Basic Facts About Conflict
How to live together in a world of differences is one of the most critical challenges facing us today. So much depends on our ability to handle our conflicts peacefully - our happiness at home, our performance at work, the livability of our communities, even our very survival.
Positive Efforts to Deal with Conflict Constructively
When you look at the current strife-ridden state of the world, an understandable response is to feel frustrated, if not hopeless. Although violent behavior is much too prevalent, our fundamental view is that the world is evolving in positive directions. One hopeful sign is that the whole field of conflict resolution has grown rapidly over the past 20 to 30 years. We've made tremendous progress in our understanding of how to deal with conflict constructively, and that momentum is growing.
The United Nations and other multilateral organizations have helped parties in conflict avert the use of force; and, facilitate ceasefires, negotiations, and settlements.
255 worldwide conflicts were resolved by some form of mediation between 1945-1974 alone.
Civil negotiation and formal mediation brought many civil wars to an end, including in El Salvador, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, and South Africa.
Within the USA
In 2005, 91% of public schools had peer mediation programs that taught methods of violence prevention, either through student-to-student or adult-to-student programs. 80% of the student mediators agreed that the mediation process helped them to understand people with different views, thus leading to a decrease in conflict.
There are over 550 community mediation centers in the U.S. compared to only 150 ten years ago. Community mediation centers have over 19,500 volunteers nation-wide who have trained 76,000 citizens on how to deal with conflict and foster cooperation. This has allowed the number of disputes/cases mediated on an annual basis to grow to over 45,000!
Mediation is becoming more and more an accepted option to litigation. 82% of Americans would rather go to a mediator than go to court. For instance, in divorce/custody disputes, mediators work with the families in order to solve the problem quickly and successfully.
More and more people are becoming determined to be part of the solution. Although it often seems that our world is becoming increasingly polarized, there is a groundswell of enthusiasm and commitment for working toward peace around the world.
>> Sources of Statistics