Peace and Disarmament
Toda Institute Holds Conflict Resolution Workshops in Thailand and U.S.
The Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research held workshops on nonviolent conflict resolution in Thailand from January 19-20 and in the U.S. on February 4.
The first workshop, held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was cosponsored by Payap University in Chiang Mai and the Peace Information Center of Thamassat University in Bangkok. It opened with remarks by Toda Institute Secretary General Dr. Kevin Clements.
Focusing on nonviolent conflict resolution and reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific region, discussion centered around case studies of political, religious and ethnic conflict in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. The discussions highlighted how, even in the midst of the most violent conflict, continued efforts to find nonviolent resolutions are invaluable to the post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction process.
The second workshop, cohosted by the Toda Institute and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University near Boston, Massachusetts, where it was held, brought together conflict resolution researchers and frontline conflict mediators. Under the theme "Psychology and Intractability: Theory Informing Practice," the workshop provided a forum to pursue ways to bridge the gap between conflict resolution theory and practice.
There were presentations on three conflicts: the Rwandan genocide of 1994 by Olivier Dreier, executive director of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding; Israeli-Palestinian relations by Eileen Babbitt, professor of International Conflict Management Practice at the Fletcher School; and Armenian-Turkish relations by Pam Steiner, fellow of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research was founded by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda in 1996 to promote the pursuit of peace through dialogue and provide a forum for peace researchers and policy makers to discuss nonviolent conflict resolutions.
[Adapted from an article in the February 18, 2013, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]