Tag Archives: global

European Parliament Calls for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and a UN Reform Summit in 2020

.DISARMAMENT & SECURITY.

An article from the DWFed, Democratic World Federalists

In a resolution adopted today [July 27], the European Parliament called on the EU’s governments to advocate “the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly” (UNPA) and to support a “UN 2020 summit” that will consider “comprehensive reform measures for a renewal and strengthening of the United Nations.”

TAccording to the European Parliament, a UNPA should be established “within the UN system in order to increase the democratic character, the democratic accountability and the transparency of global governance and to allow for better citizen participation in the activities of the UN and, in particular, to contribute to the successful implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The directly elected parliament of the EU’s citizens called on the EU’s 28 member states represented in the Council of the EU to advocate the creation of a UNPA at the upcoming 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly which will start in September.

European parliamentarian Jo Leinen (S&D) who had initiated the call for a UNPA said that “the UN urgently requires more openness and stronger democratic foundations.” He added that “the European Parliament therefore calls for the establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly within the United Nations system” and that “the European Union and its member states should now play an active role in the implementation of this innovation.”

The European Parliament’s rapporteur on this year’s recommendations on the EU’s UN policy, Eugen Freund (S&D), said that since he first encountered UN reform forty years ago “unfortunately, not much has changed.” He added that “the General assembly has more members now, but it is still a body of unelected diplomats. Therefore, the idea of eventually complementing them with elected parliamentarians is a very appealing one. They would certainly be closer to the populace and thus would have to regularly answer to their constituency. Whether that would also streamline the decision-making processes remains to be seen.”

Other supporters of the call for a UNPA in the parliament’s committee on foreign affairs included Elmar Brok (EPP), Soraya Post (S&D), Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL), and Andrey Kovatchev (EPP).

(continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Proposals for Reform of the United Nations: Are they sufficiently radical?

(continued from left column)

The European Parliament’s resolution was welcomed by Ivone Soares, a parliamentarian from Mozambique and a member of the African Union’s Pan-African Parliament. “With resolutions passed by the European Parliament, the Pan-African Parliament and the Latin-American Parliament, the time has come for progressive governments in these three major world regions to consider the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly,” Soares said.

Daniel Jositsch, a member of the Swiss Council of States commented that “the escalating crisis in international cooperation shows that new ways must be found to combat global problems. It is therefore very positive that the European Parliament is calling on the European states to speak out in favour of the creation of a UN Parliament. It is important that they will not simply pay lip service to this goal, but that concrete implementation measures are being taken.”

“From the many initiatives in favor of a more peaceful, fair and democratic world the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly is the decisive one. The recent support given by the European Parliament to this proposal shows that the members of the most important supranational parliamentary body are ready to work for its creation,” commented Fernando Iglesias, a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina.

Jo Leinen, Ivone Soares, Daniel Jositsch and Fernando Iglesias are co-chairs of the parliamentary advisory group of the international Campaign for a UNPA which has been endorsed by over 1,500 elected representatives worldwide. The campaign’s secretary-general, Andreas Bummel, said that the European Parliament’s call for a UNPA was “a bold and important step at a time when multilateralism is under attack.” “Governments interested in defending and strengthening the UN and democracy worldwide should urgently work for the democratisation of global institutions and a UN Parliamentary Assembly is a key to achieve this,” he added. Recently, the Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney stated that Ireland was “open minded” relative to proposals for a UNPA.

The European Parliament’s resolution on the EU’s UN policy also recommended, among other things, the establishment of “an open and inclusive intergovernmental preparatory process under the auspices of the UN General Assembly for a UN 2020 summit, on the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary” that would consider “comprehensive reform measures for a renewal and strengthening of the United Nations.”

Earlier this year Jo Leinen and Andreas Bummel published a book on the history, today’s relevance and future implementation of the proposal of a world parliament and on improving democratic world governance.

The Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

Abstract of Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century by Augusto Lopez-Claros, Arthur Dahl, and Maja Groff

This proposal builds upon structures for international cooperation existing at least since the creation of the UN. The proposed institutions and processes aim to strike a balance between overly ambitious proposals with little chance of acceptance, and more politically feasible ones that fail to solve the multiple problems of today’s world. 

We propose revisions to the UN Charter that provide the legal basis for a new system of global governance, supplemented by other reforms not requiring Charter amendment. 

The powers, composition and voting method of the General Assembly (GA) are revised, giving it some powers to legislate with direct effect on member states, mainly in the areas of security, maintenance of peace and management of the global environment. These powers would be explicitly enumerated in the revised Charter, also specifying those which remain vested with member states. The system of representation in the GA is revised to enhance its democratic legitimacy. 

A Second Chamber is proposed, deriving its authority directly from the global citizenry; its representatives would serve as advocates of particular issues of global concern, rather than representing the interests of their respective states. At the outset, the chamber would have advisory powers, but would be gradually integrated into the international constitutional order, attached to the GA, thus creating a bicameral world legislature. 

An Executive Council, composed of 24 members, elected by the GA and operating under its jurisdiction, would replace the UN Security Council. Its focus would shift to implementation, management and effective operation of the UN. The veto power of the five permanent members of the current Security Council would be eliminated. An executive arm of the new UN, the Council would have broad authority to monitor, supervise and direct various aspects of its work in security, conflict prevention and management of the global environment, as well as other areas of priority identified by the GA. The Executive Council would provide general oversight and ensure good governance, transparency, efficiency and coherence of an effective, new UN system. The Secretary General would chair the Executive Council, facilitating continuity within the UN system and linking to the UN Secretariat. 

A UN International Security Force would be created, deriving its ultimate authority from the GA via the Executive Council. This two-part Force would consist of a Standing Force and a Security Force Reserve, both composed of volunteers. The Standing Force would be a full-time body of professionals, numbering from 500,000 to 1,000,000 as determined by the GA. The Force would provide for security and promote peace around the world, firmly anchored in the notion that force may at times be necessary to deliver justice and the rule of law. It would also address one of the main flaws of our current UN system: namely, the absence of a reliable, legitimate international mechanism to enforce decisions made by the Security Council. Subject to a number of safeguards, the International Security Force will be vital to enhancing the credibility of the UN, and to preventing conflicts and maintaining peace and security throughout the world. 

(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)

The peaceful settlement of international disputes and enforcement of international law will become mandatory, giving the International Court of Justice (ICJ) compulsory jurisdiction over all substantive matters pertaining to the interpretation and/or enforcement of international law for all UN members, overturning the current requirement for states’ agreement to adjudicate. A revised Charter would also make acceptance of the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) mandatory. An International Human Rights Tribunal would be established for systematic, binding adjudication and review, significantly strengthening the existing weak and non-binding human rights oversight mechanisms. The substantive rights adjudicated by the international Tribunal will include key UN human rights treaties, many of which currently have non-binding individual complaint mechanisms. 

To reassure the people of the world that basic individual rights will not be violated in the exercise of the UN’s strengthened mandate, a new Bill of Rights prescribing parameters for UN action would include fundamental human rights protections to be applied and interpreted by a new, specialized chamber of the ICJ. 

Recognizing that a strengthened UN system with a broader set of responsibilities and institutions would need reliable funding, we propose a mechanism linking national contributions to the UN budget to a fixed proportion of indirect tax collection, similar to mechanisms currently operating in the EU. Additional funding mechanisms will be explored balancing universal participation and the ability to pay.

Implementation will require UN Charter reform, building on existing Charter amendment provisions, and mechanisms for built-in flexibility through future amendments. Most of the broader UN system of bodies, commissions, programmes and specialized agencies will be retained, evolving under the new system as necessary. A World Conference on Global Institutions in 2020 is proposed as a starting point for the reform process.

Beyond the above structural components, we address specific challenges to the global order as examples of implementation. Effective security requires general disarmament, and we propose a binding, staged approach to reduce armaments to only those needed for internal security. To address growing income inequality and begin global management of the world’s resources will require a new multilateral specialized agency. The corruption undermining effective governance requires a global response through new international implementation and enforcement tools for existing mechanisms. Education will be an important support to the reforms.

The model corrects the failures in the present UN Charter that prevent its security function from operating effectively, enabling the UN to implement the decisions taken in the global interest. It creates a legally-binding international legislative function, beginning with security, maintenance of peace, and management of the global environment, given significant current and emerging global challenges and risks, as climate change accelerates and population growth threatens planetary carrying capacity and boundaries. It places the core values necessary for a global community at the heart of international governance and action, builds on the existing positive accomplishments in global governance and international consensus, and opens the door to widespread civic participation and acceptance.

(Thank you to Transcend Media Service for bringing this to our attention.)

An unprecedented upsurge of movements for women’s rights: UN Women annual report 2017-2018

. . . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . . .

Foreward to Annual Report by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

In 2017 we saw an unprecedented upsurge of movements for women’s rights, equality, safety and justice. The tireless work of activists has been central to this global drive, and women all over the world continue to demonstrate the power of many voices speaking as one. Together, we are calling for opportunity and accountability, drawing momentum from grass-roots networks and forging coalitions that stretch right up to the leaders of governments, businesses and civic institutions.


UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka visited a camp for people displaced by conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite the terrors of war and sexual violence, women leaders are forging ahead to make new, better lives for themselves and other women in the camp.

There is a profound hunger for change in women’s lives, and a growing recognition that when women band together they can achieve it—whether online through social media or offline through more traditional mobilization. They are confronting, challenging and condemning the practices that have normalized gender inequality, poverty, sexual miscon- duct, exclusion and discrimination across every area of life.

As our Annual Report shows, UN Women is supporting women politicians, electoral officials, voters, lawmakers, civil society activists and many others to claim their equal right to lead and be heard. The report highlights the experiences of a multitude of formidable women, from individuals like Alice Wahome, Kenyan parliamentarian, to the combined success story of the 14,000 Nepalese women who won an unprecedented 41 per cent of local government seats in 2017.

We salute these women leaders in formal positions as well as all those who have bravely spoken out against sexual harassment and violence through the #MeToo movement, and others. We commend the women who spoke out in the International Criminal Court against those who used rape as a weapon of war. We celebrate activists who campaigned for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

We recognize those who advocated for legal reform in countries such as Tunisia, to end a provision that allowed rapists to escape persecution if they married their victims. We acknowledge those who have taken to the streets in India to condemn the murder and rape of young children, turning protests into broader-based movements that engage entire communities. We honour the indigenous leaders who have stood up for their custodial rights to land and traditional practices, and the human rights defenders who have even lost their lives for their cause.

(continued in right column)

Question for this article

Does the UN advance equality for women?

(continued from left column)

Through our report we celebrate individuals we have supported, whose life experiences represent hundreds of thousands of others like them, and whose achievements are accelerating progress towards gender equality. Small business owner Olga Macz of Guatemala told us about the increased income, independence and mobility that came with learning professional production and marketing skills.

Training also brought her increased understanding and assertion of her rights. In Egypt, more than 17,000 women from the poorest and most marginalized rural areas now have their first access to community-based village savings and loan associations, building not just savings and busi- ness opportunities but confidence and increased autonomy.

The time is now to end all forms of gender inequality. The culture of gender-based poverty, abuse and exploitation has to end with a new generation of equality that lasts for all women and girls, no matter where they live, or how they live. We must leave no one behind.

UN Women has a special relationship with the women’s movement; we arose from that activism. Civil society has had a historically crucial role in leading global action on gender equality by promoting reform, highlighting the complexities of the challenges facing women, influencing policies, participating in monitoring, and upholding ac- countability. We are working to create stronger support for women’s political activism and a broader space for women’s civil society voices so that our efforts combine to benefit those who truly need change most.

At the same time, we also need a movement of male feminists, and young men and boys who value and respect women and girls. Today’s activism needs to alter the way we listen to women and the way we look at them, recog- nizing the power of stereotypes to influence how we value people. Activists and leaders in the HeForShe movementin 2017 found tangible and scaleable solutions for inequal- ities, like the 3,500 child marriages annulled in Malawi by local chiefs, or the practical accountability actions taken in Iceland to make sure that companies put the equal pay law into practice.

At the 2018 UN Commission on the Status of Women, youth captured the urgency of the moment. They highlighted the importance of being present and participating fully in all the issues that affect their lives. They emphasized working in an intergenerational context so that they can learn from those who have been around for much longer and contrib- ute to giving us direction for the future.

The time is now to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable for progress, for all women.

Why unarmed civilian protection is the best path to sustainable peace

. . . EDUCATION FOR PEACE . . .

An article by Annie Hewitt for Waging Nonviolence

The first image that often comes to mind when one thinks of peacekeeping, especially within the frame of the United Nations, is that of the blue helmets: armed soldiers gathered from member states who are then strategically deployed in conflict areas.

There are over 90,000 armed UN peacekeepers working around the world today — from Haiti to Lebanon to Kosovo to Darfur — who are generally isolated from the communities they are meant to protect. They engage from the outside, with soldiers often patrolling in vehicles and retreating at the end of the day to compounds of rarefied security.


Over 40 Women’s Peacekeeping Teams focusing on civilian protection and peacebuilding have formed throughout South Sudan. (Nonviolent Peaceforce)

This drastically reduces the ability of traditional peacekeepers to know and respect local people; without this understanding, trust is weakened and the kind of clear and open communication needed for sustained peace is undermined. A recent UN reportexploring ways to improve the safety of UN peacekeepers embodies this relationship model: its focus is on the protection of peacekeepers who come from outside countries and concludes that their safety depends on the proactive use of force.

There is, however, another model for peacekeeping called unarmed civilian protection, or UCP. It works from the inside and has been proven to save lives, empower communities and can secure strong and lasting peace in areas plagued by violent conflict.

“Unarmed civilian protection challenges the widespread assumption that ‘where there is violence we need soldiers,’ or that armed actors will only yield to violent threat,” said Rachel Julian, director of the Centre for Applied Social Research at Leeds-Beckett University, during a UN event in May. Hosted by the permanent missions of Uruguay and Australia to the UN, the event offered inspiring success stories and provided persuasive evidence that unarmed civilian protection works.

UCP, she began, is not a new-fangled and untested method of peacekeeping — in its current form, it has been around for over 35 years. Despite its long history, UCP is rarely recognized by international bodies as a viable tool for peacekeeping; armed strategies tend to dominate institutional efforts to combat threats of violence.

Julian’s research suggests that we have much to gain by expanding our conception of what peacekeeping is and by broadening our ideas of the methods it involves.
Julian explained that armed peacekeeping is limited in part due to the fact that the peace sought by armed peacekeepers is not grounded in the knowledge, practices and traditions of the people directly involved in the conflict. Armed peacekeeping imposes peace externally, introducing temporary resolutions from the outside. It is often implemented according to a fixed and prescribed model that is applied with relative uniformity in different regions and in all kinds of conflict.

As Youssef Mahmoud from the International Peace Institute said at the event, this kind of peacekeeping can yield “security, not safety.” And no doubt, security is important. But more important is a sustainable peace that finds its roots in the particular community itself. These local approaches to peace are always present, even amidst horrific violence.

Unarmed civilian protection draws on the peace infrastructure that exists within all communities by actively listening to everyone involved, by opening clear lines of communication, and by making a safe space for people to use and build on the knowledge and resources they already have. UCP is based on the recognition that each conflict and thus each peace is distinct and requires methods that are adapted to the particularities of the community and implemented by local people themselves.

Over the years, Julian has gathered a tremendous amount of data to prove the efficacy of UCP. Her research shows that unarmed civilian protection is scalable, that it is successful in preventing violence, that it works in all stages of conflict and that it is effective in preventing the displacement of civilians.

But the benefits that grow directly from the practices of unarmed civilian protection require time and funding, which they currently lack. Building trust and capacities, strengthening community ties, encouraging communication among “enemies” are not cheap and quick fixes. However, the investment pays off: the peace UCP ushers in tends to be strong and enduring. After all, its roots lie deep in the individual communities and in the hearts of its residents.

In the Kook community of South Sudan, strong local women came together to form the Women’s Peacekeeping Teams, which pooled their strength and knowledge to take action for peace. These teams were able to sustain peace among once hostile clans when it was threatened after a chief’s son was killed. Because the Women’s Peacekeeping Teams had laid the groundwork by taking the time to get to know and listen to people from all groups in the area, they were able to intervene on behalf of their community as a whole and ensured that no revenge killings would take place. And indeed, the peace remained.

Carmen Lauzon-Gatmaytan is the program development officer with Nonviolent Peaceforce, an unarmed, paid civilian protection force founded in 2002, which now has peacekeepers in the Philippines, Iraq, South Sudan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. An international NGO, Nonviolent Peaceforce is committed to “building peace side by side with local communities” in a way that saves lives and preserves human dignity. 

(Article continued in the right column)

Question for this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?

(Article continued from the left column)

Lauzon-Gatmaytan works in Mindanao region of the Philippines, which has emerged as an epicenter of violence in the country. Unarmed civilian protection has been effective in countering this violence, creating reliable channels of communication among opposing groups and cultivating islands of peace where conflict seemed inevitable. Local actors have been empowered through trainings in the methods of unarmed civilian protection, and trust among ostensible enemies is gradually emerging and taking hold. This has come in part by identifying common interests which unite rival groups, despite disagreement on the issues that drive the conflict.

A few years ago, a high school graduation celebration was disrupted by armed militias. Parents and students contacted Nonviolent Peaceforce to come work with their community, providing protective accompaniment to vulnerable people and encouraging dialogue among all parties. The following year, the graduates took part in a ceremony free of tension and fear. Families — whatever their political, religious and ethnic ties — recognized and respected the desire to watch their loved ones receive diplomas.

Building bridges among opposing groups reveals only one axis of UCP’s impact, which cultivates trust and strengthens ties among civilians. Equally significant, Lauzon-Gatmaytan insisted, is how UCP facilitates the coming together of civilians, government officials and armed actors to work for peace. This was witnessed in Mindanao when both the government and the main rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, requested that Nonviolent Peaceforce join in the official ceasefire and recognized unarmed civilian protection as a tool to be used to find resolution to the region’s problems.

Yasmin Maydhane, an international protection officer with Nonviolent Peaceforce, has direct experience using unarmed civilian protection in remote areas of South Sudan that are inaccessible to the UN mission there. Her work has introduced her to local people whose knowledge and resources have been channeled and directed so that they are now active unarmed peacekeepers themselves.

Herself a byproduct of UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Maydhane has firsthand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, and UCP, she stated without equivocation, works. She spoke with pride and excitement about the fact that UCP methods have inspired local youth to be increasingly involved in peacekeeping efforts in South Sudan, forming youth groups of motivated peace activists. The Upper Nile region, long cut off from aid of all kinds, now has basic humanitarian services thanks to UCP.

Perhaps most significant, women are leading some of the most successful peacekeeping efforts in the area. In one instance, they managed to bring together representatives from different ethnic groups to ensure safe passage through a once perilous series of checkpoints: Maydhane described how before these brave women joined forces, going through checkpoints meant abuse and rape. They declared, “Our men rape you, yours rape us — let’s end this” and South Sudanese women did just that. The checkpoints are now safely crossed.

At the event, Mahmoud said the efficacy of unarmed civilian protection comes in part from its adaptability and flexibility. This gives it a unique capacity to contend successfully with decentralized violence, a characteristic of most active conflicts in the world today. Equally important, unarmed civilian protection makes room for local actors to realize capacities that have become latent, and any good peacekeeper, he said, must draw on this untapped potential.

Peacekeepers must be sure to “map not only what is not working, but also what is working” — that is, to understand that the solutions to any conflict lie with the local people. This means that the aim of unarmed civilian protectors is ultimately to become dispensable — somewhat paradoxically, they must strive to be unneeded. In this, unarmed civilian protection goes beyond mere protecting, but supports local actors to build peace themselves. Real peace, Mahmoud stressed, always grows from the bottom up and while external actors can help make the space for peace, they must leave room for others “to shape it as their own.”

The UN event made clear that unarmed civilian protection is not simply about keeping peace, it is inseparable from building peace, which necessarily involves unearthing and realizing the capacity, knowledge and power of the communities that are directly involved in conflict. The kind of local ownership UCP depends on is essential for a robust and sustained peace as opposed to a fleeting and fragile one. Much of traditional peacekeeping has been pried from its natural place within grassroots peacebuilding, reduced to an external force that strains to impose a frozen peace from the outside and is itself dependent on outsiders.

The practices central to UCP — inclusive dialogue, protective accompaniment, trust-building and open negotiation — grow directly out of the awareness that local capacity is never absent, only buried and rendered dormant under the weight of conflict and violence. These are all too often the direct result of external forces — colonialism, proxy wars, scarce resources, climate change — for which those stuck in conflict bear no responsibility.

Nonviolent peacekeeping allows people to see humanity visibly manifested; unarmed peacekeepers must be decent and kind, they must listen actively and make all parties to a conflict feel as though they matter. In doing so, humanity is revealed to be not the property of one side or another, nor something that must be imported from outside.

Unarmed civilian protection directly addresses the urgent need to ensure that even the most violent regions across the globe are on a road to becoming safe and peaceful. Given increased international recognition and adequate financial support, data suggests that such widespread peace is in fact possible and sustainable.

Equally significant, this peace does not require the constant presence of saviors from outside, whether UN blue helmets or others. “Outsiders have to be humble enough to recognize that people have capacity not just needs,” Mahmoud said. “Outsiders also have to build into their DNA that they are dispensable.”

(Thank you to the Transcend Media Service for calling this to our attention.)

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

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

Information from the website of the Forum (Translation by CPNN)

The Organizing Committee

On Monday, June 11, the Organizing Committee of the II World Forum on Urban Violence met in Madrid. The Forum will be held in the Spanish capital from November 5 to 8, 2018, with the aim of designing an integrated program capable of serving the expectations generated by this new edition of the Forum.

The invocation of the Forum was announced by the mayor of Madrid and co-president of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities (UCCI), Manuela Carmena, attended by representatives of the various organizations and platforms that take part of the Organizing Committee. They shared expectations for the organization of the Forum, raising, among other challenges, how to establish Madrid as the permanent seat of the Cities of Peace Forum and turn it into an annual event on the international agenda. The need to open a space to measure the results of the first Forum and its impact on interpersonal violence in territories and cities was also analyzed, as well as a discussion on how local leaders can contribute to “saving lives” with public policies that promote education for coexistence and peace in cities and territories.

The organizing committee currently is composed of: the city councils of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris; the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB); different United Nations agencies (UN Women, UN Habitat and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), networks of cities such as the global network of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) ), the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), Metropolis, the Union of Iberoamerican Capital Cities (UCCI), Mayors for Peace and other platforms representing civil society such as the Spanish Association for Peace Research (aiPAZ); the Regional Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Madrid (FRAVM), the NGO Network of Madrid, the FAPA Giner de los Ríos and the Association of Educating Cities (AICE), as well as other collaborating entities that are committed to the organization and development of the forum process.

The meeting discussed the possibility of incorporating, in addition to debates and dialogues, other more dynamic ways of describing how cities, together with their citizens, confront the various forms of interpersonal violence. These include violence in sport, violence in social networks, juvenile violence, school violence, racism and xenophobia, international terrorism, LGTBIFobia, urban inequality and public space, violence against displaced persons and refugees and other more recent violence, such as the most current “aporophobia” (fear, rejection or aversion to poor people). These issues were integrated into the first draft of the working agenda.

(continued in right column)

(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

(continued from left column)

PRE-REGISTRATION OF INITIATIVES / PROPOSALS FOR PARTICIPATION

Only one card can be registered per user. If you want to send more than one proposal, you must do so with another user / e-mail.

[The following information must be entered on the forum’s website:]

First Name

Last name

Email

Nationality

ID Number-Passport

Organization-Institution

Why did you decide to participate?

TITLE of the initiative

PLACE (City/country/region)

THEME/SPHERE (Type of violence / population affected

WHAT TYPE OF URBAN VIOLENCE DOES IT SEEK TO ERADICATE OR PREVENT?

STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED (Impulse/collaboration)

DESCRIPTION (Summary of the main actions carried out)

RESULTS/IMPACTS/PERSPECTIVES

MORE INFORMATION (Details of the contact person, webpage, links, materials)/

PROPOSED PRESENTATION FOR THE INITIATIVE AT THE MADRID FORUM (5-8 NOVEMBER 2018)

TECHNICAL AND SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS TO PRESENT THE PROJECT IN MADRID (material and technical characteristics)

DETAILS OF THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRESENTATION IN MADRID

Canada and partners announce historic investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations

. . . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . . .

An article on the web page of The Prime Minister of Canada

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a top priority for Canada and its G7 Presidency. To make gender equality a reality, all women and girls around the world must have equal access to quality education and learning opportunities. When women and girls have an equal chance to learn, grow, and succeed, they help build an economy that works for everyone.

Canada, along with the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank, today announced an investment of close to $3.8 billion CAD, marking a fundamental shift toward improving access and reducing barriers to quality education around the world. Today’s announcement represents the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations. It has the potential to make a difference in the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.


Prime Minister Trudeau participates in the working session of the G7. Photo by Adam Scotti (CPM)

These investments will support global action to:

* Equip women and girls with the skills needed for the jobs of the future

* Improve training for teachers to provide better curriculum for women and girls

* Improve the quality of available data on women’s and girls’ education

* Promote greater coordination between humanitarian and development partners

* Support innovative education methods, especially for vulnerable and hard to reach groups, including refugees and displaced people

* Support developing countries in efforts to provide equal opportunities for girls to complete at least 12 years of quality education, from primary to secondary school

Canada will work with these partners along with others to support women’s and girls’ education around the world. They will also make sure the voices of women and girls are included when decisions are made on education and employment.

(Article continued in right column)

(Click here for the French version)

Question for this article

Gender equality in education, Is it advancing?

(Article continued from left column)

Quote

“We need to work together to ensure all women and girls have access to quality education and modern skills training. From primary school to secondary school and beyond, women and girls in crisis and conflict situations must have the same opportunities to succeed. Investing in their education is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Given the chance, we know women and girls will drive positive change, and help build better lives for themselves, their families, their communities, and, in turn, the world.”

—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

Of the total funding announced today, international partners committed to make the following investments:

* Canada is investing $400 million CAD over three years, in addition to the $180 million we provided in January 2018 to the Global Partnership for Education for 2018-2020.

* The European Union is investing 72 million euros over three years.

* Germany is investing 75 million euros.

* Japan is investing $200 million USD in girl’s and women’s quality education, including in emergencies or in conflict-affected or fragile states.

* The United Kingdom is investing £187 million, which builds on Prime Minister May’s announcement at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April when she pledged £212 million to get almost one million girls in developing countries across the Commonwealth learning.

* The World Bank is investing $2 billion USD over five years.

In February 2018, France committed to provide 200 million euros to the Global Partnership for Education to support girls’ education and help strengthen education systems in developing countries.

At the end of 2016, globally there were 65.5 million forcibly displaced people, over half of whom were under 18 years of age, with little to no access to quality education and learning opportunities.

Girls are more likely to be taken out of school due to displacement-related poverty, more likely to be forced into early marriage, and are disproportionately affected by gender and sexual-based violence.

Canada holds the G7 Presidency for 2018, and is advancing domestic and international priorities framed under the following five key themes:

* Investing in growth that works for everyone

* Preparing for jobs of the future

* Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment

* Working together on climate change, oceans, and clean energy

* Building a more peaceful and secure world

(Thank you to the Good News Agency for calling this article to our attention)

What’s the G7’s ‘Charlevoix Blueprint’ all about?

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

While much of the focus at the G7 summit in Québec was on the antics of Donald Trump, the meeting actually produced something of a breakthrough for climate adaptation by coastal communities.

US President Donald Trump’s unconventional behaviour at the meeting of Group of Seven leading industrial powers dominated  most media coverage  of the summit. The US leader arrived late, left early, absented himself from the formal discussions on climate change, promoted fossil fuels instead, and then refused to sign the G7 final official communiqué due to its reaffirmation of the Paris Agreement.

Meanwhile, some real breakthroughs on international commitments to climate adaptation, coastal communities and issues at the crossroads of oceans, plastic pollution and global warming, were achieved during the high-level gathering hosted this year by Canada in Charlevoix, just northeast of Québec City.

The other G7 leaders came together to endorse the “Charlevoix Blueprint:” a new strategy for enhancing ocean and coastal “resilience,” a term that is increasingly used within the climate community to mean going beyond adaptation to global warming, but to maintain function in a way that improves on what went before.

(continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

(continued from left column)

Specifically, the Blueprint aims to develop better climate adaptation planning, emergency preparedness and recovery. The signatories are to identify policy gaps, vulnerabilities, and share expertise. In response to disasters, the Blueprint nations are to develop coastal management strategies that enable communities to “build back better,” with provisions to reconstruct both physical infrastructure and natural systems.

Where it can be done, nations are to favour “nature-based solutions” such as protection of wetlands, mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. These represent natural habitats that protect communities  against the impacts of storms and waves. Such strategies also represent what is coming to be called “low carbon resilience”—those actions or behaviours that are adaptive to climate change and mitigate it at the same time. These natural habitats prevent flooding and erosion, but because they can be carbon sinks, they also work to limit the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

]The Blueprint signatories also want to support such strategies amongst least developed countries, in particular the small island developing states (SIDS), including the efforts to develop early warning systems for extreme weather events. Canada for its part announced $162 million in this regard, focusing on the expansion of climate-risk insurance for Caribbean SIDS and coastal clean energy systems.

The Blueprint included an Ocean Plastics Charter, committing signatories to limiting plastic pollution. This was signed by five of the G7 member states but not Japan. Recent research  mapping the origin of plastic waste aggregating in the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch concluded  that the majority comes from abandoned fishing nets and fishing gear, primarily from Asian nations. Scientists reckon as much as 20 percent is debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

The G7 are also to launch an initiative to deploy Earth observation technologies to improve coastal zone management and support disaster risk prevention. G7 energy, environment and oceans ministers are due to meet in Halifax in the fall to develop concrete new actions in this area.

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

Adopting Resolution 2419 (2018), Security Council Calls for Increasing Role of Youth in Negotiating, Implementing Peace Agreements

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article from the United Nations

Recognizing the role youth could play in conflict prevention and resolution, the Security Council today urged the Secretary‑General and his Special Envoys to take their views into account in security‑related discussions, and to facilitate their equal and full participation at decision‑making levels.


Participants attend the Somali National Youth Conference held in Mogadishu, Somalia (December 2017). UN Photo/Ilyas Ahmed

Unanimously adopting resolution 2419 (2018), the Council called on all relevant actors to consider ways for increasing the representation of young people when negotiating and implementing peace agreements, recognizing that their marginalization was detrimental to building sustainable peace and countering violent extremism, as and when conducive to terrorism.  In that context, it noted the independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, titled, “The missing peace”.

By other terms, the Council called on Member States to protect educational institutions as spaces free from all violence, ensure they were accessible to all youth and take steps to address young women’s equal enjoyment of their right to education.  It recommended the Peacebuilding Commission include in its advice ways to engage young people in national efforts to build and sustain peace, particularly urging appropriate regional and subregional bodies to facilitate their constructive engagement.

The Council went on to request the Secretary‑General to consider including in his reporting progress made towards young people’s participation in such processes as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and interlinked community violence reduction programmes.  He might also consider internal mechanisms to broaden young people’s participation in the work of the United Nations, the Council stated, asking him to submit, no later than May 2020, a report on the implementation of the current resolution, as well as resolution 2250 (2015).

(Article continued in right column)

Question for this article

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

(Article continued from left column)

Introducing the draft, Olof Skoog (Sweden) said it built on and complemented resolution 2250 (2015).  It underlined the contribution young people could make to peace and security if actively engaged, recognizing both their diversity and the need to counter any stigmatization or homogenization.  Further, the resolution highlighted that the youth, peace and security agenda was a crucial part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Indeed, it marked an advance in the collective determination to ensure youth could play their rightful and necessary role in the Council’s work and in building peace around the world.

Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Peru), speaking after the vote, said the resolution underscored the important role that youth were called on to play in the prevention and resolution of conflict.  Highlighting Jordan’s initiative to place the topic on the Council’s agenda in 2015, he said young people were crucial to forging an inclusive vision of a shared future.  The resolution represented a major contribution to the Council’s work and he underscored the importance of follow up on its provisions, and of combating stereotypes that perpetuated violence against women.

Karel J. G. van Oosterom (Netherlands) expressed hope that the resolution’s request for a follow‑up report would receive the attention it deserved.  The text welcomed the Council’s intention to invite youth organizations as briefers and encouraged the Secretary‑General to include information on youth participation in peace processes.  The Progress Study, meanwhile, had given voice to 4,000 young people who would not otherwise have had the chance to participate in a policy‑shaping exercise.  He expressed hope that the Council would continue to increase youth participation in issues of peace and security.

Elaine Marie French (United States), while commending Peru and Sweden for working to ensure the Council recognized the role of young people, nonetheless voiced regret that the resolution did not contain language on the prevention of violent extremism.  The concept was not new and should not be controversial, as its goal was to address the factors that motivated people towards violence.  The Council had missed an opportunity to ensure that youth were involved in action plans to prevent violent extremism.  There was no reason why it could not support such efforts.  She cautioned against rolling back language on technology and the Internet.  Instead, the Council should have used language contained in resolution 2396 (2017), which should be the baseline for going forward.

UN Launches First-Ever Global Plastics Report on World Environment Day

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Olivia Rosane for Ecowatch

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day, the world’s largest environmental celebration which takes place June 5, is “Beat Plastic  Pollution.” In honor of the occasion, UN Environment released the first ever “state of plastics” report, tracking government action against plastic waste, a UN Environment press release  reported.

The report, titled “Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability,” found that more than 60 countries have introduced bans or levies on single-use plastics, and that bans and levies are one of the most effective ways to reduce the use of disposable plastic items.

President and CEO of WWF-Canada, David Miller, said: “WWF-Canada has worked for “The assessment shows that action can be painless and profitable—with huge gains for people and the planet that help avert the costly downstream costs of pollution,” head of UN Environment Erik Solheim said in the report’s foreword. “Plastic isn’t the problem. It’s what we do with it.”

(Article continued in the right side of the page)

Question for this article:

If we can connect up the planet through Internet, can’t we agree to preserve the planet?

(Article continued from the left side of the page)

The report summed up the extent of the plastic pollution crisis: Only 9 percent of all plastics ever produced have been recycled, while 12 percent have been incinerated and a full 79 percent have ended up in landfills, dumps, or the environment. Plastic bags  are especially a concern and, with Styrofoam, have been the leading subject of plastic product bans. They have been found blocking waterways and worsening natural disasters, blocking sewers and providing a breeding site for disease-carrying insects, and blocking the stomachs and airways of animals like the whale that died  in Thailand this weekend after consuming more than 80 of them.

Fifty percent of the countries that have implemented bans or levies did not have sufficient data to assess the environmental impact of the policies; of the other 50 percent, 30 percent of the bans significantly reduced the use of plastic bags within a year and 20 percent had little impact, either due to poor enforcement or lack of alternatives.

One success story was Morocco, where 421 tonnes of bags were seized after a ban and replaced almost entirely by fabrics. A failed case was Botswana, where a levy on retailers was issued but not enforced, the BBC reported.

The report also recommended that bans and levies be joined by positive measures such as improving waste management, moving towards a circular plastic production and consumption model and providing financial incentives for businesses and customers to develop and use alternative materials.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the report with Solheim in New Delhi Tuesday. India  is this year’s host country for World Environment Day, which was established by the UN in 1972 and first celebrated in 1974.

China Pu’er Sun River National Park dedicated as IIPT Peace Park

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from the International Institute for Peace Tourism

The IIPT Global Peace Parks Project was launched this past week with the dedication of Pu’er Sun River National Park as an IIPT International Peace Park in collaboration with the China Chamber of Tourism. Dignitaries participating in the ceremony included Madame Wang Ping, Founding Chairman, China Chamber of Tourism (Photo on the left); Mr. Peter Wong Man Kong, Executive Chairman, China Chamber of Tourism; Mr. Yu Jinfang,Co-founder and Developer of Pu’er Sun River National Park; Mrs. May Jinfang, Co-founder and Developer; Mr. Carlos Vogeler, Executive Director, UN World Tourism Organization; Mr. Xu Jing, Regional Director for Asia and Pacific, UN World Tourism Organization; Hon. Gede Ardika, former Minister, Culture and Tourism, Indonesia; Helen Marano, Government and Industry Affairs Director, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC); Louis D’Amore, IIPT Founder and President and various city officials of Pu’er City.


Members of China Chamber of Tourism following the unveiling of the stone plaque
click on photo to enlarge

China Chamber of Tourism Chairman, Peter Wong stated: “Pu’er Sun River National Park is the perfect site for the first IIPT International Peace Park in China as it is a national model of the “wild beauty of nature” covering an area of 216 square kilometers with a wide variety of plants and 812 species of wildlife. In is also a model of people in harmony with nature showcasing the local culture of the diverse ethnic people of the region.”

In his Peace Park dedication address, IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore said: “It is truly an honor to be here with you today as we dedicate this IIPT International Peace Park – the first in China, just a few days before the UN International Day of Peace, September 21 – and in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 which calls for peaceful – inclusive and just societies. As we dedicate this park, we also begin what I am sure will be an important and fruitful relationship between the China Chamber of Tourism and the International Institute for Peace through Tourism; a relationship that will bring more peace parks in China and contribute towards the vision of tourism becoming the world’s first global peace industry – and the belief that every traveler is potentially an ambassador for peace.”

The Pu’er Sun River National Park focuses on the theme “wild beauty of nature” in combination with the local culture and the harmony of humans with nature. By operating profit-making projects within the Park, it is able to effectively provide sustainable protection for precious and unique natural and cultural resources. The Pu’er Sun River National Park also serves as a Forest Ecological System Science Education Base; Flora and Fauna Rescue Base; and Global Tourist Attraction for visitors to experience nature and the Pu’er Culture.

(continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

How can tourism promote a culture of peace?

(continued from left column)

The IIPT Global Peace Parks project has a goal of 2,000 Peace Parks circling the earth by 11 November 2018 – the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I. The four year commemoration of the World War I Centenary, with its theme of “No More War” – has been supported by IIPT since its launch in 2014.

IIPT is proud to have United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) as a partner in its global campaign. UCLG is the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government with a global network of cities, local and regional governments representing 70% of the world population. UCLG goals include contributing to the achievement of the SDG’s, Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and New Urban Agenda for Sustainable Urban Development.

The Global Peace Parks Project builds on the success of IIPT’s 1992 “Peace Parks across Canada” Project commemorating Canada’s 125th birthday as a nation. IIPT conceived and implemented “Peace Parks across Canada” which resulted in 350 Peace Parks being dedicated by cities and towns from St. John’s, Newfoundland on the shores of the Atlantic, across five time zones to Victoria, British Colombia on the shores of the Pacific.
The Peace Parks were all dedicated on October 8, 1992 as a National Peace Keeping Monument was being unveiled in Ottawa and 5,000 Peacekeepers passing in review. Each park was dedicated with a ‘bosco sacro’ – a peace grove of 12 trees, symbolic of Canada’s 10 Provinces and 2 Territories, as a link to one another, and a symbol of hope for the future. Of the more than 25,000 Canada 125 Projects, Peace Parks across Canada was said to be the most significant.

IIPT International Peace Parks have since been dedicated as a legacy of each IIPT International Conferences and Global Summits. Notable IIPT International Peace Parks include Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Christ’s baptism as a legacy of the Amman Summit, 2000; Victoria Falls, as a legacy of the IIPT 5th African Conference, 2011, subsequently re-dedicated as the featured event on Opening Day of the UNWTO 20th General Assembly 2013, co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe; and Medellin, Colombia, dedicated on Opening Day of the UNWTO 21st General Assembly. Photo is Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, first President of Zambia and UNWTO Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, planting the first of six olive trees during the re-dedication of the IIPT International Peace Park, Opening Day of the UNWTO 20th General Assembly.

About China Chamber of Tourism

The China Chamber of Tourism was formed in 2002 to include all sectors of the travel and tourism industry and related industries throughout China. It is based on a concept of “Pan Tourism” with the belief that tourism as a bond could connect and lead industries to develop co-operatively. Its core beliefs are “tourism is peace” and that world tourism calls for world peace; tourism is culture and the improvement of life quality. China Chamber of Tourism has achieved fruitful co-operation with UNWTO, WTTC, PATA – and now IIPT – enhancing the co-operation and exchange of Chinese and tourism enterprises of other nation