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English bulletin January 1, 2019

. . . . REVIEW OF 2018 . . . .

As we enter a new year, it is a good time to review the peace initiatives of 2018 and ask if they continue to advance. Let us consider the themes of the monthly bulletins of 2018..

December: Europe meets and marches for peace. The most recent demonstrations are those of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) in France as analyzed this month in an article from Pressenza. The title,”where democracy is on the march!” , reflects the conviction of the author that the movement is a profound protest against governmental policies that favor big industry and finance instead of the interests of the average citizen. The movement has spread from France and is now active in at least 22 other countries around the world.

November. Nobel Peace Prize: End sexual violence. The fight goes on. This month there were mass rallies protesting violence against women in Argentina (#niunamenos) and Israel, as well as activity under the name #niunamenos in Bolivia. And Amnesty International has devoted its annual review to the theme “Oppressive, sexist policies galvanize bold fight for women’s rights in 2018.”

October. International Day of Peace. Using the same methodology in 2018 as that used in 2017, we found even more events than ever around the world for the International Day of Peace. The number of events we could find was almost doubled in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

September. Progress towards peace in the Phiippines, Ethiopia, Colombia. Progress continues as shown during the last month,. We have carried an article on the Mindanao Week of Peace in the Philippines, a speech praising the Mother Ambassadors for Peace by the President of Ethiopia, and three articles from Colombia: remarks by the newly-elected President of Colombia to the National Peace Council, opening of the Truth Commission born out of the peace agreement, and an article entitled “Colombia’s rural radio stations are a key to peace.”

August. Progress in sustainable development, including reforestation projects, divestment from fossil fuels and progress in renewable energy. Progress continues in recent months in the divestment from fossil fuels as well as in a scientific breakthrough for renewable solar energy. On the other hand, it is not surprising that the international meeting of COP24 was considered by climate activists to have been a failure.

July. Slow news for peace from Africa. In December, we carry no less than 9 articles about the culture of peace coming from Nigeria, Angola, Niger, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Darfur West Sudan Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and Mali, as well as a Report of the Commission on Elections in Africa of the African Union Peace and Security Council.

June. Nuclear disarmament. Unfortunately, there seems to be no progress towards nuclear disarmament since the United Nations canceled the High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament that was scheduled to open on May 14.

May. Korean reunification. Almost every month there is some small progress towards peace in the Korean peninsula. The most recent is the opening of a rail link between the South and North.

April. US students against gun violence. It is not clear if there is progress on this front in the United States, but the students who initiated the March for Our Lives, the American mass movement against gun violence were recently awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize for 2018. They received the prize from Archbishop Desmond Tutu during a special ceremony held in Cape Town, South Africa.

March. Solidarity in Korea, Mexico, UN Alliance of Civilizations. We have mentioned above the progress in Korea. As for Mexico, there is good news that Mexico City has elected its first woman mayor who promised “to lead an honest, open, democratic, austere, inclusive government that acts with, for and for the citizenship, without distinction of party, religion or socioeconomic level, but putting all our effort to make of this, a city of rights, with justice and that diminishes the still serious social inequalities,” And we carry an article by a youth participant in the Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations: “# Commit2Dialogue: Partnerships for Prevention and Sustaining Peace.”

February. Mass media for peace in Mexico, Colombia, and throughout Africa. The project described in Mexico does not seem to have advanced, but as mentioned above, we carry an articles in the last month about rural radio in Colombia. As for the media for a culture of peace in Africa, we have carried articles from Togo, Morocco and Senegal in recent months.

January. Review of 2017. Last year in our review we highlighted the fight against violence to women, progress at the United Nations towards nuclear disarmament and divestment from fossil fuels. As we see above, 2018 shows contijnued progress to combat violece to women and divestment from fossil fuels, but no progress towards nuclear disarmamet.

What was new and especially important last year was the progress as reviewed above towards peace in Korea, Ethiopia/Eritrea and Philippines as well as continued progress in Colombia, a process that we have followed closely for several years now.

      

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



The 815th meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council: Report of the Commission on Elections in Africa

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



France: Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes): where Democracy is on the march!

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Argentina: Thousands of women march to the Plaza de Mayo to demand justice for Lucía Pérez

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


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

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Global arms industry: US companies dominate the Top 100; Russian arms industry moves to second place

HUMAN RIGHTS



Amnesty International: Oppressive, sexist policies galvanize bold fight for women’s rights in 2018

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



France: Culture for Peace Award to The Artists in Exile Workshop

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Mexico: Promoting the subject “Culture of Peace” at all academic levels

English bulletin December 1, 2018

EUROPE MEETS, MARCHES FOR PEACE

Meetings and demonstrations for peace have been taking place throughout Western Europe in the last month or so. Here are those with articles in CPNN:

Spain: The II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace was closed in Madrid by a panel of women chaired by the Manuela Carmena, the mayor of Madrid and host of the Forum She called for more leadership by women, saying “We must be protagonists in the 21st Century and in the following centuries. . . . the voice of women is the voice of peace.” The Forum elaborated an agenda of cities for peace including: policies of caring rather than policies of security, preparation, implementation and supervision of action plans for the prevention of violence, and local action plans to address them.

During the Forum, it was announced that 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence will start from Madrid 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 which will pass through Africa, America, Oceania, Asia and Europe, going through more than 100 countries.

France: There were several major peace events in France.

At the Paris Peace Forum, sponsored by the French government to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that “blinkered” nationalism was gaining ground in Europe and beyond. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his hope that the Forum could help avoid falling into the traps of the past by promoting multilateralism. He wants it to demonstrate the power of reconciliation a century after Europe was torn apart by one of history’s bloodiest conflicts. Among others at the Forum were Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan as well as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres. The Forum sought concrete actions to address today’s challenges. 850 initiatives were audited by the Selection Committee; 120 projects were selected and were presented at the Forum.

Also in Paris, Human rights defenders from across all corners of the world gathered for the Human Rights Defenders World Summit, to develop a plan of action for how to protect and promote the work of activists fighting for rights, 20 years on from the first UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Speakers included UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

In Paris as well as in other cities of France and Europe, women took to the streets on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence to Women in a “feminist tidal wave” against sexist and sexual violence. According to its organizer, “This is the biggest feminist mobilization that we have known in France.”

Germany: During the Days of Protest for Peace and Disarmament from 1 to 4 November, actions were carried out in almost 50 German cities and thousands of signatures were collected. The days of protest were organised by the national initiative “disarm instead of rearm” and supported by the two big networks of the peace movement “Cooperation for Peace” and the Committee of the Federal Peace Council.

Previously, in October, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched through Berlin in protest against the far right, racism, and xenophobia . Organisers said 242,000 people across Germany took part in the rally, making it one of the biggest in recent years.

Iceland: Also at the end of October rallies were organized across the country to demand equal pay and rights and declaring “Don’t Change Women, Change the World!” Demonstrations were held in 16 towns and cities and the largest was in Reykjavík, where female musicians, poets, actresses and a 230-strong choir performed.

Italy: An International Conference “Scientists for Peace” was held in Città della Pieve. The scholars who took part in the Conference signed the “Declaration of the Scientists for Peace” which they are sending to UNESCO.

United Kingdom: A Nationwide Public Meeting Tour is being devoted to the themes of Stop Bombing Yemen and Stop Arming Saudi. It is taking place between 8 November and 13 December in York, Brent, Cardiff, London, Portsmouth, Norwich, Merseyside, Manchester, Sheffield, Basingstoke, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Lewisham.

Ireland: Dublin hosted the First International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases with speakers from around the world. In CPNN, we have reprinted the speech to the conference by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire: “Unfortunately, we are constantly bombarded with the glorification of militarism and war; therefore building a culture of peace and nonviolence will not be an easy task. . . However, I believe that peace is both possible and urgent. It is achievable when we each become impassioned about peace and filled with an ethic that makes peace our objective and we each put into practice our moral sense of political/social responsibility to build peace and justice.

      

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

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

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



Città della Pieve, Italy: The Declaration of the Scientists for Peace

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


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

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Dublin: Global Campaign Against US/NATO Military Bases

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Peace and disarmament on the streets of Germany

HUMAN RIGHTS



Paris: World summit brings surge of new commitments to protect human rights defenders

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Artist’s Portraits Show Migrant Caravan’s Hope, Joy: ‘These Are Regular People’

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



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

English bulletin November 1, 2018

. NOBEL: END SEXUAL VIOLENCE .

It was an important step forward that the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize were recognized for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. The history of the culture of war tells us that: “Rape and other violence against women has been fundamental to the culture of war over the course of history.”

The Nobel Committee joins an impressive list of organizations around the world that are making progress for women’s equality and an end to violence against women. Here are examples from CPNN during the past month.

Local NGOs

In Guatemala,  the organization Mujeres Transformando el Mundo (Women Transforming the World) has helped the “abuelas” of Sepur Zarco to obtain the conviction of military officers for their systematic rape and enslavement during the 36-year-long Guatemalan civil war, and to obtain reparations, including the promise to reopen the files on land claims, set up a health centre, improve the infrastructure for the primary school and open a new secondary school, as well as offer scholarships for women and children.

National NGOs:

In the United States, Planned Parenthood is leading the fightback to resist the attacks by President Trump and his appointees against women’s reproductive rights. They are planning a multi-million dollar, nationwide campaign to ensure that abortion remains accessible—even if the landmark decision legalizing it nationwide is overturned thanks to Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court.

International NGOs:

Plan International sponsored a campaign in which over 1000 schoolgirls become world leaders for the day, from executives at Google and Facebook to government posts and local councils. Among the posts they held for a day were the presidency of Peru and the heads of the parliamentary speakers of Zimbabwe and Western Australia.

Religious organizations

In Bougainville, an island of Papua New Guinea, the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation, established by the Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth, led by Sister Lorraine Garasu, supports a network of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs). Their work is focused on issues of family and sexual violence, community safety and security, poverty reduction, leadership, and recognition of the work of WHRDs, particularly those in rural communities. The women work for sexual reproductive health and rights, access to education and services and the need for action on climate change, among many other important issues. The initiative is supported by the International Women’s Development Agency.

Business enterprises

Software giant Adobe has announced that it has achieved pay parity between women and men globally across 40 countries. The company defines pay parity as ensuring that employees in the same job and location are paid fairly, regardless of their gender or ethnicity. “I am proud that we have taken this important step towards fair recognition of all our people’s contributions — achieving this milestone is fundamental to who we are,” said Adobe president and CEO Shantanu Narayen.

National governments

Iceland has the smallest overall gender gap of 144 countries ranked  by the World Economic Forum and has enacted the world’s first equal pay law. This has come about through grass-roots pressure and the election of women leaders, as illustrated by the recent national ‘Kvennafrí 2018’, Women’s Strike with demonstrations held in 16 towns and cities. The rally in the capital city Reykjavik was addressed by a former prime minister (a woman) and attended by the sitting prime minister (also a woman).

United Nations

The Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka presented the Secretary-General’s report on women, peace and security to the UN Security Council in October. “We commend the Nobel Committee’s recognition to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their advocacy on behalf of victims of wartime sexual violence. It is an example of the importance of this issue . . I met many exceptionally courageous women in my recent travels to Somalia, South Sudan, the Sahel and the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. Many of them are here today. But many could not be here.  In 2017, half of the women honoured in the annual tribute of the Association for Women in Development were murdered in conflict affected countries. . . . It is my strong wish that we will find the political will to do much more about this epidemic of killings of women over the next decade than we have in this past one.

UNICEF is part of the United Nations taking positive steps at the local and national level. For example, In Ethiopia, UNICEF supports the development of girls’ clubs as part of an accelerated effort to end child marriage.

As we stated in the UNESCO draft resolution sent to the United Nations in 1998 , which became the UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace: “there is an inextricable linkage of peace with equality between women and men. Only this linkage of equality, development and peace can replace the historical inequality between men and women that has always characterized the culture of war and violence.”

      

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



The Nobel Prize for Peace 2018

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



France: Several thousand students have signed a manifesto in which they pledge not to work for companies that disagree with their values

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



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

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


GAPMIL gives Global Media and Information Literacy Awards 2018

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Nuclear Abolition Day: Security Council session clashes with UN High-Level Meeting

HUMAN RIGHTS



Sepur Zarco case: The Guatemalan women who rose for justice in a war-torn nation

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Berlin: Hundreds of thousands march against racism

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



AUNOHR University unveils the “Knotted Gun” Sculpture in Beirut

English bulletin October, 2018

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

Using the same methodology this year as last, we see even more events than ever around the world for the International Day of Peace. The number of events we could find was almost doubled in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, from 126 to 233, from 96 to 177, from 67 to 158, and from 58 to 95 respectively.

For the most part, celebrations were organized by cities and towns, schools and civil society. However, a few heads of state issued proclamations. Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada stated, “As we mark the International Day of Peace, and celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I encourage Canadians to reflect on how we can all stand up for human rights, and build a better country and more peaceful world.” Chinese Vice President, Wang Qishan proclaimed that “the International Day of Peace represents good hope for world peace for all the people in the world. The Chinese people, always a lover of peace, expect to pursue, maintain and enjoy peace with the peoples of other countries.” President Maduro of Venezuela said “The heroic people of Venezuela have managed to overcome their difficulties peacefully. On this International Day, we confirm that it is the only way to achieve true freedom. With Peace everything is possible.” And at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres said “Peace is the unifying concept that brings us together. Peace is at risk. Peace is violated in so many places. But we will not give up.”

Similar to last year, the greatest number of events took place in schools, involving the children of the world in the hopes for peace. An outstanding example was that of the Montessori schools around the world, where the tradition of singing “Sing Peace Around the World” is used annually to mark the International Day of Peace. “Peace is a big part of the Montessori curriculum,” said Kennebec [Maine, USA] Montessori School Principal Rebecca Green. “It’s the foundation for helping children figure out who they are in the world and how to treat others with respect.” Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori educational philosophy, was a three-time nominee for the Noble Peace Prize who encouraged teachers to cultivate peace and courtesy in their classrooms.

In school after school, the Day was an occasion to appreciate diversity. In Boca Raton (Florida), students in the Coral Sunset Elementary School dressed in their native colors and countries: “We have over 64 countries represented in the Palm Beach School system.” At the University of Bradford (UK) “our students cover over 50 nationalities. The chance to meet people of different backgrounds and experience makes our school a very rich learning environment.” In   Vitoria, Brazil, students at the Centro Educacional Leonardo da Vinci produced a mural for respect for differences among peoples, through generosity and a careful look at the other. Each group worked with a continent, painting butterflies with the colors of the flags of each country, but these butterflies are not restricted to their borders, joining on the same planet, showing that although we have different colors and flags, we are similar and have a same heart.

Below are photos of children around the world releasing balloons or doves into the sky as a symbol of their wish for peace everywhere.

In hundreds of events, music served as a universal language. A typical example was in Piratininga, Niteroi, Brazil, where students of the Colégio de Aplicação Dom Hélder Câmara, gathered in the central plaza to sing “La paz” by Gilberto Gil, the most popular singer in their country. We have already mentioned above the use of music by the Montessori schools. The initiative One Day, One Choir, connected world class ensembles with school, community, faith, workplace and local choirs in more than 70 countries to sing for peace and unity.

Everywhere the day was an occasion to bring people together across the divides of religion. For example, in Brussels, Belgium, as part of the International Day of Peace, the City hosted a conference organized by Almouwatin (Citizen, in Arabic) to address the themes of exchange and sharing in collaboration and with the support of various Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, lay, Freemason, Christian associations. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, representatives of Catholicism, Spiritism, Buddhism, Umbanda, Protestantism, Hinduism, Candomblé and Islam participated in an interreligious act “Unity for Peace.” In Sydney, Australia, this year for the first time, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Coptic Orthodox, and the Sufis joined in the annual Interfaith Prayer Service. And in Raipur, India, students of the Rungta International School visited the four major religious places of their city. the Ram Mandir , the Church , the Masjid and the Gurudwara where the religious leaders of all these places spoke about their respective religions . They emphasized the need to enable the next generation to understand and assimilate the essence and spirit of peace of all religions and respect them.

In Africa, where democratic transition is a difficult challenge, a common theme on the International Day of Peace was the need for peaceful elections. This was the theme in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

This year there were many peace celebrations in countries emerging from armed conflict From Colombia, we publish the events in Tibu, Bogota, Santa Marta (Magdalena), La Paz (Cesar), Dabeiba (Antioquia), Bosa and Medellin. Those of Dabeiba and La Paz involved the former FARC combatants who were demobilized in the UN supervised camps near these cities. “This is a historic moment, some 15 years ago it was impossible to think of such a moment, and today we all come together for peace,” said Isaias Trujillo, who served 47 years in the FARC. And from Syria, we publish events from Aleppo, Homs, Sahnaya, and Qamishu, as well as a 12-hour marathon, in which about 15,000 people from different age groups took part. The marathon began at 8 am in Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Tartous and Sweida, where the participants ran simultaneously for a distance of 3 kilometers, before a number of them went to participate in another evening marathon in Damascus, concluded by a ceremony held by the Umayyad Square in the Syrian capital which can be seen in a video by CNN.

On the other hand, there were poignant comments from the events in the Ukraine, a country that continues to be divided by military conflict. In the capital of Kiev, there were competing celebrations of the International Day of Peace by those supporting the two sides and we publish descriptions of events from six other cities in the Western, official government zone and four cities from the Eastern, breakway zone. In Kurakhiv, the theme was “I want to live without war” and in Marazlievskoy, it was “We want to live in peace.” In Kiev, the chairman of the All-Ukrainian Union of Women Workers said “We, Ukrainian mothers, do not want our children to die. Let the war end!”

We give the concluding word to Kyrgyzstan where the Day of Peace was a moment to appreciate the absence of war: “For some of us, peace is an everyday reality. Our streets are calm, our children go to school. Where the foundations of society are strong, the priceless gift of peace can not be particularly noticed by anyone.”

      

GLOBAL


What has happened this year for the International Day of Peace/a>

AFRICA



Africa: International Day of Peace

LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN



Latin America: International Day of Peace

ARAB STATES AND MIDDLE EAST



Arab and Middle East: International Day of Peace

EX-SOVIET COUNTRIES



Ex-Soviet Countries: International Day of Peace

ASIA AND PACIFIC



Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

EUROPE



Europe: International Day of Peace

UNITED STATES AND CANADA



United States and Canada: International Day of Peace

English bulletin September 1, 2018

. . PROGRESS TOWARD PEACE . .

This month we look at progress toward peace (or lack of progress) in five major wars and military confrontations: Philippines; Colombia; Ethiopia and Eritrea/North and South Korea; and Israel/Palestine.

On July 27, Philippine President Duterte signed into law the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BOL) which aims to complete the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the Southern Philippines. The agreement gives the Moro people greater autonomy in ruling their homeland in Mindanao.

Following the ratification of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, who chairs the Senate subcommittee on the BOL said “It’s a new dawn for Bangsamoro in Mindanao.” “The MILF and the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) are ready to work with the Philippine Government especially in the conduct of the plebiscite that will be held around November.”

Four years of lobbying for the inclusion of peace education in the BOL was crowned with success. Under Article IX, the Education provision of the BOL, second paragraph says: “The Bangsamoro government shall institutionalize peace education in all levels of education” Some 6,000 new teachers are deployed in five southern provinces and they are now actively helping propagate interfaith solidarity among schoolchildren in support of the government’s Mindanao peace efforts.

Putting the new law into practice, in an historic solidarity event, the Philippine military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) gathered together to celebrate the muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha.

Following two decades of hostile relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea, a joint peace and friendship agreement was signed by the two countries on 9 July in Asmara. At a rally that was organized by the communities of Eritrea and Ethiopia on 3 August, thousands of citizens of both countries expressed support to the historic agreement reached between President Isaias Afwerki and Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed to normalize relation. As a result of the agreement, there have been a series of reconciliation agreements with various armed groups, including the Oromo Liberation Front, the Amhara Democratic Forces Movement, and most recently reconciliation talks with the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement.

For years, the strife between Ethiopia and Eritrea weakened the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in the region. Now, it is hoped that IGAD can play its role for for peace and cooperation, similar to that of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which are relatively successful in reinforcing peace and stability as well as cooperation among their members.

For years now, we have followed the peace process in Colombia. Although the newly elected government in Colombia has opposed part of the peace accords at a national level, outoing President Santos considers that the “peace is irreversible” and there continues to be progress towards peace at the departmental level. In the Department of Bolivar, the project Ruta de la Paz, is promoting tourism and cultural development in regions and municipalities that were affected by the Colombian armed conflict. And in the Department of Caldas, teachers of public educational institutions, cultural managers, librarians, social leaders, police, members of the Red Cross and members of the municipal councils have become peace promoters through the diploma “Rural education as a scenario in peace building.”

Although Afro-Colombians have become disenchanted with the implementation of the accords in their region on the West Coast, they have continued to build peace in their own ways. Residents are creating local peace-building initiatives, and last year, the residents of Buenaventura and the surrounding area shut down the city in a civil strike, demanding a recognition of their rights.

This year we have followed the progress towards an eventual peace agreement and reconciliation between North and South Korea. Progress has been slow in recent months, but a peace summit is planned for the North’s capital of Pyongyang this month. It will mark the third meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Finally, we consider the long-standng conflict between Palestine and Israel which periodically erupts into open warfare. In the latest development, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has proposed a United Nations-led armed international mission to defend Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza from the Israeli army. Unfortunately, it seems that this cannot be achieved because of the veto power of the United States in the Security Council.

      

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


A ‘new dawn’ for Mindanao’s Bangsamoro

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



How Corporations ‘Bypassed the Politics’ to Lead on Clean Energy in 2017

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Petropolis-Peace celebrates one year and 400 mediations

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


More Than 300 Newspapers Denounce Trump Attacks on the Press

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Historic leap in Tunisia: Women make up 47 per cent of local government

HUMAN RIGHTS



Teachers, activists denounce U.S. immigration policies, attempt to deliver books, toys to detained children

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



UN Chief Proposes Armed Peacekeeping Force to Protect Palestinians

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Brazil: Culture of Peace will be the theme of a free lecture in Guarujá

English bulletin August 1, 2018

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT .

Last month we reported on reforestation projects in Africa: the Great Green Wall that streteches from one side of Africa to the other; and the Million Tree Initiative in Zambia. And previously we reported on reforestation projects in China , Pakistan and Brazil.

This month we add reports on the Greentrees Sequester initiative in North Americ and the project Defenders of the Forest in Madagascar. The Greentrees initiative recerived an award from the American Carbon Registry “in recognition of exceptional implementation of the world’s largest reforestation project both in terms of volume of high-quality verified emissions reductions issued and number of participating landowners and acres.”

The Madagascar project is important because the island is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots with the vast majority of its species of fauna and flora endemic to the island. Much of Madagascar’s wildlife is under threat, particularly its humid forests.” The Mitsinjo Association, composed of the local conservationists, hires local youth to plant trees and conserve the animals that are in danger of extinction. The Association engages in a variety of education and capacity building programs for the communities they support, including schools.

Meanwhile the divestment from fossil fuels continues to gather force. We have previously reported on divestment initiatives by a wide variety of local and global organizations, including the World Bank, Catholic institutions, Norway and New York City. Go Fossil Free, a group that advocates for fossil fuel divestment, estimates that $6.15 trillion worth of fossil fuel assets have been sold off since the movement started in 2010.

In Japan, which has been one of the biggest financiers of coal technology in the world, Nippon Life Insurance, Japan’s largest life insurer, with assets of $667 billion, has announced that they will stop financing coal-fired power plants.

This month we report that the Parliament of Ireland has voted to sell off its estimated $370 million in fossil fuel investments “as soon as is practicable.” Ireland’s vote is particularly important because it reflects a major shift in the divestment movement, Originally, fossil fuel divestment was entirely driven by moral concerns—institutions pulled their money out of oil, gas, and coal companies because they didn’t want to be contributing to the destruction of a stable climate. Now, divestment is increasingly seen as a smart financial move for investors.

Perhaps most important of all, there continues to be progress in renewable energy that does not pollute the atmosphere. A few months ago, we reported on increased investment in solar power in China, Australia, Sweden, UK and Germany, including electric cars and a solar highway in China. And this month we see that India is making strides towards leadership in wind and solar power. Although renewable energy currently supplies only 20% of the country’s needs, this is beginning to change as a result of financial considerations. New renewable energy is less expensive to build than it costs to run most of the existing coal fired power in the nation—let alone construct new plants.

Finally, for a holistic approach, we can recommend that of Agroecology. In Brazil, the National Association of Agroecology has brought together several hundred farmers’, women’s, artists’ and activists’ organizations over the course of the last fifteen years to promote a new model of development based on farming and land use practices in an ecological and common good perspective centered around traditional and popular knowledge and culture. The very nature of agroecology is transversal and holistic. Considering the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, agroecology covers the majority of them: climate, water, the fight for gender equality, against poverty, hunger, decent work, etc.

      

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



India strides towards clean energy leadership

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY



Campaign Nonviolence National Convergence in Washington, DC this September 21-22, 2018

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace: Madrid, 5-8 November

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



Peace Boat returns to Cuba with a message of peace and global solidarity

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



Women in school to promote a sustainable peace in Cameroon

HUMAN RIGHTS



9th International Conference on Human Rights Education

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



USA: A call to resist immigrant concentration camps

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Peru: Law to promote the culture of peace and non-violence in basic education

English bulletin July 1, 2018

. . SLOW NEWS FROM AFRICA . .

While the headlines are mostly pessimistic about peace, there have been two stories that give us some hope for solutions to two of the longest running international tensions. In Korea, there are some positive assessments coming out of the summits between the Presidents of the two countries and the summit of the Presidents of North Korea and the United States. Similarly, there are some positive assessmens of the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

At the same time, there is “slow news” that doesn’t make the headlines, but is developing slowly at a deep level. It’s not simply peace, but rather a “culture of peace.”

We can see this especially in Africa. For example, in the past few decades Africa has shown its leadership with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and the Gacaca in Rwanda, and following in the footsteps of the freedom fighters of yesterday, it has great potential to continue providing leadership in the future.

At CPNN we have followed these developments over many years. This is the fifth CPNN bulletin devoted to the development of the culture of peace in Africa, with previous bulletins published in March 2016, December 2014, April 2014, and August 2012.

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) recently held its 766th meeting. It was dedicated to Africa’s Peace and Security Landscape by the Year 2023 and topics included improvement of governance, use of election observation missions, effective natural resources management systems, balanced economic development, inclusion of youth in peace processes and development of the culture of peace, unity in diversity and tolerance in education curriculums. CPNN has been following the peace initiatives of the AU since 2011.

The African Union recently announced that the tourism sector supports about 21 million jobs in Africa with a value of over $160 million, exceeding manufacturing and banking sectors combined. CPNN previously reported on a major event of tourism for a culture of peace held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in January 2015 and has followed the development of tourism for a culture of peace around the world.

The Great Green Wall, a reforesting initiative crossing the entire continent of Africa is recently back in the news with announcment of substantial financing from the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. This is yet another project of the African Union. CPNN first reported about the Great Green Wall back in 2011 when it was initiated by Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Matthai. It grew out of a movement that she had started in Kenya in 1977.

A similar reforestation project, the “plant a million trees Initiative ,” is now underway in Zambia which is further south on the African continent. So far, tree nurseries have been set up at 12 schools in Lusaka, and the project expects to reach 720 schools in the next two years in 60 districts across the country.

Readers of CPNN will recognize the Felix Houghouet-Boigny Foundation, which recently held a seminar on the culture of peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire. The Foundation was at the source of the UNESCO Culture of Peace Initiative back in 1989, and CPNN was proud to be invited back in 2014 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Other recent initiatives of the Foundation include a school for the culture of peace , a regional centre for culture of peace and university clubs for peace and non-violence.

The Panafrican Women’s Network for Culture of Peace and Sustainable Development recently elected a new president, and she announced that the network will be set up in all nine provinces of Gabon. CPNN reported on the founding of the network in 2014.

Many peace initiatives oppose the spread of Islamic terrorism in Africa. Some are religious, such as the Mohammed VI Foundation, based in Morocco and meeting recently in Cote D’Ivoire. They promote “the original sources of Islam, which is committed to peace and tolerance and peaceful coexistence in society.” Other initiatives are secular, such as the International Post-Forum Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa, meeting in Dakar, and addressed by an activist from Tunisia who called for a strategy that is global and multifaceted, involving not only the State but also the general populations.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of Africa to the culture of peace was that of Nelson Mandela. His contributions are still being carried on. The South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has announced that South Africa’s tenure in the United Nations Security Council will be dedicated to the legacy of President Mandela and his commitment to peace. Lindiwe is the daughter of Walter Sisulu, one of the greatest South African peace activists and a close comrade of Nelson Mandela in the South African freedom struggle..

Although these stories about the culture of peace are not “fast news,” at least they have been reported somewhere on the internet as “slow news.”. However, we must imagine that many other initiatives promoting a culture of peace never make it onto the internet and what we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. We are always looking for reporters, so if you know of initiatives that are not receiving recognition, please send them to us so we can publish them on CPNN

      

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


South Africa: Sisulu – UN Security Council Tenure Will Be Dedicated to Mandela’s Legacy

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Global community responds to recent positive progress in Ethiopia, Eritrea relations

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



US Conference of Mayors Resolution for Peace

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



In Latin America, agroecology is a deeply political struggle

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Panafrican Women’s Network for Culture of Peace and Sustainable Development

HUMAN RIGHTS



USA: “It’s Time for Moral Confrontation”: New Poor People’s Campaign Stages Nationwide Civil Disobedience

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Americans march to support immigrants and to oppose separation of families by the Trump administration

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



The culture of non-violence will take place in the heart of Lebanese school curricula

English bulletin June 1, 2018

CIVIL SOCIETY TAKES INITIATIVE

Two major international events for peace that had been scheduled for May and June were cancelled or postponed this month, and, as a result, civil society has taken up the initiatives.

We are referring to the high level meeting between the Presidents of the United States and North Korea that had been scheduled for June 12 and the United Nations High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament that was scheduled to open on May 14.

In Korea, the Nobel Women’s Initiative joined with thousands of Korean women, north and south, to call for an end to the Korean War, reunification of families and women’s leadership in the peace process. They held international peace symposiums in Pyongyang and Seoul where they listened to Korean women and shared experiences and ideas of mobilizing women to bring an end to war and violent conflict. And on May 24, International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, along with 1200 Korean women, they successfully crossed the 2-mile wide De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) that separates millions of Korean families as a symbolic act of peace.

As readers of CPNN know from the bulletins of July, August and November, 2017, the proposal for a United Nations High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament was a followup to the landmark UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The Conference was supported by the nations of the Non-Aligned Movement. However, it seems that pressure from the nuclear states has forced them to withdraw their sponsorship and postpone the conference. It seems now that it may never take place.

Although the Conference is not taking place, many organizations are taking up the cause for nuclear disarmament. In CPNN this month, we carry articles about initiatives by the World Medical Association, by women parliamentarians from around the world, by local activists at one of the largest American nuclear facilities and by the American Campaign for Compliance with the Nuclear Ban Treaty.

The Council of the World Medical Association, with delegates from almost 40 national medical associations, meeting in Latvia, expressed their strong concern about the growing threat of nuclear war and spoke about the catastrophic consequences of these weapons on human health and the environment. They urged all states to promptly sign and implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

49 women parliamentarians from around the world, under the auspices of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, have issued an appeal, Common security for a sustainable and nuclear-weapon-free world. They come from Kazakhstan, Marshall Islands, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Germany, Portugal, New Zealand, Sweden, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Jordan, UK, Norway, USA, Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica.

In Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the largest nuclear production facilities in the United States, local activists have raised enough money for a lawsuit to stop a new nuclear processing plant. At the same time they have carried their message against nuclear weapons to international meetings and to the United Nations.

The American Campaign for Compliance with the Nuclear Ban Treaty is mobilizing the civil society at all levels, individuals, businesses, faith communities, schools, organizations, cities and states to be in ‘compliance’ with the Nuclear Ban Treaty. Their goal is to put pressure on the nuclear weapons industry and eventually force the federal government to sign and implement the Nuclear Ban Treaty.

Finally, at another level, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has announced a new initiative for disarmament, focusing on three priorities – weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, and new battlefield technologies. Hopefully, the pressure for disarmament and peace coming from both above and below the level of the state will be able to push through some progress.

      

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Women legislators release appeal for common security for a sustainable and nuclear-weapon-free world

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Women legislators release appeal for common security for a sustainable and nuclear-weapon-free world

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Mexico: Congress Exhorts the City Councils to contribute to the culture of peace

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



Solar Leads Record Renewables Investment

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network meets in Berlin to promote women’s role in peace processes

HUMAN RIGHTS



The carnage against Gaza civilian protesters

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



The Coming Wave of Climate Displacement

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Brazil: Experts Support Teacher Training for Culture of Peace

English bulletin May 1, 2018

IS THERE PROGRESS TOWARD PEACE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


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

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


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

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



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

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



Latin American mayors meet in Costa Rica for development goals

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


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

HUMAN RIGHTS



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

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



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

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



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

English bulletin April 1, 2018

. . . THE NEW GENERATION . . .

The news this month is dominated by the new generation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos illustrate the historic nature of the demonstrations.

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

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

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

      

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


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

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Brazil: World Social Forum concludes in Salvador

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



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

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



France: Citizen vote against nuclear power

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


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

HUMAN RIGHTS



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

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Ahed Tamimi and the Pathology of the Israeli Mind

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



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