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 815th meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council: Report of the Commission on Elections in Africa

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from Relief Web (translation by CPNN)

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 815th meeting held on 4 December 2018, adopted the following decision on the report of the Commission on Elections in Africa:

The board,
1. Takes note of the presentation by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, HE Ms. Minata Samate Cessouma, of the report of the African Elections Commission on the twelve (12) national elections held from January to November 2018, namely: in Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Mali, Zimbabwe, Mauritania, Rwanda, Eswatini, Gabon, Cameroon, Sao Tome and Principe and Madagascar. The Council also takes note of the communications on the forthcoming elections of December 2018, in particular in Madagascar (second round of presidential elections), Togo and the DRC, as well as on the three elections scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 (Nigeria, Senegal and Benign). The Council further notes the statements of Mauritania, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Egypt and Gabon;

2. Reaffirms its commitment to endorse the process of democratization on the continent, in accordance with the relevant AU instruments, in particular the Constitutive Act, the Protocol for the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union as well as the Charter of Democracy, Elections and Governance;

3. Stresses once again the crucial nature of proactive action and preventive diplomacy aimed at combating all forms of election-related violence, early warning and conflict prevention. In this regard, the Council reiterates the central role of credible elections in the consolidation of peace and democracy, bearing in mind that failures, irregularities and bad practices in electoral processes are key factors in election-related violence in Africa;

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

Question related to this article:

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

4. Commends all the Member States that have successfully organized peaceful elections and encourages those who have not yet held their own elections to draw on good practices already observed in other Member States. The Council further encourages all Member States to continue to take appropriate measures to ensure the credibility and legitimacy of their results, inter alia, through an effective and transparent voter registration process, civic education based on inclusion, diversity management, tolerance and the culture of peace, and reiterates the importance of using legal channels to resolve election-related challenges;

5. Stresses the need for strong constitutional, institutional and legal frameworks to establish a strong foundation for electoral governance and administration. In this regard, the Council reiterates the AU’s call for Member States to continue their efforts to strengthen the National Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) in Africa, as well as their institutional capacities, with a view to help them fulfill their mandate and build their capacity to better deal with pre- and post-election tensions and disputes;

6. Reaffirms the need to strengthen citizens’ participation in electoral and democratic processes, through appropriate mechanisms encouraging citizens to take part in elections. In the same context, the Council recognizes the central role of political parties in electoral and democratic processes and calls on Member States to strengthen their institutional framework, in order to allow wider and more inclusive political participation in electoral processes and risk reduction. election-related violence;

7. Reiterates its appeal to Member States to take appropriate measures to strengthen gender equality and women’s empowerment through electoral and democratic processes;

8. Encourages the Commission, through appropriate channels, to share with the Member States concerned the results and recommendations of the Election Observation Missions with a view to contributing to their capacity to conduct electoral processes;

9. Calls on all AU Member States, which have not yet done so, to sign, ratify, integrate into their legislation and implement the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

10. Decides to remain actively engaged with the matter.
 

Bangui opens training workshop on mediation and conflict resolution

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from Agence Centafricaine de Presse (translation by CPNN)

The vice-rector of the University of Bangui, Olga Yongo, opened on Monday, December 10, 2018 in Bangui, a training workshop on mediation and conflict resolution for students of the University.


View of training participants

Vice-Rector Olga Yongo explained that this seminar, which runs from December 10th to 14th, inaugurates a vast training program on intercultural dialogue at the University of Bangui.

(click here for the French version)

Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

She emphasized that the aim of this workshop is to strengthen the role of participants in promoting a culture of dialogue and peace based on the principles dialogue, mediation, conflict resolution and the spread of a culture of peace.

She encouraged the participants to take the greatest benefit from the presence of high-level local trainers among them, and she was convinced, given the relevance of the themes and the quality of the programmed communications, that the results of this work would live up to their expectations.

“I can not end my remarks without expressing my gratitude to the Regional Director of the Central Africa and Great Lakes Office of the Francophone University Agency (AUF), who put the technical, financial and intellectual resources at the disposal of the organization of this seminar,” she continued.

The Vice-Rector also expressed her thanks to all those who agreed to participate in the seminar and to make a contribution to the promotion of peace.

The Head of the Francophone Digital Campus, Anicet Doumous, for his part, indicated that the AUF, with regard to axis 9 of its strategic plan 2017-2021, decided to organize the training workshop in collaboration with the University of Bangui.

UN General Assembly adopts Bangladesh’s resolution on a culture of peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from the Dhaka Tribune

Like every year, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has unanimously adopted Bangladesh’s flagship resolution on a “Culture of Peace”.

The main theme of the resolution is to ensure lasting peace in the world by ridding society of intolerance and hatred, according to a press release forwarded by the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN in New York on Thursday.

Chargé d’ Affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative (DPR) of Bangladesh’s Permanent Mission to the UN Tareq Md Ariful Islam floated the proposal on Wednesday. The proposal was cosponsored by 101 countries from various regions of the globe.

In his statement, Tareq said: “Over the years, Bangladesh has remained committed to the values and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and worked alongside the international community in promoting and protecting peace.

“The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remains committed to the issue, and underscores the importance of a ‘whole-of-society’ approach in our national context for promoting a culture of peace,” he said.

The concept of “Culture of Peace” on UNGA’s agenda was first mooted by Bangladesh in 1999.

The whole world celebrated a “Decade of Culture of Peace” following adoption of a resolution at the UNGA.

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Question(s) related to this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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The Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN has been taking this follow-up resolution to the General Assembly every year since 2000, and each year it has been unanimously adopted, said the Bangladesh Mission.

This year the resolution recognized the contribution of a culture of peace to combating terrorism as well as peacebuilding and sustaining peace; it also highlighted the role of children and youth by engaging them more in promoting a culture of peace in the society inculcating values such as: peace, tolerance, openness, inclusion, and mutual respect.

Everyone has pledged to work together to implement this important resolution.

Despite various tensions across the globe, the continued support for this year’s resolution comes as a testimony to the confidence of international community in Bangladesh.

It also endorses the importance of a culture of peace involving all people in global development efforts.

Tareq also said they will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace on September 13, 2019.

“To this end, the draft Resolution requests the President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly to give special attention to its appropriate and befitting observance by holding the High-Level Forum on that date next year, which will be an opportunity for renewing our shared commitment to further strengthen the global movement for the culture of peace,” he added.

The DPR also mentioned that a culture of peace is an aspiration of all humankind. “Promoting and inculcating a mindset of a culture of peace is at the core of the creative management of differences and divisions”.

[Click here for the full resolution.]

The Elders challenge leaders to confront migration lies and make UN deal a success

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article by The Elders

The Elders today [December 11] welcomed the signing of the United Nations Global Compact for Migration in Marrakesh as a means of strengthening nation states’ ability to manage migratory flows by emphasising coordination and solidarity.


UNSG António Guterres and Special Representative of the SG for International Migration Louise Arbour in Marrakesh in December 2018. (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

They noted that migration pressures are set to be exacerbated by the impact of climate change and conflict, making it all the more imperative that a robust international framework is put in place that can prioritise order, respect for human rights and equal burden-sharing between host countries.
 
They congratulated UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and Louise Arbour, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Migration, for their careful stewardship of the Compact process and the inclusive and respectful way the negotiations have been handled.

(Article continued in right column)

Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, said:
 
“This Global Compact offers a way to manage migration that recognises the realities of our globalised world and respects the human rights of people on the move. As we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, political leaders now need to show equal clarity of vision and purpose to implement the Compact.”
 
The Elders noted that the Compact is a non-binding, voluntary process rather than an attack on national sovereignty. They urged party leaders and parliamentarians in countries where the Compact is still under debate to reflect this in their interventions.
 
Recognising that migration is a contentious and sensitive topic in many countries, The Elders called on politicians, media and civil society to conduct their deliberations in a level-headed manner that is cognisant of global realities while sensitive to local opinion and specificities.
 
Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:
 
“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I was proud to launch the process to develop the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration in 2016. Today, I am encouraged by the result of the Marrakesh summit. I hope leaders will now act in the long-term interests of their people by implementing the Compact to protect the rights of migrants worldwide.”

For media inquiries, please contact William French, Head of Communications at The Elders (+44 7795 693 903) or email: media@theElders.org

‘We Have Not Come Here to Beg World Leaders to Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Jon Queally for Common Dreams (reprinted according to a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)

Striking her mark at the COP24 climate talks taking place this week and next in Poland, fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the world’s youth climate movement to the adult diplomats, executives, and elected leaders gathered by telling them she was not there asking for help or demanding they comply with demands but to let them know that new political realities and a renewable energy transformation are coming whether they like it or not.



Greta Thunberg speech to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres
“Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” said Thunberg, who has garnered international notoriety for weekly climate strikes outside her school in Sweden, during a speech on Monday.
(Article continued in the right side of the page)

Question for this article:

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

(Article continued from the left side of the page)

Thunberg said that she was not asking anything of the gathered leaders—even as she sat next to UN Secretary General António Guterres—but only asking the people of the world “to realize that our political leaders have failed us, because we are facing an existential threat and there’s no time to continue down this road of madness.”

Thunberg explained that while the world consumes an estimated 100 million barrels of oil each day, “there are no politics to change that. There are no politics to keep that oil in the ground. So we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”

“So we have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future,” she declared. “They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not. The people will rise to the challenge.”

The climate crisis, she said, “is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. First we have to realize this and then as fast as possible do something to stop the emissions and try to save what we can save.”

“On climate change,” said Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, the teenage Thunberg “demonstrates more clarity and leadership in one speech than a quarter of a century of the combined contributions of so called world leaders. Wilful ignorance and lies have overseen a 65 percent rise in CO2 since 1990. Time to hand over the baton.”

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

Southern Sudanese leaders agree to promote a culture of peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article in Arabic from Radio Tavazuj (translated by Google)

A number of civil leaders from across southern Sudan have agreed to work to promote unity, preaching peace and renouncing hate speech to promote peace, in accordance with the peace agreement.

Sixty local leaders from Upper Nile, Bahr El Ghazal and Equatorial Regions held a three-day meeting last week in the state of the Yai River to discuss how to implement the peace agreement.

In a statement received by Tamazog Radio, the workshop’s Cebu organization said that the aim of the workshop is to strengthen the capacity of the civil leadership and civil society organizations in the peace-building process.

Question related to this article:

 

Can peace be achieved in South Sudan?

Sultan Qwai, representative of the Upper Nile region, told Radio Tamazaj that the workshop added new skills on peace signed by the parties recently. “Let’s come together and start a new life with peace,” he said.

Sultan Mtour Abaj, from Bahr al-Ghazal province, pledged to spread peace, peaceful coexistence and unity in order to ease the trauma suffered by the people of southern Sudan during the war.

Ayak Deng, from the Abyei region, called on tribal leaders in southern Sudan to work for peaceful coexistence. “Let’s show love and unity among us and fight tribalism and we will not let each other out,” she said.

The Minister of Gender and Social Welfare of the State of Yay, Christina Annette, thanked Cebu and its partners for organizing a workshop of local leaders from sultans and activists from all over southern Sudan to discuss peace issues.

The minister called for efforts to promote peace-building in conflict-affected rural areas of the state of the River Yai, indicating that the state government is working hard to restore peace and stability so that peace partners can reach rural areas.

Honduras: Program in 130 schools reduces violence and promotes culture

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from La Tribuna, Honduras

A report has been published for the cooperative program between the Ministry of Education and UNICEF for the Construction of Peace, Coexistence and Citizenship. The report describes the results achieved in the reduction of violence and the strengthening of a culture of peace and coexistence in the 130 educational centers that participated in this initiative.


UNICEF and the Ministry of Education provide a vision to the country of protective school environments that can prevent bullying and other forms of violence against Honduran children. Both institutions, together with the International Center for Education and Human Development (CINDE), seek to realize this vision through the Program.

(Articles continued in right column)

(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

Where is peace education taking place?

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According to the report presented, during the year 2018, 64,699 children and adolescents have benefited from the strategy.

Similarly, 6,500 parents and 520 teachers and counselors have improved their knowledge and skills in the prevention of violence in schools.

According to the report presented, 72% of the schools that participate in the strategy have reduced the acts of violence against children and adolescents.

Another key element in the reduction of violence in schools has been the creation of school and community coexistence committees that encourage the participation of children in the management of the school environment.

Children and adolescents consulted have indicated that 80% of educational centers take into account their opinions in the construction of the coexistence response plan.

Marcial Solís, Minister of Education, said that “strengthening institutions is important, but much more important is that girls, boys and young people enjoy attending school, have security and confidence.”

The representative of UNICEF Honduras, Mark Connolly, said that “today we have seen concrete results, girls and boys who can attend the school to learn useful things for their lives, in violence-free environments.

Claudia Sheinbaum, the first woman elected by popular vote to govern Mexico City

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from RT News

Throughout its history, Mexico City has had two women in charge of the Government. The first was in 1999: Rosario Robles was in charge of the government of the Mexican capital, appointed to replace Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, who was running for a third presidential candidacy.

Today, December 5, the Administration of the city returns to the hands of a woman, but unlike Robles, the new mayor was elected by popular vote on July 1. This is Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, who, in addition, during her inauguration was accompanied by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is seen as her ‘political godfather’.


The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, accompanied Claudia Sheinbaum as she took the oath of office to become head of the Government of Mexico City. AMLO Press

“Today, as I become the Head of Government, it is a matter of pride for me to be faced with the commitment to transform the reality in which we live as the inhabitants of this beautiful city. We are not going to fail you!”

Sheinbaum, 56, a professor and PhD in Energy Engineering, has said that her government will be based on 12 main axes: austerity; open democratic government with zero tolerance for corruption; mobility; security; reconstruction of the city, as well as the improvement of the supply of drinking water.

Not only for those who voted for us, I am going to lead an honest, open, democratic, austere, inclusive government that acts with, for and for the citizenship, without distinction of party, religion or socioeconomic level, but putting all our effort to make of this, a city of rights, with justice and that diminishes the still serious social inequalities,” said the new mayor who has a degree in Physics, as she took the oath of office.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions related to this article:


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

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

Her main campaign promise was to end corruption, which – based on her estimates – will mean a saving of 25,000,000,000 pesos.

One of the main announcements made this day was the abolition of the body of grenadiers, a security group that has been associated with various human rights violations in Mexico City; the members of the body will be added to other corporations and civil protection tasks.

The duo Obrador-Sheinbaum

“I am very pleased, because Claudia Sheinbaum is a woman with convictions, she is an intelligent woman, she is an honest woman and she is going to make a good government,” said the president of Mexico, prior to the scientist’s installation as mayor.

When he was the Head of Government of the then Federal District, between 2000 and 2005, Lopez Obrador appointed Sheinbaum Secretary of the Environment, a period in which important infrastructure was built for cars in Mexico City. During the campaign they were attacked by their political adversaries with regard to this.

Sheinbaum was also a spokesperson for the failed presidential candidacy of López Obrador in 2006, accompanying him later when he left the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) to found the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), a party that took her to the head of the Government of the mayor of Tlalpan in 2015, where she had to cope with the collapse of a school in the earthquake of September 19, 2017, which left a balance of 19 children and seven adults dead.

Less than three months later, on December 5, 2017, Sheinbaum left office as head of the then Tlalpan delegation with the aim of seeking the leadership of the Government of Mexico City.

After competing for the candidacy with her co-promoters Martí Batres and Ricardo Monreal, Claudia Sheinbaum became the party’s candidate after winning a poll among activists in August 2017

(Editor’s note: Readers may note that we often use Russian news sources to obtain information about events in the West, although almost identical information is available in Western news sources. News sources in the West generally prohibit the reprinting of their reports, while websites like RT welcome the publicity they receive when their articles are reprinted. For example, RT says in its usage statement: “The information on the website is considered public (unless otherwise indicated) and may be distributed or copied for non-commercial purposes (for personal, educational, scientific, etc.), always referring to the link of actualidad.rt.com.” )

Argentina: Thousands of women march to the Plaza de Mayo to demand justice for Lucía Pérez

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from Radio Mitre

Under the slogan “We are all Lucia. Patriarchal justice is impunity, ” thousands of women marched to Plaza de Mayo to claim justice for Lucía Pérez, who was found dead in Mar del Plata in October 2016.


Those accused of femicide and sexual abuse were acquitted at the end of November. In opposition to this ruling, the demonstration occupied more than two city blocks.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions related to this article:

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

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“Justice for Lucia / we march for life not femicide / not one less / we want to live”, was the chant that became louder and louder in the minutes before six o’clock, when thousands of women began the mobilization .

Marta Montero, Lucia’s mother, along with her son Matías, came especially from Mar del Plata, where there was also a mobilization in which Father Guillermo participated, to make his claim heard before the Courts, the point where the concentration began. The young man, who cried during several moments of the march, had in his hands a portrait of his sister with the words: “Justice for Lucia: it was a femicide.” Her death, in 2016, had prompted the first national strike of women.

“Not one less, we want to live”, was one of the chants of the march, which stopped at Diagonal Norte and Cerrito so that the more than one hundred women who headed the march that reached Plaza de Mayo could lie down, as if dead, on the asphalt.

With photos of Lucía Pérez, women of all ages demanded Justice: from a little girl who is no more than 3 years old to Nelly Minyersky, historical reference of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion, who has already passed 80. “Feminism is going to win, patriarchy is going to fall, it is going to fall”, was the cry that generated tears in some of the girls lying down on the pavement.

Spain: Professor Marta Gonzalo, Keynote Speaker at the International Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article by Raúl García Hémonnet for the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (translated by CPNN)

Marta Gonzalo, professor of private international law at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), has been the European and Spanish representative in the second edition of the International Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace. Her intervention focused on comparing experiences and mediation proposals between Latin America and the European Union.

The Second Edition of the International Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace, held at the end of November in Panama, brought together academics and professionals from countries such as Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba and other European countries. The meeting served to carry out a joint reflection on the current panorama of mediation and the different paths towards the Culture of Peace.

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(click here for the Spanish version)

Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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The URJC professor focused on making several concrete proposals in her keynote address: ‘Experiences and proposals for mediation compared: Latin America – European Union’

Through these proposals, she invited all attendees to conduct collaborative practices in conflict management. Not only from the point of view of mediation and law but also from a real and effective collaboration from all areas involved in the resolution of conflicts.

She called for collaboration of legal, social, political and cultural actors to favor mediation and seek collaborative solutions to conflicts that satisfy all those involved. Based on these elements, the professor urged changes in all areas, proposing specific measures in the host country, Panama, with concrete proposals about information, education, legislation, training and dissemination.

She also invited all attendees to join the Conference of Universities for the Study of Mediation and Conflict (CUEMYC) and to work in the international framework and in a global manner on practices that encourage and encourage mediation towards an authentic culture of peace.