All posts by CPNN Coordinator

About CPNN Coordinator

Dr David Adams is the coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the International Year for the Culture of Peace, proclaimed for the Year 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly.

The women who helped bring down Sudan’s president

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from Vox.com

Sudan’s military has overthrown the country’s longtime president, Omar al-Bashir. It’s a huge win for the hundreds of thousands of Sudanese protesters who have taken to the streets for months calling for his ouster — and for the brave women who have been a driving force in the protest movement.


Image by Lana Haroun
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Question for this article

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf announced Thursday  that al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region, had been taken into military custody. While it’s unclear if the military plans to turn al-Bashir over to the ICC for prosecution, it’s pretty clear that his brutal 30-year reign has come to a definitive end.

Much of the credit for al-Bashir’s removal goes to the women who have played a prominent role  in the uprising that has swept the country and who have become the faces of the largely peaceful movement to topple the regime.

Earlier this week, an iconic photo of a woman named Alaa Salah, a 22-year-old engineering and architecture student, addressing protesters from atop a car went viral.

The image, captured by local photographer Lana Haroun, shows Salah standing on a white car surrounded by a sea of people outside the presidential compound and army headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. Wrapped in layers of shimmery white fabric styled as a “toub” — a traditional Sudanese style of dress for women — and gold moon earrings, Salah towers over the crowd of protesters, her finger raised defiantly in the air.

Russia: Ecofest, festival for green universities and eco-friendly lifestyle

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

Text translated from Open School

VUZEKOFEST is an annual inter-university festival dedicated to promoting the concept of “green universities” and eco-friendly lifestyle. The festival began in 2015 as a student initiative at Moscos State University, and in three years it has grown into a large-scale educational project with hundreds of events at universities and an audience of about 20 thousand people .

Video about Ecofest in Russian sent to CPNN by Anastasia Okorochkova

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Question for this article:

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

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The need to adapt the Sustainable Development Goals for the successful implementation of national projects is the main theme of the fifth annual youth festival in the field of ecology and sustainable development, VuzEkoFest-2019, which will be held across the country from April 15 to 22 with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

Annually in April, universities in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities of Russia hold dozens of activities in order to introduce green infrastructure and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. A series of round tables is planned at the participating universities, which will culminate in the key event “VUZEKOFest-2019”. This includes the round table “Adaptation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of national projects: the potential of universities” with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation. The participation of government representatives, Russian and foreign companies interested in sustainable development, scientists, analysts and experts is expected.

The goal of VUZEKOFEST is the formation of a community of young leaders and the spreading of an understanding of the concept of sustainable development, according to which the social, environmental and economic spheres should be developed in a balanced way.

To find out more about the festival program, see http://vuzecofest.ru/

Women must be at ‘centre of peacekeeping decision-making’, UN chief tells Security Council

. . . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . . .

An article from United Nations News

Women’s rights, voices and participation must be at “the centre of peacekeeping decision-making”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Thursday [April 11], describing them as “central to sustainable solutions” to challenges facing the Organization worldwide.


UN Secretary-General briefs the Security Council on women in peacekeeping operations, 11 April 2019. (UN Photo/Manuel Elias)

Through its landmark resolution 1325  on women and peace and security, the Council reaffirmed the participation and involvement of women, which the UN chief hailed  as “a key element in the maintenance of international peace and security”. He also noted the UN’s “essential system-wide effort” to enhance women’s representation at all levels and in all arenas, through his Strategy on Gender Parity.

“This is not just a question of numbers, but also of our effectiveness in fulfilling our mandates”, he stated, citing evidence that more women peacekeepers lead to more credible protection responses that meet the needs of all.

In patrol units women can better access intelligence to provide a holistic view of security challenges, and at checkpoints they promote a less confrontational atmosphere, he said.

Within troop contingents they lower incidences of sexual exploitation and abuse; yield greater reporting of sexual and gender-based violence; and can access local women’s networks, leading to more inclusive peace processes.

‘Step towards parity’

The Secretary-General thanked the more than 150 Member States who have signed on to his Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, which calls for women’s participation in every stage of peace operations, and integrates a gender perspective into all analysis, planning, implementation and reporting.

And he was grateful to the States who, at last week’s Ministerial on Peacekeeping, launched the Elsie Initiative  to break down barriers to increasing women’s participation in peace operations.

In support of the UN’s commitments in these areas, Mr. Guterres noted a range of actions, including the Gender-Responsive Peacekeeping Operations Policy, which “commits us to promoting leadership and accountability both for gender equality and for the women, peace and security agenda”.

Flagging that since December 2015, the number of women in uniform has increased by only around one per cent, he spelled out that “this is clearly not enough”.

“This year”, he informed the Chamber, “we rolled out the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy ”, which, among other things, targets by 2028 a range of 15 to 35 per cent of women’s representation, including military, police and justice and corrections personnel.

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Question for this article:

UN Resolution 1325, does it make a difference?

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While acknowledging that it “has been more challenging”, Mr. Guterres vowed “to press ahead”, adding that “keep on track, we need assistance from you, the Member States”.

He asked for a greater focus on women in battalions and formed police units and for the sustained recruitment and deployment of women within national services.

Noting that for the first time in UN history the senior leadership is close to achieving gender parity, Mr. Guterres reiterated his commitment to sustaining that progress: “We need to bring the same spirit to our peace operations”, he stressed. “This is crucial for our effectiveness, credibility and reputation”. 

‘Pushing gender equality’

The first female Force Commander and current Head of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) mission, Major General Kristin Lund told the Council  that the “momentum of pushing gender equality must be kept”.

As Force Commander of the UN mission in Cyprus, she teamed up with Lisa Buttenheim, the Special Representative at the time. “For once I did not need to convince my boss that gender was important” she said. “Both of us had gender equality in our spine”.

The Major General enumerated some examples of her work in increasing the number of women, helping them in missions and reaching out to local communities.

Noting many reasons why the armed forces have a difficulty keeping women in the ranks, she outlined frequent obstacles thrown up by male culture in military settings, giving the example of how “posters with half naked women” hang in mission gyms.

“How many women do gym in bikinis?” Ms. Lund asked rhetorically, saying that under her command in Cyprus “womanized posters vanished”.

She also mandated that the all-male teams in military skills competitions had to have females.

“Gender is on the top of my agenda”, she said, adding that she initiated a female military network, engaged women to become more visible and increased the number of female observers.

Troop and police contributing countries “must do more” she said.

“We, out in the field, need to be able to reach out to the whole society. Only you can make that happen”, the Force Commander concluded.

Diversity is a strength

Chairing the meeting, German Federal Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen said: “Women are no better peacekeepers than men, but they are different. And this diversity is a strength”.

Pointing out that Resolution 1325 has been in effect for almost 20 years, she maintained that it is “still far from full, effective and meaningful participation of women in peace operations”.

To change that, Ms. von der Leyen suggested, among other things, to have successful female mentors to share their stories to younger women; have more women in national forces for deployment to international peacekeeping missions; and assess national barriers that keeps more women from joining peace operations.

“The peacekeeper’s blue helmet symbolizes protection and security”, she said. “Let us make this helmet be worn by more women. For the sake of peace”.

UN experts warn Assange arrest exposes him to risk of serious human rights violations

. FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from the United Nations News

Independent UN rights experts on Thursday [April 11] said the arrest of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange by police in the United Kingdom, after the Ecuadorian Government decided to stop granting him asylum in their London embassy, exposed him to “the risk of serious human rights violations”, if extradited to the United States.


Press Briefing by Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions, Agnes Callamard, tweeted that in “expelling Assange from the Embassy” and allowing his arrest, it had taken Mr. Assange “one step closer to extradition”. She added that the UK had now arbitrarily-detained the controversial anti-secrecy journalist and campaigner, “possibly endangering his life”.

Mr. Assange took refuge inside the embassy in 2012, to avoid extradition to Sweden by the UK authorities where he faced charges, since dropped, of sexual assault. But he also faces US federal conspiracy charges, relating to the leak of a vast number of Government documents to his Wikileaks website, by the former US intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning. The US argues that publication by the investigative site, endangered the lives of its citizens working overseas.

According to reports, the UK will now assess whether to extradite the Australian national to the US, where he faces up to five years in prison. The UK has reportedly given assurances in writing to the Ecuadorian Government that Mr. Assange will not be extradited to a country where he could face torture, or the death penalty.

After appearing in a central London courtroom on Thursday, Mr. Assange was found guilty of failing to surrender to the court in 2012, and now faces up to 12 months in prison.

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Question related to this article:
 
Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

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The UN independent expert on the right to privacy, Joe Cannataci, issued a statement following the arrest, saying that “this will not stop my efforts to assess Mr. Assange’s claims that his privacy has been violated. All it means is that, instead of visiting Mr Assange and speaking to him at the Embassy…I intend to visit him and speak to him wherever he may be detained.”

In a statement last Friday, Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, said he was alarmed by reports that an arrest was imminent, and that if extradited, Mr. Assange could be exposed to “a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial, and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

UK urged to ‘abide by international obligations’

Last December, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, urged the UK to “abide by its international obligations” and allow Mr. Assange safe passage out of the embassy.
“States that are based upon, and promote the rule of law, do not like to be confronted with their own violations of the law, that is understandable. But when they honestly admit these violations, they do honour the very spirit of the rule of law, earn enhanced respect for doing so, and set worldwide commendable examples,” said a statement released by the Working Group.

In December 2015, the Working Group concluded in its opinion No. 54/2015  that Mr. Assange – who at the time had a European arrest warrant issued against him for an allegation of crimes committed in Sweden ‑ was being arbitrarily deprived of his freedom and demanded that he be released.

“Under international law, pre-trial detention must be only imposed in limited instances. Detention during investigations must be even more limited, especially in the absence of any charge” said the experts. “The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador.”

“Mr. Assange should be able to exercise his right to freedom of movement in an unhindered manner, in accordance with the human rights conventions the UK has ratified,” the experts added.

Nobel Peace Laureate Maguire Requests UK Home Office for Permission to Visit Her Friend Nobel Peace Nominee Julian Assange ln Prison in London

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

A press release from the Peace People

`Mairead Maguire has requested UK Home Office for permission to visit her friend Julian Assange whom this year  she has nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize’

     ‘I want to visit Julian to see he is receiving medical care and to let him know that there are  many people around the world who admire him and are grateful for his courage in trying to stop the wars and end the suffering of others’

  ‘Thursday 11th April, will go down in history as a dark day for the Rights of humanity, when Julian Assange,  a brave and good man, was  arrested,  by British Metropolitan Police, forcibly removed without prior warning,  in a style befitting of a war criminal, from the Ecuadorian  Embassy, and bundled into a Police Van.  It is a sad time when the UK Government at the behest of the United States Government, arrested Julian Assange, a symbol of Freedom of Speech as the publisher of Wikileaks, and the worlds’ leaders and main stream media remain silent on the fact that he is an innocent man until proven guilty, while the UN working Group on Arbitrary Detention defines him as innocent. The decision of President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador who under  financial pressure from the US has withdrawn asylum to the Wikileaks founder, is a further example of Unites States’ global currency monopoly, pressurizing other countries to do their bidding or face the financial and possibly violent consequences for disobedience to the alleged world Super Power, which has sadly lost  its moral compass. Julian Assange had taken asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy seven years ago precisely because he foresaw that the US would demand his extradition to face a Grand Jury in the US for mass murders carried out, not by him, but by US and NATO forces, and concealed from  the public.

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Questions for this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Unfortunately, it is my belief that Julian Assange will not see a fair trial.    As we have seen over the last seven years, time and time again, the European countries and many others, do not have the political will or clout to stand up for what they know is right, and will eventually cave into the Unites States’ will. We have watched Bradley Manning being returned to jail and to solitary confinement, so we must not   be naive in our thinking: surely, this is the future for Julian Assange.

I visited Julian on two occasions in the Ecuadorian Embassy and was very impressed with this courageous and highly intelligent man.  The first visit was on my return from Kabul, where young Afghan teenage boys, insisted on writing a letter with the request I carry it to Julian Assange, to thank him, for publishing on Wikileaks,  the truth about the war in Afghanistan and to help stop their homeland being bombed by planes and drones. All had a story of brothers or friends killed by drones while collecting wood in winter on the mountains.

I nominated Julian Assange on the 8th January 2019 for the Nobel Peace Prize.  I issued a press release hoping to bring attention to his nomination, which seemed to have been widely ignored, by Western media.  By Julians courageous actions and others like him, we could see full well the atrocities of war.  The release of the files brought to our doors the atrocities our governments carried out through media.   It is my strong belief that this is the true essence of an activist and it is my great shame I live in an era where people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and anyone willing to open our eyes to the atrocities of war, is likely to be haunted like an animal by Governments, punished and silenced.   Therefore, I  believe that the British government should oppose the extradition of Assange as it sets a dangerous precedent for journalists, whistle-blowers and other sources of truth the US may wish to pressure in the future. This man is paying a high price to end war and  for peace and nonviolence and we should all  remember that.

(Editor’s Note: This press release was reprinted without attribution by David Swanson on his website. Google News does not list either one, despite the fact that the original is clearly labeled as a press releases.)

Dominican Republic: Ministry of Education to promotes a culture of peace and guarantes security in schools

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from Noticias Sin (translation by CPNN)

In order to foster a culture of peace and a better emotional environment that facilitates the teaching-learning process, the Ministry of Education has ordered the implementation of a comprehensive national program of accompaniment and psychological guidance through the Directorate of School Police, directed to students, teachers, educational technicians and administrative staff of public educational centers


“We need our students to have the opportunity to take full advantage of the efforts made by the Educational Revolution of President Danilo Medina, with an unprecedented investment in the different edges that make up a good education, with better trained teachers and modern infrastructure, and that is only possible in a total environment of peace, tranquility and security, “said Peña Mirabal to instruct the plan to the School Police, said Antonio Peña Mirabal.

The official called the families represented in the associations of parents, mothers and friends of the school (APMAE), as well as the other entities that work on education, to join this great purpose of improving the environment of schools.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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After receiving instructions, the director of the School Police, Colonel Giovanni de Jesus Gil Suarez, immediately launched the peace plan, with simultaneous meetings held in different public schools in the provinces of Duarte and Valverde, belonging to the Northeast regions and Northwest of the country, where expert security officers and a team of experienced psychologists exchanged impressions with students, teachers and administrative staff about the realities that are experienced in the schools.

Likewise, actions were coordinated and agreed upon with the directors, the teaching staff and with the different leaderships of the educational communities, in order to achieve, in the shortest possible time, a peaceful coexistence among all the actors involved in teaching.

The first schools played by the program were the Educational Center Juan de Jesus Reyes Aranda, in the municipality of Mao, Valverde, and the Liceo Américo Lugo, located in San Francisco de Macorís, where the security experts of the School Police, and experienced Behavioral professionals, knew the concerns expressed by students, teachers and other actors, as well as the problems that are most worrisome.

Among the issues addressed are the use of social networks as a valuable tool for the individual and collective development of people, as well as talks on the risks of physical and emotional abuse that are caused through the harmful practice of bullying, in addition to group dynamics oriented towards the need to cultivate values, good customs and respect for legal norms.

Among those participating in the activity are the professors and directors Celidania Rosario, Midalba Ureña, Virgilio Alberto and Apolinar Alejo, of the school district 07-05, as well as the colonels Rafael Encarnación Santos, Juan Francisco Gatón and Diego Pesqueira; the psychologists Miosotis Feliz and Luisa Terrero, and also Colonel Humberto Flores, representing General Boris Goyco Campagna, director of the Northwest Regional located in the city of Mao.

The kids got it right: Climate Change, pollution and the system

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Silvia Swinden for Pressenza

Somehow for years vested interests had managed to keep a split between the two most damaging effects of burning fossil fuels: climate change leading to disaster in particular to the poorest areas of the planet and the millions of deaths and illnesses caused by pollution, also being the less well off the most affected. Failing to see them together was a way to weaken the arguments against the radical change in the production of energy necessary for our survival.

We had published in Pressenza (Failing to connect the fossil fuel dots of climate change and health ) a well researched paper from the Lancet referring to this combination, but the split remained both in the media and in most grassroots movements.

This is no longer the case. Yesterday’s schools strike carried the complete message. In the words of Greta Thunberg, “This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice. Last year’s UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming  could not have been clearer about the extreme dangers of going beyond 1.5C of global warming. To have any chance of avoiding that extreme danger emissions must drop rapidly – so that by the time we will be in our mid- and late-20s we are living in a transformed world.

“The students who are striking in cities, towns and villages around the world are uniting behind the science. We are only asking that our leaders to do the same.

“If those in power today don’t act, it will be our generation who will live through their failure. Those who are under 20 now could be around to see 2080, and face the prospect of a world that has warmed by up to 4C. The effects of such warming would be utterly devastating. Rivers would flood, storms would wreak havoc on coastal communities and coral reefs would be eliminated. Melting polar ice caps would lead to dramatically higher sea levels, flooding coastal areas. Places on Earth will become uninhabitable.

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Question for this article:

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

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“Scientists have also shown us that burning fossil fuels is “the world’s most significant threat to children’s health”. Nine out of every 10 children around the world are breathing dangerous air. Our lives are being compromised before we are born. Toxic particles from exhaust fumes pass through the lungs of pregnant women and accumulate in the placenta. The risk of premature birth, low birth weight and cognitive dysfunction this causes is a public health catastrophe. Pollution from diesel vehicles is stunting the growth of our lungs, leaving us damaged for life. Toxic air from burning fossil fuels is choking not only our lungs but our hopes and dreams.

“And the worst effects of climate change are disproportionately felt by our most vulnerable communities. This is not just about cutting down emissions, but about equity – the system we have right now is failing us, working only for the rich few. The luxury so few of us enjoy in the global north is based on the suffering of people in the global south.”

In fact  The Guardian  reports that “The number of early deaths caused by air pollution is double previous estimates, according to research, meaning toxic air is killing more people than tobacco smoking.

“The scientists used new data to estimate that nearly 800,000 people die prematurely each year in Europe because of dirty air, and that each life is cut short by an average of more than two years. The health damage caused by air pollution in Europe is higher than the global average. Its dense population and poor air results in exposure that is among the highest in the world.

“The new research, published in the European Heart Journal, indicates that while air pollution hits the lungs first, its impact via the bloodstream on heart disease and strokes is responsible for twice as many deaths as respiratory diseases.”

The placards from the 100+ participating countries could not be clearer, children know the system is playing with their lives and they are inviting the adults to join in. In Silo’s 2004 words “Yes, it is worthwhile that this Message and that this Universal Humanism gain strength. It is worthwhile for young people to swell the ranks of this Moral Force as a variant of History… so that this current becomes unstoppable and its murmur heard in all the languages of the Earth. Then the new generations will begin to teach the adults with new affection and new understanding.”

In a world poisoned by cruelty and contradictions, the compassion and solidarity from the youngsters that reject this dehumanised system open the future for everyone, if we listen to them and choose to act now, not guided by the misinformation from the powerful but by listening carefully to the subtle call in the depths of our consciousness for compassion and coherence between our thoughts, feelings and actions. Then the violence will begin to retreat and our true human history will flourish.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Fridays for the Future: 25000 demonstrate in Berlin with Greta Thunberg

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Reto Thumiger for Pressenza

More than 25,000, mostly pupils and students, have gathered again in Berlin to give visible and audible expression to the climate strike “Fridays for the Future”.


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Most of the participants were not at my eye level, as they were not yet fully grown. That’s why most of the cardboard signs were right in front of me. Apart from the physical aspect, I felt like a dwarf with my generation in the face of the joy, determination and will of these children and young people taking responsibility and the future into their own hands.

“We are the generation that can and must change the climate chaos,” said activist Luisa Neubauer, “because we are more global, connected and agile than the generation before us”.

The initiator of the worldwide movement, the 16-year-old Swedish climate protection activist Greta Thunberg, also took part in the protest action in Berlin, where she gave a speech at the closing rally in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

She then visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) together with Lisa Neubauer and met with scientists to discuss climate research, change and its consequences.

On Saturday, Greta Thunberg received the Golden Camera Special Award, which she dedicated to those people who supported the Hambach Forest and that fossil fuels remain in the soil. At the gala, which was broadcast live on ZDF, 2ndnational broadcast television, Greta called on the stars and starlets present to use their great influence on so many people and to work for climate protection.

It is a strange world in which children have to sacrifice their education to protest against the destruction of their future, Thunberg said. And in which stars were not committed to environmental and climate protection because “they would no longer be able to fly around the world to visit their favouriterestaurants, beaches and yoga seminars”.

While I walked along the demonstration for climate protection on Friday and looked into the faces of the other participants, I heard inside my head like an echo the words of Silo (Mario Rodríguez Cobos) in his speech in 2004:

“But nothing of what is said will be listened to. Nonetheless, events themselves […] will result in children rejecting the hypocrisy of their parents; and cause each person to reproach the contradiction that they generate in themselves and in those around them.

We are at the end of a dark period in history and nothing will ever be the same as before.  Little by little, the dawning of a new day will come. Cultures will begin to understand one another; the peoples will experience a growing yearning for progress for all, understanding that progress for the few ends up being progress for no one. Yes, there will be peace, and out of necessity it will be understood that the outline of a universal human nation is taking shape.”

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Question for this article:

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

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Greta Thunberg’s speech, her Facebook page

My speech tonight at Goldene Kamera in Berlin. There is no recording available without me dubbed into German yet…
so here it is:


I dedicate this award to the people fighting to protect the Hambach Forest. And to activists everywhere who are fighting to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.

We live in a strange world. Where all the united science tells us that we are about 11 years away from setting off an irreversible chain reaction way beyond human control that will probably be the end of our civilization as we know it.


We live in a strange world where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future.


Where the people who have contributed the least to this crisis are the ones who are going to be affected the most.


Where politicians say it’s too expensive to save the world, while spending trillions of euros subsidizing fossil fuels.


We live in a strange world where no one dares to look beyond our current political systems even though its clear that the answers we seek will not be found within the politics of today.


Where some people seem to be more concerned about the presence in school of some children than the future of humankind.


Where everyone can choose their own reality and buy their own truth.


Where our survival is depending on a small, rapidly disappearing carbon budget. And hardly anyone even knows it exists.


We live in a strange world. Where we think we can buy or build our way out of a crisis that has been created by buying and building things.


Where a football game or a film gala gets more media attention than the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.


Where celebrities, film and pop-stars who have stood up against all injustices will not stand up for our environment and for climate justice because that would inflict on their right to fly around the world visiting their favorite restaurants, beaches and yoga retreats.


Avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown is to do the seemingly impossible. And that is what we have to do.


But here is the truth: we can’t do it without you in the audience here tonight.


People see you celebrities as Gods. You influence billions of people. We need you.


You can use your voice to raise awareness about this global crisis. You can help turn individuals into movements. You can help us wake up our leaders – and let them know that our house is on fire.


We live in a strange world.


But it’s the world that my generation has been handed.

It’s the only world we’ve got.


We are now standing at a crossroads in history.


We are failing but we have not yet failed.


We can still fix this.

It’s up to us.

* * * *

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

National Campaign for Peace Education launched in Cameroon

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

On Wednesday, 6th March 2019, Cameroon Peace Foundation Association, in collaboration with the Global Campaign for Peace Education, launched a National Campaign for Peace Education in Buea. The Campaign brought together religious leaders, lecturers, teachers and police officers.


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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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The purpose of the campaign is to create awareness about the need to introduce peace in Cameroon schools. With Cameroon facing a very critical moment in its history, when everything has failed to bring back the peace that is desired and cherished, Cameroon needs to review its educational system. Peace education is a timely intervention and the best weapon to fight against terrorism and violence.

“Peace education is education for human dignity, and is capable of dismantling a culture of war that is pervading Cameroonian society,” said Mforndip Ben Oru, the coordinator of the Cameroon Peace Foundation.

At the close of the launching, it was agreed that peace education is the pathway to a culture of peace. The next stop for the Campaign will be in Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon. The Campaign intends to visit all 10 regions of Cameroon.

The Cameroon Peace Foundation is seeking $5000 to support the next steps of the Campaign. If you are able to donate, please contact Mforndip Ben Oru: ben.mforndip@gmail.com

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Washington, DC: Peace Activists against NATO

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article by  Martha Andrés Román from Prensa Latina

Moving the United States away from the culture of militarism and fighting for peace was the purpose of activists this week [April 6] in Washington DC against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
 

F The foreign ministers of the controversial alliance held a meeting in this capital on Wednesday and Thursday in which they discussed issues such as the increase in the bloc’s budget, the increase in the military presence in the Black Sea and the confrontations with Russia.

The meeting coincided, in addition, with the commemoration on April 4 of the 70th anniversary of the organization, a fact that was highlighted by the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and the North American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

This date is also the two important events for many sectors of American society: on April 4, 1967, the civil rights activist Martin Luther King delivered a memorable speech against the Vietnam War, and that same day of the following year he was assassinated. in Tennessee.

For members of groups such as World Beyond War, Black Alliance for Peace, Code Pink and Veterans for Peace, it was an insult that the block commemorated its seven decades of creation on the same day dedicated to honor a figure who spread a message of peace and equality.

Kevin Zeese, co-director of the Popular Resistance organization, told Prensa Latina that when they learned about the NATO meeting here on the date linked to the Reverend, they prepared a whole week of activities to oppose the 29-member alliance.

The actions included a demonstration last Saturday in front of the White House, where in addition to condemning what they consider NATO abuses at the international level, they expressed solidarity with Venezuela and criticized the interference in that Latin American country.

Likewise, on April 3 and 4, they developed an initiative called the No to NATO-Yes to Peace Festival, which included mobilizations in various parts of the city, such as the Freedom Plaza (Plaza de la Libertad) and the vicinity of the Senate, where Stoltenberg delivered a speech before Congress on Wednesday.

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Questions for this article:

Can NATO be abolished?

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During the afternoon and evening of that first day the festival participants gathered at St. Stephen’s Church to hold workshops on non-violent actions, enjoy musical performances and prepare with posters for the protests of the following day.

On Thursday, protesters gathered near the State Department, where the ministerial meeting sessions took place, and then moved with their message to the Martin Luther King Memorial, to pay tribute.

Actions like that, Zeese explained, have not only a political purpose, but are focused on changing the culture of the United States built on militarism and high investment in weapons, including nuclear weapons.

According to the activist, that was what Luther King called in his speech on April 4, 1967, ‘to get away from the culture of war and get closer to a culture of peace.’ 

Similar criteria expressed to this medium Margaret Flowers, also co-director of Popular Resistance, who recalled that in that speech the Reverend spoke out against racism, militarism, war and economic injustice.

‘A nation that continues to spend year after year more money in military defense than in programs of social progress is approaching spiritual death,’ said the man who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

To say of Flowers, in the United States there is an expanded belief, even among people who claim to be progressive, that NATO is a positive force in the world.

‘We are trying to change that narrative,’ he said of the organization accused in many parts of the world of violating international law in countries such as Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya.

He also criticized the calls made by US President Donald Trump to the members of the bloc to carry out more defense spending.

If we want to have security in the world, we must use the resources to meet the needs of people, such as housing, education, work, access to clean water and food, this is how we create global stability, not investing money in weapons, estimated .

All of us who lived in 1968 remember the murder of Dr. King, a leader for peace, justice, against militarism, racism and poverty, said, in turn, the singer and political activist Luci Murphy.

Murphy criticized that, contrary to those ideals, NATO and the US government take taxpayers’ money to build military bases and provoke wars. Military adventures are destroying countries, changing the climate, destroying the Earth, he said.