Conflict transformation came into currency in distinction to conflict management and conflict resolution. The term captures the essence of conflict in that conflict transforms relationships and structures plus action to transform the relationships and structures that give rise to conflict.
Transformation is attained through building mutual trust and respect. Strategies and techniques must be sensitive to the context and vary accordingly.
For peace to be part of the vernacular, young people – as well as teachers and parents, being persons closest and most influential to them – must become familiar with concepts of peace and be equipped with peacebuilding skills.
Peace studies enables us to recognise conflict and its causes and so be in a better position to prevent them. Peace studies also shows how peace intersects with different disciplines and can be integrated with different aspects of life.
Dialogue is a well-recognised component in building and sustaining peace, whether at national, community or interpersonal levels.
Dialogue is –
inclusive: it connects people across divides and instils a sense of community
demanding: it requires deep listening, suspension of habitual beliefs and candid sharing of experiences and feelings to realise genuine understanding
creative: it allows and encourages discovery of common grounds and working together to solve problems.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The nonviolence principle stems from respect for one another and for the right to life and security and other human rights. Nonviolence, as a way of dealing with conflict, has been shown to be more effective in bringing about change than armed efforts. Also, regimes or policies formed through nonviolent change last longer.
Nonviolence should be central to the governance of authorities and people's movements.