Instead, the ministries have enabled the movement to do its work even more effectively, not least by providing a cabinet minister as a focal point for some of its campaigns.


Executive Responsibilities

Third, a Ministry should have executive responsibilities. It should be more than some form of think tank attached to, say, the office of the head of government. Such a think tank is subject to the whims of the then head of government and may be abolished when a new head is elected or when the head is tired of the advice being given.


For example, Sir John Hoskyns was a business leader who advised Margaret Thatcher on economic policy. His memoirs are an inside view of the turbulent world of government[ii] (he was also interviewed in 1980 by Tony Jay who was collecting insights for his proposed television series Yes Minister). His memoirs are also a record of the frustration of being just an adviser to a head of government, rather than actually running a government ministry. Eventually he resigned and returned to the world of business.


Therefore, the Ministry should have an executive role. The next section of this chapter examines the tasks it would carry out.


Programme of Work

Fourth, some of the new Ministry’s work could come from existing tasks being carried out by other ministries, such as the disarmament work. This will mean that there will not necessarily be a large increase in government expenditure consequent upon the Ministry’s creation because, to some extent, it will be more a matter a case of redeploying existing staff and facilities.


Many, but not all, of the proposed Ministry’s functions will come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Each country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs now a wide range of duties. This point should be noted because when the new Ministry is created, the Department will still have ample tasks to carry out. The new Ministry of Peace will not simply be the Ministry of Foreign Affairs renamed.



Fifth, the new Ministry should become a permanent ministry and not just a temporary political gimmick to win votes. The new Ministry should not be the subject of the changing winds of political calculation. This means that there should be all-party support for the Ministry. Over time, it would become an established part of a government.


The threat to its survival arises immediately after a change of power and the need for the incoming government to distinguish itself as different from its forerunner. One way of doing so is to by making changes to the title and form of ministerial portfolios. Thus, it is important for there to be all-party support for the Ministry and for there to be public support for it so that voters will expect to see the portfolio filled by the next government and not abolished. In due course, it will become an established fact of life.


It is interesting to recall just how many well established ministries were controversial when they were created. For example, business writers Stan Davies and Jim Botkin (both residents of Massachusetts) have recalled how many of the citizens of Massachusetts in the first half of the 19th Century believed that the use of taxes to support secondary schools was unlawful. The disagreement across the US was not settled until 1874, when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that publicly supported high schools were legal[iii]. Now such government arrangements are taken for granted – and are expected to be done, such as in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to education.


A similar observation could be made about ministries for the environment. There was no such explicitly named ministry anywhere in the world before the 1950s – and now each country has one.


Capacity for Expansion

Finally, the new programme of work and staffing of the new Ministry could expand as the needs arise. All government ministries are obliged by external factors to change. It is envisaged that the new Ministry would gradually expand its workload.


Political scientist David Mitrany popularized the term “functional” theory of international co-operation[iv]. By contrast, “political” co-coperation is where politicians come together (such as at international conferences) but such initiatives are often marked by a lack of progress (as in the Middle East peace process). Meanwhile, experts at the technical level – the “functional” level – knit the world together via apolitical initiatives in which countries get involved because they can see the mutual benefit, such as in health and environment. The new Ministry would form part of that functional level.




There would be at least eight initial tasks for a new Ministry.


Putting Peace First: A Culture of Peace

A Ministry for Peace would emphasize that peace deserves more attention. Treasuries do this very well already in the context of arguing for “financial responsibility”, “minding the bottom line” etc. Now it is time for similar prolonged emphasis on a culture of peace.


The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the concept of a culture of peace at an international congress in 1989 at Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast (I was a member of the organizing committee). “Peace” is no longer just seen as the absence of conflict. “Peace” is seen as a more than just passive: it is an active, continuous endeavour. In a culture of peace, dialogue and respect for human rights replace violence; inter-cultural understanding and solidarity replaces enemy images; the free flow of information replaces secrecy; and egalitarian partnerships and full empowerment of women succeeds male domination. There is also the recognition that peace cannot kept by force – it can only be achieved by understanding.


A practical example of this work for the Ministry would be to publicize UNESCO’s Seville Statement[v]. History is full of war. But are humans warlike by their very nature and so destined to be constantly fighting – or is the appetite for war something that humans have learned and therefore can eventually unlearn? In 1986, an international meeting of scientists was convened in Seville by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO. It adopted a “Statement on Violence” refuting the notion that organized human violence is biologically determined. Humans are not genetically programmed to do violence to each other.


This is now known as the Seville Statement. The core of the Statement contains five propositions.  They all set out what does not cause war:

1.      War is not acquired from humankind’s animal ancestors. Animals do not kill each other as humans do in a systematic way. Animals kill to eat. “Fighting” is usually a highly ritualized activity between males seeking to gain the favours of females; losers are not killed because they admit defeat by leaving the area.

2.      War is not inherited from our forebears. We cannot blame our parents or “human nature” for our warlike activities. Some societies have no tradition of warfare at all (such as the Innuit in Canada). Other societies have changed over time. For example, the Vikings were the “Khmer Rouge” of western Europe a thousand years ago; now Sweden has a more peaceful image, not least in UN peacekeeping operations.

3.      War is not necessary to ensure a better standard of living. Humans can gain more from co-operation.

4.      War is not due to the biological composition of the brain. Humans need to be trained for war – and the tradition of pacifism suggests that some humans find such training contrary to their own inclinations. The fact that warfare has changed so radically over time indicates that it is a product of culture. Human biology makes warfare possible but not inevitable.

5.      War is not due to some basic “instinct” or any other single motivation. Modern war involves the institutional use of personal characteristics, such as obedience, suggestibility and idealism; social skills such as language; and rational considerations such as cost-calculations, planning and information processing.


The Seville Statement ends: “Biology does not condemn humanity to violence and war. Instead, it is possible to end war and the suffering it causes. To do this will require everyone working together, but it must begin in the mind of each person with the belief that it is possible. The same human being who has made war, is capable of constructing peace. Each of us has a task to do”.


Now it is necessary to gain international acceptance of the Statement. At the end of World War II, UNESCO produced a statement on race, challenging the then fashionable notion that white people were somehow genetically superior to black people. That statement, by receiving international endorsement and publicity, helped reshape attitudes to race. People may still be racist – but there are no scientific arguments to support their opinions.


The intention is to build a similar momentum in favour of the Seville Statement. People may still say that war is inevitable because it is somehow part of human nature – but they will not have the scientific arguments to support their opinions.


Ministries for peace would have the responsibility to do this work. They could distribute the statement and publicize it. Education is a slow process. However education is a thorough way of changing attitudes. A glib advertising campaign, by contrast, would be just a fad and would not last any longer than other advertized products, such as pop groups. A thorough education campaign will provide deep-seated changes – as has been shown in the success of the UNESCO statement on race.


To conclude, the causes of war are not merely in weapons – and the removal of war will not simply come from the removal of those weapons. It is necessary to look at the deep-seated causes of war. Glib statements about war being a part of “human nature” and so inevitable only hinder that search. Thus, the Seville Statement is a step in the direction for finding the deeper causes of war.


Redefining “National Security”

“National security” is usually seen in military terms. But it needs to be redefined to include environment and development interests.


Over a century ago, life for governments in developed countries was much simpler. The prevailing view was that governments should maintain law and order at home and defend the country from attack. There was virtually no governmental intervention in the economy and education and no involvement in protecting human rights or the environment. National security was defined very narrowly and only in military terms: protecting the country (and, where necessary its colonies). Diplomats constructed foreign policy and if their efforts at maintaining international peace and security failed, then defence forces were an extra tool of foreign policy. War was a continuation of politics by other means.


Just over a century ago, however, European and US public opinion demanded major changes – almost all of which required increased governmental intervention in the affairs of their citizens. Governments were obliged to create labour exchanges, the welfare state, protect domestic industries, educate children for the work force and reduce the exploitation of workers.


But this expanding government agenda has still not been reflected in changes to the definition of “national security”. This is still seen only in military terms. Threats to “national security” are now often non-military. These include the decline of the environment, the creation of an underclass of long-term unemployed, and family breakdown. The military cannot solve these problems. Indeed, given the continued level of military expenditure – despite the end of the Cold War – the military are not so much part of the answer as part of the problem. Military expenditure is diverting resources away from the dealing with the real threats to national security. Thus, it is necessary to redefine “national security” to include non-military threats to the country. Governments can find money for war but not for peace. Since “national security” is seen as so important and yet is defined only in military terms, the military get first call on national budgets.


A new perception of “national security” cannot come from existing ministries. Each looks out on the world and defines “national security” according to its own departmental perspective. The Ministry for Peace should co-ordinate the country’s National Security Assessment.


The National Security Assessment would be (depending on the practices of each government) a form of official annual government report. The Assessment would cover such matters as: defence, foreign trade, disarmament, environment, the country’s work within international organizations such as the UN, energy, international protection of human rights, and assistance to developing countries, The central questions it should address each are: What is the state of the country’s national security? How does each Assessment compare with the previous year’s Assessment? How has the international security situation improved or deteriorated? What should be done to meet the challenges posed by the international security situation?


The Assessment should be tabled in parliament/ congress each year and considered as part of that body’s deliberations, such as examination by a standing committee. The document should also be publicised in the mass media to stimulate public debate. It should also be used by non-governmental organizations for their own work.


The Assessment’s prime purpose would be to provide a clear idea of what constitutes the country’s “national security”. Over the years, it would form the basis of governmental planning in such matters as foreign policy, defence and international economic and environmental affairs. In a business sense, it would be form part of the “corporate plan”.



The new Ministry should absorb existing arrangements for disarmament negotiations and implementation – and expand them. Disarmament should not be part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because the danger is that this issue is then subordinated to the many other concerns of Foreign Affairs and so not be treated as an important objective in its own right. For example, the negotiations are coloured by the need not to embarrass one’s own allies, while also looking for opportunities to criticize one’s overseas opponents. Disarmament negotiations can easily become a form of warfare by other means.


The Ministry for Peace would have four disarmament responsibilities. First, it would draft disarmament policies. This is skilled work and should not be left to chance.


Second, it would monitor the implementation of disarmament agreements. It would check that treaties once signed are ratified. Ratification can be a long process, partly due to the complexity of negotiations between government departments within a country[vi].


Third, much of the detailed scholarly work done by the UN in disarmament (and other fields) is achieved via surveys of existing practice or views of governments. The UN has long published authoritative studies on disarmament. Some of the data for the studies come from national governments. Also, national governments are asked to comment on the studies and these views are also published. The main explanation for a government’s lack of response to UN requests for information is overwork within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The third task of the Ministry for Peace, then, would be to co-ordinate the country’s disarmament work with the UN and ensure that it had a high priority.


Fourth, the Ministry would be the focal point for the creation and maintenance of a country’s peace research institutes. The institutes would not be government controlled. But in much the same way as governments provide research funds for science and technology, so there should be more money for peace research and this could be allocated via the Ministry.


Conversion of Military Facilities to Peaceful Purposes

The UN has recommended over the years that governments pay more attention to conversion of military facilities to civilian use[vii]. This should include the introduction of conversion over a planned period of time so as to ease the transition of military personnel into the civilian sector. Governments have ignored that advice. If the USSR had paid more attention to it, then present day Russia would have been spared many of the problems arising from just dumping military personnel on the civilian employment market.


This post-Cold War chaos should be contrasted with the experience after World War II in western countries. That conversion/ demobilization was handled much better. The contrast may be due to the changed role of government. The Keynesian economic era – which began in the late 1930s and required a high degree of government intervention in the economy – created a worldview that the government should plan for peace. But the end of Keynesian economics in the late 1970s and the newfound reliance on the “market” with reduced government intervention in the economy, has meant that governments have stood back in the post-Cold War era and left the demobilization to the market. This is worldview was also followed by (or imposed upon) Russia as it emerged from its communist era and so has been little planning for peace. Thus, defence personnel (and their equipment) have been discarded with the expectation that they can create a new life for themselves as per the dictates of the market.


Conversion to peaceful uses requires planning, not least because of the new era of warfare. Military expenditure is now capital intensive. It is not a good way of employing large numbers of people. The nature of warfare has changed. First, it used to be about humans killing humans. Now it is about expensive machines killing expensive machines. (The US B2 bomber costs the equivalent of three times its weight in gold). On the basis of the number of people being employed per million dollars, more people can be employed in health, education, welfare or public transport than in the military.


Second, the “tail” is much larger than the “teeth”. “Teeth” units (such as combat soldiers and fighter aircraft) are the units that actually do the fighting. “Tail” units provide the services to enable the “teeth” to fight. In World War II, Winston Churchill complained that when it came to fighting, there were 100,000 troops – but when it came to pay day, there were 750,000 troops. The other 650,000 personnel were required as doctors, engineers, architects, etc. Today’s Pentagon is the controller of one the US’s largest food chains (kitchens on US bases) and the US Army Corps of Engineers is the one of world’s largest engineering companies.


This change in warfare means that the conversion of military facilities to civilian use is, in theory, quite easy since the vast majority of personnel are already doing civilian jobs (but are wearing military uniforms).


Attention therefore needs to be given to the UN’s work, such its 1981 report on this subject[viii]. The UN report was done by an international group chaired by Inga Thorsson of Sweden. She was then asked by her government to do a study of how Sweden’s military facilities could be concerted to civilian use[ix]. These basic documents could be the basis of work by an Australian peace-industrial complex.



The new Ministry would co-ordinate a country’s involvement in UN peacekeeping operations. “Peacekeeping” is not referred to in the UN Charter.  It has been an ad hoc measure that the UN devised to cope with the Cold War’s freezing of the procedure that is laid down in the Charter.


Under the UN Charter, all UN member-nations agree to be bound by Security Council decisions (the only political part of the UN system with such power) and all member-nations “shall hold immediately available” defence forces to be deployed as required by the Security Council. A Military Staff Committee was created, drawn from the representatives of the Chiefs of Staff of the Permanent 5 (US, USSR, UK, France and China), to co-ordinate the military operations. This system was to be a great improvement over the League of Nations, whose failure contributed to World War II.


Because of the Cold War, this elaborate system has never been used fully. Instead, there evolved an ad hoc system of peacekeeping for intervention in disputes where the then two super powers agreed not to intervene if the other also did not. Instead of the Permanent 5 (P5) controlling the UN’s military work, peacekeeping almost always avoided any involvement of the P5. The bulk of the peacekeeping operations was also financed by non-P5 countries. The Secretary General has had no automatic right to requisition troops; he has had to ask for them; governments have had the right to refuse to supply troops (many did) and those that did supply troops had the right to withdraw them if they were threatened with violence. All of this was the reverse of what the UN’s architects intended. Additionally, the work was the reverse of a normal military operation: the troops were sent in to keep the peace (to dampen down a conflict to enable diplomats to work out a negotiated settlement) rather than campaign for a military victory. Military forces became a catalyst for peace, rather than a weapon of war.


The ending of the Cold War has had three impacts on the UN’s peacekeeping work. First, there has been an increase in operations. The UN since 1988 has created as many operations as it did in the years 1945 to 1987. Second, the UN has gone even deeper into debt over these operations. Governments vote for them but are slow to pay for them. Third, the UN Charter’s elaborate system has still not been used. The UN Charter is not being followed.


The proposed Ministry would handle a country’s deployment of peacekeeping forces. It would ensure that the country’s forces were ready for such deployment, such as through the creation of a peacekeeping centre to carry out the training.


Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Winning a war may be easier than winning the peace. Military operations need to be planned with the end in view and with the determination to create a good peace. A soldier’s work does not necessarily end with the armistice, and may well continue for a long time afterwards in the process of healing the country.


Therefore, soldiers need be trained for healing as well as fighting. Some of them will be deployed in Medical and Humanitarian Contingents. Modern warfare (for example the NATO operation in Kosovo) is often characterized by the large use of conventional weapons – and yet few military personnel. A great deal of damage is done to the other side, particularly by bombing, and this can take years to repair.


Therefore it is necessary to recognize that there is a new era of soldiering. The old large international conventional wars are now rare. Instead, soldiers will be required for peacekeeping operations and other types of low intensity operations.


This means reconceptualizing the role of soldiering. Soldiers will need to be prepared for a variety of roles. As individuals, they will need to be adaptable, flexible and multi-skilled.

These contingents would carry out a wide variety of duties, including medical, nursing, hospitalization, immunization services, primary health care, nutrition and education.            Their work would be the care of non-combatants including civilians, prisoners, and displaced persons. They would work with other contingents, such as in the building of temporary accommodation, and with non-governmental disaster relief and development organizations.


The world will continue to have for the foreseeable future many situations of internal conflict. The rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming more numerous. On economic grounds alone, therefore, there are many causes of conflict. There will be many more peacekeeping operations of one sort or another to deal with.


The Medical and Humanitarian work is not unprecedented. For at least the last half a century there have been MACC operations: Military Aid to the Civilian Community (such as assisting with floods and bush fires). Additionally the Israeli Defence Force has pioneered training for soldiers to perform a variety of roles.


To conclude, soldering as a form of healing will be an attractive recruiting campaign. The profession of arms will appeal to a broader section of the community and it will lift the image of the defence force.


National Peace Corps

In those countries that retain some form of compulsory national conscription for military service, the Ministry could deal with those individuals who prefer non-military service. The Ministry would need to create (or takeover) programmes to utilize the service of such people, such as menial work in the health system or basic tasks in environmental regeneration like planting trees.


Celebrating Peace

Peace, too, has its heroes. The Ministry would have to find ways of celebrating peace. Here are two examples. First, in most countries there are more monuments to military leaders than to any other form of human endeavour[x]. Indeed, they probably outnumber all the other monuments in a country combined. It is often difficult to find any peace monuments at all[xi]. The Ministry would need to find ways of honouring the country’s peace heroes. They do exist. The search alone would stimulate increased interest in the culture of peace paradigm.


Second, “national” days are often celebrated with the high profile of armed forces, such as military parades. Thus, there is a strong link between national identify, national independence, nationalism and military capability. The Ministry would need to find peace-related ways of celebrating its country’s “national” day.




It has to be admitted that little progress has been made in creating the Ministry in any country. This final section examines the failure to date and then ends with some comments on the way that perhaps it is only a matter of time before such Ministries do get created.


The Campaign

The first attempt in Australia – and probably in the world – to create such a Ministry was made in 1937, when the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom recommended its creation to the Australian Government. The Government refused, arguing that it would duplicate the work of the then Department of External Affairs and besides the “publicly declared of the Australian Government was the promotion of harmonious relations with all countries” and so such a proposal was unnecessary[xii].


In 1982, the UN Association of Australia, of which I was then the National President, again raised the issue and received much the same reply. Dr Stella Cornelius had initiated the renewed campaign,  and she got the UN Association (with which she had been associated for many years) to take up the matter. Dr Cornelius has continued her involvement in this campaign.


The early 1980s were also a time of great concern over nuclear weapons and there various parliamentary committee hearings into what should be done to end the arms race. The Ministry idea was proposed in that context. The Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence rejected the idea of a specific Ministry of Peace or Ministry of Disarmament but did see merit in the creation of some form of Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on the US model[xiii]. This, too, was rejected by the Department of Foreign Affairs and so was not carried out.


Meanwhile, it was unfortunate that the UN Association’s campaign received little support by the peace movement. It was not as though the peace movement was opposed to it as such: it simply saw it as a very low priority and somewhat “boring” because it was grounded in ideas of public administration. Similarly, the idea received no attention by the mass media because they too saw it as a “boring” subject. Thus, the campaign withered away, more by neglect than by direct hostility.


Machiavelli warned us about this problem back in 1514. He advised that there is nothing more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry out than initiating change in government. On the one hand, the people who have something to lose will oppose the idea, while others who may benefit from it have only lukewarm support for it.[xiv]


The Idea Refuses to Die

But the idea keeps on reappearing, albeit in different forms. Recent examples include the way that in July 2000 Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio introduced legislation to create a US Department of Peace. This department would become a cabinet-level agency dedicated to peacemaking and the study of conditions “conducive to both domestic and international peace”[xv]. Similarly the UK-based International Institute for Peace Studies and Global Philosophy has a campaign for a UK Department of Peace[xvi].


It requires only one government to create a Ministry for Peace for the others to follow suit. This has been the experience of creating other departments, from Education in the late 19th century to Environment in the late 20th century. Having been created they become an established fact of political life and develop a momentum of their own.


What was once seen as purely utopian eventually becomes conventional wisdom. For example, on October 31 2000 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution (number 1325) stating that women must be present at every negotiating table and in all conflict resolution and peacekeeping mechanisms. In retrospect, such an idea is so obvious that it is amazing that UN diplomats had not thought of it before.


Eventually a Ministry for Peace will attain such a conventional status. People in later decades will wonder how governments thought that they could be serious about the quest for peace without having an organization for it.

[i].           Much of the material in this chapter is taken from: Keith Suter Ministry for Peace, Sydney: United Nations Association of Australia, 1984.

[ii].          John Hoskyns Just in Time: Inside the Thatcher Revolution, London: Aurum, 2000.

[iii].         Stan Davis and Jim Botkin The Monster Under the Bed: How Business is Mastering the Opportunity of Knowledge for Profit, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994, p 27.

[iv].         David Mitrany The Functional Theory of Politics, London: Martin Robertson, 1975.

[v].          David Adams (Editor) The Seville Statement on Violence: Preparing the Ground for the Constructing of Peace, Paris: UNESCO, 1989.

[vi].         This problem has been seen by the embarrassment to many governments since September 11 2001. The UN has devised many treaties over the decades on combating “terrorism”. But their ratification has been a slow process, even by governments that have been enthusiastic supporters of them. National parliamentary/ congressional timetables are crowded and these treaties often received low priority. Many governments have recently been embarrassed by their failure to ratify the “terrorist” treaties because they did not seem important at the time.

[vii].         See: Clyde Sanger Safe and Sound: Disarmament and Development in the Eighties, Ottawa: Deneau, 1982.

[viii].        UN Secretary-General Report of the Group of Experts on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development, New York: UN, October 1981.

[ix].         Inga Thorsson In Pursuit of Disarmament: Conversion from Military to Civil Production in Sweden, Stockholm: Allmanna Forlaget, 1984.

[x].          Dunedin, the city in New Zealand’s south island that acquired a large number of Scottish settlers in the 19th Century, claims to be the only city in the world that has a statue of a poet (Robert Burns) as the centre piece of its city square.

[xi].         I was a member of the advisory committee that created the Australian Peace Memorial in Australia’s capital Canberra for 1986: International Year of Peace. The Committee had little to guide it by way of precedents in other countries.

[xii].         Eleanor M Moore The Quest for Peace, Melbourne: Wilke, 1948, p 121.

[xiii].        Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence Disarmament and Arms Control in the Nuclear Age, Canberra: Australian Government Publishing service, 1986, pp 313-6.

[xiv].        Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince, London: Penguin, 1981 (1514), p 51.


[xvi].        “International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy”, International Peace Research Association Newsletter, Winter 2001, p 33.