Peace is Possible

In mid-September, the local Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament group held an "Abolition of War" conference as a preparatory conference for the Hague Appeal for Peace 1999. It was a great success, reaffirming the belief that peace is not only a possibility but a necessity.

The day started with welcomes from various eminent figures in the peace movement, and Councillor Risby underlined Manchester's continued commitment to peace and its status as the first ever nuclear free city. After this, the group divided into a Youth Forum, where Adam Berry of the International Peace Bureau spoke of the importance of youth interest in peacemaking. The session of talks was closed brilliantly by Pearl Sagar and Cara Gibney, both having experience of the troubles in Northern Ireland. Pearl made perhaps the most important point; that the crux of working for peace is not so much dismantling weapons but dismantling dangerous attitudes of mind. The biggest threat to peace, to quote Pearl, is the "man or woman with the mouth".

Workshops formed the remainder of the day, providing a great deal of feedback, which will hopefully find its way to the Hague Peace Conference next year. All in all, this was a very productive day and, of course, we must always remember that peace isn't simply lack of war, it is active friendship and harmony in the world.

Ross Wilson, Hague Appeal for Peace, c/o CND (0161 834 8301, email: gmdcnd@gn.apc.org)