Réseau de militaires équatoriens pour la paix
The evolution of exchanges between soldiers and civil society
The role of soldiers in building social relations, at the national as well as the international level, is in the process of evolving in an important manner. Soldiers are no longer perceived as agents of violence or as lords of war. Currently, we more easily recognize their essential role in maintaining peace as well as in the fight against irrational, blind violence that can be implemented by fanatics of any cause.
This evolution is taking place from within the soldiers themselves. The military world is rediscovering its strong links with political power, with intellectual elites, the media, civil society, the defenders of human rights, artisans of peace… Here and there peace initiatives are emerging with military presence, with some instances where the military is at the origin of these initiatives for peace. The interaction between the armed forces and civil society enriches both factions, giving way to new and interesting dynamics.
The Meeting of Soldiers for Peace, Chile 2005
At the end of 2005, a meeting of soldiers for peace took place in Chile. Chilean, Filipina, Columbian, French, and Indian soldiers met to tackle together their role in building peace. Many topics were discussed : the emergence of a global civil society, democracy, respect for Human rights, international security, et cetera.
They decided to continue to meet while opening themselves up to other military initiatives for peace.
A first group for an alliance of soldiers for peace was set into action.
Ecuadorian Soldiers for Peace
An early network of Ecuadorian soldiers, engaged for years in building democracy and peace in their country, wanted to start participating in the Irenees initiative. You will find, in the dossier that they are in the process of elaborating, their experiences, viewpoints, difficulties, ethical questioning of the responsibility of soldiers in building peace.