Category Archives: DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Mexico: Agreemen of municipality of Saltillo with State Attorney General to promote the culture of peace

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An article from El Diario de Coahuila (translation by CPNN)

With the objective of promoting the Culture of Peace and in compliance with Article 17 of the Political Constitution and the National Law on Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in criminal matters, the State Attorney General Dr. Gerardo Márquez Guevara and the Mayor of Saltillo, Ing. Manolo Jiménez Salinas, have signed a collaboration agreement for “Mediation and Pacification”.

The agreement proides that the State Attorney General’s Office, through the General Directorate of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (MASC), will rake actions to promote the Culture of Peace by disseminating criminal, community and school mediation, as well as training mediation facilitators in the schools.

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

Questions for this article:

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

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The State Attorney General, Gerardo Márquez Guevara, states that peace is fundamental to promote and access human rights, security and justice. The Head of the Office of the Prosecutor reiterated his commitment to carry out activities to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts and promote the transformation of these through dialogue, empathy, cooperation and resilience.

“We must promote peacebuilding processes in the school community as a form of crime prevention, encouraging socializing institutions such as schools, families and communities to identify alternative methods and apply mediation in different areas.”

Márquez Guevara pointed out that through the different programs available to the Office of the Prosecutor, girls and boys are made aware of the importance of resolving conflicts in a peaceful and collaborative manner through dialogue. Saltillo will have peacekeeping agents to maintain peace and security so that Human Rights, access to justice and mechanisms of citizen participation can prevail at all times.

Meanwhile, the Municipal President of Saltillo, Manolo Jiménez Salinas, acknowledged the support that the Attorney General’s Office has given the municipality, said that this alliance is a parallel strategy to keep Saltillo safe, with peace and order.

“Through this agreement with the Office of the Prosecutor, we enter a family of neighbors, strengthening our social fabric and preparing mutual support as mediators, to generate consensus and prevent problems from escalating to the point that they must involve the State Power of Attorney.

Also attended the signing of the agreement were Liliana Salinas de Jiménez, Honorary President of DIF Saltillo; Carlos Robles Loustaunau, Secretary of the City Council; Aiko Miyuki Rendón Carreón, Director of the State Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (MASC), and other public officials.

El Salvador: Associations present project to promote a Culture of Peace

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An article from Informa TVX (translation by CPNN)

The Association for the Development of El Salvador (CRIPDES) and the Research and Specialization Association on Ibero-American Issues (AIETI), have presented the project “Active and Strengthened Citizenship”, with the aim of promoting the culture of peace in 7 municipalities of La Libertad and San Salvador.


Video of the project

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(Click here for the article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

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The representative of AIETI, César Apesteguia, said that the project for the culture of peace will last for 2 years, and will have an investment of more than 300 thousand euros.

For its part, the representative of CRIPDES, Ana Martínez, explained that the project will benefit children, young people and women, since they are the most vulnerable sector of the population.

The associations stated that the municipalities where the project will be implemented will be: Tacachico, Comasagua, Colón, Zaragoza, El Paisnal and Guazapa.

Likewise, they emphasized that young people, women and representatives of the ADESCOS will be trained to implement a citizen participation policy, as well as how to enforce their rights.
 

SADC delegates to discuss women, youths’ role in strengthening peace and security in the region

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An article from Xinhua

Southern African Development Community (SADC) delegates will come together for a high level engagement regarding the role of women and youth in strengthening peace and security in the region, on March 14, in Namibia’s capital Windhoek.


The discussions will promote the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) and a culture of peace, said Media Coordinator of the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), Roberto Goreseb on Wednesday.

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Questions for this article:

The culture of peace at a regional level, Does it have advantages compared to a city level?

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Namibia’s Youth Council and the IPYG and other partners will host the event on the margins of the SADC Council of Ministers meeting, set for March 15 to 16.

Goreseb said the participants will discuss topics that include collaborative governance and the role of women and youth in promoting peace and security in southern Africa and the rule of law and a culture of peace, and the values of the DPCW as a solution to violence and intolerance.

“The expected outcomes will be that participants will be able to identify the current role women and youth are playing in promoting peace and security and the results of these efforts,” he added.

Currently in Southern Africa there are three countries that have given national support to adopt the DPCW including Eswatini, Seychelles and Comoros.

The expected outcome of the meet is that the number of countries that support DPCW would be increased to include more countries of SADC resulting in the southern African region being at the forefront of the promotion of peace, he added.

Mexico: Cuitláhuac García issues decree for Culture of Peace and Human Rights Directorate

. . . . . HUMAN RIGHTS . . . . .

An article from El Dictamen

The governor of the state of Veracruz, Cuitláhuac García Jiménez, has issued the Decree to form the General Directorate of Culture of Peace and Human Rights, as part of the Declaration of the Emerging Program for Crisis of Serious Violations of Human Rights in Matters of Disappearance of Persons in the State.

This decree reforms, adds and repeals various provisions of the Internal Regulation of the Government Secretariat and indicates that from this Thursday until the creation of the State Search Commission in the Entity, the attention to cases of missing persons will be made through of the General Directorate of Culture of Peace and Human Rights, under the Ministry of Government.

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

Question related to this article:

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

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Among the powers of the head of the aforementioned unit are to assist in institutional strengthening through the design, implementation, management, strengthening and consolidation of public policies on culture and education for peace, in accordance with the constitutional and legal provisions on of human rights.

In addition, it will elaborate and coordinate the State Human Rights Program, in collaboration with the bodies of the State Public Administration, Autonomous Bodies and Civil Society, in accordance with the guidelines of the National Human Rights Program, the State Development Plan, and Sectoral, Regional, Institutional and Priority Programs.

Once approved by the head of the State Government Secretariat and published in the Official Gazette of the State, its implementation and compliance will be monitored and its evaluation coordinated.

Studies and thematic research on human rights will also be carried out, in order to analyze the information that originates from them and thus propose public policies on the matter, considering the results of reports, rapporteurs, committees and working groups of organizations multilateral and international human rights

UN agriculture agency chief calls on world’s mayors to make ‘global commitments local realities’

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An article from UN News

It is important to make “global commitments local realities,” José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told the meeting and UN Headquarters, discussing common challenges to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as climate change and food security.


Video of the meeting

The special event, From Global Issues to Local Priorities was co-hosted by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the UN General Assembly, alongside Mr. Graziano da Silva.

About 68 per cent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050 – mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia, where hunger and poverty are highest.

He said that it is essential to engage local authorities to achieve SDG 11 –promoting sustainable cities and communities – fundamental for achieving all the other goals.

Focusing on SDG 2, which calls for the eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition, as well as the development of sustainable agriculture, he pointed out that the number of people suffering from both hunger and obesity has increased over the last three years, especially in urban areas where “people are more likely to eat cheaper processed food high in trans fats, sugar and salt.”

“We urgently need to transform our food systems,” he underscored. “We need to put in place food systems that offer healthy and nutritious food for everyone, while preserving our natural resources and biodiversity” by integrating actions “from the production to the consumption of food.”

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Questions for this article:

The culture of peace at a regional level, Does it have advantages compared to a city level?

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City dwellers can no longer be considered food consumers and rural communities food producers. 

“Sustainable development calls for the strengthening of rural-urban linkages based on a territorial approach,” he said, pushing for “a rural-urban continuum.”

Turning to the New Urban Agenda, which was adopted at Habitat III in 2016 during the Quito Conference, Mr. Graziano da Silva said the FAO Framework for the Urban Food Agenda would be launched in Rome on 7 March.

Sustainable development requires “a systems thinking, rather than granular responses,” he argued, adding that the Framework presents ideas to generate employment, strengthen local food value chains and reduce the high levels of food waste found in many cities.

Indicating that some 80 per cent of all food produced globally is now consumed in urban areas, he said that urban consumers would be “a very effective entry point in promoting the transformation to more sustainable agricultural production and value chain development.”

“Implementing the food systems approach may be challenging”, he concluded, “but it is fundamental to ensure healthy and nutritious food for all while safeguarding the planet for future generations.”

Also speaking at the meeting was UN Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, who delivered her remarks through video message.

A host of mayors, former mayors, economists and urban development experts shared experiences of effective local practices, innovative strategies and lessons learned in addressing global challenges including climate change, food insecurity and malnutrition, food supply and consumption sustainability, and people’s wellbeing from a sustainable and resilient food system perspective.

(Thank you to Phyllis Kotite, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Mexico: National Forum for a Culture of Peace

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A press release from Club Juridico (translation by CPNN)

During the “National Forum for a Culture of Peace”, the deputy Sergio Mayer Bretón, president of the Commission of Culture and Cinematography, called upon us to return to the sense of belonging, to erase the barriers and consolidate a single identity as a multicultural nation, without prejudices or stereotypes, because “There is only one Mexican, not five, or first.”

He called for working together to promote real change, so that Mexico beomes a better place to live in dignity, not a death sentence for those born in poverty. To achieve this, the culture of peace must be guaranteed in an integral manner.

He called upon Mexicans to assume the obligation and responsibility to stop being spectators and become participants, not depending for everything on the government, but depending on each citizen to contribute what corresponds to him or her, in order to reduce the gap of economic inequality and lack of opportunities caused by the constant abuse and submission of each other.

The extreme gap of inequality has led the most excluded people to engage in illegal practices to get what the State can not provide, because even work has become a brake on growth. He regretted that “the greatest enemies of Mexicans are the Mexicans themselves, exercising different types of violence and discrimination, taking advantage of vulnerability”.

Mayer Breton argued that as a society we must move forward without anyone being left behind, and guarantee not only in the text but in the facts a dignified life with freedom to exercise and access the rights that correspond to each one by the simple fact of being a person.

The president of the Indigenous Peoples Commission, Irma Juan Carlos, said that cultural, linguistic and thought diversity has supported the indigenous communities. It is necessary to recognize that diversity does not have to result in inequalities but it can result in into opportunities, based on the principle of respect and recognition.

She pointed out that this is the international year of indigenous languages, and emphasis should be placed on this, because, according to the diagnoses that have been made; “All the indigenous languages ​​of our country are at risk”.

“We can not talk about peace without talking about everyday realities and there can be no peace without equity and access to rights. The State should be responsible for closing gaps in inequality and strengthening the capacities of citizens, generating the conditions for this to happen, through public policies and legislative proposals that promote the rights of all.”

She called for eradicating poverty and discrimination, making it possible for citizens to exercise their rights in a framework of freedom. “Not only tolerance, but respect for diversity; it is a fundamental step to transform the country and create the culture of peace for men and women in our time.”

“I have to point out in the framework of this forum, that we live immersed in conflicts, the product of public policies that favored the dispossession of our lands, the theft of our identities, our cultures, oblivion, marginalization and poverty, social, political and economic inequality, But despite this, we continue to insist that dialogue and concord is the way to achieve peace and justice, “she added.

Gabriela Osorio Hernández, president of the Cultural Rights Commission of the Mexico City Congress, said that according to official reports, Mexico ranks second in Latin America in hate crimes of homophobia. It is also where there is the greatest increase in murders of journalists in the last two years.

To this, she added that, according to the INEGI, the main cause of death of males between 15 and 44 years old is aggression; while the latest discrimination survey indicates that 20.2 percent of the population aged 18 and over declared having been discriminated in the last year by some characteristic or personal condition, such as skin tone, manner of speaking, weight, height, form of dress or personal grooming, social class or place where you live.

“It is urgent to recognize that our country needs to rethink and weave itself together again. We need to embroider new ways of looking at each other, values ​​that enhance the dialogue about violence, the resolution of conflicts over confrontation, the recognition of diversity and the inclusion of all social groups without discrimination.”

José Alfonso Suárez del Real, Secretary of Culture of Mexico City, said that society should understand that the only way to overcome the problems they face is to recover the culture of peace.

He urged us to recover the concept of community to work in harmony and democracy in the public space, so that neighbors live in a social reconciliation that promotes peace.

It is essential, he said, to support young people to be actors of transformation because “if they are left at the mercy of the illusions of organized crime, what we are creating are anti-citizens and assassins with the risk of losing a generation.”

He argued that it is fundamental to guarantee the right to the culture of peace. He asked the legislators that “it is time to stop looking for problems to the solutions” and to address those that are needed.

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

Question related to this article:

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

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Xavier Aguirre Palacios, representative of the Community Culture Program of the Federal Directorate General of Cultural Liaison, said that achieving respect and promotion of the cultural rights of all communities is essential to achieve peace and to escape the desolation in which the country has been submerged.

He pointed out that there is a lag in the access and recognition of the cultural rights of the population. We have to understand that they are a fundamental part of the guarantees of life that the citizen has to enjoy the artistic creations that promote coexistence and reconciliation.

“Cultural rights are not second class,” he said. Therefore, projects that link citizens with creative expressions will be promoted. Violence cannot be overcome by more violence.

He pointed out that an equitable redistribution of cultural wealth will be encouraged, because many expressions have been concentrated in the capital of the country and focused on the highest social classes. They must be made accessible to the entire population and to all expressions.

Nashieli Ramírez Hernández, president of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CDHDF), said that it is not easy to move towards a culture of peace. The challenges are huge. One of them is how we handle conflict, how we react. We need understanding and conciliation in response to the different types of violence, which go beyond goodwill. Creativity is required to change the trend, and to find effective ways to overcome them.

It is proven that if young people have adequate tools that encourage their talents and open up their options for development, real solutions are possible. The increase in violence affects girls, boys and adolescents directly. Seven out of 10 have suffered an aggressive act, through bullying, becoming an emotional victim. “We have a great challenge to turn the culture of violence into a culture of peace,” she said.

We need parenting with love, understanding and tenderness instead of blows and shouts. It must be understood how the culture of peace is built, which is the opposite of violence, in both the private and public sphere.

Julieta Morales Sánchez, general director of the National Human Rights Center of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), said that “Mexico not only needs to pacify itself, but to build a culture of peace,” based on strong and efficient institutions, without corruption and transparent, that make possible to a decent life.

It is not an easy topic because it involves areas such as administration, law enforcement and security, but the social reproduction of crimes and violence by the media must be avoided. Our culture is permeated by gender stereotypes, discrimination and idealized life projects that exclude a large number of Mexicans. We must ensure that there are no first or second class Mexicans and everyone must work.

She clarified that “peace is not just the absence of armed conflicts”, but also the avoidance of structural violence that is reflected in a lack of opportunities in all areas. Respect for human rights must be privileged because they are the foundation of peace, development, stability and trust in institutions.

Democracy offers the conditions to build peace by reconciling differences and confrontations, encouraging dialogue, understanding and tolerance.

María Ampudia González, national counselor of the National Human Rights Commission, explained that children in Mexico occupy the first place in the dissemination of pornography; child sexual abuse; homicide against children aged 14; pregnancies of adolescent girls between 12 and 14 years old, as well as obesity and diabetes problems.

She indicated that the nation is the fifth most trafficked, violated and forgotten in the world in human trafficking and childhood. “The result of an abandoned childhood is worrisome: a child when it is born needs three things: tenderness, recognition and attentio, these are the most important factors of a child when it comes into the world.”

The social fabric is broken, but we can fix it with justice, sound public policies, doing a good job and involving young people in this culture of peace. Also, helping families so that violence in homes is reduced.

Roberto Martínez Yllescas, director of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Center in Mexico for Latin America, said that the challenge of promoting peace is linked to the need for change in the educational paradigm. Students are treated as passive entities confronted with an accumulation of data and concepts. The traditional educational scheme is insufficient for the requirements of the 21st century: with the speed of its digital revolution and technological progress.

It is necessary to promote community resilience, in order to educate to be aware of what being is, with values ​​and attitudes towards an interconnected and intercultural world; to train students with a new vision of competence in the face of climate change, poverty, inequality and migration. Peace is not only the absence of violence but the empowerment to face problems with a global perspective, to mitigate the risk of conflict and to encourage resilience as a whole, with the purpose of making the most of an interdependent world.

Norman Bardavid Nissim, executive secretary of the National Commission for the Culture of Peace (Comnapaz) Mexico, commented that peace is a state of unity of the human being in a holistic way within the framework of universal values, privileging the dignity of life in all its manifestations.

The culture of peace must be considered as a living letter, included in the Political Constitution. He proposed to make a federal law to promote the culture of peace, to educate minors with this focus on both private and public. Also, it is necessary to create a National Commission for Culture of Peace, a decentralized body to resolve the differences between society and government, he proposed.

The forum was held in three working groups: What is the culture of peace? Social prevention of violence and crime and, Diversity and equity among communities. Participating civil associations included Embajada Mundial de Activistas por la Paz, Cauce Ciudadano, Espacio Progresista, Victoria Emergente, Vive México y Foro Global de Liderazgo Juvenil.

Bolivia: Authorities present Carnival 2019 focused on promoting the culture of peace in Sucre

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An article of La Razon (translation by CPNN)

The General Secretary of the Mayor of Sucre, Marcel Orgaz, presented on Wednesday [06 February] the ‘Sucrese Carnival 2019’, an event that will focus on promoting the culture of peace, with emphasis on the fight against violence against women.

(Click here for the Spanish original. . )

Questions for this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

“The ‘Sucrese Carnival 2019’ is launched, and since Sucre has been designated as ‘Ibero-American Capital of Peace’ by the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities (UCCI), this carnival will focus on promoting the culture of peace and the fight against violence against women, “he said at a public ceremony.

Orgaz anticipated that the carnestolendas [3 days preceding Ash Wednesday] will begin tomorrow, Thursday, and will last until March 16 of this year, highlighted by the ‘Carnival of Antaño, with the Juventud de Siempre’, organized by radio La Plata.

For his part, the municipal secretary of Tourism and Culture, Pedro Salazar, said that another of the activities will be the Entrance of the Carnival Grande de Sucre, the Carnival of El Tejar and the Intercultural Entrance of Surapata.

Salazar warned that the prohibition of the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be strictly enforced, in addition to the control of drinking water to avoid waste.

Stories from Rotarian Action Group for Peace provide inspiration for peace

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Excerpts from an article by Reem Ghunaim, Executive Director of Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGPF)

. . . This is our 2nd annual Top 5 RAGFP Membership Countries newsletter. It highlights only a fraction of the stories you generously and courageously create on the ground, daily, in 74 countries around the world. Thank you for leading countless stories such as these every day in your Rotary clubs and districts. Your stories are our inspiration at RAGFP. We hope you enjoy reading and learning from each other’s experiences, initiatives, and ideas. . . .


RAGFP member Caroline Millman, (pictured right with Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum)

[United Kingdom]

RAGFP Board Member Alison Sutherland is current chair of our Peace Education Committee. She wrote an article for The Rotarian Magazine UK  that exemplifies all Rotarian peacebuilders. She sat in busy traffic one morning, noticing a group of people outside an old building in her home town of Cardiff, Wales, and recognized an opportunity of Rotarian service. These were refugees seeking asylum and she found a way for Rotary to help them. She assisted Rotarian partnerships that currently integrate many of the 1,000 foreign refugees per month who arrive in Cardiff into their community. The Welsh Refugee Council now refer refugees who wish to integrate into British society to the City of Cardiff Rotaract.

Alison says many of these immigrants “did not always fall within the prescribed Rotaract age range,” yet Rotary created a space for them. Rotarians in her District 1150 now help provide refugees in the UK with English classes, sports and craft facilities, community social events, and even help asylum seekers with complicated government form fillings. Alison demonstrates how Rotarian peacebuilders are committed to meeting the basic needs of their communities as their approach to creating peace. Read More

RAGFP member Caroline Millman, (see photo above), is the Chair of PeaceJam UK. Caroline works with PeaceJam UK to tailor teacher-friendly curricula materials for youth, based on the lives of the Peace Laureates. All of their curricula features global “Call to Action” projects aligned with high-quality service-learning standards and is linked to the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign established by the Peace Laureates. PeaceJam is an international education program for schools and youth groups. It is unique as it is the only educational program working directly with Nobel Peace Laureates. PeaceJam itself has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize seven times. Their aims are to teach and inspire a new generation to be active citizens and agents for change. . .

[India and Pakistan]

RAGFP members in Districts 3011 and 3070 (India) and District 3272 (Pakistan) have joined forces with Rotarians in six other Rotary districts worldwide to build a Peace Park in the disputed border zone between India and Pakistan. The Indus Peace Park Project seeks to promote peace and international cooperation along the border.

The Indus Peace Park Project was conceived in 2015 when a Rotary District 5080 Friendship Exchange group was unable to attend certain events in the region, due to border tensions between India and Pakistan. RAGFP members came together to provide peace action.

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Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

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The Indus Peace Park Project seeks to secure an area of 10 hectares (25 acres) of land (5 in Pakistan, 5 in India), on either side of the border. To be maintained by Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interactors from both countries. The park will be a neutral location where everyone can gather in a spirit of lasting peace, cooperation and goodwill. This project and the RAGFP members who lead this project emphasize the notion that “if Rotarians didn’t change the status quo- who else would do it?” This mindset is demonstrated in our live-stream videos recorded with park organizers at the RI Convention 2018 in Toronto.

Rotarian Action Group for Peace is a partner in this project. RAGFP leaders are signators of a global petition to show political leaders on both sides of the border there is overwhelming worldwide support for this Peace Park within the disputed borderlands. You can also sign the petition here, and provide financial support. Learn how your Rotary club or district can support The Indus Peace Park.  Read More . . .

[Australia]

Rotary E-Club Melbourne conducts their weekly Rotary meetings online and then go “into the field,” as they close their laptops and seek peacebuilding opportunities in their local community and globally. They often travel together internationally to remote locations so they may personally identify opportunities for Rotarian service. They sponsor water and sanitation projects in underdeveloped areas of India and visit these areas to see for themselves “if the toilets are working.” They promote peace in local schools, actively recruit fellow Peacebuilder Clubs throughout Australia, and consider personal engagement as the most important philosophy in all of their peacebuilding activities. . . .

[Canada]

. . . a national “culture of peace” is cultivated by Rotarians who form community peace partnerships and alliances throughout their country. The Rotary Club of Winnipeg is a RAGFP Peacebuilder Club. . . . Their peace initiatives focus on the value of human rights, comprehensive peace education, and include, Peace Days 365 including Festival of Peace and Compassion, an annual festival of events celebrating of the United Nation’s annual International Day of Peace. This Peace Days Festival is a nearly month-long schedule of daily events leading up to, and extending beyond, September 21st each year.

The entire community of Winnipeg and District 5550/WPP is involved in hosting peace-centered events that focus Canadians upon shared values of human dignity, compassion for one another, and respect for our environment. Peace Day 2018 events featured a film premiere of the Canadian TV series, First Contact, and the series built bridges between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians across the nation.

Their peace education in human rights programs helped foster Canada’s very first interdisciplinary Master of Human Rights program to be offered at The University of Manitoba in 2019. These Rotarian peacebuilders and RAGFP members provide examples of how all RAGFP Peacebuilder Clubs can develop effective peace projects and initiatives within their own local communities around the world. Read More . . .

[United States]

There are now 78 RAGFP Peacebuilder Clubs spread across the continental United States, in Alaska and the Pacific. . . . The Rotary Club of Boulder [Colorado] has set their next century of Rotarian service on peacebuilding. Their peace initiatives allow school children to access engaging peace education, focus their community upon peace in public spaces, inform social justice in Colorado, and introduce innovative minds from around the world to Rotarian peacebuilding. They also contact and recruit other Rotary clubs in their district to become active Peacebuilder Clubs offering mentorship and an example of excellence. 

Lajeado, Brazil: City Hall Launches Peace Pact

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An article from Informativo (translation by CPNN)

Lajeado will promote a pact for peace. The project, still without a defined name, involves several secretariats, including Health, Education, Security, Social Assistance and Sport and Leisure. They will formulate a set of strategies to reduce crime and promote a culture of peace, based on actions throughout society. The initiative is inspired by similar action already developed in the city of Pelotas, in the southern part of the state.


Mayor Marcelo Caumo. Foto by Lidiane Mallmann/arquivo O Informativo do Vale

According to Mayor Marcelo Caumo, the Department of Labor, Housing and Social Welfare made a diagnosis on several points during 2018. “The diagnosis addressed youth learning, aggression against women, drug use and violence in general. Besides investing in repression, which we have been doing with great constancy, we must invest in prevention,” he says.

Caumo explains that, based on the data compiled, we sought methodologies that have already been applied in other municipalities combining both repression and prevention and producing positive results.” We got information from Pelotas where the response was very positive.” The first phase of the project is the internal survey that will be done by several municipal secretariats. “After the beginning of the work, other entities will be involved, such as federal, state and municipal police forces, prosecutors, judiciary, business entities and the community in general,” said the mayor.

Today is an internal work meeting, in which the team will make a presentation to the City Hall about the pact. On that occasion, the municipality will review projects that already exist related to the promotion of peace and reduction of violence.

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(Click here for a Portuguese version of this article)

Questions related to this article:

 

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

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Culture of peace

Mayor Marcelo Caumo points out that the objective is to implement strategies capable of promoting an environment of peace, preventing violent and criminal attitudes and actions in the municipality. “We will make a comprehensive diagnosis of the situation of violence in Lajeado, including perceptions and indications not reported in criminal statistics, such as petty thefts or bullying, which do not always appear in official indicators.”

According to the head of the municipal Executive, the objective is to point out alternatives to solve issues of violence. For this, the integration of various organizations will be sought, to make their action more effective. “We will measure violence in the municipality, including previously unreported situations, and then we will identify and prioritize coping strategies.”

Results in the city of Pelotas

Recently, the municipality of Pelotas, which implemented the project 16 months ago, presented the results in reducing crime rates. Since the creation of the program, there has been a 36% reduction in homicides, 38% in vehicle thefts and 33% in robberies.

“These are very positive numbers that we want to see happen in Lajeado too,” comments Marcelo Caumo. “It is important to emphasize that the methodology of this project is to act to prevent violence, which involves health, education, culture and social assistance. In the medium and long term we hope to reduce the need to repress violence.

The creation of the peace pact in Lajeado has a contract of R $ 230 thousand, with an expected duration of 12 months with the support of consultants. The contract includes bi-weekly meetings for follow-up, in addition to permanent contact with the working group. The draft includes the values ​​of travel, travel, food and lodging.

To know more

On November 21, 2018, the consultant and executive director of the Instituto Ciudad Segura, Alberto Kopittke, was in Lajeado to present the project “Pact for Peace”, developed in cities like Pelotas, Niterói, Fortaleza and 20 other municipalities in the metropolitan region of Ceará. The methodology, based on evidence (evidence of effects and outcome of actions), is concerned with preventing violence from the gestation of the child to actions aimed at young people with violent behavior. The goal is to act early to prevent more serious problems in the future.

Spain: The policies of cooperation of the City of Toledo “are more than words”: an example for other local institutions

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An article from La Cerca

The Councilor for Social Welfare, Javier Mateo, participated this Saturday [February 2] in the inauguration of the XVI Conference on Development Cooperation organized by the NGO Coordinator of Castilla La Mancha. “These appointments are key to avoid individualism because they enable us to feel part of the global village,” said the municipal Social Welfare manager.

According to Javier Mateo, both the City of Toledo and the participants in the Conference “share values ​​and concerns about the global situation, the need for social change and the importance of achieving the opening of a new mentality in society.”

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

Questions for this article:

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

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The celebration of this meeting in Toledo “is a recognition of the effort and work that we develop from the local government so that development cooperation policies are more than words and beautiful speeches,” he said, to remember that during this term, the City Council has opted for the increase, both in the Budget for Cooperation, as well as in the participation and involvement of the city’s organizations.

As reviewed by the welfare councilor, their political commitments have been met as they have managed to increase this budget to 0.55%, “promoting development programs, cooperation or response to emergencies and humanitarian catastrophes.”

To facilitate the participation of NGOs, the City Council of Toledo approved the creation of the new Municipal Cooperation Council. Among the initiatives of both the Department of Welfare and Cooperation, Javier Mateo recalled the launch of the First Culture of Peace Forum.

“We work so that in the future we can continue to ensure that cooperation policies and social sensitivity are on the municipal agenda,” said the mayor who has also pointed to the importance of “work at the local, in our neighborhoods, in our streets For this reason, we created the campaign ‘Solidaridad 365 + 1’ so that the city knows the realities of other peoples and can act in solidarity with them “.