All Party Parliamentary Group for Peace and Conflict Resolution


From 1993 to 2002, IIPSPG organised a total of thirty-five meetings in Parliament, thirty-three of them in the House of Lords, taking place in three separate series of events.  The purpose of the meetings was to examine links between policy, ethics, philosophy and peace.  A summary list of these meetings is given below.

In 2003 a new All-Party Group on Conflict Issues came into being in the UK Parliament partly inspired (indirectly) by IIPSPG's initial work. See  This group did excellent work and has the support of IIPSPG. From 2011 to 2016 Engi provided the secretariat to this UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues, which was set up in 2006 to encourage dialogue on how to prevent, transform and resolve violent conflict. But ot has gone temporarily into abeyance. During its decade of activity the APPGCI held almost 100 meetings, giving a sustained voice in Parliament to those working in peace-building and conflict management. Therefore, a number of factors indicate that it might be appropriate for IIPSPG to recommence its own work in liaising with members of Parliament to reconvene a forum on Policy and Ethics which members of both houses could attend as well as philosophers, policy experts and NGO representatives.  The recent debacle of the members of the House of Lords apparently being prepared to get legislation changed in return for what are effectively bribes means that it is perhaps time for some fundamental rethinking about the relationship between philosophy, ethics, policy and above all, peace.  Another residual question that needs to be raised in such a forum is whether the House itself was misled on false intelligence into endorsing the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a decision which has cost the world dearly.  We are calling for a Commission of Inquiry into these events and IIPSPG endorses as a matter of ethical importance such a Commission being set up at the highest possible levels and broadest possible remit.  Is it possible that some rogue intelligence units that do not hold the best interests of our country at heart have somehow penetrated our bona fide intelligence network in such a way as to steer our leaders into unethical and disasterous policy decisions? IIPSGP Is also looking to extend our parliamentary work to the European Parliament, the Scotish, and Welsh Assemblies, and other parliamentary bodies worldwide. We have offered to mediate, for exmple, between the Catalan political leadership and the Spanish government... we will also work with global parliamnetary bodies or peace, such as the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) Watch this space..

IIPSPG therefore intends to reconvene it's meetings on Ethics and Policy in Parliament with the support of selected Parliamentarians when possible.


(This series of meetings was hosted by the late Lord Ennals)

1993 ‑ May to September:

May 27: This opening session saw an invited circle of speakers, including religious leaders, academics, NGO activists, peace educators, teachers and members of the ordinary concerned public,  addressing the philosophical, spiritual & political roots of the contemporary global crisis and the potential contribution of education to the search for consensus on the ethical & political foundations of peace & world order; political philosophy & the global political economy of peace & global responsibility: we looked at the search for sustainable development & a new world economic order beyond war, considering issues such as  environmental devastation, famine, deteriorating global health care and the race against diseases such as Aids, we also looked at unemployment, social deprivation and high military spending and  the struggles for democracy and human rights worldwide. We included a  review of current research and action underway worldwide including mention of The United Nations system (the UN Secretary General's Agenda for Peace, the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development, Agenda 21, UNESCO etc.); the World Congress of Philosophy (Moscow, August 1993); the International Year of Inter-religious Understanding and Cooperation (Bangalore & Chicago conferences, August 1993) & the work of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the Declaration on Global Ethics; the International Political Science Association; the International Association of University Presidents; the International Council of Scientific Unions & the work of specialist educational research organisations. This opening session was an excellent introduction to the work of the series as a whole and generated much interest in thinking circles.

3 June This meeting focused on the global political economy of war and armed conflict & the search for peace and global security; the international arms trade and the role of finance & governments; military spending and international law; arms control and disarmament; terrorism and illegal arms sales and the role of international organised crime; the political economy of conversion from the military-industrial global economy of the cold war era to a civil-industrial global economy for an era of peace; the achievements and limitations of arms control negotiations and frameworks (United Nations, NATO, NATO etc.); the International Court of Justice and the legal status of nuclear weapons, the International Peace Bureau & the World Court Project; a review of relevant work underway in the International Peace Research Association & specialist peace & global security research institutes and educational organisations worldwide, including the International Association of University Presidents / United Nations Disarmament Commission on Arms Control Educational; the Nobel Institute, The United States Institute of Peace, The Peace Research Institute of Oslo, the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Royal Institute of International Affairs etc.

June 10: Here we focused with another range of invited experts on conflict prevention & peace building in Europe: the Emergency in the Balkans and the related problems: Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus etc.

June 17: This meeting considered conflict prevention & peace building in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales: focusing particularly on healing the Irish conflict; searching for constitutional and non-violent solutions to situations of injustice - ways out of the impasse

24 June: This event focused on  Conflict prevention & peace building in Africa, including South Africa, Angola, Zaire, Sudan, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Liberia, Western Sahara, Rwanda etc. A representative of the South African Embassy shared with the meeting the implications for the continent of the recent election of President Mandela.

July 1:  Here our guest speakers and audience focused on conflict prevention & peace building in the Middle East:  Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Afghanistan, Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Kurdistan, Egypt etc. Representatives of a number of Embassies from throughout the region attended this event, as well as leading academics and religious thinkers, including from Kuwait, Pakistan, Turkey etc.

8  July -  This seminar focused on conflict prevention & peace building in East Asia (including South East Asia) & the Pacific: Burma, China, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, South China Seas, East Timor & Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea. A representative of the Chinese Embassy addressed the group.

15 July - Conflict prevention & peace building in South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Punjab, Kashmir, Tibet, Bhutan etc. We were joined on this occasion by  representatives from the Sri Lankan Embassy as well as representatives from the Tamil Tiger rebel forces cultural mission to London, and witnessed a historic dialogue for peace in which both sides recounted their sorrow and horror at the cruelty of the  "other", reporting from personal testimony to the horrors of the violence. Colleagues from India and Pakistan also joined the group and we discussed the situation in Kashmir at some length also.

July 22: - This meeting focused on conflict prevention & peace building in the Commonwealth of Independent States & former USSR: Moldova, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russian Federation etc. We were joined  representatives from several of the Embassies in the region, as well as a number of leading academics and policy specialist concerned with peace and conflict resolution in this region.
July 29: Here we focused on conflict prevention & peace building in the American continent: Central, South & North America, and looked at the question of indigenous cultures and the  reassessment of the European colonisation and the legacy of inter-racial violence etc. We also examined the legacy of the Los Angeles race riots and the whole history of racial conflict in North America; we were joined by a representative from the Mexican Embassy as well as an Amerindian spiritual leader from Mexico who was taking part in a pilgrimage to "discover Europe" on the part of the American indigenous peoples.

August 5: - This meeting focused on Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding in the Wider Europe: examing the problems of an emerging Community of Communities: resolving tensions between and within states at a time of transition - problems of racism & nationalism & economic uncertainty.

12 August - Here we shared views on the search for Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding in the wider British Commonwealth - the successes & failures of Commonwealth leaders & educators in peacebuilding & conflict prevention; healing the problems of Britain's troubled colonial heritage

September 23: This event comprised the Concluding Conference to the whole series - (which took place in the Muslim College since Parliament was still closed) - we heard from a number of speakers involved in education for peace from various perspectives, some of whom  had spoken on previous occasions. Among others we heard from Prof. Jawid, the former Rector of the University of Kabul about the need to rebuild Afghanistan's cultural life; from Mrs. K. Morris, former Mayor of Germistown, about the South African peace and reconciliation process; from Prof. Frank Barnaby about the dangers of nuclear arms build ups in the Middle East; from Dr Yusuf Inaait O.B.E. about his work for interfath and interacial harmony in Scotland; from Kerry Brown about the work of the International Sacred Literature Trust, and from Dr Zaki Badawi about his work with the Muslim College as a centre for higher learning in Islamic studies.

1994 ‑ April/July: HOUSE OF LORDS SEMINAR SECOND SERIES on "ETHICS, POLITICS AND ECONOMICS: GLOBAL PROBLEMS, GLOBAL POLICIES AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY" For this second series of meetings in the House of Lords we chose to focus on the relationship between ethics, politic and economics - feeling that the ethical and values perspective is usually left out of political discussion, or is seen as too divisive to permit coherent discourse. We felt that there needed to be a neutral space at the heart of the national conversations on policy which could address these deeper spiritual questions within a context of education for peace in the broadest sense. From April 1994 to July 1994 a series of 13 seminars was held, also at the House of Lords, bringing together a similar wide ranging body of academics, NGO representatives and concerned members of the public. the names of principal speakers and key participants are listed below, while many people attended all the seminars. Thomas Daffern chaired and directed all the seminars, (with Lord Ennals acting as host and overall Convenor), introducing the various speakers to the audience and summing up at the end with closing remarks.

APRIL 21 - PEACE, WAR & NONVIOLENCE: This opening meeting focused on the ethical aspects of peace and conflict and the search for nonviolence in today's world; we heard from various representatives and key thinkers who have been studying and teaching in this field for many years, including the following: Brigadier Michael Harbottle (Generals for Peace); Eirwen Harbottle (International Centre for Peacebuilding); Dr Michael Clarke of Kings College Centre for Defence Studies; Saida Nusseibeh (Jewish Arab Dialogue in Europe) Vivienne Lichtenstein (Jewish Arab Dialogue in Europe); Miroslav Jancic (Sarajevo Cosmopolitan Association); Lord Ennals (House of Lords); Rex Marhsall (school teacher); Bibi Small (Women for Peace); Shirley Tourett (artist and illustrator); Qiang Zha (Institute of Education); John Bradley (JADE); Angela Franklin; Veronica Kemp  (teacher)

APRIL 28 ‑ POLICIES ON NATIONAL & LOCAL POLITICAL STRUCTURES: This meeting focused on the tensions and conflicts which can occur within nation states when political processes are unrepresentative, or when different religious and ethnic forces cannot be held in balance by central structures of accountable decision-making authority; key presenters included: Dr David Chapman  (Democracy Design Forum); Mr. Sarberi (Anglo‑Afghan Circle) and other Afghan intellectuals who spoke at length about the problems in their country; Peter Cadogan (Gandhi Foundation Northern Ireland Project)  and others involved with the peace process in Ireland, to which the rest of the meeting was then devoted.

MAY 5 ‑ TRANSNATIONAL POLITICAL STRUCTURES AND POLICY: This seminar saw a useful discussion about the nature of political power and the problems of social breakdown when competing claims to sovereignty clash inside the same national boundaries or geographical regions; we looked particularly at the relationship between political power and religious and  ethnic identity; key participants included: Sir Christopher Leeds (University of Nancy); Gert Grobler (Political Counselor, South African Embassy in London); Dr Suman Khanna (Philosophy Dept. University of Delhi); Dr Tamara Dragadze (School of Slavonic & East European Studies);  Eva Tucker (Quaker); Brian Wicker (Pax Christi); Stan Windass (Council for Arms Control);  Prof. Cedric Smith (Conflict Research Society)

MAY 12 ‑ GLOBAL ECONOMIC POLICIES, UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE GLOBAL RECESSION: this seminar brought together a number of leading edge thinkers in economics and peace and security thinking; a lively discussion was held on the absurdity of the world spending so much on armed security when basic social and economic needs were simply not being met around the globe: key participants included: Muna Jawhary (Economics Dept. School of Oriental & African Studies); Jean Hardy (Quaker Peace and Service, World Bank specialist); Michael Cranna (Safer World, True Costs of Conflict programme Coordinator); Rupert Brown (Green Net); Beryl Harris (Henry George Economics Association); Duncan Smith (New Economics Foundation); Ian McFarlane (Action Aid); Charlotte Waterlow (World Federalist Association); Lisa Zaffern (Allied Dunbar); Paul Seto (International Alert); Norman Marcus (International Association of Educators for World Peace).

MAY 19 ‑ ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF JUSTICE, LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY: This seminar saw a vital discussion of the problems of law and lawlessness in today's world, with a number of key presentations of both general and specific instances of human rights abuse,  including: Dr Vincenzo Ruggiero (Reader in Criminology, Middlesex University); George Farebrother (World Court Project); Maria Regina Bull (S.T.O.P. the Destruction of the World Association); Dr. Richard Bourne (Commonwealth Human Rights Division); Anne McCaffrey; Persio Burkinsky (S.T.O.P.); Bhavani Torpy (Teacher and Sri Chinmoy Association). 

MAY 26 ‑ SOCIAL POLICIES AND COMMUNITY PEACEBUILDING: This seminar saw presentations from a number of people directly involved in aspects of social work and grass roots peacebuilding in the complex inner city infrastructure of modern urban society; key participants included: David Holloway (Tolerance in Diversity Project); Surur Hoda (Gandhi Foundation); Dr Margareta Rendel (Human Rights in Education); Mrs Masana De Souza (Newham Conflict & Change);  Hilary Stacey (Conflict Mediation Associates);  Mrs Islam (Bangladeshi Women’s Association); Val Carpenter (National Coalition Building Institute); Guy Barrington (Schools Mediation Project); Jo Ridley (Schools Mediation Project); Leonard Daniels (Centre for Non‑Violent Communication)
JUNE 2 - GLOBAL EDUCATION AND SCHOOLING POLICY: This seminar concerned the role of schooling and new approaches to childhood education, with a focus on work in peace education at school level. We heard directly from several Irish colleagues who had been experimenting with peace education and peer mediation in schools in Ulster, and were treated to a rare example of peer mediation in the course of the seminar by a group of Irish school children who had flown over to London specially for the occasion. Key participants included: Jerry Tyrell (University of Ulster, Quaker Peace Education Project); John Colclough (Council for Education in World Citizenship); Christopher Gilmore (Holistic Education Network); Barbara Hunt (Dorset Community Mediation); Jo Scott (Dorset Mediation); Christine Hogan (Curtin University, Australia); Wendy Plastock (teacher); John Newsham (Kingston Friends Workshop Group); Tim Webb (Kingston Friends); Meredith Yates (Southwark Mediation Centre); Diana Miles (Holistic Education Network); Brendan Hortop (Ulster Peace Education); Joan Noble (Ulster Peace Education); Maria Matulewicz (Chisolme Institute); Aziza Shah (Islamic Aid); Kim Hindocha (Keyworth Primary School); David Maxwell (Institute of Education); Victor Brooks (Lambeth Mediation Service); Ingrid Wilson (One World Week).

JUNE 9  - THE ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL POLICIES ON CHILDREN AND THE FAMILY, MARRIAGE, GENDER, YOUTH - this seminar took place in the Year of the Family and saw a lively discussion on all aspects of personal and family life in today's world - all participants agreed there is a tremendous need to help the children and women of the world to become free from the scourge of war, since in today's world, where so many conflicts are messy intranational struggles, particularly in poorer countries, they are often the main victims, with children being drafted or press ganged into armies at younger and younger ages. speakers included: Amanda Knight (International Year of the Family); Michael Edwards (Save the Children); Miss Gerison Lansdowne, (Childrens Rights Development Unit); Simone Parker (Fellowship of the Friends of Truth); John O'Brien, (Brook Associates television production Company)

JUNE 16 - THE ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL EDUCATION POLICY IN HIGHER EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND SCIENCE: this seminar saw much discussion of the direction of higher education, with speakers addressing different aspects of the problems facing students and teachers in today's busy and competitive climate: key speakers included Ian Hackett, One World Trust; Dr. Kevin Keen, University of Manitoba, Canada, Canadian Defence College; Daniel Wheatley, University of Kent; Alan Cottey, University of East Anglia and Scientists for Global Responsibility; Ruth McNally, London; Prof. Cedric Smith, Conflict Research Society.

JUNE 23 ‑  THE ETHICAL ASPECTS OF GLOBAL HEALTH POLICIES: This seminar debated the details of global health care policies, and considered the philosophical, ethical and spiritual aspects of medicine and healing; speakers included Rev Simon House (International Integrated Health Association) Tracy Lea (Pastoral Therapist); Prof. David Morley (Child to Child Trust, Institute of Education); Brenda Roberts (Suffolk Home Hospital project); Jacqueline Beacon (Kinesiologist); David Gillet (farmer, East Anglia); Di Stubbs ("Health of the Nation")

JUNE 30 ‑ GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES AND THE SEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This seminar saw a large gathering debating the details of global environmental strategies and the missing ethical and spiritual dimensions of these problems;  speakers and attenders included: Celia Storey (International Interfaith Centre, Oxford); David Storey (Oxford); Alan Spence (Democratic Left Architects and Planners Association) Margaret Calvert (Quaker) ; Shira & John Nolan (Lancashire); Meta (Australian Peace Campaigner); Charles Whistleccroft (Quakers/CND of Worcestershire); Mahzad Mazloomian, Bahai; David Mumford, Bahai; Ruth Dollmans, Suffolk, Bahai; Richard Summers, International Sacred Literature Trust, Quaker; Rev. Frances Noble, WCRP; Ismail Lamabat, London, Muslim; Scott Clifford, LETS; Richard Kay, LETS; Prof. Roland Simbulan, Quezon City, Chair, Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition; Etienne Teparii, Tahiti, Nuclear Free Independent Polynesia; Barbara Sunderland, Christian CND; Carol Batton (poetess); Alan Pinch, Manchester; Kate Muir (Christian CND); Mrs H. Bruner, Peacemakers Inc. Midge Atherton, Bolton, Lancs.; Leroy Johnson, Manchester Interfaith Dr Hasan Askari (The Centre for the Study of the Soul, Leeds); Rosa Lo, (Chinese student); Dr Nigel Dower, University of Aberdeen, International Development Ethics Association; Kerry Brown, Director, International Sacred Literature Trust; Syed Abdul Mabud, Institute for World Peace, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 JULY 7 - GLOBAL POLICIES ON INFORMATION, CULTURE, THE MEDIA AND THE ARTS: this seminar saw a lively discussion on the whole question of ethics and communication, the media and the role of the press in fostering a climate of nonviolence and peace; key speakers included: Naren Dholakia, Universal Esperanto Association; "Ethics, politics and freedom of information" - Maurice Frankel,  Director, Campaign for Freedom of Information; "Non-Violent Communication" - Leonard Daniels, Director, UK Centre for Nonviolent Communication; "Culture, Eco-Philosophy and Peace" - John-Francis Phipps, Philosophers for Peace;  "The politics and ethics of violent entertainment in the media" Moira Bremner, B.B.C. & Ethics and the Media Group, London "The cultural politics of a new world order: an educational challenge" Prof. John Roberts ; Parvez Zabihi, Kurdish Human Rights Association

JULY 14 ‑ INTERFAITH RELATIONS, HUMANISM AND THE SEARCH FOR A GLOBAL ETHIC: this concluding symposium focused specifically on the role of religion and spirituality in the global situation today - can religions cooperate together for planetary survival ? We head from representatives of many different interfaith organisations and religious denominations, with key note speakers including the following: "Politics, Ethics and the Soul: an Islamic perspective" Hasan Askari; "Primal Religion, Indigenous Spirituality & Peace & Global Responsibility"  Caitlin Matthews; "Religious Freedom and Religious Responsibility", Dr. R. Traer,  Secretary General, International Association of Religious Freedom; "Politics, Ethics and the Bhaktivedanta Manor Case"  Hare Krishna Temple Defence Movement; "The World Spiritual University" Sister Maureen, Brahma Kumaris; "Interfaith Education and Global Citizenship" Rev. Marcus Braybrooke; "New Religious Movements and Civic Concern" Dr. R. Towler, INFORM;  "Judaism and the search for a global ethic" Rabbi Dr Albert Friedlander, W.C.R.P. Co-President; "The Global Politics of Happiness: Philosophy, Humanism, Education, Spirituality & Social Development - the Prospects for a New Enlightenment"  Thomas  Daffern; Dr K. Fathima, Sufi Muslim; Sita Ram Das, International Society for Krishna Consciousness; Mr. Moslem Banafshee, and many others.


1994 ‑ October/March 1995: SEMINAR THIRD SERIES at HOUSE OF LORDS on "ETHICS, POLITICS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: EDUCATION FOR PEACE AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT", attended  by numerous academic peace and conflict researchers, NGO representatives, educators etc. This  1994-1995 seminar series focused on the serious global problems facing the planet at this time of crisis and the political, ethical & educational resources available to solve them. In this follow up series we focused particularly on the preparations for the UNITED NATIONS WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT in Copenhagen, March 6-12 1995.The reasons for the WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT was summarised by the UN as follows: "Although promising a future of accelerated social and economic progress, the end of the cold war has had a destabilising effect on many societies in the short term. Unemployment, poverty, crime, inter-ethnic violence and civil warfare are on the rise in most parts of the world. Social & economic crises are eroding, often drastically, the substantial material progress achieved overall during the second half of the century. Social tensions do not stay within national borders - they travel. Increasing migration and flows of refugees fuel xenophobia and racism. Crumbling political stability in one nation threaten peace and security in others. In past decades, summit meetings have brought together world leaders to defuse political crises and find common ground on pressing problems. The WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT will likewise bring together heads of State or Government to address the social disintegration and world disorder that threaten global security and development. meeting in Copenhagen in 1995, world leaders will define social development and human security priorities and agree on action at national and international levels. The Summit furthers the commitment made in the Charter of the United Nations, to promote "higher standards of living, full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development with a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being".   Three core issues have been identified: * Social integration  * Reduction and elimination of widespread poverty * Productive employment and the reduction of unemployment.  The World Summit for Social Development will tackle these issues by charting new directions for social policies. It will make a moral case for solidarity, for the integration of disadvantaged groups and for the promotion of existing UN agreements, including those concerning human rights, labor rights and social justice. The future of the UN's work in the social and economic fields will be shaped by the policies and commitments agreed to in Copenhagen. Social issues have been placed at the top of the international agenda by an ongoing cycle of UN conferences, e.g. the 1990 World Summit for Children, the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development), the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights. The cycle will culminate in 1995 with the World Summit for Social Development and the 4th World Conference on Women, capped by the commemoration of the U. N. 50th anniversary on 24 October 1995." As before, the key question we  considered was how policy is made and implemented in response to specific problem areas in global political structures. What factors are involved ? How are considerations of power, expediency and economics balanced against humanitarian and ethical factors ?  What ideals in political philosophy can help shed light on the very real dilemmas faced by decision-makers in today's troubled and violent world ?  Participants were invited to speak to both formal written papers and to present their ideas on the issues involved in open discussion. The seminars  included many presentations from special keynote speakers to focus the thinking of the participants. All sessions were chaired and directed by Thomas Daffern, with Lord Ennals again acting as overall host for the events, which ran as follows:


26 October (during U.N. Disarmament Week) ‑ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, WAR, MILITARISM, DEFENCE AND ARMS CONTROL; this vital seminar focused on peace and social violence and conflict resolution & mediation, non-violence - how can the international community prevent war and armed violence ?

9 November (during International week of Science and Peace) ‑ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION, here we discussed social sciences, schooling and higher education, the education of political leaders, paradigms of learning for today's world, social pedagogy and peace and global education, the role of Universities, UNESCO, international academic networks etc.

23 November (in the week celebrating the UN Declaration on the Elimination of all forms of Intolerance and Discrimination based on Religion or Belief) - SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, SPIRITUAL AND MORAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF SOCIETY; here we discussed the social role of faith and belief - the positive and negative role of the Christian churches, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, primal beliefs etc. in fostering holistic social and spiritual development; the failings and misuse of religion and the debates between religion and secularism, toleration, fundamentalism, modernism and "postmodernism" etc.

7 December (during Human Rights Week) ‑ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND JUSTICE; here we considered policies for social justice, legal safeguards for social development, human rights, social violence, terrorism and legal sanctions, crime, policing, ethics and human duties 

                                                            SPRING 1995
11 January ‑ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT POLICIES & MULTI-CULTURAL TOLERANCE (to launch the UN International Year of Tolerance) this seminar saw a consideration of the issues of nationalism, ethnicity and social integration and social exclusion, racism and racial violence, multicultural education, and the challenge of  building a culture of peace

25 January ‑ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND POLITICAL ECONOMY: this seminar saw discussion on unemployment and social and economic policies; trade and GATT; world debt and finance, G7 and global financial institutions' policies on social development, new economic theory and ethics, the social costs of privatisation and the social effects of classical free market economic doctrine, governance and economic theory, regional economic priorities (e.g. European Community, North America Free Trade Zone etc.)

8 February ‑ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT; here we discussed party politics, governance and institutional reform, safeguards on the abuse and corruption of political & economic power; the educational & ethical background of political leaders; democratic governance and social conflict resolution and development, political philosophy and ideologies and political and inter-state violence and conflict; political extremism and terrorism and social marginalisation and dialogue and negotiation for peace; diplomacy and intergovernmental political mechanisms to enhance global social development
22 February ‑ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT & GLOBAL POLICIES ON CHILDREN, THE FAMILY, MARRIAGE, WOMEN, MEN, YOUTH, PARENTHOOD & POPULATION; here we considered childhood and parenthood in the modern world; policies on divorce, family violence, child abuse, sexual violence and harassment etc. educational strategies to counter family breakdown; global governance and the family - the United Nations Year of the Family; the growing numbers of homeless, refugee and orphaned children worldwide as the front line victims of wars and violence; violence, crime and youth culture, neighborhood culture, street gangs; schooling and bullying; UNICEF & the work of Save the Children, UNICEF & refugee support agencies; should the voice of children be heard more in formal political structures and decisionmaking ?  What about global policies on population control and family planning  - can there be ethical and political agreement ? The 4th U.N. World Conference on Women in Beijing - how can the creative voice of women in world affairs be heard more carefully ? What kinds of special insights and contributions can women make to effective and sustainable social development ?

March 1 -  SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES: this meeting considered the ecological context of social development, the urgency of safeguarding the integrity of the biosphere; agriculture & food quality, biodiversity, rain forests, desertification, effects of environmental pollution and growing urbanisation; ethics and politics and the urgency of effective global decisionmaking on common global environmental problems; environmental ethics and eco-philosophy: deep ecology or superficial "greening" ? social ecology and eco-politics - the necessity for inter-sectoral cooperation

March 6-12 - WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, the concluding event of the series was the  Copenhagen World Social Summit itself. This brought together over 150 heads of state and government, and many senior ranking cabinet ministers, together with thousands of NGO leaders and academics and educators, all united in their common concern to end world poverty, end unemployment and bring about social harmony and social development. The Summit represented a chance to meet educators and social policy specialists from all over the world and led to a significant number of new contacts and ideas being developed for the Institute of Peace Studies. Private discussions were also held with the Commonwealth Secretary General about launching an Interfaith council for the Commonwealth, which later happened in Edinburgh in`1997 (The Commonwealth Common Values Council). Particularly interesting were the gatherings of religious leaders which took place parallel to  the Summit and the small mediation area which had been put aside for the use of delegates, the first time ever in such a gathering of heads of state at an official UN function.


April 22nd, Peace, Justice & Global Responsibility: here we discussed how can global peace and security issues be dealt with ethically - what about the situation in Iraq and the Middle East ? What about conflict situations where different ethnic and religious groups each claim authority, as in Ireland ?  A report on the work of the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service

May 19th, Health Policy & the Environment: Building the Ground of Peace - how are health policy questions and environmental policy questions dealt with by Government ? How can health and environment NGO's become more effective worldwide ? Has the environmental movement become less important or more important ? What about  the reform of the NHS ? What is the long term peace connection with these issues ?
June 17th, Constitutional & Political Processes & Structures: Britain is at a cross-roads politically, with major reforms being planned, concerning the House of Lords, the possibility of some form of proportional representation system of voting, the devolution of power from Westminster to Scotland and Wales, and the hope for a new constitutional settlement in Ireland - how will all this work in practice ? How will the question of the funding of political parties be resolved ?

July 8 - Education for life:  Education is recognised by all as the single most important factor in creating a healthy and creative society, with mature political and social  structures - yet education has been also neglected, underfunded, politicised and hyper-professionalised for decades. What is the point of learning, and how can we move beyond information-overload to true wisdom ? What role is there for values education in our schools and universities, and how should religious education be dealt with ? How do ethics and peace connect ? Who should control education policy ? What about the roles of parents, students, children and teachers ?

October 28th -  Economics, Social Policy, Poverty, Unemployment &social Inclusion: Following the United Nations Summit for Social Development; the new UK Government has created a Social Exclusion Unit, but what is it actually doing ? How can we help and get involved ? What about the Welfare to Work Scheme - is it working ? What about benefit cuts and unemployment - do we need to re-define the nature of work in our post-industrial age ? Can a Citizens Income scheme be introduced to replace the benefits system ? What about resource economics ?

November 25th, Interfaith, Religious & Spiritual Contributions:  Britain has become a rich and multifaceted land of ancient and new faiths sharing a small patchwork of islands - we will be hearing from representatives of the different faith traditions in both the UK and the wider international community as well as about the work of the Commonwealth Common Values Council.; we will also be further considering the Institute's work in interfaith mediation

February 1st 1999  Concluding Discussions & Annual Council Meeting of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy: drawing the series to a close, we  too  stock of the year's work together and sumarised the ongoing work of the Institute of Peace Studies and the quest to establish an All Party Parliamentary Group for Peace and Reconciliation, debating other urgent ethical and policy issues which had arisen during the previous year. A new Executive Committee was established to steer through the work of the Institute and to steer the idea of an All Party Group into a new phase.

IIPSGP Convened a further series of seminars in Parliament with Lembit Opik MP (Leader of Liberal Democrats in Wales) on the feasibility of establishing an All Party Group for Peace and Conflict Resolution

2001 - November 20 - Parliamentary Seminar on Peace and Conflict Resolution in Grand Committee Room of House of Commons with Lembit Opik MP

2002 – Further a meeting in Parliament examining the feasibility of creating an All Party Group on Peace and Conflict Resolution (minutes follow).

Minutes of the third meeting of the All Party Group for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Room E, 7, Millbank, 4.30 - 6.30pm on Tuesday October 29th 2002

Present: Please email us for a separate summary list of those attending at

The meeting was chaired by Thomas Daffern, Director, IIPSGP and Paul Marsden, MP, in the absence of Lembit Opik, MP, whose presence was required at a debate in the House.

Everyone present was given the opportunity to introduce themselves briefly:
· Thomas Daffern reiterated that the prime purpose of these meetings was to bring together, in pursuit of peace, people with ideas and people who make decisions.
· Paul Marsden asked for this meeting to focus on the Middle East in pursuing its specific objective: 'the outline of an intelligent, non-violent, strategic response' and suggested people might want to express what they want from such a strategic approach

Tony Klug:
· Necessity for separate Israeli / Palestinian states
· Proposal for International Protectorate, based on 5 'building blocks':
i. Situation going to get worse not better without intervention
ii. Parties locked into notions of neither 'rewarding terrorism' nor 'surrendering to aggression'
iii. Negotiations pointless because Palestinians have nothing the Israelis want and can't get already
iv. Majority opinion in Israel both wants end of occupation and favours invasion of Palestinian areas
v. Handing over to an international authority could break cycle and allow both economic development and co-ordinated progress towards creation of two states

David Solomon: agreed that present Israeli govt. has no interest in negotiations and that the situation is worse than ever. He suggested that:
· Enormously difficult to get Israeli support for dual statehood
· America (and Britain) putting Israel / Palestine conflict to one side until at least 2005, in order to concentrate on Iraq
· Israelis have little sense of Palestinian rationale, are locked into looking at events as 'inexplicable' and a general ' Muslim reaction' which they link too closely to 09/11.
· It is very important to get clear, quantifiable information to Israeli voters

Thomas Daffern asked if those present knew of suggested support of Hammas by the Iraqi regime. This was affirmed by several people, although the exact nature of any such support is less clear and other national regimes are probably also involved

Leonard Daniels: had concerns about Tony Klug's model for solution and believed Conflict Resolution has to start by confronting and dealing with hate, fear, etc. The Israeli govt. has financed conflict resolution initiatives in education; West must support moderates on all sides and refuse to demonise.

David Coburn:
· Non-violence is happening but not being heard
· 'Selective hearing' is counter-productive e.g. America 'hears' Jewish fears/feelings about Holocaust, but not Palestinian fears e.g. about 'transfers' of people out of the West Bank.
· American / European govts. must be lobbied to listen - and to say 'We got it wrong.'

Paul Marsden asked if thinking about the Middle East should currently be focused on Israel / Palestine, or on Iraq ?

Cameron Taylor: answered 'both.'
· Essential relationship between development and security, in both conflict prevention and resolution
· Development money wasted without good security
· MOD thinking reflects this need to disarm combatants and reform security sector in any conflict resolution situation
· An integrated effort - multilateral, horizontally and vertically linking the military, governments, international agencies, etc. was necessary.
· One role of the APPG could be to allow these agencies to network more effectively; e.g. the military did not always know what NGOs were doing on the ground

Frances Crabbie: felt other European countries e.g. France had a more advanced perspective on the issues. There is lack of information between both Israelis and Palestinians and between them and other nations

Moeen Yaseen:
· There is no 'quick fix'
· More attention must be given to causes and context of conflict
· Muslim mass movements and Muslim activists will decide what happens
· Many Muslims believe a. That only a one state solution is acceptable
b. That this must follow the dismantling of Zionism
· Such thinking has to be aired and 'heard seriously' by the international community

Discussion on interfaith initiatives:
· There is increasing interest in the region in interfaith activity and education for both Jews and Arabs - targeting young people is a good beginning, although the practicalities are difficult
· Moderate religious leaders should be actively supported and supported in saying 'we don't always get it right'
Leonard Daniels:
· Even when Jews, Christians and Arabs can 'hear' each other, the challenge remains how do they live together

Paul Marsden:
· Asked meeting to suggest 'bullet points' for the international dimension in the process of moving away from fear and violence

Brian Frost: Spoke of his work on the psychology of forgiveness, which has to be linked to reparation, justice and collective memory - recognising wrong-doing in the past and moving on from it

Several speakers (Eirwen Harbottle; Mary Young; Geoff Taggart; Peter Riddell) spoke further on the significance of education, nationally and internationally, in the process. While education alone could not solve conflicts, any effective solution must embrace it. The meeting was reminded of the earlier resolution (23.05.02.) to set up an education sub-group.

Tony Klug: gave his apologies for leaving early; before doing so, he said
· That in his own experience as Chair of Council for Jewish / Palestine Dialogue, dialogue broke down because the situation on the ground was so bad
· That he did not think a 'single state' solution would work
· That the Israeli occupation must end before the peace process could move forward


Thomas Daffern:
· Confirmed that an education sub group would be established and asked those present to get in touch if they wished to take an active role in this

N.B. Following the meeting, Helen Young has volunteered to co-ordinate the education working party. Please contact her if you wish to be involved:

Paul Marsden:
· Suggested the possibility of a number of sub-groups working on e.g. religious, economic, political, historical aspects of conflict resolution
· The South African model of forgiveness as part of the process of change could be applied more widely, including in the Middle East
· Both international diplomacy and grass-roots groups had a significant role to play and dialogue between them was crucial
· Real ethnic dialogue, as epitomised by the exchange between Leonard Daniels and Moeen Yaseen, was essential

Brian Frost proposed that: One main function of the group was to help MPs understand what Conflict Resolution was actually about

Mary Napper, IIPSGP, Nov. 2002

Minutes of the first All Party Parliamentary Group for Peace and Conflict Resolution, launched in The Grand Committee Room of the House of Commons on Tuesday November 20 2001

The meeting was chaired jointly by Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire and Dr. Thomas Daffern, Director, The International Institute for Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. Click here for a list of all those who attended.

The meeting opened with remarks from both chairmen:

Lembit Opik:
· Stressed the importance of the meeting and its human, as opposed to strictly political, context
· Described some of his personal circumstances, his family and political background and how that shaped his commitment to conflict resolution
· Hoped that MPs would take on the issues under discussion
· Asked those present to start to shape the work of the APPG by making specific suggestions for action and to consider positive alternatives to military solutions

Thomas Daffern:
· Spoke of the moral responsibility to work for peace in the post-colonial order
· Wished to utilise the range of skills, knowledge and intellectual strength present in parliament
· Identified the spiritual obligation to work for peace
· Saw the events of 11th September 2001 as a catalyst, redefining the urgency to tackle conflict resolution globally

Summary of comments from the floor:

Jeffrey Segal:
· Offered congratulations
· Stressed the need to work with the UN

Lord Hylton:
· Asked for clarity on exactly what was meant by conflict resolution
· Offered a model based on analysis of actual or potential conflicts, to bring about win/win solutions leading to self-sustaining peace

Clare Xavier:
· Would like to see more emphasis on preventative diplomacy, including research, within the formal education system
Eirwen Harbottle:
· The role of retired military personnel
· Security should be looked at in a holistic, spiritual way
· Young people must be informed about and engaged in the work of the UN, human rights, environmental protection, etc.

Rev. Marcus Braybrooke:
· Asked the question 'What is possible in parliament through an APPG ?' Suggested the answer was to create a culture of consultation before decision making, rather than responding in retrospect

Dave Alport:
· Reiterated importance of working with young people on peace issues, both within the mainstream school curriculum, but also with groups such as school non-attenders

Marigold Bentley:
· There are a range of conflict prevention and resolution programmes across the world
· The APPG should address economic development issues / work with the World Trade Organisation, etc.
· Made the point that Quakers always respond with alternative suggestions to governments when there is actual or threatened military intervention
· Asked why, in the wake of Sept. 11th, the option to use international law was not pursued ?

Moeen Yaseen:
· Justice a key word, alongside peace; where does justice 'fit in' to this APPG and how does this relate to other groups in parliament ?
· "I'm a pessimist - I fear things will get worse before they get better"
· Cited analysis of the clash of cultures by Professor Henderson
· Can't separate parliamentary nexus from the media; globally, people must be given access to the resources and tools to communicate fully

Abdul Rahim Aslami:
· Afghanistan is in a mess as the result of foreign interference
· 11th September had the effect of making the rest of the world take notice of what was going on there - before then nobody cared
· The UN and global powers must work to bring all parties together and the Security Council should guarantee no foreign interference
· 'The West' should learn the lessons of the past and put its money where its mouth is

Shapur Amini:
· The aim in Afghanistan must be to bring a fragmented country back together again, including election of a proper government to establish infrastructure
· Afghanistan is a place 'uncared for', where hope must be re-established

Mary Young:
· Education for social justice and global citizenship vital - classrooms reflect what goes on in the world
· Would like APPG to explore further involvement through education

Tony Klug:
· Described how his group, of Israelis and Palestinians, had had to meet clandestinely for many years
· The Israel / Palestine conflict 'doesn't belong to the 21st century' - all parties must commit to the twin principles of ong to the 21st century' - all parties must commit to the twin principles of resolving the situation - justice and security
· A Security Council resolution, making a clear, international statement about the need for two independent states, is needed

Lord David Hannay:
· Welcomes this input into the British parliament
· Focus should be on conflict prevention, whilst facing up to the fact that not everything can be pre-empted and that mechanisms for conflict resolution are also vital
· Agreed that settlement in Afghanistan must keep out 'meddling neighbours' and be binding on everyone concerned

Dame Veronica Surtherland
· Confirmed importance of both education and economics in conflict resolution and asked APPG to pay particular attention to the economic gap between rich and poor / the developed and developing world

Duncan Little:
· Reminded the meeting that there was to have been a conference at the UN, in September, for young people from all over the world - this will now take place next year and the APPG should take note of this

Diana Rhodes:
· Raised the issue of using the media to inspire people, rather than overload them with bad news or encourage apathy - the media could be the means by which grass-roots work for change becomes noticed by those 'above.'

Indra Adnan:
· Believed the media were starting to take a different stance
· Talked of conflict resolution and 'conflict transformation'
· Warned of the danger of creating too many losers in the search for justice

Paul Marsden, MP, joined the meeting at this point.

Paul Marsden:
· Had recently visited Afghani refugee camp in Pakistan
· Reported on the wish of Afghanis to find their own solutions and the general opposition of those he met to the bombing campaign
· Personally sees the campaign as an act of bullying; regrets failure to use the UN; 'The West' cannot keep taking unilateral action against others
· Imposing external solutions will not resolve conflict long-term
· Money and effort must go into health, education, etc., for developing nations, enabling them to work out their own political solutions

Both chairmen responded to the points raised thus far.

Thomas Daffern:
· The APPG was seeking the support of those present to forward the democratic process, within the seat of democracy in the UK
· The APPG should be a focus not just for debate but also for information on peace and conflict issues
· Was heartened by the knowledge that many of those present were taking action to bring about a more peaceful world

Lembit Opik:
· Summarised the main points so far and acknowledged the achievements of many of those present
· Reiterated the point made by Eirwen Harbottle - security is ethical and spiritual, as well as political and military
· Recognised that Afghanistan's problems resulted in large part from the failures of 'western' nations decades ago.
· Responded to Rev. Braybrooke's question by saying that it was easier to look tough than humanitarian, in parliament; the APPG could work to bring about an attitudinal change towards 'active non-violence'
· Mustn't duplicate work of other APPGs, but work with them
· Asked meeting to decide if APPG was worth it in principle and to start to define its remit, performance indicators and aims of future meetings

There were further contributions from the floor, including:

Eirwen Harbottle:
· Conflict resolution must include discussion with e.g. the DTI, not just MOD, etc. - Thomas Daffern replied that this why a parliamentary, as opposed to inter-ministry group, was so important

Saida Nusseibeh:
· Approved the idea of the APPG, as the 'voice of reason'

Julie Ashdown:
· Works within the UN dept. of the F.O., which administers a 'global conflict prevention fund'; would be happy to continue to support the APPG

Prince Mohsin Ali Khan:
· Supported the APPG
· Recommended 'moral consciousness' as the route forward, through the good efforts of all present
· Urged those involved in Afghanistan to forget racial and ethnic differences

Surjit Singh:
· Supported the APPG, which must embrace religion and culture and remember that these are part of the context for 'justice', not just politics - Lembit Opik concurred

Jackie Hoskins:
· Had worked with John Macdonald, MP and saw APPG as a 'portal for peace', alongside initiatives such as the report 'Working for Peace'

Michael Connarty, MP:
· Wanted room for secularism, justice and moral (as opposed to religious) values within the APPG
· Would wish to join APPG if it would look at conflict resolution in this spirit
· Asked if it was a group just for pacifists ? To which the emphatic answer from the chairmen was 'No'

Helen Jackson, MP:
· Reaffirmed importance of working with international bodies - UN, etc.
· APPG must inform government, not become an 'opposition'

Paul Marsden:
· In this issue, we should all be 'on the same side' - for peace
· The APPG could not just be a talking shop but an active forum for new ideas and information, with a broad membership and real gravitas

Lembit wound up the meeting with thanks to all and these proposals for future action:


· The APPG will be established
· The parliamentary members will formulate terms of reference and 'performance indicators'


· It will work with other APPGs to avoid duplication of effort
· The group will not be party political, nor 'peacenik' but a facilitator and focus for the energy and expertise of the participants
· It will be a learning process for all, assisting dialogue and impartiality

Mary Napper
November 2001

If you wish to attend, and perhaps to speak on a particular peace related topic, please send an SAE envelope, for an official invitation from Lembit Opik MP, host of the meetings, to:

All Party Peace and Ethics and Philosophy Parliamentary Group,

213 Ham Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 2QB

Telephone: 07500 238523 - Mobile: 07500 238523. Email: