Tag Archives: english bulletin

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

English bulletin January 1, 2018

. . . . REVIEW OF 2017 . . . .

As we finish the year 2017 we can see continued progress in all areas of the culture of peace.

The struggle to stop violence against women was more pronounced than ever this year, as described in the December bulletin, devoted to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This month the mobilization was continued in the 16 days of activism with examples, from Senegal, Burundi, Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Yemen and Australia, among others and a major effort by education unions.

We begin to see the possibility of nuclear disarmament as a result of progress at the United Nations in 2017 as a result of important initiatives of the civil society, as described in the bulletins of June, July, August and November, and marked by the Nobel Prize for Peace.

The decision by the World Bank to halt investment in exploration for fossil fuels is the latest in many important disinvestment initiatives last year. Along with the progress in renewable energy, this begins to allow us to escape from the climate warming caused by fossil fuels, as demanded by the climate marches of Earthday described in our bulletin of May.

In our bulletin of March, we reviewed mass mobilizations that have supported democratic participation. A recent study, reviewed in an article we published last month, shows that such mobilizations have a measurable effect in both the short term and the long term.

As for actors, the United Nations continued to play a key role for a culture of peace, as featured in our February bulletin and as marked last month by its annual culture of peace resolution.

As we have seen in recent years, and featured in our bulletins of July and September, a leading role for the culture of peace continues to be played by Latin America. In December we carried articles from Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Honduras.

Celebrations of the International Day of Peace continue to grow around the world. This year, we found 562 events listed on the internet, much more than the 182 that we were able to find in 2016. It is especially remarkable that the events this year came more or less evenly from all regions:

128 in North America
104 in the former Soviet Union
96 in Europe
81 in sub-Saharan Africa
67 in Asia
58 in Latin America and the Caribbean
28 in the Middle East and Arab States

As described in our October bulletin the celebrations of the International Day of Peace were often led by children.

In sum, we see the continued development of anti-war consciousness and recognition of the need for a culture of peace. On the other hand, we have yet to see this progress resulting in the development of an institutional framework for the culture of peace.

      

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Education unions join in the global call to end school-related gender-based violence

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



The League of Ulema, Preachers and Imams of the Sahel Countries: Communication to counter extremism

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Brazil: State Government of Acre establishes union with institutions for the culture of peace

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



UNESCO and UNWTO Sign Muscat Declaration on Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


Nobel Peace Prize Lecture – 2017 – Beatrice Fihn

HUMAN RIGHTS


How Nonviolent Resistance Helps to Consolidate Gains for Civil Society after Democratization

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Gabon: Pan-African youth commit to fight against radicalization and to promote a culture of peace

EDUCATION FOR PEACE


Mexico: Hip-hop: coexistence for peace

English bulletin December 1, 2017

. STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN .

On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters – three of four Dominican political dissident sisters – were murdered by order of Dominican dictator (1930-1961) Leonidas Trujillo, and since 1999, the United Nations General Assembly, designated the date as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor. Is it our imagination or was the day not marked this year by actions that were stronger and more widespread than ever before?

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that unless the international community tackles the problem, the world will not eradicate poverty or reach any of its other goals.

According to UN Women, “The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign spanning from 25 November through 10 December, is taking place this year against the backdrop of an unprecedented global outcry. Millions have rallied behind the hashtag #MeToo and other campaigns, exposing the sheer magnitude of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women everywhere suffer, every day. Breaking the silence is the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence.”

Our survey of Internet articles found marches and other manifestations in Turkey, France, Chile, Italy, Mozambique, Sweden, Spain, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Mexico and Peru, many of them with colorful photos.

Heads of state and other political leaders took part. In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced an initiative to make it easier to report sexual assault claims to police. In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a new reform plan to protect women from physical and sexual abuse. In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau encouraged all Canadians to join the #MYActionsMatter campaign and find a way to combat violence against women.

The European Commission stated that “We have dedicated 2017 to European action to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, both in the public and private spheres.”

In Ecuador, the mayor of Esmeraldas, Lenin Lara, took part in 2nd International Conference on ‘Gender Violence in Ecuador and Latin America sponsored by his city, saying that “the fundamental vision is that of a culture of peace, a culture without violence of gender in general that discards the violence of our interpersonal relationships of our lives daily ”

In Africa, local radio, supported by UNESCO, is raising awareness for gender violence across many hard-to-reach regions through dedicated gender-sensitive programming, Our article includes examples from Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

In Latin America, many countries have recently strengthened their legal codes to combat femicide. These include Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador and Mexico. In recent months CPNN has carried details about the movements involved in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

In the United States, the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment has recently taken over social media.  As explained by Tarana Burke, the original creator of the campaign, “It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.”

In Bangladesh, A project implemented by the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) and UN Women in four major universities is engaging male and female students, as well as teachers, to challenge gender stereotypes, speak out and learn how to prevent sexual harassment.

It is important that in some cases the leadership of the activities has been taken up by men. For example, in the Dominican Republic, The Inter-institutional team for a Culture of Peace in San Francisco de Macoris, organized a men’s walk against gender violence called “All United for Respect for Women.” The mottos that accompany this walk include: I respect women, I respect mothers, I respect my grandmother, I respect my daughter, I respect my sister, I respect my wife.

      

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Latin America: What are countries doing to combat femicide?

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Burkina Faso: A forum talks about peace

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



El Salvador: Project to promote a culture of peace

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



Tunis: Strengthening the scientific partnership between Iran and the Arab countries

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY


4th Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa

HUMAN RIGHTS


Nobel Laureate leads historic march across India to keep children safe

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Gabon: Pan-African Youth Forum for the Culture of Peace and the Fight Against Radicalization

EDUCATION FOR PEACE


Mexico: Marcos Aguilar Inaugurates Forum “Towards a Culture of Peace”