Category Archives: global

Brazil President Lula’s speech to the G7


A publication by the Government of Brazil

(Editor’s note; News media in the US and Europe headlined the decisions of the G7 countries (US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan) in their recent meeting in Hiroshima that supported Ukraine president Zelensky and that attacked the “economic coercion.” of China and Russia. They fail to mention the following alternative vision presented at the meeting by Brazilian President Lula.)

In the official photo, the President of Brazil was placed between the Presidents of the Comores and Vietnam, while the President of the United States was placed between the Presidents of Canada and France

Hiroshima is a propitious setting for a reflection on the catastrophic consequences of all types of conflict. This reflection is urgent and necessary. Today, the risk of nuclear war is at its highest level since the height of the Cold War.

In 1945, the UN was founded to prevent a new World War. However, the multilateral mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution no longer work.

The world is no longer the same. Traditional wars continue to break out, and we see worrying setbacks in the nuclear non-proliferation regime, which necessarily will have to include the dimension of disarmament.

Nuclear weapons are not a source of security, but an instrument of mass destruction that denies our own humanity and threatens the continuity of life on Earth.

As long as nuclear weapons exist, there will always be the possibility of their use.

For this reason, Brazil was actively engaged in the negotiations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which we hope to be able to ratify soon.

In line with the United Nations Charter, we strongly condemn the use of force as a means of dispute settlement. We condemn the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

At the same time, as fighting continues, the human suffering, loss of life and destruction of homes increase.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

Latin America, has it taken the lead in the struggle for a culture of peace?

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I have repeated to exhaustion that it is necessary to talk about peace. No solution will last unless it is based on dialogue. We need to work to open room for negotiations.

At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the challenges to peace and security currently plaguing the world go far beyond Europe.

Israelis and Palestinians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis, Kosovars and Serbs need peace. Yemenis, Syrians, Libyans and Sudanese all deserve to live in peace. These conflicts should receive the same degree of international attention.

In Haiti, we need to act quickly to alleviate the suffering of a population torn apart by tragedy. The scourge to which the Haitian people is subject is the result of decades of indifference to the country’s real needs. For years, Brazil has been saying that Haiti’s problem is not just one of security, but, above all, one of development.

The gap between these challenges and the global governance we have continues to grow. The lack of a reform of the Security Council is the unavoidable component of the problem.

The Council is more paralyzed than ever. Permanent members continue the long tradition of waging unauthorized wars, whether in pursuit of territorial expansion or in pursuit of regime change.

Even without being able to prevent or resolve conflicts through the Council, some countries insist on expanding its agenda more and more, bringing in new themes that should be dealt with in other bodies of the UN system.

The result is that today we have a Council that does not deal with the old problems, nor the current ones, much less the future ones.

Brazil has lived in peace with its neighbors for over 150 years. We made Latin America a region without nuclear weapons. We are also proud of having built, together with African neighbors, a zone of peace and nuclear non-proliferation in the South Atlantic.

We are witnessing the emergence of a multipolar order that, if well received and nurtured, can benefit all.

The multipolarity that Brazil seeks is based on the primacy of International Law and the promotion of multilateralism.

Re-enacting the Cold War would be foolish.

Dividing the world into East and West or North and South would be as anachronistic as it is innocuous.

It is necessary to break with the logic of exclusive alliances and false clashes of civilizations.

It is urgent to reinforce the idea that cooperation, respecting differences, is the right path to follow.

Thank you very much.

16 May: International Day of Living Together in Peace


An article from the United Nations

United in differences and diversity

Living together in peace is all about accepting differences and having the ability to listen to, recognize, respect and appreciate others, as well as living in a peaceful and united way.

The UN General-Assembly, in its resolution 72/130, declared 16 May the International Day of Living Together in Peace, as a means of regularly mobilizing the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.

Doves are released during the “Flame of Peace” ceremony in which arms were destroyed to mark the beginning of the country’s disarmament and reconciliation process in Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire. PHOTO: ©UN /Basile Zoma

The Day invites countries to further promote reconciliation to help to ensure peace and sustainable development, including by working with communities, faith leaders and other relevant actors, through reconciliatory measures and acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals.

Question for this article:

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


Following the devastation of the Second World War, the United Nations was established to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. One of its purposes is to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems, including by promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.

In 1997, the General-Assembly proclaimed – by its resolution 52/15  — the year 2000 as the “International Year for a Culture of Peace”. In 1998, it proclaimed the period 2001-2010 as the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World.”

In 1999, The General-Assembly adopted, by resolution 53/243, the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which serves as the universal mandate for the international community, particularly the United Nations system, to promote a culture of peace and non-violence that benefits all of humanity, including future generations.

The declaration came about as a result of the long-held and cherished concept — contained within the Constitution of UNESCO — that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” The Declaration embraces the principle that peace is not merely the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process, in which dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are resolved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.

The Declaration also recognizes that to fulfill such an aspiration, there is a need to eliminate all forms of discrimination and intolerance, including those based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.

Mayors for Culture of Peace


Excerpts from April Newsletter of Mayors for Peace

Join us in promoting the culture of peace

Mayors for Peace outlines three objectives in the Vision for Peaceful Transformation to a Sustainable World (PX Vision): Peacebuilding by Cities for Disarmament and Common Security. One of them is to promote the culture of peace, which the PX Vision explains as follows:

We will cultivate peace consciousness and cause the culture of peace—the culture in which the everyday actions of each member of the public are grounded in thinking about peace—to take root in civil society as the foundation of lasting world peace.

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

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

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This April Issue of the Mayors for Peace News Flash features some of Mayors for Peace initiatives promoting the culture of peace. We hope these examples will inspire your city to implement initiatives promoting the culture of peace.

Celebrate the Month for the Culture of Peace

We encourage your cities to celebrate one particular month of the year as the “Month for the Culture of Peace” holding a variety of cultural events to raise peace awareness among citizens. The aim is to have them think about the importance of peace through music, fine art, and other forms of art expressing desire for peace, as well as through sports and other activities that emotionally connect people across language barriers.

The City of Hiroshima, since 2021, has designated November as the “Month for the Culture of Peace.” This Month sees a variety of events under the theme of the culture of peace held intensively in cooperation with private sector companies and groups of citizens. These events include, for example, lectures on the culture of peace and stage performances and art exhibitions by youths.

See “Month for the Culture of Peace 2022” by the City of Hiroshima (in Japanese).

Organize Events to Commemorate the International Day of Peace

We recommend your cities organize outreach activities and commemorative events on the UN’s International Day of Peace, which is observed on September 21st every year, to have as many citizens as possible share in the wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

United Nations: Guterres urges countries to recommit to achieving SDGs by 2030 deadline


An article from the United Nations News Service

More than half the world is being left behind at the midpoint for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told ambassadors in New York on Tuesday (April 25). 

UN News Students in Tanzania hold Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) cards.

Launching a special edition of the Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs) progress report, he warned that their collective promise made in 2015 of a more green, just and equitable global future, is in peril. 

“Unless we act now, the 2030 Agenda  will become an epitaph for a world that might have been,” he said.
Rising poverty and hunger 

The report reveals that just 12 per cent of the 169 SDG targets are on track, while progress on 50 per cent is weak and insufficient. Worst of all, he said is the fact that progress has either stalled or even reversed on more than 30 per cent of the goals. 

The 17 SDGs are in a sorry state due to the impacts of the COVID-19  pandemic and the devastating “triple crisis” of climate, biodiversity and pollution, amplified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As a result, the number of people living in extreme poverty is higher than it was four years ago.  Hunger has also increased and is now back at 2005 levels, and gender equality is some 300 years away.   Other fallouts include record-high inequality and rising greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fundamental changes needed 

The UN chief noted that many developing countries cannot invest in the SDGs because of burdensome debt, while climate finance is far below commitments. Richer nations have not yet delivered on the $100 billion promised annually in support, he recalled, among other climate pledges. 

“The 2030 Agenda is an agenda of justice and equality, of inclusive, sustainable development, and human rights and dignity for all.  It requires fundamental changes to the way the global economy is organized,” he said. 

“The SDGs are the path to bridge both economic and geopolitical divides; to restore trust and rebuild solidarity,” he added.  “Let’s be clear: no country can afford to see them fail.” 

SDG Stimulus 

Mr. Guterres has appealed or an SDG Stimulus  plan of at least $500 billion a year, and for deep reforms to the international financial architecture, both key recommendations in the report.

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Question for this article:

Can UN agencies help eradicate poverty in the world?

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The SDG Stimulus aims to scale up affordable long-term financing for all countries in need, tackle debt and expand contingency financing – all areas that require action.
Although these measures can help to turn the situation around, he stressed that they will not solve the fundamental issue of the current unjust and dysfunctional global financial system, which will require deep reforms.  

Globalization that benefits all 

Repeating his call for “a new Bretton Woods moment” – when the first negotiated international monetary rules were established in 1944, including the International Monetary Fund – Mr. Guterres said developing countries must have greater representation in global financial institutions.
“We need a financial system that ensures the benefits of globalization flow to all, by putting the needs of developing countries at the centre of all its decisions,” he said.  

The SDG progress report also contains five other important recommendations.   
Commit and deliver 

The first calls for all UN Member States to recommit to achieve the goals, at the national and international levels, by strengthening the social contract and steering their economies to the green transition. 

The second point urges governments to set and deliver on national benchmarks to reduce poverty and inequality by 2027 and 2030, which requires focus on areas such as expanding social protection and jobs, but also education, gender equality, and “digital inclusion”. 

The report calls for all countries to commit “to end the war on nature”. Governments are urged to support the Acceleration Agenda for climate action, under which leaders of developed countries commit to reaching net zero emissions, and to deliver on the new Global Biodiversity Framework, signed in December. 

Support for development 

The fourth point focused on the need for governments to strengthen national institutions and accountability. “This will require new regulatory frameworks and stronger public digital infrastructure and data capacity,” said Mr. Guterres. 

His final point underscored the need for greater multilateral support for the UN development system and decisive action at the Summit of the Future  to be held next year. 

Hopes for SDG Summit 

In the interim, world leaders will gather at the UN in September for the SDG Summit. This will be a moment of truth and reckoning, Mr. Guterres said, though adding that it must also be a moment of hope towards kickstarting a new drive to achieve the goals. 

The Secretary-General insisted that “SDG progress is not about lines on a graph”, but rather about healthy mothers and babies, children learning the skills to fulfil their potential, renewable energy and clean air, and other such development accomplishments. 

“The road ahead is steep. Today’s report shows us just how steep,” he said.  “But it is one we can and must travel – together – for the people we serve.” 

Review of Against War: Building a Culture of Peace – a book by Pope Francis


Excerpts from an article by William J. Collinge in The Journal of Social Encounters

Against War: Building a Culture of Peace. Pope Francis. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2022, paper, viii + 132 pp., ISBN 978-1-62698-499-8.

Against War is a collection of excerpts from the writings of Pope Francis on war and peace. The occasion for the book is the war begun by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The book begins with an introduction by Pope Francis, dated March 29, 2022. Eight sections of selections follow. The first section, “With War, No One Wins,” consists almost entirely of texts after the outbreak of the Ukraine War. The second section, “A Culture of Death,” gathers texts on the harmfulness of war and the foundations of peace. The third section is titled “The Criminal Folly of Nuclear Weapons,” and it is followed by a section comprising excerpts from Francis’s trip to Japan in 2019, chiefly the speeches he made at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The next section, “Peace and Fraternity,” contains texts from the Pope’s journey to Iraq in 2021. A major theme is collaboration across religious lines to rebuild Iraq’s war-torn society. The next two sections, “A Better World,” and “An Artisanal Path,” discuss peace and the way to build it. The last section consists of prayers. The book concludes with “Afterword: A Century-Long Magisterium of Peace,” by Andrea Tornielli, the Editorial Director of Vatican News, setting Francis’s teaching in the context of that of his predecessors.

I will summarize what the book says about war and peace in general before turning specifically to what Francis says about the Ukraine War in this book and in subsequent statements.

It is clear that for Francis the enemy is not Russia or any other combatant. It is war. Francis’s emphasis is always on the effects of war, not the state of mind or character of those who declare wars or fight in them. The second line of text speaks of “the disaster caused by war” (p. 1). Francis goes on to speak of the death and wounding of innocent people, especially children, the destruction of homes and displacement of people, the state of fear in which people live, and the transfer of resources from human needs to weaponry. All of this is consistent with recent popes’ increased opposition to modern warfare due to its destructive capacity.

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Question for this article:

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

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Two themes that are characteristically, though not uniquely, Francis’s are his consistent “option for the poor” and his attention to the environmental costs of war. He urges us to “give first place to those who suffer” (p. 83), to look through the eyes of victims “and listen with an open heart to the stories they tell” (p. 31). He reminds us, “War always does grave harm to the environment” (p. 28), and he calls on us to develop a peaceful relationship to our common home and all who dwell in it (pp. 106–107).

Nuclear weapons, if used, greatly amplify the death and destruction caused by war. The sheer building and possession of them is a huge waste of resources and increases the danger of their deliberate or accidental detonation. “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral” (p. 51). Nuclear weapons should be made illegal as well (p. 43). Nuclear deterrence generates a climate of fear and a false sense of security. “Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation” (pp. 45–46).

What is the alternative to war? Francis would reject that way of formulating the question. For him, there is today “no real alternative to peacemaking” (p. 85). Peacemaking calls for dialogue and encounter, two words that recur frequently in these texts. It calls for “immersing ourselves in situations” (p. 83). In the “culture of fraternal encounter” we must set aside fear and allow ourselves to be vulnerable (p. 98). “Fraternity” is another word that appears very often in this book. It is an awkward term in English, with its etymological gender-exclusiveness (though in American English “fraternity and sorority” would be worse). The Pope’s intention in speaking of fraternity, however, is inclusive, to emphasize that we are all brothers and sisters “as children of the one heavenly Father” (p. 98). He links fraternity to Jesus’s call to love one another, which includes those we might otherwise regard as enemies (pp. 113, 90). Love of enemies implies the rejection of violence in resolving differences: “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence” (p. 91).

Peace is not a “possession” one can hold on to; rather, it “puts you in motion” (pp. 86–87). It is an “artisanal path” (p. 95), one which everyone can “build … day by day through small gestures and acts” (p. 93). It requires “craftmanship” to build “processes of encounter” (pp. 99–100). Francis concludes, “May the Lord help us to journey together on the path of fraternity and thus to become credible witnesses of the living God” (p. 115).

On the second page of the book, Francis turns to the Ukraine War. He deplores the death and destruction the war has caused (pp. 2, 7) and also the increased arms race it has sparked (p. 9). He worries that it might escalate to nuclear war (p. 4). He calls for “the good sense to negotiate” (p. 17).

Click here to continue reading remarks on the Ukraine War and to read the list of references.

May Day around the world


Information compiled by CPNN from various sources as indicated

May Day was celebrated by workers around the world, as shown in these photos. Click on text to go to the source for more information or click on photo to enlarge or to go to video.

Video of rally in Athens with bilingual banners in Greek and French reading “The peoples will win”

Percussionists in traditional Lebanese clothing lead the chants in the annual Labor Day parade in Beirut (AP Photo/Hussein Malia)

In Buenos Aires, activists held banners and chanted slogans at a rally in front of the Presidential Palace to demand an increase in the minimum wage and protested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal. (Reuters)

Government supporters rally marking May Day in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Scene from Colombia Foto: AFP

Members of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation hold a May Day rally at Muktangan in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Map of May Day rallies in France with total estimated by the trade unions as 2.3 million participants, including over half a million in Paris alone.

In Germany, demonstrations took place in Berlin and Hamburg (Reuters)

On the occasion of International Labor Day, daily wage workers of Birbhanpur village (India) took out a rally, demanding employment and increase in wages from the government.

Scene from video of May Day rally in Istanbul under the motto “Labour is our future”.

May Day demonstration in the Horse Statue area of Jakarta (KONTAN:Francis Simbolon)

Bolivian President Luis Arce participates in the International Workers’ Day march organized by the Bolivian Workers’ Central (COB) in La Paz. 

Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers raise their hats as they march to celebrate International Labour Day in Lagos, Nigeria. [Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP]

In London, the march comes down Clerkenwell Road, past Farringdon. (Photo by André Langlois)

Hundreds of Filipino activists took to the streets in Manila calling on the government for better wages and treatment of labourers. (Reuters)

Mexico City: Thousands of workers demonstrate on May 1 in the Zócalo. Foto María Luisa Severiano

Communist party supporters with red flags march near Red Square in Moscow, Russia. [Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo]

Multan, Pakistan – Workers of different organizations are participating in a rally on the eve of World Labour Day. APP/SFD/TZD/MOS

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Question related to this article:
Will trade unions increase democratic participation in governance?

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Scene from video of rally in New York City including New York City Coalition for Domestic Workers

Women walk close to a banner reading “Domestic workers we do not agree with the Government,” during a May Day rally in Pamplona, northern Spain, May 1, 2023 (AP).

May Day demonstration celebrating Labour Day in Porto, Portugal (Reuters)

May Day in Potenza, Italy, the procession of CGIL, CISL and UIL

Scene from rally in Prague (AA)

Scores of workers gather at the Saulsville arena (Pretoria) to observe Workers Day. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

In Quito, people take part in a march on International Workers’ Day to demand that Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso, who is facing an impeachment process, leaves office amid rising crime and insecurity, (Reuters)

Rally in the heart of the Mission District of San Francisco with many immigrants from Latin America

A protester holds a sign that reads in Spanish “El Salvador, the biggest jail in Latin America” during an anti-government march on International Labor Day in San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday, May 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

People attend a May Day, or Labor Day, rally in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, May 1, 2023.(AP)

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions march toward the presidential office in Yongsan following a Labor Day rally in downtown Seoul. (Yonhap)

The crowd at the May Day rally of the Marxist–Leninist communist party JVP, in Sril Lanka

Workers from various confederations and labor unions pass the South Sumatra DPRD office

Labour day parade march in front of the town hall in Vienna, Austria. [Lisa Leutner/AP Photo]

Medics hold slogans reading “I want benefits” during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Members of left-wing parties and trade unions march in traditional May Day parade, one of the smallest ever, to mark Labour Day, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, May 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

People take part in a ‘Feminist Revolution’ May Day protest rally and some clash with the police in Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, May 1, 2023. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)

International Cities of Peace: May Newsletter


Excerpts from the May Newsletter of International Cities of Peace


380 Cities of Peace; 71 Countries; 6 Continents — the global network of International Cities of Peace (ICP) continues to grow. Practical work is being done. Below the headlines of violence and war is a profound story of peacemaking in communities. Safety, prosperity, and quality of life are the Consensus Values of Peace and hundreds of International Cities of Peace, thousands on peace teams around the world, are at the forefront of a grassroots organizing principle: localizing a culture of peace.



An extraordinary benefit exclusively for ICP Liaisons

My team at the Media Education Centre and I would like to support our movement and promote as much as possible the Global Network of OUR Cities of Peace because supporting PEACE is more important than ever. . . . . And I believe that political solutions must guide all our peace operations. We must show that it is a Global Movement ready to INCLUDE, ready to PROMOTE and interested to SUPPORT the peace around the Planet. . . . The best way I can propose to all the International Cities of Peace is to help me to show how many cities in how many countries respect and promote peace. To invite many other cities to join us. If you like to support our idea, please be so kind as to express your goodwill to contribute to our promotion with a short video about your city. To be easier to communicate and exchange video and basic information please fill out the form and I (or somebody from my team) will back to you with instructions.


From Buenos Aires: International City of Peace in South America
May 31, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Av. Maipú 2502, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentine Republic.
There will be face-to-face meeting at the Conference with participation by the Ambassador of Peace, Nicolás Incolla Garay of U.N. ECOSOC, as well as Carlos Palma, Coordinator of the Living Peace Project, among other speakers.
Call to Action: Participate from your country by following the instructions in this simple form, you will be part of our summit on May 31, 2023.


Mesa, Arizona, U.S.A. has been an International City of Peace since 2022. Liaisons Paula Osterday and Dr. Ruth Lim, the focus of the peace initiative in Mesa is on the next generation. “We focus on three things in Mesa,” Dr. Lim notes.

We empower children and families to be advocates for peace and non-violence. Our Annual Week Without Violence showcases the community’s advocacy with posters and poetry in different school districts

We have community and business champions that support with Proclamations and Letters of support, including the Governor, the Mayor’s office, Rotary Club, community colleges, and nonprofits like Chicano Por La Causa working on community development.

We placed peace poles in community schools, churches, and colleges.

The Mesa Team was instrumental in Arizona’s observance of “A Week Without Violence”, which created awareness, educates, and strengthens the advocacy for non-violence which in return will help make their community a safer place to live. The Proclamation by Governor of the State of Arizona, Douglas A. Ducey, proclaimed peace as the “deepest hope” and “guiding inspiration” for all of humanity. There are several Cities of Peace in Arizona and many of the leaders are working toward Arizona becoming a State of Peace, the criteria of which is detailed below.

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

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376th City of Peace! Kashojwa, Nakivale, Uganda

There are 74 villages in the Nakivale, Uganda Refugee Camp. Desperate, they come from D.R Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and other countries. A peace leader in the Nakivale settlement of Kashojwa, Nakivale, Uganda has established his village as an International City of Peace. Iragi Bakenga is a Congolese national, a courageous young man, that is taking the leadership. “I have decided with my team to start volunteering for orphans and vulnerable teenagers and youths to fight illiteracy among them. What courage and resolve! (cities listing)

377th City of Peace! The Central District of Lima, Peru

Established as an International City of Peace by Ms. Rosi Castellaneos who leads an extensive peacebuilding network, Lima is a MegaCity with over 40 districts in a country that has recently had many political setbacks. Yet Rosi and her colleagues have many positive activities, including promoting the Roerch Flag of Peace, inspired by the work of Inés Palomeque and the Argentine-based Mil Milenios de Paz. Thank you, Rosi! (cities listing)

378th City of Peace: New Kigali, Nakivale, Uganda

“To see a developed community where women are fully employed, and children access education.” — this seems a universal vision, yet for January Mutimanw it is very personal. Congolese by nationality, he reached the Nakivale Refugee camp in Uganda in 2015 and envisioned himself as a young man destined to change the New Kigali community for the better. We are with you, January. Take advantage of the tools, resources and network of ICP — that is why we are here. (cities listing)


I like, as a woman, that we can do great work so that we women will fight to build peace in our country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.” The words of a current and future peacemaker go to the core of why International Cities of Peace is an extraordinary platform for youngers and elders. Ms. Bahozi Chance is 25 years old and is dedicated to fight for peace in her city of Bukavu and for parity between men and women. “We planted fruit trees and utilize Agro forestry,” Chance said, “to overcome the problem of natural disasters, erosion and floods in the city of Bukavu and live with nature.” Onward toward local/global peace! (cities listing)


Have you planned for Peace Day, 2023?

September 21st is less than four months away. Designated by the United Nations, International Day/Week/Month of Peace is a wonderful opportunity. WE celebrate peace, educate on peacebuilding, and YES! contemplate the work to be done. Many Liaisons use the time to gather their teams to plan for the next year of projects — how has safety, prosperity, and quality of life in your community made progress… or degenerated? Either way, peacemakers are necessary to keep the momentum or to create momentum for community peace.

The ICP sponsored Global Feast for Peace is in its 11th year. How you gather is entirely up to you. Yet through the Feast for Peace, we make a unified and profound statement to the world that peace is an active engagement. Plan an event, or many events, during September. Remember, peace is not something we keep inside, or among our friends and family. Peace must be shouted from the rooftops and mountains! We must rise together to overcome the silence. Invite the community. International Day of Peace is humanity’s gift from the United Nations.

Celebrate. Plan. Listen. Enjoy. Feast for Peace with hundreds of International Cities of Peace around the globe! (Peace Day)

J. Fred Arment
Chair, Lead Facilitator
International Cities of Peace

World Movement of Poetry: for the Culture of Peace


An article from Ici Beyrouth (translation by CPNN)

The World Poetry Movement (WPM), an international organization that brings together poets and poetry promoters from five continents, expresses its concern and opposition to the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, whose two sovereign nations are protagonists, and pleads for a peaceful solution. History teaches us that war is not a solution to conflicts, but a scourge that affects humanity as a whole and it is our duty to warn of the real danger of a nuclear escalation, the possibility of which constitutes a imminent threat to life on the planet. As poets, we embrace the word as a means of sensitive creation, but also as a political and social tool for building a fairer, more equitable and more humane world.

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(click here for the French original of this article)

Question for this article:

How can poetry promote a culture of peace?

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Therefore, the WPM welcomes the initiatives of China, Brazil and other countries that have come out in favor of a negotiated solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. We join the call of the social movements in dialogue as the only method of resolving this conflict and all other international conflicts. It should be noted that, from the ideological point of view, the World Poetry Movement (WPM) is a plural space that unites poets of all different persuasions and positions.

This plurality has not been an obstacle to uniting to defend the cultural and political diversity to which the peoples of the world are entitled. We know from experience that what we have in common can prevail over small differences: the love of life. To paraphrase Saint Augustine, in the face of war, we ask no one how he thinks, but how he loves.

That is why we cannot and do not want to be indifferent to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine or forget that there are currently many other wars in the world that are ignored by international public opinion. The war in Yemen, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the crisis in Myanmar, the situation in Syria, Colombia, among others, are painful events that require equal attention and actions from humanity as a whole to reach solutions. fair and peaceful. It is our duty, as poets, to be witnesses and champions of human values, but also to mobilize poetry and citizens for the construction of real solutions.

Combining words with action is the only way we know to achieve the utopia of a world for peace, for justice and for life, everywhere and for everyone.

BRICS: A New Leader’s Big Banking Opportunity to Improve Global Development


An article by Marco Fernandes from Transcend Media Service

The first event of President Lula da Silva’s long-awaited visit to China in mid-April 2023 is the official swearing-in ceremony of Dilma Rousseff as president of the New Development Bank (popularly known as the BRICS Bank) on April 13. The appointment of the former president of Brazil to the post demonstrates the priority that Lula will give to the BRICS countries (Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa) in his government.

In recent years, BRICS has been losing some of its dynamism. One of the reasons was the retreat of Brazil—which had always been one of the engines of the group—in a choice made by its right-wing and far-right governments (2016-2022) to align with the United States.

A New Momentum for BRICS?

After the last summit meeting in 2022, hosted by Beijing and held online, the idea of expanding the group was strengthened and more countries are expected to join BRICS this year. Three countries have already officially applied to join the group (Argentina, Algeria, and Iran), and several others are already publicly considering doing so, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, and Mexico.

The BRICS countries occupy an increasingly important place in the world economy. In GDP PPP, China is the largest economy, India is third, Russia sixth, and Brazil eighth. BRICS now represents 31.5 percent of the global GDP PPP, while the G7 share has fallen to 30 percent. They are expected to contribute over 50 percent of global GDP by 2030, with the proposed enlargement almost certainly bringing that forward.

Bilateral trade between BRICS countries has also grown robustly: trade between Brazil and China has been breaking records every year and reached $150 billion in 2022; between Brazil and India, there was a 63 percent increase from 2020 to 2021, reaching more than $11 billion; Russia tripled exports to India from April to December 2022 compared to the same period the preceding year, expanding to $32.8 billion; while trade between China and Russia jumped from $147 billion in 2021 to $190 billion in 2022, an increase of about 30 percent.

The conflict in Ukraine has brought them closer together politically. China and Russia have never been more aligned, with a “no limits partnership,” as visible from President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow. South Africa and India have not only refused to yield to NATO pressure to condemn Russia for the conflict or impose sanctions on it, but they have moved even closer to Moscow. India, which in recent years has been closer to the United States, seems to be increasingly committed to the Global South’s strategy of cooperation.

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(Click here for an article in Spanish on this subject.

Question for this article:

What is the contribution of BRICS to sustainable development?

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The NDB, the CRA, and the Alternatives to the Dollar

The two most important instruments created by BRICS are the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). The first has the objective of financing several development projects—with an emphasis on sustainability—and is regarded as a possible alternative to the World Bank. The second could become an alternative fund to the IMF, but the lack of strong leadership since its inauguration in 2015 and the absence of a solid strategy from the five member countries has prevented the CRA from taking off.

Currently, one of the major strategic battles for the Global South is the creation of alternatives to the hegemony of the dollar. As the Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio confessed in late March, the United States will increasingly lose its ability to sanction countries if they decrease their use of dollars. Almost once every week, there is a new agreement between countries to bypass the dollar, like the one recently announced by Brazil and China. The latter already has similar deals with 25 countries and regions.

Right now, there is a working group within BRICS whose task it is to propose its own reserve currency for the five countries that could be based on gold and other commodities. The project is called R5 due to the coincidence that all the currencies of BRICS countries start with R: renminbi, rubles, reais, rupees, and rands. This would allow these countries to slowly increase their growing mutual trade without using the dollar and also decrease the share of their international dollar reserves.

Another untapped potential so far is the use of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (totaling $100 billion) to rescue insolvent countries. When a country’s international reserves run out of dollars (and it can no longer trade abroad or pay its foreign debts), it is forced to ask for a bailout from the IMF, which takes advantage of the country’s desperation and lack of options to impose austerity packages with cuts in state budgets and public services, privatizations, and other neoliberal austerity measures. For decades, this has been one of the weapons of the United States and the EU to ensure the implementation of neoliberalism in the countries of the Global South.

Right now, the five BRICS members have no issues at all with international reserves, but countries like Argentina , Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ghana, and Bangladesh find themselves in a bad situation. If they could access the CRA, with better conditions for repaying the loans, this would mean a political breakthrough for BRICS, which would begin to demonstrate their ability to build alternatives to the financial hegemony of Washington and Brussels.

The NDB would also need to start de-dollarizing itself, having more operations with the currencies of its five members. For instance, from the $32.8 billion of projects approved so far at NDB, around $20 billion was in dollars, and around the equivalent of $3 billion was in Euros. Only $5 billion was in RMB and very little was in other currencies.

To reorganize and expand the NDB and the CRA will be a huge challenge. The leaderships of the five countries will need to be aligned on a common strategy that ensures that both instruments fulfill their original missions, which won’t be easy. Dilma Rousseff, an experienced and globally respected leader, brings hope for a new beginning. Rousseff fought against Brazil’s civil-military dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s and spent three years in prison for it. She became one of President Lula’s key ministers in the 2000s, and she was elected Brazil’s first female president and then won reelection (2010 and 2014). She was in office until she was overthrown by a coup based on fraudulent grounds by Congress (2016)—which has already admitted the fraud. She just returned to political life to run one of the most promising institutions in the Global South. After all, President Dilma Rousseff has never shied away from huge challenges.

The State of the World’s Human Rights: Amnesty International’s Annual Report 2022/23


Annual report of Amnesty International

* Amnesty International’s Annual Report for 2022 highlights double standards throughout the world on human rights and the failure of the international community to unite around consistently-applied human rights and universal values.

* The West’s robust response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine contrasts sharply with a deplorable lack of meaningful action on grave violations by some of their allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

* Women’s rights and freedom to protest are threatened as states fail to protect and respect rights at home.

* As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 75, Amnesty International insists that a rules-based international system must be founded on human rights and applied to everyone, everywhere.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 unleashed numerous war crimes, generated a global energy and food crisis and sought to further disrupt a weak multilateral system. It also laid bare the hypocrisy of Western states that reacted forcefully to the Kremlin’s aggression but condoned or were complicit in grave violations committed elsewhere, Amnesty International said as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world.

Amnesty International Report 2022/23: The State of the World’s Human Rights found that double standards and inadequate responses to human rights abuses taking place around the world fuelled impunity and instability, including deafening silence on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, inaction on Egypt and the refusal to confront Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.

The report also highlights China’s use of strong-arm tactics to suppress international action on crimes against humanity it has committed, as well as the failure of global and regional institutions – hamstrung by the self-interest of their members – to respond adequately to conflicts killing thousands of people including in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Yemen.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a chilling example of what can happen when states think they can flout international law and violate human rights without consequences,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created 75 years ago, out of the ashes of the Second World War. At its core is the universal recognition that all people have rights and fundamental freedoms. While global power dynamics are in chaos, human rights cannot be lost in the fray. They should guide the world as it navigates an increasingly volatile and dangerous environment. We must not wait for the world to burn again.”

Shameless double standards pave way for further abuses

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine triggered one of Europe’s worst humanitarian and human rights emergencies in recent history. The conflict not only resulted in mass displacement, war crimes and global energy and food insecurity, it also raised the chilling spectre of nuclear war.

The response was swift with the West imposing economic sanctions on Moscow and sending military assistance to Kyiv, the International Criminal Court opening an investigation into war crimes in Ukraine and the UN General Assembly voting to condemn Russia’s invasion as an act of aggression. However, this robust and welcomed approach stood in stark contrast to previous responses to massive violations by Russia and others, and to pitiful existing responses on conflicts such as Ethiopia and Myanmar.

“Had the system worked to hold Russia accountable for its documented crimes in Chechnya and Syria, thousands of lives might have been saved then and now, in Ukraine and elsewhere. Instead, what we have is more suffering and devastation,” said Agnès Callamard.

“If Russia’s war of aggression demonstrates anything for the world’s future, it is the importance of an effective and consistently applied rules-based international order. All States must step up their efforts for a renewed rules-based order that benefits everyone, everywhere.”

For Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, 2022 was one of the deadliest years since the UN began systematically recording casualties in 2006, with at least 151 people, including dozens of children, killed by Israeli forces. Israeli authorities continued to force Palestinians from their homes, and the government is rolling out plans to drastically expand illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank. Instead of demanding an end to Israel’s system of apartheid, many Western governments chose to attack those denouncing it.

The USA has been a vocal critic of Russian violations in Ukraine and has admitted tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war, yet under policies and practices rooted in anti-Black racism, it expelled more than 25,000 Haitians between September 2021 and May 2022, and subjected many to torture and other ill-treatment.

EU member states opened their borders to Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression, demonstrating that, as one of the richest blocs in the world, they were more than capable of receiving large numbers of people seeking safety and giving them access to health, education and accommodation. However, many kept their doors shut to those escaping war and repression in Syria, Afghanistan and Libya.

“Responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gave us some evidence of what can be done when there is political will. We saw global condemnation, investigations of crimes, borders opened to refugees. This response must be a blueprint for how we address all massive human rights violations,” said Agnès Callamard.

The West’s double standards emboldened countries like China, and enabled Egypt and Saudi Arabia to evade, ignore and deflect criticism of their human rights record.

Despite massive human rights violations, amounting to crimes against humanity against Uyghur and other Muslim minorities, Beijing escaped international condemnation by the UN General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council.

The UN Human Rights Council established a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Russia and an investigative mechanism on Iran in the wake of deadly protests. But it voted not to further investigate or even discuss the UN’s own findings of potential crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China, and discontinued a resolution on the Philippines.

“Countries applied human rights law on a case-by-case basis in a staggering show of blatant hypocrisy and double standards. States cannot criticize human rights violations one minute and, in the next, condone similar abuses in other countries just because their interests are at stake. It’s unconscionable and undermines the entire fabric of universal human rights,” said Agnès Callamard.

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Question(s) related to this article:
What is the state of human rights in the world today?

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“We also need States that have so far failed to put their head above the parapet to take a stand against human rights abuses wherever they fall. We need less hypocrisy, less cynicism, and more consistent, principled and ambitious action by all states to promote and protect all rights.”.

Ruthless repression of dissent across the world

In 2022, Russian dissenters were taken to court and media houses were shut down just for mentioning the war in Ukraine. Journalists were imprisoned in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Russia, Belarus and dozens of other countries across the world where conflicts raged.

In Australia, India, Indonesia and the UK, authorities passed new legislation imposing restrictions on demonstrations while Sri Lanka used emergency powers to curtail mass protests against the spiralling economic crisis. The UK law gives police officers wide-ranging powers, including the ability to ban “noisy protests”, undermining the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.

Technology was weaponized against many, to silence, prevent public assembly or disinform.

Iranian authorities responded to the unprecedented uprising against decades of repression with unlawful force through live ammunition, metal pellets, tear gas and beatings. Hundreds of people, including dozens of children, were killed. In December, Peruvian security forces used unlawful force, especially against indigenous people and campesinos, to quell protests during the political crisis that followed the ousting of former president Castillo. Journalists, human rights defenders and political opposition also faced repression including in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

In response to growing threats to the right to protest, Amnesty International launched a global campaign in 2022 to confront states’ intensifying efforts to erode the fundamental right to freedom of peaceful assembly. As part of this campaign the organization calls for the adoption of a Poland were prosecuted for helping women access abortion pills.

Indigenous women continued to face disproportionately high levels of rape and other sexual violence in the USA. In Pakistan, several high-profile murders of women by family members were reported yet parliament failed to adopt legislation on domestic violence that had been pending since 2021. In India, violence against Dalit and Adivasi women, among other caste-based hate crimes, was committed with impunity.

Afghanistan witnessed a particularly significant deterioration of women and girls’ rights to personal autonomy, education, work, and access to public spaces, through multiple edicts issued by the Taliban. In Iran, the “morality police” violently arrested Mahsa (Zhina) Amini for showing strands of hair under her headscarf, and days later she died in custody amid credible reports of torture, sparking nationwide protests in which many more women and girls were injured, detained or killed.

“States’ hunger to control the bodies of women and girls, their sexuality and their lives leaves a terrible legacy of violence, oppression and stunted potential,” said Agnès Callamard.

A crowd of protesters proceeds over the Brooklyn Bridge with the New York skyline in the background. They carry a large banner with the words ‘my body my choice’.

Global action against threats to humanity woefully inadequate

In 2022, the world continued to suffer the fall-out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Climate change, conflict and economic shocks caused in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine further compounded the risks to human rights.

Economic crises meant 97% of the population of Afghanistan were living in poverty. In Haiti, the political and humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by widespread gang violence, left more than 40% of the population facing acute food insecurity.

Extreme weather conditions exacerbated by a rapidly warming planet triggered hunger and disease in several countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, including Pakistan and Nigeria where floods had a catastrophic impact on people’s lives and livelihoods and led to an outbreak of waterborne diseases, which killed hundreds.

Against this backdrop, countries failed to act in the best interests of humanity and address fossil fuel dependency, the main driver pushing us toward the biggest threat to life as we know it. This collective failure was another stark example of the weakness of current multilateral systems.

“The world is besieged by an onslaught of colliding crises including widespread conflict, cruel global economics with too many states burdened by unsustainable debt, corporate tax abuse, the weaponization of technology, the climate crisis and shifting tectonic plates of power. We stand no chance of surviving these crises if our international institutions aren’t fit for purpose,” said Agnès Callamard.

Dysfunctional international institutions need fixing

It is vital that international institutions and systems that are meant to protect our rights are strengthened rather than undermined. The first step is for UN human rights mechanisms to be fully funded, so that accountability and investigations can be pursued, and justice delivered.

Amnesty International is also calling for the UN’s key decision-making body, the Security Council, to be reformed to give a voice to countries and situations which have been traditionally ignored, especially in the global south.

“The international system needs serious reform to reflect the realities of today. We cannot allow the permanent members of the UN Security Council to continue wielding their veto power and abusing their privileges unchecked. The lack of transparency and efficiency in the Council’s decision-making process leaves the entire system wide open to manipulation, abuse and dysfunction,” said Agnès Callamard.

But while self-serving governments fail to put our human rights first, the human rights movement shows we can still draw inspiration and hope from the people these states should have protected.

In Colombia, the persistence of women’s rights activism and legal action contributed to the Constitutional Court’s decision to decriminalize abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. In South Sudan, Magai Matiop Ngong was released from prison, having been sentenced to death at the age of 15 in 2017. His release came after thousands of people around the world petitioned the authorities for his freedom.

Indigenous Mayan environmentalist Bernardo Caal Xol was released on parole after spending four years in jail in Guatemala on bogus charges. After years of campaigning by women’s movements in Spain, the country’s parliament passed a law placing consent at the centre of the legal definition of rape. Kazakhstan and Papua New Guinea repealed the death penalty.

“It is easy to feel hopeless in the face of atrocities and abuses but throughout the last year, people have shown we are not powerless,” said Agnès Callamard.

“We’ve witnessed iconic acts of defiance, including Afghan women marching against Taliban rule and Iranian women walking unveiled in public or cutting their hair to protest compulsory veiling laws. Millions of people who have been systematically oppressed by patriarchy and racism took to the streets to demand a better tomorrow. They did so in previous years and they did so again in 2022. This should remind those in power that we will never be mere bystanders when they assault our dignity, equality and freedom.”