The International Center for Peace and Development carries on research in the fields of development, education, employment, peace and security and works in collaboration with other organizations to promote activities that will advance progress toward world peace and prosperity. ICPD was established as a non-profit, non-governmental organization in 1997 to continue the work initiated by the International Commission on Peace and Food (ICPF). The Commission was constituted in 1989 by a group of 25 concerned scientists, professionals, international administrators, business, social and political leaders from 15 nations to promote global peace and development in the post-Cold War world. Over a six year period ICPF conducted a series of international conferences and research projects on a wide range of issues concerning global security, conversion of resources from military to civilian purposes, food security, employment, economic development, and the environment. Our work focused on the development problems of poorer countries such as India, the challenges of rapid transition in Eastern Europe, particularly in the nations of the former Soviet Union, and the prospects and opportunities for peaceful development in the Middle East. In addition we devoted considerable effort to studying and evolving proposals to address concerns about rising unemployment in the West. The general findings and recommendations of the Commission are summarized in a report entitled Uncommon Opportunities: Agenda for Peace and Equitable Development (Zed Books 1994), which was presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations for formal consideration by member countries.
From the outset, the objective the Commission was to evolve practical strategies that could be implemented at the field level to demonstrate the feasibility of accelerating the development process. The most noteworthy of these efforts was a study we conducted on employment potentials in India in which we formulated a strategy for generating 100 million new jobs in the country within 10 years. Another study was conducted on the utilization of military resources for environmental protection.
After submission of the report to the UN, the Commission members decided that the next stage of work should focus on implementation, rather than further research. The International Center was established to carry on the work of the Commission.
ICPD supports an on-going research program conducted by MSS Research, the social science research division of The Mother’s Service Society (MSS), Pondicherry, India. The research papers hosted on this siteare based on research undertaken by MSS and prepared by staff of MSS. For a complete list of research papers, please see www.mssresearch.org.
Robert van Harten, is a Senior Research Fellow at The Mother's Service Society. He was a founding member of the International Commission on Peace and Food and major contributor to the Commission’s work on peace and disarmament issues. He is also a Fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science and member of its Academy's Standing Committee on Peace & Development. Earlier he worked for five years on economic development projects in India. He is also actively working on the application of Effective Microorganisms in agriculture and environmental clean-up in Europe and India. He is also an entrepreneur and founder of Mira International, Netherlands.
Harlan Cleveland, chairman of ICPD from 2000-2008, distinguished international diplomat, educator and author, passed away on May 30, 2008. Read press releases on Professor Cleveland's accomplishments in the Star Tribune and Washington Post.
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