International Mediation

The Dalai Lama on Conflict

October 14, 2012

imgres“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”

“We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others. We cannot destroy our neighbors! We cannot ignore their interests! Doing so would ultimately cause us to suffer. I therefore think that the concept of violence is now unsuitable. Nonviolence is the appropriate method.”


Do the principles behind mediation apply to disputes between political groups, and even between nations? Kenneth Cloke, mediator and author, believes the answer is yes. In fact, given the myriad social, environmental, economic and political crises we face around the world, Cloke believes that it is imperative that we apply conflict resolution concepts to these crucially important issues of the day. In Conflict Revolution — Mediating Evil, War Injustice and Terrorism, Cloke argues that all conflicts, whether between individuals, communities, organizations or nation states, have common elements and characteristics, and that techniques that are effective for resolving disputes at one level can be adapted and altered for use at another level. Specifically, he urges that “it is impossible to fully comprehend conflict…without becoming aware of the subtle social, economic, and political influences that shape the ways we respond to it. Our challenge, therefore, is to connect the microscopic quantum level lessons we derive from resolving interpersonal conflicts with the macroscopic relativistic level lessons we derive from understanding social, economic, and political conflicts.” In doing so, Cloke’s hope, and urgent message is that mediators become global citizens who will work towards re-designing social political and economic systems from a conflict resolution point of view — a powerful message mediators should consider. To learn more about Cloke’s ideas go to