Category Archives: global

People Around the World Stand Up in Solidarity With Palestine

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

A photo report from Left Voice

All over the world, people are standing up in solidarity with Palestine and against Zionist displacement and murder of Palestinians.


Image by Reuters, Protest in London

New York City
@left voice New York City’s solidarity rally with Palestine. Free Palsestine. Not one cent to Israel.

@KeiPritsker Several thousands marching for Palestine in New York City
click for video

Photo by Luigi Morris

Washington DC

@aletweetsnews Protest supporting Palestine near the White House this evening, featuring a gigantic Palestinian flag and a wooden peace tank adorned with flowers paraded from the State Department, where hundreds started marching a couple of hours ago.
click for video

London

@stopthewall Solidarity protest with #Palestine in #London. Whereever you are, endorse the #BDS call, share stories about what’s happening in #Palestine, and take to the streets changing: #FreePalestine, to end #Israeli brutality and hold it to account. #SaveSheikhJarrah #GazaUnderAttack

@PSCupdates Wow. No Words. #SaveSheikhJarrah
click for video

@ftwsope 8,000 people attended this protest in London for Palestine!! #FreePalestine
click for video

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Question for this article

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?

(Article continued from the left column)

South Africa

Turkey

Image by Reuters

Image by Reuters

Morocco

Beirut

(MEE/Kareem Chehayeb)

Pakistan

(Rizwan Tabassum/AFP)

Upcoming Virtual Events

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

At CPNN, we are beginning to receive notices of free virtual events concerning the culture of peace. In order to inform our readership of these events, we will try an experiment: a “rolling article” about these events. We will try to update the listing every day or two, removing the events that are past (listed here) and adding new events as they are received at our contact email address. To be included here, an event must be free and must provide a registration link. Unless otherwise indicated the events are in English.

We will also include here the application deadlines for initiatives promoting the culture of peace.


Zoom is one of many new technologies available for virtual conferences.

Sat May 15 @ 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time – USA)
Prohibiting First-Use of Nuclear Weapons

A conference organised by Peace Action Massachusetts to promote the adoption by the USA of a no-first-use policy. The conference will include break-out sessions to enable in-depth discusison with participants on key aspects to advance no-first-use including congressional strategy, supporting the ICBM Bill, reducing nuclear weapons budgets, social media and outreach/movement building.
Click here to register.

18 Mayo 2021, Martes | 16.00 (Central European Time)
Webinar : La protesta social en Colombia: más allá de la violencia

Al igual que ha ocurrido en muchos otros países, la pandemia del Covid-19 ha contribuido a exacerbar dinámicas de exclusión y polarización económica y social que han acabado incendiando los ánimos y dando lugar a explosiones descontroladas de violencia. El presente webinar pretende analizar las causas profundas de dicho desencanto social, y vislumbrar posibles soluciones que ayuden a desactivar las razones de la frustración política y social.
— Con Liliana Zambrano, Politóloga colombiana y Pedro Valenzuela, Politólogo de la Universidad Internacional de la Florida y de la Universidad de Pittsburgh.
Inscripción

19 May 2021 at 9am Eastern Standard Time
Equipping IRCs to Advance the Six Strategic Goals

Based upon the feedback and recommendations received from the first Global Webinar Series, Religions for Peace, in coordination with Regional Offices, will convene the second series of global capacity development webinars in 2021, with a view to continuing to facilitate the process of strategic Learning Exchange among IRCs across the movement. These webinars will focus on our Six Strategic Goals:
Promote Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies
Advance Gender Equality
Nurture A Sustainable Environment
Champion the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion
Strengthen Interreligious Education
Foster Multi-religious Collaboration and Global Partnerships
— Simultaneous translations for Arabic, French, and Spanish will be provided
— This event is by invitation only. Inquiries can be sent to pbartoli@rfp.org.

May 20, 12-1 pm Pacific Standard Time (California)
Nonviolence Skills Practice Hour- May Session

The Metta Center for Nonviolence is teaming up with Meta Peace Team for a monthly one-hour nonviolence skills practice sessions in 2021 with skills ranging across the spectrum of nonviolent intervention and personal nonviolent development.
— Meta Peace Team has trained and placed violence de-escalation peace teams locally, nationally, and internationally for over 25 years, and teaches these skills to anyone interested: They’re just as important in our own day-to-day lives! Their mission is to build a just and sustainable world through active nonviolence.
— The session will begin with a short inspirational reading, a skill review, and then participants will have a chance to practice together.
— You must register ahead of time and be available with video on Zoom for the sessions. (See below)
— This project is part of the Third Harmony Project and the Meta Peace Team “hub” project.
Register here

Saturday May 22 @ 3pm-5pm (New Zealand Time)
No First Use Of Nuclear Weapons: Asia-Pacific Perspectives

The New Zealand Centre for Global Studies is organising this webinar in order to examine what role NFU policies can play to reduce nuclear dangers and advance nuclear disarmament in the Asia-Pacific region. The region includes five nuclear armed countries (China, India, North Korea, Pakistan and Russia) and three additional countries under extended nuclear deterrence relationships which provide possibility of first-use of nuclear weapons (Australia, Japan and South Korea).
— Speakers include Professor Nobumasa Akiyama (Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo), Dr. Marianne Hanson (University of Queensland, Brisbane); Dr. Manpreet Sethi (Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi), and Dr. Tong Zhao (Senior fellow, Carnegie-Tsinghua, Beijing). Click here to register.
Click here to register.

Wed/Thurs May 26/27: Three sessions
Session 1 is timed for the Americas and Europe, Session 2 is timed for Asia/Pacific, and Session 3 is a joint session.
Global No First Use campaign meeting

This global event will bring together campaigners, policy makers, academics and others to discuss strategies, share initiatives and build cooperation for a GlobalNo-First-Use (NFU) campaign with the objectives to:
a) advocate for the adoption and implementation of NFU policies by nuclear-armed States;
b) assist the USA no-first-use campaign by building necessary support from US allies in Asia/Pacific and NATO/Europe;
c) advance NFU as part of the broader objectives of nuclear risk-reduction, non-proliferation and disarmament, and as complementary to other related measures and initiatives.
— This participatory event is organised by the Abolition 2000 working group on nuclear risk reduction (global), Basel Peace Office (Switzerland), Beyond the Bomb (USA), Peace Depot (Japan), People for Nuclear Disarmament (Australia), PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security (Czech Republic), World Future Council (Germany/International) and Zona Libre (Mexico).
— Registration is restricted to those supportive of NFU and interested in advancing the global campaign.
Click here to apply for registration.

May 28, 9:30 AM Central European Time
Webinar: 9th Luxembourg Peace Prize Ceremony

This two your webinar by the Schengen Peace Foundation features five Luxembourg Peace Prize laureates past and future, including Dr Scilla Elworthy, Dr William Vendley, Transatlantic Dialogue, and outstanding peace organization, technology, journalism, art and environmental.

Registration

Nobel Prize Laureates and Other Experts Issue Urgent Call for Action After ‘Our Planet, Our Future’ Summit

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A press release from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine

This statement was inspired by the discussions at the 2021 Nobel Prize Summit, issued by the Steering Committee on April 29 and co-signed by Nobel Laureates and experts.

Preamble

The Nobel Prizes were created to honor advances of “the greatest benefit to humankind.” They celebrate successes that have helped build a safe, prosperous, and peaceful world, the foundation of which is scientific reason.

“Science is at the base of all the progress that lightens the burden of life and lessens its suffering.” Marie Curie (Nobel Laureate 1903 and 1911)

Science is a global common good on a quest for truth, knowledge, and innovation toward a better life. Now, humankind faces new challenges at unprecedented scale. The first Nobel Prize Summit comes amid a global pandemic, amid a crisis of inequality, amid an ecological crisis, amid a climate crisis, and amid an information crisis. These supranational crises are interlinked and threaten the enormous gains we have made in human progress. It is particularly concerning that the parts of the world projected to experience many of the compounding negative effects from global changes are also home to many of the world’s poorest communities, and to indigenous peoples. The summit also comes amid unprecedented urbanization rates and on the cusp of technological disruption from digitalization, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous sensing and biotechnology and nanotechnology that may transform all aspects of our lives in coming decades.

“We have never had to deal with problems of the scale facing today’s globally interconnected society. No one knows for sure what will work, so it is important to build a system that can evolve and adapt rapidly.” Elinor Ostrom (Nobel Laureate 2009)

The summit has been convened to promote a transformation to global sustainability for human prosperity and equity. Time is the natural resource in shortest supply. The next decade is crucial: Global greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by half and destruction of nature halted and reversed. An essential foundation for this transformation is to address destabilizing inequalities in the world. Without transformational action this decade, humanity is taking colossal risks with our common future. Societies risk large-scale, irreversible changes to Earth’s biosphere and our lives as part of it.

“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” Albert Einstein (Nobel Laureate 1921)

We need to reinvent our relationship with planet Earth. The future of all life on this planet, humans and our societies included, requires us to become effective stewards of the global commons — the climate, ice, land, ocean, freshwater, forests, soils, and rich diversity of life that regulate the state of the planet, and combine to create a unique and harmonious life-support system. There is now an existential need to build economies and societies that support Earth system harmony rather than disrupt it.

OUR PLANET

“It seems appropriate to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present.” Paul Crutzen (Nobel Laureate 1995)

Geologists call the last 12,000 years the Holocene epoch. A remarkable feature of this period has been relative Earth-system stability. But the stability of the Holocene is behind us now. Human societies are now the prime driver of change in Earth’s living sphere — the biosphere. The fate of the biosphere and human societies embedded within it is now deeply intertwined and evolving together. Earth has entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Evidence points to the 1950s as the onset of the Anthropocene — a single human lifetime ago. The Anthropocene epoch is more likely to be characterized by speed, scale, and shock at global levels.

Planetary health

The health of nature, our planet, and people is tightly connected. Pandemic risk is one of many global health risks in the Anthropocene. The risks of pandemics are now greater due to destruction of natural habitats, highly networked societies, and misinformation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest global shock since the Second World War. It has caused immense suffering and hardship. The scientific response in the face of catastrophe, from detection to vaccine development, has been robust and effective. There is much to applaud. However, there have been clear failings. The poorest and most marginalized in societies remain the most vulnerable. The scale of this catastrophe could have been greatly reduced through preventive measures, greater openness, early detection systems, and faster emergency responses.

Reducing risk of zoonotic disease like COVID-19 requires a multi-pronged approach recognizing “one health” — the intimate connections between human health and the health of other animals and the environment. Rapid urbanization, agricultural intensification, overexploitation, and habitat loss of large wildlife all promote the abundance of small mammals, such as rodents. Additionally, these land-use changes lead animals to shift their activities from natural ecosystems to farmlands, urban parks, and other human-dominated areas, greatly increasing contact with people and the risk of disease transmission.

The global commons

Global heating and habitat loss amount to nothing less than a vast and uncontrolled experiment on Earth’s life-support system. Multiple lines of evidence now show that, for the first time in our existence, our actions are destabilizing critical parts of the Earth system that determine the state of the planet.

For 3 million years, global mean temperature increases have not exceeded 2°C of global warming, yet that is what is in prospect within this century. We are on a path that has taken us to 1.2°C warming so far — the warmest temperature on Earth since we left the last ice age some 20,000 years ago, and which will take us to >3°C warming in 80 years.

At the same time, we are losing Earth resilience, having transformed half of Earth’s land outside of the ice sheets, largely through farming expansion. Of an estimated 8 million species on Earth, about 1 million are under threat. Since the 1970s, there has been an estimated 68% decline in the populations of vertebrate species.

Inequality

“The only sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity.” Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate 2001)

While all in societies contribute to economic growth, the wealthy in most societies disproportionately take the largest share of this growing wealth. This trend has become more pronounced in recent decades. In highly unequal societies, with wide disparities in areas such as health care and education, the poorest are more likely to remain trapped in poverty across several generations.

More equal societies tend to score highly on metrics of well-being and happiness. Reducing inequality raises social capital. There is a greater sense of community and more trust in government. These factors make it easier to make collective, long-term decisions. Humanity’s future depends on the ability to make long-term, collective decisions to navigate the Anthropocene.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the largest economic calamity since the Great Depression, is expected to worsen inequality at a moment when inequality is having a clear destabilizing political impact in many countries. Climate change is expected to further exacerbate inequality. Already, the poorest, often living in vulnerable communities, are hit hardest by the impacts of climate, and live with the damaging health impacts of energy systems, for example air pollution. Furthermore, although urbanization has brought many societal benefits, it is also exacerbating existing, and creating new, inequities.

It is an inescapable conclusion that inequality and global sustainability challenges are deeply linked. Reducing inequality will positively impact collective decision-making.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Technology

The accelerating technological revolution — including information technology, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology — will impact inequality, jobs, and entire economies, with disruptive consequences. On aggregate, technological advancements so far have accelerated us down the path toward destabilizing the planet. Without guidance, technological evolution is unlikely to lead to transformations toward sustainability. It will be critical to guide the technological revolution deliberately and strategically in the coming decades to support societal goals.

Acknowledging urgency and embracing complexity

The future habitability of Earth for human societies depends on the collective actions humanity takes now. There is rising evidence that this is a decisive decade (2020-2030). Loss of nature must be stopped and deep inequality counteracted. Global emissions of greenhouse gases need to be cut by half in the decade of 2021-2030. This alone requires collective governance of the global commons — all the living and non-living systems on Earth that societies use but that also regulate the state of the planet — for the sake of all people in the future.

On top of the urgency, we must embrace complexity. Humanity faces rising network risks and cascading risks as human and technological networks grow. The 2020/2021 pandemic was a health shock that quickly cascaded into economic shocks. We must recognize that surprise is the new normal and manage for complexity and emergent behavior.

OUR FUTURE

A decade of action

Time is running out to prevent irreversible changes. Ice sheets are approaching tipping points — parts of the Antarctic ice sheet may have already crossed irreversible tipping points. The circulation of heat in the North Atlantic is unequivocally slowing down due to accelerated ice melt. This may further affect monsoons and the stability of major parts of Antarctica. Rainforests, permafrost, and coral reefs are also approaching tipping points. The remaining carbon budget for a 67% probability of not exceeding 1.5°C global warming will be exhausted before 2030. At the same time, every week until 2050, the urban population will increase by about 1.3 million, requiring new buildings and roads, water and sanitation facilities, and energy and transport systems. The construction and operation of these infrastructure projects will be energy and emissions intensive unless major changes are made in how they are designed and implemented.

In 2021, major summits will generate political and societal momentum for action on climate, biodiversity, food systems, desertification, and the ocean. In 2022, the Stockholm+50 event marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Summit. This is an important opportunity to reflect on progress to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to be completed by 2030. Yet a disconnect exists between the urgency indicated by the empirical evidence and the response from electoral politics: The world is turning too slowly.

Planetary stewardship

“We must break down the walls that have previously kept science and the public apart and that have encouraged distrust and ignorance to spread unchecked. If anything prevents human beings from rising to the current challenge, it will be these barriers.” Jennifer Doudna (Nobel Laureate 2020)

Effective planetary stewardship requires updating our Holocene mindset. We must act on the urgency, the scale, and the interconnectivity between us and our home, planet Earth. More than anything, planetary stewardship will be facilitated by enhancing social capital — building trust within societies and between societies.

Is a new worldview possible? 193 nations have adopted the SDGs. The global pandemic has contributed to a broader recognition of global interconnectivity, fragility, and risk. Where they possess the economic power to do so, more people are increasingly making more sustainable choices regarding transportation, consumption, and energy. They are often ahead of their governments. And increasingly, the sustainable options, for example solar and wind power, are similar in price to fossil fuel alternatives or cheaper — and getting cheaper.

The question at a global systems level today is not whether humanity will transition away from fossil fuels. The question is: Will we do it fast enough? Solutions, from electric mobility to zero-carbon energy carriers and sustainable food systems, are today often following exponential curves of advancement and adoption. How do we lock this in? The following seven proposals provide a foundation for effective planetary stewardship.

* POLICY: Complement GDP as a metric of economic success with measures of true well-being of people and nature. Recognize that increasing disparities between rich and poor feed resentment and distrust, undermining the social contract necessary for difficult, long-term collective decision-making. Recognize that the deteriorating resilience of ecosystems undermines the future of humanity on Earth.

* MISSION-DRIVEN INNOVATION: Economic dynamism is needed for rapid transformation. Governments have been at the forefront of funding transformational innovation in the last 100 years. The scale of today’s challenges will require large-scale collaboration between researchers, government, and business — with a focus on global sustainability.

* EDUCATION: Education at all ages should include a strong emphasis on the nature of evidence, the scientific method, and scientific consensus to ensure future populations have the grounding necessary to drive political and economic change. Universities should embed concepts of planetary stewardship in all curricula as a matter of urgency. In a transformative, turbulent century, we should invest in life-long learning, and fact-based worldviews.

* INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Special interest groups and highly partisan media can amplify misinformation and accelerate its spread through social media and other digital means of communication. In this way, these technologies can be deployed to frustrate a common purpose and erode public trust. Societies must urgently act to counter the industrialization of misinformation and find ways to enhance global communication systems in the service of sustainable futures

* FINANCE AND BUSINESS: Investors and companies must adopt principles of recirculation and regeneration of materials and apply science-based targets for all global commons and essential ecosystem services. Economic, environmental, and social externalities should be fairly priced

* SCIENTIFIC COLLABORATION: Greater investment is needed in international networks of scientific institutions to allow sustained collaboration on interdisciplinary science for global sustainability as well as transdisciplinary science that integrates diverse knowledge systems, including local, indigenous, and traditional knowledge

* KNOWLEDGE: The pandemic has demonstrated the value of basic research to policymakers and the public. Commitment to sustained investment in basic research is essential. In addition, we must develop new business models for the free sharing of all scientific knowledge.

CONCLUSION

Global sustainability offers the only viable path to human safety, equity, health, and progress. Humanity is waking up late to the challenges and opportunities of active planetary stewardship. But we are waking up. Long-term, scientifically based decision-making is always at a disadvantage in the contest with the needs of the present. Politicians and scientists must work together to bridge the divide between expert evidence, short-term politics, and the survival of all life on this planet in the Anthropocene epoch. The long-term potential of humanity depends upon our ability today to value our common future. Ultimately, this means valuing the resilience of societies and the resilience of Earth’s biosphere.

SIGNATURES

Signatures are listed at the end of the press release.

We the Peoples : Call for Inclusive Global Governance

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

A call from We the Peoples

The biggest challenges facing humanity such as pandemics, the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, violent conflict, forced displacement, discrimination and inequality are global and cross-cutting in nature. With each passing day, they become more pressing. International collaboration and global governance need to improve significantly and become more accountable to those affected most: the world’s citizens.

On the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary, heads of state and government committed to making global governance more inclusive. The UN Secretary-General promised to promote a new model based on full, inclusive and equal participation in global institutions. We agree. It is time to give people a stronger voice in global affairs and at the UN.

We call on the UN and member states to implement three specific institutional changes to strengthen the inclusive and democratic character of the UN:


(Click on image to enlarge)

A World Citizens’ Initiative

The creation of the instrument of a World Citizens’ Initiative which enables people to put forward proposals on key issues of global concern for discussion and further action at the highest political level. Any proposal that reaches a certain threshold of popular support should be put onto the agenda of the UN General Assembly or Security Council.

#WorldCitizensInitiative
Study on implementation: PDF here
More details: worldcitizensinitiative.org

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Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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A UN Parliamentary Assembly

The creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly which allows for the inclusion of elected representatives in the agenda-setting and decision-making of the UN. The assembly will act as a representative body and watchdog connecting the people with the UN and reflecting a broad diversity of global viewpoints.

#UNParliamentaryAssembly
Study on implementation: PDF here
More details: unpacampaign.org

A UN Civil Society Envoy

Setting up the office of a UN Civil Society Envoy to enable greater participation, spur inclusive convenings and drive the UN’s outreach to the public and civil society organisations. This envoy should champion the implementation of a broader strategy for opening up the UN to people’s participation and civil society voices.

#UNCivilSocietyEnvoy
Background paper: PDF here
More details: together1st.org

These new tools will help the UN and member states to tackle global challenges more effectively. They will enhance the legitimacy of global governance and facilitate its transformational potential.

Tangible changes in the UN’s functioning are urgently needed to realize the promise of the Preamble of the UN Charter which begins with the words, “We the Peoples of the United Nations”.

Endorse here

A joint initiative of Democracy without Borders, Civicus and Democracy International

Biden’s Climate Summit Falls Short : Lofty Words But Where is the Plan?

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

A press release from 350.org

350 teams from across the globe share their reactions to Bidens Leaders Summit. 

40 world leaders gathered to participate in the Biden Administration’s first step onto the international climate stage. The Leaders Summit on Climate took place on April 22nd/ 23rd. The summit saw global leaders making big promises on carbon emission reduction, but the biggest red flag from climate activists is the overall lack of explicit commitments to stop financing fossil fuel projects, one of the key areas that can speed up the transition away from fossil fuel energy. 


Agnes Hall, Global Campaigns Director at 350.org said 

“There can be no meaningful climate action if world leaders don’t make a decisive move to keep all fossil fuels in the ground. It’s one thing to make climate goals, but governments simply can’t afford to keep on funding the flames by pouring money into subsidizing coal, oil and gas. The Biden Summit is a critical meeting of world leaders ahead of COP26 this November. Talk of “net-zero” emissions won’t cut it: we demand more from our world leaders than the false promises, false solutions and empty negotiations we heard at Biden’s Climate Summit. The task now is to hold politicians to their lofty words,  and to do that the global climate movement needs to keep up the pressure on our governments at home as well as on the international stage to take urgent action now to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a Just Recovery from the global COVID-19, economic and climate crises by creating a sustainable, fossil-free world ”. 

Pacific  350.org Pacific Managing Director Joseph Sikulu issued the following statement:

“In a world recovering from COVID-19 and the climate crisis, governments need to quickly divest from the fossil fuel industry and begin investing in a just recovery for all. Countries with high emissions, such as the United States and Australia, must stop subsidizing oil, gas and coal and direct their investments toward clean and just renewable energy so that we can limit Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees.

To date, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not announced a concrete plan to reduce emissions. Instead, he thinks that fossil fuel companies can solve the climate crisis, which is a massive irony. The Summit is an excellent opportunity for him and other leaders to look on the leadership of the Marshall Islands – the only Pacific island nation present. Australia must recognize that they have few options: either catch up by COP26 or remain a climate laggard who contributes to climate disaster.”

Japan – 350.org Japan Finance Campaigner Eri Watanabe issued the following statement:

“This goal is highly insufficient if we want to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the warming of the Earth to 1.5 degrees. I strongly urge the Japanese government to set a more ambitious target with a minimum of a 62% reduction from 2013’s emissions. This is based on research published by Climate Action Tracker.

This target may be higher than previously at a 26% reduction, but if we look closely – this is a numbers game1. Compared to the United Kingdom’s and European Union’s targets, which are 78% in 2035 and 55% in 2030 respectively compared to emission levels in 1990, Japan’s target is much lower.

When the Paris Agreement was signed, we agreed that there were “common but differentiated responsibilities” across the world. As the world’s fifth-highest emitting country with a large amount of historic emissions, Japan owes the world a carbon debt. This makes it necessary for our country to reduce as much carbon emissions as possible — or more than half of 2010’s emissions in order to be a solution to the climate crisis. We must start urgently setting bold and ambitious targets, and strengthening the measures necessary to achieve them. 

One of the policies urgently needed is a rapid phase out of coal infrastructure. Another to direct Japanese banks to rule out fossil finance. Japan is the biggest lender to the global coal industry, and they must cut the flow of money to reduce their emissions.

Only if Japan government walks the talk, can they show climate leadership.”

Bangladesh  350.org Organizer Shibayan said:

“We are heartened by the Chair’s response and his ambitious goals of targeting a 100% renewable transition by 2050. For Bangladesh to have a just recovery from the twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change, this transition away from coal must exclude gas, and bring about a Green New Deal focusing on clean and just energy such as solar and wind. At the upcoming Leaders Summit for Climate, we hope to see countries that have built their wealth based on fossil fuels such as the US working hand in hand with most affected countries such as Bangladesh. World leaders must start cooperating and sharing resources to combat the climate crisis. They need to act now, while there is still time.”

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Question for this article:
 
Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

(Article continued from the left column)

Africa  Landry Ninteretse, the Africa Director of 350.org said:

“During the virtual summit, the world’s major economies will share their efforts to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

1.5 degrees is our global beacon for climate action. The safety and wellbeing of millions of Africans depends on keeping below it. But it is slipping from our grasp and we need to urgently halve global emissions by 2030, which means that we need to limit fossil fuel consumption and stop new developments such as the EACOP and Mozambique LNG projects that threaten this climate ambition.

Fixing the climate crisis requires more than simply cutting carbon; we need bold action that prioritizes alternative sources of energy that meet the needs of the people and accelerate investments in real climate solutions with the aim of driving a fast and sustainable transition away from fossil fuels.”

 Canada Amara Possian, Canada Campaigns Director with 350.org

The problem with Justin Trudeau’s new climate pledge can be summed up in two words – fossil fuels. Neither Trudeau’s new climate plan, nor his budget, nor this new climate promise include a plan to tackle soaring emissions from tar sands, fracking and other fossil fuel expansion that makes Canada the only G7 country whose emissions have gone up since signing the Paris Agreement. Canada needs to cut our emissions at least 60% by 2030 and pass legislation like a Just Transition Act to make sure we meet our Paris commitment and leave no one behind.  

Since Justin Trudeau won’t act at the pace and scale of the climate emergency, we need the NDP and the Greens to form a Climate Emergency Alliance ahead of the next election to push Canada to set ambitious targets and follow through with the policies to meet them. It’s not too late for Canada to do what’s necessary, but we can’t afford four more years of Trudeau’s status quo”. 

US Natalie Mebane, Policy Director of 350.org.

“On Day 1 in office, Biden canceled Keystone XL. Now he must follow through on his promises and do the same with Line 3, the Dakota Access pipeline, and all new fossil fuel projects. A 50% emissions reduction falls short of the United States’ fair share, and should be seen as the floor, not the ceiling. Ambitious climate action requires keeping all fossil fuels in the ground. Biden must show the world that the U.S. is serious about tackling the climate crisis at scale, centering communities most impacted, and creating millions of good, green jobs in the process.”

Brazil: Ilan Zugman, Latin America Managing Director of 350.org, based in Curitiba, 

“Bolsonaro lied when he said that Brazil is at the forefront of the climate efforts. It may have been true someday, but not in his government, which has been consistently attacking the policies and state agencies necessary to stop deforestation and lead the energy transition. He talked much about the past achievements of Brazil and too little about the future, not to mention that in the present, his environmental record is a disaster.”

“In the days before the Climate Summit, there was an impressive flow of open letters and social media campaigns in Brazil asking President Biden not to close any agreement with President Bolsonaro without hearing the Brazilian civil society first, and it seems to have worked. There is a very justified concern, based on the current attitude of the Brazilian government towards the environment, that no matter what the Bolsonaro government promises, it will be just empty words, and that an agreement with the US would end up endorsing the destruction of the Amazon and other biomes.”

“Brazil has the potential to be a global leader in the efforts to solve the climate crisis, and in fact it has been a very important voice in this conversation for many years, since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. However, the Bolsonaro government shrank Brazil’s ability to take climate action, by dismantling major policies against deforestation in the Amazon and threatening conservation in Indigenous Lands and Protected Areas. The key to take Brazil back to its leading role in the climate efforts is to empower and support the civil society, especially Indigenous leaders, and strengthen community-based solutions as opposed to ignoring or even encouraging the irresponsible expansion of mining and agribusiness, as President Bolsonaro has been doing”, said Ilan Zugman, Latin America Managing Director of 350.org. 

Argentina Ignacio Zavaleta, 350.org Campaigner 

“What stood out in President Fernández’s speech was the fact that he did not mention any change in the government’s policies of investment in the expansion of oil and gas extraction in the Vaca Muerta area. Taxpayers’ money has been subsidizing a highly ineffective and environmentally harmful operation, which benefits a few foreign companies and brings no development to the country or even the region where it is based. These billion dollars wasted every year in fossil fuels should be redirected to policies of the energy transition, that are able to create more jobs in a moment when Argentinians desperately need it”, said Ignacio Zavaleta, 350.org Campaigner in Argentina.
 

International Cities Of Peace : Vision 1000 — Strategic Plan

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

Excerpts from the ICP Strategic Plan

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Since its founding in 2009, International Cities of Peace has achieved much success in both growth and impact. Last year, the Association of peace cities exceeded membership of 300 Cities of Peace in over 60 countries and the growth has accelerated.

Yet as organizational icon Marshall Goldsmith said, “What got you here, will not get you there.” Getting “there” is a huge challenge: to put in motion a tipping force for world peace by helping establish Cities of Peace across the globe.

History shows us that the dream of world peace is illusive. Violence and injustice continue, seemingly, unabated. The global Cities of Peace movement has potential to change that dynamic yet we must be highly innovative, committed, and organized for sustainable growth.

This Strategic Plan is intended to do the following:
• Clarify and communicate the essential nature of International Cities of Peace • Ensure the organization is sustainable over time
• Limit the liability that plagues large organizations
• Organize to achieve our Growth Goal by Year 2025

The intended audiences of this Strategic Plan are those involved in the Cities of Peace movement, including board members, volunteers, community liaisons and team members, advisors and alliances, donors, friends, and the general public.

If you have questions, comments, ideas, or especially the desire to volunteer for this monumental and historic goal, please know that we need you. Send an email describing your thoughts on peacebuilding to: info@internationalcitiesofpeace.org

STRATEGIC GROWTH GOAL

International Cities of Peace will grow to 1000 Cities of Peace by Year 2025 to put in motion a tipping force for global peace.

Based on a standard physics term, a “tipping force” is the energy necessary to overcome the status quo when the momentum of change becomes too strong to resist. It is akin to Gandhi’s “Truth Force” for nonviolent change. The strong energy of peace, so long anticipated, is being created by Cities of Peace across the globe. . . .

THE CITIES OF PEACE MOVEMENT

Understanding that the world has thousands of peace initiatives, International Cities of Peace has organized as an association rather than a hierarchical, top down enterprise. Rather than the usual NGO approach of “telling people how” to find peace, the ICP Association gathers together “in situ” (or in the situation) peacemakers and respects their understanding of community needs and solutions.

As a strategy, International Cities of Peace operates with a small, all-volunteer staff to maintain a humble and efficient organization for expanding and empowering a large network of Cities of Peace around the globe. As a not-for-profit association, International Cities of Peace forms alliances with global peace leaders, promotes free skills development, encourages City-to-City collaborations, and provides official Certificates and Recommendations for member communities. . . .

THOUSANDS OF YEARS IN THE MAKING

The Cities of Peace ideal envisions small and large communities at peace, where all citizens enjoy the three freedoms — the freedom to be safe, to prosper from hard work, and to find a quality of life that enables people to achieve their purpose.

The Association is, indeed, only a part of humanity’s evolutionary drive toward a global culture of peace. . . .

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Question related to this article:
 
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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VISION, MISSION, AND GOALS: WHY, WHAT, AND HOW

Foundational Vision (WHY International Cities of Peace?)


To ensure everyone’s right to safety, prosperity, and quality of life, the consensus values of global peace.

• The purpose of International Cities of Peace (ICP) is to advance the cause of global peace.

• Cities, as the living center closest to people, are necessarily held accountable by their citizens to work toward peaceful communities and the public good.

• Peace is defined as a practical endeavor by ICP — the consensus values of safety, prosperity and quality of life for ALL in the community.

Essential Mission (WHAT do we do?)


To build a scalable network of “in situ” teams committed to peace-building in Cities of Peace around the world.

• International Cities of Peace provides a platform to facilitate community Action Plans to achieve personal and community transformation toward a practical, substantive culture of peace.

• To establish a City of Peace entails a unity proposition to engage diversity and all members of a community. • ICP Central works with “in situ” leaders who form working teams to develop a vision, mission and goals to facilitate practical community transformation.

Each City of Peace has a legacy of peace that is documented and valued.


• Nonviolent solutions are the only mode of operation for peacebuilding in a City. • The UNESCO Culture of Peace resolution provides guidance (see Letter of Intent) • The Golden Rule provides a way to engage all spiritual paths.

Essential Goal (HOW do we organize to achieve our vision?)
To certify and recommend thousands of self-organized municipalities as Cities of Peace in order to put in motion a tipping force for global peace.

• International Cities of Peace does not tell communities how to organize for peace, but rather relies on “in situ” leaders to know what needs to be done.

• Cities of Peace, Inc. is at every level an all-volunteer organization; volunteers do not receive monetary compensation or use ICP for personal salary or business interests.

• Official City of Peace Liaisons are not employees but independent voluntary contacts for two-way communication between their City and the Association.

• Financial goals are limited to necessary operations and efficient programming. In rare instances, ICP facilitates financial or in-kind support between Cities.

• The Valued Provider Program is a non-binding alliance between the Association and mentors who provide free services.

• The City-to-City Collaboration Program enables independent, non-binding City- to-City working alliances for a specific purpose as defined and authorized by all parties in the collaboration. . . .

THE PROCESS TO ESTABLISH A CITY OF PEACE
. . . .

1. Print and send the Letter of Intent with Peace Team signatures and contact information for quarterly newsletter. Information is secure and not distributed.

2. Develop a vision, mission, and goals statement as detailed as possible.


3. Email photos and captions of your peace team, local events, locations, or historical events. (Send with photos an email accepting liability for and releasing ICP of liability for copyrighted photos sent without permission.)


4. Send non-copyrighted photo and background information for the Liaison and/or dignitary as the single point of contact for the community.

5. Write a statement about the peace legacy of your community (advances and challenges in peace, health, education, history, etc.).

Upon completing the five-step process, as outlined above, the City receives a Certificate as a member of the Association of International Cities of Peace. In becoming a City of Peace, community working teams develop and implement Action Plans for practical peace initiatives. After one year of successful work for peace, the Liaison can submit to the Association’s Executive Facilitator the City’s Action Plan and receive a Recommendation, which can be used to approach granting organizations for special projects. Each City can renew their Recommendation by submitting their Action Plan results every three years.

Annual Report of Amnesty International : COVID-19 hits those shackled by oppression hardest thanks to decades of inequalities, neglect and abuse

… . HUMAN RIGHTS … .

Annual report of Amnesty International

The global pandemic has exposed the terrible legacy of deliberately divisive and destructive policies that have perpetuated inequality, discrimination and oppression and paved the way for the devastation wrought by COVID-19, Amnesty International said in its annual report published today.

Amnesty International Report 2020/21: The State of the World’s Human Rights covers 149 countries and delivers a comprehensive analysis of human rights trends globally in 2020. In it, the organization describes those already most marginalized, including women and refugees, as bearing the devastating brunt of the pandemic, as a result of decades of discriminatory policy decisions by world leaders. Read the full report here.

Health workers, migrant workers, and those in the informal sector – many at the frontlines of the pandemic – have also been betrayed by neglected health systems and patchy economic and social support. The response to the global pandemic has been further undermined by leaders who have ruthlessly exploited the crisis and weaponized COVID-19 to launch fresh attacks on human rights, the organization says.

“COVID-19 has brutally exposed and deepened inequality both within and between countries, and highlighted the staggering disregard our leaders have for our shared humanity.  Decades of divisive policies, misguided austerity measures, and choices by leaders not to invest in crumbling public infrastructure, have left too many easy prey to this virus,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General.

“We face a world in disarray. At this point in the pandemic, even the most deluded leaders would struggle to deny that our social, economic and political systems are broken.” 

Pandemic has amplified decades of inequalities and erosion of public services

Amnesty’s report shows how existing inequalities as a result of decades of toxic leadership have left ethnic minorities, refugees, older persons, and women disproportionately negatively affected by the pandemic.

COVID-19 worsened the already precarious situation of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in many countries, trapping some in squalid camps, cutting off vital supplies, or precipitating border controls that left many stranded. For example, Uganda, the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa with 1.4 million refugees, immediately closed its borders at the start of the pandemic and did not make an exception for refugees and asylum seekers trying to enter the country. As a result, over 10,000 people were stranded along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The report highlights a marked increase in gender-based and domestic violence with many women and LGBTI persons facing increased barriers to protection and support due to restrictions on freedom of movement; lack of confidential mechanisms for victims to report violence while isolated with their abusers, and reduced capacity or suspension of services.

Those on the frontlines of the pandemic – health workers, and those in the informal sector – suffered as a result of wilfully neglected health systems and pitiful social protection measures. In Bangladesh, many working in the informal sector have been left without an income or social protections due to lockdowns and curfews. In Nicaragua, over the course of two weeks in early June, at least 16 health workers were dismissed after expressing concerns about lack of PPE and the state response to the pandemic. 

“We are reaping the results of years of calculated neglect at the hands of our leaders. In 2020, under the unique strain of a pandemic, health systems have been put to the ultimate test and people have been left in financial freefall. The heroes of 2020 were the health workers on the frontlines saving lives and those bunched together at the very bottom of the income scale, who worked to feed families, and keep our essential services going.  Cruelly, those who gave the most, were protected the least,” said Agnès Callamard.

Virulent strain of leaders weaponize the pandemic to further assault human rights

The report also paints a dismal picture of the failures of global leaders whose handling of the pandemic has been marked by opportunism and total contempt for human rights.

“We’ve seen a spectrum of responses from our leaders; from the mediocre to mendacious, selfish to the fraudulent. Some have tried to normalise the overbearing emergency measures they’ve ushered in to combat COVID-19, whilst a particularly virulent strain of leader has gone a step further.  They have seen this as an opportunity to entrench their own power. Instead of supporting and protecting people, they have simply weaponized the pandemic to wreak havoc on people’s rights. said Agnès Callamard.

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(Click here for a Spanish version of this article or here for a French version.)

Question(s) related to this article:

What is the state of human rights in the world today?

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Authorities passing legislation criminalizing commentary related to the pandemic has been a presiding pattern. In Hungary for example, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government amended the country’s Criminal Code, introducing prison sentences of up to five years for “spreading false information” about COVID-19 for example.

Across the Gulf states in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates authorities used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to continue suppressing the right to freedom of expression, including by prosecuting individuals, who posted comments on social media about government responses to the pandemic, for spreading “false news”.

Other leaders have used excessive force. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said he had ordered police to shoot “dead” people who protest or may cause “trouble” during quarantine measures. In Nigeria, brutal policing has resulted in security forces killing people for protesting in the streets, demanding their rights and calling for accountability. Under President Bolsonaro, police violence in Brazil escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 3,181 people were killed by the police across the country between January and June – an average of 17 deaths per day.

Some leaders have gone a step further, using the distraction of the pandemic to clamp down on criticism – and critics – unrelated to the virus, and perpetrate other human rights violations while the gaze of the world’s media was elsewhere. For example, in India, Narendra Modi, further cracked down on civil society activists, including through counter-terrorism raids on their homes and premises.

Meanwhile under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government continued its persecution of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang unabated and a sweeping national security law was ushered through in Hong Kong to legitimize politically motivated repression.

“International institutions such as the International Criminal Court and UN human rights mechanisms are there to hold states and individual perpetrators to account. Sadly, 2020 shows that they have been wrestled into political deadlock by leaders seeking to exploit and undermine collective responses to human rights violations,” said Agnès Callamard.

National self-interest has trumped international cooperation in COVID response

World leaders have also wreaked havoc on the international stage, hampering collective recovery efforts by blocking or undermining international cooperation.

These include:

Leaders of rich countries, such as former President Trump, circumventing global cooperation efforts by buying up most of the world’s supply of vaccines, leaving little to none for other countries. These rich countries also have failed to push pharmaceutical companies to share their knowledge and technology to expand the supply of global COVID-19 vaccines.

Xi Jinping’s government censoring and persecuting health workers and journalists in China who attempted to raise the alarm about the virus early on, supressing crucial information.

The G2O offering to suspend debt payments from the poorest countries, but demanding that the money be repaid with interest later.

“The pandemic has cast a harsh light on the world’s inability to cooperate effectively in times of dire global need,” said Agnès Callamard. 

“The only way out of this mess is through international cooperation.  States must ensure vaccines are quickly available to everyone, everywhere, and free at the point of use. Pharmaceutical companies must share their knowledge and technology so no one is left behind.  G20 members and international financial institutions must provide debt relief for the poorest 77 countries to respond and recover from pandemic.”

Failed by their governments, protest movements the world over have stood up

Regressive policies have inspired many people to join long-standing struggles as seen by the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, the #End SARS protests in Nigeria, and new and creative forms of protest such as virtual climate strikes.

The report details many important victories that human rights activists helped to secure in 2020, particularly across gender-based violence.

These include new legislation to counter violence against women and girls in Kuwait, South Korea, and Sudan, and the decriminalization of abortion in Argentina, Northern Ireland, and South Korea.

“Leadership in 2020 came not from power, privilege, or profiteers. It came from the countless people marching to demand change. We saw an outpouring of support for #End SARS, Black Lives Matter, as well as public protests against repression and inequality in places across the world including in Poland, Hong Kong, Iraq and Chile. Often risking their own safety, it was the leadership of ordinary people and human rights defenders the world over that urged us on. These are the people at the frontier of the struggle for a better, safer and more equal world,” said Agnès Callamard. 

“We are at a crossroads. We must release the shackles that degrade human dignity. We must reset and reboot to build a world grounded in equality, human rights, and humanity. We must learn from the pandemic, and come together to work boldly and creatively so everyone is on an equal footing.”

Yellen pledges U.S. international cooperation, calls for global minimum tax

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by David Lawder from Reuters (Reprinted by permission)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday that she is working with G20 countries to agree on a global corporate minimum tax rate and pledged that restoring U.S. multilateral leadership would strengthen the global economy and advance U.S. interests.


Reuters File Photo : U.S. Treasury Secretary-designate Janet Yellen in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

In a speech ahead of her first International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings as Treasury chief, Yellen signaled stronger U.S. engagement on issues from climate change to human rights to tax base erosion.

A global minimum tax proposed by the Biden administration could help to end a “thirty-year race to the bottom on corporate tax rates,” Yellen told an online event hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The proposal is a key pillar of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure spending plan, which calls for an increase in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% while eliminating some deductions associated with overseas profits.

Without a global minimum, the United States would again have higher rates than a number of other major economies, tax experts say, while the U.S. proposal could help jump-start negotiations for a tax deal among major economies.

World Bank President David Malpass said finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies on Wednesday would discuss global tax issues, including for digital services, adding that international attitudes were shifting away from continual tax reductions.

“Taxes matter to development, and it’s important that the world get it right,” Malpass told CNBC television.

Separately, a group of Democratic senators unveiled a legislative proposal to roll back parts of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 U.S. tax cuts.

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Question for this article:

Opposing tax havens and global exploitation: part of the culture of peace?

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NEW ATTITUDE

Yellen also said she would use the IMF and World Bank meetings this week to advance discussions on climate change, improve vaccine access for poor countries and push countries to do more to support a strong global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will fare better if we work together and support each other,” Yellen said.

Her more cooperative approach marks a sharp contrast to the ‘America First’ approach of her Trump administration predecessor, Steven Mnuchin. She has backed a $650 billion increase in IMF monetary reserves that Mnuchin opposed last year, and said she will work with international institutions and partners on carbon emission reduction targets.

Mnuchin had routinely opposed any climate change references in G20 and other communiques issued from large multilateral gatherings.

Yellen also has dropped here a key Mnuchin demand from international tax negotiations – a provision that would allow large U.S. technology companies to opt out of any new rules on taxation of digital services.

PRESSURE ON TAX HAVENS

The new Treasury chief said it was important to “end the pressures of tax competition” and make sure governments “have stable tax systems that raise sufficient revenues in essential public goods and respond to crises, and that all citizens fairly share the burden of financing government.”

Separately, a U.S. Treasury official told reporters that it was important to have the world’s major economies on board with a global minimum tax to make it effective, but did not say how many countries were needed for this.

The official said the United States would use its own tax legislation to prevent companies from shifting profits or residency to tax haven countries and would encourage other major economies to do the same.

The Biden plan proposes a 21% minimum corporate tax rate, coupled with eliminating exemptions on income from countries that do not enact a minimum tax. The administration says the plan will discourage the shifting of jobs and profits overseas.

Yellen said in her remarks that while advanced economies had successfully supported their economies through the COVID-19 pandemic, it was too early to declare victory, and more support was needed for low income countries to gain access to vaccines.

Pope, in Easter message, slams weapons spending in time of pandemic

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

An article by By Philip Pullella in Reuters (reprinted by permission)

Pope Francis urged countries in his Easter message on Sunday to quicken distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly to the world’s poor, and called armed conflict and military spending during a pandemic “scandalous”.

Coronavirus has meant this has been the second year in a row that Easter papal services have been attended by small gatherings at a secondary altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, instead of by crowds in the church or in the square outside.

After saying Mass, Francis read his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message, in which he traditionally reviews world problems and appeals for peace.

“The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. Nonetheless – and this is scandalous – armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened,” he said.

Francis, who would normally have given the address to up to 100,000 people in St. Peter’s Square, spoke to fewer than 200 in the church while the message was broadcast to tens of millions around the world.

The square was empty except for a few police officers enforcing a strict three-day national lockdown.

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Question for this article

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

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The pope asked God to comfort the sick, those who have lost a loved one, and the unemployed, urging authorities to give families in greatest need a “decent sustenance”.

He praised medical workers, sympathised with young people unable to attend school, and said everyone was called to combat the pandemic.

“I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries,” he said.

Francis, who has often called for disarmament and a total ban on the possession of nuclear weapons, said: “There are still too many wars and too much violence in the world! May the Lord, who is our peace, help us to overcome the mindset of war.”

‘INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH’

Noting that it was International Awareness Day against anti-personnel landmines, he called such weapons “insidious and horrible devices … how much better our world would be without these instruments of death!”

In mentioning conflict areas, he singled out for praise “the young people of Myanmar committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully”. More than 550 protesters have been killed since a Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar, which the pope visited in 2017.

Francis called for peace in several conflict areas in Africa, including the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia and the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique. He said the crisis in Yemen has been “met with a deafening and scandalous silence”.

He appealed to Israelis and Palestinians to “rediscover the power of dialogue” to reach a two-state solution where both can live side by side in peace and prosperity.

Francis said he realised many Christians were still persecuted and called for all restrictions on freedom of worship and religion worldwide to be lifted.

Drawing on Earth: The Global Creative Challenge 2021

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An announcement from Drawing on Earth

Hi Everyone, we have a new exciting big project in the mix. It’s so big we need your help, we are inviting you and the rest of the world to be part of it.

Earth Day April 22, 2021 – founder and creative director of Drawing on Earth – Mark Lewis Wagner will be attempting to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest chalk street art drawing. We have a story being birthed about imagining a climate changed, about a world creating together, about the future being a place of dynamic balance for everything.


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A Creative Challenge to the World

While this is happening we are putting out a Creative Challenge to the World to be part of this Global Story. Draw, paint, dance, music, poetry, use any medium. Set your own personal world record for your largest creative expression. We’ll use FaceBook to create a gallery for everyone to share our work.

The present time of covid isolation and talk of climate change are hard on everyone, it’s especially hard on our youth. They are afraid of something they can’t see, afraid of their future, afraid for the world that they are inheriting. Adults saying, “you young people figure it out, we sure did leave you a mess” is not helpful. That’s a heavy burden, suicides are up with kids around the world for not having a reason to live – that’s OUR PROBLEM to be creative with.

What do we need now on the planet? We asked the Earth what it needed. Imagination, not the frilly stuff but the visionary powerful real imagining that makes the future happen. That’s how we put humans on the moon, made cars, cell phones, how we handled other pandemics – we imagined these first.

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Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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The Earth said it needs humans to basically grow up, or grow in. The Earth needs humans to evolve out of their current teenager mind and into our mature beings where we use our intuitions and mystery. We take responsibility for ourselves, for each other, our communities, and the world (another word for this is Initiation).

Let’s imagine the world we want to live in, and in doing so making it happen. Let’s make up a story and an artistic challenge for everyone to participate and feel connected, and then see what happens. A new tribe of creating creators.

Recipe for Success

Here is what we want and need to make it happen.

* For you to make some art on or near Earth Day April 22, 2021

* Get friends and family involved. A friend has already talked to her neighbors and everyone is going to do a chalk drawing in each of their driveways.

* Be part of our virtual team. Email us: info@drawingonearth.org for more info.

* Network to an organization in your community: art centers, schools, school district, PTA council, church, etc. and get them involved.

* Nationally Networking: children’s art museums, museums, art organizations, community organizations, Burning Man, etc..

* International Networking: every continent, countries, UN, UNICEF, etc…

Drawing on Earth

Drawing on Earth is a 501c3 nonprofit that Connects Art and Creativity to Youth and Communities Around the World. In 2008 our first project set a Guinness World Record for the largest pavement art (chalk drawing). We covered 90,000 sq. ft. of pavement (almost 2 football fields) with chalk with the help of 6,000 people, most of them elementary school kids from Alameda CA. We even had a satellite photograph the art. We mainly focus on chalk drawing on streets and school playgrounds. We have drawn on 3 continents and so far worked with 30,000 kids and adults.