Peace-building is the action taken to identity and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace so as to avert a relapse into conflict.
It includes fostering nonviolent behaviour among nations, specifically but not exclusively as peace proclaimed by international treaties. In the broadest sense, creating nonviolent, non-aggressive, non-competitive global conditions of the relations between man and man, and man and nature.
The United Nations has elaborated an Agenda for Peace whose main goal is that of building a culture of peace. Volunteers with Peace Brigades International are not just citizen diplomats; they put their lives and lifestyles on the line and live with endangered people. Their most active work has been in Guatemala, where it is claimed that just by being there they have prevented violence and forwarded the cause of justice.
In 1993, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the Action Programme for the promotion of a Culture of Peace, stressing its linkage to a culture of human rights and democracy. This culture entails the transformation of violent competition into working cooperatively for shared goals. It consists of attitudes, behaviours and ways of life based on non-violence, respect for human rights, intercultural understanding. tolerance and solidarity, the free flow of information, and the full participation and empowerment of women.
SERVAS International is a a cooperative travel scheme hosted in individual homes and 'open doors'. It seeks to build world peace, goodwill and understanding by providing opportunities for personal contacts with people of other cultures and backgrounds; provide educational travel by enabling people to share home hospitality, discussions and exchange of ideas in homes around the world.
The White Poppy is a symbol of peace, originally chosen in 1933 by the UK Women's Cooperative Guild to proclaim that peace is something we can all work together to achieve. It is worn on 11 November to honour the war dead and those millions who suffer from the devastation of war by working for peace.
His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi proclaimed in 2003 that is now possible to establish a permanent group of 16,000 peace-creating experts in India. Their collective practice of Vedic technologies of consciousness will create coherent world consciousness and lay the foundation for harmony in the family of nations. The full scale of Maharishi's programme to create permanent world peace calls for a group of 40,000 peace-creating experts practising Maharishi's transcendental meditation and yogic flying in India and additional groups of 8,000 experts in every other continent. Maharishi's plan also calls for the establishment of 3,000 peace palaces in the world's largest 3,000 cities, each of which will be home to groups of 10.
If peace is to thrive, it must be creative. It must be constructed (and provided with the necessary resources) on the bases of respect for fundamental rights of women and men, the free self-determination of peoples, the welfare of individuals and the development of societies in a spirit of solidarity. It is in this way that world interdependence will be fashioned.