2023 UN Day of Peace - Actions for Peace – Peace by Chocolate
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2023 UN Day of Peace - Actions for Peace

2023 UN Day of Peace - Actions for Peace

Sep 21st is the International Day of Peace, and this year we are highlighting some of the work we did.

Since we came to Canada, our family has been vocal about the fact that everyone around the world deserves to live in peace. Now more than ever, no one should go through the horrible taste of what losing peace might be like. 

And as we started digging into some root causes for wars in different countries around the world, Colombia was an interesting place to analyze. The multi-decade war in Colombia was marked by violence, human rights abuses, and the displacement of millions of people until 2016, the year we arrived in Canada, when the Colombian government and the largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, signed a peace accord, bringing an end to the armed conflict.

The exciting news this year is that Peace by Chocolate sponsored the first Positive Peace workshop in Colombia with the Institute for Economics and Peace which was a great success with solid participation from diverse social leaders and fascinating discussions throughout the workshop about peacebuilding strategies in local communities that used to be at war only 7 years ago. Participants even agreed to create a Positive Peace network to continue learning from each other. We're proud to have supported this meaningful initiative, which even brought together former combatants and social leaders. The leaders in participation came from 4 provinces in southern Colombia, some of whom travelled over 12 hours to attend. We are very grateful for the IEP’s great implementation and expertise, and we can’t wait for the next phase of peacebuilding work.

As Colombia is a country marred by decades of conflict involving the government, paramilitary groups, and guerrilla organizations, and it has struggled to find lasting peace. Civilians have borne the brunt of the violence, facing attacks, kidnappings, and human rights abuses. The first Positive Peace Workshop followed IEP's Positive Peace Framework which is based on data-driven research and mathematical modelling and it identified eight core Pillars that characterize peaceful societies. These Pillars are interdependent, and improvements in all of them contribute to building sustainable peace. The Framework serves as a valuable tool for understanding and addressing the complexities of peacebuilding.

The collaboration between Peace By Chocolate, IEP, and Funresurpaz holds promise for the reconciliation process in Colombia. The positive impact of the workshop and the engagement of local leaders bode well for future peacebuilding initiatives. Plans include expanding the program to other regions and engaging with former combatants and victims of the conflict to promote reconciliation and Positive Peace.

at another event, later this summer, we also hosted the groundbreaking The State of Global Peace Today event in Halifax in July.
Together, Peace by Chocolate, The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security and the IEP - Institute for Economics and Peace ( Global Peace Index) we started on a remarkable journey to explore the key findings of the 2023 Global Peace Index and learn how can we protect children from being recruited in war zones and make sure that Canada continues to be a world leader in building, making and spreading peace across the world.

Peace is fragile but it is also humanity's greatest achievement and the foundation that allows us to pursue education, engage in meaningful work, and unlock our true potential. Picture peace as a symphony, resonating within the depths of every beating heart. In a world where chaos often prevails, let us rise as ambassadors of peace because understanding more about it globally will help those interested in these issues consider how to shape a more harmonious and peaceful world.