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Editorial
Last Updated: 03/17/2003
Trusting in the power of balanced opinion
Simon Stander, Editor-

We welcome you to our trial issue of the PEACE & CONFLICT MONITOR based at the University for Peace. Our policy is to offer access to a variety of collated news sources, to seek opinion and views on range of current peace related issues from informed sources, to build a valuable resource centre and archive to assist in research, to provide a forum for debate and to offer an outlet for informing interested parties about peace related issues from our own worldwide knowledge network.

We do not plan to be a campaigning publication; instead we trust in the power of balanced opinion, rational attitudes, accurate news and information, and the good sense of the readership to provide an atmosphere whereby our MONITOR can be seen as a valuable and regular source for those who wish to work toward understanding a world all too often riddled with violent conflict, but one, nevertheless, that can be turned into a vastly better world that we all, regardless of geography, nationality, religion, gender or race, deserve.

In the seemingly endless debates concerning what should or should not be done, where blame might be laid, where lie the causes of violent conflict, how far globalisation might or might not create a better world, whether there is or is not an axis of evil, whether war can ever be justified, to what extent poverty and exclusion leads to violence, how far democracy guarantees peace and so on, this magazine does not take a stand because there are too many stands to take! However, we do believe we are on the side of "good", and to that extent we will seek to publish news, comment and information that we think will contribute to the public good. We will generally promote non-violence, and seek to show ways in which violent conflict can not only be resolved but prevented in the first place.

In this trial first issue, we have news analysis from Turkey on the long-standing unresolved conflict in Cyprus; we carry a view from the Bolivian state oil company on how it thinks it has satisfactorily dealt with environmental problems and indigenous protest; a senior peace researcher discusses one view of US weapons of mass destruction; another peace researcher tells us her views on NATO; we have news from OMCED the bureau of the environmental Ombudsman. In addition we begin our book review section with "The New Nuclear Danger" by Helen Caldicott, and a reprint of an interview with Professor Mary King, a dedicated non-violent activist, in conversation with an Indian journalist and commentator.

We plan to leave the magazine on line for four weeks and, in that time, having taken account of your comments and observations, begin the process of launching into regular publication when we will be adding other features including in-depth reports on specific issues.

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