Category Archives: global

Upcoming Virtual Events and Application Deadlines


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.

3 Mars 2021 Heure : 10H (GMT)
“Repenser l’Afrique Post Covid 19”

Organisé par l’Institut Mandela en partenariat avec l’Ecole Doctorale GAMO et le Laboratoire de Recherches et d’Actions Diplomatiques (LaRAD) vous invitent à la Vidéoconférence Panafricaine.
— Panélistes:
1)- Son Excellence Madame Fatima HARAM ACYL, Vice-Présidente de la Commission de la CEMAC,
2)- Professeur Mohamed HARAKAT, Professeur à l’Université Mohamed V de Rabat, Responsable de l’Ecole Doctorale Gouvernance de l’Afrique et du Moyen-Orient (GAMO)
— Modérateur : Dr Paul KANANURA, Spécialiste en Géopolitique, Géostratégie et Gouvernance, Président de l’Institut Mandela.
Participer à la Vidéoconférence Panafricaine via ce lien

jeudi 4 mars 2021 de 9h30 à 13h00 (Central European Time)
Webinaire Sur Femmes, Education Et Culture

Un cycle de trois webinaires organisés en France par la Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme (CNCDH) dans le cadre de webinaires consacrés aux droits des femmes,
— Mme Stefania Giannini, Sous-directrice générale pour l’éducation prononcera l’allocution d’ouverture au nom de la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, conjointement avec Mme Karima Bennoune, Rapporteuse spéciale des Nations Unies dans le domaine culturel.
— Mme Véronique Roger-Lacan, Ambassadrice, Déléguée permanente de la France auprès de l’UNESCO, prononcera l’allocution de clôture.
— Georges Kutukdjian, animera la Table ronde N° 1 sur Comment l’éducation peut-elle promouvoir l’égalité femmes-hommes ?
— Programme détaillé en ligne ici.
— Inscription en ligne obligatoire, cliquez ici.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 • 7:00 PM • Eastern Standard Time
Webinar: Leah Bolger on the U.S. Overseas Military Base Empire

The Overseas Military Base Empire: Presentation by Leah Bolger, President of the Board, World BEYOND War and retired U.S. Naval officer. She will present on the social, environmental, and economic impact of U.S. bases and how to close them.
— Sponsored by the CNY Beyond War and Militarism Committee
— The United States has over 200,000 troops stationed on more than 800 bases in more than 80 countries and all seven continents? They are provocative, increasing tensions throughout the world. Maintaining these bases drains hundreds of billions of U.S. tax dollars annually which could be much better used to fund human needs here and abroad.
— Host Contact Info: Greta,
Click here to register

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 • 7:00 PM GMT
No Return to Blair Wars – Online Launch

by Stop the Wars Coalition
Anti-war opinion is deeply embedded within British society and has been since the disaster of the Iraq War. The desire for a new foreign policy was part of the attraction of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party; to distance itself from Corbyn, and the anti-war movement he represents, the Labour leadership has recently endorsed attacks on Stop the War – with accusations that by opposing wars we support dictators. Our members and supporters will recognise this trope.
— To rebuke these attacks Lindsey German and Andrew Murray have produced a new pamphlet, No Return to Blair Wars – A Reply to Open Labour, clarifying Stop the War Coalition’s anti-imperialist philosophy and setting out the left’s foreign policy choices.
— As a result of the overwhelming response and debate provoked by the pamphlet we’ve decided to host an online launch– event where you can hear from the authors and put forward your questions on the topics discussed in the pamphlet. We look forward to seeing you there.
Register here to attend the event

Wed, March 10th, at 10:00am-11:30am EST (15:00-16:30 GMT)
Resisting Occupation: Connecting Palestine and Western Sahara

Sponsored by Nonviolence International (NVI)
— We will hear Palestinian, Sahrawi and other voices share their stories of nonviolent resistance to Moroccan and Israeli occupations. We have an amazing array of panelists that Mubarak Awad will be co-hosting with Rafif Jouejati a fellow NVI board member and Syrian-American human rights activist.
— Panelists:
Salka Barca, Founder of Karama Sahara, a Sahrawi advocacy group
Kamal Lfahsi, A Moroccan human rights activist
Stephen Zunes, Professor in international studies.
Jonathan Kuttab, NVI co-founder and Palestinian human rights lawyer.
Please register for the webinar here.

March 11 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm GMT
Three forms of power-sharing and their relationship

sponsored by the Political Settlements Research Programme of The University of Edinburgh
— This webinar will examine the relationship between power-sharing and inclusion of non-dominant groups, and will use PA-X data to demonstrate how peace agreements provide for above-average inclusion of women, girls, and gender.
— Many case studies show post-conflict power-sharing to be exclusionary of various non-dominant groups. However, analysis of the PA-X database of peace agreements shows that those agreements with political power-sharing have provisions for women, girls and gender at a well above average rate. This research shows how Prof Christine Bell’s three-way functional typology of political power-sharing gives explanatory value to the relationship between power-sharing and inclusion. It shows that sub-state indigenous autonomy in particular is related to higher levels of inclusion of a variety of non-dominant groups in peace agreements. Further, the provisions in these agreements also tend to articulate inclusion in a particular way that emphasises community power rather elite driven aid. Featuring PSRP’s Dr Kevin McNicholl.
— The webinar will be held over Zoom, with joining links emailed to participants ahead of the event. Registration will open shortly [as of Feb 25]. The final event time will be confirmed in due course.

March 16-25
Three Events at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 2021 (CSW65) sponsored by Pathways to Peace

Forced Sterilization and Rape as a Form of Genocide, March 16, 1:30 pm EST
Empowering the Divine Feminine Within, March 21, 4:30 pm, EST
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Identification, and Eradication, March 25, 9:30 am, EST
Sign up for an account here. Due to an overwhelming response to our virtual platform and Parallel Event application, you can now register for free!

18 March 2021 at 9am ET
Advancing Gender Equality

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 for all global webinars. Following each of these, regional webinars will be organized under the leadership of the Religions for PeaceRegional Secretaries General, in coordination with Religions for Peace International Secretariat.
— This event is by invitation only. Inquiries can be sent to

Mon, March 22, 2021, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM Central European Time
An evening with Ray Acheson and a preview of her brilliant new book: “Banning the Bomb, Smashing the Patriarchy”

The book offers a look inside the antinuclear movement and the recent successful campaign to ban the bomb — from scrappy organising to winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 and achieving a landmark UN Treaty banning nuclear weapons.
— Hosted by Scottish & UK ICAN Partners: WILPF, Scottish CND, Medact Scotland, UN House Scotland, Peace & Justice, and Trident Ploughshares.
Register here

Friday, March 26, 2021 • 6:00 PM • Greenwich Mean Time
Online Rally: #YemenCantWait – Stop British Support for the War

The Saudi-led war on Yemen is about to enter its sixth destructive year. According to a recent UN report, the war has already claimed 233,000 lives. It is estimated that 24 million Yemenis need humanitarian assistance – some 80% of the population – which is being thwarted by the Saudi-led coalition’s air and naval blockade of the country.
— And who is the main Western backer of the war? Boris Johnson and his Tory government. Even after Joe Biden announced an end to US support for the war the British government shamefully continues to sell bombs and aircraft to the Saudi regime who have created the worst humanitarian crisis on earth.
— We call on the British government to stop prolonging the carnage in Yemen by ending all arms sales and military support for the Saudi-led coalition immediately.
— Host Contact Info:
Click here for registration

New UNEP synthesis provides blueprint to urgently solve planetary emergencies and secure humanity’s future


A press release from the United Nations Environmental Program

The world can transform its relationship with nature and tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises together to secure a sustainable future and prevent future pandemics, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that offers a comprehensive blueprint for addressing our triple planetary emergency.

Launch of report

The report, Making Peace with Nature, lays out the gravity of these three environmental crises by drawing on global assessments, including those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, as well as UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook report, the UNEP International Resource Panel, and new findings on the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.

The authors assess the links between multiple environmental and development challenges, and explain how advances in science and bold policymaking can open a pathway towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and a carbon neutral world by 2050 while bending the curve on biodiversity loss and curbing pollution and waste. Taking that path means innovation and investment only in activities that protect both people and nature. Success will include restored ecosystems and healthier lives as well as a stable climate.

“By bringing together the latest scientific evidence showing the impacts and threats of the climate emergency, the biodiversity crisis and the pollution that kills millions of people every year, [this report] makes clear that our war on nature has left the planet broken,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in the report’s Foreword. “But it also guides us to a safer place by providing a peace plan and a post-war rebuilding programme.

“By transforming how we view nature, we can recognize its true value. By reflecting this value in policies, plans and economic systems, we can channel investments into activities that restore nature and are rewarded for it,” he added. “By recognizing nature as an indispensable ally, we can unleash human ingenuity in the service of sustainability and secure our own health and well-being alongside that of the planet.”

Amid a wave of investment to re-energize economies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the blueprint communicates the opportunity and urgency for ambitious and immediate action. It also lays out the roles that everyone – from governments and businesses to communities and individuals – can and must play. 2021 is especially crucial, with upcoming climate and biodiversity convention meetings – NFCCC COP 26 and CBD COP 15 – where governments must come up with synergistic and ambitious targets to safeguard the planet by almost halving greenhouse gas emissions in this decade, and by conserving and restoring biodiversity.

Tackling three planetary threats together

Economic growth has brought uneven gains in prosperity to a fast-growing global population, leaving 1.3 billion people poor, while tripling the extraction of natural resources to damaging levels and creating a planetary emergency. Despite a temporary decline in emissions due to the pandemic, Earth is heading for at least 3°C of global warming this century; more than 1 million of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species are at substantially increased risk of extinction; and diseases caused by pollution are currently killing some 9 million people prematurely every year. Environmental degradation is impeding progress towards ending poverty and hunger, reducing inequalities and promoting sustainable economic growth, work for all and peaceful and inclusive societies.

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

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The report shows how this trio of environmental emergencies interact and have common causes, and thus can only be effectively addressed together. Subsidies on fossil fuels, for instance, and prices that leave out environmental costs, are driving the wasteful production and consumption of energy and natural resources that are behind all three problems.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said the report highlighted the importance of changing mindsets and values, and finding political and technical solutions that measure up to the Earth’s environmental crises.

“In showing how the health of people and nature are intertwined, the COVID-19 crisis has underlined the need for a step-change in how we view and value nature. By reflecting that value in decision-making – whether we are talking about economic policy or personal choices – we can bring about a rapid and lasting shift toward sustainability for both people and the environment,” she said. “‘Green recovery’ plans for pandemic-hit economies are an unmissable opportunity to accelerate the transformation.”

Released ahead of the fifth UN Environment Assembly, the report presents a strong case for why and how urgent action should be taken to protect and restore the planet and its climate in a holistic way.

It presents examples of what transformative change can look like, and how it can create prosperity, employment and greater equality. Far-reaching change involves recasting how we value and invest in nature, integrating that value into policies and decisions at all levels, overhauling subsidies and other elements of economic and financial systems, and fostering innovation in sustainable technologies and business models. Massive private investment in electric mobility and alternative fuels show how whole industries recognize the potential gains from shifting quickly.

The authors point out that ending environmental decline in all its forms is essential to advancing many of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular poverty alleviation, food and water security and good health for all. An example is how intensifying agriculture and fishing in sustainable ways, allied with changes in diets and lower food waste, can help end global hunger and poverty and improve nutrition and health while sparing more land and ocean for nature.

Reinforcing the call for action, the report stresses the need for stakeholders at all levels of society to be involved in decision-making, and identifies dozens of key actions that governments, businesses, communities and individuals can and should undertake in order to bring about a sustainable world.

For instance:

* Governments can include natural capital in measures of economic performance, put a price on carbon and shift trillions of dollars in subsidies from fossil fuels, non-sustainable agriculture and transportation towards low-carbon and nature-friendly solutions

* International organizations can promote One Health approaches and ambitious international targets for biodiversity, such as expanded and improved protected area networks

* Financial organizations can stop lending for fossil fuels and develop innovative finance for biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture.

* Businesses can adopt the principles of the circular economy to minimize resource use and waste and commit to maintaining transparent and deforestation-free supply chains

* Non-government organizations can build networks of stakeholders to ensure their full participation in decisions about sustainable use of land and marine resources

* Scientific organizations can pioneer technologies and policies to reduce carbon emissions, increase resource efficiency and lift the resilience of cities, industries, communities and ecosystems

* Individuals can reconsider their relationship with nature, learn about sustainability and change their habits to reduce their use of resources, cut waste of food, water and energy, and adopt healthier diets

A sustainable future also means learning from the COVID-19 crisis to reduce the threat of pandemic diseases. The report underlines how ecosystem degradation heightens the risk of pathogens making the jump from animals to humans, and the importance of a ‘One Health’ approach that considers human, animal and planetary health together.

(Thank you to Phyllis Kotite, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Past virtual events in February


Here are events and application deadlines in February that were previously listed on the CPNN page for upcoming virtual events. Unless otherwise noted the events are in English.

Feb 4, 2021 05:45 PM GMT (London)
Liverpool StW: The Assange case: what next?

John McDonnell MP
Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor in chief of WikiLeaks
Deepa Driver, Haldane Society court reporter
Alan Gibbons, Labour activist and author
Register here

Thursday, February 4, 2021, 12:00-1:00 EST
Gerald Horne discusses his book, The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism.

— sponsored by the New Haven Free Public Library
Acclaimed historian Gerald Horne joins us for a virtual lunch hour discussion of his book, The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century. Horne is John J. and Rebecca Moores Professor of African American History at the University of Houston. He has published more than three dozen books, including The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism and Jazz and Justice, both by Monthly Review Press.
.. The Dawning of the Apocalypse is a riveting revision of the “creation myth” of settler colonialism and how the United States was formed. Here, Gerald Horne argues forcefully that, in order to understand the arrival of colonists from the British Isles in the early seventeenth century, one must first understand the “long sixteenth century”– from 1492 until the arrival of settlers in Virginia in 1607.
During this prolonged century, Horne contends, “whiteness” morphed into “white supremacy,” and allowed England to co-opt not only religious minorities but also various nationalities throughout Europe, thus forging a muscular bloc that was needed to confront rambunctious Indigenes and Africans. In retelling the bloodthirsty story of the invasion of the Americas, Horne recounts how the fierce resistance by Africans and their Indigenous allies weakened Spain and enabled London to dispatch settlers to Virginia in 1607. These settlers laid the groundwork for the British Empire and its revolting spawn that became the United States of America.
— No registration necessary. Join us in Zoom using this link:
— This event will also stream live on our Facebook Page.
— For more information, email Isaac Shub at or call 203-946-8130.

Saturday, February 6 at 2 PM EST
Building the Antiwar Movement Under the Biden Administration

This will be a discussion with UNAC [Unied National Antiwar Coalition] administrative committee members:
Bahman Azad, Ajamu Baraka, Judy Bello, Sara Flounders, Margaret Flowers, Margaret Kimberley, Cassia Laham, Autumn Lake, Joe Lombardo, Jeff Mackler, Rhonda Ramiro)
Click here to register
Click here for the Facebook event

February 7-8 (see program for times)
PyeongChang Peace Forum (PPF) 2021

Experts from around the world will discuss concrete approaches and effective campaigns to abolish war and eliminate nuclear weapons, key objectives of the United Nations, with the aim of achieving these no later than 2045, the 100th anniversary of the UN.
— You are cordially invited to register for the three sessions on Peace ans SDGs hosted PNND, APSD, PCK in partnership with many international CSOs during the PPF 2021.
The outcome of the sessions will be incorporated into the PyeongChang Agenda for Peace (PCAP) 2021.
A zoom or youtube link and background materials will be sent to those who have registered here in advance.
Click here to register for the sessions.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 9 p.m. (EST)
Asia-Pacific Political Economy: Dynamics and Their Implications

In recent decades, the Asia/Indo-Pacific region has been transformed by unprecedented economic growth, driven in significant measure by globalization, law wage production, growing economic inequality, repressive labor laws, technological coemption and disregard for the environment. With the world’s three largest economies the region is responsible for 60 percent of global gross domestic product.
–Impacting these dynamics are the impacts of the pandemic, the U.S.-Chinese trade war including sanctions and restrictions on technological export, China’s Belt and Road, the recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, competition for control of the South China Sea, and increasing military tensions across the region.
— The newly launched Asia-Pacific Working Group will host a webinar providing background and analysis about the political economy of the Asia/Indo-Pacific region.
— Featured speakers will be:
Walden Bello, Focus on Global South & University of the Philippines
Juliet Lu, Cornell University
Achin Vanaik, Transnational Institute and University of Delhi (ret)
You can watch the recording here

Thursday, Feb. 11, 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST =
Fri, February 12, 2021, 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM CET
Mohonk Consultations (USA)

Please join us for an online panel presentation on how to overcome polarization and find common ground. Our speakers will highlight practical approaches, building on the 125-year living tradition of peacebuilding at Mohonk Mountain House. Our panel members and the titles of their presentations are as follows:
— Dennis Kucinich, “Stepping Out of Polarization”
— Lester Strong, founder and director of the Peaceful Guardians Initiative, “The Four Gateways of Communication
— Dior Williams, Rondout Valley High School student and member of its Human Rights Club, “The Importance of Humility”
— It is clear that we are in a period of intense polarization in the US and in many areas around the globe. Recent events have given hope that a shift may be underway, presenting us with an opportunity to change the perspective of enmity to one of collaboration and unity in working toward a common understanding. Tools for avoiding conflict and finding common ground are extraordinarily useful and needed at this unique time, as is the spreading of goodwill. How can each of us, in our own way, be part of a solution?
— Visit our website for more details, including speaker biographies.
Click here to see a recording of the event

Friday, February 12, 2021 • 10:00 – 11:30 AM EST (GMT-05:00)
Webinar: Bahrain 10 Years After

10 years after the Bahraini government violently cracked down on mass pro-democracy protests in February 2011, the country remains riven by levels of unrest, political crisis, and human rights violations. Bahrainis continue to protest and demonstrate almost nightly, continuing their calls for greater political and economic freedoms as well as greater respect for human, civil, and political rights. The government continues to meet these demonstrations with force and violence, arresting dissidents and critics, and filling jails with peaceful protesters. These moves by the government have not led to sustainable peace, but have helped fuel dissatisfaction among many.
— After four years of the Trump administration’s total disregard for human rights in U.S. policy toward Bahrain, this panel will discuss what steps Congress and Biden’s administration should take to address the ongoing crisis in Bahrain. The panel will address the efforts to release political prisoners and end the culture of impunity in the country. In addition, the panel will address ways to pressure the Biden administration to end U.S. military support for the Bahraini government.
— Moderator: David Swanson
— Panelists:
Husain Abdulla  
Ali Mushaima
Medea Benjamin
Barbara Wien
— Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.
Register here

Sunday 14 Feb., 2021, 3 PM, EST

The program will be moderated by activist/artist Jacqueline Taylor Basker, New York City.
— Lawyer Frank Romano was one of the lawyers submitting a brief to the ICC to accuse Israel of war crimes. Hear his amazing story that involved his kidnapping, jailing, escape and evasion of Israeli authorities so he could complete his brief! We will also discuss briefly the ICC – International Criminal Court – its history and function.
Please click this URL to start or join.
— The event will be recorded so If you cannot join in then, send an email to Jacqueline Taylor Basker for a link to the event at:

Monday, Feb 15th from 7-8pm EST / 4-5pm Pacific time.
Campaign Nonviolence Organizer Meeting

Calling all Campaign Nonviolence Organizers,
— If you can’t make it, please fill out this short survey. This is another way to participate in the conversation and share responses to the discussion prompts we’ll explore on Monday. We will also be planning more calls throughout the year at different days/times.
— On Monday, we’ll explore:
What’s most exciting to you about building a culture of nonviolence?
What are you interested in working on this year?
What pro-tips can you share with your fellow organizers?
What’s YOUR vision for Campaign Nonviolence in 2021?
Register here

February 18 at 8 p.m. EST
For Peace in Korea, No More War Drills!

With the U.S. and South Korea scheduled to resume massive wargames targeted against North Korea, Women Cross the DMZ has organized a webinar, For Peace in Korea, No More War Drills!
— Speakers include: Wooksik Cheong, Director of Peace Network (South Korea), Catherine Killough, Advocacy and Leadership Coordinator of Women Cross DMZ (US), and Jovanni Reyes, Member Coordinator of About Face: Veterans Against War (US)
Register here

Wednesday, February 18, at 7 am EST (Boston)
U.S.-China Relations: Challenges and Prospects for Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific

Joseph Gerson will be joining Prof. Wang Danning for an International Peace Bureau webinar.
Discussants include Anurada Chenoy from India, Enkhsaikhan Jargalsaikhan from Mongolia, and Lee Jun-kyu from South Korea.
YouTube video of webinar available here

February 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm GMT
Conflict, Peace, & Covid-19

— Sponsored by the Political Settlement Research Programme
— This event will offer insights into how local and regional actors in the MENA region and the African continent are responding to the pandemic. Panellists will introduce their research on the response to Covid-19 in the following areas:
— Iraq and Syria: Dr Juline Beaujouan will examine how the pandemic has affected political trust and social cohesion in northwest Syria.
— Yemen: Robert Wilson will explore how local actors in Yemen could support the response to Covid-19 by navigating regional and sub-regional local dynamics, alongside early insights into how security actors are enforcing Covid measures in Taiz.
— There will be ample opportunity for questions from the audience after the presentations.
— The webinar will be held over Zoom, with joining links emailed to participants ahead of the event. Register here

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 – 2:00PM EST
“The Story of Forgiveness”

We warmly invite you to the premiere of “The Story of Forgiveness,” presented by The Stanford University Forgiveness Project and PEPSTAR. In this inaugural event, we will be screening the short film, “Admissions”, starring Academy Award nominee, James Cromwell, and winner of 26 international awards.
— This will be followed by a moderated discussion with a distinguished panel that will focus on the intersection of peace and forgiveness. For more information please click the button to view and download the flyer.
Link for Zoom Meeting

February 22 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm MST (Calgary, Canada)
Panel on Student Leadership and Activism

sponsored by Educators for Peace and Justice
— We are excited to have five student activists sit on our panel to discuss student activism and leadership: Nyakier Buong, Tanisha D, Alicia Aikens, Chase Cardinal, and Erin Knight!
— We will be learning more about how these leaders were inspired, what opportunities they have had to be leaders, and what they think teachers can do to support students! These students are working to bring change in the Canadian communities that they are part of.
— Join us in discussion on how educators can continue to support their students and work for a better tomorrow. Additionally, all participants will be given the opportunity to ask our panelists any questions they may have.
Join Zoom meeting here

Feb. 22, 3 PM EST/12 PM Pacific Time
Julian Assange Appeal & the First Amendment

Sponsored by the United National Antiwar Coalition
— An online panel discussion on the persecution of Julian Assange. A British judge has recently blocked his extradition from the UK to the US, where he would face unprecedented charges that aim to criminalize basic journalistic activity. The US is appealing that decision, but the indictment against Assange was drawn up during the Trump administration, and the newly elected Biden DOJ should take a new look at the case and drop the charges.
— Our panel will give an overview of Assange’s case, the threat his prosecution poses to the First Amendment, and the latest on his legal proceedings in the UK.
— Hear: Alice Walker, Mumia Abu-Jamel, Nathan Fuller & Joe Lombardo with Jeff Mackler moderating
— For more information:
Click here to see the results on YouTube

Tuesday, February 23 at 10 am EST (Boston)
Nuclear disarmament webinar

The Peace and Planet international network will be holding the first of a series of nuclear disarmament webinars, as we build toward this summer’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference. Titled The International Nuclear Disarmament Agenda, it will feature Oleg Bodrov of the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland (Russia), Jackie Cabasso of the Western States Legal Foundation (US), Ariel Denis of the International Peace Bureau (France), Sharon Dolev of the Middle East Treaty Organization (Israel).
Register here

Feb 24, 2021 07:00 PM EST
Is Nonviolent Policing Possible?

The Center for Nonviolent Solutions presents:
Charles Alphin Sr. a retired police captain and veteran trainer in Kingian Nonviolence who thinks that nonviolent policing is possible. Join us for an engaging evening on nonviolence and policing.
— A close associate of civil rights leader Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr, Mr. Alphin has provided trainings in Kingian Nonviolence around the world and to numerous police departments in the US including Atlanta, GA, St. Louis, MO, Detroit, MI, Beaumont, TX, Providence, RI, Oakland, and Beverly Hills, CA.
YouTube record of the event

Feb 26, 2021 01:00 PM EST
Dialogue: “Women Artists Making an Impact”

NGO Committee on Sustainable Development
Our Dialogue will highlight women artists who are having an impact in their communities through their social good initiatives. They are empowering women of all ages to be leaders with a focus on sustainable solutions to support the United Nations 2030 Agenda for the SDGs so we “Leave No One Behind.” In addition we will focus on the UN75 Peoples’ Declaration for the UN We Need and the futuree we want.
Webinar registration

Friday, 26 February 2021, 15:30 CET
Webinar del Progetto “L’intersezione sessismo-razzismo”: InTRATTAbili
Webinar on the project “The intersection of sexism and racism”: InTRATTAbili

The webinar will take place through the “Zoom” platform. The event will be recorded and followed by the Facebook pages of the sponsoring associations. English / Italian – Italian / English translation is provided.
— Il progetto “L’intersezione sessismo/razzismo: rete di donne contro la violenza”, promosso dalle associazioni IParticipate, Progetto Arcobaleno e AntropoLogiche, finanziato da Fondazione Marchi, organizza Venerdì 26 febbraio 2021 (ore 15.30 – 1730) il webinar “InTRATTAbili: schiavitù contemporanee e il caso della tratta delle donne” di confronto e incontro con alcune tra le principali realtà dell’associazionismo femminile sul territorio di Firenze, Scandicci, Pisa che si occupano delle schiavitù contemporanee e in particolare della tratta, nel quadro dell’intersezione sessismo/razzismo. Ospite d’onore Meena Patel, da Londra fondatrice delle Southall Black Sisters, che con i loro 40 anni di attività sia sociale che politica allarga al confronto internazionale su questi temi.
— The project “The intersection of sexism / racism: a network of women against violence”, promoted by the IParticipate associations, Progetto Arcobaleno and AntropoLogiche, financed by Fondazione Marchi, organizes the webinar “Intractable: slavery on Friday 26 February 2021 (3.30 – 1730) and the case of the trafficking of women “of confrontation and encounter with some of the main realities of women’s associations in the territory of Florence, Scandicci, Pisa that deal with contemporary slavery and in particular with trafficking, within the framework of the intersection of sexism / racism. Guest of honor Meena Patel, founder of the Southall Black Sisters from London, who with their 40 years of both social and political activity has expanded to international debate on these issues.
Click here for more information

Feb 27, 2021 04:00 PM EST
Training on the New Sanctions Kill Toolkit

The Sanctions Kill coalition created a new toolkit that anyone can use to educate their organization, group or community about what economic sanctions are, the impact they have, why they are illegal and how they also hurt people in the United States. The toolkit is composed of a 20-minute slideshow, a sample script and resources.
— You are invited to a webinar to learn more about the toolkit, hear a sample presentation and ask questions. This is led by members of groups in the Sanctions Kill coalition. All who are interested are welcome. Please spread the word.
Zoom register here

Saturday February 27 from 5:30 – 7:00pm Central European Time
Let’s talk Nuclear Disarmament

Sponsored by UNFOLD ZERO, the UN Youth Association of Denmark and Youth Fusion
— The program includes experts on global initiatives for nuclear disarmament, nuclear weapons & the law, Danish nuclear weapons policy, gender & disarmament, and the inter-generational impact of the B-52 nuclear weapons bomber accident at Thule airbase in 1968 (which Youth Fusion has recently raised in UN Human Rights Committees).
Click here to register for the event.

Sunday, February 28, 2021 • 5:00 PM • Eastern Standard Time
The journey to a world free of nuclear weapons – where we are and how you can get involved

The Florida Peace & Justice Alliance Presents: “The journey to a world free of nuclear weapons – where we are and how you can get involved” with presentations by Dr. Lynn Ringenberg of PSR-Florida and David Combs of the Union of Concerned Scientists
— Host Contact Info: Al Mytty,
Click here for registration

Sunday, 28 February 2021 at 2:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Global Town Hall

Project Save the World invites you to our next monthly Global Town Hall. On the last Sunday of every month, we hold an open meeting on Zoom for activists worldwide who are addressing issues of militarism (especially nuclear weapons), global warming, famine, pandemics, radioactive contamination, and/or cyber risks. We talk for two hours with our video cameras on (not just audio, please), edit the recording, and put it on YouTube, Facebook, and our website: and then we publicize it widely.
Zoom URL

These six global struggles show the power of nonviolence in action


An article by Rivera Sun from Waging Nonviolence (reprinted according to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license)

In today’s media world — especially if you live inside the U.S. media bubble — if you hear news about foreign countries, it tends to be about business, political leaders, wars or disasters. Overall, it presents a dismal view of our fellow citizens — not to mention a disempowering one. But here are six of the many stories of ongoing nonviolent campaigns for change in countries across the world. They show the agency and power of ordinary people working for justice, rights, peace and dignity. They show that people don’t have to hold wealth, weapons or traditional power to be powerful. Instead, they need community, connection and some tools of nonviolent action.

Women farmers prepare roti bread (chapattis) as they block a railway track during a protest against the recent passing of agriculture reform bills in the parliament on the outskirts of Amritsar on October 17, 2020. (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images – Creative Commons)

1. India’s women farmers reassert their place and presence in farmer protests: India’s farmer protests have captured headlines around the world — as well they should. They are the largest protests in human history. On Jan. 18, Mahila Kisan Diwas (Women Farmers’ Day), women farmers across India demonstrated to reassert their place in the ongoing farmers’ struggle against Modi’s neoliberal agricultural laws. This action was organized in part to redress gender imbalances, particularly around media coverage that cut women out of the struggle’s story.

Due to the impacts of global patriarchy, women in movements have often needed to correct the record, rebalance who’s in the room and invited to the table, and (re)assert their pivotal roles in creating change. Studies show that women play powerful roles in nonviolent movements. They were at the heart of Sudan’s 2019 nonviolent revolution against a 30-year dictatorship. They propelled Chile’s recent constitutional revision campaign so decisively that the slogan for the re-write is “never again without women.” And, in India, women and women farmers have been organizing mass demonstrations, general strikes and protest encampments in such large numbers that they’ve consistently broken world records over and over in the past two years. It’s important to get the story straight!

2. Striking Palestinian workers triumph: Much of the news about Palestine is heart wrenching and tragic. We hear of bombings, orchards being razed, houses bulldozed and more abuses of Israeli occupation. Yet, here is a nonviolent campaign that is significant because the Palestinian workers not only won human and labor rights, they also won an apology for the racist comments their Israeli employer made. During the 19 days of an open-ended strike, the workers lost all wages and were threatened with being fired and replaced with other workers. But they persevered, and they won. (A word of caution: the strike’s agreement must still be upheld by an Israeli court.)

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Question for this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?

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Palestinian organizers are heartened by the news. The secretary of the trade unions in Palestine said, “We hope that this small victory is the beginning of other victories for our workers and our people that have been subjugated by Israel’s inhumane apartheid and settler colonial oppression.” They also credited international solidarity and words of encouragement from global workers with helping them persevere and succeed.

3. In Sri Lanka, hundreds of tea plantation workers strike to defend jobs and social rights: In Sri Lanka, workers on tea plantations are unionized, but due to lack of action by union leadership, Gartemore Estate workers have been on a wildcat strike (a strike without union approval) since the end of December. After the Gartemore Estate sold off a portion of its lands, the workers feared the erosion of their rights and the loss of their jobs under the new management. They are worried that the current owner plans to develop tourist facilities on the estate instead of tea, which would drastically reduce the workforce. Some workers also fear that important personal documents, including birth and death certificates, health and other family papers, currently in the estate office would not be protected under the new management. The strike organizers are demanding a written agreement — not a verbal promise — that outlines a set of demands to protect workers around these issues. 

4. Doctors in Peru launch hunger strike over lack of protections and equipment: Since the start of the pandemic, Peru’s healthcare workers have been using nonviolent action to push for improved protections and equipment. Now, at least four doctors began a hunger strike as a protest against the substandard working conditions. Medical personnel have been protesting for a week just as a second wave of coronavirus cases is hitting the country. They’re not alone. Medical worker strikes have been erupting around the world. Just two weeks ago, medical students in Ecuador won similar demands after walking off the job and withstanding police repression. Will the Peruvian doctors succeed? Time will tell.

5. Oil workers strike in Kazakhstan: More than 60 oil workers have gone on strike in Kazakhstan’s northwestern region, seeking a salary increase. The workers walked out on Jan. 29 saying that their monthly salaries of about $160 should be doubled, as they currently fail to allow them to provide for their families. They could find solidarity with the office employees of a British gas company, who have held numerous strike actions over substandard wages. These workers — and those in many other industries — are up against the “fire and rehire” policies that the pandemic’s economic impacts have aggravated.

6. Canadians block weapons trucks going to the Yemen War: Serious about halting the Yemen War, Canadians blocked a caravan of trucks hauling armored vehicles and other weapons to shipping locations headed for Saudi Arabia. Sitting down in front of the wheels, stretching banners across the roads, and risking arrest were a few of the tactics used. The direct action in Hamilton, Ontario coincides with hundreds of events to pressure the Biden administration, and other governments, to stop arming Saudi Arabia. Their action is reminiscent of the ways Italian dock workers have repeatedly refused to load weapons onto ships headed to Saudi Arabia in opposition of the Yemen War. 

These six nonviolent campaigns are just a fraction of the stories Nonviolence News collects and circulates week after week, both in the United States and abroad. (You can read more in this week’s round-up here and sign-up to the newsletter to receive it in your inbox.) These stories reveal that nonviolent action is a global phenomenon — and that it’s being used for everything from peace to increased wages to human rights and health protections and more. Each struggle has unique lessons to offer all of us in our organizing work. At the same time, these stories also remind us of our common humanity — and that ordinary people everywhere are striving for justice, peace and fairness. 

With 10-Point Declaration, Global Coalition of Top Energy Experts Says: ‘100% Renewables Is Possible’


An article from Common Dreams (reprinted according to provisions of Creative Commons)

Setting out to rebut defeatist and cynical claims that transitioning the entire global energy system to 100% renewables by 2035 is infeasible, a group of dozens of leading scientists from around the world unveiled a joint declaration Tuesday arguing that such a transformation of the fossil fuel-dependent status quo is not only necessary to avert climate disaster but eminently achievable.

Video of Declaration

What’s required, argue the 46 signatories  of the new 10-point declaration  (pdf), is sufficient political will, international coordination, and concrete action on a massive scale to institute a total “re-design of the global energy system.”

“We have lost too much time in our efforts to address global warming and the seven million air pollution deaths that occur each year, by not focusing enough on useful solutions,” said Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.

“Fortunately, low-cost 100% clean, renewable energy solutions do exist to solve these problems, as found by over a dozen independent research groups,” added Jacobson, one of the seven original signers of the declaration. “The solutions will not only save consumers money, but also create jobs and provide energy and more international security, while substantially reducing air pollution and climate damage from energy. Policymakers around the world are strongly urged to ensure we implement these solutions over the next 10-15 years.”

The year 2035 has been described by some scientists as the “deadline for climate action” at which humanity “could cross a point of no return” if governments fail to drastically reduce global carbon emissions in the years prior.

The scientists’ new declaration, characterized as a concise summary of decades of findings from some of the world’s leading energy researchers, argues that a “transformation to 100% [renewable energy] can occur faster than current expectations: the power sector can transform by 2030 and the other sectors soon thereafter.”

In addition to helping the world avert catastrophic warming, the researchers argue that such a transformation would also “stimulate investments of trillions of dollars and create millions more jobs than lost worldwide” while providing “sustainable energy security for future generations.”

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Question for this article:

Are we making progress in renewable energy?

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The full 10-point declaration states:

1. Numerous studies have investigated 100% renewable energy (RE) systems in regions, countries, and worldwide, and they have found that it works, not only for providing electricity, but also for providing all energy.

2. A transformation to 100% RE can occur faster than current expectations: the power sector can transform by 2030 and the other sectors soon thereafter. With political will, a transformation of the global energy sector by 2030-35 appears to be possible!

3. Electricity in a 100% RE system will cost less than in our current energy system; the total energy cost of a 100% RE system will be lower than the cost of conventional energy, even if we exclude social costs.

4. The total social cost (energy, environmental, climate, and health cost) of a 100% RE system will be drastically lower than of business as usual. The sooner we achieve  a 100% RE system, the faster these savings will be realized!

5. A 100% RE system can supply regions, countries, and the world reliably (24-7) with energy at low cost.

6. A massive re-design of the global energy system will be needed, including increasing energy efficiency on all levels.

7. Solar and wind will be the key pillars of energy supply, plus flexibility in many forms, especially storage, sector coupling, demand response management, large- and small-scale grid integration.

8. The studies agree that electricity will take a massively increasing share (about 80-95%) of the global energy supply. Electrification will result in a superabundance of cheap clean, renewable energy, increasing prosperity for all humanity.

9. All our studies show that creating the new 100% RE system will benefit the world economy. It will stimulate investments of trillions of dollars and create millions more jobs than lost worldwide. Superabundant clean, renewable energy will create wealth and provide a boost for every sector of the global economy.

10 . Such a rapid transformation is necessary to stop the 7 million human deaths that occur annually today worldwide from air pollution, to slow the growing damage due to global warming and thus avoid the climate catastrophe, and to provide sustainable energy security for future generations.

Stressing the viability of the kinds of transitions that will be necessary to achieve 100% renewable energy across the globe by 2035, the coalition’s website points out that

To date, 11 countries have reached or exceeded 100% renewable electricity; 12 countries have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030; 49 countries have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2050; 14 U.S. states and territories have passed laws or executive orders to reach up to 100% renewable electricity by between 2030 and 2050; over 300 cities worldwide have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by no later than 2050; and over 280 international businesses have committed to 100% renewables across their global operations.

“The transformation to 100% renewables is possible,” the scientists said, “and will be coming much faster than the general expectation.”

‘Women and girls belong in science’ declares UN chief  


An article from United Nations News

Closed labs and increased care responsibilities are just a two of the challenges women in scientific fields are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN chief said in his message for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, on Thursday. 

Video made by the Secretary-General

“Advancing gender equality in science and technology is essential for building a better future”, Secretary-General António Guterres stated, “We have seen this yet again in the fight against COVID-19”. 

Women, who represent 70 per cent of all healthcare workers, have been among those most affected by the pandemic and those leading the response to it. Yet, as women bear the brunt of school closures and working from home, gender inequalities have increased dramatically over the past year.  

Woman’s place is in the lab 

Citing the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) he said that women account for only one third of the world’s researchers and hold fewer senior positions than men at top universities, which has led to “a lower publication rate, less visibility, less recognition and, critically, less funding”. 

Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning replicate existing biases.  

“Women and girls belong in science”, stressed the Secretary-General.  Yet stereotypes have steered them away from science-related fields. 

Diversity fosters innovation 

The UN chief underscored the need to recognize that “greater diversity fosters greater innovation”.  

“Without more women in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics], the world will continue to be designed by and for men, and the potential of girls and women will remain untapped”, he spelled out. 

Their presence is also critical in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to close gender pay gaps and boost women’s earnings by $299 billion over the next ten years, according to Mr. Guterres. 

“STEM skills are also crucial in closing the global Internet user gap”, he said, urging everyone to “end gender discrimination, and ensure that all women and girls fulfill their potential and are an integral part in building a better world for all”. 

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

Questions for this article

Does the UN advance equality for women?

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

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 ‘A place in science’ 

Meanwhile, despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28 per cent of engineering graduates and 40 per cent of graduates in computer science and informatics, according to UNESCO.  

It argues the need for women to be a part of the digital economy to “prevent Industry 4.0 from perpetuating traditional gender biases”.  

UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay observed  that “even today, in the 21st century, women and girls are being sidelined in science-related fields due to their gender”.  

As the impact of AI on societal priorities continues to grow, the underrepresentation of women’s contribution to research and development means that their needs and perspectives are likely to be overlooked in the design of products that impact our daily lives, such as smartphone applications.  

“Women need to know that they have a place in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and that they have a right to share in scientific progress”, said Ms. Azoulay.

‘Pathway’ to equality

Commemorating the day at a dedicated event, General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir informed that he is working with a newly established Gender Advisory Board to mainstream gender throughout all of the UN’s work, including the field of science. 

“We cannot allow the COVID-19 pandemic to derail our plans for equality”, he said, adding that increasing access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, for women and girls has emerged as “a pathway to gender equality and as a key objective of the 2030 Agenda  for Sustainable Development”. 

Mr. Volkan highlighted the need to accelerate efforts and invest in training for girls to “learn and excel in science”. 

“From the laboratory to the boardroom, Twitter to television, we must amplify the voices of female scientists”, he stressed. 

STEM minorities  

Meanwhile, UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation honoured five women researchers in the fields of astrophysics, mathematics, chemistry and informatics as part of the 23rd  International Prize for Women in Science.  

In its newly published global study on gender equality in scientific research, To be smart, the digital revolution will need to be inclusive, UNESCO shows that although the number of women in scientific research has risen to one in three, they remain a minority in mathematics, computer science, engineering and artificial intelligence. 

“It is not enough to attract women to a scientific or technological discipline”, said  Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Natural Sciences.  

“We must also know how to retain them, ensuring that their careers are not strewn with obstacles and that their achievements are recognized and supported by the international scientific community”. 

Mayors for Peace : Report on 2020 Vision (Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons)


A news article from Mayors for Peace

In October 2003, Mayors for Peace launched the 2020 Vision (Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons, hereinafter referred to as “the Vision”, see Appendix I), a set of concrete action guidelines aiming for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020. Based on this Vision, Mayors for Peace has promoted various initiatives aimed at achieving total elimination of nuclear weapons while the hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) are still alive. In spite of our best efforts, these initiatives did not lead to global abolition by 2020. However, we have taken solid steps toward that goal with milestones such as the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

In conjunction with our initiatives implemented under the Vision, we have committed ourselves to the expansion of our membership. As a result, Mayors for Peace has grown into a global network of cities for peace, composed of over 8,000 member cities all around the world. By expanding our membership, we are establishing a concrete foundation for municipalities both to share challenges more directly related to the activities of local governments, as encapsulated in our objective of “realization of safe and resilient cities,” and to promote greater collaboration throughout a wide range of fields toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The Vision has acquired an excellent reputation and many have expressed their support for it to date—including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, the EU Parliament, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Japan Association of City Mayors, and the National Council of Japan Nuclear-Free Local Authorities. Notably, the USCM has unanimously adopted Mayors for Peace resolutions for 15 consecutive years since 2006.

2. Overall Evaluation

Based on the Vision and with the hibakusha’s sincere desire for peace at its core, Mayors for Peace has been engaged in various activities (see Appendix I) to foster and expand international public support for the abolition of nuclear weapons in partnership with our diverse partners around the world, including member cities, their citizens, and many peace NGOs.

In particular, we have taken the opportunity to actively promote the principles of Mayors for Peace while attending United Nations conferences concerning nuclear disarmament, which are precisely where the norms of international society are established. These principles have been formulated both through years of persistently implementing initiatives in solidarity with other NGOs, and through carrying out activities with citizens of our member cities, such as petition drives among many others.

Amid such circumstances, in the process of drafting and negotiating for the TPNW, Mayors for Peace proposed to add an article or clause to enable later development of the treaty as circumstances evolve. The proposed addition would cover crucial issues such as verification, in order to ensure wider participation in the treaty, including by the nuclear-armed states. Such an article was subsequently stipulated in the text, and the TPNW was successfully adopted at the United Nations in July 2017. In October 2020, the number of countries ratifying the treaty reached 50, and it entered into force on January 22 this year.

Thus, two out of the four objectives set in the Vision, “immediately start substantive negotiations toward a universal nuclear weapons convention” and “conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention”, bore fruit as the TPNW, bringing beneficial and progressive outcomes. The international legal obligation not to produce, possess, use, or threaten to use nuclear weapons has been substantially reaffirmed and strengthened by the entry into force of the TPNW. Nuclear weapons are now even more stigmatized, making it much more difficult for the nuclear-armed states to use them in actual practice. However, the treaty does not legally bind nations beyond its contracting parties. Without the nuclear-armed states concluding the treaty, we expect that achievement of the global abolition of nuclear weapons will not be immediately forthcoming.

The two other objectives, “immediately de-alert all nuclear weapons” and “physical destruction of all nuclear weapons,” yet remain. The nuclear stockpile of the world did indeed decline in number, from over 16,500 in 2003, when the Vision was promulgated, to about 13,400 in 2020. Yet the current international situation surrounding nuclear weapons has worsened, with no prospect of achieving these two objectives in the near future. Specifically, nuclear disarmament under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime is now stagnant. Notably, while the United States and Russia together possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, their progress on nuclear disarmament has stalled, to the point that they have even stopped negotiations. Nuclear arsenals are being modernized, and nuclear warheads are getting smaller in size—in other words, being upgraded for more likely use. Progress toward the abolition of nuclear weapons is backsliding.

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

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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With the threat felt at this alarming trend and with growing recognition of the unacceptable humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, since around 2010, there has been a change in the perception of nuclear disarmament by non-nuclear weapon states. In the past, nuclear disarmament was discussed mainly in terms of security assurance between nations. However, it has now come to be addressed more with a humanitarian approach that stresses the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons. The non-nuclear weapon states, along with NGOs and civil society actors including Mayors for Peace, took action to affect this change and support each other in doing so. Such actions formed a solid base for the birth of the TPNW, and allowed the voices of the hibakusha to be highlighted in the text of the treaty.

3. Achievements Obtained through Substantial Initiatives

While promoting substantial initiatives under the Vision, Mayors for Peace has been taking concrete steps to expand and strengthen its global network of cities in solidarity across borders. In terms of its degree of influence as an organization and its comprehensive activities, it has grown into an entity expected to achieve tangible and successful outcomes. The following are achievements obtained through the implementation of substantial initiatives under the Vision.

The first of these is the expansion of our membership. Our network has grown more than 14-fold, from 554 member cities in 107 countries and regions in October 2003, when the Vision was announced, to 7,974 member cities in 165 countries and regions as of December 2020. This outstanding development shows that we have succeeded in spreading the peace-seeking spirit of Hiroshima and Nagasaki throughout the world, thus expanding the base of members of the public who support the philosophy and principles of the Vision.

With the growth of our membership, we identified a new objective as our second pillar: “realize safe and resilient cities” in drawing up the current Action Plan (see Appendix II) developed in 2017. This pillar is set forth to proactively promote efforts by member cities to address local issues they confront that are unique and distinctive to their respective regions. Although taking a different approach than the first pillar (“realize a world without nuclear weapons”), it is rooted in the same earnest desire of citizens for peace. The second pillar represents Mayors for Peace’s role as a network of local governments from all around the world that work together in solidarity to address and resolve global issues.

Furthermore, since the late 2010s, we have been further strengthening our activities to stimulate young people, the future leaders of society, to take an interest and be engaged in peace activities. These include running the Youth Exchange for Peace Support Program, hosting young officials from member cities in Hiroshima, and holding the Children’s Art Competition “Peaceful Towns.” These initiatives are not only enhancing the sustainability of peace activities in member cities around the globe, but also building the groundwork for Mayors for Peace to be a permanent presence that pursues and realizes its mission well into the future.

4. Our Forthcoming Challenges: The Next Vision

The next Vision will be outlined and adopted at the 10th General Conference of Mayors for Peace, which has been postponed to August this year. It goes without saying that its centerpiece will be the first pillar of the current Action Plan, “realize a world without nuclear weapons.” As mentioned above, in the midst of stagnation in nuclear disarmament, the entry into force of the TPNW does indeed shine a light of hope. Yet many challenges remain to make the treaty a comprehensive and fully effective legally binding instrument.

First of all, encouraging further participation in the treaty is of critical importance to secure the TPNW’s greater influence in international society. With this greater influence, we will urge the nuclear-armed states and their allies to participate in discussions for effective implementation and development of the treaty, to attend meetings of States Parties as observers, and ultimately, to become States Parties. Upon the 50th ratification of the treaty, Mayors for Peace immediately issued an open letter making such an appeal, and we plan to attend the first meeting of States Parties, to be convened within one year, as an observer. It is also significant to address the existing NPT, which fundamentally shares the same ultimate goal of abolishing nuclear weapons. At the 2020 NPT Review Conference, which was postponed to August 2021, we will once again faithfully convey the hibakusha’s urgent plea—“no one else should suffer as we have”―to press national governments on abolition.

In addition, the 11th Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace, held in November 2019, agreed to set forth “promote a culture of peace” as a third pillar, to be newly included in the next Vision. Promoting “a culture of peace” is an essential objective in order to cultivate peace consciousness in civil society and stimulate members of the public throughout the world to be active for peace. This will, in turn, create real momentum for peace and prompt policymakers to take decisive leadership for policy changes toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Mayors for Peace is therefore determined to: work for further expansion of its membership, aiming to achieve 10,000 member cities; strengthen initiatives in close and robust global coalition with member cities, including those in nuclear-armed states and their allies; accelerate and make substantial progress on nuclear disarmament; and continue our utmost efforts toward the ultimate goal—the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of lasting world peace.

Opening event to launch the International Year of Peace and Trust was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan


An article from the Middle East North Africa Financial Network (MENAFN)

 On the 29th of January, 2021, the Opening event to launch the International Year of Peace and Trust was held in the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Trend reports citing Embassy of Turkmenistan in Azerbaijan.

[The International Year was proclaimed in United Nations Resolution A/73/338

The heads and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis (Parliament), chiefs of diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations in Turkmenistan, Rectors of the institutions of higher education of the country, Editors-in-chief of press and representatives of national mass media, as well as foreign journalists accredited in Turkmenistan took part in the event.

The heads and representatives of the United Nations and its structural agencies, Economic Cooperation Organization, Commonwealth of Independent States, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, as well as other regional and international organizations, and foreign mass media participated to the event via videoconferencing.

During her opening remarks, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan Christine Weigand noted the importance of the International Year of Peace and Trust initiated by the President of Turkmenistan for the sake of sustaining peace, stability and mutual understanding between people which is the key to sustainable development.

In continuation of the topic, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov underlined that the unanimous adoption at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly of the Resolution declaring the year 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust has become a reflection of the efforts of the permanently neutral Turkmenistan calling for strengthening of the culture of peace and trust in the international relations. ‘Putting forward this idea, the Leader of Turkmen nation has specifically stated that it has a concrete nature and thus urged the international community to reinforce the adopted document with practical content, enrich it with real actions,’ said R.Meredov. The head of the MFA of Turkmenistan underlined the significance of applying the means of diplomacy, the political dialog based on mutual understanding and cooperation in the advancement of friendly ties between countries and people and to achieve this Turkmenistan actively cooperates with the international partners.

Speaking at the opening ceremony Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalya Gherman underlined the importance of the International Year of Peace and Trust, which meant greater cohesion for the sake of peace and prosperity of the world community.

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Question(s) related to this article:

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

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The timeliness of the International Year of Peace and Trust was also highlighted in the speech of the President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Volkan Bozkir. Thanking the Government of Turkmenistan for initiating the International Year of Peace and Trust, he underlined that in view of the global situation, the need in peace and trust is high as never before. Mr. Bozkir urged the international community to continue cooperating through political dialog and solidarity on the way to peace, security and sustainable development.

His words were complemented by the Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the United Nations Aksoltan Atayeva who noted the efficiency of peaceful initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan that help to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Minister of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov highlighted in his speech the specific need in conducting International year of peace and trust which calls upon to activate efforts and activity on advocating the culture of peace.

In her speech the Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat Natalya Drozd spoke about the importance of strengthening the culture of peace and trust.

The Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization Hadi Soleimanpour also gave a speech at the event. He highly appraised the level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the ECO, as well as emphasized that the economic progress is inseparably linked to the security in the region and in the world, and to attain this it is necessary to strengthen trust between countries and people.

About the importance of strengthening peace and trust between countries and people has also spoke the Chairman of the Executive Committee – Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergey Lebedev. He highlighted the effective role of Turkmenistan in the development of friendly ties not only in the region, but also in the whole world.

The Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament Tatiana Valovaya and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Lassina Zerbo highly appraised the role of Turkmenistan in the development of friendly and constructive ties between countries.

In turn, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO Altay Cengizer and Assistant Director-General for the Africa Department of UNESCO Firmin Edouard Matoko emphasized the timeliness of holding the International Year of Peace and Trust. They noted that the notion of peace and trust are the keystones of international cooperation.

Furthermore, the UNODC representative, Permanent representatives of Afghanistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Indonesia and Bangladesh at the UN have underlined the importance of conducting International year of peace and trust in the context of fully strengthening solidarity and mutual support on regional and global levels to create cohesion for addressing pressing issues of present.

During the event, the participants discussed the possibilities of holding joint events in the framework of the International Year of Peace and Trust. A constructive exchange of views and proposals on the improvement of activities on the platform of regional and international organizations for the sake of peace, stability and sustainable development took place. Thus, upon the outcomes of the event, the Roadmap of the International Year of Peace and Trust was adopted.

US, Russia agree to extend ‘New START’ nuclear arms treaty


An article from Deutsche Welle (reprinted by permission)

The United States and Russia “agreed in principle” to extend the New START  arms treaty by five years, the Kremlin reported on its website Tuesday following a phone call between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Obama and Medvedev signing the START treaty in 2010 (Source: White House photo)

A Kremlin description of the call between the two leaders  said they had both “expressed satisfaction” that diplomatic notes had been exchanged earlier Tuesday confirming that the treaty would be extended,

Putin had submitted a draft bill for the extension to the Russian Parliament, the Kremlin statement added. The extension doesn’t require approval from lawmakers in the US. 

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Question related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

Deadline approaching 

The White House did not immediately confirm the Kremlin’s remarks, however, press secretary Jen Psaki said the two leaders agreed to have their teams “work urgently” to iron out the details of the extension before the treaty’s expiration date, February 5. 

The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), was signed in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart at the time, Dmitry Medvedev.

The treaty limits each party to 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs, and 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers. 

It also envisions a rigorous inspection regime to verify compliance. 

The last nuclear arms control agreement 

Biden had indicated during his presidential campaign that he favored extending the treaty, and Russia has long proposed its extension without any conditions or changes. 

However, negotiations to extend the treaty were stalled by the administration of former US President Donald Trump, which insisted on tougher inspections for Russia and for China  to be included, which Beijing refused. 

During Trump’s term, the US withdrew  from a separate nuclear weapons control agreement with Russia, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF)  treaty, making New START the last  remaining nuclear weapons control treaty between Russia and the US. 

Protect People and the Planet: Appeal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World


An appeal from Unfold Zero

The following appeal to cities, parliaments and governments globally was launched on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, September 26, 2020, as one of the actions of #WeThePeoples2020.

The Appeal will be presented to various forums including the UN General Assembly, Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, as well as to national parliaments and civil society events..

Question related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The Appeal

The nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries threaten us all. Any use of these weapons by accident, miscalculation or malicious intent, would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it.

In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the climate and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

We, the undersigned, call on our cities, parliaments and governments to:

1. Affirm that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and therefore the nuclear armed States should stand down their nuclear forces and affirm policies never to initiate a nuclear war (no-first-use policies);

2. Commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;

3. Cut nuclear weapons budgets (if they are a nuclear-weapon State), end investments in the nuclear weapons industry (all governments), and redirect these investments and budgets to support the United Nations, COVID-19 management and recovery, drastic reductions in carbon emissions to protect the climate, and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Click here to endorse the appeal.