Johan Galtung Is Awarded Peace Prize in Nobel’s Spirit

TRANSCEND News, NOBEL LAUREATES, BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 4 Dec 2017

Jan Oberg | Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research – TRANSCEND Media Service

Photo credit: Alexander Harang

On 2 December 2017 Johan Galtung is awarded the alternative peace prize, The People’s Peace Prize In Accordance With Nobel’s Will.

Who is Johan Galtung

Born in Norway 87 years ago. The most innovative and productive figure in international peace and conflict research. Has taught at 50 universities around the world and received 50 honorary degrees and other prizes. Consultant to a series of international organisations, the UN in particular.

Author of about 160 books in fields such as peace and peace-making, security politics, violence, alternative defence, macro history, mathematics, peace journalism, future research, social science methodology, world order issues, economics and theory of science.

Has been a mediator and produced peace plans in around 100 conflicts – among them Palestine-Israel, the Middle East as a region, North and South Korea, Ecuador and Peru, former Yugoslavia, East and West.

Is the founder of Peace Research Institute, Oslo, PRIO, and the network and net university Transcend.

Still very active and operates globally, lives in Spain, Japan and the US. Married to Fumiko Nishimura.

The Prize

Has been created as a constructive alternative to the official Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo which, for years, has been awarded in defiance of Alfred Nobel’s will – however not this year when ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, will receive the prize on December 10.

The Prize is decided by and awarded by the Peace Movement of Orust, a small association at a small island on the West coast of Sweden – an organisation headed by two other pioneers of peace, Erni and Ola Friholt, who have also passed 80. This prize comes with no money but love and honour.

Background

The Friholts and the Orust movement have a life-long commitment and multi-dimensional work for non-violence, global development, women rights, art and poetry. They represent the finest aspects of the Nordic civil society and public education tradition and peace work.

They are also behind what can be characterised as the most important annual series of public lectures, in the Henån Cultural Centre, held by researchers, journalists and authors – always with a humanistic, globalist, critical and constructive perspective.

It’s dialogue, not confrontation, it’s deep and it’s broad. High on intellectualism and integrity, low in terms of populism, political correctness and sectarianism. Free thinking for open minds.

In short, the most important peace movement in the Nordic countries with a larger following in local society than anywhere else, a local-global movement in the spirit of Gandhi and with a straight line back to Galtung’s first book, with philosopher Arne Næss, Gandhis Politiske EtikkGandhi’s Political Ethics – from 1955.

Significance

None whatsoever – if we are to believe Swedish and international media – which of course we should not.

But quite significant in terms of substance – for research, peace, free opinion-formation and the Nordic civil society movement traditions (democracy) – and as constructive comment on today’s Swedish/American security and foreign policy which, beyond doubt, Alfred Nobel would have deplored.

That is – for the ethics of resistance and alternatives. For hope beyond the militarist world and its increasingly destructive thinking.

A Nobel-Gandhi prize which is also in line with the poetic words of another great Norwegian, Nordahl Grieg: “The shells fly as one belt. Stop their drift towards death, stop them with spirit! Surrounded by enemies, engage in your times.” (”Stilt går granaternas glidende bånd. Stans deres drift mot död, stans dem med ånd. Kringsatt av fiender, gå in i din tid.”)

The ceremony

Saturday the 2nd of December 2017 at the old Svanvik School at Stocken, Orust 10 AM. Lectures by Johan Galtung (just arriving from Washington) and Jan Oberg (about Galtung), lunch music, torchlight procession and then at 7 PM the Nobel Banquet with the awarding ceremony.

Arranged with the support of the Orust Municipality and Sensus Association for public education and culture.

Johan Galtung Park ‘por la Paz’ in Alfaz del Pi, Benidorm, Spain

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TFF Director Prof. Jan Oberg is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.

 

 

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