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Peace and Non-Violence Commission Bill 2007 [2008]

Part 2 Establishment of Peace and Non-Violence Commission

6   Establishment of Peace and Non-Violence Commission

                   The Peace and Non-Violence Commission (the PNVC ) is established by this section.

7   Mission of PNVC

                   The mission of the PNVC is to:

                     (a)  endeavour to promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights;

                     (b)  strengthen non-military means of peacemaking;

                     (c)  promote the development of human potential;

                     (d)  work to create peace, prevent violence, divert from armed conflict and develop new structures for the resolution of disputes by non-violent means;

                     (e)  take a proactive, strategic approach in the development of policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, non-violent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict and structured mediation of conflict;

                      (f)  address matters both domestic and international in scope;

                     (g)  encourage the development of initiatives from local communities, religious groups and nongovernmental organisations for the promotion of peace.

8   Functions and responsibilities of PNVC

             (1)  The PNVC must:

                     (a)  work proactively and interactively with all departments and agencies of the Commonwealth Government on all policy matters relating to conditions of peace; and

                     (b)  call on the intellectual and spiritual wealth of the people of Australia and seek participation in its administration and in its development of policy from private, public and nongovernmental organisations; and

                     (c)  monitor and analyse causative principles of conflict and make policy recommendations for developing and maintaining peaceful conduct.

             (2)  The PNVC must also:

                     (a)  develop policies that address domestic violence, including spousal abuse, child abuse and mistreatment of the elderly; and

                     (b)  create new policies and incorporate existing programs that reduce drug and alcohol abuse; and

                     (c)  develop new policies and incorporate existing policies regarding crime, punishment and rehabilitation; and

                     (d)  develop policies to address violence against animals; and

                     (e)  analyse existing policies, employ successful field-tested programs and develop new approaches for dealing with the implements of violence, including gun-related violence; and

                      (f)  develop new programs that relate to the challenges in society of school violence, gangs, racial and ethnic violence, violence against gays and lesbians, and police-community relations disputes; and

                     (g)  make policy recommendations to the Attorney-General regarding civil rights and to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations regarding labour law; and

                     (h)  assist in the establishment and funding of community-based violence prevention programs, including violence prevention counselling and peer mediation in schools; and

                      (i)  counsel and advocate on behalf of women victimised by violence; and

                      (j)  provide for public education programs and counselling strategies concerning hate crimes; and

                     (k)  promote racial, religious and ethnic tolerance; and

                      (l)  promote local community initiatives that can draw on neighbourhood resources to create peace projects that facilitate the development of conflict resolution at a national level and thereby inform and inspire national policy.

             (3)  The PNVC must also:

                     (a)  advise the Ministers for Defence and Foreign Affairs on all matters relating to national security, including the protection of human rights and the prevention of, amelioration of and de-escalation of unarmed and armed international conflict; and

                     (b)  provide ethical-based and value-based analyses to the Department of Defence; and

                     (c)  undertake the task of forecasting comparative costs of violent and non-violent solutions as a basis for advice; and

                     (d)  provide for the training of all civilian Australian personnel who administer post-conflict reconstruction and demobilisation in war-torn societies; and

                     (e)  sponsor country and regional conflict prevention and dispute resolution initiatives, create special task forces and draw on local, regional, and national expertise to develop plans and programs for addressing the root sources of conflict in troubled areas; and

                      (f)  provide for exchanges between Australia and other nations of individuals who endeavour to develop domestic and international peace-based initiatives; and

                     (g)  encourage the development of international sister city programs, pairing Australian cities with cities around the world for artistic, cultural, economic, educational and faith-based exchanges; and

                     (h)  administer the training of civilian peacekeepers who participate in multinational non-violent police forces and support civilian police who participate in peacekeeping; and

                      (i)  jointly with the Departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs, strengthen peace enforcement through hiring and training monitors and investigators to help with the enforcement of international arms embargoes;

                      (j)  facilitate the development of peace summits at which parties to a conflict may gather under safe and neutral conditions to promote non-violent communication and mutually beneficial solutions; and

                     (k)  submit to the Prime Minister recommendations for reductions in weapons of mass destruction, and make annual reports to the Prime Minister on the sale of arms and munitions from Australia to other nations, with analysis of the impact of such sales on the defence of Australia and how such sales affect peace; and

                      (l)  in consultation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, develop strategies for sustainability and management of the distribution of international funds; and

                    (m)  advise the Australian Ambassador to the United Nations on matters relating to the United Nations Security Council.

             (4)  In advising the Ministers for Defence and Foreign Affairs in accordance with paragraph (3)(a), the PNVC may also advise on Australia’s obligations, responsibilities and negotiations in relation to treaties, international agreements and matters relating to the following subjects:

                     (a)  atmosphere and outer space;

                     (b)  defence and security;

                     (c)  diplomatic and consular relations;

                     (d)  human rights;

                     (e)  international cooperation;

                      (f)  international law;

                     (g)  maritime law and law of the sea;

                     (h)  war and peace.

             (5)  If the Minister of Defence or the Minister for Foreign Affairs is conducting negotiations or deliberations relating to treaties, international agreements or matters listed in subsection (4), a representative of the PNVC must be invited to attend and participate in those negotiations or deliberations.

             (6)  The PNVC must also consider and offer non-violent conflict resolution strategies to all relevant parties on issues of human security if such security is threatened by conflict, whether such conflict is geographic, religious, ethnic, racial or class-based in its origin, derives from economic concerns (including trade or mal-distribution of wealth) or is initiated through disputes concerning scarcity of natural resources (such as water and energy resources), food, trade or environmental concerns.

             (7)  The PNVC must also:

                     (a)  seek assistance in the design and implementation of non-violent policies from media professionals; and

                     (b)  study the role of the media in the escalation and de-escalation of conflict at domestic and international levels and make findings public; and

                     (c)  make recommendations to professional media organisations in order to provide opportunities to increase media awareness of peace-building initiatives.

             (8)  The PNVC must also:

                     (a)  develop a peace education curriculum, which is to include studies of:

                              (i)  the civil rights movement throughout the world, with special emphasis on how individual endeavour and involvement have contributed to advancements in peace and justice; and

                             (ii)  peace agreements and circumstances in which peaceful intervention has worked to stop conflict; and

                     (b)  in cooperation with the Department of Education, Science and Training:

                              (i)  commission the development of such curricula and make such curricula available to schools to enable the utilisation of peace education objectives at all primary and secondary schools in Australia; and

                             (ii)  offer incentives in the form of grants and training to encourage the development of State and Territory peace curricula and assist schools in applying such curricula; and

                     (c)  work with educators to equip students to become skilled in achieving peace through reflection and facilitate instruction in the ways of peaceful conflict resolution; and

                     (d)  maintain a site on the Internet for the purposes of soliciting and receiving ideas for the development of peace from the wealth of political, social and cultural diversity; and

                     (e)  proactively engage the critical thinking capabilities of primary, secondary and university students and teachers through the Internet and other media and issue periodic reports concerning submissions; and

                      (f)  create and establish a Peace Institute, which will provide an accredited course of instruction in peace education, after which graduates may elect to serve in public service in programs dedicated to domestic or international non-violent conflict resolution; and

(g)provide grants for peace studies departments in universities throughout Australia.