Around 100 distinguished decision makers, city administrators, academics and students discussed on November 23rd in Bahir Dar perspectives on positive peace for Ethiopia.

 

Prof. Dr. Werner Wintersteiner (emer.) from the Center for Peace Research and Peace Education, University of Klagenfurth (Austria) provided the audience with an inspiring lecture on how diverse societies can find their way to develop a culture of peace, based on mutual respect and equality between human beings, skilled with advanced knowledge on conflict resolution and a shared understanding of challenges outside the societies’ own eco-system. Without being an expert on the Ethiopian case, he then stated that, as general principle, much more mutual learning and systematic education for positive peace is needed. One should focus on what holds a society together rather than cultivating how different people might be.

In the light of the contemporary Ethiopian situation, the following discussion elaborated on the responsibility of the political leadership to formulate a clear vision based on mutual tolerance and understanding. In his conclusion, Prof. Wintersteiner called for the important role of everyone for positive peace by reminding that “You everyone must be the change you want to see in the world”.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is looking forward to future public lectures, again co-organized with Bahir Dar University.