There are many kinds of contradictions in our 21st century life. Industrialization and urbanization have brought with them an expansion of economic disparities, conflicts between economic rights and the overexploitation of natural resources, and environmental destruction. This has resulted in many conflicts and the escalation of ethnic conflicts. In addition, the damage from natural disasters has increased.
Since our establishment in 1973, our goal at the Pacific Asia Resource Center has been to forge equal relationships with people in the Third World. To achieve co-existence with people in developing countries, we have been practicing a range of activities.
In the late 1990s, we began to explore ways to carry out concrete projects in the field of interpeoples’ cooperation. Our first efforts in this area involved environment conservation and organizing residents network in a river basin area in Thailand. In 1999, we started working in Timor-Leste, which was afflicted by violence from the Indonesian military and local militias. In Sri Lanka, following a ceasefire agreement, we launched a project to assist fishermen who live in the ethnic minority area in the north. This aim was developed based on the past experience of PARC and an exploration of how we should live.
Our newly established organization, PARCIC (PARC Interpeoples’ Cooperation), aims to provide direct assistance across borders. We hope to develop interpeoples’ relationships as fellow human beings. Although we understand the role of sovereign countries and international organization as a union of sovereign countries, we focus on building direct, equal, and inter-human relationship with people in developing countries.
In fact, people like to be involved in working with people of different regions. Meaningful methods, formulated from multiple points of view, and multilateral approaches can lead to the creation of new types of actors. Young and old local residents, as new actors, can make their own decisions. This can bring a good life to the people.
There are multitudes of ways to create a world that can bring a good life to people. As they are based on different conditions, different cases require different solutions. Struggles in human society involve solving problematic issues and interactions. Solving problems requires the pursuit of solution with a dedicated mind. We will work based on fact-based research and look for practical solutions.
Conflict always brings with it violence and abuse. As shown by the beginning of the Pax Romana, it was widely believed that world peace could be achieved by military force because conflict and war always entail the use of military force. However, Parcic never accepts the use of violence and arms. Our aim is always to solve conflict in non-violent ways. We are willing to travel ourselves to conflict areas if needed. In addition, in such a situation we believe it is essential to properly research the historical and social backgrounds to find concrete solutions even though the problem may have its own particularities. The methods are interaction, communication, and commerce, which are totally opposite to the way of armed conflict.
Our efforts stress direct interaction and commerce. The basis of value as we see it is human communication and trust rather than the market price for production, distribution and consumption. Through interactions, we help each other and deepen our understanding of each other by communication to the greatest extent possible. We carry out commerce through fair trade to bring modest profits to the people involved. We believe that this is the way to resolve difficulties that can lead to ethnic and regional conflict
The liberalization of land sales contracts, international migration of cheap labor, and the globalization of financial markets threaten people’s lives and livelihoods. Our aim is to change the trend from ‘violence and conflict’ to ‘equal commerce and cooperation.’