Expanding Rotarian’s role as peacebuilders Message from the Foundation Chair - October 2017


What do we mean when we talk about peace?

In 1921, the fourth object of Rotary was established: “The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.”

In Rotary today, we see peace not as an abstract concept but as a living, dynamic expression of human development, integral to our humanitarian mission.

Much of our work for peacebuilding depends on the ability of Rotary members to execute three important activities: forming transformative partnerships, raising funds to support our many hundreds of projects, and recruiting and supporting Rotary Peace Fellows in their work.

This year The Rotary Foundation formed a strategic partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace, one of the leading organisations in identifying and measuring the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.

Through this partnership, Rotary will work with the institute to create an online learning portal for Rotarians and peace fellows to build on their current expertise, apply new methods and mobilise communities to address the issues’ underlying conflicts. Our goal is to foster community-based projects in peace and conflict resolution that are practical and impactful.

Rotary has also launched a Rotary Peace Centres Major Gifts Initiative to raise funds for new partnerships while continuing to garner contributions to educate and support our peace fellows and more.

President Ian H S Riseley’s six peacebuilding conferences — taking place globally from February to June — will explore the relationship among peace, Rotary’s areas of focus and environmental sustainability. Our history proves that you don’t need to be a diplomat to make peace.

When you mentor a student struggling to graduate, you are a peacebuilder.

When you launch any project to support economic development in your community, you are building conditions for sustainable peace and conflict management.

When you support and collaborate with a Rotary Peace Fellow, you are advancing peace.

Today’s complex conflicts require more creative community-based initiatives. Together we can really make a difference.


Paul A Netzel
Foundation Trustee Chair

How do you define peace?
Send me your thoughts at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Message Us