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Heritage Capital City for Peace!
an article by Rev. Buddy Larrier

The Universal Day of Hope Trust (UDOHT) is pleased to know that Barbados with its historic Capital City Bridgetown and its Garrison has been listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations (UNESCO) as world heritage places of interest. We appreciate the comments by Mr. Peter Simmons (former Barbados High Commissioner to England) and Mr. Peter Laurie (former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in their accolades of this achievement.

click on photo to enlarge

Mr. Simmons in his column of Sunday Sun July 3, 2011 titled 'icing national cake' did not only offered praises but warns Barbadians that in their euphoria not to forget that 'Bridgetown after the horrors of the "middle passage" was a trans-shipment point during the force migration and enslavement of their African forefathers and locus of some of the most horrendous, cruel and inhumane acts against their kith and kin'.

Mr. Laurie's in his column titled 'Saving Our Heritage' of the same paper and date informed Barbadians that the time had come to remove the statue of Lord Nelson and relocate it to a more appropriate place. He further appealed for a national museum to be erected for educating the people on the history of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery.

In view of this designation of historic Bridgetown and its Garrison the UDOHT wishes to remind Barbadians and to inform the world community of a programme which has been ongoing for the past 21 years advocating the case for Bridgetown to be a 'Heritage Capital City for Peace'. In 1990 the programme was launched first in Barbados in September and at the Barbados High Commission in London in October the same year.

On both occasions the Government of Barbados was asked to take the lead among developing nations in observing October 12 as a Day of Hope; for truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation. Barbados was selected for leadership in this endeavour of highlighting the legacy of slavery, promoting human rights and combating Racism because of the role the island played during the period of British Colonialism.

The Government was asked to lobby for support from other CARICOM member states and to submit a Resolution to the United Nations (UN) for October 12 to be designated as a day for justice and peace which would place historic Bridgetown at the centre of the peace movement. UDOHT was very mindful that October 12, 1492 was the date that started the exploitation of Caribbean people and which reinforced the ideology of White Supremacy (Racism) by laying the foundation for the transatlantic slave trade.

The Resolution for October 12 was among the submissions at 2001 UN world conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa. This conference reached a consensus that 'slavery and colonialism were crimes against humanity". In 2009 the UN proclaimed this year 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent (IYPAD) with the theme 'Recognition, Justice, Development'. In addition, in 2010 it was also recommended that there be an International Day for People of African Descent (IDPAD). The UDOHT is hereby lobbying for support for October 12 to be the IDPAD.


Question(s) related to this article:

What is a culture of peace city, and how does one become one?

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I believe that the development of a network of culture of peace cities can be a decisive factor in the transition from a culture of war to a culture of peace based on a profound reform of the United Nations system.  The following are excerpts from my book World Peace through the Town Hall.

My experience working in the United Nations system for ten years and observing it closely for seven years since my retirement makes me optimistic that the UN system is capable of managing a transition to the culture of peace. The various specialized agencies that deal with health care, education, food and agriculture, science, communication, not to mention technical questions such as aviation, shipping, atomic energy, etc. are staffed by a capable international secretariat with experience in the day-to-day management of global issues. The UN General Assembly, as well as the international assemblies of other agencies such as the General Conference of UNESCO, provide important forums. Even the Security Council, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which are now in the hands of a few powerful states and used to support their culture of war could play important roles in the transition to a culture of peace if they were transformed under control of "we the peoples" instead of the state.

For the reasons given throughout this book, a global network of local authorities is the best chance for an international political force independent of the nation-state that could take responsibility for the United Nations and direct it towards a culture of peace.

In summary, the cause of the United Nations seems hopeless for a culture of peace as long as it is under the control of the nation-states of the world with their culture of war.

Without being able to predict a precise date, we can expect within the next few decades that the American Empire and the globalized economy associated with it will crash as did the world economy in 1929 and the Soviet economy in 1989.

A global crash sets the stage for two possible political solutions which are diametrically opposite. One is a strengthening of the culture of war at the level of the state into fascism which was the predominant reaction in the 1930's. . ...more.

This report was posted on July 29, 2011.