News Release – War Prevention Initiative Advocates Nonviolent Alternatives in Syria

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2013

Contact: Patrick Hiller: (541) 490-4485, philler[at]pdx.edu

War Prevention Initiative Advocates Nonviolent Alternatives in Syria

Portland, Oregon nonprofit cites Global Peace System trends as opportunities to prevent military intervention and avoid further escalation of violence in Syria and the Middle East.

The War Prevention Initiative promotes continued nonviolent approaches to address the escalated violence and atrocities in Syria. Experts point to several factors against the use of military intervention:  (1) the potential grave consequences for this already unstable region, (2) the lack of serious negotiations between the United States, Russia, China and Iran to end the violence, (3) the still ambiguous and unconfirmed information on the use of chemical weapons, (4) the extremist nature of the opposition in the armed conflict, and (5) the current division on this topic within the Arab League.

An evolving Global Peace System offers many opportunities to address the escalated violence and atrocities against civilians. Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting the UN investigation to establish culpability of war crimes, in particular the recent chemical attack
  • Prosecuting the parties responsible for atrocities as criminals through the International Criminal Court rather than waging war against a country and its civilians
  • Invoking targeted economic and political sanctions through the UN Security Council
  • Supporting local nonviolent campaigns
  • Supporting diplomacy, mediation, negotiation or reconciliation to include:
    • Within Syria: the regime, all opposition parties and all societal sectors
    • Globally: Alliances currently backing the regime and the opposition respectively (USA, China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc.)
  • Initiating a peace conference with all internal and external stakeholders (including civil society organizations) leading to a ceasefire agreement, an immediate moratorium of all arms transfers in the region and the process of disarmament
  • Engaging conflict resolution experts in the media to report on the effectiveness of nonviolent conflict transformation

We assert that there is no quick and single solution – as we have seen in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is proven that nonviolent approaches will be more effective and less costly than any kind of military approach.  We urge national and international decision-makers to recognize that it is time to shift from military responses toward the existing, tested and proven nonviolent alternatives to alleviate human suffering.

#             #

War Prevention Initiative, (www.warpreventioninitiative.org), is committed to advancing the global peace system by supporting, developing and collaborating with peacebuilding efforts in all sectors of society. The global peace system is evidence of the emergence and effectiveness of trends toward peaceful conflict resolution and justice for all.

About the Author
Patrick. T. Hiller, Ph.D., Hood River, OR, is the Executive Director of the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation. He is a Conflict Transformation scholar, professor, Vice-President of the International Peace Research Association Foundation and served on the Executive Committee of the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association (2012-2016), and member of the Peace and Security Funders Group.