Medical Peace Work Glossary

Terms are from the Medical Peace Work | Course 1 Health Workers, conflict and peace.

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Negative Peace

The absence of direct, structural and cultural violence (J. Galtung). 

Non-governmental organisation (NGO)

The United Nations defines non-governmental organisations as “All organisations [...] that are not central governments and were not created by intergovernmental decision, including associations of businesses, parliamentarians and local authorities”.

In the context of medical peace work you will encounter NGOs such as such as Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as Oxfam, Save the Children and a host of nationally-based humanitarian and development NGOs. 


Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

A philosophical and pedagogical tool that encourages human connection and strengthens people’s capacity to speak and listen with empathy. 

Nuclear weapons

A weapon whose explosive power results from a nuclear reaction. This reaction results in the release of an immense amount of energy in the form of an explosion, many times greater than that of conventional explosives.