Category Archives: Uncategorized

When you cultivate plants, do you cultivate peace?

The initial articles on this subject were written by Marielza Cunha Horta about the The Eco Citizen project in Brazil, and she gave us the title: “Cultivate plants, Cultivate peace.” Since then, subsequent articles bear out this approach.

According to the CPNN article about the largest tropical reforestation effort in history that aims that aims to restore 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon, “The reforestation project fills an urgent need to develop the region’s economy without destroying its forests and ensuring the well-being of its people.”

When announcing a great tree-planting project in Zambia, the President emphasized that it would involve young people, especially school children so that “when our learners appreciate the importance of trees, it will in turn create a positive impact in families and the communities at large.”

And describing the Green Belt Project that will cross the entire African continent with trees, CPNN noted that “Although the project was conceived on a grand scale, continental in scope, the actions must take place at a local level. . . [so that] the populations of different villages, communities and cities will develop mutual understanding, respect and confidence.”

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

English bulletin May 1, 2018

IS THERE PROGRESS TOWARD PEACE?

We started off this year with news that South and North Korea would hold high-level talks and that they would compete jointly in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. That came off well. “In PyeongChang, the world became one,” said Lee Hee-beom, head of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee. “Transcending the differences of race, religion, nation and gender, we smiled together, cried together, and shared friendship together.”

Progress is continuing this month with the announcement that the leaders shook hands at the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries and pledged to work to denuclearize the peninsula and to declare the official end to the Korean War. In the words of South Korean President Moon Jae-In: “Kim Jong-un and I declared together that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and a new age of peace has begun.”

The struggle for justice for the Palestinian people, that featured the young activist Amed Tamimi in last month’s bulletin, became more dramatic this month as thousands of Palestinians took part in a month of nonviolent marches called the Great March of Return. Israel could not tolerate such a massive demonstration and used snipers to shoot the unarmed participants. . Veteran peace activist Uri Avnery compares this to the British atrocities against Gandhi and his followers in India and the racist attacks on Martin Lurther King and his followers in Alabama and he reminds us that eventually the British had to leave India.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians do not give up hope, despite hardship and war, as illustrated by the Gaza Children Cinema, “born out of a desire to create a safe haven for children . . . evidence of the magic of cinema—of how film can relieve suffering and provide light to literally one of the darkest places in the World.”

This year was the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and as a follow-up we publish brief interviews with 15 of its participants coming from all corners of the world. In the words of Sohini Shoaib from India, “Women are rising up, and not just women, all these people who feel they have been silenced.”

And finally, the schoolchildren of the United States, who took to the streets on March 24 to protest gun violence following the shooting in the school of Parkland, Florida, have continued their mobilization. There were again walkouts in over 2500 schools across the country on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 school massacre in Columbine, Colorado, and students are planning to continue mobilizing during the summer vacation this year. As explained by one of the organizers, speaking to her group of students, “”Change happens through patience and this fight does not stop after April 20.”

As one commentator remarks, the student protests are part of a broader agenda to “stop fueling the culture of violence and militarism,” which includes training programs in the schools to prepare students to become military officers.

Are we making progress toward a culture of peace? Only time will tell.

      

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


“Our Dreams Are Coming True”: Peace Activists Celebrate as Korean Leaders Vow to Officially End War

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


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

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



First Congress of World Leaders, International Cities of Peace, at the invitation of the Fundación El Sol

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



Latin American mayors meet in Costa Rica for development goals

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


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

HUMAN RIGHTS



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

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Palestine’s Great March of Return: A New Defiance Campaign

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



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

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.

(Article continued in right column)

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?

(Article continued from left column)

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. 

English bulletin April 1, 2018

. . . THE NEW GENERATION . . .

The news this month is dominated by the new generation.

In the United States on March 14, over one million students in over 3000 schools walked out of classes to protest gun violence, led by the survivors of the massacre of 17 students and staff in Parkland, Florida, last month.

As explained by Chelsea, a high school student, “We’re here protesting gun violence all across America. Guns don’t solve problems, they create problems. And obviously, as you can see, we all feel strongly about this. This is something that’s been going on for far too long. And if people—if adults aren’t going to take action, we need to take action.”

In the words of another high school student, Jayleen Flores, “A big part of this was to show that our generation is going to make the change because we are the future, and we are soon to be adults. So it is like this is our time to really get out there and have them listen to us,””

Ten days later, on March 24, young people took the leadership in over 800 ‘March For Our Lives’ events across the United States, including almost one million in Washington, D.C. alone. The most remarkable moment at the Washington rally was when 17-year-old Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, addressed the crowd and paused for a full 6 minutes and 20 seconds silence – the time it took for the gunman to kill 17 of her Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School classmates.

In some of the biggest U.S. youth demonstrations for decades, protesters called on lawmakers and President Donald Trump to confront the issue. Voter registration activists fanned out in the crowds, signing up thousands of the nation’s newest voters. In Washington, Cameron Kasky, a 17-year-old high school junior, told the crowd: “Politicians: either represent the people or get out. Stand with us or beware, the voters are coming.”

The young people are finding substantial support in their efforts to change the gun laws of the United States. Both of country’s teacher’s unions are supporting the student walkout and demonstrations. Many politicians and Hollywood stars joined in the demonstrations.

One especially symbolic contribution was that of the New England Patriots football team which offered their airplane to transport the students from Parkland, Florida, to the Washington demonstration.

Photos illustrate the historic nature of the demonstrations.

And there are already important economic effects. Major corporations are cancelling the discounts that they previously offered to members of the National Rifle Association. And the oldest gunmaker in the country, Remington, has filed for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, it is a teenager, 17-year-old Amed Tamimi, who has become the heroic representation of resistance by the Palestinians to the Israeli occupation. She has been sentenced by a secret military court to 8 months in prison for have slapped, pushed and kicked an Israeli soldier who was occupying her house not long after he or another soldier in his squad shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet, forcing him into a coma. Her mother filmed the episode and uploaded it onto Facebook. As a result Amed has become a hero while her mother has been sentenced to prison for “incitement.” Meanwhile, the film has sparked solidarity actions around the world.

The scale and historical importance of these actions by the new generation reminds one of the leadership by youth in the global movement against the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s and in the movement against Apartheid in South Africa in the 1970’s. As a result, the Vietnam War had to be abandoned, and Apartheid was overthrown. Will America’s lax gun laws be changed and will the Israeli occupation be overcome? The answer is in the hands of the new generation.

      

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


USA: Enough! A Million Students Walk Out of Schools to Demand Action on Guns in Historic Day of Action

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Brazil: World Social Forum concludes in Salvador

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



World Peace Flame to be lit in Ashland, Oregon (USA)

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



France: Citizen vote against nuclear power

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


What Is CSW and Why Are We in New York to Be Part of It?

HUMAN RIGHTS



Cuba a ‘Champion’ of Children’s Rights: UNICEF

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Ahed Tamimi and the Pathology of the Israeli Mind

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



‘Back to Learning’ education campaign to benefit half a million children in South Sudan

London: International Peace Congress April 7

..DISARMAMENT & SECURITY..

An article from Transcend


(click on image to enlarge)

Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

Alberto Portugheis is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. By profession a concert pianist and pedagogue, he is an active peace campaigner, whose anti-military stance  earned him a nomination  for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. As a result, Portugheis wrote, “Dear Ahed…..The Game of War and a Path to Peace” – a book that has received critical acclaim http://www.dearahed.co.uk. He contributes regularly to Twitter and has many followers. Some of his thoughts, ideas and reflections, which express only the desire “to make people think” and not take for granted what they read, “no matter where”, can be found in his blog  http://portugheis.livejournal.com.

Professor Alicia Cabezudo is a member of TRANSCEND International, Vice President of the International Peace Bureau-Geneva, of Open University of Catalonia-Barcelona, and the National University of Rosario-Argentina.
 
Christophe Barbey, Irenist (peace activator, theory and practices of peace and peace science), poet (smile cultivator) and lawyer (prevention and solutions) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He lives in the Swiss Alps and works sometimes in Geneva. Main representative at the United Nations in Geneva for the Center for Global Nonkilling  and for Conscience and Peace Tax International. Expertise on the place of peace in constitutions and the human right to peace, on countries without armies.

English bulletin March 1, 2018

SOLIDARITY INSTEAD OF THREAT

The theme this month is solidarity instead of military threat.

We begin with the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Speaking at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, in the Republic of Korea, he said, “Let the Olympic flame shine as a beacon to human solidarity.  Let the Olympic Truce help spread a culture of peace.”

And speaking to the meeting on combating the transnational threat of terrorism in Africa held by Peace and Security Council of the African Union, he concluded that “we face a serious challenge — but I believe it is one that we can meet with solidarity, common action and a shared resolve.”

In Korea the Olympic Games have inspired the first peaceful contact between North and South in many years. This flies in the face of the threat of military action by the United States.

As athletes from North and South Korea marched together, the head of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee, Lee Hee-beom, addressed the closing ceremony, saying “the presence of both Koreas at these Olympic Games has laid a solid foundation for the future of the two Koreas. The seed of peace you have planted here in PyeongChang will grow as a big tree in the not-distant future. The hope and aspirations of South and North Korean athletes together with cheerleaders will definitely serve as a cornerstone of the unification of the Korean Peninsula.”

In Africa, the call by Guterres for solidarity echoes the actions for a culture of peace by UNESCO, designed to “draw on the sources of inspiration and the potential of the cultural, natural and human resources of the continent in order to identify concrete lines of action to build a lasting peace, the cornerstone of endogenous development and Pan-Africanism.” These can be seen as an alternative not only to the threat of terrorism, but also to the threat posed by American military expansion on that continent.

In Latin America, there are two good examples of solidarity this month. Writing from Mexico, Leonardo Boff, the Brazilian theologian and writer, recalls the remarkable spirit of solidarity and cooperation of the Mexican people in response to the earthquake last year. And writing from the organization Tikkun in the United States, David Sylvester, recalls how the presence of a delegation of some 50 interfaith and peace activists prevented violence against the peaceful protests of the people of Honduras.

In Europe, activists of Amnesty International and Anafé (the National Border Assistance Association for Foreigners) continue to give aid to refugees at the border despite prosecution by the French authorities.

In the Middle East, despite pressure by the government of Israel, the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement that seeks to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and human rights violations, continues its activity and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the United States, the movement of solidarity and resistance to protect immigrants from the threat of deportation by the government of Donald Trump, continues to gain support, as exemplified by the”state of the city” address by New Haven mayor Toni Harp.

Finally, on a global scale, we publish the latest news from the Youth Solidarity Fund of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, which we have followed since its beginnings over a decade ago. And a former director of the Alliance, Shamil Idriss gives us his vision for the actions of Search for Common Ground in 2018, based on their actions of solidarity during 2017.

      

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



The People of Mexico Give the World an Example of Solidarity

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


UNESCO brochure: Africa, Culture of Peace, 2017

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



UN chief in Pyeongchang; Olympic message of peace is universal, beacon for human solidarity, culture of peace

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



China Reassigns 60,000 Soldiers to Plant Trees

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


First National Bank dumps NRA, will no longer issue NRA Visa card

HUMAN RIGHTS



Pakistan: Asma Jahangir, Champion Of Human Rights, Critic Of Pak Army, Dies At 66

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


India: ’Life: A Mystical Journey’- A Gathering of 500 Women Leaders To Explore Spirituality as Tool For Peace And Empowerment

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Search for Common Ground: Vision for 2018

UN chief in Pyeongchang; Olympic message of peace is universal, beacon for human solidarity, culture of peace

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

News story and press release from the United Nations News Centre

Following is the text of UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ video message for the pre‑ceremony at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, in the Republic of Korea today [PyeongChang, February 9]:


Secretary-General António Guterres (left) and Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, hold a joint press encounter at the IOC office in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. UN Photo/Mark Garten

안녕하십니까 Ahn-nyoung Ha-shim-nikka, PyeongChang.

The world gathers on the Korean Peninsula today, united by the Olympic spirit:  in solidarity, mutual respect and friendly competition.  The Olympics and Paralympics showcase the best of the world’s athletic achievements.

 And the best of humanity.

Let the Olympic flame shine as a beacon to human solidarity.  Let the Olympic Truce help spread a culture of peace.  Let the Olympic spirit guide our actions today and every day.

Thank you.  Gahm-sah Hahm-ni-da 감사합니다.

(Articles continued in right column)

Questions for this article:

Can the Olympic Games promote a Culture of Peace?

(Articles continued from left column)

. . . United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on everyone to recognize and promote the Games’ universal message of peace and tolerance.

“The Olympic spirit allows people to be together, from all over the world, to respect each other, to assert the values of tolerance, of mutual understanding that are the basic elements for peace to be possible,” Mr. Guterres told journalists in Pyeongchang.

Obviously, in the present context, he said, there is a lot of attention for this message of peace in relation to the Korean Peninsula, but the Olympic message of peace is not local.

“It is universal. It’s for the world. It is valued in Korea as it is valued everywhere where we struggle to try to address the many complex conflicts that we are facing,” he said.

The UN chief also extended his appreciation and pride to be at the Winter Olympics and highlighted the cooperation between UN and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as the values for which the IOC and its sister organization, the International Paralympic Committee, stand.

The Winter Olympics opened earlier today (local time) with cultural and artistic performances as well as the customary parade of athletes, which was the delegations from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea under one flag, carried together by a sportsperson from each team.

Also today, the opening ceremony saw the conclusion of the long journey of the Olympic Torch that started in November 2017.

In the last leg of its journey, the flame was carried, among others, by Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the UN General Assembly and Thomas Bach, the President of the IOC.

Outlining the commonalities between sport and diplomacy – both about peace and bringing people together – Mr. Lajčák highlighted that the Olympic torch is “probably the best symbol in our times in our world.”

“[It] is a symbol of peace, a symbol of youth, a symbol of sport, communication, a symbol of tradition, a symbol of hope.” he said.

(Thank you to Phyllis Kotite, the CPNN reporter for these articles.)

PyeongChang Winter Olympics to Serve as Platform for Sustainable World

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article by Oh Soo-young, KBS World Radio News.

Anchor: With three days left until the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, an event in Seoul on Tuesday aimed to shine a spotlight on how the global sporting event can bring the world together in efforts to achieve social and environmental sustainability. Our Oh Sooyoung was at the event.

Report: The Olympics are not just a stage of athletic skill and sportsmanship but a global platform to build a better and more sustainable world. 

That was the over-arching theme of a “talk concert” held on Tuesday in central Seoul, co-hosted by the PyeongChang Olympics Organizing Committee, the South Korean government and seven UN agencies in South Korea. 

Former Olympians and various opinion leaders emphasized how the Olympic Games can contribute to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) which include improving livelihoods and empowering women and youth. 

(Article continued in right column)

Questions for this article:

Can the Olympic Games promote a Culture of Peace?

(Article continued from left column)

United Nation Development Programme(UNDP) Seoul Policy Centre Director Balázs Horváth said a core principle of sustainable development is “leaving no one behind” – a value that resonates with the spirit of the Olympics. 

UNDP Seoul Policy Centre’s Director Balázs Horváth: “Sports is a valuable tool for promoting a just, peaceful and inclusive society. They help promote social inclusion, build trust and foster a culture of peace between groups, even groups that are in conflict. Help empower individuals and communities, especially for women and young children.” 

Beyond the sporting events, achieving sustainable peace and development are critical objectives for the games in PyeongChang. 

The PyeongChang Olympic Committee strives to preserve nature, revitalize local communities by supporting tourism and job creation as well as regional development using clean and affordable energy, according to the UN director. 

UNDP Seoul Policy Centre’s Director Balázs Horváth: “It contributes towards building industry and infrastructure. The KTX train that takes people to the Olympics. It contributes to clean water and sanitation – another SDG. Affordable and clean energy. Also, the way they are placing great emphasis on renewable energy and saving energy contributes to climate action, another SDG.” 

Organizers hope the PyeongChang Olympics will serve as an opportunity for the world to come together to create a better future.

Are we making progress against racism?

Here is the opinion of Reverend Buddy Aaron Larrier received by CPNN February 3, 2018:

The derogatory statements made by President Donald Trump with reference to Haiti and African countries, should be offensive to ALL PEOPLE of goodwill who are aware of their own history and should be an awakening for dark skin people of African descent. Likewise, for Caucasians who are aware of Africa’s history prior to the 15th century (1492) and the formation of the United States of America (USA).

Therefore, as a contribution to Black History Month 2018 I am writing this open letter to address two points; firstly, as an appeal and secondly as a recommendation to the leaders of black people’s led countries of the world, particularly to the Heads of CARICOM Governments. My appeal is: please do not be reactive to the unfortunate statement made by Mr. Donald Trump, but be strategically proactive. I make this appeal because of my vision in 1977 for the 21st century. At the time I had a spiritual, consciousness awakening, which subsequently led me to becoming a student of Racism and a human rights and social justice advocate. In the vision I saw the end of Racism – yes, of White Supremacy. My mission is to assist in its eradication.

In this regard, I have noted with interest that Donald Trump’s statements were made as Haiti took the Chair of CARICOM. It was made also on the eve of the 1st anniversary of his Presidency and the 10th anniversary of the first black President of the United States. The successful presidency of Barack Obama haunts President Donald Trump and other Americans White Supremacists as their worst nightmare. However, the fact is; there has never been a President of the USA who did not subscribe to the institutional system of White Supremacy (Racism). Therefore, I am confident to say that it was necessary for “a Donald Trump” to be elected during this period of transition from lies to truth, so as to reveal to the world that “the Emperor is naked”. President Trump’s statements would be unbecoming of any President of any country; but being holder of the highest office of the world’s most powerful country, his remarks has illuminated the issue of Racism. Whereby, he has dishonoured and disgraced that high office. Nevertheless, he must be congratulated for awakening those persons who were still asleep or had their heads buried to the issue of white supremacy.

While processing the depth of President Trump’s remarks, I was motivated or inspired to pay special attention to the sentencing hearing of Mr. Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing young girls who trusted him. His guilty plea came at a time when changes are taking place, as many influential men who manipulated and violated the rights of women are being publicly disgraced. Human rights advocates are very pleased about this development. I can therefore say with confidence that the timing of President Trump’s abusive remarks is not coincidental. His Racist remarks compare equally to the sexual abuses as stated by the over 150 victims who gave evidence against Mr. Nassar, in particular that of Ms. Rochael Denhollander who started his downfall. Her commanding statement should be studied as a text for exposing the complicity within the wicked system of inferiority and superiority. If we were to substitute the words ‘sexual abuse of children’ and replace them with Racism, we will appreciate the depth of Trump’s remarks. It is clear to see for those paying attention that all around the world African consciousness is being awakened, likewise so is the female consciousness as explained by the Hon. Justin Tuudeau, Prime Minister of Canada at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in January.

By sentencing Larry Nassar to 175 years for his evil deeds of abusing hundreds, a strong message is therefore sent, not only to the USA, but to ALL nations of the world that the woman, who is mother of humankind demands that her humanity and dignity be respected and guaranteed. The black woman who put a racial perspective into Mr. Nassar’s hearing has sent notice that the awakening of African consciousness will also be putting White Supremacy on trial for its evil deeds of abusing the human rights of millions. It is therefore not coincidental that the oldest person in the known world today is a black woman from the Caribbean, where the worst atrocities were committed against the black man and woman – parents of humankind.

Therefore, my recommendation is that an appropriate response to President Trump’s statements should be a resolution to the United Nations that would have an impact on the world and would address the issue of both Racism and Sexism at the core. The historic event which took place on October 12, 1492 started a chain of encounters with different ethnic groups that gave persons like President Trump the authority and confidence to make derogatory statements about blacks and other non-white people and women because of Slavery and Colonialism. It was the nation of Haiti that led the way forward towards ending Slavery and starting the process of repairing the damage. For more than two decades CARICOM has been lobbied to recognize October 12, as a day for truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation. It is good that the date has now been proclaimed as ‘Caribbean Holocaust Day’. Therefore, it is appropriate and timely that Haiti as Chair of CARICOM should lead the initiative for a Resolution to be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of CARICOM for October 12 to be proclaimed/designated as the International Day for Reparations.

The reason for this recommendation is twofold. Firstly, it is predicated on the history following October 12, 1492 when Columbus made landfall in the Caribbean. Secondly, a proposal on October 12 has been before world leaders, the Governments of Barbados and CARICOM for many years. Barbados played a significant role during the British Empire building process, which makes Barbados the best nation to submit the resolution to the UN on behalf of CARICOM. Barbados is the only colony of colonial Briton where the colonizers and the colonized arrived together. It is the first English colony that went to war with its colonial masters after the execution of Charles 1 in 1649. The wording of the Barbados Peace Charter of 1652 influenced the wording of the constitution of the United States in 1787. Barbados was also a leading trans-shipment point for sending enslaved persons to other Caribbean and North America colonies of England. Barbados led the Caribbean delegation to the UN World Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001. It hosted the first Afrikan and Afrikan descendants World Conference against Racism in October 2002 as a follow-up to the Durban conference. In addition, Barbados has lead responsibility for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Finally, in the hearing of Larry Nassar the question was asked, why did it took so long for him to be exposed when many in authority were aware of his deeds. That same question is relevant for racism and reparatory justice. There are many changes taking place worldwide that are lessons to be learnt by people of colour and the year 2018 is highlighting some of these changes necessary for repairing the damage of the past 500 plus years and the search for truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation.

I am firmly of the opinion that should the UN designate October 12 as International Day for Reparations as we advance into the UN declared International Decade for People of African Descent, it would usher in the spirit of genuine truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation, which would bring to an end a significant part of my vision and mission for which I have been lobbying since 1977. God’s promise might be slow, but it surely comes on time.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

English bulletin February 1, 2018

MASS MEDIA FOR CULTURE OF PEACE

It has been the dream at CPNN from the beginning that our website and others like us would be able to attract so much readership that the mass media would need to take up the theme of the culture of peace in order compete with us.

I don’t know if we have played a role in this, but indeed we see increasingly, at least in Latin America and Africa, that commercial media are taking up the theme of the culture of peace.

The latest example comes from Mexico as described in the CPNN article, “Zacatecan Radio and Television System to introduce ‘the culture of peace’ as a transversal theme.

The many decisions taken in their manifesto “Public radio as a force for peace in Mexico” include:

* Every news program should start and end with positive news and should include at least one story related to “peace initiatives”

* Each radio station should hold a marathon at least every quarter with readings, verses, songs and poems for peace and profiles of people who have contributed to peace

* A 30-episode radio program. 15 minutes of duration will be broadcast by all public broadcasters in Mexico with content derived from the manifesto
The manifesto was developed with input from journalists in Colombia who explained how the media are playing a positive role in the transition to peace that their country.

In Colombia, for example, the initiative “Community Radios for Peace and Coexistence”, launched in mid-2016 with support from the European Unon, supports 400 of the 627 community radio stations in the country to generate a culture of peace in the most remote rural areas, those most affected by the armed conflict. The initiative not only opens microphones to the people, but also includes workshops in which 200 community radio journalists have been trained in the elaboration of educational content on peacebuilding,

Last year in Colombia, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace began training journalists and announcers working at hundreds of small community radio stations across the country including many remote regions where radio is the only medium to which people have access.

In Africa, there are now so many media initiatives for a culture of peace that we have started an entire section of CPNN dedicated to the question “African journalism and the culture of peace, A model for the rest of the world?” Links are provided to CPNN articles from Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Somalia.

In Uganda, since the end of the civil war with the LRA, local community radio stations have been reaching out to the public through peace reporting with a focus on development. International agencies have trained hundreds of local journalists in peace reporting. A number of community radios were set up with a commitment to peace journalism and are still active today.

UNESCO’s project “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” is helping radio stations to inspire intolerance for gender-based violence and hold perpetrators and duty-bearers responsible in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Burundi.

In Senegal last year, journalists and experts from the countries of West Africa and the Sahel met together in a seminar on “The role of journalists and the media in preventing violence and violent extremism.”

“It is the responsibility of each person to spread positive content and useful experiences that participate in the construction of the world, and thus in a culture of peace. It is therefore up to us to make the media a positive tool for the construction of society,”
according to Patrick Busquet, the head of the Hirondelle Foundation (Democratic Republic of Congo). It is in pursuit of this ideal that as of 2014 the Hirondelle Foundation had installed several media in Africa: Radio Okapi in Kinshasa, Radio Ndeke Luka in Bangui, the Tamani studios in Mali, Mozaïk in Ivory Coast, and Hirondelle in Guinea.

Back in 2011, The Journalists’ Network for Peace and Security (NetPeace) was officially launched at the AU headquarters of the African Union under the theme “Promoting a Culture of Peace through the Media”. Regional coordinators were established in Mauritania, Mali, Liberia, Djibouti, Kenya, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In the United States last year CPNN took part in a panel at Southern Oregon University called “Cultivating a Culture of Peace in an Era of Trump: What’s the Media’s Role?” Among the panelists were Jeff Golden from Southern Oregon Public TV and Bert Etling, a member of the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission and editor of the newspaper Ashland Daily Tidings. Articles on the culture of peace from the Daily Tidings are frequently reprinted by CPNN.

Hopefully, we will see further development of media for a culture of peace in the North, but for the time being, it is Africa and Latin America in the lead.

      

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Mexico: Zacatecan Radio and Television System to introduce “the culture of peace” as a transversal theme

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Burkina Faso: Inter-religious dialogue for peace: “It is the diversity of religions that gives meaning to religion”

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Honduras: Culture of peace promoted in 200 young people from “hot” areas

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



‘World’s First Solar Highway’ Opens in China for Testing

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Baltimore, USA: Conference on US foreign military bases

HUMAN RIGHTS


Uruguay’s main trade union center plans massive mobilization to construct a culture of peace

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Women’s March protests across America against President Trump

EDUCATION FOR PEACE


El Salvador to prioritize culture of peace in its schools