Tag Archives: Europe

IPB Youth Network Conference – Transform! Towards a Culture of Peace – Sept 20-22


An announcement from the International Peace Bureau

In the 21st century, we experience multiple wars, destruction and injustice. Challenges and problems are becoming more visible at both small and large scales, ranging from threats with the potential to end human life itself to diverse destruction of the environment and other foundations of life. Militarism and injustice drive these potentials on multiple levels. Aspects of societies – i.e. lack of democracy, distribution of wealth, gender inequalities or the belief in infinite profit maximization – are at the base of many challenges and problems.

Young people are agents of change and need to discuss and exchange on these matters much more. We want to organize to amplify our voices and to engage much more in peace processes and struggles for societal progress.
The world youth congress is a youth-led congress, contributing to the vision of a world in peace and without war and to the vision of a more peaceful, just and sustainable future.

The idea of the youth congress derives from the preparatory process of the youth gathering of the IPB World Congress “Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda” (www.ipb2016.berlin). Some of the discussions of this Congress as well as of an international working meeting on the weekend of the international day of peace 2018 (https://ipb-youthnetwork.org/2018/08/ipbyn-event-on-international-day-of-peace/) will be continued at the world youth congress.

The congress will focus on transformation towards a more peaceful, just and sustainable future. This will be achieved by informal learning to develop a sense of personal responsibility, by developing plans for concrete actions in day-to-day life as well as in societal processes. The Youth Congress will engage youth from various different backgrounds and with varying perspectives and approaches to peace, justice and sustainability as well as diverse experts and lays from different fields related to the Congress’ issues.


The overall objective of the world youth congress is to build bridges and foster discussions among youth with different perspectives on and approaches to peace, justice and sustainability alongside non-youth stakeholders active in the peace movement and in the various fields. Voices of youth against war and for peace should be increasingly and strongly heard. Among others, the specific objectives are:

To speak out and act against war, militarism, injustice, and planetary destruction.

To equip young people with the confidence and competencies to build peace, sustainability, and justice.

To bring young people into regional national and international decision-making processes.

To facilitate intergenerational and interdisciplinary approaches to a global culture of peace, justice and sustainability.

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Question related to this article.

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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Friday, 20 September 2019

19:00 Public Evening Event

“Transformation – how fundamental and how fast do we need change”

With: Joachim Spangenberg (Helmholtz Institute / INES), NN ITUC Youth, Joseph Gerson (AFSC / IPB), Sara Medi Jones (CND)
Greetings and moderation: Reiner Braun (IPB), Marie Cucurella (IPB Youth)
Saturday, 21 September 2019
9:30 – 12:00 Exchange of experience and information in smaller groups

Floor for meaningful exchange between the participants and floor for open discussions in the framework of the topics of the congress:

Exchange of expectations: Why are you here? How do you see your participation in the congress, what can you bring?
Exchange of knowledge and experience: What is your local day to day situation and work? How and in which ways are you active for peace, sustainability, and justice? What are your best practices and lessons learnt from your activism/work?

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Panel discussions on the themes of the congress

Transformation from militarism to non-violence
Organized by IPB. With Arielle Denis (IPB), Kevin Martin (Peace Action USA), Emma Pritchard (IPB Youth), Matt de Vlieger (IPB Youth) (tbc), NN WILPF

Transformation from environmental destruction to sustainability
Michael Müller (Naturfreunde Deutschlands), Tamara Lorincz (IPB), Jagoda Munic (Friends of the Earth Europe), Greta Thunberg (tbc)

Transformation from injustice to global justice
Organized by ITUC and ITUC Youth with Philipp Jennings (former UNI)
15:00 – 15:45 Break

15:45 – 18:00 Parallel working groups deepening the panel discussions

19:30 Social Event
Sunday, 22 September 2019
9:30 – 11:00 Developing of strategies & actions for a transformation towards a culture of peace
Which strategies and actions can be applied and developed?
What can we do together?

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 13:30 Panel discussion with open mic: How do we transform our societies?
With: Sharan Burrows (ITUC), Lisa Clark (IPB), NN Fridays for Future, Angelo Cardona (IPB Youth)
Organizational Information:

Please register for the congress at info@ipb-office.berlin
We would like to ask participants for a financial contribution to the conference in the amount of 5 Euro / 20 Euro / 40 Euro. You may submit a contribution upon arrival or via bank/ PayPal transfer (/donate/). European bank account holders may transfer a contribution to Bank Account Holder: Unterstützung des Internationalen Friedensbueros e.V.; IBAN: DE23 1005 0000 0190 6331 58; Bank: Berliner Sparkasse. PLEASE give the following reference: IPBYN congress 2019.

How to get there: TU Berlin is located close to S-Bahn station Tiergarten and U-Bahn station Ernst-Reuter-Platz. The entrance to the Mathematician Building is right next to Mathe Café. Geographic coordinates 52.513392, 13.326323

Accommodation: for cheap accommodation check www.booking.com or www.hrs.de. Around S-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten are various hostels and hotels. Furthermore, we will be able to offer limited private accommodation. Please contact us for more details.

World Peace Award: International Peace Conference Stockholm


An announcement from World Peace Sweden

Welcome to a conference celebrating human fellowship and the search for peace. We invite representatives from different religions, peace activists and artists to share their insights about the path to peace. Central to this is the search for universally shared values.

Three-day event

The event is in three parts.

Morning session: to discuss the agenda for how to share a mutual responsibility to create a culture of peace.

Afternoon session: we will have a cultural festival and an award ceremony at the famous Stockholm City Hall.

• July 1-3rd a two-day cruise to Estonia to visit Tallinn’s World Heritage.

The importance of universally shared values

World Peace is something which concerns all aspects of life. Even though the world is more integrated, there is also growing mistrust and division. A religion which has been the driving force in all civilizations has been increasingly marginalized in the modern world and accused of causing conflict and war. With or without religion, however, the conflicts continue. Within the political world, there is more polarization, increasing social confrontation, and growing nationalism.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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The challenge is how to find a model for peace which transcends all religious, political, social and national interests. Such a model can be found in the recognition of universally shared values. Through this religious people can engage in new level of dialogue. Politicians can be guided by a higher level of responsibility. Social activists who seek to empower people, will not only oppose what is wrong bust strive for constructive solution. A healthy society is after all the ability to work together based on mutual trust and care. Indispensable of our national, ethnical and religious identities we can retain our own unique characteristics, but also recognize we are part of one human family. For such dialogue to be successful we need to recognize the values that we all share. This is the focus of the conference: to explore what universally shared values are and how they can contribute to a world of peace and provide hope for the future of humankind.


29 June Arrival day. From Arlanda airport bus to Quality Hotel™ Globe Arenaslingan 7, 12126 Stockholm , Sweden.

30 June 09.00-12.00, morning session at Quality Hotel™ Globe Main Theme: Exploring the path of Peace by recognizing universally shared values that transcends cultural and religious differences. 16.00-19.00 World Peace Award and performance in Stockholm City Hall Address : Hantverkargatan 1, 111 52 Stockholm

1 July 14.00 Transportation from Quality Hotel™ Globe to Boat terminal. 17.30 Cruise ship depart to Tallinn, Estonia.

2 July Visit Tallinn World Heritage

3 July 10.15 Arrival Stockholm Transportation to Quality Hotel™ Globe / Arlanda Airport

Hotel room, transportation and Cruise with breakfast are included in the price.

Please contact us if you have some special request

More information will be available later.

Invitation to share your vision

Do you have a message to share with others?

Please contact us and explain about your activities if you like to share it with others.

The World Forum for the Culture of Peace in the Hague


An article from the International Peace Institute

The definition of peace has shifted in the United Nations community from the absence of conflict to a more active, “positive peace.” Looking at peace from this perspective requires a shift in focus from identifying and combating the causes of wars to understanding the factors that foster peace and inclusivity. To view a holistic perspective of peace, it is necessary to explore the connections among culture, peace, security, and development.

The “culture of peace” recognizes the link between peace, development, and human rights. Defined in 1999, the term seeks to tackle the root causes of conflicts emphasizing the importance of dialogue, negotiation, and cooperation among individuals, groups, and nations.

On June 13, 2019, the first annual World Forum for the Culture of Peace took place in The Hague on “Peace Education for the Protection of Cultural Heritage.” It was organized by the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation with support from IPI, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the University of Leiden, and the Carnegie Foundation.

High-level representatives from around the world discussed the importance of peace education for the protection of cultural heritage with a particular focus on Iraq, Yemen, and the Central African Republic. The day-long forum ended with “Messages for Peace” from global leaders including:

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly (Video Message)
Marzouq Al-Ghanim, President of the Kuwaiti National Assembly
Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Chairman, Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation
Faustin-Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President Emeritus of Malta
Abdullah Gül, Former President of Turkey
Hassan Arfaoui, Representative of the President of Tunisia
Laurence Konmla, Special Envoy of the President of Liberia
Ammar al-Hakim, President of the Reform and Reconstruction Alliance of Iraq

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Questions for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

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In Session III of the forum, IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen moderated a panel on Promoting the Culture of Peace through Education.

Other Attendees Included:

Joke Brandt, Representative of the Dutch Government and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Erik de Baedts, President, Peace Palace / Carnegie Foundation
Prince Turki Alfaisal Alsaud
George Vella, President of Malta
Haris Silajdžiž, Former President of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, Secretary-General, Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Taieb Baccouche, Secretary-General of the Arab Maghreb Union and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia
Khaled al-Yamani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Yemen
Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross
Hilal Al Sayer, President of the Red Crescent Society, Kuwait
Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo
Shaikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kuwait
Ali Al-Shukri, Representative of President of Iraq
Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, President, Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Kingdom of Bahrain
Abdullah Lamlas, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Government of Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Yusuf Goran, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Government of Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Michael Frendo, Speaker Emeritus of the Parliament of Malta and former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hamed Al-Azemi, Minister of Education of the State of Kuwait
Madame Sylvie Baipo Temon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Central Republic of Africa
Tokia Saïfi, Member of the European Parliament
Moukadas Noure, Minister of Education of the Central African Republic
Mounir Bouchenaki, Advisor to UNESCO for Cultural Heritage
Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, President of the International Court of Justice
Carl Stolker, President of the University of Leiden

Council of Europe: Culture of peace preventing violence and terrorism


A written declaration from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

We recall Parliamentary Assembly Doc. 13407 of 29 January 2014, Written Declaration No. 562 and the Council of Europe “White paper on intercultural dialogue” and the European Cultural Convention of 1954, as well as the support of members of the Assembly for the United Nations General Assembly resolutions on the culture of peace and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We consider that efforts to achieve peace in areas of conflict and to prevent extremist radicalism in all nations require commitment by national parliaments to mandate core education for a culture of peace and the SDGs in all levels of society and effective legislative measures and monitoring to prohibit incitement to terrorism in all sectors of society and media by “constructing the defenses of peace in the minds of men” (UNESCO preamble).
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(Click here for a version in French>

Questions for this article:

How can parliamentarians promote a culture of peace?

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We call upon the Assembly to support the initiative of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics as a strategic partner to promote implementation of the United Nations resolutions on the culture of peace and the SDGs through:

* national legislation in Council of Europe and United Nations member States for mandatory education on the culture of peace and the SDGs at all levels of education,

* strict legislative measures to prevent incitement to extremist violence and terrorism.

Written declaration No. 688 | Doc. 14939 | 28 June 2019

Signatories: Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain, SOC ; Ms Ulviyye AGHAYEVA, Azerbaijan, FDG ; Mr Jokin BILDARRATZ, Spain, ALDE ; Mr José CEPEDA, Spain, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Corneliu Mugurel COZMANCIUC, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Olivia DELGADO, Spain, SOC ; Ms Miren GORROTXATEGUI, Spain, UEL ; Mr Sabir HAJIYEV, Azerbaijan, SOC ; Mr Attila KORODI, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Carmen LEYTE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Georgii LOGVYNSKYI, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Pere LÓPEZ, Andorra, SOC ; Ms Yuliya LOVOCHKINA, Ukraine, SOC ; Mr Marco NICOLINI, San Marino, UEL ; Ms Melisa RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ, Spain, ALDE ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Samad SEYIDOV, Azerbaijan, EC ; Mr Günter VOGT, Liechtenstein, ALDE ; Mr José ZARAGOZA, Spain, SOC

EDUCATION: Imagine programme helping to reconcile divided Cyprus


An article from Financial Mirror

Educational programme “Imagine” which addresses primary, lower and upper secondary and vocational schools managed to bring together 3665 students and 397 teachers from more than a 100 Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot schools from across Cyprus in the last two academic years.

The Bi-communal Technical Committee on Education, which was established after the agreement between the two leaders, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, in December 2015, continues its efforts to implement confidence-building measures in schools of the two educational systems and promote contact and co-operation between students and educators from the two communities.

Also, a new initiative to advance the programme was introduced this academic year that includes island-wide study visits.

Study visits are designed in a way to provide students with an opportunity to collaborate with each other and integrate new perspectives with cultural heritage environments to enhance learning initiatives.

A total of 150 students from 3 Turkish Cypriot and 3 Greek Cypriot schools joined the pilot phase of the study visit initiative ‘Learning from Nicosia’ that took place in both parts of the Nicosia walled city.

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Question related to this article:

Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?>

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Another new initiative to advance the efforts of the committee, training of teachers, was introduced this academic year.

The overall aim of the teacher training is to help increase contact and cooperation between teachers of the two communities in Cyprus, based on a holistic understanding of developing their knowledge, skills and attitudes on education for a culture of peace and non-violence.

A total of ten mono-communal training sessions took place with the participation of 254 teachers from all districts of Cyprus and two bi-communal training sessions by international experts took place with the participation of 50 Greek Cypriot and 50 Turkish Cypriot teachers.

“Imagine”, taking place under the auspices of the Bi-Communal Technical Committee of Education and implemented by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and the Home for Cooperation (H4C) with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus has just successfully completed the second year on June 21.

Grounded in a holistic understanding of a culture of peace and non-violence, the programme is being implemented in two stages: in the first stage, experienced trainers visit the schools of participating students and teachers in both communities to facilitate activities that deal with stereotypes, extremism and intolerance, paving the way for voluntary bi-communal contact at the Home for Cooperation (H4C).

Then, in the second stage, groups of students from the two communities, who wish to participate, are paired and meet in the buffer zone where they take part in either peace education workshops with the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) or sports activities with Peace Players International.
All teachers who have participated in “Imagine” were invited for a ceremony and were awarded certificates of participation.

Efforts of the technical committee on education and particularly the ‘Imagine’ peace education programme has received special praise by the UN Secretary-General in his latest Reports on the United Nations operation in Cyprus.

The projects to be showcased at the Paris Peace Forum 2019


Press release from the Paris Peace Forum

In response to its annual Call for Projects, the Paris Peace Forum received more than 700 applications from project leaders in 115 countries seeking to expand their impact by participating in the 2019 Forum event. The one hundred projects chosen by the Selection Committee reflect a truly global perspective, representing all regions of the world. This year, nearly half (48%) are already implementing their projects across several continents or globally. Others are predominantly concentrated in Africa (12%), Asia (11%), Central and Latin America (10%), and the Middle East (7%).

A diversity of actors

Multi-stakeholder solutions are the key to addressing today’s complex global challenges. Crafting solutions together is the only path forward. The selected projects are led by several types of organizations, in particular states (8 projects), international organizations (17 projects), NGOs (34 projects), foundations (4 projects), and think tanks (6 projects) – reflecting some of the many actors that are actively working to make change happen.

Solutions to go beyond rhetoric

The Forum is centered on those who implement concrete solutions to the cross-cutting challenges of today’s world. From 11 to 13 November at la Grande Halle de La Villette in Paris, these selected project leaders will be able to showcase their innovative work in areas of peace and security, development, environment, new technologies, inclusive economy, and culture & education. It will be an opportunity for them to develop, energize, and raise visibility to their project by reaching thousands of actors from across sectors and specialties. Their participation will also bring invaluable practical insight to the Forum and facilitate the exchange of best practices on the most pressing challenges the world faces.

Project selected to participate include:
Wan Fambul = National Framework for Inclusive Governance and Local Developpement by Office of the Vice President of Sierra Leone
 Peace and security | Africa (Sierra Leone)

Wan Fambul Framework is designed to facilitate inclusive governance, community-centered, sustainable rural development leading to resilient and cohesive communities across Sierra Leone. The process has built structures to resolve long-standing conflict and engage communities to champion their own recovery and Development.

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Click here for the version in French)

Question(s) related to this article:

Global meetings, conferences, assemblies, What is the best way for delegates to interact afterwards?

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D50 Enterprise Digital Economy Summit by China Electronics Chamber of Commerce (CECC)
Inclusive Economy | Asia (China)

Based on the Charter of the United Nations and established international norms, the Entreprise Digital Economy Summit of Fifty Countries (D50) advocates for the principles of equity and justness, openness and transparency, co-negotiation, co-construction and mutual sharing, jointly establishing a consensus platform for dialogue, communication, cooperation and development among the global digital economies.
OKA: facilitating migrant access to information by Igarapé Institute
New Technologies | Latin and Central America (Brazil
Information is one of the first casualties of displacement crises. The OKA mobile phone app fills part of this knowledge gap by providing up to date geolocated data on federal-level public services in Brazil in areas such as housing, education, health, social, and legal assistance, communities, employment, and emergencies for voluntary and forces migrants.
Ecosystems, Companies, Sustainable Development: Rating in Protection the Earth by Socio-Ecological Union (SEU)
Environment | Eastern Europe and Central Asia

In line with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the objective is to assess the environmental impact of companies on the biosphere. The major companies of Russia and Kazakhstan have already been evaluated. The project can contribute to more social responsibility and corporate transparency of business in each country of the world, for each transnational company.
Akhlaquna by Qatar Foundation 
Culture and education | Middle East (Qatar)

How can we encourage people to continue doing good in the face of encumbering challenges? How do we ensure that virtue and morality are leading? Akhlaquna aims to award and support youth individuals to seek out change. It is a notion that can bring about a ripple-effect worldwide, and that can be replicated and sustained given that it depends on human effort.
Model Drug Law – national engagement in West Afrique and replication in one region by Global Commission on Drug Policy
Development | Africa

The project will target national policy makers, key civil society organizations, and journalists to significantly and sustainably strengthen the capacity for improved drug laws in West Africa. Given significant similarities, a replication for Eastern and Southern Africa where countries are affected by a heroin trafficking route is planned.

Czech Republic: Prague crowds demand PM Andrej Babis step down


A report by Emmanuelle Chaze from Deutsche Welle (reprinted by permission)

Hundreds of thousands of anti-Babis activists flooded the center of Prague on Sunday [June 23] in the culmination of anti-government protests.

“Judging from the aerial photos, it looks like we’re about 250,000,” said Mikulas Minar, head of Million Moments for Democracy, the NGO organizing the protest, as crowds were filling Prague’s central Letna square earlier on Sunday.

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Carolina, a flight attendant from the south of the country, told DW she had traveled to Prague to take part in the protests because it “has simply become too much.”

“That’s why people from all across the country came here today, to show that it isn’t simply the people in the capital that are angry.”

Hannah, 31, a saleswoman, said she no longer agrees with the government: “Even in his own party (ANO), there are people against Babis who didn’t want him as a prime minister … now I think it is our turn to show that we disagree with how things are done.”

Previously, some 400,000 people signed a petition calling on billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis to step down amid allegations of fraud. The rallies were triggered after Babis appointed a close ally as the country’s new justice minister at a time when prosecutors are deciding on a potential indictment against him.

Many Babis opponents also claim the 64-year-old politician had collaborated with the communist secret police before the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

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Questions related to this article:

How effective are mass protest marches?

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Corruption and anti-corruption

Babis has built his reputation as the founder and head of his business empire Agrofert, which started in the early 1990s and grew to become the Czech Republic’s biggest private employer, encompassing over 250 companies.

The billionaire entered politics in 2011 by founding the ANO (YES) party on an anti-corruption platform, becoming finance minister and deputy prime minister in 2014. He was forced out of the Cabinet in 2017 over allegations of tax fraud and suspicious business dealings. However, the crisis brought down the government and triggered a parliamentary election, which saw Babis’ ANO place far ahead of its rivals.

During the campaign, Babis was hounded by charges of defrauding the EU for around €2 million ($2.28 million) in 2007. He has denied any wrongdoing.

In April this year, police said Babis should stand trial over the alleged fraud. Babis rejected the move as a political plot against him. When Justice Minister Jan Knezinek resigned over the probe, Babis replaced him with his own longtime adviser Marie Benesova.

Last month, Babis found himself fending off another crisis when preliminary results of a European Commission audit were leaked to the public. According to the draft document, Babis has a conflict of interest as his companies benefit from EU funding. Specifically, it found that Agrofert should not have received €17.4 million in EU subsidies. The prime minister dismissed it as “an attack on the Czech Republic.”

He also pledged not to resign.

Risky vote of no confidence

The opposition has called a no-confidence vote for next week. To oust Babis, the opposition would need to have his coalition partners, the Social Democrats, side against him, or have the Communist Party revoke their parliamentary support for the government.

However, some observers believe Babis could also turn to the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy party to stay in power.

A state attorney is set to decide whether Babis will go on trial over subsidies later this year.

Ivan Golunov case: Russian media mark victory over police


An article from Deutsche Welle

After an unprecedented public outcry, Russian police have dropped questionable drug charges against investigative journalist Ivan Golunov and freed him from house arrest. What caused authorities to back down?

Three top newspapers covering Ivan Golunov’s arrest were in total solidarity: “I am/We are Ivan Golunov,” they read

There is an unwritten rule in Russia that when someone is arrested, that person will also be tried and sentenced. But on Tuesday [June 11], this rule was broken when drug possession charges against 36-year-old investigative reporter Ivan Golunov were dropped. Golunov, who writes for the dissident Meduzaonline platform, had maintained that Russian police were trying to frame him. Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has now announced that those responsible for the trial will be fired.

Exceptional display of solidarity

In an exceptional display of solidarity, three leading liberal Russian newspapers — Vedomosti, Kommersant and RBK —  ran identical front pages  on Monday [June 10] declaring: “I am/We are Ivan Golunov.” Even pro-Kremlin, state-run media outlets and major television stations demanded Golunov be treated fairly.

Last weekend, pro-Golunov rallies were also held outside Russia’s embassy in Berlin. A spokesperson for the German government on Tuesday told DW that it welcomes Golunov’s release, saying: “The government is carefully monitoring Russian developments and the treatment of journalists, opposition politicians and civil society.” After various smaller pro-Golunov rallies in Russia over the past days, thousands had planned to take to the streets on Wednesday in support of the journalist, even though authorities had not approved the protest.

Until recently, few Russians were familiar with Ivan Golunov’s name. Yet Meduza, the online platform for which he writes, is widely known and respected throughout the country. It was founded in 2014 by exiled dissident journalists in the Latvian capital, Riga, and grew to become one of the most widely read Russian-language media outlets in the world. The site is particularly popular among the urban middle class.

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Question(s) related to this article:

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

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Golunov mainly publishes investigative reports exposing corruption in the Russian capital, for example regarding the procurement of plants or New Year’s Eve decorations for a party. Recently, the journalist had been researching illicit practices within the funeral industry and reportedly received threats.

In past years, Russians have repeatedly showed solidarity with individuals suspected of being prosecuted on the basis of trumped-up charges, like star director Kirill Serebrennikovor respected Chechen human rights activist Oyub Titiyev. But the massive pro-Golunov rallies of recent times surpassed these displays of solidarity by far.

Golunov’s case bears similarities to Titiyev’s, though the latter was sentenced for alleged drug possession. On Monday, however, word got out that the human rights activist would soon be released from jail. The announcement is seen as a move to ease tensions.

Further demonstrations loomed

There seem to be several explanations as to why Golunov’s case was thrown out. One is that those who had brought him to trial had not expected the tremendous show of solidarity in the media. When Russia’s three major liberal papers publicly sided with the investigative reporter, Golunov’s arrest transformed into a high-profile case. On the other hand, street clashes and anti-police violence could have followed, in particular due to Wednesday being Russia’s national holiday.

For months, pollsters have been documenting a growing willingness among Russians to protest. Russia’s government, which appears concerned by this development, has started giving in to the will of the people. Several weeks ago, for instance, Russian authorities surprisingly stopped the planned construction of a church in a popular Yekaterinburg park  after citizens protested against the move.

Appeasing Russians ahead of live Q & A?

The timing of Golunov’s release may also have to do with the Direct Line television show planned for June 20th, an annual live show during which Russians can phone in and ask President Vladimir Putin questions on air. Some media outlets had reported that the Kremlin had sought to sort out the Golunov case ahead of the live Q&A show, but Putin’s spokesperson denied this was so.
A further explanation for Golunov’s swift release may be that Putin plans to visit western Europe in early July and does not want the case to overshadow his trip. So far, it has been confirmed that the Russian leader will meet the Pope in Rome. And in spring, unconfirmed reports surfaced that Putin intends to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Petersburg Dialogue civil society summit near Bonn. Moreover, accusations of arbitrarily charging a dissident journalist would not cast Russia in a favorable light just as the country is set to rejoin the Council of Europe, the continent’s main human rights body.

International Institute for Peace Education 2019: Cyprus


An announcement from the International Institute for Peace Education

The 2019 International Institute for Peace Education (IIPE) will be held in Nicosia, Cyprus at the Home for Cooperation (H4C)  from July 21 to July 28, 2019. This year’s institute is organized in partnership with the IIPE Secretariat and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR).

IIPE 2019: Cyprus will convene educators from around the globe for a week-long, residential, learning community experience in peace education. A rich exchange of peacebuilding research, academic theory, best practices, and actions will be shared with participants from around the world through IIPE’s evolving dialogical, cooperative, and intersubjective modes of reflective inquiry and experiential learning.

IIPE 2019 will focus on global issues of particular relevance to Cyprus and the adjoining region of the Mediterranean, North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East – the intersection of Asia, Africa and Europe. This region is characterized on the one hand, by turmoil and tension, and on the other by the rich perpetual movements of people, ideas and experiences. While peoples’ past and present are presented in grey terms, their shared history(-ies) of coexistence, cooperation and exchange are often neglected in official discourses. In this context, recent developments with regards to war, terrorism, migration and refugedom have led to the creation of monolithic narratives and rigid identities. These excluding narratives perpetuate violent conflicts and structural conditions that limit opportunities for sustainable peace and development. IIPE 2019 will emphasize the role of educators on all levels in addressing conflict in creative ways and offering alternatives to violence in contexts such as the Cypriot one. Educating for practical and theoretical methods is of paramount importance for the creation of inclusive identities and a critical hope for the region, and for humanity as a whole.

Being concerned with reconciliation and abetting conflict, we peace educators, theorists, researchers, students, and activists together face a serious challenge. On the one hand, dynamic transitions and tensions shape our present world: new movements of peoples are working for more dignity and inclusion, while at the same time forces of power are consolidating in ways that challenge how local, regional and global citizens can contribute to this vibrant transition in nonviolent, humanizing and ecologically viable ways. IIPE 2019 Cyprus’s inquiry is centered on how might we collectively frame the challenges we face in our diverse, particular, and shared spheres? How can a relational paradigm for peace help us theorize these challenges for more dignity, inclusion, and coordination? As we engage in deep listening and critical and reflective dialogue, what new understandings will we reach? What creative practices will emerge? In examining crossover issues, we aim to bring our best selves in relation to each other so that we might meld together our best theoretical, educational, and activist practices.

Peace education and its intersections with history, political theory, conflict studies, reconciliation, the philosophy of peace, justice, and democracy in challenging times are among the areas of inquiry that will be most relevant at IIPE 2019. Applicants are invited to offer contributions on these and other thematic areas including, but not limited to:

* Identities (and anti-racist education) in divided and/or multi-faith, multi-ethnic and culturally and linguistically diverse societies

* Memory and remembrance (collective memory, communal memory, family history and memory, memory transmitted through celebrations, museums, monuments, oral history, understanding of heritage…)

* National celebrations (memory transmitted through ceremonies, anniversaries, memorials, commemorations and celebrations)

* The philosophical basis for reconciliation and peace

* Dialogue for reconciliation

* History teaching and historical dialogue as means for peacebuilding: the role of history education in conflict or post-conflict communities; peace and reconciliation; teaching history in divided societies; history education and values, beliefs and human rights

* Gender and peacebuilding in divided societies; gender and history

* Civil society, global citizenship, and local participation

* Youth and entrepreneurship

* Public space and deliberation; the city as an educating agent

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Question for this article:

Peace Studies in School Curricula, What would it take to make it happen around the world?

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Experiencing Cyprus

Cyprus, the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, has been separated for over 50 years, and, apart from a divided capital, barricades, barbwires and checkpoints, it offers numerous opportunities for exploring ancient and recent civilizations and experiencing, first hand, manifestations of the willingness to defeat time and space barriers and create spaces for creativity, imagination and sharing. The ‘wondering peace educator’ will be offered the chance to explore issues of memory and remembrance, conflicting narratives and identity and public history, while, at the same time, he/she will engage in the exchange of ideas and examples on breakthrough initiatives that have the potential to turn the island into a hub of innovation in the fields of History for Reconciliation and Education for a Culture of Peace.

In particular, all participants will have the opportunity to experience the contextual conditions existing in Cyprus regarding the conflict and become acquainted with local breakthrough initiatives on history as a means for reconciliation and education for a culture of peace. This will be enhanced through an Open Public Day, excursion(s), and unique cultural experiences in Cyprus. IIPE 2019 will also facilitate an exchange with Cypriot educators, from all communities, via the Open Public Day, which will feature immersion and exchange opportunities exploring global obstacles and possibilities for peacebuilding through education in other contexts.

About The Association for Historical Dialogue & Research (AHDR)

The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), based at the Home for Cooperation (H4C) which is a hub for intercommunal collaboration, dialogue, and education for a culture of peace, is the host and core resource for IIPE 2019’s thematic focus.

The AHDR is a unique multi-communal, non-for-profit, non-governmental organization established in Nicosia in 2003 that envisions a society where dialogue on issues of history, historiography and history teaching and learning is considered a means for the advancement of historical understanding and critical thinking and is welcomed as an integral part of democracy and a culture of peace. The AHDR contributes to the advancement of historical understanding amongst the public and more specifically amongst children, youth, and educators by providing access to learning opportunities for individuals of every ability and every ethnic, religious, cultural, and social background, based on the respect for diversity and the dialogue of ideas.

Since its establishment, the AHDR has broadened its mission by promoting peace education in formal and non-formal settings and is currently bringing together school children of all ages from all communities on the island through the implementation of the ‘Imagine’ Project which has received acclaim from the UN Secretary General for its role in promoting contact and cooperation between the future generations of Cyprus.

Cyprus, through the work of AHDR and H4C, is recognized as a regional center for offering state-of-the-art services for education for peacebuilding and dialogue as a means for reconciliation.

About the International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE)

The International Institute on Peace Education is a weeklong residential experience for educators and scholars hosted in a different country every other summer. The Institute facilitates exchanges of theory and practical experiences in teaching peace education and serves to grow the field. In serving the field, the IIPE operates as an applied peace education laboratory that provides a space for pedagogical experimentation; cooperative, deep inquiry into shared issues; and advancing theoretical, practical and pedagogical applications. Since its inauguration at Teachers College Columbia University in 1982, the IIPE has brought together experienced and aspiring educators, academics, professional workers, and activists in the field of peace education from around the world to exchange knowledge and experiences and learn with and from each other in its intensive residentially based learning community.

Held annually at various universities and peace centers throughout the world, the IIPE is also an opportunity for networking and community building. that has spawned a variety of collaborative research projects and peace education initiatives at the local, regional, and international levels. The International Peace Bureau, in nominating IIPE for the 2005 UNESCO Peace Education Prize described it as “probably the most effective agent for the introduction of peace education to more educators than any other single non-governmental agency.” The objectives of each particular institute are rooted in the needs and transformational concerns of the co-sponsoring host partner, their local community, and the surrounding region. More widely, the educational purposes of the IIPE are directed toward the development of the field of peace education in theory, practice, and advocacy.

Applications are due March 15, 2019, and will be reviewed by the end of March/early April. Be sure to apply early for full consideration.

*The application deadline for IIPE 2019 has passed and we are no longer accepting applications.

Sponsorship and Support

IIPE 2019 is supported by a generous grant from the  Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The conference is also under the aegis of the President of the European Parliament with the support of the Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus.

Conference of European Churches Peace Conference 2019


An announcement from the Conference of European Churches

CEC [Conference of European Churches] will be holding a Peace Conference from 10 to 12 September 2019 at the Institut Protestant de Théologie, Paris, France. 

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Question for this article

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

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The conference will be held as part of the CEC 60th anniversary this year, focusing on the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, identifying its legacies and the hard lessons learnt from the European and global past, and search for new and creative ways of peace building in the 21st Century.

This conference will also identify the current threats to peace in Europe and will articulate the challenges presented by the global experiences of the 21st century. In doing so, it will draw inspiration from the role and work of the Conference of European Churches as an ecumenical organisation engaged with peacebuilding, reconciliation and the healing of memories.

The 2019 Peace Conference will reflect on the contemporary world and identify a theological way of living and acting that can enable CEC and its Member Churches to engage faithfully and practically in transformation, healing and reconciliation.

For more information, contact Ms Charlie Belot.