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Last Updated: 06/01/2012
Global Governance for Security and Peace: The Role of Peace Education
Surya Nath Prasad

This is excerpt from the speech delivered by Dr. Prasad at the International Academic Peace Conference on the eve of UN International Peace Day at Hotel Lotte, Seoul organized by Institute of International Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Need of Global Governance

People of the whole world are terribly in need of global governance for their security and peace. Because national governance has produced two world wars and many civil wars, and under its governance, widespread of exploitation and oppression of people has been committed by the persons in the governments (and outside of the governments), whether they are dictators or democrats. 110 million deaths were estimated in the 20th century. People are suffering from hunger, disease, and ignorance also. Nation-states are unable to address the causes of this suffering, and have sometimes become parties to all inhuman acts.

In the circumstances of insecurity and peacelessness, global governance is the only hope for our aggrieved, oppressed, ignorant, and tortured fellow human beings. Global governance is also essential for relief to the victims of war, natural calamities and global health problems like AIDS. It is essentially needed to assist the nation-states in the development of all areas of their nations which affect the lives of the global population, such as environment, education, agriculture, economics, science, technology, health and food. It is needed also to check international crimes and corruption, to control illicit drugs, to suppress trafficking and to help farmers not to grow narcotic crops. It is needed also for helping the nation-states in establishing democracy and in providing education for all people of their respective nations.

Even if all nation-states adopt democracy, and promise for better governance to the people in their respective nations, they cannot do so individually. Because no nation can develop alone economically, scientifically, educationally even socially and culturally without the mutual help of each other, and for this, global governance is a must.

Global Governance by Cross-national or Supra-national or Trans-national Organization

Cross-national Organization

In a model of global governance through cross-national organization, nation-states may take part in each other national assemblies – this will allow for international decision-making without changing the forms of the governments. But in practice, global governance through cross-national organization is not feasible or even conducive to the progress, prosperity and peace for people of all nations of the world.

Supra-national Organization

Global governance through a supra-national organization whereby a world government would be given full sovereignty to govern over all will also not be successful in providing security to all, or in helping to achieve peace in the present situation, as a great many people remain poor and ignorant under national regimes.

Trans-national Organization

Global governance by trans-national organization through the United Nations is the only best and suitable way for security and peace of peoples in the 21st Century. It is only the United Nations which can face the challenges of our diverse world, and solve the existing problems of peoples of different regions, races, languages, religions, ideologies, and nations. The United Nations through its programs and organs, specialized agencies and other autonomous organizations, other commissions and committees and ad hoc and related bodies, and peace-keeping operations peace-building functions, has already done a lot to serve the welfare and development of people of almost all of the nations of the world.

NGOs as the Partners in Global Governance

Non-Governmental Organizations are the real partners of the United Nations in the development of global governance in executing UN member states’ plans for peace and security, and in assisting it in formulating the immediate and future plans and policies for the betterment of the people living in different parts and situations of the world. NGOs have hidden in passive and basic roles in global governance sharing with the United Nations manifest, active and resultant roles. The global governance in the 21st Century will thus be jointly in the hands of the United Nations and NGOs.

Role of Peace Education in Global Governance

Peace education is essential for global governance. For effective governance in family, village council, city corporation, provincial assembly, national parliament or in nation-stare, and also in the United Nations and in NGOs, peace education is a must; otherwise governance will not be directed towards the common good, and persons who are supposed to govern may dominate other persons in the system, leading to the oppression and exploitation others, and the failure of justice. Governance without peace education may create political tyranny, economic exploitation and social injustice.

Peace education should be first priority of nation-states. There should be maximum allocation of funds for it. Peace education should be free for all and perpetually life-long. Delegates to the United Nations and representatives of peoples in NGOs also must learn about peace education to provide better global governance for maintaining the security and peace of all. Teachers should be given full support for executing their mission of facilitating learning so that they may more efficiently and effectively perform their duty for conscientizing all towards peace and security.

Surya Nath Prasad, Ph. D., Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Peace Education: An International Journal and Former Visiting Professor, The Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea. Dr Prasad is also Executive Vice President of the International Association of Educators for World Peace.