Though not designed as such, the final paragraph of this message from Dr van den Dungen gives a good direction for 2013:
During the coming years 2014-2018, the themes of abolition of war, and especially nuclear weapons, and promotion of peace education and a culture of peace, should be high on the agenda.
It is very unlikely that the government will give any support for this vital educational work. More millions are being given to the Imperial War Museum, while the Bradford Peace Museum (entrance right) is in danger of being closed down during the coming years because of lack of funding.
On 11th October the PM started a debate about how the country should mark the centenary of the Great War. He said that more than £ 50 million had been allocated for events and projects. The amount allocated for expansion of the Imperial War Museum is to be doubled, from £5 to £10 million and schools in England will get £5.3 million to pay for thousands of children to visit the battlefields of Belgium and France between 2013 and 2019. (Read his speech here.)
But the best way to honour the memory of those millions who died is to do one’s utmost to try to prevent it happening again, and that implies an agenda for peace work today. How well the peace movement could make use of £50 million!
Background: One of the world’s leading experts on the history of peace, non-violence, and the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Peter Van Den Dungen was born in Holland and has taught for many years in the world’s largest department of peace studies in Bradford, England. He founded and heads the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP), a worldwide network of peace museums, peace gardens, other peace related sites, centres and institutions that share the same desire to build a global culture of peace. INMP has held conferences in the European Peace University in Stadtschlaining (Austria), Osaka and Kyoto (Japan), Diksmuide (Belgium) and Guernica (Spain) and other member countries.