Straight talk about peace

Sanjeev Chowdhurry

Former Ambassadorial Scholar Sanjeev Chowdhury spoke at the 2012 Rotary World Peace Symposium. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska

By Sanjeev Chowdhury, former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and consul general of Canada, as told to RI staff writer Ryan Hyland

The biggest roadblock for achieving peace is the absence of understanding. The remedy for this is communication.

Communication is the key to world peace and the lack thereof will stall peace indefinitely. World leaders today aren’t bringing people together like they used to. The breakdown in dialogue has proven to harmful to peace negotiations worldwide.

When people aren’t talking, problems are inevitable.

I’ve found in diplomacy a five minute phone call to clear a small misunderstanding makes a world of difference. When I don’t make that effort to take the time to explain to a counterpart, a colleague, or staff member, I find that there is trouble.

When there is a disagreement, it’s important to be careful how you express it, whether it be in private or public. But the imperative is that you are being transparent in your thoughts. Always explain the pros and cons. Give recommendations and regardless of the decision, understand why it was made.

During this whole peace symposium I’ve been telling people that if someone takes the time to explain what is being done or why it’s being done, 99 percent of your problems or misunderstandings are gone.

Chowdhury was a speaker at the Rotary World Peace Symposium in Bangkok, Thailand, 3-5 May. Read more about the peace symposium and RI Convention. How has your club been working to promote peace?

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