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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

English bulletin March 1, 2018

SOLIDARITY INSTEAD OF THREAT

The theme this month is solidarity instead of military threat.

We begin with the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Speaking at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, in the Republic of Korea, he said, “Let the Olympic flame shine as a beacon to human solidarity.  Let the Olympic Truce help spread a culture of peace.”

And speaking to the meeting on combating the transnational threat of terrorism in Africa held by Peace and Security Council of the African Union, he concluded that “we face a serious challenge — but I believe it is one that we can meet with solidarity, common action and a shared resolve.”

In Korea the Olympic Games have inspired the first peaceful contact between North and South in many years. This flies in the face of the threat of military action by the United States.

As athletes from North and South Korea marched together, the head of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee, Lee Hee-beom, addressed the closing ceremony, saying “the presence of both Koreas at these Olympic Games has laid a solid foundation for the future of the two Koreas. The seed of peace you have planted here in PyeongChang will grow as a big tree in the not-distant future. The hope and aspirations of South and North Korean athletes together with cheerleaders will definitely serve as a cornerstone of the unification of the Korean Peninsula.”

In Africa, the call by Guterres for solidarity echoes the actions for a culture of peace by UNESCO, designed to “draw on the sources of inspiration and the potential of the cultural, natural and human resources of the continent in order to identify concrete lines of action to build a lasting peace, the cornerstone of endogenous development and Pan-Africanism.” These can be seen as an alternative not only to the threat of terrorism, but also to the threat posed by American military expansion on that continent.

In Latin America, there are two good examples of solidarity this month. Writing from Mexico, Leonardo Boff, the Brazilian theologian and writer, recalls the remarkable spirit of solidarity and cooperation of the Mexican people in response to the earthquake last year. And writing from the organization Tikkun in the United States, David Sylvester, recalls how the presence of a delegation of some 50 interfaith and peace activists prevented violence against the peaceful protests of the people of Honduras.

In Europe, activists of Amnesty International and Anafé (the National Border Assistance Association for Foreigners) continue to give aid to refugees at the border despite prosecution by the French authorities.

In the Middle East, despite pressure by the government of Israel, the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement that seeks to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and human rights violations, continues its activity and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the United States, the movement of solidarity and resistance to protect immigrants from the threat of deportation by the government of Donald Trump, continues to gain support, as exemplified by the”state of the city” address by New Haven mayor Toni Harp.

Finally, on a global scale, we publish the latest news from the Youth Solidarity Fund of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, which we have followed since its beginnings over a decade ago. And a former director of the Alliance, Shamil Idriss gives us his vision for the actions of Search for Common Ground in 2018, based on their actions of solidarity during 2017.

      

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



The People of Mexico Give the World an Example of Solidarity

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


UNESCO brochure: Africa, Culture of Peace, 2017

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



UN chief in Pyeongchang; Olympic message of peace is universal, beacon for human solidarity, culture of peace

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



China Reassigns 60,000 Soldiers to Plant Trees

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


First National Bank dumps NRA, will no longer issue NRA Visa card

HUMAN RIGHTS



Pakistan: Asma Jahangir, Champion Of Human Rights, Critic Of Pak Army, Dies At 66

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


India: ’Life: A Mystical Journey’- A Gathering of 500 Women Leaders To Explore Spirituality as Tool For Peace And Empowerment

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Search for Common Ground: Vision for 2018

English bulletin February 1, 2018

MASS MEDIA FOR CULTURE OF PEACE

It has been the dream at CPNN from the beginning that our website and others like us would be able to attract so much readership that the mass media would need to take up the theme of the culture of peace in order compete with us.

I don’t know if we have played a role in this, but indeed we see increasingly, at least in Latin America and Africa, that commercial media are taking up the theme of the culture of peace.

The latest example comes from Mexico as described in the CPNN article, “Zacatecan Radio and Television System to introduce ‘the culture of peace’ as a transversal theme.

The many decisions taken in their manifesto “Public radio as a force for peace in Mexico” include:

* Every news program should start and end with positive news and should include at least one story related to “peace initiatives”

* Each radio station should hold a marathon at least every quarter with readings, verses, songs and poems for peace and profiles of people who have contributed to peace

* A 30-episode radio program. 15 minutes of duration will be broadcast by all public broadcasters in Mexico with content derived from the manifesto
The manifesto was developed with input from journalists in Colombia who explained how the media are playing a positive role in the transition to peace that their country.

In Colombia, for example, the initiative “Community Radios for Peace and Coexistence”, launched in mid-2016 with support from the European Unon, supports 400 of the 627 community radio stations in the country to generate a culture of peace in the most remote rural areas, those most affected by the armed conflict. The initiative not only opens microphones to the people, but also includes workshops in which 200 community radio journalists have been trained in the elaboration of educational content on peacebuilding,

Last year in Colombia, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace began training journalists and announcers working at hundreds of small community radio stations across the country including many remote regions where radio is the only medium to which people have access.

In Africa, there are now so many media initiatives for a culture of peace that we have started an entire section of CPNN dedicated to the question “African journalism and the culture of peace, A model for the rest of the world?” Links are provided to CPNN articles from Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Somalia.

In Uganda, since the end of the civil war with the LRA, local community radio stations have been reaching out to the public through peace reporting with a focus on development. International agencies have trained hundreds of local journalists in peace reporting. A number of community radios were set up with a commitment to peace journalism and are still active today.

UNESCO’s project “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” is helping radio stations to inspire intolerance for gender-based violence and hold perpetrators and duty-bearers responsible in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Burundi.

In Senegal last year, journalists and experts from the countries of West Africa and the Sahel met together in a seminar on “The role of journalists and the media in preventing violence and violent extremism.”

“It is the responsibility of each person to spread positive content and useful experiences that participate in the construction of the world, and thus in a culture of peace. It is therefore up to us to make the media a positive tool for the construction of society,”
according to Patrick Busquet, the head of the Hirondelle Foundation (Democratic Republic of Congo). It is in pursuit of this ideal that as of 2014 the Hirondelle Foundation had installed several media in Africa: Radio Okapi in Kinshasa, Radio Ndeke Luka in Bangui, the Tamani studios in Mali, Mozaïk in Ivory Coast, and Hirondelle in Guinea.

Back in 2011, The Journalists’ Network for Peace and Security (NetPeace) was officially launched at the AU headquarters of the African Union under the theme “Promoting a Culture of Peace through the Media”. Regional coordinators were established in Mauritania, Mali, Liberia, Djibouti, Kenya, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In the United States last year CPNN took part in a panel at Southern Oregon University called “Cultivating a Culture of Peace in an Era of Trump: What’s the Media’s Role?” Among the panelists were Jeff Golden from Southern Oregon Public TV and Bert Etling, a member of the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission and editor of the newspaper Ashland Daily Tidings. Articles on the culture of peace from the Daily Tidings are frequently reprinted by CPNN.

Hopefully, we will see further development of media for a culture of peace in the North, but for the time being, it is Africa and Latin America in the lead.

      

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Mexico: Zacatecan Radio and Television System to introduce “the culture of peace” as a transversal theme

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Burkina Faso: Inter-religious dialogue for peace: “It is the diversity of religions that gives meaning to religion”

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Honduras: Culture of peace promoted in 200 young people from “hot” areas

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



‘World’s First Solar Highway’ Opens in China for Testing

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Baltimore, USA: Conference on US foreign military bases

HUMAN RIGHTS


Uruguay’s main trade union center plans massive mobilization to construct a culture of peace

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Women’s March protests across America against President Trump

EDUCATION FOR PEACE


El Salvador to prioritize culture of peace in its schools