The ‘Peace & Stability Industry’ is a sector which deals with the enhancement of peace for social and economic development. One such player in this industry is the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA). The International Peace Operations Association comprises of thirty-eight private military companies which make up the ‘Peace & Stability Industry.' The Peace & Stability association came to be in April 2001, with a membership of six companies at the time. The company’s membership has come to grow over time with the increase of the United States invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Private military companies have come on board to benefit from the legitimacy that this association gives to its members’ operations.
The ideals which the organization bases its operations on include respect for human rights, transparency in dealings, corporate accountability as well as ethics. Though these rules are not enforceable, member companies are expected to follow them. The association aims at promoting high standards in the fields of operation and ethics within its member firms. The member companies in the organization take part in fostering peace and stability in the areas in which they deploy their private contractors. IPOA also seeks to do away with the notion that its members are profiting from wars but instead aims to spread the message that all they are out to do is to enhance peace where there is war. With the formation of IPOA, war-stricken areas have the chance to benefit from more peace envoys.
The existence of peace in a county enables its resources to get exploited, thus leading to social and economic development. Without such progress, its citizens would get left without means of acquiring their basic needs and would turn to the government for help. Such dependence can be overwhelming to a state and can lead to the stalling of the economic development of a country. As such, international companies can play their part in the nation to enable it to prosper both socially and economically. A weak economy breeds grounds for problems such as theft, ethnic wars, and terrorism. International companies can make use of various initiatives to help them foster peace within the country in which they operate.
Marketing is a handy tool that can come in handy when spreading messages of love and peace. Take Coke Small World’s videos for example. In a bid to bring together people from Pakistan and India, Coke used vending machines that got fitted with live feeds in both countries. In this way, when one person from one country used the device, they could see someone from the other country that was also using such a machine. This video inspired people from the two countries to come together in unity of a product that they love. Such marketing techniques get used in the bringing together of people of differing opinions. The message spread is that though we are different in one way or another, at the end of the day, we are still human beings with love for a shared product. Earlier in the year, Pepsi launched a video marketing peace to the people in the United States. Though the video did not take off as well as they had expected, the message was clear; putting an end to the violence that had gripped the country at the time. There are many things that the world shares in common. Betting companies bring people together in support of teams from across the world. Even casino games such as Blackjack bring people of different cultures together and lead to unity in a country.
Sometimes, conflict comes about because people do not take the time to understand each other’s cultures and beliefs. Ignorance of each other’s culture creates a rift which can lead different parties to war. Companies such as BMW have taken it upon themselves to make sure that cultural differences do not get in the way of economic development. What they do is that they encourage dialogue across people from different cultures at the workplace. This conversation is an integral part of their daily operations. Making people interact gives them a chance to see that their differences are not meaningful and they have much more in common than in what they differ. BMW goes a step further in bringing different cultures together by offering various awards to its employees. By working together with UN Alliance of Civilizations, BMW provides annual honors to multiple organizations which follow in its footsteps of cultural integration. The awards go to groups which advocate for peace, understanding of different faiths as well as the acceptance of varying cultures. A tour company in the Middle East is one such recipient of the inter-cultural understanding award. The company comes up with great ideas to get used in the building of bridges in the Holy Lands, bringing Muslims and Jews together for tourism purposes. In this way, development takes place alongside the acceptance of other faiths.
Everyone wants to make money in business, and this is only possible in a peaceful environment. As such, international companies can make the situation neutral to allow people of different religions and cultures to come in and contribute to the growth of the economy. In Nigeria, the Yola Innovation Machine that operates from Adamawa has put in efforts to fight extremism in the region. Attacks by terrorist groups threaten to reduce the economic productivity of the area, and the company has put in measures to prevent this from happening. Companies and entrepreneurs in the area get support from this group regarding education, training and other forms of assistance which are beneficial to the growth of such start-ups. There is a similar case to this one in Brazil where Petrobas supports the growth of small businesses for Afro-Brazilians. Petrobas comes up with models that show how active small companies are at empowerment of the marginalized communities in the region. Their focus also includes the importance of women empowerment.
Companies need to create working environments that are sensitive to both cultural and religious issues. They can also deal with problems in the society such as unmet needs. In Indonesia, businesses came together to organize a mass wedding for couples of different faiths who lived together without legal status because they lacked the money to perform a marriage. The couples, having obtained a legal status of marriage, were able to gain access to public health facilities, get an education for their children and had more opportunities to secure jobs. By helping the couples out with one problem, the businesses ended up solving various issues in the society. The effectiveness of international companies in the maintenance of peace is seen around the globe today. We can change the world and make our countries more economically productive; by performing one good deed at a time.