The Centre for Escalation of Peace (“CEP”) takes the view that peace is not just the absence of war. Peace cannot be taken for granted; constant effort is required to enhance it as an anchor in a sea of rapid and far-reaching strategic and socio-economic change. As such, peace must not merely be sustained, but escalated through various strategies & tactics akin to the pursuit of victory during war.
With that in mind, the CEP has continuously sought to create platforms and establish programs that encourage the free exchange of ideas across borders, with a distinct focus on empowering young minds. Its dialogues & activities revolve around three ‘pillars of calmness’, namely (i) Youth and Education; (ii) Trade & Sustainable Development; and (iii) Society & Culture.
Over the past five years, CEP has been convening various activities as a part of The Thimphu Seminars, which is the name of its engagement with Bhutan. Its ongoing India-Bhutan Dialogue (Track 1.5/2) is held every six months at a bilateral level and there is continued scope for such platforms being established with other countries in the future.
CEP has also played an advisory role with the International Summer School, New Delhi. The ISS is an independent, six-week undergraduate programme that takes place under the banner of the Government’s Incredible India campaign and with support from the Ministry of External Affairs. Its purpose is to promote international goodwill & cultural understanding at the level of young minds as they learn about India and its role in the twenty first century.
In January 2016, the CEP coordinated a two-week SOLA-VVS Immersion Programme for Afghan Girls in New Delhi in partnership with the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) and the Vasant Valley School (VVS), India.
During the month of June 2016, CEP organised the first South Asian Conference on Guru Padmasambhava in Paro, Bhutan, to celebrate the birth anniversary of this eighth century, Indian Buddhist saint who is revered across the region.
The India-Bhutan Cultural Exchange and Art Camp, which is a unique platform for artists of both countries to exchange ideas during artistic collaboration, took place for the first time in 2016/17 with participation from leading artists from both countries and the support of the India-Bhutan Foundation.
In March 2017, the CEP launched the Asia-Pacific Schools Initiative - a platform comprising of multiple annual programmes targeted at both school students & teachers that collectively aim at creating a network of future leaders for the region, developing and nurturing in each one of them the capacity to exercise “Leadership through Serene Strength”.
The CEP will soon host a Retreat on Educational Philosophy in Paro, Bhutan, with participation from ten eminent persons who will share ideas that can be used to guide adults in the teaching profession -- many of whom may be young adults that have recently entered the profession -- in their efforts to support their own students, i.e. emerging adults, in developing & actualising their leadership potential.