Category Archives: Peace research

Thanks for the friends’ and followers’ boom

During the last two weeks I have received almost 800 friend requests on Facebook and about 1000 new followers. It’s overwhelming and warms my heart beyond words.

Many many thanks for your trust and support – and for not only thinking it but taking time to tell it.

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I can only assume that it is all because of my visit to Damascus and Aleppo. Literally thousands have thanked me for my short texts and photos from there – and for taking the risk going there.

Lots of people go to difficult places, be they humanitarian workers, journalists, photographers, UN people, other diplomats or civil society organisations. But – regrettably, I would say – it is not often I’ve met other researchers in war zones.

Those of us who go, go because we feel we have a duty, because we are curious and must see for ourselves and because a visit opens doors to people, to the suffering and to natural human solidarity.

Media focus on all those with weapons in their hands – the warlords. I’ve always felt enriched and grateful to all the others one can meet, wonderful people who stand up and stand together, struggle, help their neighbours – and survive the other main type of people present, the murderers who get all the fame.

I’m no hero. Just that you know. Many (more) could do what I do.

But back to the social media boom, I’ve just experienced. Continue reading

SIPRI – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – turns 50: Time for a name change?

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My congratulations to the institute at 50, a background – including my own working there as an intern many years ago – a bit about how a dream was never realised and why I suggest a new name, SIMSI.

Continue reading here – which is also TFF PressInfo # 391

Olof Palme – murdered today 29 years

Olof Palme – murdered today 29 years ago • Wikipedia

A politician who willed a better society, to whom politics was a calling – working for justice, international law, nuclear disarmament, against big countries bullying small countries, a person who made Sweden stand ut. Then.

And it was the Palme Commission on Common Security that broke the ice towards the end of the Cold War with the idea that we can only be sure together with the other side, not against the other side. That was 1982. As relevant today as then – think Ukraine!

I met him twice – the first time to criticise him for Swedish arms exports. The second for an hour-long lunch in which he constantly asked me questions about peace, nonviolence, peace research and alternative defence – and I did not get a chance to ask him a single of all the questions I had prepared…

A rare combination of intellectualism and curiosity, vision and passion, self-confidence and humility – so sadly missed in today’s political world.

TFF PressInfo # 309: Learn conflict and peace in 20 minutes

Just out! TFF PressInfo # 309
Learn conflict and peace in 20 minutes
11.000 people around the world just got it in their mailbox. If you did not, write to press@transnational.org

If one could say so I would: “I’m Pope!”

After Paris attacks, Pope Francis speaks out against insulting religions:

“You can’t kill in the name of a religion. That is an aberration.” And “You can’t provoke, you can’t insult the faith of others, you can’t make fun of faith.”

Pope Francis gestures as he answers questions from a journalist during the flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Manila in the Philippines January 15, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/ STEFANO RELLANDINI

Pope Francis gestures as he answers questions from a journalist during the flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Manila in the Philippines January 15, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/ STEFANO RELLANDINI

Thank God there is such a wise Pope! If it couldn’t be misunderstood I would say “I’m Pope”!

Remember also Gandhi: “There can be no rights without duties.”

May all the Freedom of Expression Fundamentalists (FEFs) take heed before this spirals all of us down in hell !

P1 Debat gør det igen

P1 Debat: Hvad nytter krigen (den gør altså nytte)
– gør det igen – som om det var en oprigtig holdning til fred – og spørger om krigen kan være en vej til fred.

Her sidder så en soldat og en war studies professor på den en side og Lene Junker på den anden side, der skal forklare freden. Disse programmer – som heldagsprogrammet for nyligt, som Debatten, Deadline etc – handler aldrig om fred, de handler udelukkende om krigen.

Og ikke ét ord om Vestverdens historie i konfliktområderne eller bare et forsøg på at forstå hvor nogen kan have problemer med Sten Rynnings “liberale” verdensorden.

Lene gør det lavmælt og sagligt trods den utaknemmelig opgave.

Men hold da op hvor har vi langt igen når et seriøst program som dette ikke kan komme på bedre spørgsmål og vinkler.

Hvornår får vi skabt en debat på Facebook og andre sociale midler og som samfundsborgere lave en kampanje for alternativer og påvirke medierne til ikke altid at tage udgangspunkt i krigen – for eller imod. For hver gang er det eneste vi ikke kommer frem til jo freden og dens muligheder.

PS Og så gider jeg ikke engang kommentere Sten Rynnings ufrivilligt komiske og uvidenhedsbaserede påstand at krigsstudier er videnskab mens fredsforskning (med reference til mig) er politik. Men naturligvis ønsker P1 Debat ikke lade mig deltage i en sådan diskussion. Og dét er politik.

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