Category Archives: FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

Mairead Maguire Nominates Julian Assange for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize

. FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from Transcend Media Service

Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire wrote today [7 Jan 2019] to the Norwegian Nobel Committee nominating Julian Assange, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.


Ms. Maguire wrote:

“Julian Assange and his colleagues in WikiLeaks have shown on numerous occasions that they are one of the last outlets of true democracy with their work for freedom of speech.  Their work for true peace by making public our governments’ actions at home and abroad has enlightened us to their atrocities carried out in the name of so-called democracy around the world.  This included:

* Footage of carnage perpetrated by NATO/US military

* Release of email correspondence revealing conspiracy for regime change in Middle Eastern countries

* Elected officials paid to deceive the public

“This is a huge step in our work for disarmament and nonviolence worldwide. Julian Assange, fearing deportation to the U.S. to stand trial for treason, sought out asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.   Selflessly, he continues his work from there increasing the risk of his prosecution by the American government. 

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

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“In recent months the U.S. has increased pressure on the Ecuadorian government to take away what remains of his freedom.  He is now prevented from having visitors, telephone calls or other electronic communications, thereby removing his basic human rights.  This has put a great strain on Julian’s mental and physical health.  It is our duty as citizens to protect Julian’s human rights and freedom of speech as he has fought for ours on a global stage.

“It is my great fear that Julian, who is an innocent man, will be deported to the U.S. where he will face unjustified imprisonment.  We have seen this happen to Chelsea (Bradley) Manning who allegedly supplied WikiLeaks with sensitive information from NATO/US Middle Eastern wars and subsequently spent multiple years in solitary confinement in an American prison.   If the US succeeds in their plan to extradite Julian Assange to US to face a grand jury, this will silence journalists and whistle-blowers around the world in fear of dire repercussions.

“Julian Assange meets all criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize.   Through his release of hidden information to the public we are no longer naïve to the atrocities of war, neither oblivious to the connections between big business and the acquisition of resources and spoils of war.

“As his human rights and freedom are in jeopardy, the Nobel Peace Prize would afford Julian much greater protection from governments’ forces.

“Over the years there have been controversies over the Nobel Peace Prize and some of those to whom it has been awarded.  Sadly, I believe it has moved from its original intentions and meaning.  It was Alfred Nobel’s will that the prize would support and protect individuals at threat from government forces in their fight for nonviolence and peace, by bringing awareness to their precarious situations.  Through awarding Julian Assange the Nobel Peace Prize, he and others like him will receive the protection they truly deserve.

“It is my hope that by this we can rediscover the true definition of the Nobel Peace Prize.

“I also call on all people to bring awareness to Julian’s situation and support him in his struggle for basic human rights, freedom of speech, and peace.”

[Editor’s note: See also https://www.transcend.org/tms/2019/01/giuliani-says-assange-should-not-be-prosecuted/.

UNESCO and Angola to establish Biennale of Luanda, a Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from UNESCO

Carolina Cerqueira, Minister of Culture of Angola, and Firmin Edouard Matoko, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relation, today [December 18] signed an agreement for the creation of the Biennale of Luanda – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace, whose first edition will take place in September 2019.


Carolina Cerqueira, center, and Firmin Edouard Matoko, right

The Luanda Biennale, organized through a partnership between the Government of Angola, UNESCO and the African Union, is designed to promote the prevention of violence and the resolution of conflicts by facilitating cultural exchanges in Africa, inter-generational dialogue and gender equality. The Forum is to nurture reflection and facilitate the dissemination of artistic works, ideas and knowledge pertaining to the culture of peace. It will bring together representatives of governments, civil society, the arts, sciences and international organizations.

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(Click here for a French version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

Will UNESCO once again play a role in the culture of peace?

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“It is very gratifying for Angola to host the Biennale because my country knows the value of peace. With the help of the African Union and of civil society organizations, we will be in a position to establish strong links of solidarity and brotherhood between the old and the young so that they may dream of a prosperous and peaceful Africa, which will only come to be if we work together,” the Minister declared at the signing ceremony. On that occasion, he also thanked all who made this agreement possible, notably UNESCO.

“The agreement is very important for UNESCO as it will allow us to carry out a project we initiated a few years ago to organize a culture of peace festival, notably with the support of the African Union,” declared UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relation. “We believe in the future of this project and its ability to contribute to the transformation of the African continent,” he added.

The Biennale is part of UNESCO’s operational strategy for Priority Africa (2014-2021) which aims to provide “explicitly African responses to the changes at work in African economies and societies.”

The first Biennale of Luanda, in 2019, will be four-pronged: It will serve as a space for reflexion, or intellectual forum, on the future of Africa, as a Festival of Cultures to showcase the cultural diversity of African countries and the African diaspora enabling them to demonstrate their resilience in the face of conflict and violence. It will also feature international cultural and sport events; and encourage the mobilization of partners to support projects throughout the continent.

Colombia: First appearance of President Duque before the National Peace Council

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An article from La Republica (translation by CPNN)

In his first appearance before the National Peace Council, the government’s advisory body for coexistence, the President of the Republic, Iván Duque Márquez, assured that his administration is committed to peace, but made it clear that in order to achieve it, we must have justice and fairness.

Duque spoke after a series of spokespersons from social sectors, community leaders, businessmen and students, whom he listened to and responded to with criticisms and requests. In particular the students again complained about the lack of resources for public education,

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

Question related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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The President recalled that he started with an IPC + 3 and then increased to 4 and clarified that “we have had productive conversations with the students and we have reached the maximum possible and achievable offer, because what we can not continue to do is to exacerbate social tensions by making promises that are not then fulfilled..

The President said that “peace cannot be maintained if there is no legality and if there is no security in the territories,” and he explained that although the Constitution states that peace is a right and a duty of obligatory fulfillment, it also orders the State “to exercise the role of protector of life, property and honor of Colombians at all times and places in the territory.”

By insisting on the subject of security, he indicated that “it is not an embodiment of authoritarianism, much less the limitation of citizen rights. Security as a democratic value, principle and public good is precisely so that the absence of violence exists in the territories, that no citizen feels stigmatized or persecuted for what he thinks, what he believes or how he thinks, “he explained.

The National Peace Council is composed of three committees that deliberate on issues of education, culture of peace, implementation of agreements and territorial peace, as well as oversight and guarantees that the civil war will not be repeated.

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.]

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.

Colombia’s rural radio stations are a key to peace

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An article from Vision of Humanity

Community radio stations are a hopeful medium for improving the free flow of information in Colombia, especially in the poorest and most remote regions. 

I want you to imagine a dilapidated but colourful radio station studio, nestled in verdant Colombian jungle and protected overhead by a dense canopy. Inside, a man speaks into a microphone. He strategically omits his name from his broadcast for fear of an armed group active in a village nearby.


Colombia has been at war for 60 years. It is one of the longest wars in modern history and is perpetuated by poverty, political underrepresentation and a lack of access to healthcare, education or land rights for rural people. In the mid-1960s, armed militias emerged from both ends of the political spectrum in these rural areas, many joining the FARC – the Armed Forces of the Republic of Colombia, the largest leftist rebel army in the country and some joining hard-right paramilitaries with corrupt ties to state security forces. In this context, the history of community radio runs deep in Colombia. In October 2016, former-President Juan Manuel Santos signed an historic peace agreement with FARC.

The agreement stipulated a commitment to media reform and community radio projects “in their production and dissemination of content to foster a culture of peace”.Today, some 450 internationally recognised community radio stations operate throughout rural and regional Colombia, actively opposing the armed conflict. Radio is a cheap and relatively accessible medium for most rural-dwelling Colombians in areas with poor infrastructure, no internet or electricity access. Inexpensive, battery-powered radios become a key source of information.

Community radio stations in Colombia date back to the early 1940s. Grassroots movements for peace used radio to protest against the treatment of rural farmers and poor families and to whistle blow the activity of illegal armed groups in their communities. In her book Citizens’ Media Against Armed Conflict, Clemencia Rodríguez highlights the significant role local media projects have played in networking grassroots organisations for peace in Colombia and in disrupting armed groups’ recruitment of young men. However, some stations are highjacked by armed groups and religious authorities with their own motives. Radio is a powerful medium.

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Question related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

Journalism in Latin America: Is it turning towards a culture of peace?

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Community radio stations and grassroots activists often become targets of armed groups, who see media projects as attempts to dissuade local people against their violent ideologies. In the post-peace agreement phase, it is critical that the international community, the Colombian Government and non-government organisations work together, to afford security measures to local radio stations and grassroots media workers.

According to a 2018 investigation by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Colombia is still one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. The World Press Freedom Index situates Colombia at a dismal 130 out of 180 countries. At most risk are those journalists situated in rural zones, where clashes between armed groups and drug cartels are frequent.The peace agreement in October 2016 saw a ceasefire and demobilisation of record numbers of FARC troops. However, other armed groups with similar ideologies to FARC remain active, such as the People’s Liberation Army, as well as right-wing paramilitaries and drug cartels. According to Human Rights Watch, right-wing paramilitaries in Colombia are responsible for a disproportionate number of extrajudicial killings, intimidation of journalists and censorship of violent events.

In Colombia, international and national policymakers, NGOs and citizens recognise local radio stations’ contributions to peace. The earliest examples of community radio networks supported by USAID, the EU and UNESCO, include Popular Cultural Action (ACPO). ACPO plays a role in educating rural communities and enabling them to have a voice on the aforementioned root causes of conflict in Colombia. Understanding how best to address these issues in the future remains a critical challenge for transitional justice policy. To build Positive Peace in the nation, local voices must be heard.

Organisations such as the Colombian Federation of Journalists and the Communication System for Peace (SIPAZ) today help to network local media projects and to ensure funding is directed to them. Funding is particularly critical given Colombia’s highly monopolised media context. According to RSF, small scale media projects have to compete for audience interest against more lucrative, pervasive media conglomerates and their ties to political and economic elites.

In August 2018, President Iván Duque, leader of the far-right Democratic Centre Party succeeded Santos. Duque opposed the peace agreement and its approach to transitional justice, vowing to renegotiate the agreement and prioritise justice for victims if elected. Ironically, it is victim’s voices that have been silenced in the process – the majority of peace agreement ‘yes’ voters are located in areas where the conflict has caused the most devastation. Duque’s campaign attracted voters from urban areas, but many rural voters lacked access to information on Duque’s political objectives or a medium through which to voice their concerns.

The link between access to information and peace is clear. Educational and talkback programmes on community radio stations have, and continue to be, significant platforms. Rural consumers can access information, have an opinion on political and justice processes and hold Duque’s government to account in the post-peace agreement phase.Evidently, these rural radio stations are key to peace because they are located where the majority of violence takes place, where international and even urban Colombian journalists rarely travel and where local people truly know and understand the causes and impact of conflict on their communities. This does not need to be a complex process. Rural communities have already laid the groundwork. They need recognition and support. Recognition that what they do makes a difference and support in one of the most hostile contexts in the world.

Peace Boat brings anti-war message to Cuba

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Granma

The danger posed to the world by the existence of nuclear weapons marked the focus of the debate in the Forum for Peace and Revolution, organized by the Japanese Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Peace Boat, which this November docked at the port of Havana for the nineteenth time, and the second this year.

A message, signed by several civil society organizations, including the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, the Cuban Movement for Peace, and the Cuban Association of the United Nations, reiterated Cuba’s firm commitment to strengthening and consolidating international treaties on disarmament.


Departure of the Peace Boat, November 4, 2018, with 1,200 passengers from 22 countries on board. The Boat headed to Jamaica after its stay in Havana. Photo: Orlando Perea

“Seventy-three years have passed since the criminal atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and humanity continues to be threatened by the existence of more than 14,400 nuclear weapons, of which 3,750 are deployed and almost 2,000 are on operational alert,” read the text released in the presence of two survivors of the 1945 attacks on Japan.

In addition, young people were called on to join this struggle, raise awareness regarding the threat of a nuclear disaster, and defend humanity’s right to a future of peace. “Together with the nations that long for an end to all wars, and with the power of civil society at the international level, we will continue to demand that nuclear weapons prohibition agreements be complied with until their total elimination, and we will contribute to the construction of a culture of peace around the world,” highlighted the Cuban message.

The heartbreaking and eloquent testimony of those who experienced the horrors of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, known as hibakushas, moved those present in the forum, as they described horrific images of walking among a multitude of corpses and burned people, whose faces no longer resembled those of human beings, screaming desperately for water.

Michiko Tsukamoto and Tamiko Sora were just girls at the time of the explosion, but it remains present in their memory. They suffered the loss of their loved ones, and today are among the few remaining survivors. They continue to talk about the tragedy because they recognize that the magnitude of the atomic attack has not yet been fully understood by all.

The Forum was also attended by Mako Ando, a Japanese youth representative committed to a world free of nuclear weapons, who works to raise awareness of the dangers posed if humanity fails to denuclearize. Referring to the hibakushas, she noted: “They suffer when they tell their stories, but they do so again and again because they do not want anyone else to experience such barbarism.”

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(Click here for the Spanish version of this article)

Question related to this article:

Peace Boat: Building a Culture of Peace around the World

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Speaking on the panel, D.Sc Leyde Rodríguez Hernández condemned the atrocities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: “We live in a time of enormous threats to international peace and security. The United States, the same power that has imposed an unjust and illegal economic, commercial, and financial blockade on the Cuban people, causing enormous human and material damages, has taken the initiative to destroy multilateralism in international relations and, with its devastating policy, dismantle the system of international treaties and agreements that served as a foundation for peace and security after WWII.”

He explained that nuclear weapons and missile defense systems today represent a serious threat to humanity, and the fight for their prohibition and total elimination should be of the highest priority, as a duty and a right of the peoples.

“The maintenance and modernization of nuclear weapons consumes much of the resources that could and should be destined for economic development, job creation, the reduction of poverty and hunger, health, education, and to prevent and combat natural disasters caused by global climate change. These resources should be redirected toward the development and fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals included in the 2030 Agenda,” the vice-rector of the Higher Institute of International Relations added.

The Forum for Peace and Revolution was dedicated to commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Cuban revolutionary triumph, the 73rd anniversary of the criminal U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to the memory of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, who received members of the boat twice (in 2010 and 2012).

Natsue Onda, director of this Peace Boat trip, condemned the interventionist policy of the U.S. blockade against Cuba, and said she was pleased to hold the event aboard the ship, in the presence of so many Cubans. She highlighted the friendship between Cuba and the organization, who share the same commitments in this field.

The Peace Boat has been visiting Cuba since 1989, and this is its 99th voyage around the world, carrying a message of peace and friendship. On this occasion, the ship was carrying 1,200 passengers of 22 nationalities (most of them Japanese), who toured different historic and tourist sites of Havana, and exchanged with community organizations related to senior citizens, culture, and with students.

In a press conference, travel coordinator Adrián Godínez stressed that passengers were very interested in visiting the island, thanks to the stories of previous participants, who highlighted the warm welcome received. Other motivations to visit include the popularization of Cuban culture on the Asian continent, especially salsa music, and interest in the history of the Cuban Revolution and its leaders.

The Peace Boat promotes its voyages online, on posters in public spaces, and through the 11 friendship with Cuba organizations that operate in Japan. The NGO Peace Boat received the Order of Solidarity awarded by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba in 2009.

As a result of the first meeting with passengers of the ship in 2010, the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, wrote a reflection titled “We will never forget,” in which he noted: “Now, as for your slogan – which, in my view has very special value, ‘Learn from past wars to build a future of peace,’ will undoubtedly always have meaning – at this moment it is more relevant than ever. I would dare say, without fear of being mistaken, that never in the history of humanity was there such a dangerous moment as this…”


Abolish Militarism and War: Mairead Maguire to the International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases

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Transcript at Transcend

Presentation by Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate at the International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases, 16-18 Nov 2018, Dublin, Ireland

Dear Friends, It is good to be here with you all. I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to address the conference.  Firstly I thank you all for your work for peace.  It is good that we will have an opportunity in the next few days to get to know each other and together discuss what kind of a world we want to live in?  There will be many different perspectives on this and the way forward, but let us agree to respect each other and to engage in deep listening and conversation no matter how hard and where the dialogue might take us!


Let us be encouraged by the fact that we have made an important first step when we agree to enter into dialogue, and when we agree that peace is both the means and the great achievable gift. It would be wonderful too no matter what area of social/political change we work in, if we can unite on a shared vision of a demilitarized world and find strength in agreeing we will not limit ourselves to civilizing and slowing down militarism, but demanding its total abolition.

Some people might argue that peace is not possible in such a highly militarized world.  However, I believe that peace is both possible and urgent.  It is achievable when we each become impassioned about peace and filled with an ethic that makes peace our objective and we each put into practice our moral sense of political/social responsibility to build peace and justice.

To build peace we are challenged to reject the bomb, the bullet, and all the techniques of violence.  Unfortunately, we are constantly bombarded with the glorification of militarism and war; therefore building a culture of peace and nonviolence will not be an easy task.  We are hearing about the building of a European army and we are asked to accept austerity and budget cuts to our health, education, etc. whilst increasing money to our own armies and also European military expansion.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization-NATO, which should have been disbanded when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, continue to carry out wars and proxy wars in many countries pushing towards the borders of Russia and resurrecting a cold war between the East and West. I believe that NATO should be disbanded and should be made accountable and make restitutions to the millions of people in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and many others it has illegally attacked, invaded, destroyed.   We will never be allowed by our governments, or our mainstream media, to hear many of the stories of the lives of so many civilians killed by US/NATO forces.  NATO forces have targeted and assassinated individuals and entire families.

It is to all our shame in the International community, that their illegal criminal acts   of horror and bloodletting which embodies the comeback of barbarism, is allowed to continue.  NATO should be brought before the International Criminal Court  for war crimes.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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It would be all too easy to point fingers and play the blame game but unless we all take responsibility for the highly dangerous militarised situation with which we are faced in the world today, things will not get better.

Ireland with the militarization of its Foreign and Defence Policy has been unfaithful to the Irish peoples’ wish for a Neutral State and worse by being complicit in accommodating illegal wars.  Ireland’s peace activists have been peacefully protesting US military use of Irish airports whereby over two and a half million armed US troops have passed through Shannon Airport on their way to and from the US-led Afghan and Iraq wars.  I believe ireland should refuse permission to any further stopover and refueling facilities being granted to aeroplanes ferrying troops or munitions to the wars and also withdraw Irish participation from all NATO and EU military operations overseas.

Ireland is deeply admired in many countries and has a proud record in helping developing countries.   Their role as mediators and peace negotiators is well known.   I would like to propose that Ireland disband their army and focus their finance and people on developing their great expertise in the science of peacemaking through a Government Dept. of Peace.   Recommitting to its tradition of neutrality and multilateralism, placing ethics, morality and justice as core values at the heart of its foreign policy would send out a clear message of Irish Government rejecting the road of militarism and war and choosing the road of peace and reconciliation, both locally and internationally.

For our survival through the UN we need to move to General and Complete Disarmament – including nuclear weapons.  This is not an impossible dream.  I commend the Irish Government in their work at UN to work for Nuclear Disarmament.  I believe we can take hope from Pope Francis statement after pointing out the dangers of nuclear weapons when he says‚

‘The threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned.’

And the Pope quotes as an example the

‘historic vote at the UN the majority of the members of the international community determined that nuclear weapons are not only immoral, but also must be considered an illegal means of warfare.’

It is to be hoped that UK, Israel, USA and other nuclear armed states will begin to dismantle their nuclear weapons and help turn back the hands of the doomsday clock.   Up to the end of 1961 at the United Nations general and complete disarmament was the aim of all governments.  In a joint Soviet-United states statement of 20 Sep l961 they stated,

‘The goal of negotiations is to achieve agreement on a program which will ensure that disarmament is general and complete and war is no longer an instrument for settling international problems’.

Let us unite our voices to call for an end to enmity and war, and for President Trump and President Putin to join together with all world leaders in a World Peace Conference to work for an agreed Programme of General and Complete Disarmament.  Such courageous leadership towards dialogue and disarmament would give hope to humanity.

Dublin: Global Campaign Against US/NATO Military Bases

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

Excerpts from the website of No US/NATO Bases

Conference Program and Schedule

November 16-18, 2018 — Liberty Hall, Dublin, Ireland

Friday, November 16

1:00 – 3:00 PM — Registration and Check-in


3:00 – 5:00 PM — Rally Against US/NATO Military Bases at the Dublin General Post Office, Site of the Irish Rising of 1916

5:00 – 7:00 PM — Dinner (on your own)

7:00 – 10:00 PM — International Night

Chair: Ed Horgan, International Secretary, Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Ireland

• Welcoming Remarks

— Roger Cole, Chair, Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Ireland
— Bahman Azad, Coordinator, Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, US

• Keynote Speakers:

— Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Dail Eireann, Ireland
— Clare Daly TD, Dail Eireann, Ireland

• International Speakers:

— Socorro Gomes, President, World Peace Council
— Thanassis Pafilis, Member of Greek Parliament; General Secretary of WPC
— Alfred L. Marder, President, U.S. Peace Council
— Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate
— Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace, CodePink
— John Lannon, Member of the Executive, PANA; Founding Member, Shannonwatch, Ireland
— MK Aida Touma-Sliman, President, Peace and Solidarity Committee, Israel
— Dave Webb, Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), UK
— Moara Crivelente, Member of the Executive, CEBRAPAZ, Brazil
— Chris Nineham, Chair, Stop the War Coalition, UK
— Paola Renada Gallo Peláez, President, MOPASSOL, Argentina
— Dr. Zuhal Okuyan, Chairwoman, Peace Committee of Turkey
— Joe Lombardo, Co-Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition, US
— Kristine Karch, Stop Air Base Ramstein, Germany

• Musical Performance

Saturday, November 17

8:00 – 9:00 AM — Registration and Check-in

9:00 – 9:45 AM — Opening Session

Chair: Gerry Condon, President, Veterans For Peace, US

• Keynote Speaker:

— Dr. Aleida Guevara, Member of Cuban National Assembly, Cuba

10:00 – 11:15 AM — Plenary 1: Militarism, Nuclear Weapons, and Military Bases

Chair: Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance, US

— Iraklis Tsavaridis, Executive Secretary, World Peace Council, Greece
— Dave Webb, Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), UK
— Gerry Condon, President, Veterans For Peace, US

Q & A / Discussion

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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11:30 AM – 12:45 AM — Plenary 2: Environmental and Health Impact of Military Bases

Chair: Senator Grace O’Sullivan, Green Party, Ireland

— Hideki Yoshikawa Director, Okinawa Environmental Justice Project, Okinawa
— Milan Krajca, Chairman, Czech Peace Movement, Czech Republic
— Dr. Zuhal Okuyan, Chairwoman, Peace Committee of Turkey

Q & A / Discussion

12:45 – 1:45 PM — Lunch (served)

1:45 – 3:00 PM — Plenary 3: Central and South America / Guantanamo

Chair: James Patrick Jordan, Alliance for Global Justice, US

— Silvio Platero, President, MOVPAZ, Cuba
— Myriam Parada Avila, Executive Director, School of Peace Foundation, Colombia
— Paola Renada Gallo Peláez, President, MOPASSOL, Argentina

Q & A / Discussion

3:15 – 4:30 PM — Plenary 4: Asia Pacific / Pivot to Asia / Okinawa

Chair: Anette Brownlie, Chairperson, IPAN, Australia

— Hiroji Yamashiro, Director, Okinawa Peace Action Center, Okinawa, Japan
— Teddy Casiño, Former Member of Congress, Philippines
— Tarak Kauf, Formre Member of National Board, Veterans For Peace, US

Q & A / Discussion

4:45 – 6:00 PM — Plenary 5: The Middle East: US/NATO Plan

Chair: MK Aida Touma-Sliman, Peace and Solidarity Committee, Israel

— Dr. Issam Makhoul, Chair, Emil Touma Institute, Israel
— Medea Benjamin, Founder, CODEPINK, US
— Dr. Akel Taqaz, Coordinator, Palestinian Committee for Peace and Solidarity, Palestine

Q & A / Discussion

6:00 – 7:30 PM — Dinner (on your own)

7:30 – 9:00 PM — Cultural Event

Sunday, November 18

9:00 – 10:15 AM — Plenary 6: Europe / NATO Expansion

Chair: David Swanson, World BEYOND War, US

— Chris Nineham, Chair, Stop the War Coalition, UK
— Ilda Figueiredo, Chair, Conselho Português para a Paz e Cooperação, Portugal
— Frank Keoghan, Chair, People’s Movement, Ireland

Q & A / Discussion

10:30– 11:45 AM — Plenary 7: Africa / Africom

Chair: Margaret Kimberley, UNAC; Black Agenda Report, US

— Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace, US
— Anne Atambo, President, WILPF Kenya
— Chris Matlhako, South African Peace Initiative, South Africa

Q & A / Discussion

11:45 – 12:45 PM — Lunch (served)

12:45–2:15 PM — Regional Organizing Breakout Meetings

— Discussing Regional Plans of Action
— Regional Report Back to the Final Plenary

12:45–2:30 PM — Final Plenary: Global Campaign’s Future Plan of Action

Chairs: Roger Cole, PANA, Ireland; Bahman Azad, Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases, US

— Identifying Major Campaign Areas
— Planning Other Actions for the Coming Year
— Confirmation of the Coordinating Committee for the Global Campaign

2:30 – 3:00 PM — Closing Remarks

Sustainable Peace in West Africa: International Youth Conference Opens on November 15

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article by Dramous Yéti in Fraternité Matin (translation by CPNN)

The 3rd International Conference for Youth for Peace will take place from 15 to 16 November 2018 at the Permanent Representation of ECOWAS in Abidjan.

The event will take place on the sidelines of the celebration of the Day of Peace, and will be on the theme: “Solutions of the African youth to stop the migration crisis and violent extremism?

Two hundred and fifty young leaders from the sub-region are expected at this annual meeting. It will be a window to reflect on the conditions for lasting peace in West Africa.

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

Question(s) related to this article:

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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Unemployment, illegal immigration, the challenges of entrepreneurship, ICT are the main themes that will be discussed during the six (6) workshops planned. During this meeting, young project leaders will have the opportunity to present their ideas in a resource mobilization perspective.

Also on the menu are sports and socio-cultural activities that will take place at the Stadium Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the University in Cocody.

This conference is an initiative of Elite West Africa (Ewa), composed of youth organizations from the fifteen member states of ECOWAS. Its field of action covers several areas including the culture of peace and excellence, sub-regional integration, sustainable development, etc.

Created in 2015, Elite West Africa has more than 55,000 members, including more than 15,700 in Ivory Coast.