The subject of Peace Studies is as intriguing as it is important:
Given the ubiquitous nature of national and international conflicts – and consequent attempts to resolve them – it is hardly surprising that Peace Studies has taken its place on the world stage. There is much to be understood, much to be done. But the ground is by no means saturated, the need to do more by no means met. The new Institute has an important role to play.
Politically, the Republic of Seychelles is a small island state that is a friend of other nations and a threat to none; its neutrality is a key consideration.
Socially, the country has an enviable record of ethnic harmony. It is widely regarded as a peaceful society. Where better to locate an international institute for peace studies?
Geographically, it is located in the Indian Ocean, just a few hours from the African continent and the Middle East, two regions where national and regional conflicts are too often in evidence.
Environmentally, Seychelles is a mecca for tourists who value the exceptional quality of its islands and turquoise seas. As a tranquil backcloth to negotiations on war and peace, it is hard to imagine a more conducive setting.
But there is another reason too why this is an ideal location. For many years, the first President of the Republic of Seychelles, Sir James Mancham forged links with a wide range of international organisations and he, himself, was a renowned spokesperson for peace and reconciliation.
For all these reasons, Seychelles lends itself to this innovative proposal to locate a permanent Institute for peace studies in the Indian Ocean.
Ms. Diana Benoit
Peace and Diplomacy Research Institute
P.O. Box 1348