Monday, 1 October 2012

Rotary is saying “Give Peace a Chance”

The Rotary theme for 2012-13 is “Peace through Service” – as advocated by Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka.

On 17 September 2012 the Harbourside club hosted a Peace forum lecture at the Auckland University to mark the significance of the theme and initiative. The key note speaker was Professor Kevin Clements Founding Chair of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies from Otago University. Kevin provided some great insights on his experience of conflict resolution, observations of the embroiled countries in the Middle East and how peace keeping troops are important in maintaining an element of calm. He ended with a quote from Martin Luther King which highlighted a poverty of spirit: Mankind needs to live with each other creatively and non violently.

In attendance was the Rotary District 9920 Governor Ron Seeto who acknowledged the influential studies and work that Professor Clement’s department were undertaking. The forum was attended by over forty Rotarians and younger Rotoract members who were keen to hear the professor’s views especially as New Zealand deploys troops in key areas like Afghanistan.

Each year Rotary promotes and funds World Peace Fellowships for Master’s level degree studies in international affairs, peace studies and conflict resolution in five countries worldwide including Sweden and Argentina.