Eirwen Harbottle played a leading part in setting up the ministry. Its website is no longer accessible, so here is news from our database – for the record:
With the arrival of the new coalition government, and the imminent summer Parliamentary recess, the mfp National Coordinating Committee has decided to put a hold on public meetings for the moment. We want to get some understanding of this government’s policies on war and violent conflict first in order to know where to apply our energies . . .
Amidst the gloom, there is some excellent news to report. On 21st June South Sudan set up a Ministry for Peace as the oil-producing region prepared for a referendum that could see it split away as an independent country. Southerners are widely expected to choose secession in the vote promised in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that created a semi-autonomous southern government and ended more than two decades of civil war with the north.
This is now the 4th such Ministry. The others are in the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Costa Rica.
Finally, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues, that mfp helped to set up three years ago, has been reconstituted following the General Election, with the same three Co-Chairs, – Simon Hughes (now Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats), John McDonnell (Labour) and Gary Streeter (Conservative). With Simon being particularly well placed to influence the Coalition we hope to see conflict transformation ideas taking their rightful place in the mainstream of political discourse.
Diana Basterfield, who was co-founder of ministry for peace with MP John McDonnell