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Oct 20
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Shambhala News Service
Supporting a Department of Peace

The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, has expressed his support for the worldwide initiative to urge countries to establish ministries and departments of peace. He issued the following statement in conjunction with the Global Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace held in Costa Rica last month:

“Years hence, when every country has a Ministry of Peace, people will look back and ask: ‘What took us so long?’ After all, we have a ministry for almost everything else: health, education and so on. How odd that, of all things, we have no ministries of peace. Peace is the key to accomplishing the rest.

“Peace is the global imperative. The huge challenges we face will not be resolved through aggression. Aggression got us into this global crisis in the first place. Now, even the survival of the biosphere is under threat. We are not going pull back from this catastrophe by using the very same mindset and methods that bought us to this brink. Nor is this a crisis we can resolve through good wishes alone. We need a coordinated global plan which will bring together the brightest minds, the best plans and the most gifted leadership. The backbone of that plan will be the Ministries of Peace.”

At present three countries have established ministries of peace: Costa Rica, Nepal and the Solomon Islands. There are hopes that Canada might be the next nation to do so. The President of Shambhala has written to the leaders of all Canadian parties on the Sakyong’s behalf. The full text of the letter follows.

If you wish to know more about this initiative globally, please visit the website: Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace.

If you wish to know more about this initiative in Canada, please visit the website: Campaign to Establish a Canadian Department of Peace

For both international and Canadian information, you can also contact Sherab Violetta Manoukian <[email protected]>.

Shambhala Centres who wish to be active in this, or who would like to receive the letter to the leaders of Canadian political parties in French, can also contact Jean Sirois, former director of the Ottawa Shambhala Centre: <[email protected]>.

President Reoch’s Letter to Political Leaders in Canada

To the Leaders of All Canadian National Political Parties,

I have the honour to transmit to you the following aspiration from the Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, the supreme head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, headquartered in Canada, in support of the initiative to create a Canadian Department of Peace.

This statement has been issued in conjunction with the Global Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace held in Costa Rica in September 2009:

“Years hence, when every country has a Ministry of Peace, people will look back and ask: ‘What took us so long?’ After all, we have a ministry for almost everything else: health, education and so on. How odd that, of all things, we have no ministries of peace. Peace is the key to accomplishing the rest.

Peace is the global imperative. The huge challenges we face will not be resolved through aggression. Aggression got us into this global crisis in the first place. Now, even the survival of the biosphere is under threat. We are not going pull back from this catastrophe by using the very same mindset and methods that bought us to this brink. Nor is this a crisis we can resolve through good wishes alone. We need a coordinated global plan which will bring together the brightest minds, the best plans and the most gifted leadership. The backbone of that plan will be the Ministries of Peace.”

– The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche

I am writing to you now, as the leaders of all the national political parties in Canada, to urge your support for this peace initiative, both on a national and global level. On the global level, this initiative is being spearheaded by the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace and, in Canada, by the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI).

Finding and remaining at peace is the heart aspiration of the great wisdom traditions and noble societies of the world. In common with many others, Shambhala Buddhism believes we can pursue a genuine path to peace by sensing and harnessing the transformative power of our basic human goodness. Such a view is central to Shambhala’s outlook and practices, which are dedicated to disciplines of personal and social transformation. Both are necessary to dissipate prevailing tendencies towards fear and confusion and open the way to cultivating peace in our lives and our world. This is a genuine and practical basis for effective compassionate action, so sorely needed in this time of escalating global uncertainty, change, conflict and alienation.

As the Sakyong stated when presenting the first Living Peace Award to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “Peace is not a choice for some; it is imperative for all. It is the only way forward for humanity and our planet.”

Peace cannot be won in the abstract but is earned through diligent effort that respects the experience of others and from that ground, listens, learns and communicates — a living practice of genuine human engagement. This quest for living peace cannot wait. Now is the time for people and societies of good faith to step forward assertively to place the campaign for peace in the forefront of our thoughts and efforts.

Shambhala wholeheartedly endorses significant advancements to build a culture of peace in our era. The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace is perhaps foremost among them. Shambhala believes we can and should play an active role in this and similar civil society efforts which have so much in common with our vision and mission.

We are also supportive of the efforts of CDPI. The mandate of the Minister of Peace would be to reinvigorate Canada’s role as a peacekeeper and peace builder, advancing nonviolent responses to domestic and international conflict. This would include: the establishment of a civilian peace service in Canada; the development of peace education at all levels, including post-secondary peace and conflict studies; the development of early detection and rapid response processes to deal with emerging conflicts; international leadership to abolish nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, to reduce conventional weapon arsenals, and to ban the weaponization of space as part of a worldwide transition from war-based to peace-based economies.

We are delighted that there was a Canadian delegation to the 4th Global Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace held in Costa Rica in mid-September. Oscar Arias, president of Costa Rica and Nobel peace laureate himself, hosted the conference in this, the third country to launch a Peace Ministry. We hope that Canada will soon follow.

In anticipation of your supportive response and commitment to action, I send you every good wish,

Richard Reoch
President of Shambhala

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1 response to “ Supporting a Department of Peace ”
  1. Readers in the U.S. can learn more about the campaign to create a U.S. Department of Peace – House bill H.R. 808 – at the Peace Alliance (http://www.thepeacealliance.org) and at DoPeace (http://DoPeace.ning.com).


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