Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP) was founded in 1952 as a US-based tax-exempt membership organization to conduct peace education and citizen diplomacy intended to counteract the forces then moving the world toward a global thermonuclear cataclysm. To that end PEP has conducted peace education campaigns spanning decades, bridging oceans, and transcending ideologies, and has promoted large-scale citizen diplomacy to bring together people from nations in conflict to discover their common humanity and thus overcome the distrust, fear, and hatred used to foment war. Over the decades PEP has sponsored historic conferences, published original works, and annually recognized distinguished peacemakers by bestowing the Gandhi Peace Award to foster admiration for extraordinary devotion to the cause of peace and nonviolent social progress.
PEP, a United Nations nongovernmental organization, (NGO) has from its founding deemed the United Nations, its Charter, and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights essential for achieving a world order founded on peace, justice, democracy, and the rule of law. Accordingly, PEP’s programs have actively supported the rights of all peoples to determine their own destiny and sovereignty, and have opposed economic and political imperialism, military invasion and occupation, and the multinational theft of natural resources.
PEP has recognized since its founding that justice and peace are interdependent, each required to achieve the other; and that nonviolence and disarmament must be universal if all peoples are to have the necessities of life, meaningful employment, cultural enrichment, and opportunities for personal fulfillment. Only by cherishing diversity in cultures, personal characteristics, and beliefs can the world be spared from injustice, alienation, and disruptions amplified by technology into cascading catastrophe. Increasingly PEP recognizes that only by restoring environmental harmony can all who share this planet be freed from wars engendered by scarcity and ecological devastation, and that only an enduring peace can obviate the scarcity and devastation caused by war.
As the threat of one global cataclysm is eclipsed by another, the effectiveness of PEP’s longstanding programs can be multiplied by adopting ways and means suited to the new century:
- Peace Education. An active advocate of demilitarization for over half a century, PEP can continue to sponsor peace events of historic significance and strengthen its NGO affiliation with the United Nations. To that end, PEP can deploy information technologies that provide people throughout the world immediate access to deep and varied peace education resources, and opportunities to join in bestowing the Gandhi Peace Award to honor true peace heroes of our time.
- Citizen Diplomacy. PEP can continue to dispatch citizen diplomats, actually and virtually, to places where person-to-person bonds can undermine the rationale for war by giving the “enemy” a human face.
- Peace Vision. Distinguished by its esteemed heritage and international perspective, PEP can catalyze a convergence of movements for world peace, social justice, and environmental stewardship, and can develop publications that give definition and clarity to the vision that draws them together.
Our time is humanity’s crucible, filled with anxiety, facing an ominous future. The new century’s promise of peace is undermined by the dread of ambiguously defined enemies—the pretext for social regression, imperial adventure, and endless war. Amplified by technology, systematic exploitation and institutionalized violence become ever more pervasive, leading many to feel marginalized, causes to seem pointless, and any real breakthrough beyond hope.
Yet that grim visage evokes a vital surge of awareness. Realizations dawn anew: that a civilization depleting its resources, disrupting its climate, and decimating its biosphere is doomed to desolation, deprivation, and darkness; that the pursuit of worldly gain leads away from life at its best; that the complex of elitism, militarism, and materialism consumes our spirits as it enshrouds the world; and that as global interdependence grows, struggles for world peace, social justice, and environmental responsibility become inseparable and must converge if any is to succeed.
From such realizations comes a vision of the future we seek: a civilization of diverse and equal peoples, freed from oppression and war, living purposeful lives guided by conscience and compassion, in harmony with their environment and each other. That vision invites us combine resources, perspectives, and talents in a hope-filled endeavor to redeem our communities, our world, and ourselves. That vision portends the promise of humanity’s destiny: to serve all life as the humble steward of this fragile garden Earth.
PEP’s middle name is “Enduring”—sustainable. Inspired by those who precede us in the struggle, we are called to bequeath to future generations a sustainable commonwealth hospitable to all who share Earth’s lands, waters, and skies. All those moved to heed that call are invited to join in.