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.

Snapshots of March for Science Signs Across the Globe


A photo essay by Kimberly M. S. Cartier from Eos: Science policy and funding (abbreviated)

For the second year in a row, people across the United States and on all seven continents held rallies in support of science. Speakers and marchers at more than 230 events around the world advocated for increasing diversity in science, defending science from funding cuts and government interference, and promoting science literacy and trust.

Saturday’s March for Science events [April 14] may have drawn smaller crowds than last year, but the participants were as enthusiastic as ever about the advancement of science. Here are some of our favorite posters that captured the spirit of these marches.

Demonstrators holding signs at the 2018 March for Science in Washington, D. C. Credit: Peter Weiss

@WIRED Science Siyu Feng, a PhD student in biology at UCSF, is one of many participants at San Francisco’s #MarchforScience today.

Marchers in New York City, this time with a math pun. @jonathanrlarkin. Happened to stumble across the #marchforscience2018 today. Loved this sign.

Signs from Philadelphia, Pa. @guertin. So excited to have @PSUBrandywine students supporting science at @PHLScienceAct #RallyforScience! #STEMstudents #MarchForScience #Philly

In Los Angeles, Calif., a protester brings on the biology. @jaimecor_94 It’s @march4sciencela time y’all! #MarchForScience #MarchForScienceLA

Marchers in San Antonio, Texas, with a touch of magic. @MaremaAnne @ScienceMarchSA #MarchforScienceSA18

One protester in Colorado, calling out federal science agencies that have been known to censor information.@alibranscombe Baby’s first march in Colorado #MarchForScience2018

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Question for this article:

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

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And in Sacramento, Calif., one demonstrator turned her attention to scientific misconduct on the international stage. Her sign translates to “No to the adjustment of science in Argentina.” @NeCesiTo1TiemP0 Make Science Great Again ! #marchforscience2018 #Sacramento

In Abuja, Nigeria, scientists and advocates marched to promote public trust in science and to emphasize that scientific advancement benefits the entire population. @ScienceAlly Standing up for science — Abuja, Nigeria. @OFABnigeria @Nigerians4GMO #marchforscience2018

Marchers of all ages in Narrandera in New South Wales, Australia, with signs saying “Science, not silence,” “Heads in books, not heads in sand,” and “Science…the spectrum of awesome.” @FionaMagic Narrandera has now been added as an official #MarchForScience location!

One marcher in London simultaneously raised awareness of rising sea levels and promoted gender diversity in science.@jfabrombacher #MarchForScience

Demonstrators at an event in Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. @SPINSciPolicy Powered by science and strengthened by diversity! Speaking up for science at the #marchforscience2018 @ScienceMarchYVR today with fellow supporters!

In Quezon City in the Philippines advocates held signs proclaiming “Climate justice” and “March for science, march for the people.” In Blantyre, Malawi, supporters’ signs read “Science not silence” and “Mad scientist.” And in Chennai, India, activists marched with placards urging “Science unites! Stand up for science!” and “Defend science and scientific outlook.”@luckytran Happy #MarchforScience day! One of my favorite parts of waking up today is seeing so many photos of communities standing up for science, equity, & justice all around the world. See you in the streets! #KeepMarching

Meanwhile in Antarctica, the team of climate scientists at Neumayer Station III proclaimed, in the translated words of Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, “Knowledge and recognition are the joy and the right of humanity.”@AWI_Media
Message of support from Antarctica: overwinterer at the Neumayer Station support the #MarchForScience @ScienceMarchDC

Book review: A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo


A review by The Literary Llama

In A Moonless, Starless Sky Okeowo weaves together four narratives that form a powerful tapestry of modern Africa: a young couple, kidnap victims of Joseph Kony’s LRA; a Mauritanian waging a lonely campaign against modern-day slavery; a women’s basketball team flourishing amid war-torn Somalia; and a vigilante who takes up arms against the extremist group Boko Haram. This debut book by one of America’s most acclaimed young journalists illuminates the inner lives of ordinary people doing the extraordinary–lives that are too often hidden, underreported, or ignored by the rest of the world.

I love non-fiction but there aren’t a lot of non-fiction books that interest me. I’m particular about my choices, mainly the author, because a great subject could be rendered completely boring in the wrong hands. Still, when Hachette offered me a chance to read A MOONLESS, STARLESS SKY, I immediately said yes. The synopsis may be small but the promise of this book was great and I knew I had to give it a chance…and I’m so happy I did.

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Question for this article

Islamic extremism, how should it be opposed?

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A MOONLESS, STARLESS SKY is amazing. Alexis Okeowo did an excellent job with the 4 stories she told of “ordinary women and men fighting extremism in Africa”. The book was split into two sections, the first having the begining of each of the 4 stories and the second having the conclusion (what they are up until the current time) of each of the true tales. Her writing style spoke to me. It flowed and moved and informed without getting too bogged down in historical and/or geographical facts (something that has happened in other non-fiction that I have read). She told us just enough to give us an acurate picture without going overboard into a long-winded text-book like examination. The stories were about the people and Okeowo kept that in focus.
There is an amazing diversity between all the different stories. Each one highlighting different races, beliefs, genders, nationalities and how those are treated and perceived and evolving in the different regions. But even with all of those differences there is a cohesiveness. The fight against extremism in all it’s different forms, brings these stories and people together in a way. And it’s eye opening.
These are the stories of real people. They are great people and they are flawed people, struggling and yet strong, each victory great and small is worth so much. And the way these victories are accomplished can be hard to understand, simply because we will never live through such situations, but Okeowo tells them with a mixture of fact and empathy that makes all the difference. You see heroes and heroines, the beginnings and middles of violence and resistance, the fight back that may seem like another form of extremism, but through it all are the people who are doing what they feel is right. They are incredible stories.
Overall I gave A MOONLESS, STARLESS SKY 4.5 stars, although it was easy to round up in this case. I highly recommend it and hope you connect with the writing the same way I did.

Voices from 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)


A article from UN Women

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s rights. It brings together governments, women’s rights, gender experts and other actors to build consensus and commitment on policy actions to advance women’s rights.

More than 4,300 civil society representatives from 130 countries participated in the 62ndsession of the Commission, which focused this year on rural women and girls. Why do they come and what do they take back with them from this UN meeting? Here are some of their voices and perspectives.

Video of Catherine Mbukwa

Catherine Mbukwa, Project Officer with the Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education, Malawi

“I’m here to learn from others. Being here means [learning] new skills. Let’s say in Malawi, we are tackling child marriage, and our friends [in another country] are in the forefront of ending child marriages, what is it that they are doing in their country to promote and empower women?”

Alice Lesepen, representing the Rendille peoples of Marsabit County, Kenya

“I’m here to represent the rural women from the indigenous community of Rendille. [Coming] from a pastoral community, our livelihood depends entirely on the land. [Rural and indigenous women] need to know how we can rightfully use our land without any interference. When we talk about food security, women are the ones providing for their families. Without land, we cannot do anything…we cannot keep our animals…we would lose our identity.”

Otilia Lux de Cotí, Advisor to MADRE and part of UN Women’s Civil Society Advisory Group in Latin America and the Caribbean, Guatemala

“Socialization of the CSW agreed conclusions is very important. This is how women activists in their respective areas of specialties learn about the commitments that Member States have pledged to achieve. It allows them to hold governments accountable, and ask for those commitments to be transformed into social policies. We have to drive this change in order to really make a difference for rural women and girls.”

Marija Andjelkovic, Director and founder of the Serbian NGO, ASTRA-Anti trafficking action, Serbia, grantee of UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

“In our part of the world, the government listens more when there are recommendations from the UN, the EU, or the US State Department report on trafficking. For example, for years now, we have been advocating for compensation for victims of trafficking. Only two out of all identified victims (500 identified in Serbia) have received a decision of compensation in their favour. We have submitted a draft law on compensation for victims of violent crime, and included trafficking. Then, the Council of Europe and the CEDAW Committee adopted the recommendation for compensation for victims. That helped us. Now the government is working on a strategy for victims of crime and have said they will look into compensation as part of that. These recommendations, such as the CSW (agreed conclusions) give us tools to advocate with our own government. We produce shadow reports before CSW, and provide our own recommendations, and then we see if our recommendations are included.”

Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo, Rural women’s rights activist, Cameroon

“Among several challenges, one is access to credit. They are not talking about petite grants or microcredit, but macro credit…Rural women also want better sexual and reproductive health services, with better access to contraceptives and family planning products. Even basic education in these areas will help them.”

Sepali Kottegoda, Academic, activist and Technical Advisor on Women’s Economic Rights and Media, Sri Lanka

“Rural women want equal pay for the work they do. They also want more sharing of work within the house. There’s a lot of emotional rhetoric around women’s unpaid work—that they do this out of love for the family. But the reality is that women do much more unpaid work and have to also take part in paid work. The rural women from Sri Lanka also want land rights. The first preference is still given to men and the male child in terms of inheritance, and especially in government settlement schemes.”

Maria Leyesa (Daryl), Rural Women Coordinator for Philippine Peasant Institute and Convention Leader for the 1st National Rural Women Congress, Philippines

“They want their voices to be heard. They want their rights to be recognized as equally as men and boys have their rights recognized. To have control over their lives, land, water resources and their bodies, to have access to education and other services, to be protected against climate change and natural disasters, and to protect their countryside against rapid urbanization and encroachment by corporations.”

Wekoweu (Akole) Tsuhah, North East Network, Nagaland, India

“Women in rural communities want to be recognized for their contribution to food and nutrition security for their families and the nation. Everyone does farming in my community, but women don’t have the status of “farmers” because they don’t own land and resources. They want a platform where they can be heard. They want access to technology that can alleviate the drudgery of their work and support for small-scale, sustainable, climate-resilient agriculture.”

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Question for this article

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

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Rukmini Rao, Founder of Gramya Resource Centre for Women, India

“Rural women have the knowledge to change the world, but most of the work they do is unseen and unpaid. One of our demands at Gramya Resource Centre for Women is that women should have land titles in their names. So, we are pressing the government to recognize that women are farmers and to give them access to markets, economic goods, and all the other things that they need as farmers. Widows are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence. And when she is non-literate, she doesn’t even know where to access any government scheme. A widow is considered to be a bad omen. We ask widows not to follow all the customary practices…We find that by organizing women, many issues can be addressed.”

Helda Khasmy, Chair of SERUNI, Indonesia

“Most members of SERUNI are in rural areas, and one of their biggest challenges is access to land and ownership of land. There’s a monopoly of land ownership by big corporations in Indonesia. Women don’t inherit land as equals to men, but now their men too have very little or no land. This makes women even poorer. They go on to become low-wage workers in the palm oil, sugar or tobacco plantations, where they often work in poor conditions, for low wages, and are exposed to harmful pesticides that affect their health. When women menstruate, they can ask for holiday, but the plantation officials ask them to take off their pants to prove that they are menstruating.”

Mireille Tushiminina, Shalupe Foundation, the Democratic Republic of Congo

“If you ask the Congolese people, what is peace for them, they will tell you that they want to live in a peaceful environment, where they can live in any neighbourhood, and not be afraid to walk to school or fetch water. Gender-based violence is not only happening in eastern Congo, it’s a disease that has spread to every corner of DRC. Mothers and fathers have watched their girls being raped at gun point. How can a girl grow up to push the African vision of progress and development, the African Agenda 2063, if all she learns today is to become a seamstress? We need to invest in girls’ empowerment in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Nehad Abo El-Komsan, Lawyer, Co-founder and Chairwoman of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, Egypt

“In the recent years, there have been many positive developments in Egypt. Women’s rights were included in our constitution in 2014 and since then many legislations have been changed, especially in relation to violence against women. The Egyptian Center of Women’s Rights developed a national strategy for stopping violence against women. Sexual harassment, female genital mutilation and child marriage have been included in the law, with harsh penalties. Although these good developments have taken place, women still face challenges. Implementation of the law is a major challenge. It is very important to raise awareness of law enforcement authorities and [help them] understand it is not just a women’s issue, it is protection for the whole society.”

Nandini Chami, IT for Change, India

“Information and communication technologies are a vital part of the enabling technologies that women need for opening up various pathways to political and socio-economic empowerment. The most basic question we can start with is the question of access, because there is still a huge gender digital divide that needs to be bridged. We also know that there is a rural-urban divide. Rural women are less likely to be using the internet compared to let’s say urban educated and employed women. This intersectional divide is something we need to address. [In the meantime] governance is going digital by default. You need the internet for your basic services. Also, we have to think about the fact that many people don’t speak global languages such as English, and so how do you create context-appropriate content for women and girls?”

Purity Soinato Oiyie, Maasai girl and anti-FGM activist, Kenya

“I was only 10 or 11 years old, when my father decided to circumcise me. I talked to my class teacher and she informed the police chief. Just two hours before the cutting ceremony, the police came and took me away. Today, I work with World Vision and the Kenyan anti-FGM Board to help raise awareness among people in the villages. It’s difficult to convince people to stop FGM because it’s a cultural practice. I go to the schools and talk to the girls and the teachers, I talk to the Maasai people in our language…I tell them about the importance of education. What we need is free education for girls. The Maasai are pastoral people and many parents don’t have money to send their girls to school.”

Sohini Shoaib, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan, Bihar, India

“There are huge farmer uprisings that are happening [in India] and they are mostly people who don’t own land. Recently there were some 40-50,000 peasants who went on a long march to Mumbai, the capital city. They walked there to ask for their rights and highlight the farmers plight and ask for climate justice. I come from the Kosi flood basins in Bihar, and every year there are massive floods in the area, on a scale that hasn’t been seen before. In most cases, floods are triggered by or escalated by manmade reasons; one of the factors is climate change. This has made the communities very vulnerable, so every year they have to start from scratch. Women are rising up, and not just women, all these people who feel they have been silenced. For so many years farmer suicides have been going on…Then there’s large scale displacement because of the huge dams that are being built and the land being taken over, GMOS being introduced, leading to a lot of changes in the environment, which has affected farming. I pushed for our friends who are actually from rural communities to be able to participate [in CSW]. But there were so many issues, from language barriers to visa procedures. And so who gets to come? I do. That’s not fair, but hopefully things will change.”

Note: All photos by UN Women/Ryan Brown

Amnesty International: Israeli forces must end the use of excessive force in response to “Great March of Return” protests

. . . . . HUMAN RIGHTS . . . . .

An article from Amnesty International

The Israeli authorities must put an immediate end to the excessive and lethal force being used to suppress Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza, Amnesty International said as fresh protests have started today [April 13].

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Following the deaths of 26 Palestinians, including three children and a photojournalist, Yasser Murtaja, and the injuring of around 3,078 others during protests on the past two Fridays, Amnesty International is renewing its call for independent and effective investigations into reports that Israeli soldiers unlawfully used firearms and other excessive force against unarmed protesters.

“For the past two weeks, the world has watched in horror as Israeli forces unleashed excessive, deadly force against protesters, including children, who merely demand an end to Israel’s brutal policies towards Gaza and a life of dignity,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“The Israeli authorities must urgently reverse their policies and abide by their international legal obligations. Their horrifying use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters, and the resultant deaths, must be investigated as possible unlawful killings.

“The Israeli authorities must respect the Palestinians’ right to peaceful protest and, in the event that there is violence, use only the force necessary to address it. Under international law, lethal force can only be used when unavoidable to protect against imminent threats to life.”

Eyewitness testimonies as well as videos and photographs taken during demonstrations point to evidence that, in some instances, unarmed Palestinian protesters were shot by Israeli snipers while waving the Palestinian flag or running away from the fence.

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Questions related to this article:

Rights of the child, How can they be promoted and protected?

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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Among those injured since Friday 30 March, there were around 445 children, at least 21 members of the Palestinian Red Crescent’s emergency teams, and 15 journalists. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, some 1,236 people have been hit by live ammunition. Others have been injured by rubber bullets or treated for tear gas inhalation dropped by drones. The World Health Organization expressed concern that nearly 350 of those injured may be temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of their injuries. So far, at least four people have had leg amputations.

On two consecutive Fridays, tens of thousands of Palestinians, including men, women and children, have gathered in five camps set up around 700 meters away from the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel to reassert their right of return and demand an end to nearly 11 years of Israel’s blockade. While protests have been largely peaceful, a minority of protesters have thrown stones and, according to the Israeli army, Molotov cocktails in the direction of the fence. The Israeli forces claim that those killed were trying to cross the fence between Gaza and Israel or were “main instigators.” There have been no Israeli casualties.

While the Israeli army indicated that it would investigate the conduct of its forces during the protests in Gaza, Israel’s investigations have consistently fallen short of international standards and hardly ever result in criminal prosecution. As a result, serious crimes against Palestinians routinely go unpunished.

In a statement made on 8 April, Fatou Ben Souda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court expressed concern at the deaths and injuries of Palestinians by Israeli forces, reminding that the situation in Palestine was under preliminary examination by her office.

“Accountability is urgently needed not only for this latest spate of incidents where excessive and lethal force has been used by Israel but also for decades of potentially unlawful killings, including extrajudicial executions, and other crimes under international law.”

The protests were launched to coincide with Land Day, and are demanding the right of return for millions of refugees to villages and towns in what is now Israel.

The protests are expected to last until 15 May, when Palestinians commemorate the Nakba or “great catastrophe”. The day marks the displacement and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948-9 during the conflict following the creation of the state of Israel. 

India: Peace Channel promotes peace education in schools of Kohima


An article from Morung Express

Peace Channel conducted peace celebration and capacity building programmes in five schools of Kohima district – Little Flower Hr. Sec School, Kohima, Sacred Heart School, Khuzama, St. Paul School, Phesama, Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Kohima, and St. Andrews School, Jotsoma village – on the theme ‘Concept of peace and peace building’ in the months of March and April.

Participants of the programme organised by Peace Channel at Little Flower Hr. Sec School, Kohima.

Addressing the Peace Club members in the respective schools, Susan Kulnu, Peace Channel Kohima district coordinator emphasised on the main objective of peace and peace building

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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She motivated the students to understand the concept of peace, to think of peace, love peace and make peace so as to take up initiatives in one’s own home and locality, to transform a culture of violence into a culture of peace, stated a press release from Peace Channel.
Susan further spoke about human rights, which she said, are the vital assets for everyone. “These rights are interrelated, interdependent and indivisible,” she asserted. The speaker also emphasized on the principle of “Do No Harm” which is a holistic perspective that is focussed on mutual benefits and not win-lose situation. The students were also motivated on leadership and life skills.
Sedekieno Rino, a peace activist, also spoke on anti-war toys “as children are also seen to be manipulated into replicating the violent content they see on television, videos, video games or violent cartoons,” the release stated. She urged the students to dream of a peaceful society and put efforts of changing oneself towards promoting peace so that one day that dream will turn to a reality.
Altogether, 227 quality Peace Club members along with 10 teacher animators of different schools participated in the sessions, informed the release.
The participants have been encouraged to take initiatives in bringing peace wherever they are and “they are now to bring peoples together, striving for peace, justice, equality and fraternity.”
It was informed that Peace Channel is also undertaking similar programmes in other districts like Dimapur, Wokha, Mon, and Peren.

Latin American mayors meet in Costa Rica for development goals


An article from La Vanguardia (translated by CPNN and reprinted without commercial ends)

Mayors of Ibero-America will meet this Thursday and Friday [April 18-19] in Costa Rica to celebrate the XVIII General Assembly of the Union of Capital Cities (UCCI) seeking to advance in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The organization will define its strategy for the 2018-2020 biennium in order to determine how its members can continue to advance in the local implementation of the SDGs.

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(Click here for the Spanish version)

Question related to this article:

Can cities take the lead for sustainable development?

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A total of 23 international delegations from capital cities will attend the event in San José, including the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena.

According to the organizers, initiatives linked to institutional strengthening, social development, local economic development, sustainable urban development, culture and communication will be addressed, as well as cross-cutting issues such as gender, environmental sustainability, culture of peace, innovation and human rights.

One of the main priorities for the coming period is the incorporation of culture as a strategic area in the organization, since the cultural dimension is fundamental to achieve more just, supportive and sustainable societies.

The Assembly will also present a management report (2016-2018) and an economic balance and will propose the definition of a strategic framework to achieve the effective implementation of the SDGs in Ibero-American cities.

The General Assembly of the UCCI meets every two years and that of 2018 is the second to be held after the cycle change that the organization approved in 2016.

The mayor of San José, Johnny Araya, will participate in the meeting; as well as the mayor of San Salvador, Nayib Bukele; the mayor of Panama City, José Blandón; the mayor of La Paz, Luis Revilla; and the mayor of Montevideo, Daniel Martínez, among others.

The opening ceremony will be attended by the president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, and the head of the Ibero-American General Secretariat, Rebeca Grynspan.

Bolivia calls for the preservation of South America as a zone of peace free of nuclear weapons


An article from Sputnik News

On assuming the temporary presidency of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has called for the preservation of South America as a zone of peace, free of the war dangers that affect other parts of the world.

“This is the second time we have assumed the responsibility to coordinate work with countries throughout South America, and Bolivia’s great desire is for South America to be a zone of peace,” said President Evo Morales at the Government Palace.

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

Question related to this article:

Latin America, has it taken the lead in the struggle for a culture of peace?

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The Bolivian leader, in a statement through state media, said he also intended that Unasur coordinate with the European Union on issues such as development planning, legislation and common citizenship.

“We propose to build a South American identity in terms of defense, to consolidate the region as a zone of peace, free of nuclear weapons and of mass destruction, rejecting war, promoting disarmament and the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the culture of peace in the world,” he said, concerning the main objective of his temporary regional presidency.

Morales succeeds his Argentine counterpart Maurio Macri in the pro tempore presidency of UNASUR, an organization created in 2008 and whose first important resolution was to support the Bolivian president that same year in the face of a wave of political and regional protests that apparently sought to remove him from power.

More here: President of Bolivia says that the main threat to peace is the US Government

The president said that UNASUR has effectively acted in favor of the peaceful settlement of disputes, supporting negotiations between the Government of Colombia and rebel armed groups in that country, following the logic that “peace is built with social justice.”

Domincan Republic: Integrating art subjects in centers helps create a culture of peace


An article from Hoy digital (translation by CPNN)

The anthropologist Tahira Vargas considers expelling students from educational centers because of bad conduct does not solve the problem, but it aggravates it, For this reason she suggests to work with these students through theater, dance and music, in order to build a culture of peace.

“To break the cycle of violence you should not answer with more violence. Instead you need to change the relationships within the centers, creating other types of spaces, where you can dialogue with students and establish responsibilities and tasks that promote a change of behavior,” she said.

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

Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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She explained that the teachers and directors of the centers do not understand the context of vulnerability that violent students experience, such as the case when their parents have to go out to work and cannot be at home to help educate their children.

Vargas spoke about the issue when asked about the statements of directors and teachers of high schools in Salcedo, who have alerted the Ministry of Education about the constant misconduct of many students.

Vargas points out that the streets and schools are the main space for the socialization of young people, so schools should be a space for building a culture of peace, not a space for the reproduction of violence, and for exclusion which is a form of violence.

“What I suggest is that teachers, principals and counselors work with students to change the internal relations of the center, and they are responsible for their behavior.” They should understand that it is important to integrate art, which is a strategy used in many countries to transform violent behavior into a culture of peace.

The Gambia: PAG hold peace advocacy camp


An article by Cherno Omar Bobb from The Point

Peace Ambassadors – The Gambia, a youth-led peace advocacy organisation with funding from ChildFund- The Gambia recently held a master camp for recruitment of peace educators and advocates under the theme: Promoting the culture of peace and non-violence in School and communities. The event was held at Banjulinding Lower Basic School.

Photo from PAG facebook

The Master Camp was designed to induct members of PAG on national youth leadership training, recruitment of peace educators and advocates as well as ambassadors peer-peace motivation coordinators training.

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Question for this article:

How do we promote a human rights, peace based education?

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The organisation’s vice president Ida Jatta said since its inception in May 2001, they have been advocating for peace in the minds of young people. “We focus on peace advocacy, community outreach and grassroots engagement to fulfill our thematic obligation as an organisation. We see peace as a continuous process and the leadership training will enable members to serve as role models in communities,” she said.

ChildFund- The Gambia communication specialist Famara Fofana said the international child aid agency have been championing the cause of young people, promoting child welfare and helping vulnerable young people to become productive adults. “Many people we supported are today manning important positions in the country. As peace ambassadors, let us propagate peace messages in the minds of young people.”

Alieu Marr, child protection and advocacy officer of ChildFund also said young people are the productive assets of the society, saying they will continue to support the activities of Peace Ambassadors. “We must have peace of mind in ourselves to promote peace in communities and schools.”

Peace Ambassadors Executive Secretary Yankuba Manjang said they have a role to play as young people to advocate peace in the nation, adding that the master camp will introduce the participants on leadership skills, peace and conflict management.

Book review: World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21stCentury


By Richard Falk, reprinted by

This is a brief promotional comment to call attention to the publication of a truly outstanding contribution to creative and restorative world order thinking. The book is entitled A World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21stCenturyby Jo Leinen and Andreas Bummel, translated from German by Ray Cunningham, and published in 2018 in Berlin under the imprint of Democracy Without Borders. The book is currently available for purchase from Amazon.

I hope at a later time to do a serious review of this urgent plea for what might be called ‘cosmopolitan rationalism,’ the undergirding of a populist movement dedicated to overcoming the menace of the war system and predatory capitalism, placing a great emphasis on the potential of institutional innovation beyond the level of the state, above all, through the establishment of a world parliament with legislative authority. This would be a revolutionary step in the governance of humanity, and if it happens, is likely to be preceded in the evolutionary agenda of the authors by a global assembly endowed with recommendatory powers but lacking a mandate to make and implement binding decisions, and hence incapable of resolving conflicts or solving challenges of global scope.

The authors are both dedicated advocates of the institutionalization of governmental authority of regional and global scope. Leinen has been a leading member of the European Parliament since 1999 as well as a German government official. Bummel is an internationally known and respected champion of world federalism incorporating democratic values. He is co-founder and director of the NGO, Democracy Without Borders.

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Question for this article:

What are the most important books about the culture of peace?

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What makes this book a great gift to humanity at a time of global emergency, is what I would call its ‘informed global humanism’ that sheds light on the long and distinguished history of proposals for global parliamentary authority.  The institutional focus is greatly expanded and deepened by an erudite consideration of why global problems, as varied as food, water, environment, climate change, and economic justice cannot be solved without the presence and help of a world parliament capable of generating enforceable law. The authors bring to bear an astonishing range of knowledge to support their conclusions, drawing on the accumulated wisdom of philosophers, scientists, social scientists, moral authority figures, and statesmen to illuminate the question of how to meet the formidable challenges of the age. This enlargement of concerns lends weight to their commitment to clear the path of obstacles currently blocking the formation of a world parliament.
Indeed, while building their central case for a world parliament, Leinen and Bummel, have authored a book that tells you all you need to know to understand with some depth what is wrong with the world as it now functions, how it can best be fixed, and by whom. Their central political faith is rooted in an espousal of democratic values that they project as a positive global trend. Only here do I have some reservations, reflecting my reactions to the militarization of democracy in the United States and to the strong trends favoring autocracy in most leading countries. I do share with the authors a skepticism about the capacity of existing elites to promote the necessary reforms, as well as their sense that the time of a transnational revolution of the industrial proletariat has passed, with hopes now resting in the eruption of a transnational democratic and cosmopolitan democratic movement promoting progressive and humane forms of global governance.
I strongly recommend this book as a source of wisdom, thought, and the fashioning of a positive vision of the human future. Pasted below is the table of contents of A World Parliament to give a more concrete picture of the scope and grandeur of this extraordinary scholarly contribution with manifold activist implications for those of us who consider themselves citizen pilgrims.