HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addresses former Nobel Peace laureates 12th Sep 2008
Says dialogues, mediators needed to end conflicts in the world
STAVANGER: World renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader and founder of the Art of Living His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday stressed upon the power of dialogue in resolving conflicts in the world.
Addressing the government-sponsored Point of Peace Summit, a meeting between former Nobel Peace Prize laureates and conflict solution experts, in Stavanger, Norway Sri Sri emphasised how effective mediation can bring warring parties to dialogue.
"There is a great need for dialogue and for creating mediators. The role of a mediator is vital and he needs to play the role of a catalyst without imposing himself," he said.
Addressing the highly-qualified audience of world renowned leaders of peace, Sri Sri elucidated how he and Art of Living work to reform violent tendencies and promote dialogues all over the world. Citing stress as the root cause of conflicts in the world, he emphasised the need for mechanisms for getting rid of stress. "Stress creates barriers in communication.
For any dialogue to happen a mediator is needed, and it is the skill of the mediator that makes successful dialogues," he said.
"There is always misinformation, rumours campaigns involved in a conflict. A mediator needs to listen and create hope in people. A proper understanding of the situation on the part of the mediator is crucial for preventing the situation getting escalated," he added.
"Most conflicts are based on identity crisis. We have forgotten that first and foremost, we are all human beings; then other identifications such as religion, nationality and gender follow. If people get stuck with their limited identity, they are ready to die for it. We need to move beyond our narrow identities to overcome fear, mistrust and conflict in the post 9/11 scenario," he said.
"To curb terrorism in the long-run, children must be provided a multicultural and multi-faith education," added.
The three-day Summit is held as part of Stavanger's nomination as the 'European Capital of Culture in 2008'. A large number of Nobel Peace Prize laureates gathered to exchange ideas and Sri Sri was invited to deliver an address on the topic 'The Power of Dialogue -9/11 and Then What?'. Also joining him on the panel were former President of South Korea Kim Dae-Jung, former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik and several other intellectuals.