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.

UN Women: Leave No One Behind – End Violence against Women and Girls


An article from UN Women

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign spanning from 25 November through 10 December, is taking place this year against the backdrop of an unprecedented global outcry. Millions have rallied behind the hashtag #MeToo and other campaigns, exposing the sheer magnitude of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women everywhere suffer, every day. Breaking the silence is the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence.

Young school girls organize themselves before the March to End Gender-Based Violence in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. One sign reads: “Refrain from using abusive language for Women and Children”. Photo: UN Women/Deepika Nath

At the heart of this year’s theme, “Leave No One Behind – End Violence against Women”, for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) and UNiTE Campaign’s observance of the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women (25 November – 10 December), is the imperative to support those who are particularly vulnerable. The UNiTE Campaign is calling on everyone to join the movement to end violence against women, using the colour orange to make your action visible. Find out how you can take action

One in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime—that is one too many. It happens in every country and every society. It happens at home, in schools, on the streets, at work, on the internet and in refugee camps. It happens during war, and even in the absence of war. Too often, it is normalized and goes unpunished.

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Question related to this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

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No matter where violence against women happens, what form it takes, and whom it impacts, it must be stopped. The promise of the Sustainable Development Goals—to leave no one behind—cannot be fulfilled without ending violence against women.

Ending violence against women and girls is possible. There are proven solutions for supporting and empowering survivors to stop the reoccurrence of this violence. Laws and policies are powerful tools to punish perpetrators, provide justice and services, and end impunity. There are many ways that we can resist and prevent violent norms, attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence against women, and everyone has a role in it.

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable—for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those in humanitarian crises. See our top stories from around the world that show what it means to leave no one behind, and what people are doing to stop the cycle of violence against women.

Join the conversation
#Orangetheworld in #16days

Join the conversation and Orange the World in 16 Days on social media! Hashtags: #orangetheworld and #16days

Join the ‘Orange the World’ Event page on Facebook and post photos and actions happening in your country during the 16 Days of Activism.

Orange your Facebook wall, Instagram and Twitter accounts with a variety of images, banners and promotional material. A social media package with sample messages in English, Spanish and French is available here.

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

Divestment: is it an effective tool to promote sustainable development?

Despite the fact that the climate accord negotiated by the Member States of the UN in Paris does not promise to solve the problem of global warming, the growing progress in renewable energy along with divestment from fossil fuels may ultimately solve much of the problem.

Below are articles since 2015 in CPNN about this divestment:

Norway: ‘Biggest Pile of Money on the Planet’ To Dump Fossil Fuels Holdings

Catholic Institutions Announce Largest-Ever Joint Divestment from Fossil Fuels

REPORT: Fossil Fuel Divestment Doubles in Size as Institutions Representing $5 Trillion Commit to Divest

Laureates and scientists call on Nobel Prize Foundation to divest fossil fuels

Catholic institutions around the world announce they are divesting from fossil fuel extraction, marking the largest faith-based divestment announcement

For articles prior to 2015 on this question, click here.

Norway: ‘Biggest Pile of Money on the Planet’ To Dump Fossil Fuels Holdings


An article by Julia Conley for Common Dreams (reprinted according to terms of Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)

Environmental advocates on Thursday applauded the latest organization to shift away from continued support of the fossil fuel industry—Norway’s national bank.

In a move co-founder Bill McKibben called “astonishing,” Norges Bank, which oversees the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, advised the Norwegian government to dump all of its shares in oil and gas companies, leaving those entities out of its $1 trillion fund.

About six percent of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is invested in oil and gas companies—but the countries central bank advised that all those shares be dumped, amid falling oil prices and expectations of a dim future for fossil fuels. (Photo: Guy Beauchamp/Flickr/cc)

The bank’s decision comes two years after Norway’s parliament approved a measure calling for the fund to begin divesting from coal companies.

Norges Bank made the new recommendation in light of falling oil prices. Oil and gas are seen as increasingly risky investments as more countries turn to cleaner energy sources in order to meet requirements under the Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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Question for this article:

Divestment: is it an effective tool to promote sustainable development?

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While Norway has built much of its sovereign wealth through oil and gas development in the past—six percent of the fund is invested in fossil fuels—it’s now home to a fast-growing solar power sector, with solar installations rising by 366 percent from 2015 to 2016.

“It is not surprising that we see the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund managers no longer prepared to take the increasing risk associated with oil and gas assets, which do not have a long-term future,” said Paul Fisher of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, in an interview with the Guardian.

McKibben compared the bank’s recommendation to “the moment when the Rockefellers divested the world’s oldest oil fortune” in 2014, when the heirs to Standard Oil said that if founder John D. Rockefeller were alive in the 21st century, “he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy.”

“This is the biggest pile of money on the planet, most of it derived from oil—but that hasn’t blinded its owners to the realities of the world we now inhabit,” said McKibben.

Nicolò Wojewoda of Europe was also hopeful about the implications of Norges Bank’s decision, calling it “yet another nail in the coffin of the coal, oil, and gas industry.”

“To stop climate catastrophe, fossil fuels need to stay in the ground. Investing in them is no longer financially sound, nor morally acceptable, and this proposal is a clear recognition of that,” Wojewoda added.

Taiwan: The sixth Buddhist-Christian talk in progress


An article from Radio Vatican

The sixth Buddhist-Christian talk is taking place in Taiwan from Monday to Thursday [November 13-16] on the theme “Christians and Buddhists: Let’s walk together the Way of Nonviolence”.

The four day event is being organized by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and is represented by delegates from 18 countries mostly Asians.

The Secretary of PCID, Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot opened the inaugural session illustrating the role of the Dicastery since its founding in 1964. For more than fifty years he recalled, the PCID has been involved in dialogue and collaboration with Buddhists all over the world. The first Buddhist-Christian formal talk was held at the Fokuangshan Monastery in Taiwan in 1995 on the theme “convergences and divergences” between the two religions. The second meeting was held in 1998 at the Asirvanam Benedictine Monastery Bangalore, India on “word and silence”. The third was held in Tokyo, Japan, in 2002 at Rissho Kosei-kai, on “Sangha in Buddhism and Church in Christianity.” The fourth was “Interior Peace, peace among peoples” and was held in Rome in 2013 and the fifth on “Buddhists and Christians together encourage fraternity” was held in Bodh Gaya, India, in 2015.

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Question related to this article:
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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The current theme of the assembly is taken from the traditional message that PCID sends to the Buddhists for the Vesakh festival, which this year emphasized in particular the urgent need to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence.

“Terrorism is on the increase, as well as the number of people killed in terrorist attacks and most victims are women and children” said the Bishop. Moreover, in most cases, conflicts cross the frontiers and especially affect the poor countries, he added. Making a mention of domestic violence especially come across by women the bishop said that the study of violence is not a simple academic exercise but a matter of life and death. Some of us come from conflict-torn societies, some others experience the long-term or short-term effects of past wars. Some are victims or witnesses of unreasonable atrocities. In many of our countries, we daily hear the cry of the victims of violence he observed. Yet he said, uncontrolled nationalism, sexism, racism, caste, ethnic and religious fundamentalism may numb our hearts and blind our eyes to the suffering of so many people, hence the Buddhists and Christians work together to prevent and defeat violence he concluded.

More than 1.3 million people around the world die each year because of violence; and about 1.2 billion, or one fifth of the world’s population, are affected by some form of violence or insecurity.

Cardinal P Jean-Louis Tauran, President of PCID will take part in the concluding session of the assembly on Thursday.

India: Peace fiesta underway at Wokha


An article from Eastern Mirror Nagaland

Peace Counts Wokha launched the third peace programme (Peace fiesta) a two day event on promoting peace at Don Bosco Higher Secondary School Wokha, ground under the theme Peace within, peace outside on Friday.

Peace Counts Wokha, as seen on their Facebook page
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Ashanthung Humtsoe, General Secretary, Lotha Students’ Union exhorting and declaring the event open thanked the organisation for promoting peace through sports and encouraging the youths to come together, stating that the youths are the future of tomorrow in building the nation.

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Questions for this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

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Where he also informed that the world is today passing through an environment full of tension, violence, declining values, injustices, reduced tolerance and respect for human rights due to modernisation making smaller chance for peaceful coexistence with the gun culture taking a dominant position in most of the developing countries, threatening the future of the youths who deserve a peaceful and better quality of life.

He also highlighted the need to create a culture of peace and conflict free environment with youth’s involvement stating that the youths need to start thinking different and “be the change” where youth’s should learn to combine their enthusiasm with patience, realizing the importance of living together and should be responsible to defend the frontiers of peace and non-violence.

The two day event will feature painting, essay writing and poetry competition with poster expiation from peace builders around the world and hand prints of peace camping will also be organised for all the participants.

Sixteen (16) teams from various schools, colony and organisations from Wokha registered for participation in the event.

South Korea: Artists, activists to promote peace in Cheongju


An article by You Soo-sun in Peace News

An international event will bring 500 cultural activists to Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, Friday [November 10].

Under the theme “Designing a Culture of Empathy, Culture of Peace,” artists, experts and activists representing 50 countries including the U.S. , Yemen, Japan, Rwanda and France will gather for the three-day event, Better Together 2017.

The event is being run by World Culture Open (WCO), an international network of global activists, and is funded by North Chungcheong Province and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Since 1999, WCO has initiated numerous projects with the aim of bringing the world closer together.

The network has invited over 500 people from various fields including the arts, humanities, science, education and environment to share how they have utilized their talents to improve the global community.

Read the whole story in Artists, activists to promote peace in Cheongju | Korea Times.

Question for this article:

Tunis: Strengthening the scientific partnership between Iran and the Arab countries


An article from Web Manager Center (translated by CPNN)

Arab and Iranian academics who attended the third international scientific congress of universities in Iran and the Arab world, held in Tunis on November 11-12, stressed the importance of strengthening the cultural and civilizational exchange between the countries of the Arab world to break the stereotypes created by politicians and the media that no longer fit the reality of today.

The conference culminated in the publication of a press release containing scientific recommendations, including the valorization of the fruitful scientific partnership between Arab and Iranian universities and the need to engage in in-depth dialogues to develop scientific strategies capable of strengthening academic relations between both parties for a better and promising future to the Arab-Persian academic partnership.

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

Question for this article:

How can we ensure that science contributes to sustainable development?

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The recommendations also emphasized the importance of science as a human heritage that transcends ethnic conflict, calling for enhanced exchanges and the promotion of objective information and the culture of peace and tolerance.

The participants also called for a real debate among Muslims to better position Islam with other religions and to promote the common scientific heritage to educate young people with common civilizational foundations and spread the Arabic and Persian languages. They also stressed the importance of promoting the efforts of translation as a means of spreading the culture and science of the countries and the intensification of academic meetings and exchanges between Arab and Iranian students, professors and researchers.

It should be noted that this congress, organized under the supervision of the University of Manouba, saw the participation of presidents of Arab universities in Tunisia, Lebanon, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Iraq and Tunisia. Syria in addition to the participation of 11 Iranian universities.

Conferences on the sidelines of this event focused on ways to strengthen the university partnership between the countries of the Arab world and Iran.

Spanish action to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons


An article by Rafael de la Rubia from Pressenza (reprinted according to terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license)

On 7 July 2017, at the initiative of the United Nations, 122 countries concluded negotiations and elaboration of a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Subsequently, on 20 September 2017, the process of signing the treaty was opened, with the well-founded expectation that more than 50 countries would ratify it as a condition for the treaty to enter into force.

On 15 November, in the Spanish Congress of Deputies, an event will be held to address the global context of the deterioration of global security and the increasing risk of the use of nuclear weapons and to review the main international initiatives that are under way to prevent it.

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In a global context in which, once again, the danger of nuclear war is growing following successive nuclear tests by North Korea and the threat by President Trump to unleash “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” it seems necessary for the Spanish Parliament to debate this issue and adhere to the international treaties and actions under way.

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(Click here for a French version of this article or here for a Spanish version)

Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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Several social organisations such as World without Wars and Violence, the Spanish Peace Research Association, the Peace Culture Foundation and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Spain, among others, have taken the initiative to take this debate to the Spanish Parliament, calling on parliamentary groups to take a stand on this matter and to ask the government why Spain is not among those 122 countries that have been working on the elaboration of this Treaty, and calling on all deputies and senators in Spain to attend the event that will take place on Wednesday, the 15th of November, at 4pm in the Clara Campoamor Hall in the Spanish Congress.

In the event the global context with respect to nuclear weapons and the NPT will be discussed, as well as other nuclear disarmament initiatives. In addition, the Network of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), an international inter-parliamentary forum with the participation of more than 700 parliamentarians from 75 countries working on nuclear disarmament, will also be presented.

To this end, Alyn Ware, the international coordinator of PNND, has been invited to participate. In 2009 he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, popularly known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize, for his “effective and creative work over two decades to promote peace education and rid the world of nuclear weapons”. These awards have been presented annually since the Swede, Jakob von Uexkull, established them in 1980 to “honour and support those who propose concrete and exemplary solutions to the challenges of today’s world”. In 2009, Ware was reported by the press as “a tireless defender of peace and nonviolence”.

Furthermore, the Conference on Nonviolence in preparation for the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence which will take place at Cybele Palace, headquarters of the Madrid City Council, on Friday 17, will review the initiatives for nuclear disarmament and will explicitly support Spain’s accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Jordan: Peace through science


An editorial from the Jordan Times

His Majesty King Abdullah inaugurated on Tuesday at the Dead Sea the World Science Forum 2017, which this year had “Science for peace” as its theme, a topic strongly supported by this distinguished meeting that normally seeks to highlight the role of science in building and fostering a culture of peace at all levels of society, and the potential of science to create mechanisms that promise peaceful opportunity.

Jordanian Princess Sumaya, chair of the World Science Forum 2017 and president of the Royal Scientific Society, speaks during the opening ceremony of the World Science Forum 2017 in Sweimeh, Jordan, on Nov. 7, 2017. Photo from Xinhua Net

The forum, first held in Hungary in 2003, was attended this year by visiting Hungary President János Ader, who joined some 3,000 scientists, policymakers, Nobel laureates, academics and investors from over 120 countries at this meeting held for the first time in the area.

The King honoured several prominent Jordanian scientists who made remarkable achievements in various fields and said, on the occasion, that knowledge can help realise stability and development for “our world and the future of our generations”.

With so much turmoil and fighting laying the Middle East to waste, it is no wonder that this year’s forum wishes to highlight the role of science in building and fostering peace.

But equally important to achieving peace is food, water and security, as highlighted by the Hungarian president who, mentioning the region’s rich historical lessons, pointed out the reasons this year’s forum focuses on these issues: “If we look at only its past 100 years, we can see that competition for natural resources — like arable land, water and energy — has almost always contributed to conflicts within and between countries. It is no accident that this year’s forum focuses on the issues of food security, water and energy. All three of these areas are fundamental to security.”

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Question for this article:

How can we ensure that science contributes to sustainable development?

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They certainly are, particularly when knowing that, as the president said, 2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water, 4 billion have no access to adequate sanitation, in 36 countries, per capita water supplies have fallen to a critical level and around 80 per cent of waste water is dumped, untreated, into the biosphere, all problems with great potential to create instability or worse.

As such, HRH Princess Sumaya, chairperson of this year’s forum and president of the Royal Scientific Society, expressed hope that the “stark and shared” challenges and “critical needs of our world” can be addressed, “to create a future that is worthy of our human spirit”.

As she also aptly put it, “knowledge is the key to our future, and science and technology must be empowered to acknowledge those truths that are challenged today”.

Indeed, only through knowledge and daring pioneering work can mankind hope to better its lot, harness nature’s bounty and caprices, overcome petty instincts and avoid savage conduct; only thorough scientific knowledge can it understand the world around, live harmoniously and succeed in combating the scourges of our days: radicalism and terrorism.

Only through it can it hope to survive as a species and save this planet so aggressively exploited.

Theoretical physicist, best-selling author and renowned futurist Michio Kaku said it better: “The future belongs to the educated, dreamers and the curious young people… .”

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is now considering articulating a “general comment” on the right to science as a means to upgrade human thinking and intellectual integrity, an issue on which the forum organisers might wish to collaborate with the UN.

Knowledge means power, progress and emancipation. Spreading it is the duty of all those who possess it. The forum is essential to that endeavour.

4th Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa


An article from Panapress

The 4th Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa ended on Tuesday afternoon in Diamniadio, Senegal, after two days of work marked by a high-level panel led by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Ibrahima Boubacar Keita of Mali.

The three heads of state particularly emphasized the need for Africa to rely first on itself to ensure its security before appealing to the international community.

(From l) Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame, Senegal’s president Macky Sall, Mali’s president Ibrahima Boubacar Keita and AU Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat at the opening of the Peace and Security forum in Dakar. By SEYLLOU (AFP)

“We must commit ourselves to solving our problems before resorting to foreign aid. I do not believe that Africa’s defense will come from outside. I do not believe it. Africa must first take charge of its security and our partners will come in support,” said President Sall.

The Prime Minister of Chad, Albert Pahimi Padacké, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, the French Minister of Armed Forces, Ms. Florence Parly, and the Deputy Minister at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Masahisa Sato, also took part in this panel.

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

Question for this article

Islamic extremism, how should it be opposed?

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The Prime Minister of Chad, Albert Pahimi Padacké, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, the French Minister of Armed Forces, Ms. Florence Parly, and the Deputy Minister at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Masahisa Sato, also took part in this panel.

The sentiment of the three heads of state is shared by Padacké who highlighted the efforts made by his country to help its neighbors, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, to fight against Bokko Haram, which is rampant in the Lake Chad Basin.

“We have to rely on ourselves first, because the security of the continent and Africans are at stake. It is our responsibility to protect our countries and our people. We can always appeal to the international community, but we must not depend on it,” he said.

“Chad does not host any terrorist organization, but it was the first to intervene in Mali and devotes significant resources to the fight against terrorism that is raging among its neighbors,” he said, wondering how long his country can hold out if its efforts are not supported?

However, they all recognize the need for subregional and global cooperation to fight terrorism, particularly in Africa.

Discussions focused on several themes including terrorism and violent extremism, Africa and emerging security challenges, migration and security challenges, the fight against terrorist financing, maritime security and safety in Africa, as well as cybersecurity, information governance and the digital space.

This “Mature Forum” was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by Senegalese from abroad with the support of the French Ministry of Defense and many other partners.

Placed this year under the theme “Security Challenges in Africa: for integrated solutions”, the meeting brought together “more than 400 participants” including regional and international actors, political and military authorities, experts, academics, diplomats, representatives of international organizations and civil society.

The organization of the forum was decided in December 2013 in Paris during a France-Africa summit on the fight against terrorism.