Review: Housmans 2002 Peace Diary with World Peace Directory John Street

Reviewed by John Street

This is the 49th edition of this highly useful little publication, which retains its usual format. It begins with a short feature: last year it related to the start of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for Children; this year the feature is on using the World Wide Web by activists within the peace movement.

The diary section is a week to a view, running from Monday to Sunday. Each week has its own quote or campaigning note as an introduction and for every day (except January 6 and 26, March 9, June 8, August 19 and September 10) there is an anniversary; the anniversaries included have been changed since last year’s diary.

After the week to a view for 2002, there is a four page forward planner section for 2003. Unfortunately, the usefulness of this section is marred somewhat by what is presumably a printing error. In my copy at least, the abbreviations for Monday and Wednesday (Mon and Wed) had been split over two lines, so that the days of the week do not match up with the dates themselves.

The World Peace Directory (a subset of Housmans World Peace Database) gives contact details for almost 2000 organisations throughout the world working for peace and conflict resolution, the environment, and human rights. International organisations are listed first, and the remainder are listed by country, from Afghanistan (four organisations, addresses in Pakistan) and Albania to Zambia and Zimbabwe. The countries with the most organisations listed are Britain (9 pages) and the USA (6 pages). This year there are 66 pages devoted to the Peace Directory, 4 fewer than last year. The publishers claim that this directory is the most comprehensive and up-to-date of its kind published anywhere in the world.

The combined diary and world peace directory will be immensely useful to a wide range of activists, although I suspect that very few will make use of more than a few of its contact details. Its usefulness lies in the fact that they are there and they are comprehensive.