National Peace convention, Goa

GOA PEACE DECLARATION 2017

We, 270 persons from 18  states of India, who are enthusiastic about spreading peace and harmony, participated in the third National Peace Convention held from January 30th to February 1, 2017 at Gomantak Maratha Samaj Hall, Panjim, Goa and got energized and  strengthened our commitment to spread peace. The convention was organized by National Peace Movement in collaboration with Rotary International Districts 3040 and 3170, Peace Channel Nagaland, Universal Solidarity Movement Indore, Trend Setters, New Delhi and Vilmos Media Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore. The Local Organizing Committee under the leadership of Rtn. Jeffery Chagas-Pereira in perfect coordination with Rtn. Varghese Alengadan, the President of National Peace Movement, played a key role in making the convention effective and an inspiring experience. Participation and sharing by young students added colour and richness to the third National Peace Convention. The three days’ experience of interacting and exchanging views and ideas with persons belonging to different states, religions, cultures and professions was in itself a peace building process.

During the three days of the convention we listened to the inspiring sharing by many renowned persons from various fields on different dimensions of peace. They include Sri. Tushar Gandhi, Sri. Anthony De Sa, IAS, Ms. Norma Alvares, Sri. P.V. Rajgopal, Ms. Anuraradha Shankar, IPS, Rtn. C. Suresh, Dr. Vincent Kundukulam, Ms. Suddha Reddy, Mr. Cyril D’ Cunna, Sri. Eduardo Falliero, Dr. A.A. Muhammed Faizy Onampilly, Rtn. Fr. Varghese Alengaden and many others including four young students.

We reflected and discussed on peace from different perspectives such as:

  • Mahatma Gandhi as an Apostle of Peace and Non-violence and his relevance for today
  • Societal Change through Non-violent Action
  • Violence and Fundamentalist Ideologies
  • Long Term Solutions to Environmental Destruction causing conflict and human Rights Violations
  • Are Religions Peace Makers or Breakers
  • Role of Media in Peace Building
  • Women and Non-violent Action
  • Harmony of Religions
  • Islam and Non-violence
  • Youth for Peace
  • Movements working for Peace and Civilization of Love.

By listening to the views expressed by the speakers and discussing and deliberating among ourselves we are confirmed in our conviction that peace building is multi-dimensional; collective and diverse efforts are needed to build and promote peace. Hence we have resolved:

  1. To motivate others to work for peace by sharing our experience of participating in the National Peace Convention when we go back to our respective places.
  2. To form local peace groups to work for spreading peace and resolving conflicts by visiting the conflict areas, holding discussion with the involved groups, playing mediatory roles and communicating with government authorities.
  3. To respond creatively to the injustices happening around us as individuals and groups.
  4. To disseminate the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, particularly Non-violence by organizing essay writing and speech competitions in educational institutions and motivating students, teachers and others to read the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi. We who have participated in the 3rd National Peace Convention will read the autobiography of Gandhiji within a year.
  5. To educate the students and young people for countering the propaganda that no-violence is outdated and ineffective.
  6. To practice inter-dependence among the followers of different religions and to promote inter-faith dialogues.
  7. To prevent the growth of fundamentalist ideologies by accepting, appreciating and promoting differences / diversities.
  8. To make people understand that the natural resource like land, water, forest, minerals etc. belong to them and the state is only a trustee and the public resources should be used by the state for the benefit of the common people and not for the advantage of a few.
  9. To make use of mass media and social media to disseminate the core values enshrined in the Indian Constitution, which are very essential for building peace.
  10. To request the central and state governments to form a Ministry for Peace and allocate fund for peace building programmes as well as to initiate the following activities:
  • To make peace and non-violence a subject in the schools and colleges;
  • To integrate peace building a cross cutting theme in teaching all subjects in the schools;
  • To include in the training of bureaucrats, particularly the police, how to behave with the people non-violently.
  1. To start a bi-monthly E news bulletin for sharing and disseminating the peace activities undertaken by the national office, the local peace committees and the participants of National Peace Conventions.

Goa                                                                                                                                     February 01, 2017

Highlights of Goa Peace Convention

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Venue: Gomantak Maratha Samaj Hall, Panjim, Goa

Dates: January 30th to February 1, 2017

Number of Participants:  270

Organizers: National Peace Movement in collaboration with Rotary International Districts 3040 and 3170, Peace Channel Nagaland, Universal Solidarity Movement Indore, Trend Setters, New Delhi and Vilmos Media Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore

Chief Guest of Inaugural Session: Sri. Anthony De Sa, IAS

Main Topics and Speakers

Seven Gifts of Peace: Anthony De Sa IAS, former Chief Secretary of Madhya

Standing up against Injustice: Shri. Tushar Gandhi, Social Activist and Author

“Environmental Destruction and Human Rights” Mrs. Norma Alvares of Goa Foundation, Environmental Activist

Societal Change through Non-violent Action:  Mr. P. V. Rajgopal, social activist and the founder of Ekta Parishad

Violence and Fundamentalist Ideologies:   Shrimati Anuradha Shankar, IPS, ADGP, Madhya Pradesh

Long Term Solutions to Environmental Destruction causing conflict and human Rights Violations: Mrs. Norma Alvares

Are Religions Peace Makers or Breakers: Dr. Vincent Kundukulam, a Theologian and  Writer

Role of Media in Peace Building: Mr. Cyril D’Cunnah, Veteran Journalist from Goa

Women and Non-violent Action: Ms. Sudha Reddy,  Woman Social Activist from Karnataka

Harmony of Religions: Eduardo Falliero, Former Minister for External Affairs

Peace is the way: Rtn. C. Suresh, Chartered Account

Islam and Non-violence: A.A. Muhammad Faizy Onappilly,  Islamic Scholar from Kerala

Group Discussion

Movements working for Peace and Civilization of Love: Mr. Gyanedra Purohit, the chief functionary of Annad Society, Indore, Ms. Neetu Joshi, chief trainer in Universal Solidarity Movement (USM) Indore and Rtn. Satya Narayan Lathi, from Sonkach

Concluding Session and Adoption of Declaration