Mali: FOOTBALL “We are all together”: For the promotion of peace and living together

An article by Noyine Touré in Afrique Sports (translated by CPNN)

The United Nations, in collaboration with Search For Common Ground, is organizing the first edition of the “we are all together” football tournament from 30 November to 02 December 2018 in Bamako. The aim of this activity is to raise awareness of the culture of peace and tolerance through sport.

The announcement was made during a press briefing this Thursday in Bamako at the UNESCO office in the presence of Ms. Ute Kollies, Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Mali, her counterpart of UNESCO, Mr. Hervé Huot-Marchand and the representative of the Ministry of Sports, Diakaridia Diakité, Technical Advisor, who welcomed the idea.

From Friday, December 30 to Sunday, December 2, from 5 pm, the Zone-K complex in Bamako will welcome teams from the North and Center of the country. Young people from Gao, Mopti, Tessalit and Timbuktu will compete for three days to win the first phase of the competition. These different meetings are an opportunity to highlight the values ​​of sport, such as the patient, tolerance, or perseverance.

It is not a simple tournament, but it is a question of bringing together young people from different horizons, in order to sensitize them to the knowledge and the respect of the other person, as well as to social cohesion and dialogue.

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

Question related to this article:


How can sports promote peace?

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Thus, awareness and reflection sessions on peace will be given to young people, to allow them to return to their respective regions with action projects, which they can set up, in order to promote peace in their turn. and tolerance.

Sport has always been an element of social cohesion, all sports competitions and in particular football allows for at least 90 seconds to bring together a whole nation behind its national team. For years, football has been considered the most popular sport in Mali, for all categories, “seniors, juniors and juniors”. It is a unifying element between communities and young people.

In this perspective, the United Nations system through this tournament makes football a central element in promoting peace. It should be noted that for the United Nations as a whole, sport has a significant role in promoting the ideals of peace during the post-conflict period.

The young footballers already on site in Bamako welcomed the initiative to its true value and wished that other editions could be played in the north as well as in the center. For them, it is already a victory to be together with brothers here in Bamako for the unification of communities and especially between their younth.

The main partners of this activity are, with UNESCO: the Ministry of Sports, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization in Mali (MINUSMA), Mikado FM Peace Radio in Mali, and Search For Common Ground.

International Cities of Peace and Rotary Peace Clubs


Excerpts from an address by Fred Arment, Executive Diector of Inernational Cities of Peace to the Rotary E Club for World Peace, published November 18, 2018

In the International Cities of Peace we have had extraordinary growth in terms of being able to help and mentor and challenge people within communities to build city of peace efforts. . .

We started with the idea of the city of peace which is an idea that is not only hundreds of years old, but thousands. Jerusalem, for example, means city of peace in Hebrew and Arabic. The concept of a city of peace is really inspirational.

We define peace in a way that is a consensus value. So we define it as three freedoms:

– Safety: Freedom from risk of injury, danger or loss

– Prosperity: Freedom to achieve a good standard of living

– Quality of Life: Freedom to enjoy health and happiness

These cannot be taken for granted. I get emails every day from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from Palestine, from Colombia. These people have a vision and a hope for their lives and for their children to create a peacebuilding operation in their city that will achieve safety, prosperity and quality of life. . .

This is about Rotary because Rotary has such intense potential to create peace in the world. . . Every Rotary Club has this need and desire to create a better community . . . Rotary Peace Clubs are a huge benefit not only through the United States but throughout the world . . . International Cities of Peace fits in as a pathway to build stronger Rotary Clubs. . . . It’s a platform for inspiring community action, for creating larger peace within the community . . . and it’s a way for Rotary Clubs to connect to the global family where there are people in great need . . .

As of this morning we now have over 224 cities of peace in 50 countries on 6 continents. The last one this morning was Hyderabad in Pakistan which we just learned about over the past couple of months.

It takes several months for people to create a city of peace initiative. It’s not just a signature on a piece of paper. . . It’s rigourous and that is why it is making a difference. There are five steps to establishing a community as an International City of Peace:

1. Get signatures on a Letter of Intent. . . It must be community-wide. The signature has to do with the culture of peace as defined by UNESCO and signing up for that.

2. Write a vision, mission, and goals statement for their unique community. We help them through that, engagig about 500 different people working with International Cities of Peace who serve as mentors for people around the world.

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Questions for this article:

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

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3. Send photos and captions of local peace events and we create a free web page for each of our cities with contact information.

4. Submit a photo and bio for the leader of the group

5. Write a statement about the peace legacy of the community. Every community has a peace legacy, whether it’s teachers or artists. Our children need to know about the peace work that has been done in their community.

It’s a rigorous process that people go through. The key word is “transformative.” The people who develop city of peace initiatives transform themselves personally. It’s a different way of thinking about the world. How can we create a culture of peace? . . .

Here is the UNESCO definition of the culture of peace to which they adhere in their Letter of Intent:

– Education

– Sustainable economic development

– Human rights

– Equality of women and men

– Democratic participation

– Understanding and tolerance

– Free flow of information

– International peace and security

It’s amazing how, around the world, some of these items are very controversial, for example, equality of women and men, democratic participation. They are literally at risk when they sign the Letter of Intent to create what UNESCO has said is a culture of peace. And, there’s Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists and Christians and Jews and all of the different religions. The UNESCO resolution did not address directly the cultures of faith, so what we added, when someone creates a city of peace they sign a document that says they are going to be inclusive and we use the Golden Rule as the moral ethic for creating a city of peace. It’s very inclusive of all creeds and religions and races and cultures. . .

I want to tell a few amazing stories about International Cities of Peace and reflect on their connection to Rotary [for details, see minutes 19-23 in the YouTube broadcast]. . . .

In conclusion, our goal is to establish 1000 Cities of Peace around the world by year 2025. Imagine the difference that could make in the lives of our 7 billion companions on Earth. By creating the global infrastructure of peace, the great challenges and issues of our time could be addressed locally through democratic and reasoned debate and action. The dynamic of top-down prescriptions for how to create peace has not worked so well. It is only through bottom-up, “in situ” peace building by citizens who know the needs of their communities that will foster the kind of commitment and compassion that will change the world… and change the world, we will.

For more information on how to establish your community as an International City of Peace, send an email to, or go to for an easy-to-use web resource.

Madrid: Women close the Anti-Violence Forum with a message of peace


An article from Ultima Hora

Ten women leaders of politics and society closed today [Nov 8] the II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace in Madrid with a message of peace.

“Women do not shy away from conflict. When there is injustice, it must be revealed, “said the mayor of the Spanish capital, Manuela Carmena. “But the big difference is that we do not use violence to resolve conflicts. Women are agents of peace.”

For two hours before an audience that interrupted the interventions with applause, the participants discussed from a feminist perspective a large part of the topics of the forum organized by the city council of Madrid in the Matadero cultural venue, which included dozens of papers, workshops and events.

Mayor Carmena had the last word, sending a message of hope and asking for a cultural change. “Why have we chosen this extraordinary panel to finish? It has an explanation: we have defined 2018 as the violet year. Millions of women went out to the streets to remember that the prominence of women is still pending. We must be protagonists in the 21st century and in the following centuries,” she said.

“Violence is still linked to the culture of machismo and that erroneous concept of masculinity. Earlier we heard that in Latin America there are 400 homicides a day. But that statistic does not say that most are committed by men. Just 1 percent are committed by women,” she added.

“We have to say it. Women do not have their hands stained with blood, “said Carmena, who nevertheless pointed out that the culture of peace has been moving forward in the 20th century despite the atrocities of world wars.

As noted, interpersonal violence has been reduced by 16 percent. “And that’s partly due to the triumph of women’s values,” she said. “You just have to read the women of the past. The war correspondents all spoke against the war, but they were not listened to. Now we are here their daughters and granddaughters so that it is known that the voice of women is the voice of peace “.

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(Click here for a version in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

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

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

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Sitting next to Carmena, the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan, drew a somewhat more pessimistic picture of Latin America, which she described as “one of the most violent regions in the world.”

To the data of 400 daily homicides, she added that more than half of citizens say they live with fear. In addition, she stated that many countries in the region are among the worst in feminicide statistics.

“We must change the conception of masculinities and we must ensure that women have more autonomy,” said the Costa Rican official, who also pointed out some immediate measures that can be taken to reduce violence in the cities.

“We know that where public areas are set up for sport, culture or art, violence is reduced. We know that where there is less overcrowding violence is reduced. We know that putting more light on the city reduces violence. But we also need a longer-term vision,” she said.

The Latin American region was also represented by the president of the Association of Municipalities of Bolivia, Rocío Alejandra Molina, and by the mayor of Rosario, Mónica Fein.

Molina said that her country is in a “process of change” and stressed that more than 50 percent of Bolivian parliamentarians are women, but that there is still much to be done to eradicate “structural violence.” For her part, Fein recalled the strength of the feminist movement in Argentina and the struggle to pass a law in favor of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. “We have won many battles, but there are still many battles to be fought,” she warned.

Other participants in the panel included: Liv Torres, executive director of the Nobel Peace Center; Concepción Gamarra, mayor of Logroño and first vice president of the FEMP; Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Emilia Saiz, General Secretary of UCLG; Elena Biurrun, Mayor of Torrelodones, and Tunisian Ouided Bouchmaoui, Nobel Peace Prize 2015.

In her brief closing speech, Carmena thanked Pope Francis for the message of support he sent to the forum and that was read during the women’s talk, as well as insisting on what he said on Monday at the inauguration, citing the legendary former South African president Nelson Mandela: “Violence is not intrinsic in the human being.”

The II Forum on Urban Violence closes in Madrid with the commitment to an agenda of cities of coexistence and peace


An article from Tercera Informacion (translation by CPNN)

The II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace closes Thursday [November 10] with the commitment to elaborate an agenda of cities of peace. Madrid continues the line started in April last year when, in the first edition of this meeting, a line of work was opened that highlighted the potential of cities as a stage to advance in the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (ODS), through the construction of a culture of peace.

The instruments to materialize such actions include:

– implement policies of caring rather than policies of security;

– articulate with the state governments the preparation, implementation and supervision of action plans for the prevention of violence;

– develop local action plans to address them.

In this sense, both the Forum and the commitment with which it closes its second edition “could become the basis for a more continuous and systematic expression of a local effort aimed at the prevention of violence.”

Pope Francis sent, through the archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, a letter to all the participants in the II World Forum on Urban Violence in which he expressed his hope that these days have served for dialogue and exchange: “That they have been an auspicious occasion to promote the construction of the social fabric of our towns and cities, so fragmented today by selfishness, injustice and aggression.”

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(Click here for a version in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

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

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The Pope’s letter also encourages all participants to welcome certain people in a special way: “To the most fragile members, to the marginalized, to the discarded, so that they may have the opportunity to feel at home in a community that welcomes, integrates, sustains, and favors the recognition of the other in his own wealth and diversity.”

The words of the Holy Father were read by Carlos Osoro in the plenary on interreligious dialogue that was held early in the morning. Subsequently, Juan Luis Cano, the moderator of the closing, who read the letter during that session concluded the forum in a roundtable with a dozen women with experience in institutional representation and in government work and who have participated or actively participate in public life and the responsibilities of city government.

Women, agents of peace

“Women can feel safe being agents of peace. The most positive data on the culture of peace according to the latest statistics available for 2014 show that 16% of interpersonal violence has been reduced in the world “. This was pointed out by Mayor Carmena during the closing ceremony of the second edition of a forum that exceeded the figures of the previous year by bringing together 5,000 participants and sharing1000 experiences.

Liv Torres, executive director of the Nobel Peace Center, recalled that the regard and presence of women in conflict resolution is more important than ever: “The processes of mediation in which women participate last longer and they are more sustainable over time. We have to sit next to each other, support each other and show the value of women in their role as leaders.”

For its part, the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebecca Grynspan, has pointed out that inequality is one of the main causes of violence and has added: “In Latin America there are 400 homicides per day but 80% of those cases occur in 2% of the Latin American territory.”

All have agreed on the importance of talking about education, changing the conception of masculinity and giving more economic autonomy to women to ensure that future generations really live in cities of peace.

After the debate, 400 girls and boys, between 12 and 16 years old, from different schools in the two districts of Valleca, have drawn the symbol of peace in Plaza Matadero, accompanied by an orchestra of social excluded children, an action initiated by the NGO Mundo sin Guerras.

7th Fair of Nonviolent Initiatives in Quito, Ecuador


An article and photo album by Walker Vizcarra in Pressenza (reproduced according to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license) (translation by CPNN)

Questions for this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

More than 15 organizations that develop activities, projects and initiatives for active nonviolence, building a culture of peace, non-discrimination and respect for diversity have come together on the boulevard the United Nations in the city of Quito, last Saturday October 27th for the 7th Fair of Nonviolent Initiatives , which is one of the iconic activities carried out during “Nonviolent October.”

NonViolent October brought together collectives and organizations from 14 cities that launched more than 100 initiatives between the last week of September and the entire month October which ended a few days ago.

Click here for the photo album.

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

Launch of the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence at the 2nd World Forum of Peace Cities in Madrid


An article from Pressenza  (reprinted according to Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license)

On 7 November from 6pm to 8pm in the Auditorium of the Casa del Reloj at the Matadero Cultural Centre, the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence will be launched. This action will start on October 2, 2019, International Day of Nonviolence and finish on March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day,

It will be 10 years since the 1st WM that travelled through 97 countries on 5 continents. In this new edition, Madrid will be the beginning and end point for the 159-day circumnavigation of the planet. It will depart to the south of Spain, continuing through Africa, America, Oceania, Asia and Europe, estimating to pass through more than 100 countries.

In the launch event, the invited speakers will give the basic profile of this 2nd WM on the central themes that will be developed on its journey:

– International launch of the Campaign “Cities support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons -TPNW”. Beatrice Fihn, ICAN Nobel Peace Prize 2017.

– Refoundation of the United Nations. Federico Mayor Zaragoza. Culture of Peace Foundation.

– 100 years of pacifist feminism. Carmen Magallón. President of WILPF Spain.

– The role of armies in the 21st century. Int. Conf. Costa Rica. Julio Rodríguez, ExJEMAD.

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(Click here for a original version of this article in Spanish or here for a version in French .

Questions related to this article:

How effective are mass protest marches?

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– International Network of Parliamentarians in Support of the TPNW. Deputy Pedro Arrojo.

– The culture of nonviolence: Alberto Amman. Actor

– Municipalism and Peace. Antonio Zurita. Global Citizenship.

– The TPNW and the World March. Carlos Umaña. Latin America Coordinator ICAN

– Mediterranean Sea of Peace. Tiziana Volta. World without Wars and Violence

– Processes of pacification. David Nassar. Colombia

– Twinning of the children. Sabina Colona-Preti and Isabel Bueno. Pequeñas Huellas and C.P: Nuñez de Arenas.

– The term “nonviolence”. Montserrat Prieto. World without Wars and Violence

– Routes and confluences 2WM. Martine Sicard. Coor. Int. World without Wars and Violence.

– Base Team 2WM. Luis Silva. Councillor.

– Marches in Central and South America. Sonia Venegas. Ecuador

– Human Symbols. Jesús Arguedas and Charo Lominchar. E.P. of Madrid 2WM

– The 2nd World March, a new attempt. Rafael de la Rubia. Coordination 2WM

The Mayors of Madrid, Manuela Carmena and Barcelona, Ada Colau, are invited to the event.

One of the objectives that is gaining more and more strength in this 2nd WM is to ensure that at its completion there are the conditions for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to enter into force, a treaty being promoted by 122 countries in the United Nations.

In order to attend you must register on the web:

Press statement: World Without Wars and Violence, Cities of Peace Madrid

Madrid: One week before the World Forum for Peace in Cities


An article by Natale Salvo for Pressenza (reprinted according to Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license)(translation by CPNN)

Everything is ready for Madrid to host the “World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace”.

“Organizers say that cities are the main space for interaction between people, collectives, businesses, ideas and values. But they are also spaces that generate inequalities and the proliferation of different types of violence. Cities and local authorities have the duty, the responsibility, to work for peace, against violence as a means of conflict resolution and for education, peace as a means of coexistence and future well-being. We need inclusive, safe and sustainable cities.”

(Photo credit: Ayuntamiento de Madrid CC by)

On Monday, November 5, at 4:30 pm, the Matadero Cultural Center will welcome local leaders, international and civil society organizations and networks to open a joint process of debate, brainstorming and building solutions that foster urban environments that can put an end to the manifestations of violence.

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

Questions for this article:

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

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Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena, Vice President of the Government Carmen Calvo and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wided Bouchamaoui as well as many members of social organizations will attend the opening ceremony. Among the guests are Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona and ​​Gabriela Firea, Mayor of Bucharest.

Representatives of social organizations, among others, will be: Federico Mayor Zaragoza – Foundation for a Culture of Peace; Patrick Keuleers – the United Nations Development Program, Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau -UCLG, the global advocacy association of local and regional governments and José Graziano da Silva, Director General of FAO. The Mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, will represent FEMP, the Federation of Spanish Municipalities.

Among the few hundred participants from all continents, Italy is not represented by a mayor, but exclusively by the writer and activist Patrizia Fiocchetti, who will participate in the debate on “Violence for radicalization, extremism and international terrorism “.

The Forum’s work, which will end on Thursday November 8, will include 12 debates on topics such as violence in sport, aporophobia [N.d.T. an attitude of hostility, more or less visible, towards people who live in poverty or precariousness] and social exclusion, violence against women, international terrorism, violence against children, racist and xenophobic violence, phobia against LGTBI, lack of access to housing, corruption and interreligious dialogue against violence.

With this initiative, now in its second year, the city of Madrid hopes to become known as the “capital of peace”.

Pressenza Italia will be present at the event and will endeavor to inform its readers.

2018 “World Beyond War” Toronto Conference Included Workshop on Departments and Infrastructures for Peace


Special to CPNN by Anne Creter

I am a long-time advocate within the U.S. “Peace Alliance” Department of Peacebuilding Campaign for the current bill in Congress to establish a cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding (H.R.1111).  Thus I am thrilled to report my favorite topic of Departments and Infrastructures for Peace (I4P) was featured at this September’s international “World Beyond War” (WBW) conference in a workshop my Canadian Department of Peace counterpart, Dr. Saul Arbess and I co-presented there.  It was a logical collaboration, in that for the last decade Saul and I have worked together promoting governmental I4P within an international organization known as the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace or GAMIP (currently in transition).  

Frame from the conference video: Karen Johnson gives report from workshop on Departments of Peace

The ambitious conference intent, as stated by its planners, was to “explore how to re-design systems to abolish the institution of war by examining existing and potential legal models, modes of governance and frameworks that can be used to curb and abolish war, such as treaties like the Kellogg-Briand Pact, Peoples’ Tribunals, peace tax funds, departments of peace, civil disobedience, the use of universal jurisdiction and the International Criminal Court.”

Our workshop was timely because it meshed with above and also with my UN NGO work whose focus this year has been on “seeking global solutions to global problems”  — per the UN 2030 “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs).  The UN Development Program, which oversees both the SDG’s and I4P, has conducted studies showing evidence that a viable solution to the global problem of “violence” is establishing governmental departments and other I4P worldwide.  This relatively new peacebuilding concept of “governmental I4P” is already operational in countries where violence has been shown to decrease (Journal of Peacebuilding & Development Special I4P Issue, volume 7, Number 3, 2012 ISSN: 1542-3166). 

Thus if I4P are a viable global solution to the global problem of “violence,” then establishing them in governments should be encouraged to provide the (missing) connective tissue links necessary to build the culture of peace.  That this topic was deemed relevant to the WBW’s provocative conference theme of Designing a World Beyond War:  Legalizing Peace was promising.  For it offered a unique international forum for how governmental I4P may be a viable alternative to war providing a “legal” institutional framework for peace that could be the “blueprint” for redesigning a world beyond war.  

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Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

Is a U.S. Department of Peace a realistic political goal?

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The conference was held September 21-22 to coincide with the International Day of Peace celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose focus this year was “The Right to Peace.”  It was held outside the U.S. in Toronto, Canada to demonstrate WBW’s belief that for the global peace movement to succeed in redesigning a world beyond war, it must broaden its scope to build one unified coalition in solidarity worldwide with other peace groups.   

Most attendees were Canadian yet other countries were represented, as far away as New Zealand — home of my UN NGO, Peace Through Unity Charitable Trust — which as a founding member of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace has long advocated for a New Zealand “Ministry for a Culture of Peace” and passage of a UN Resolution urging I4P in all member states (see  To quote Gita Brooke, Peace Through Unity founder:  New instruments are in the planning for carrying out the guidelines contained in the UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace:  ministries and departments of peace will serve as meeting places for closer, more comprehensive and effective cooperation between peoples and governments; peace academies will teach and help develop communication, peacebuilding and peacemaking skills of individuals and groups within society; and the general public will hold themselves, their governments, as well as the UN, accountable for implementing promises that have been made. 

The U.S. Constitution preamble beautifully articulates the primary purpose of government – which in a nutshell is to ensure humanity’s basic Human Rights (ie. the Right to Peace). Because we live in an ever-escalating global culture of violence, government needs vital help meeting this essential purpose. My advocacy for governmental 14P stems from my conviction that I4P can greatly assist government fulfilling its fundamental “Peace” mandate.  Yet how I4P relate to the compelling WBW idea of “legalizing peace” needs further exploration.  While we only had time to scratch the surface there, our group began a lively interactive dialogue on I4P basics, such as the lack of political will for peace and on how the mere mention of I4P in some countries puts I4P advocates at risk of harm.

We are grateful to UN Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury for his short video on the conference theme, with mention of how I4P promote the Culture of Peace; also to Congressional sponsor of H.R. 1111 Rep. Barbara Lee for her welcoming letter where she states: “Now is the time to put an end to needless wars and violence and to establish a Department of Peacebuilding in the U.S. and violence prevention infrastructures throughout the globe.”  Visit WBW website to see the Ambassador’s video and Congresswoman’s letter, plus our power point and other valuable conference details at … and while there, be sure to access your copy of their scholarly publication – A GLOBAL SECURITY SYSTEM:  An Alternative to War.

In conclusion, I learned of other possible frameworks that could redesign a world beyond war which I found hopeful at this time of unprecedented global political upheaval.  They included such compelling models as: Kellogg-Briand Pact (WBW Director David Swanson), Divestment from War Profiteers (Medea Benjamin), Peace Education  Approaches (Tony Jenkins), World Citizenship & Global Rule of Law (David Gallup) to mention a few.  Participating gave the U.S. “Peace Alliance” National Department of Peacebuilding Campaign the opportunity to enlarge an important “peace education” dialogue alongside our Canadian Department of Peace brothers and sisters.  Hopefully it will continue so “Departments and I4P” may appear inside next year’s 2019-2020 edition of A Global Security System!

To continue this conversation, please write with comments or questions to Anne at .

Inter-Parliamentary Union: 139 parliaments demand immediate action on climate change


An article from the Inter-Parliamentary Union

With catastrophic climate change threatening to hit many parts of the world in just over a decade, 149 national parliaments have adopted an emergency resolution calling for decisive action. Concluding the 139th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the resolution, called Climate change – Let us not cross the line, follows the report published last week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to the IPCC report, limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires urgent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

The emergency resolution was adopted in the context of the Assembly’s umbrella theme of science, technology and innovation to bridge the widening gap between policy-making and science.

Gabriela Cuevas, IPU President, said “I believe that more than ever, the international community must center the majority of its efforts to attain the urgent transformation our world requires if we are to avert the environmental crisis foreseen by the UN and by the scientific community. Through the adoption of the emergency item on Climate Change, the IPU expresses its commitment to supporting national parliaments in the implementation of all relevant public policies, budgeting strategies and resource mobilization for the efficient and adequate adoption of the Paris Agreement. Time is of the essence for this situation; we call on all our parliamentarians to act now to preserve environmental balance.“

Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General, said “Parliaments are instrumental in preventing the world from crossing the line of no return. This resolution is a call to action for MPs to translate the Paris Agreement into concrete national legislation and adequate budget allocations. The global parliamentary community owes it to the people it represents, especially the younger generations, to take action now.”

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Questions for this article:

How can parliamentarians promote a culture of peace?

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

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Led by a coalition of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the IPU resolution urges all parliaments to spearhead national efforts to combat climate change. It calls for IPU member parliaments to support the implementation of the 2016 Paris Agreement, included mobilizing resources and simplifying procedures for accessing climate change funding. The resolution calls for all countries to work more closely with SIDS to meet ambitious targets to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

SIDS face major and specific challenges in the next few years. MPs at the IPU Assembly presented various examples of climate change that are already affecting the lives of the people they represent. Villages are being relocated because of rising sea levels in Fiji and other small Pacific island states; scarcity of water and desertification are threatening the well-being and survival of many in Africa and the Middle East.

Special guest, Henk Rogers, Founder of the Blue Planet Foundation in Hawaii, spoke of the power of children to change the way we live by influencing their families and communities. He also emphasized the importance of strong partnerships. For example, Hawaii has passed legislation to encourage clean energy in partnership with electricity companies.

For many years, the IPU has been calling for legislative action on climate change and risk reduction. Since 2009, it has organized parliamentary meetings at each Global Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COPs) to increase the parliamentary contribution to global negotiations. With the adoption of this emergency resolution, the IPU will mobilize its member parliaments at the COP24 taking place in Krakow, Poland, later this year.

The 139th IPU Assembly brought together over 1500 delegates including 56 Speakers of Parliament, 52 Deputy Speakers, and over 750 MPs. Women MPs accounted for 33% of the total number of MPs in attendance, one of the highest percentages at an IPU Assembly. Young MPs under 45 made up 19% of the parliamentarians, the first time that the IPU is tracking this statistic.

Spain: Toledo seeks to become an international reference for the “culture of peace”


An article published by El Diario (translated by CPNN)

A reference for tolerance and dialogue to eradicate violence in society: This is the objective that the Toledo City Council has proposed in the organization of the First International Forum of Migrations and Citizen Coexistence ‘Toledo Culture of Peace’. The Forum will be held on September 5, 6 and 7 at the Palacio de Congresos in the city of Toledo.

According to the Councilor for Youth, Cooperation and Education for Development, Diego Mejías, this theme should become a permanent vocation of the city. This has been advanced in a press conference with the president of COPRODELI, Meik Garay; the spokesperson for the 365 + 1 campaign, Esmeralda Pérez, and the provincial secretary of CCOO, José Luis Arroyo.

In the organization of this international event, the City Council has worked hand in hand with the local Cooperation Council, the NGOs of the city, the 365 + 1 Solidarity campaign and many other organizations, as well as the promotion of the Voix Vives Poetry Festival and the newspaper Castilla-La Mancha as ‘media partner’. According to councilor Mejías, they want to create “a space for collective reflection that turns Toledo into a benchmark of work in the pursuit of peace, social justice and interculturality.”

During the three days of the Forum there will be plenary sessions, debates, reflections, exhibitions and activities that fight against different forms of violence suffered by disadvantaged groups. “A debate and reflection that does not remain within these walls. We want it to be transferred to society as a whole, through the media, social networks and participating organizations to achieve an awareness effect that promotes changes and transformations in society, and to combat dehumanization and promote human rights,” said Mejías.

The Forum will recognize people and organizations for their solidarity efforts with the Toledo Culture of Peace Award. Its first edition will recognize the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, for her work in favor of “coexistence and peace”; the television presenter Jesús Vázquez, for his work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); Father Ángel, for his well-known solidary work in several areas; the newspaper Castilla-La Mancha, for its commitment to social justice and for making visible realities related to tolerance and non-violence; the Union of Iberoamerican Capital Cities (UCCI), for promoting neighborhood rights and citizen participation; and the Book-Tavern El Internacional de Toledo, for making interculturality a reality and being a meeting space always open to all activities that foster a culture of solidarity of peace and critical reflection.

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Questions for this article:

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

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Mejías has indicated that during these days there will be debates, reflections, exhibitions and cultural activities to raise awareness about the different forms of violence suffered by the most disadvantaged groups. The mayor stressed that during the plenary sessions, the congress will have three moderators of media Toledo as the journalist of El Diario Alicia Avilés; the journalist of La Tribuna Marta García and the journalist of SER Toledo Juncal Roldán.

In addition, according to Garay, the forum will have academic, cultural, awareness and participation spaces; as well as artists such as Carlos Ávila or Manuel Maestro, as well as the collaboration of Voix Vives or the ETR Theater Company. Diego Mejías has assured that, to date, the 1st International Forum on Migrations and Citizen Coexistence ‘Toledo Culture of Peace’, has around 200 entries, which can be done through social networks or on the website of the City of Toledo.

For its part, the provincial secretary of CCOO Toledo, José Luis Arroyo, stressed that the phenomenon of migration “shoulc be considered as an opportunity that society has, “as social groups and municipalities are those who are taking charge of coexistence that so enriches society “.

A program “very well worked out”

The programming on September 5 will start at 11.15 with a plenary session in the Toledo Room of the Palace of Congress in which Andres Amayuelas, Jira Bulahi, Hector Ramos and Juan Miguel Ortega Terol will participate. From 2:30 p.m. there will be cultural activities in the multipurpose space Zocodover. At 5:00 pm it will be the turn of an experience table in the Toledo Room with the participation of Rosa López Sánchez, Braulio Freyre and José Taboada. The program of this first day will be closed with cultural activities such as the concert of Manuel Maestro or that of Carlos Ávila and his guitarist Ariel Acevedo, starting at 20:45.

On September 6, the day will begin, at 10.00 am in the Toledo Room, with a plenary session in which Fernando Perez del Olmo, Alfonso Iglesias or Khadija Afkir will participate. This activity will give way, at 12.15, to an experience table with Amparo Herreros, Helia del Rosario, Vanesa Lopez, Nacho Peinado, Nicolás Ost, Alicia Es Martínez Juan or José Antonio Orihuela.

Throughout the day there will be workshops and cultural activities. An experience table with Carolina Elías and Jaldía Abubakra will be held from 4:30 p.m. While at 18.10, it will be the turn of a new plenary session with the participation of Manuela Mesa, Idoia Urgarte or Pilar Gutiérrez.

As of 20.20 there will be cultural activities in the Zocodover multipurpose space, including the screening of the film ‘Mujeres extranjeros’ or the flamenco concert by Diego Mejías and Juan Ignacio González. Finally, the 7th will begin with a plenary session, at 10:00 am, with the participation of José Manuel Álamo, Beatriz Plaza, Antonio Zurita or Alejandro Alder. After 12.15 hours, an experience table will be opened with Ricardo Gayol and Pablo Martínez.

During the afternoon of this day there will be workshops and cultural activities, among which the presentation of the book ‘Territories in democracy’ or the Voix Vives recital with Ágel Calle, Antonio Orihuela, Eddi and Alicia Es. Martínez stand out. From 8:00 pm there will be the closing ceremony where there will be an artistic intervention of the company ETR, the delivery of the ‘Toledo Culture of Peace’ awards, a cocktail and the show ‘Luz Toledo’.