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On March 24th, Nichols College undergraduate business students in a Leadership Experience class listened attentively as former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, urged them to transform themselves into “agents of peace.”
The Ambassador was on the Dudley campus to discuss the ten-year anniversary of the United Nation Security Council’s Proposition 1325, which requires parties in conflict to include women in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction.
Before the Ambassador spoke, students were prepped with statistics on gender, status and power by Professor Mary Trottier (below). She stated: “Change must start right here — on the Hill.”
The Ambassador gave background on the operations of the U.N. and stated that it was time to build a culture of peace, not just during times of war, but in our daily lives as well. “You just can’t ignore 50 percent of the world population or the positive contribution women make towards peace and security.” He noted that of the last 18 world conflicts, women were included in only two peace talks.
The Ambassador said that “women have proven to be a big source of positive energy,” particularly in getting warring factions to the negotiations table (e.g. Sierra Leone). While men focus in on how much power can be gained, women at the peace tables look long-term and focus on education and health. “Women make peace sustainable,” he said.
To implement a culture of peace, the General Assembly in 1998 authorized an eight-fold plan, as follows:
“We are all global citizens,” the Ambassador entreated. “Peace should not be left to a political system to deliver.” Of those signing U.N. Proposition 1325, only the United Kingdom has developed an action.