Peace is much more than the absence of violence. It is also associated with several other desirable societal characteristics in our constant yearn to attain that state of being.
Developing and sustaining peace inevitably also requires an understanding of the root causes of conflict. The European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) researches the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin and sustain peaceful societies. Simultaneously, through meticulous analysis of economic, social, political and environmental factors we seek to identify the contributing factors that give birth to, sustain and exacerbate conflicts. EFSAS effectively uses tools of research and dialogue to provide innovative strategies to overcome adversity and conflict, and to build lasting peace in South Asia.
EFSAS defines peace as follows:
A society that is safe, without fear or threat of violence, in which no form of violence is tolerated in law or in practice. Everyone is equal before a law that protects the rights of each individual, all of whom are able to participate in shaping political decisions. The government is accountable to the people, everyone has an equal opportunity to work and make a living, regardless of gender, ethnicity religion or any other aspect of identity. Importantly, everyone has access to basic needs – food, clean water, shelter, education, healthcare and a decent living environment.
Our ultimate aim is to facilitate the evolution of such societies in South Asia. Our endeavour is to usher in an atmosphere that promotes long-term, positive change within the constituent countries of the region and their people. For this to be achieved, the primary challenge of conflict resolution, without any doubt, needs to be tackled head-on first.