International Non-government Organizations: The Role of Global Civil Society

(This is section 53 of the World Beyond War white paper A Global Security System: An Alternative to War. Continue to preceding | following section.)


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In 1900 there were a handful of global civil institutions such as the International Postal Union and the Red Cross. In the century and some since, there has been an astonishing rise of international non-governmental organizations devoted to peacebuilding and peacekeeping. There are now thousands of these INGOs including such organizations as: the Nonviolent Peaceforce, Greenpeace, Servicio Paz y Justicia, Peace Brigades International, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Veterans for Peace, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Hague Appeal for Peace, the International Peace Bureau, Muslim Peacemaker Teams, Jewish Voice for Peace, Oxfam International, Doctors Without Borders, Pace e Bene, Ploughshares Fund, Apopo, Citizens for Global Solutions, Nukewatch, the Carter Center, the Conflict Resolution Center International, the Natural Step, Transition Towns, United Nations Association, Rotary International, Women’s Action for New Directions, and almost countless other smaller and less well known ones such as the Blue Mountain Project or the War Prevention Initiative.


The “Combatants for Peace” movement was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis.

A heartening example is the founding of Combatants for Peace:note50

The “Combatants for Peace” movement was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis, who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom. After brandishing weapons for so many years, and having seen one another only through weapon sights, we have decided to put down our guns, and to fight for peace.

These organizations knit the world together into a pattern of care and concern, opposing war and injustice, working for peace and justice and a sustainable economy.note51 They are recognized as a global force for good. Many are accredited to the United Nations. Aided by the World Wide Web, they are the proof of an emerging consciousness of planetary citizenship.

(Continue to preceding | following section.)

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50. The so-called Marshall Plan was a post World War II American economic initiative to help rebuild European economies. See more at: (return to main article)
51. (return to main article)

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