Today, many different organizations promote world peace in various ways. Most world peace organizations work in the area of research, education and/or advocacy. However, as elaborated below, some organizations take a different approach. For example, music proves to be a popular tool for supporting world peace. Musicians without Borders, Musician Peace Corps or Harmony for Peace Foundation all use music to create a better and more peaceful world. Apart from music, religions, international artists and leaders have also contributed to the rise of world peace organizations.
Religion & Spirituality
The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the “Quakers”, is one of the oldest movements advocating nonviolence and world peace. Starting in the 17th century in Great Britain, the group has expanded significantly and Quaker organizations can now be found in almost every part of the world. Over the years, Quakers have played an important role in the abolition of slavery, women’s rights and world peace.
The World Prayer Society approaches religion for peace from a different angle. The organization’s most illustrious activity is their yearly Flag Ceremony at the United Nations General Assembly. During the ceremony, each UN Member State is honored by raising its flag and offering it a prayer for peace.
Artists & Famous People
Numerous famous actors and artists are participating in promotions and campaigns for world peace. One of the organizations linking international artists and bands such as Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Matthews, The Counting Crows and Nelly Furtado together is WP1 (World Peace One), a grassroots and institutional world movement that strives for unity, nonviolence and world peace. The organization is mainly famous for its global super concerts, “Performers for Peace.”
Apart from the many artists singing for world peace, various leading figures in the field of international relations have started their own peace organization or have inspired the creation of a new peace organization. For example, the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change is dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King. Likewise, the M.K. Gandhi Institute is named after the legacy of nonviolent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi. Some world leaders even have more than one world peace organization. Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s work has led to the founding of at least four different peace organizations. The Tutu Foundation UK and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation are based on Tutu’s teachings on peace and reconciliation. The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies brings together academics who work on issues related to peace and conflict in order to strengthen the link between theory and practice. In addition, Desmond Tutu himself founded the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, together with his wife Leah.
Some world peace organizations are more difficult to categorize. A small but fascinating category concerns organizations that view food as an essential ingredient for peace, this category will be explored further in a forthcoming essay. For now, one example: The World Peace Diet stresses the importance of food and vegan values. According to the organization, a more enlightened and peaceful society can be achieved by structural changes in diet. Similarly, the Massage for Peace Company emphasizes how touch is essential to life and well-being, stating that “if everybody had a massage, there would be no war”.