Category Archives: EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Bangui opens training workshop on mediation and conflict resolution


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

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

View of training participants

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

(click here for the French version)

Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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

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

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

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

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

Honduras: Program in 130 schools reduces violence and promotes culture


An article from La Tribuna, Honduras

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

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

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

Where is peace education taking place?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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(click here for the Spanish version)

Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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

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

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

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

Presentation in Abidjan of a training manual on the culture of peace and social cohesion


An article from the Journal de Cameroun (translation by CPNN)

A training manual on the culture of peace, social cohesion, prevention and peaceful conflict management was presented on Thursday [November 29] in Abidjan by the Ivorian Minister for Solidarity, Social Cohesion and the Fight against Poverty. Prof. Mariatou Koné. The 235-page manual is structured around four modules: culture and peacebuilding, social cohesion, conflict prevention and peaceful conflict management.

“With today’s launching of this handbook, Côte d’Ivoire has just taken another step on the road to consolidating peace and strengthening social cohesion. This manual comes at the right time (…), “said Minister Mariatou Koné after thanking the country’s technical and financial partners, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).

“Thank you for devoting your mandate, in the aftermath of the 2011 post-election crisis, with the valuable assistance of your staff, to keep Ivorians away from fear of others by investing in the development and promotion of tools. for political, intercultural, interreligious and intercommunity dialogue, “she said.

For Minister Koné, this manual is a powerful vehicle to strengthen living together and also to build the new Ivorian, “inviting each and everyone to appropriate it effectively as an instrument to build a culture of peace, which must be translated into all our daily behaviors and visible in our ways of living with others.”

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(Click here for the original article in French)

Questions for this article:

How do we promote a human rights, peace based education?

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“To be at peace with others, to be at peace with oneself, is the ongoing challenge to create the conditions for sustainable development in the service of individual and collective well-being. Nothing can stop us from pursuing this goal,” she concluded.

The purpose of the module on the culture of peace and peacebuilding is to provide participants in training sessions with a clear understanding of peace and the culture of peace, as well as the conditions for its consolidation. It also aims to enable them to know and appropriate the values ​​and attitudes that peace and the culture of peace bring to the everyday life of every citizen.

As for the module on social cohesion, in addition to fixing the lexical field of the concept, it deals with its implications of life in society, particularly through the need for reconciliation and the key steps that such a process requires in a society in crisis. .

For its part, the Conflict Prevention Module promotes common traditional and modern conflict prevention practices and their functioning. These are broken down in such a way as to enable learners to make a deeper knowledge of them, but especially because they can be mobilized by them to anticipate conflicts.

Finally, the module on conflict management engages participants in training sessions in a collective reflection that allows them to relativize and defuse conflict, define it correctly and have a clear representation by determining the role that it can play in a society, its different types, its causes, the actors who are stakeholders and the attitudes that should be adopted when it occurs.

In 2015, a study was made about social cohesion and peace in Côte d’Ivoire, with the technical and financial support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The study highlighted the need for better peace-building with three essential tools. a National Strategy for Reconciliation and Social Cohesion 2016-2020; a new National Social Cohesion Program for the period 2016-2020; and a handbook for the harmonization of skills in the field of social cohesion. culture of peace and social cohesion.

India: Cultures from around world converge at folk dance fest


An article from the Times of India

It was a coming together of cultures from around the world at the Punjab International Folk Dance Festival organized by the Punjab Cultural Promotion Council (PCPC) in collaboration with Ishmeet Singh Institute at the Ishmeet auditorium on Monday evening.

The fusion of African, Colombian, Cuban, Mexican, Punjabi bhangra and Indian classical dances was well received by the audience, students and dignitaries. La Escuela de Danzas Folcloricas-Palma Africana folk dance ensemble from Colombia was the highlight of the mega event.

Bringing the diverse cultures of the world on one platform, the event propagated the message of love, peace and harmony. Colombians led by group director Madam Maria Carmen Melendez took the stage by storm with their vibrant presentation of folk dances mapale, mix carnaval, salsa and guacherna on the scintillating beats of Colombiano music comprising drums (Tambora) and a pair of Maracas, displayed by artist Alfonso.

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Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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Sharing the theme, festival director Dr Davinder Singh Chhina said that PCPC has invited 43 international folk delegations from all over the world to attend the dance festival since 2002 to promote culture of peace, international friendship, multiculturalism and cultural diversity.

The Cumbia dance represented the culture hybrid of European, African and other indigenous communities while spreading the message of happiness; Bambuco, a musical on Colombia, emulated the process of love expressed by farmers, while Guacherna depicted festivities of Barranquilla, the native city of the guest delegations.

Carnaval De Barranquilla was a cultural representation and a mix of different dancing styles which expressed the period of colonization. The salsa beats took the audience on a tour of Cuba, while mapale and bullerengue depicted the cultural diversity of Colombia.

Closing the concert, Colombians performed bhangra along with Punjabi artists. Colombian artists Carmen Sanjuan, Dany, Alfonso and Andrea were all praise for the hospitality and vast heritage of Punjab.

USA: Conference to explore effect of early childhood development on world peace


An article from Yale University

In partnership with UNICEF and Queens University Belfast, the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC) at the Yale Child Study Center will host an open house conference at the Omni Hotel in New Haven this Thursday, Nov. 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The organizing question for the event will be: “Can early childhood development advance ‘The Culture of Peace?’”

Syrian girl holding up peace sign in a Turkish refugee camp. (© Radek Procyk –

“The goal of the ECPC is to shed light on the contribution of the science of early childhood development to creating a path to peace,” said Rima Salah, chair of the ECPC and assistant clinical professor in the Child Study Center. “Working towards a common goal of reducing and preventing violence against children, the unified group that makes up the ECPC recognizes the power of investing in the early years to build peaceful societies.”

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Question related to this article:

What is the best way to teach peace to children?

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At Thursday’s conference, the ECPC will provide an update on its research and advocacy efforts, including how it seeks to advance early childhood development, care, and education by building peace and fostering social cohesion among individuals, groups, communities, and nations. During the event, the ECPC will also officially launch its online platform, a resource that aims to help users build with “blocks of peace” for the children of the world.

Keynote speakers for the program include Pia Rebello Britto, chief and senior adviser of early childhood development at UNICEF; Sherrie Rollins Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy at Sesame Workshop; and H.E. Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, founder of the Global Movement for The Culture of Peace, former under-secretary general and high representative of the United Nations. Presenters from six low- and middle-income countries will also discuss the early childhood development programs they are creating with colleagues at UNICEF and Queen’s University Belfast, Yale, New York University, and Harvard to build social cohesion and peace within their countries.

“The ECPC has brought together a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectored, and multi-dimensional range of experts who have worked in the fields of early childhood development and peace-building initiatives around the globe, that up to this point, have been working in silos,” said Dr. James Leckman, ECPC executive committee member and the Neison Harris Professor in the Child Study Center. “Science says that peace is possible — and the science of early childhood development can facilitate the development of a more peaceful world.”

The ECPC is founded on the idea that the global community must address the root causes of violence and conflict and that families and children can be agents of change for peace. The consortium is building an inclusive movement for peace, social justice, and prevention of violence through using early childhood development strategies that enable the world community to advocate peace, security, and sustainable development. For more information on the ECPC, visit the consortium’s website.

Hall’s poetry about more than ‘black history’


An article by Jeff Schwaner in The News Leader

“We all have poetry in us.” This is the first thing Neal Hall wants to be clear about. The renowned African American poet and medical doctor reads from his work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in the Carter Center for Worship and Music at Bridgewater College.

While Hall is identified as an African-American poet, the demand for him to accept reading engagements is not limited to Black History Month. Hall has performed poetry readings throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, France, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal and India. He participated in Bridgewater College’s 2015 International Poetry Festival last January.

Photo: SUBMITTED / Steve Ladner

The Bridgewater reading is sandwiched between trips to India and Italy, both chock full of readings and public addresses.

In an email interview, Hall responded to questions of how being an African-American contributed to his evolution as a poet.

“What comes with the label of African-American or Black is this institutionalized, generational legacy of a trail of tears we are forced to walk. This trail and our tears make us uniquely sensitive to the suffering and exploitation of all men and women. It qualifies us and challenges us to stand up to be the true standard bearers and guardians of freedom for all,” Hall writes. “My poetry is influenced by and speaks not just to the surface pain of injustice and inhumanity, but digs deep into that pain, into the genteel socio-political-economic- religious constructs used to blur the common lines of cause that is our shared story. This shared story, the poetry reminds us, should unite us in our common struggle to be free.”

When asked if being identified as an African-American poet could be an obstacle to his expression, Hall responded, “If it is an identifier and/or identity, I did not create it to identify me nor to limit me. As such, one has to ask the larger question: Who created it for me and for what reasons?”

Across the work of four books, Hall’s poetic voice is insistent on his readers realizing their own will to be free, but also identifies the oppressor in its various institutional and cultural forms. “When you see that you are not free / you must say and do, to be free,” he writes in one of the poems from his first book. In the poems “White Man Asks Me” (“A white man asked me to / be less than a man so that he could / find a face-saving way out”) and “Dr. Nigga” (“…save my life / without  changing my life / when my white life codes blue”) Hall directly confronts and reveals the structure of racism.

For some of his readers this is difficult but necessary: “knowing that you are the cause and then the painful act of changing your behavior which has afforded and enriched you (relatively speaking) generating socio-economic advantages over your brothers and sisters.”

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Question for this article:

How can poetry promote a culture of peace?

Are we making progress against racism?

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Poetry is one way to face such formidable challenges. “We are the only obstacle getting in the way of our deeper expressions. I find my deepest expression in breathing air in and out deeply in the full realization of my connection, brotherhood and common humanity with all that exists. This connection, this brotherhood, our common humanity is seamless. It is the greed of man exploiting our fabricated man-made differences that has created seams in us, to divide us from our oneness. There is nothing complex nor complicated about man’s gluttony.”

Hall earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an M.D. from Michigan State University. He received his surgical subspecialty training in ophthalmology at Harvard University’s Medical School and was in private practice for more than 20 years in Flourtown, Pa.

Hall is the author of four books of poetry, Nigger For Life, Winter’s A’ Coming Still, Appalling Silence and Where Do I Sit, that deal with oppression and exploitation in American society.

The poet’s charismatic reading style has captured international audiences that go far beyond what any label as an African-American poet might mean. I asked him about the connection. “I have learned from my travels that the oppressors, oppression and their methods are the same all over the world and thus those who suffer from them are connected,” Hall wrote. “The oppressed all understand that their oppression is based in large part on gluttony/greed. The need for a source of continuous cheap labor and to rob people of their substance, their lands and resources often under the guise of religion, democracy, freedom, education, tradition, culture and self-serving charity.”

Few poets read in public as often as Hall. And Hall recognized this activity as a watershed moment in his development as a poet. “There in real time with the poetry of your heart and mind flowing from your mouth, you see yourself touching, moving audiences’ hearts and minds to feel and live the poetry you’ve lived and are re-living in the readings before them. There in real time, I learned to live in my poetry as much as my poetry lives in me.”

I asked him how that speaks to the mysterious relationship between writer and poem and reader.

“It is no mystery. What people get from your poetry is not only what you give them, but also the life experiences they bring to your poetry. And the life experience they bring to your poem can illuminate the words and impact far more — or less — in them than in you or your intent.

So when readers respond in a very surprising manner to a poem, does it make him feel differently about the poem?

“No. The poem is my poem and my experience. I can only feel what I bring to it and it to me. On the other hand, I do feel honored and grateful that others bring their different life experiences into play when reading about and connecting with my life experiences through my poetry. We are, as I have said, seamless! Poetry can bear witness to erase the seams man creates in us.”

Hall writes in one of his poems, “We are socialized and emotionalized to see / our plight in black and white.”

No such adhering to stereotype in Hall’s work.

The program is free and open to the public.


Navarra, Spain: The “Schools for Peace and Coexistence” Program will be extended to 61 centers and more than 10,800 participants


An article from Pamplona Actual

The “Schools for Peace and Coexistence” Program will continue for a third year, responding to the requests received from Primary, Secondary and Vocational Training centers throughout Navarra, as well as the Public University of Navarra.

Promoted from the 2016-2017 academic year by the General Directorate of Peace, Coexistence and Human Rights of the Department of Citizen and Institutional Relations in cooperation with the Department of Education, “Schools for Peace and Coexistence” has been consolidated and each course serves a greater number of students, families and education professionals.

The Program makes available to schools several educational and educational tools that enable both students and teachers and families to address, from a positive and educational point of view, different aspects of coexistence. It brings together training workshops, pedagogical experiential activities and participatory workshops that are being carried out in public and concerted educational centers throughout Navarre.

The objective of the workshops is to advance in the construction of coexistence and a culture of peace through activities that allow the educational community:

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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– to learn the different ways of expressing and verbalizing a conflict in order to approach its solution in a positive way;

– to know which are the most important humanitarian crises worldwide and reflect on Human Rights in these contexts;

– to experience and reflect on the damage and the conflict that negative attitudes and prejudices cause when they put in risk the coexistence between people of different ethnicity, culture, ideology, religion, etc .;

– to learn to make correct use of new technologies free of abusive and violent practices;

– to learn to play cooperatively in the spaces and times that the educational centers allocate to activities, without discrimination, without exclusions and without violence;

– and to internalize skills and favorable attitudes for the positive transformation of conflicts.

In addition, this Program is complemented with other initiatives of Peace and Coexistence that are expressly open to the participation of schools, such as exhibitions, film forums, contests, etc.

The Program in data

During the 2016/2017 academic year, a total of 4,311 students participated in the first edition of the program, from 41 educational centers and throughout 140 activities carried out. In the 2017/2018 academic year, the number of participants increased to 6,499 from 63 educational centers, with a total of 385 activities carried out.

This course, the Regional Government has received the request of 61 centers, so that a total of 10,832 people participate in the programmed activities.

USA: Marquette University Center for Peacemaking celebrates 10 years


An article by Donna Sarkar for the Marquette Wire

The Center for Peacemaking celebrated its 10-year anniversary Sept. 13 at the Haggerty Museum of Art, marking a decade of exploring the power of nonviolence.

Video of anniversary event

A reception featured speeches from founders of the center as well as members of the board of directors. A $1 million grant was announced during the ceremony to continue development work in the community. 

The Center for Peacemaking was founded in 2008 through the vision of Marquette alumni Terry and Sally Rynne. The center operates several programs for students that support research promoting peace and nonviolence. It is the only such center on a Catholic university campus in the United States, Terry Rynne said. 

Patrick Kennelly, director of the center and a Marquette University alumnus, said the center’s impact is clear. “Peace education has transformed the lives of Marquette students, and Marquette peacemaking initiatives have addressed indignities and communities locally and around the globe,” Kennelly said. 

Zoe Gunderson, a junior in the College of Communication said she recently started working at the Center for Peacemaking as a communications assistant.  She said she noticed the welcoming atmosphere right away.

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Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

University campus peace centers, What is happening on your campus?

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“The students involved seem to be really dedicated and passionate about nonviolence movements and other related issues, and I’m really glad I joined,” Gunderson said.

The center also works to recruit students and build curriculum for the peace studies major and minor offered in the College of Arts & Sciences.

“Undergraduate time is a place where students can change new things,” Terry said. “It’s our call as Christians to help serve students and the power of nonviolence is just so wonderful. The number of students involved grows exponentially each year.”

During the ceremony, the center recognized its partnership with Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States.  It gives students and faculty access to the agency’s international projects, experts and resources. 

Ellie Lyne, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and a research assistant on the Park Initiative project, which promotes reducing crime in the Near West Side neighborhoods, said learning about the power of nonviolence is beneficial and the center has taught her how to have tangible impacts on the community.

“I’ve also worked with professors over the summer to research how to solve domestic violence and eviction in Milwaukee, and we are close to reaching some answers,” she said.

Kennelly said he has witnessed graduates of the peace studies program working around the globe using skills of nonviolence learned at Marquette to address indignities and solve dense social issues.

“Our faith calls us to show love to one another and our enemies in times of crisis,” Kennelly said. “That is the mission I hope students (take away).”

Nonviolence Charter: Progress Report 13 (October 2018)


An article by Robert J. Burrowes, Anita McKone & Anahata Giri for Transcend Media Service (abbreviated)

At the time of today’s report, we have signatories in 105 countries with our first signatory, Peter C.S. Kim, in South Korea since the last report. We also have 114 organizations/networks from 36 countries. If you wish, you can see the list of organizational endorsements  on the Charter website.

If you wish to see individual signatories, click on the ‘View signatures’ item in the sidebar. You can use the search facility if you want to look for a specific name.

The latest progress report article ‘Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love’ was recently distributed to many progressive news websites: it was published by a number of outlets in 14 countries, thanks to very supportive editors (several of whom are Charter signatories: special thanks to Antonio C. S. Rosa, Gifty Ayim-Korankye, Korsi Senyo and Pía Figueroa ). If you like, you can read the article in English here – ‘Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love’ – and, thanks to its translation into French by Charter signatory Edith Rubinstein in Belgium, here: ‘Le désespoir de Gandhi et la lutte pour la vérité et l’amour’. . . .

Anyway, here is another (inadequate) sample of reports of the activities of individuals and organizations who are your fellow Charter signatories.

Given that dysfunctional parenting is ultimately responsible for the behaviour of those individuals – including political, corporate, military and religious leaders – who generate and perpetuate violence, a number of Charter signatories are now making ‘My Promise to Children’ so that we start to produce a higher proportion of functional individuals who know how to powerfully resolve conflicts in their lives without resort to violence. Still other signatories are now prioritizing their own recovery from childhood violence by ‘Putting Feelings First’.

Some signatories are developing more sophisticated nonviolent strategies to deal with peace, environment and social justice issues more effectively, or so they can be more strategic in their liberation struggle. If you are interested in nonviolent strategy for your campaign or liberation struggle, these websites (which include photos of several Charter signatories) will be helpful:

Nonviolent Campaign Strategy

Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy . . . .

Since the last report in April, we finally made time to accede to various requests over the years to revise the Charter by adding to it certain issues that some signatories believed to be important. So, the revised (and updated) Charter is now posted here  with the Spanish translation, again kindly done by Antonio Gutiérrez Rodero in Venezuela, here.

Hopefully, you will find nothing objectionable about the update but please advise us if you do.

So to the report . . . .

Further to the report last time of their original three ‘lists of 100’, recognizing some of the many fine peace and justice leaders around the world, Charter signatory Professor Kathleen Malley-Morrison and her colleague Professor Anthony J. Marsella researched the efforts of many other fine activist leaders to compile a fourth list which has now been published. You can see the names of the people they decided to recognize, including many Charter signatories, in these four lists here:

1. ’In Pursuit of Peace and Justice: 100 Peace & Justice Leaders and Models‘.

2. ’In Pursuit of Peace and Justice: 100 Peace & Justice Leaders and Models (List #2)’.

3. ’100 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models (List #3)’.

4. ’100 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models (List #4)’, 6 Aug 2018.

Once again, thank you for all your work compiling these lists and recognizing some fine activist leaders Kathie and Tony.

In addition to this work, however, Kathie maintains her own website ‘Engaging Peace’ on which her own thoughtful articles appear, as well as her commentary and/or questions designed to encourage reflection, on articles by guest authors published on her site. . . .

In Afghanistan, the Afghan Peace Volunteers, mentored by Dr Teck Young Wee (Dr Hakim) continue their inspirational work in extraordinarily difficult circumstances to bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan and the world. Two of Hakim’s recent articles will give you a clear sense of their exceptional work and vision: ‘In Afghanistan, our need to rethink the institution of war’ and ‘Loving Rashid so he won’t become a “terrorist”‘.

On the International Day of Peace (21 September), the Afghan Peace Volunteers organized a youth conference ‘Love in Action Brings Down Borders and Restores the Environment’ in Kabul. As part of their vision to build #GEN – a Green, Equal and Nonviolent world – representatives from all of Afghanistan’s provinces were invited with the intention to create an atmosphere of friendship and trust. ‘Holding this conference requires great courage in this time of almost daily bombings and attacks. The APVs show real leadership in nonviolence, including environmental restoration, and improving food security, despite the increasing violence.’ For a report on this conference, see ‘Afghan youth change their minds about peace’.

While being hosted by the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, Kathy Kelly wrote two delightful accounts of the Pashto men in Afghanistan who walked 400 miles from Helmand to Kabul while calling on warring parties in Afghanistan to end the war. Didn’t catch this in the corporate media? Surprising! So how did the Afghan peace walkers go? Find out in Kathy’s articles ‘Digging Deeper’and ‘A Mile in Their Shoes’.

As always, of course, Kathy continues her nonviolent activism to end war, resulting in her arrest and imprisonment fairly routinely. Fortunately, she evocatively documents her efforts on behalf of those on the receiving end of western military violence, however and wherever it manifests. For articles and actions focusing on Yemen in which Kathy and Voices for Creative Nonviolence were involved, you will find these items sobering: ‘U.S. Is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen’ and ’34 Backpacks – an ongoing commemoration of Yemeni children killed on August 9 ′.

Kathy was also among those arrested, along with fellow Charter signatories – Joy First, Malachy Kilbride and Phil Runkel – at a nonviolent action, organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, to draw attention to the plight of the people of Yemen under bombardment by US weapons supplied to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners. You can read a little about their action and Kathy’s court statement here: ‘A Courtroom Appeal for Yemen’.

Another of those arrested, Phil Runkel, works at Marquette University where he has served since 1977 as archivist for the papers of sainthood candidate Dorothy Day. There is an account of an earlier action taken in 2016 by Phil, written by Joy, here: ‘Phil Runkel, Dorothy Day Archivist and Activist, Found Guilty of Trespassing in Wisconsin’.

Professor Chandra Muzaffar is President of JUST International – the International Movement for a JUST World – based in Malaysia. Chandra routinely writes insightful commentary on Malaysian and world affairs. A recent notable article, titled ‘Syria: A False Flag Operation Thwarted? ’, described revelations by the Syrian and Russian governments that ‘may have thwarted a British-backed plan to stage a “false flag” chemical weapons attack in Idlib province that would have forced the US to launch a missile and air assault on Syria’. Given that previous false flag events in Syria have been used to justify military attacks on the country, exposure of this plan prevented another such assault. . . . .

Zakia Haddouch in Morocco continues to report the extraordinarily difficult circumstances of people in that country as she and other activists continue their various struggles to bring some semblance of justice to Moroccan affairs. One prominent issue is the ongoing debate in relation to ‘the forced military service (for both young female and male subjects and I don’t say citizens). It was lately decreed by the king. So, some say it’s good because the military service will “educate” young people. Some think it’s just the regime’s manoeuvre to enroll young contestants and activists, especially from regions like Rif.’ In Zakia’s view, the whole thing is wrong ‘starting from the way it was enacted (without going through the Parliament) and the timing (during the holidays) and finally the intention (despotic and war-oriented)…’.

Another struggle is taking place in the wake of the death of Mohcine Fikri on 28 October 2016, who was crushed to death in a rubbish truck trying to recover merchandise confiscated by a policeman. Following this event, Hirak (literally ‘The Movement’) was born and it quickly mobilized widespread support for its vigorous protests. While most of Hirak’s concerns are about local issues, it draws upon a national repertory of nonviolent actions fueled by the experiences of activists around the country. Between October 2016 and May 2017, and faced with social unrest of an unprecedented vitality which increasingly challenged him personally, Mohamed VI remained silent. However, when Hirak leader Nasser Zefzazi – who has never failed to stress nonviolence and advocate self-restraint – interrupted a sermon on 26 May 2017 in which an imam claimed the social movement was tantamount to a ‘fratricidal struggle or even civil war within Islam’, the government took this pretext to clamp down on Hirak.

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Question for this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?

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Many activists were jailed – over 200 so far – and demonstrations are now systematically broken up. Zefzazi was among those arrested (on 29 May 2017) and, along with other members of Hirak, subsequently jailed for 20 years. The repression has nipped in the bud any hopes for resolving the crisis. For good accounts of the above, Zakia suggests these two articles: ‘Rif Crisis Reveals Failure of Development in Morocco’ and ‘Moroccan Protest Leader Is Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison’.

In relation to her own ongoing case, outlined in the previous report (see link above), Zakia notes that she hasn’t received notification of the appeal verdict against her so she cannot go to the supreme court yet. She is still waiting ‘with high spirit because I believe in my just cause and I’m determined to go to the end’. In sincere appreciation Zakia!

Ella Polyakova and her colleagues at the Soldiers’ Mothers of Saint-Petersburg  in Russia continue their fine work to defend the rights of servicemen and conscripts by making sure that individuals are equipped with knowledge of their rights, the law and all relevant circumstances to be able to take responsibility for defending themselves from abuse. . . .

And just to show that activism is sometimes a family affair and perhaps even a multi-generational family affair, how about this action? Martha Hennessy, whose grandmother was Dorothy Day, wrote an evocative ‘Earth Day Reflection from a Georgia Jail’ where she was imprisoned with fellow nonviolent activist and Charter signatory Elizabeth McAlister (whose husband was the late Phil Berrigan). Martha and Liz, together with five other activists, had taken part in the Kings Bay Plowshares action for the reasons outlined in the article ‘Trident: Illegal and Immoral: “The ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide”’. In deep appreciation of your inspirational commitment Martha and Liz. . . . .

David Polden continues to publish his fine ‘Non-Violent Resistance Newsletter’ every couple of months, with news on nonviolent resistance both in the UK but also around the world, particularly Europe and Palestine. Unfortunately, despite our entreaties, David’s Newsletter is not online but you are welcome to contact him at if you wish to be added to his email list. Well worth it, in our view. . . . .

For yet another visionary initiative, David Steinman is the Project Director of World Liberation Radio  which has begun a crowd funding campaign for a demonstration project ‘proving nonviolence can be taught to oppressed populations around the world by radio’. You can find out more about David’s fine initiative on the website above and please consider supporting his crowdfunding campaign too. Great idea David!

Many of you no doubt followed the progress of the recent international Freedom Flotilla Coalition boats attempting to sail into Gaza in Israeli-occupied Palestine. Whether or not you did, however, Elizabeth Murray was on the refurbished Norwegian fishing vessel and international solidarity boat ‘Al-Awda’ so you will find out a little about the flotilla and what it was intent on doing from her account of ‘The Next Boat to Gaza’. Good on you Elizabeth for so courageously supporting our Palestinian friends. . . .

The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space held their annual conference at Oxford in the UK in June 2018. You can see some photos of fellow activists you might know and read Bruce Gagnon’s brief ‘Report on GN confab in Oxford, England – next 2019 meeting in Russia’ here.
In August the Global Network also produced a short video ‘Just Say NO To Space Force’. . . .

Pía Figueroa in Chile is Co-Director of ‘Pressenza International Press Agency’, which ‘feeds media every day for free with news, opinions, interviews and contributions regarding peace, nonviolence, disarmament, human rights, nondiscrimination and humanism in eight different languages, thanks to the volunteer work of more than 100 people based in 25 different countries.’ . . . .

‘Next November Pressenza celebrates 10 years, a milestone that we will celebrate decentrally in more than 40 places in the world, especially in Asia where we are trying to organize new editorial offices. Personally, I will be visiting China for the first time in order to participate in October in the Media Forum organized by CCTV+ in the city of Chongqing.

‘Social organizations that want us to publish their Press Releases and columnists that contribute with their nonviolent analysis are very much welcome.’ Contact Pía Figueroa Thanks a lot Pía for your unfailing support. . . .

West Papuan solidarity activist Dr Jason MacLeod continues his work in support of the nonviolent struggle to liberate West Papua from Indonesian occupation. Jason’s 2015 book Merdeka and the Morning Star: civil resistance in West Papua  carefully describes the evolution of the West Papuan resistance to three successive occupying countries over more than a century.

Jason continues to work with Pasifika, a small organisation involved in strengthening the capacity of nonviolent resistance movements through the provision of training and education, action research and small-scale support of local nonviolent initiatives. . . .

Our friends at CND Cymru  continue their campaign with like-minded souls both in Wales and around the world ‘for peace, environmental and social justice and to rid Britain and the world of all weapons of mass destruction’. In the latest edition of their magazine ‘Heddwch’, which is full of news of their activities, Jill Gough’s article ‘Army crashes fifth drone’ reports that yet another military drone recently crashed in a civilian area where, apparently, the primary military threat to the UK that afternoon was the local school sports. I guess we should be glad it was only a drone, which in this case didn’t kill anyone or cause significant damage, rather than a nuclear weapon! . . . .

Korsi Senyo is the Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Peace Building in Ghana and a prominent peace and civil rights advocate in Africa. At the invitation of H.E Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, Korsi was in Tanzania to speak at the 2018 Africa Leadership Forum on ‘Africa in the Global Peace and Security Architecture – Overcoming gridlocks to peace’. . . . Korsi presented a strong case on how regional blocs across Africa must support research initiatives that will help to better understand the major causes of conflict on the continent and devise practical solutions to these challenges. You can read more about Korsi and his fine team on the AFCOPB website.

Dr John Tierney in the USA offers a range of resources designed to teach children ‘how to act peacefully’ while inspiring and enabling teachers to teach peacemaking skills but also encourage all of us ‘to see and celebrate the role that young peacemakers can have in changing their own lives, their schools, communities, and the world at large. . . . You can read more about John’s approach and access the resources he makes available on his website The Peaceful Educator.

Sami Awad, who is Director of the Holy Land Trust  . . . . . and other friends at the Holy Land Trust continue their exceptional work to create a just and peaceful Middle East. For example, their Peace Research & Learning Center ‘fosters analysis of fundamental issues and structural problems in Palestine and Israel. Researchers utilize various methodologies in the field of social sciences to focus on themes of nonviolence, non-linear thinking, trauma healing, and to propose solutions to such issues. The Center attract researchers in multidisciplinary fields, and promote trans-disciplinary international joint research in Palestine. Research results derived from the Center are not only to be announced in the research community, but also to be announced as proposals to the society and the government’ . . . .

Graham Peebles, whose longstanding interest in the Horn of Africa has given him much opportunity to study the region, recently reported what is happening in Ethiopia. ‘As a result of the peaceful protest campaign that started in 2015, political change is at last underway in Ethiopia, and a feeling of optimism is beginning to pervade the country. The new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, deserves much credit, but it was the actions of thousands of people who took to the streets calling for change that has forced the government to act. All those who marched in defiance of the ruling party displayed great courage and relentless determination. They risked their lives and liberty in standing up to tyranny; they are the heroes of the day, and we should salute them all. . . . For the full account, see Graham’s article ‘A Time of Hope for Ethiopia’. . . . .

Dr. Ayo Ayoola-Amale in Ghana reports on the 32nd Triennial International Congress of WILPF held in that country. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom  (WILPF) is an international NGO established in 1915 with National Sections covering every continent. The recent conference was held on 20-22 August 2018 at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy on the vast campus of the University of Ghana in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. The conference brought together women from around the world.

‘On the first day of Congress, WILPF welcomed five new Sections and nine new Groups. This congress saw an African – Nigerian born Joy Ada Onyesoh – become WILPF’s first African President, along with newly elected vice-presidents and other key officers. There were several group discussions across a number of key thematic issues. The 32nd congress was held within its theme “Building a Feminist Peace Movement”. The Congress voting delegates approved the framework of the proposed International Program for 2018-2021, which includes emphases on environmental concerns and issues integral to human rights activism around the world, it calls for an end to violence in all forms as it broadly outlines the approach to be undertaken internationally and by all sections, groups, and members. WILPF advancing feminist peace requires making known and working to abolish the root causes of violence, systems of oppression and their interconnection, including militarization, patriarchy, and neoliberalism. The Feminist Peace Movement in Africa Forum was held, looking at the historic and current realities of women working for peace across Africa, especially locally within conflict-affected communities. The root causes of violence and feminist work for social transformation, economic justice and peace was explored during this special forum.’ . . . .

‘This historic congress and conference, the first WILPF international congress held in Africa after 103 years was a very successful and memorable event with great classic music from almost every country in Africa, traditional drumming and dance troupes, Poetry, Storytelling, art and craft. . . . .

From 21 August to 9 September, prisoners in 17 states of the USA went on strike to protest inhuman living and working conditions and to promote ten basic demands. Although the formal strike is over, some prisoners are being retaliated against and others are continuing to strike. In a recent podcast for ‘Clearing the FOG’, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese spoke with Amani Sawari, a prisoners rights activist, about the strike, the demands and how we can all provide support to finally end legalized slavery in the United States. You can listen to the interview here: ‘The National Prison Strike Isn’t Over’. . . .