Pulling together for Sustainable Common Security

Peter Langille, one of the Rideau Institute’s Senior Advisors, spoke recently at a conference with the intriguing title How to Save the World in a Hurry (30-31 May 2018, Toronto).  He brilliantly articulated the urgent need for a more comprehensive approach to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges and the case for “sustainable common security” as the means to pull together.  Here is his introduction with a link to the full text here and below.

Why are we here? Well, we share concerns over a number of issues and, yes, we recognize the need to share a more comprehensive approach.

But so far, it appears we also share a problem — we lack an organizing principle to pull people, civil society causes and progressive parties together.

We hear that there’s an interest in intersectional campaigns — in building bridges between those who care about disarmament, the environment, development, inequality and militarism. We see the links between our struggles and theirs and know or should know we can’t do much alone. We all need help and we’d have a better chance if we pulled together.

My talk today is about sustainable common security as a means to pull together. And, I’ll start with three leading questions:

First, might the umbrella concept of sustainable common security help as a unifying step toward a one world perspective, a global culture of peace and a movement of movements?  Possibly.

Second, does this umbrella cover most of our efforts to deal with critical global challenges and, would it encourage the key shifts necessary?  Probably.

Third, might this concept also help to challenge the national security narrative underpinning nuclear deterrence, constant preparation for war and our expensive war system?  Yes.

A concept is only a start. Obviously, there is no one conceptual cure-all. But just ask yourself, might this ideal appeal widely and build a wider bridge to cooperation and solidarity among progressive social movements; one that expands our base and potential to help with what’s ahead?

Sustainable common security might simply help us pull together on what matters.

For the full text in pdf format click here: Pull Together for Sustainable Common Security (Peter Langille, May 2018).

For a link to the website for the conference where Peter Langille’s paper was presented, click here: How to Save the World in a Hurry (30-31 May 2018, Toronto).

For an updated version of this concept, applied to Canadian defence and security priorities, click here: 2018 Update: A Shift to Sustainable Peace and Common Security (Rideau Institute and Group of 78 (editors)).

Photo credit: Wikimedia images.

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2 Responses to “Pulling together for Sustainable Common Security”

  1. DemetriosJune 9, 2018 at 11:46 am #

    Sustainable Common Security is and should be an issue of concern to all of us. There are many problems in this modern world, and it can be daunting at times. World militarism and the abuse/trashing of our environment are two of the most serious.

    Is war expensive? You bet. Costing untold suffering, many lives and destruction of habitats.
    Is war profitable? Most certainly. We witness this machination in corporate/government structure every day. Unfortunately our capitalist system thrives on it. Instead of stability, our capitalist structure is wrongly predicated on constant, unfettered growth, putting profits and war ahead of people.

    This is THE dilemma of our world today. Collectively we are hurting the planet and humanity, and these are the most serious issues that should be preoccupying the minds of those who can do something.

    Orgs like our Ceasefire community are helping, but there is much work to be done.

  2. Angus CunninghamJune 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

    Few will have any problem with the organizing principle Peter Langille proposes. Yet it needs fleshing out practically in ways that allow conversational practice to implement the person-to-person relationship principle of empathic honesty. This is no simple matter, but it can be learned via Non-Violent Communication coupled with Eye-Zen English, both of which can be researched on the Internet.