Tag Archives: global

Book review: Cultural Diplomacy: No Bullet, No Blood


From: Jay Holdings

“Emerging from financial crisis, world faces growing social inequality, mass immigration, diverse populations, extremism, radicalization, and various forms of threats. Disruptive strategies, expansion of technology and digital communication are transforming societies – changing lifestyles and consumer behavior, which is affecting the balance of economic power, stability, and world order. In such changing and volatile environment, the role of culture is more important than ever.” – Mosi Dorbayani, Author


Question for this article:

What are the most important books about the culture of peace?

This publication is a concise researched based material, which shares a multidimensional factual evidence on the influence and effectiveness of the subject matter worldwide. It furnishes its readers with the concept of ‘Cultural Diplomacy’, and it redefines the strategic thinking and applications of arts and culture for public engagement and public diplomacy.

Where to buy the book.

Mainstream media silence on OPCW Douma scandal ‘ridiculous’, says journalist gagged by Newsweek after scandalous leak


An article from RT news dated 28 December

The refusal of almost every Western media outlet to cover the leaks [published by Wikileaks] implicating the chemical weapons watchdog of doctoring its Syria report has become ridiculous, says a journalist who was barred from reporting it by Newsweek.

A damaged house where OPCW inspectors are believed to have visited in Douma in April 2018. ©REUTERS / Ali Hashisho

The refusal of almost every Western media outlet to cover the leaks [published by Wikileaks] implicating the chemical weapons watchdog of doctoring its Syria report has become ridiculous, says a journalist who was barred from reporting it by Newsweek.

“These documents are very conclusive in what they show,” Tareq Haddad told RT after the latest release of internal emails from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Friday. The latest batch indicated an effort by the OPCW management to silence dissenting voices and cover up the very fact that there was evidence contradicting the West-favored narrative about the April 2018 incident in Douma, Syria.

(Article continued in the column on the right)

Question related to this article:
Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

The OPCW report stopped short of accusing the government of President Bashar Assad of dropping chemical weapons on the Damascus neighborhood, which was held by jihadists at the time, and killing scores of civilians. It gave a post-factum rationale for airstrikes conducted by the US, the UK and France in the wake of the incident.

He told RT the point when the story could be legitimately reported came several weeks ago, so the continued media obfuscation “has reached the point where it’s a bit ridiculous,” and amounts to abdication of responsibility to inform the public.

“I’m sure there are hundreds if not thousands of well-meaning journalists, who understand what the essence of journalism is. I am sure they want to write this story,” he said. “All I can say is: please, push this story. Even though I have resigned I don’t want the mainstream media to be dismissed as ‘fake news’. I want it to be respected.”

[Editor’s note: As of 31 December, a search in Google reveals many Internet publications have referred to the reports published in Twitter by Wikileaks about the OPCW cover-up. These include publications based in Russia, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Portugal, as well as numerous alternative media (but no major commercial media) based in the UK, Canada and USA.]

International Peace Bureau: the ‘carbon boot-print’


An information paper by Jessica Fort and Philipp Straub from the International Peace Bureau and a press release from the IPB

The US military is not only the most funded army in the world, it is also “one of the largest polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more climate-changing gases than most medium-sized countries”. The Department of Defence’s daily consumption alone is greater than the total national consumption of countries like Sweden, Switzerland or Chile. And the US has been continuously at war, or engaged in military actions, since late 2001.

War and militarism, and their associated ‘carbon boot-prints’, are severely accelerating climate change. However, the military’s significant contribution to climate change has still received little attention. It is not only the US army that has a severe impact on climate change, Europe’s military is also running its bases and its various operations and contributing to the rise in carbon emissions. However, obtaining accurate data about any form of military energy consumption is very difficult.

(continued in right column)

Question for this article:

What is the relation between the environment and peace

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

(continued from left column)

The entire IPB Information Paper by Jessica Fort and Philipp Straub is available here: IPB Information Paper – the carbon boot-print

IPB stresses the COP25 to include the military in its climate action work and to adopt provisions covering military compliance. The COP25 must include military emissions in their calculations and the CO2 emissions laundering has to stop. It should also include a blueprint to reduce military emissions.

IPB urges the State Parties to the Paris Agreement to adjust its provision to military emissions, not leaving decisions up to nation states as to which national sectors should make emissions cuts.

IPB calls for an inclusion of military greenhouse gas emission into climate change regulations. Moreover, countries need to be obliged, without exemption, to cut military emissions and transparently report them.

IPB calls for more academic studies (in line with the study from Brown University report) and an IPCC or equal special report. The report needs to be a common project of academics and the civil society. [Crawford N (2019). Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War. Brown University, USA ]

UN committee adopts youth resolution on disarmament and non-proliferation


An article by Marzhan Nurzhan in the Astana Times

The First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly at its recent 74th session adopted the resolution Youth, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

The resolution recognises the role of young people as key agents for social change and acknowledges the positive contributions of youth engagement to sustainable peace and security.

There were two resolutions previously adopted by the United Nations Security Council highlighting the importance of engaging youth in processes related to peace and security:  resolution 2250 (2015) on youth, peace and security, and resolution 2419 (2018) on the role of youth in peace negotiations and implementing peace agreements.

Furthermore, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released a non-paper entitled Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament, where the role of young people as drivers of change was emphasised, along with the need for sustainability and long-term engagement of youth and further investment in disarmament education. Inequalities connected with geographical location of youth coming from developing countries can limit access or create barriers towards representative participation in the international opportunities in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation.

Despite these challenges, young people are open to new experiences, use creativity to generate novel ideas, have enduring energy, pursue high levels of cooperation and regard themselves as world citizens standing up for one planet. They believe in a common future and simultaneously seek opportunity for actions at local and national levels. Young people can be identified as more inclusive, cosmopolitan, with solution-oriented mindsets. They also promote impactful activities that affect the well-being of everyone.

(continued in right column)

Question(s) related to this article:

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

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

(continued from left column)

Climate change is now included as mandatory subject in formal learning process in Italy. This could serve as an example to follow by incorporating the theme of disarmament and non-proliferation in public education. However, non-formal education and online courses have changed the way we obtain, apply, and disseminate knowledge. These approaches have also altered practice we reach out to young people worldwide, especially in the specific area of disarmament and non-proliferation. It is important to raise awareness about the history of nuclear testing and humanitarian consequences, which is mainly associated with the Cold War. For that reason, fostering intergenerational cooperation and promoting peer-to-peer distribution of information, knowledge and skills are crucial.

Thus, the resolution “stresses the importance of realizing the full potential of young people through education and capacity-building, bearing in mind the ongoing efforts and the need to promote the sustainable entry of young people into the field of disarmament and non-proliferation.”

Therefore, CTBTO Youth Group (CYG) prior to the adoption of the resolution established this network to involve youth in a constructive and inclusive manner, considering regional balance. CYG equips next generation with extra-curricular education, such as e-learning modules  about the CTBT and its verification regime. In addition, CYG portal provides supplementary lists of educational resources  that comprise not only information about nuclear issues but also other weapons of mass destruction. CYG members have opportunity to participate in a meaningful way at the various international events, in particular the Science and Technology conference series and the Science Diplomacy Symposia. At these events, CYG members can enjoy mentorship networks with GEM filling the generational gap in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation.

Empowering youth through education means promoting leadership and courage to build presence and future we want without nuclear tests and explosions. Research and development of innovative initiatives can lead to the transformative changes for global peace and security through science and diplomacy with the direct impact and influence of actions  conducted by young people. With the adoption of the resolution Youth, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, it re-affirms work and endeavour of the CTBTO Youth Group and serves as an impetus for even more youth engagement to finish what we started.

Full text of the resolution is available at https://undocs.org/en/A/C.1/74/L.48

List of educational resources: https://youthgroup.ctbto.org/node/2237

The author is an intern, External Relations, Protocol and International Cooperation Section, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO). This opinion first appeared at CTBTO Youth Group website here.

[Editor’s note: The resolution was drafted by South Korea.

Global Campaign for Peace Education: Year-end review


An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

Dear reader, Season’s Greetings! As fall turns to winter here in Washington, DC, we are fond of reminiscing on the many changes and experiences we’ve had thus far in 2019.

Amongst the highlights, we held a big celebration to honor the 90th birthday of Betty Reardon, co-founder of the Global Campaign; we helped launch advocacy campaigns in Cameroon and Nigeria; and we kicked-off Peace Knowledge Press, our new publishing house.

To wind down the year, I just returned from Ukraine where I joined colleagues from the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Peace Education Working Group to strategize efforts for scaling up peace education from the grassroots to the country level. The Global Campaign will be partnering with GPPAC on an ambitious new project in 2020 to help map the field of peace education – stay tuned for more details!

(Continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

(Continued from left column)

Be sure to check out and share the many new events and job postings shared below. As always, we welcome you to submit your own news, articles, research, and events to share with other campaign members. You can submit your articles for sharing via our online form.

All-in-all, energy continues to bubble up around the world for mainstreaming peace education. We hope you find the actions of our colleagues contained in this month’s newsletter hopeful, and contagious, and embark on new efforts to develop and grow peace education in your community.

Please don’t forget to help us “spread peace ed” by using the hashtags #SpreadPeaceEd and #PeaceEd, following us on social media, and by sharing and reposting news on your timeline and in your communities. This is one small way each of us can help grow the campaign. You can also follow the Global Campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

In peace & solidarity,

Tony Jenkins

Coordinator, Global Campaign for Peace Education

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the celebration of the 53rd World Day of Peace, January 1, 2020


A transcript from the Vatican

Peace As A Journey Of Hope: Dialogue, Reconciliation And Ecological Conversion
1. Peace, a journey of hope in the face of obstacles and trial

Peace is a great and precious value, the object of our hope and the aspiration of the entire human family. As a human attitude, our hope for peace is marked by an existential tension that makes it possible for the present, with all its difficulties, to be “lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.  Hope is thus the virtue that inspires us and keeps us moving forward, even when obstacles seem insurmountable.

Our human community bears, in its memory and its flesh, the scars of ever more devastating wars and conflicts that affect especially the poor and the vulnerable. Entire nations find it difficult to break free of the chains of exploitation and corruption that fuel hatred and violence. Even today, dignity, physical integrity, freedom, including religious freedom, communal solidarity and hope in the future are denied to great numbers of men and women, young and old. Many are the innocent victims of painful humiliation and exclusion, sorrow and injustice, to say nothing of the trauma born of systematic attacks on their people and their loved ones.

The terrible trials of internal and international conflicts, often aggravated by ruthless acts of violence, have an enduring effect on the body and soul of humanity. Every war is a form of fratricide that destroys the human family’s innate vocation to brotherhood.

War, as we know, often begins with the inability to accept the diversity of others, which then fosters attitudes of aggrandizement and domination born of selfishness and pride, hatred and the desire to caricature, exclude and even destroy the other. War is fueled by a perversion of relationships, by hegemonic ambitions, by abuses of power, by fear of others and by seeing diversity as an obstacle. And these, in turn, are aggravated by the experience of war.

As I observed during my recent Apostolic Journey to Japan, our world is paradoxically marked by “a perverse dichotomy that tries to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security sustained by a mentality of fear and mistrust, one that ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing any form of dialogue. Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation. They can be achieved only on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation in the service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the whole human family of today and tomorrow”.

Every threatening situation feeds mistrust and leads people to withdraw into their own safety zone. Mistrust and fear weaken relationships and increase the risk of violence, creating a vicious circle that can never lead to a relationship of peace. Even nuclear deterrence can only produce the illusion of security.

We cannot claim to maintain stability in the world through the fear of annihilation, in a volatile situation, suspended on the brink of a nuclear abyss and enclosed behind walls of indifference. As a result, social and economic decisions are being made that lead to tragic situations where human beings and creation itself are discarded rather than protected and preserved. How, then, do we undertake a journey of peace and mutual respect? How do we break the unhealthy mentality of threats and fear? How do we break the current dynamic of distrust?

We need to pursue a genuine fraternity based on our common origin from God and exercised in dialogue and mutual trust. The desire for peace lies deep within the human heart, and we should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than this.

2. Peace, a journey of listening based on memory, solidarity and fraternity

The Hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are among those who currently keep alive the flame of collective conscience, bearing witness to succeeding generations to the horror of what happened in August 1945 and the unspeakable sufferings that have continued to the present time. Their testimony awakens and preserves the memory of the victims, so that the conscience of humanity may rise up in the face of every desire for dominance and destruction. “We cannot allow present and future generations to lose the memory of what happened here. It is a memory that ensures and encourages the building of a more fair and fraternal future”.

Like the Hibakusha, many people in today’s world are working to ensure that future generations will preserve the memory of past events, not only in order to prevent the same errors or illusions from recurring, but also to enable memory, as the fruit of experience, to serve as the basis and inspiration for present and future decisions to promote peace.

What is more, memory is the horizon of hope. Many times, in the darkness of wars and conflicts, the remembrance of even a small gesture of solidarity received can lead to courageous and even heroic decisions. It can unleash new energies and kindle new hope in individuals and communities.

Setting out on a journey of peace is a challenge made all the more complex because the interests at stake in relationships between people, communities and nations, are numerous and conflicting. We must first appeal to people’s moral conscience and to personal and political will. Peace emerges from the depths of the human heart and political will must always be renewed, so that new ways can be found to reconcile and unite individuals and communities.

The world does not need empty words but convinced witnesses, peacemakers who are open to a dialogue that rejects exclusion or manipulation. In fact, we cannot truly achieve peace without a convinced dialogue between men and women who seek the truth beyond ideologies and differing opinions. Peace “must be built up continually”; it is a journey made together in constant pursuit of the common good, truthfulness and respect for law. Listening to one another can lead to mutual understanding and esteem, and even to seeing in an enemy the face of a brother or sister.

The peace process thus requires enduring commitment. It is a patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honour the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance. In a state based on law, democracy can be an important paradigm of this process, provided it is grounded in justice and a commitment to protect the rights of every person, especially the weak and marginalized, in a constant search for truth.[6] This is a social undertaking, an ongoing work in which each individual makes his or her contribution responsibly, at every level of the local, national and global community.

(Article continued in the column on the right)

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

As Saint Paul VI pointed out, these “two aspirations, to equality and to participation, seek to promote a democratic society… This calls for an education to social life, involving not only the knowledge of each person’s rights, but also its necessary correlative: the recognition of his or her duties with regard to others. The sense and practice of duty are themselves conditioned by the capacity for self-mastery and by the acceptance of responsibility and of the limits placed upon the freedom of individuals or the groups”.

Divisions within a society, the increase of social inequalities and the refusal to employ the means of ensuring integral human development endanger the pursuit of the common good. Yet patient efforts based on the power of the word and of truth can help foster a greater capacity for compassion and creative solidarity.

In our Christian experience, we constantly remember Christ, who gave his life to reconcile us to one another (cf. Rom 5:6-11). The Church shares fully in the search for a just social order; she continues to serve the common good and to nourish the hope for peace by transmitting Christian values and moral teaching, and by her social and educational works.

3. Peace, a journey of reconciliation in fraternal communion

The Bible, especially in the words of the Prophets, reminds individuals and peoples of God’s covenant with humanity, which entails renouncing our desire to dominate others and learning to see one another as persons, sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters. We should never encapsulate others in what they may have said or done, but value them for the promise that they embody. Only by choosing the path of respect can we break the spiral of vengeance and set out on the journey of hope.

We are guided by the Gospel passage that tells of the following conversation between Peter and Jesus: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (Mt 18:21-22). This path of reconciliation is a summons to discover in the depths of our heart the power of forgiveness and the capacity to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters. When we learn to live in forgiveness, we grow in our capacity to become men and women of peace.

What is true of peace in a social context is also true in the areas of politics and the economy, since peace permeates every dimension of life in common. There can be no true peace unless we show ourselves capable of developing a more just economic system. As Pope Benedict XVI said ten years ago in his Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, “in order to defeat underdevelopment, action is required not only on improving exchange-based transactions and implanting public welfare structures, but above all on graduallyincreasing openness, in a world context, to forms of economic activity marked by quotas of gratuitousness and communion” (No. 39).

4. Peace, a journey of ecological conversion

“If a mistaken understanding of our own principles has at times led us to justify mistreating nature, to exercise tyranny over creation, to engage in war, injustice and acts of violence, we believers should acknowledge that by so doing we were not faithful to the treasures of wisdom which we have been called to protect and preserve”.

Faced with the consequences of our hostility towards others, our lack of respect for our common home or our abusive exploitation of natural resources – seen only as a source of immediate profit, regardless of local communities, the common good and nature itself – we are in need of an ecological conversion. The recent Synod on the Pan-Amazon Region moves us to make a pressing renewed call for a peaceful relationship between communities and the land, between present and past, between experience and hope.

This journey of reconciliation also calls for listening and contemplation of the world that God has given us as a gift to make our common home. Indeed, natural resources, the many forms of life and the earth itself have been entrusted to us “to till and keep” (Gen 1:15), also for future generations, through the responsible and active participation of everyone. We need to change the way we think and see things, and to become more open to encountering others and accepting the gift of creation, which reflects the beauty and wisdom of its Creator.

All this gives us deeper motivation and a new way to dwell in our common home, to accept our differences, to respect and celebrate the life that we have received and share, and to seek living conditions and models of society that favour the continued flourishing of life and the development of the common good of the entire human family.

The ecological conversion for which we are appealing will lead us to a new way of looking at life, as we consider the generosity of the Creator who has given us the earth and called us to a share it in joy and moderation. This conversion must be understood in an integral way, as a transformation of how we relate to our sisters and brothers, to other living beings, to creation in all its rich variety and to the Creator who is the origin and source of all life. For Christians, it requires that “the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them”.

5. “We obtain all that we hope for”

The journey of reconciliation calls for patience and trust. Peace will not be obtained unless it is hoped for.

In the first place, this means believing in the possibility of peace, believing that others need peace just as much as we do. Here we can find inspiration in the love that God has for each of us: a love that is liberating, limitless, gratuitous and tireless.

Fear is frequently a source of conflict. So it is important to overcome our human fears and acknowledge that we are needy children in the eyes of the One who loves us and awaits us, like the father of the prodigal son (cf. Lk 15:11-24). The culture of fraternal encounter shatters the culture of conflict. It makes of every encounter a possibility and a gift of God’s generous love. It leads us beyond the limits of our narrow horizons and constantly encourages us to a live in a spirit of universal fraternity, as children of the one heavenly Father.

For the followers of Christ, this journey is likewise sustained by the sacrament of Reconciliation, given by the Lord for the remission of sins of the baptized. This sacrament of the Church, which renews individuals and communities, bids us keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, who reconciled “all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Col 1:20). It requires us to set aside every act of violence in thought, word and deed, whether against our neighbours or against God’s creation.

The grace of God our Father is bestowed as unconditional love. Having received his forgiveness in Christ, we can set out to offer that peace to the men and women of our time. Day by day, the Holy Spirit prompts in us ways of thinking and speaking that can make us artisans of justice and peace.

May the God of peace bless us and come to our aid.

May Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace and Mother of all the peoples of the earth, accompany and sustain us at every step of our journey of reconciliation.

And may all men and women who come into this world experience a life of peace and develop fully the promise of life and love dwelling in their heart.

From the Vatican, 8 December 2019

At Major March in Madrid, Indigenous & Youth Activists Slam Global Leaders for Climate Inaction


A broadcast by Democracy Now (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.)

We broadcast from Madrid, Spain, where the 25th United Nations climate conference is in its second week and representatives from almost 200 countries have gathered for the final days of negotiations. The summit — known as COP25, or conference of parties — has so far focused on meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius,” or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But climate scientists say the talks are failing to produce the drastic measures necessary to address the climate crisis. Since the Paris Agreement four years ago, greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 4%, and this year’s summit shows no sign of arresting that trend.

Full video of broadcast

On Friday, as hundreds of thousands prepared to take to the streets of Madrid in protest, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg told reporters that the global climate strikes have “not translated into action” by governments. Protesters then marched through Madrid’s city center Friday night in a massive climate demonstration led by indigenous leaders and youth activists. Democracy Now! was there in the streets.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from inside the United Nations Climate Change Conference here in Madrid, Spain, where representatives from almost 200 countries have gathered for the final days of negotiations. The climate summit, known as COP25 for “conference of parties,” has so far focused on meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius — that’s 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But climate scientists say the talks are failing to take the drastic measures necessary to address the climate crisis. Since the Paris Agreement four years ago, greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 4%, and this year’s summit shows no sign of arresting that trend. On Friday, as hundreds of thousands prepared to take to the streets of Madrid in protest, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed reporters.

GRETA THUNBERG: We have been striking now for over a year, and still basically nothing has happened. The climate crisis is still being ignored by those in power. And we cannot go on like this. It is not a sustainable solution that children skip school. We cannot go on like that. So, we don’t want to continue, so we would love some action from the people in power, I mean, because people are suffering and dying from the climate and ecological emergency today, and we cannot wait any longer.

AMY GOODMAN: Protesters then marched through Madrid’s city center Friday night in a massive climate demonstration led by indigenous leaders and youth activists. Democracy Now! was there in the streets.

PROTESTERS: ¡Ni una especie menos, ni un grado más! ¡Ni una especie menos, ni un grado más!

VIDYA DINKER: My name is Vidya. I’m from India, the south of India, a coastal community. Coastal communities across Asia are now, you know, getting that bad end of the stick because of the climate emergency. We are here to speak for our people. We know that our governments and everybody in the U.N. is now being controlled by lobbyists with oil companies and fossil fuel companies. This cannot be. We need to cut through, and we need to see that the voice of the people is heard here. There must be a loss and damage fund so that people can cope with climate emergencies.

PROTESTERS: What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!

(article continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

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

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

(Article continued from the left column)

GODWIN OJO: I’m Godwin Ojo. I’m from Nigeria, Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth. We are here to stop corporate power. We are here to stop corporate capture of the state, corporate capture of the United Nations, corporate capture of resources. And we want to make the voices of local communities all over the world to count, and to put an end to climate change. Nigeria is highly impacted. All over the south, there is flooding. A lot of people are dying from climate change. And now the farmers are not able to plant because there is rainfall problems in Nigeria.

TA’KAIYA BLANEY: My name is Ta’Kaiya Blaney. I’m from the Tla’amin Nation, which is located in lands illegally occupied by Canada. And I’m here because indigenous youth are on the forefront of climate change. And the climate solutions being proposed by our government are a continuation of indigenous genocide. In the Wet’suwet’en territory, we have Coastal Gaslink invading those homelands and forcibly removing indigenous people from their ancestral territories for LNG, which is, according to these governments, a climate solution because it’s a transition from coal. So we’re here to say that, like, climate solutions and the fight for climate change has to be a fight for indigenous peoples, and it has to be a fight for indigenous rights, because, as indigenous youth, we don’t have a choice to act. This is about our survival.

PROTESTERS: What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now! What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!

JUAN PABLO ORREGO: I’m Juan Pablo Orrego from Chile. And we are marching for fighting climate change and also for, you know, the stop of the repression in Chile, where people are getting hurt. And we are walking for deep changes in our economic systems so we stop hurting the environment and harming people. Chile is a country that is extremely vulnerable to climate change for geographical reasons. You know, we have the driest desert in the world, in the north. So we are being affected severely. We have a desertification process happening in three-quarters of the country. It’s very severe. The river that feeds water to Santiago de Chile has lost 50% of its flow in the last decade. That’s how serious this is. And, you know, this is the 25th conference, and nothing has changed. They have been talking for 25 years, a quarter of a century, and nothing has changed, really, in the ground, and carbon dioxide keeps rising in the atmosphere. So, when are we going to really act — you know, the governments — to change things in the ground? If you go to the COP, the official COP, you’re going to see that all the companies that are guilty for the situation we are in today are sponsoring the COP. So it’s a very powerful greenwashing.

PROTESTERS: ¡Ni un grado más, ni una especie menos! ¡Ni un grado más, ni una especie menos!

ALETHEA PHILLIPS: [speaking Omaha-Ponca] Hello. My name is Alethea Phillips. I’m from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. I’m here with SustainUS’ first-ever all-indigenous youth delegation to attend the U.N. climate negotiations. It’s really powerful for all these indigenous people to be coming here to Spain, somewhere that was — that has impacted us so heavily by colonization and the continuation of colonization in the climate crisis. For us, a lot of people at COP, these countries, they have never learned how to live sustainably. They’ve always been based upon a system that takes and needs more and more, whereas indigenous people, like, our traditions have always been sustainable, and because of colonization, that’s been taken away from us. So, for us to be here, it’s not so much that we’re trying to learn how to live sustainably. We’ve always been protectors of the land. We’ve always worked with nature, not against it. So, going forward, it’s really important that we really look to indigenous people as leaders of the climate movement, and not just victims.

TOM GOLDTOOTH: We’re here to build solidarity. We’re here to stand in support of the people of Chile. We’re here to support the people of Colombia and Ecuador and Brazil who are fighting climate capitalism. We have to stand together with the people of the streets and of the forests and the land and the oceans, fighting neoliberalism, fighting imperialism. We’re fighting against the United States and its white supremacy, militarization. We have to look at these things and stand together in solidarity with the people.

AMY GOODMAN: That last voice, Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Book Review of Revolutionary Peacemaking: Writings for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence


A book review from facebook page

From the back cover: This book is a collection of interdisciplinary political and philosophical writings which explore some of the key issues of peace research, including the character and roots of various major forms of structural and cultural violence in contemporary capitalist society, impediments to the broadening of our ethical horizons and the development of humane democratic institutions and relationships, interconnections between the oppression of humans and of other animals, and political strategies for deep, transformative progressive change.

The book also contains several pieces of Jakopovich’s peace poetry. Helping to formulate the philosophical and strategic foundations of revolutionary peacemaking, these writings constitute a unified endeavour to advance the ennoblement of human beings and the creation of a truly democratic, humane and peaceful society which would foster compassion and nonviolence towards all sentient beings.

The book will be of particular interest to scholars of peace studies, politics and other related fields, as well as to progressive readers, writers and campaigners.

Paperback: 527 pages
(Continued in right column)

Question for this article:

What are the most important books about the culture of peace?

(Continued from left column)


“Let us add our voice to the excellent, timely and courageous message of Daniel Jakopovich in his book Revolutionary Peacemaking: Writings for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, published by Democratic Thought. It is intolerable – and must be a permanent guide in our behaviour – that more than 30,000 persons, most of them children, die every day from hunger at the same time as 3 billion US dollars are invested in armaments and military expenditures. Genuine democracy is the solution to ensure the full exercise of human rights, based on the equal dignity of all human beings. This book is an outstanding contribution to the transition from a culture of imposition and war to a culture of peace and nonviolence.”

— Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Writer and scholar, Professor and former Rector of the University of Granada, former Director-General of UNESCO (1987–1999), President of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace

“Jakopovich’s book is a powerful dissident stand against everything in the contemporary world that imperils human dignity, liberty and peace. It passionately calls attention to the mass starvation and suffering of children across the world. It investigates the potential to nonviolently overcome social conflicts, and is visionary in identifying the seeds of authentic liberty and democracy in the neoliberal shell of formal democracy. These writings are a synthesis of intellectual work of the highest order and of unyielding humane conviction.”
— Predrag Matvejević, Writer and scholar, Professor Emeritus at the Sapienza University of Rome, laureate of the Golden Charter of Peace “Linus Pauling” and the honorary Vice President of PEN International

About the Author

Daniel Jakopovich is a sociologist, philosopher, poet, and a campaigner for peace, human and animal liberation. He founded and co-edited Novi Plamen, a journal for peace studies, politics and culture on the territory of former Yugoslavia (from 2007-2015), and was a guest lecturer in Politics, Political Economy and Sociology at the University of Cambridge, the University of Southampton Solent, the University of Chester, the University of East Sarajevo and the University of Zagreb. He obtained a PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge, where he also taught at the Department of Sociology. He is a vegan animal liberationist, a peace movement intellectual and organiser.

You can order the book here. The book is also available through Amazon.

Inquire about Daniel Jakopovich giving a talk at your group, organisation or university at info@democraticthought.org.

In Final Hours, COP 25 Denounced as ‘Utter Failure’ as Deal Is Stripped of Ambition and US Refuses to Accept Liability for Climate Crisis


An article from Common Dreams (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)

After the COP 25 talks on the Paris climate agreement went into overtime Friday night amid a stalled agreement on wealthy countries’ contributions to greatly reducing climate-warming carbon emissions, civil society groups and climate scientists were shocked by the weak language that emerged from the late-night talks on Saturday.

Activists protesting outside IFEMA, where UN Climate Change Conference COP25 is being held. (Photo: Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The latest text includes an “invitation” for countries to communicate their mid-term and long-term climate plans, and the majority of delegations, which attempted to push countries including the U.S. towards ambitious climate targets, were unable Saturday to sway the U.S. away from language regarding carbon markets.

Nearly 100 civil society organizations on Saturday released a  joint statement  condemning the U.S., Australia, the E.U., and other wealthy countries that emit much of the carbon that’s warming the planet, for insisting on a deal “only for the corporate elites, while damning people and the planet.”

As of Saturday, civil society groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, Oil Change International, and Friends of the Earth said, the deal that had been hammered out by the parties included an agenda brought by big polluters “straight to the halls of the U.N.” with the help of countries “historically most responsible for the climate crisis.”

At the behest of fossil fuel corporations, they said, wealthy countries are insisting on using carbon markets to “offset” instead of cut emissions, and  “nature based solutions,” which the civil society groups said is likely a euphemism for “large scale biomass burning, carbon storage technologies, the commodification of the ocean”—which will contribute to deforestation and displace food production.

The U.S. is also reportedly still objecting to provisions that would hold it liable for the destruction the climate crisis has already wreaked in island nations.

The deal as it stands would “condemn those on the frontlines of the climate crisis, while hiding the crimes of polluters,” said the groups. “And it would lead to increased inequality with no increase in ambition, no real emissions reductions, and no pathway to 1.5 [degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.]”

(article continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

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

(Article continued from the left column)

The COP 25 summit approached its end after demonstrators staged sit-ins and other protests, with security officials barring about 200 campaigners from the talks after they staged a sit-in. The demonstrators followed in the footsteps of the global climate strike which have drawn millions in the past year.

“I’ve been attending these climate negotiations since they first started in 1991,” Alden Meyer, director of strategy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the BBC. “But never have I seen the almost total disconnect we’ve seen here at COP25 in Madrid between what the science requires and the people of the world demand, and what the climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful action.”

Other critics on social media wrote that the talks had descended into “disarray,” with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) calling them an “utter failure.”

“This is nothing less than a breakdown in the Paris Agreement. This is not climate leadership, this is a betrayal of humanity and future generations,” tweeted climate scientist Eric Holthaus.

“What’s happening today at COP 25 is a clear and present threat to civilization itself,” Holthaus added. “The Trump administration and its fossil fuel allies around the world have sabotaged the Paris Agreement—the only global treaty we have to fight climate change. This is a betrayal of humanity.”

Catherine Abreu of Climate Action Network Canada was among those who spoke at the People’s Closing Plenary Saturday afternoon, where people from marginalized and frontline groups decried the breakdown of the conference and the real-world consequences it will have.

“For so many people gripped by devastating floods, fires, and storms, time is up,” Abreu said. “And instead of helping them, rich countries hold on to your dollars and hold up loss and damage. Public mobilizations are swamping the streets. The status quo you are working so stubbornly to protect is not working for people or the planet.”
Harjeet Singh, of ActionAid International lambasted wealthy countries including the U.S. for fighting to avoid liability for helping to accelerate the climate crisis.

“Developing countries came to this climate conference with the expectation that the people who have lost their crops to drought, or who have lost their homes to cyclones, will finally get help from the UN system,” said Singh. “Instead, they have faced bullying, arm-twisting and blackmail. Rich countries most responsible for the crisis have refused to provide a single penny of new money to support communities to recover from the devastation caused by increasingly frequent and severe climate disasters.”

The civil society groups’ joint statement noted that in the final hours of the summit, “it is not too late for developing countries to stand strong, to resolutely refuse the agenda of polluters.”

“From the Amazon to the Arctic, our world is on fire,” the statement read. “Allowing expansion of coal, oil and gas production at this moment of history is throwing gasoline on the fire.”

The world went orange: Putting a spotlight on ending violence against women


A photo essay from UN Women

Every year, from 25 November to 10 December, activists around the world campaign to end violence against women, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The international campaign has its roots in the feminist movement, and started at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University, USA, in 1991.

1. In Italy, the Montecitori Palace, which serves as the seat of Italian Chamber of Deputies glowed in orange light.

Kicking off on the International Day to end violence against women (25 November) and concluding on the International Day of Human Rights (10 December), the campaign shows violence against women is a human rights violation. This year, the UN marked the 16 Days of Activism by bringing together leaders, activists and communities around the world under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape”, calling for an end to rape and rape culture. Orange is the colour of the United Nations campaign on ending violence against women, led by the UN Secretary-General.

From orange billboards in Times Square, New York, to arenas in Colombia and federal buildings in Austria lit in orange light, events in Mozambique and street campaigns in Serbia, people from all walks of life took a stand against rape culture, sparked public dialogues and listened to survivors.

Take a look at some of our favourite moments from the #16days.

2. [In Albania], students, civil society and media representatives are marching at the main square of the city of Elbasan on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: Woman Forum Elbasan/Andi Allko.

3. In Alexandria, [Egypt], UN Women in partnership with the National Council for Women and Bibliotheca Alexandrina commemorated the 16 days of activism at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, where library staff and guests stood on its steps and lit the building in orange. Photo: UN Women/ Haleem Elshaarani.

4. In Kosovo, the “Pjeter Bogdani” was lit in orange to spread awareness of the 16 Days of Activism and the need to eliminate violence against women. .#16Days #OrangetheWorld #endrape

5. In Chongoene district in southern Mozambique, three generations from one community performed a dance to open the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism. The event included drumming, the recitation of poems, a play and a discussion on violence against women. Photo: Leovigildo Nhampule.

6. In Serbia, UN Women launched a street campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence of gender-based violence by branding public buses in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac with messages and key statistics on violence against women. Other bustling parts of these cities were decorated with posters and videos. Photo: UN Women/Nemanja Jovanovic

7. In Uganda, 500 Boda drivers took part to the @GlobalSpotlight-supported Safe Boda ride during the #16days of activism against gender-based violence!

8. In New York, audience members in orange scarves applaud panel speaker Ajna Jusic during the official UN commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women that took place on 25 November in the ECOSOC chamber of UN Headquarters. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown.

Questions related to this article:

Does the UN advance equality for women?

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

9. In Dubai, UAE, watch the world’s tallest building @burjkhalifa turn orange tonight in support of #OrangetheWorld. #UAE continues to champion #women’s rights and advocates their advancement in all sectors.#16Days#GenerationEquality @UN_Women @DXBMediaOffice @UN_UAE @WAMNEWS_ENG

10. Women,men, activists, leaders, non-governmental organizations came together in Ecuador took part in the “Live We Want” March to call for urgent action to end violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Johis Alarcon.

11. Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India, was lit in orange as the 16 Days of Activism closed to echo the call for an end to rape and sexual violence. @rashtrapatibhvn

12. In Brussels, the Berlaymont Building, which serves as the headquarters of the European Commission, was lit in orange to emphasize the European Commission’s commitment to ending all forms of violence against women.

13. The University of Amsterdam’s Roeterseiland Campus lit up orange in honour of 16 Days of Activism campaign to stop violence against girls and women. The University also hosted lectures, workshops and other events to increase conversation on the topic.

14. In Janakpur, Nepal, more than 400 cyclists came together to mark the 16 Days of Activism and participate in a morning bike tour to raise awareness and show support to the survivors of violence against women. @unwomennepal

15. Movistar Arena, the most important and modern indoor event arena in Bogotá [Colombia], lighted up in orange to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: UN Women/Juan Camilo Arias

16. For the first time the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria supported the #Orangetheworld campaign. Photo: BKMC/Eugenie Sophie

17. UN Women #Senegal marched alongside civil society organizations – scouts, hiking association, youth associations – to say STOP to violence against women and girls. #OrangeTheWorld #GenerationEquality #EnoughIsEnough