Prof. Dr Fadi Daou, executive director of Geneva-based Globethics, spoke about peacebuilding and citizenship at the 5-14 July Emerging Peacemakers Forum held at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva.
At the forum, 50 young people from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, the youngest being 20, are taking in the event hosted by the WCC, Muslim Council of Elders, and Rose Castle Foundation, just outside Geneva, Switzerland.
A participant from the United Kingdom asked what the process of healing wounds of the past in societies like Britain and France could look like in practice.
Daou quoted the man who led South Africa from the era of the racist ideology of apartheid to an open society, repeating Mandela's words, "If you want to build peace, you need to transform your enemy into a partner,” and described those words as "the motto of my life and engagement."
That was why he had spoken about "inclusive citizenship.”
"Inclusive citizenship is the answer to a fake model of citizenship, which is a nationalistic citizenship," said Daou noting that nationalistic citizenship was a good model for nation-building in 19th century Europe and earlier, but not any longer.
In his opening remarks, Daou said he lives in Switzerland.
Lebanon civil war
"So I lived throughout the whole civil war (in Lebanon). And I worked for peace and Lebanon in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and many other countries in the region and engaged in global peace, dialogue, and negotiations.
"And if I want to put my conclusion in one word about peacebuilding, I would say, though, this is something we can't take for granted."
Daou cited one common denominator across societies, countries, and conflicts:
"We can't have peace without inclusive citizenship and inclusion, and it should be inclusive of everybody. You can't have these if you exclude any part of the society, minority, majority, or whatever," said the ethics foundation leader.
"Citizenship means for me not just having a passport and an ID. Citizenship means participation."
Daou said all aspects must be considered to contribute to bridge building, such as belongings, beliefs, religions, culture, ethnicities, languages—all types of adversities, "and living together building in successful societies."
"There is one common denominator across societies and countries and conflicts, and that is that we can't have peace without inclusive citizenship, and it should be inclusive of everybody.”