Tag Archives: global

The Nobel Prize for Peace 2018

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An announcemet from The Nobel Prize Organization

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes. Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.

The physician Denis Mukwege has spent large parts of his adult life helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the Panzi Hospital was established in Bukavu in 1999, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults. Most of the abuses have been committed in the context of a long-lasting civil war that has cost the lives of more than six million Congolese.

Denis Mukwege is the foremost, most unifying symbol, both nationally and internationally, of the struggle to end sexual violence in war and armed conflicts. His basic principle is that “justice is everyone’s business”. Men and women, officers and soldiers, and local, national and international authorities alike all have a shared responsibility for reporting, and combating, this type of war crime. The importance of Dr. Mukwege’s enduring, dedicated and selfless efforts in this field cannot be overstated. He has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticised the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.

(Article continued in right column)

(click here for the article in French.)

Question related to this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

What role should men play to stop violence against women?

(Article continued from left column)

Nadia Murad is herself a victim of war crimes. She refused to accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

Nadia Murad is a member of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq, where she lived with her family in the remote village of Kocho. In August 2014 the Islamic State (IS) launched a brutal, systematic attack on the villages of the Sinjar district, aimed at exterminating the Yazidi population. In Nadia Murad’s village, several hundred people were massacred. The younger women, including underage children, were abducted and held as sex slaves. While a captive of the IS, Nadia Murad was repeatedly subjected to rape and other abuses. Her assaulters threatened to execute her if she did not convert to their hateful, inhuman version of Islam.

Nadia Murad is just one of an estimated 3 000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS army. The abuses were systematic, and part of a military strategy. Thus they served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities.
After a three-month nightmare Nadia Murad managed to flee. Following her escape, she chose to speak openly about what she had suffered. In 2016, at the age of just 23, she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

This year marks a decade since the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1820 (2008), which determined that the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict constitutes both a war crime and a threat to international peace and security. This is also set out in the Rome Statute of 1998, which governs the work of the International Criminal Court. The Statute establishes that sexual violence in war and armed conflict is a grave violation of international law.  A more peaceful world can only be achieved if women and their fundamental rights and security are recognised and protected in war.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is firmly embedded in the criteria spelled out in Alfred Nobel’s will. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad have both put their personal security at risk by courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for the victims. They have thereby promoted the fraternity of nations through the application of principles of international law.

Indigenous Peoples Link Their Development to Clean Energies

.. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ..

An article by Emilio Godoy for the Inter Press Service (reprinted by permission)

Achuar indigenous communities in Ecuador are turning to the sun to generate electricity for their homes and transport themselves in canoes with solar panels along the rivers of their territory in the Amazon rainforest, just one illustration of how indigenous people are seeking clean energies as a partner for sustainable development.

“We want to generate a community economy based on sustainability,” Domingo Peas, an Achuar leader, told IPS. Peas is also an advisor to the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, which groups 28 indigenous organisations and 11 native groups from that South American country.


United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz of the Philippines (3rd left), calls for the full participation of indigenous communities in clean energy projects during the forum Our Village in San Francisco, California. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

The first project dates back to the last decade, when the Achuar people began to install solar panels in Sharamentsa, a village of 120 people located on the banks of the Pastaza River. Currently they are operating 40 photovoltaic panels, at a cost of 300 dollars per unit, contributed by private donations and foundations.

The villagers use electricity to light up their homes and pump water to a 6,000-litre tank.

“There is a better quality of services for families. Our goal is to create another energy model that is respectful of our people and our territories,” Peas said.

The Achuar took the next step in 2012, when they started the Kara Solar electric canoe motor project. Kara means “dream” in the Achuar language.

The first boat with solar panels on its roof, with a capacity to carry 20 people and built at a cost of 50,000 dollars, began operating in 2017 and is based in the Achuar community of Kapawi.

The second canoe, with a cost of 35,000 dollars, based in Sharamentsa – which means “the place of scarlet macaws” in Achuar – began ferrying people in July.
The investment came partly from private donations and the rest from the IDEAS prize for Energy Innovation, established by the Inter-American Development Bank, which the community received in 2015, endowed with 127,000 dollars.

The Achuar people’s solar-powered transport network connects nine of their communities along 67 km of the Pastaza river – which forms part of the border between Ecuador and Peru – and the Capahuari river. The approximately 21,000 members of the Achuar community live along the banks of these two rivers.
“It was an indigenous idea adapted to the manufacture of canoes. They use them to transport people and products, like peanuts, cinnamon, yucca and plantains (cooking bananas),” in an area where rivers are the highways connecting their settlements, said Peas.

The demand for clean energy in indigenous and local communities and success stories such as the Achuar’s were presented during the Global Climate Action Summit, convened by the government of the U.S. state of California.

The event, held on Sept. 13-14 in San Francisco, was an early celebration of the third anniversary of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, reached in the French capital in December 2015.

Native delegates also participated in the alternative forum “Our Village: Climate Action by the People,” on Sept. 11-14, presented by the U.S. non-governmental organisations If Not US Then Who and Hip Hop Caucus.

In addition to Ecuador, innovative experiences have also emerged from indigenous communities in countries such as Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Guatemala, Malaysia, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and the United States, according to the forum.

(Continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Are we making progress in renewable energy?

Indigenous peoples, Are they the true guardians of nature?

(Continued from left column)

For example, in Bolivia there is an alliance between the local government of Yocalla, in the southern department of Potosí, and the non-governmental organisation Luces Nuevas aimed at providing electricity from renewable sources to poor families.

In Yocalla, a municipality of 10,000 people, mainly members of the Pukina indigenous community, “755 families live in rural areas with limited electricity; the national power grid has not yet reached those places,” project consultant Yara Montenegro told IPS.

Thanks to the programme, which began in March, 30 poor families have received solar panels connected to lithium batteries, produced at the La Palca pilot plant in Potosí, which store the fluid.

Each system costs 400 dollars, of which the families contribute half and the organisation and the government the other half. The families can connect two lamps, charge a cell phone and listen to the radio, replacing the use of firewood, candles and conventional batteries.

The development of clean sources plays a decisive role in achieving one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Goal seven aims to establish “affordable and non-polluting energy” – a goal that also has an impact on the achievement of at least another 11 SDGs, which the international community set for itself in 2015 for the next 15 years, within the framework of the United Nations.

In addition, the success of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4All), the programme to be implemented during the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024, which aims to guarantee universal access to modern energy services, and to double the global rate of energy efficiency upgrades and the share of renewables in the global energy mix, depends on that progress.

But most of the groups promoting an energy transition do not include native people, points out the May report “Renewable Energy and Indigenous Peoples. Background Paper to the Right Energy Partnership,” prepared by the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group for Sustainable Development (IPMG).

That group launched a Right Energy Partnership in July, which seeks to fill that gap.

For Victoria Tauli-Corpuz of the Kankanaey Igorot people, who is the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, energy represents “a problem and a solution” for indigenous people, she told IPS at the alternative forum in San Francisco.

“The leaders have fought against hydroelectric dams and I have also seen projects in the hands of indigenous peoples,” she said.

Because of this, “the communities have to be at the centre to decide on and design projects that help combat poverty, because they allow electricity without depending on the power grid, and they strengthen the defense of the territory and benefit the people,” she said.

“It’s about guaranteeing rights and defining development processes,” she summed up.

Examples of projects that can be replicated and expanded, as called for by the U.N special rapporteur, are provided by communities such as Sharamentsa in Ecuador and Yocalla in Bolivia.

Sharamentsa operates a 12 kW battery bank that can create a microgrid. “A power supply centre is planned that allows the generation of value-added products, such as plant processing,” Peas said.

In Yocalla, the plan is to equip some 169 families with systems in December and then try to extend it to all of Potosí. But Montenegro pointed out that alliances are needed so that the beneficiaries can pay less. “In 2019 we will analyse the impact, if the families are satisfied with it, if they are comfortable,” she said.

This article was produced with support from the Climate and Land Use Alliance.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

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

.DISARMAMENT & SECURITY.

An article from Unfold Zero

The UN General Assembly held a high level meeting on nuclear disarmament on Wednesday last week (September 26) to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other leaders from around the world used the opportunity to promote key initiatives and measures for nuclear disarmament including the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, nuclear-weapon-free zones, de-alerting, no-first-use, stockpile reductions, the Korean peace and denuclearization process, the Iran nuclear nonproliferation deal, the recently adopted treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons and the global elimination of nuclear weapons through a nuclear weapons convention.

However, apart from India and Pakistan, the nuclear armed States were noticeably missing from the meeting. The P5 (China, France, Russia, UK and the USA) were instead down the hall in the Security Council chambers for a competing event on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction chaired by US President Donald Trump. Their absence from the High Level Meeting highlighted the fact that the P5 place very little priority on their obligations to eliminate their own weapons of mass destruction, focusing instead on preventing others from acquiring such weapons.


Photo by John Angelilio

Youth activist calls on states to ‘Move the Nuclear Weapons Money’

‘The United Nations and its member countries should focus more on disarmament for sustainable development’, says 18 year old environmental activist and youth leader Kehkashan Basu who was selected by the President of the UN General Assembly as one of the two representatives of civil society to address the September 26 UN High Level Meeting.

(Continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

(Continued from left column)

‘Every second, a person dies of hunger. Which means that by the time I finish speaking, 500 more people would have died of hunger and starvation,’ Ms Basu told the UN session. ‘And yet the nuclear-armed States continue to spend billions of dollars for building nuclear stockpiles, ostensibly in the name of security, but in reality threatening current and future generations and violating the rights of children to a peaceful and non-irradiated planet.’

‘Our banks, universities, cities, pension funds and governments continue to invest in the corporations manufacturing and promoting the nuclear arms race for their own personal gain with no consideration for the ethics of investing in death,’ she said.

‘Civil society organisations, in cooperation with parliamentarians from around the world, have launched the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign to cut the $100 billion annual nuclear weapons budget and reallocate these resources into the Sustainable Development Goals and other areas of human and environmental need. This includes direct cuts to nuclear weapons budgets, and divestment from the nuclear weapons industry. Already four governments and a number of cities, banks and investment funds have adopted nuclear weapons divestment policies.’ (Click here to read the full speech and see the video of Ms Basu’s speech).

Ms Basu was also a keynote speaker at Youth, disarmament and sustainable devlopment, an international youth forum held in New York to commemorate UN Peace Day (Sep 21) and International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Special screenings of ‘The Man who saved the World’

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is held on September 26, the anniversary of the incident in 1983 when a nuclear war almost erupted by accident. On this day, the Soviet nuclear early warning center Serpukhov-15 detected ballistic missiles heading towards Moscow. Stanislav Petrov, duty officer at the time, reported a ‘false alarm’ despite the information, and probably averted a nuclear ‘retaliation’ from the Soviet Union.

The story of this incident, and the follow-up visit by Stanislav Petrov to the USA 30 years later, is told in the award winning movie ‘The Man Who Saved the World.’ The movie was shown in a number of special screenings around the world to commemorate the International Day.

What has happened this year (2018) for the International Day of Peace

. FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .
This year we gave links to 233 events coming from most of the provinces and states in Canada and the USA. Next was Europe with 177 events in 32 countries. There were 158 events cited in 22 Asian countries, 95 from 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries, 71 from 9 countries formerly part of the Soviet Union, 71 from 25 African countries, and 30 from 15 Arab and Middle Eastern countries. See the CPNN bulletin for October for a synopsis.

Detailed data may be found on the following CPNN articles:

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace

Europe: International Day of Peace

Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

Ex-Soviet Countries: International Day of Peace

Arab and Middle Eastern States: International Day of Peace

Latin America and Caribbean: International Day of Peace

Africa: International Day of Peace

UN Secretary-General’s remarks at Peace Bell Ceremony on the International Day of Peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from the United Nations News Service

It is for me an enormous pleasure to be with all of you during this International Day for Peace.

We are here because we are determined and we do not give up.

We see conflicts multiplying everywhere in the world. We see links between conflicts and terrorism. We see insecurity prevailing. We see people suffering. But we don’t give up.


Secretary-General António Guterres rings the Peace Bell at the annual ceremony held at UN Headquarters in observance of the International Day of Peace. UN Photo/Mark Garten

(Article continued in right column)

Question for this article

What has happened this year (2018) for the International Day of Peace?

(Article continued from left column)

We know that when we appeal for combatants to have a pause to respect this day, we know that many will not respect it. But we don’t give up.

When we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we know that human rights are violated in so many parts of the world, we even know that the human rights agenda is losing ground. But we don’t give up because respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace.

It is true that extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing. But again we don’t give up because we believe inequality is one of the most important factors of instability and conflict. So we will pursue our Agenda, the 2030 Agenda, The Sustainable Development Goals, our struggle for a fair globalization because there is no development without peace but there is also no peace without development.

We will not give up. Peace is the unifying concept that brings us together at the United Nations.

Peace is at risk. Peace is violated in so many places. But we will not give up.

Thank you for your determination and thank you for your strong commitment for our common cause.

Federico Mayor: The Culture of Peace: a credible pathway to sustaining peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

Speech by Federico Mayor at UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

After the impressive Plenary Segment of this morning and afternoon; after the rich debate of this excellent Panel, I consider that to put into practice the culture of peace and non-violence, we must


Photo of Federico Mayor speaking at Forum by Bircan Unver, GMCOP

1.- have particularly in mind:

– the Programme of Action of the Resolution of the GA of 13 September 1999.

– the GA Resolution of 16 December, 2016 – Follow-up.

– the GA Resolution of 11 December, 2017 – Follow-up, as well, both of them agreed by very important number of countries. And very populated ones, as China, India, …

2.- The General Assembly has highlighted in these Resolutions, as well as in the UN High Level Forums since 2012, the necessity –more important now than ever because of the potentially irreversible processes, socially and environmentally – of the effective implementation of the culture of peace. Tomorrow can be late.

3.- Many thanks, dear Ambassador Chowdhury, for your tirelessly efforts in favour of a culture of peace and non-violence. It is completely inacceptable that every day thousands of human beings die of hunger and extreme poverty, while more than 4 billion dollars are invested in armament and military expenditures.

(continued in right column)

Question(s) related to this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

(continued from left column)

4.- I must emphasize the relevance of the culture of peace right now, when we see again supremacism, fanaticism, racism… being widespread without an immediate reaction. Have we forgotten what happened because of the exclusion and discrimination of nazism, fascism and Japanese imperial policies, leading to the II World War?

5.- A new concept of security must be adopted, in the context of an efficient reinforcement of the crucial role of the UN System, with the complete elimination of the oligarchic and plutocratic groups (G7, G8, G20), main responsibles of the present lack of multilateral democratic governance in the world.

6.- In the new era, it is urgent the transition from a culture of domination, violence and war to a culture of encounter, dialogue, conciliation, alliance and peace. From force to word, from “para bellum” in the well known dictum “Si vis pacem, para bellum” to “para verbum”, starting with ourselves, with our every day behaviour.

7.- We had today here the leading example of Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Peace Prize 1992. She knows well the immense and in depth terrible impact of violence and she has given us with her life the best reference of the new ways to overcome hate and aggression… and to share and live together, all different but all united. Her speech this morning has been extremely lucid and courageous. Every dawn we must take it into account.

8.- We have today here as well the Rector of UPEACE, Prof. Francisco Rojas. I wish to thank him for all he is doing to mobilize the academic and scientific communities in favour of a culture of peace. The Earth Charter is one of the main pillars of action of UPEACE.

Dear President, ladies and gentlemen: the first phrase of the UN Charter –“We, the peoples”- was premature in 1945. The human beings were being born, living and dying in some square kilometres. And they were silent, obedient and fearful. But now, “the peoples” know what happens around the world, can express themselves freely and, above all, they are men and women. Now they become world citizens and must be mobilized for the urgent transition from force to word. Now, for the first time in history “the peoples” can take in their hands the reins of the humanity common destiny, and ensure sustainable peace worldwide.

Synopsis of the UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

Statement at the closing of UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace on behalf of the President of the UN General Assembly

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the President of the General Assembly, His Excellency, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, I want to thank you for participating in this High-Level Forum.

Our discussions today were very rich. They brought many aspects and issues to the table. And, I will not be able to summarise them in a few minutes.

Instead, I will focus on three areas – which I think came to the fore.


Photo from the Culture of Peace Initiative

I. Sustaining Peace

First, we talked about the state our world is in, when it comes to peace.

And a lot of it was far from positive. Many of you pointed to the changing nature of conflicts. From more interstate violence…… to the proliferation of non-state and terrorist actors.

Others talked about the devastating effects of conflicts in their own countries.

So, we heard about a lot of pain and suffering. But we also listened to many messages of hope. In particular, on the topic of Sustaining Peace.

It was clear that there is wide support for this new approach. And we heard that it can be a credible pathway to a culture of peace.

For example, in Liberia. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country has now closed its doors. And Liberians have turned peace from an objective into a tangible part of daily life.

Also, Colombia was flagged as another example. This country was home to armed conflict for over five decades. But, now, a culture of peace is growing stronger every day.

These achievements were made possible through hard work and sustained investment

– by national actors, regional partners and the international community.
Our discussion showed that the potential of Sustaining Peace is huge. We are already harnessing some of it. But a lot remains untapped.

Many of you argued that certain tools should be used more by the United Nations

– from good offices and mediation support ……to longer-term peacebuilding partnerships. And you pointed to gaps at the regional and national levels.
So, we still have work to do.

II. Coherence Across Pillars

Secondly, I think we acknowledged something important today. Which is: if we want to achieve a culture of peace, we need to look beyond, just, peace.

Many of you stressed the vital role played by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ms. Rigoberta Menchu told us that inequalities and exclusion can destroy the conditions needed for a culture of peace to thrive. And we heard about how poverty eradication, and inclusive growth, can increase the chances of peace taking hold.

Today’s Forum also placed major emphasis on education. I want to repeat a line from the Constitution of UNESCO, which was quoted today: “Wars begin in the minds of men”.

Of course, wars begin in the minds of both men and women. So, the sooner we can promote peace, in the minds of both men and women, the better. And that means starting from the first days of a child’s education.

Climate change also featured in our Forum. Some of you raised the warning flags. And you told us that the effects of climate change can spark or worsen conflict.

(continued in right column)

Question(s) related to this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

(continued from left column)

We also talked about finance. We heard that too much money is flowing towards securitisation and armaments. But not enough is being used to stop conflict at its roots – and invest in drivers of peace. Other delegations argued that illicit financial flows pose a threat to peace and security. And we heard resounding calls for more predictable financing for Sustaining Peace.

Human rights form another issue which came up, again and again, today. We heard speakers and delegates from all over the world call for a human-rights-based approach to both peace and development.

Almost every delegation flagged gender equality as a priority. A culture of peace cannot exist without it. That was clear, before this Forum. But our discussions today have reaffirmed it. Some women are actors of conflict. And many, many others are agents of peace. But all must lead, participate and be counted.

Moreover, an emphasis was placed on young people. Some of you stressed that the vast majority of young people are passionate about peace. So, yes, we do need more action, to prevent young people from joining terrorist groups or mobilising for violence. But we also need far more support for the young people who are out there, on the ground, working for peace.

III. Partnerships

A third theme today was partnerships.

Governments shared some best practices. These ranged from support to the United Nations peacebuilding activities to efforts for national reconciliation or inter-religious dialogue.

Moreover, regional actors featured strongly. We heard a lot about the efforts of regional organisations – from ASEAN and the EU to the African Union- in supporting peacebuilding on the ground.

And we learned about innovative efforts, led by the United Nations, to create partnerships for peace.This includes exciting work by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund to partner with other UN entities and national actors. But we also heard calls for more coherence, across the UN’s work. Various delegations also argued that the ongoing reform of the UN’s Peace and Security Pillar is crucial to creating a culture of peace.

And, there were calls for broader partnerships. Some of you said that the private sector should play a bigger role. Many stressed that think tanks and academic institutions, like the Peace and Justice Institute, are crucial in providing data and research.

And we heard how the media can help to spread messages of peace – particularly among children and young people.

So, in essence, we all agreed that we cannot achieve a culture of peaceon our own.

Conclusion

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I want to thank you all again for taking part in this Forum. Particular thanks must go to Ambassador Chowdhury – for his commitment to this issue.

Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.

And, as we look towards it, I want to mention one other message that came from our Forum today.

It was one of humanity.

Today, we all acknowledged our differences.

The understanding of a culture of peace differed from delegation to delegation – and person to person.

There was no uniform definition. Because, there are differences between us – whether based on religion, culture, language, or politics. But they do not need to hold us back.

Humanity can be the foundation of a culture of peace. It can be the bedrock.
Our differences and diversity, however, can give it colour.

So, we look to the 20th anniversary, next year, let’s focus more than ever on our humanity.

Because, it is our guarantee that a culture of peaceis possible.

Thank you.

(Thank you to Anwarul Chowdhury and the GMCOP for sending us this speech)

Angola to pass on peace experience to UNESCO members in Paris

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from Xinhua Net

The Republic of Angola will convey its experience on the culture of peace and interreligious dialogue during the International Conference on Peace scheduled for Sept. 17-19 at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris.


Ambassador Sita Jose

Angola’s ambassador to UNESCO, Sita Jose, told the press on Thursday in Luanda that the meeting is an initiative of the permanent delegations to the organization, mainly of the African and Asian continents.

(Article continued in right column)

 

Question related to this article.

Will UNESCO once again play a role in the culture of peace?

(Article continued from left column)

The event will focus on intercultural and interreligious dialogue and education for a world of peace, harmony and tolerance.

The country will once again have the opportunity to pass on its experience on the role of the church in the process of consolidating peace in partnership with the states, the diplomat said.

The activity will serve as an opportunity of the countries for a profound approach to the contribution of churches in peace-building processes and dialogue among peoples, said the diplomat.

“The aim of the event is to transmit the experiences of the countries in what concerns the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue and the role of education in the consolidation and construction of peace, harmony and community life,” he added.

Angola was asked to intervene, mainly, by its experience in the process of reconciliation and pacification with the contribution of the churches, for the conquest and preservation of peace, according to the diplomat.

Angola experienced a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

Rigoberta Menchú speaks at the UN about obstacles to the culture of peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from Prensa Latina

The goodwill ambassador of Unesco, Rigoberta Menchú, highlighted today [5 Sep] in the high level forum of the UN General Assembly the obstacles that prevent the development of a culture of peace.


(click on photo to enlarge)

29 years have passed since the concept of a culture of peace was proposed at a Unesco event, and on October 6 next year will be two decades after the adoption of the Declaration and Program of Action for a Culture of Peace, recalled the indigenous leader and Nobel Peace laureate.

Currently, the legitimacy and fairness of that declaration and of the action program – as international legal norms and instruments – are unquestionable decisions that have irrefutable validity, she said.

But the good wishes tthat the culture of peace should become positive law are opposed by the historical tendencies of a culture of violence and war, she added. The culture of peace is a utopia with great obstacles and enemies.

Instead of decreasing, threats increase and multiply, she warned.

Only a hundred rich individuals concentrate the world’s wealth, while malnutrition and extreme poverty directly affect 60 percent of the world population, lamented the goodwill ambassador of Unesco.

(Article continued in the column on the right)

(Click here for the original Spanish version of the article)

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

According to this calculation, four billion 408 million people are direct victims of inequalities and global exclusions, she explained.

“The arms race is a manifestation of the nuclear, chemical and bacteriological war industry and who knows what other lethal methods are being tried to annihilate human life in a massive and rapid way.”

Menchú also warned about global warming, its irreversible damage to the planet and the little that has been achieved on this issue, despite the international agreements that have been adopted.

In the same way, she spoke about the tragedy that corruption and impunity represent in the world. They violate democracy, impede sustainable development, and put the peoples at risk.

‘Once again the most horrendous practices of racism and discrimination, xenophobia and homophobia offend conscience and annihilate human dignity’.

She also called for a halt to hate-filled speeches and ttitudes that are on the increase in different corners of the planet and she gave as an example the recent actions against migrants at the borders of the United States. Confining migrant children in concentration camps reminds us of the horrors of the holocaust of World War II, she said, and she criticized the dehumanization behind practices that are assumed as a normal fact.

Menchú regretted that the Declaration and Program of Action for a Culture of Peace has suffered the same fate as other international instruments and initiatives, due to the lack of political will, especially from States, economic and political sectors.

She also highlighted the peaceful worldview of the indigenous peoples of the world and how the culture of peace should be understood again as a transversal theme.

However, this is not possible when the economic, political and social machinery goes in the opposite direction and its effects disrupt any institutional mechanism, any individual and collective will to live in peace, she concluded.

United Nations: High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace, September 2018

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

Letter from Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly

Recognizing the need to further promote the Culture of Peace, particularly in the current global context, and responding to paragraph 15 of Resolution 72/137, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, will convene a oneday High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace, on Wednesday, 5 September 2018, at UN Headquarters, New York.

Background and Objectives

On 13 September 1999, the General Assembly adopted, by consensus and without reservation, Resolution 53/243 on the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. The Declaration on a Culture of Peace establishes fundamental principles and reiterates political commitment to promote a culture of peace in the millennium. The Programme of Action defines a set of actions to help Governments, civil society, and individuals to foster culture of peace at national, regional and international levels.

Further, the General Assembly by its resolution 52/15 of 20 November 1997 proclaimed the year 2000 as the “International Year for the Culture of Peace” and in its resolution 53/25 of 10 November 1998, the Assembly proclaimed the period of 2001-2010 as the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World”.

The General Assembly resolution 72/137 of 11 December 2017, entitled “Followup to the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace”, requested the President of the General Assembly to consider convening a High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace.

Through annual substantive resolutions for the last 20 years as well as annual High-level Forums since 2012, the General Assembly has highlighted the priority it attaches to the full and effective implementation of these forward-looking objectives which are universally applicable and sought after by the vast majority of peoples in every nation.

In keeping with this approach, the 5th September High-level Forum aims to highlight emerging trends that have an impact on the realization of a culture of peace and to enable Member States and Observers and other stakeholders to exchange views on how to further promote a culture of peace. 2

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has put significant emphasis on the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence. These are essential to pave the way for the international community to engage and march towards achieving the sustainable development goals. To meet this end, we need to sustain peace. Our efforts in sustaining peace should be built upon the three pillars of the United Nations, namely peace and security, human rights and development, in order to have a holistic outcome.

(continued in right column)

Question(s) related to this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

(continued from left column)

At the High-level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace convened by President of the General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák in April 2018, it was emphatically asserted that “peace is more than a ceasefire. It is more than a peace deal. And, it is more than the absence of war”. For that, there is a need to tackle conflict at its roots. There is a need to invest in achieving sustainable peace. To make peace last long for the benefit of humanity, it is essential to build a culture of peace. The High-level Meeting reiterated that “sustaining peace is not an easy task” and “making peace is harder than silencing the guns”. Therefore, a wideranging discussion on the interlinkages between these two concepts is required, to chart a credible pathway towards sustaining peace for a prosperous and more peaceful world for all.

Participation

Member States and Observers are invited to participate at the highest level possible. The meeting is also open to UN agencies, civil society organisations, including NGOs, the private sector and other stakeholders.

Format

The Forum will consist of an opening session, a plenary segment, an interactive panel discussion and a closing segment.

The opening session and plenary segment will be held in the General Assembly Hall from 10:00am-1:00pm. The panel discussion will take place in the Trusteeship Council Chamber from 3:00pm-5.30pm, followed by closing segment from 5:30pm6:00pm. The opening session and plenary segment will feature statements by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General (TBC), and will hear a keynote address by a preeminent Nobel Peace Laureate.

The plenary segment will comprise of statements by Member States and observers of the General Assembly. A list of speakers will be established in accordance with the established practices of the Assembly. The list of speakers will be open for inscriptions via the e-Speakers module of the e-Delegate platform on 16 August at 12 noon. The time limit for the statements is three minutes.

The panel discussion in the afternoon will focus on the of the 2018 High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace: “The Culture of Peace: A Credible Pathway to Sustaining Peace 3

The panel discussion will feature remarks by distinguished panelists followed by an interactive discussion. The panel will be moderated by Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, Founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace and the former Under Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. There will be no established list of speakers for the panel discussion.

Registration of members of official delegations Official delegations and members of the parties of Heads of State or Government, Vice-Presidents and Crown Princes or Princesses will be registered by the Protocol and Liaison Service. Missions/offices are required to submit their registration requests by using the online system “e-Accreditation” available through the e-Delegate Portal at https://delegate.un.int.

Outcome

A Chair’s summary of the meeting will be circulated to Member States. Further information regarding this meeting will be available on the PGA’s website.