Category Archives: global

The Elders: A message from Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A message from The Elders

Dear friends,

The Elders is an organisation profoundly committed to international law and diplomacy. We believe that the challenges facing humanity, from cruel and protracted conflicts to the climate and nature crisis, pandemics and the threat posed by nuclear weapons, can only be overcome by nations working together.

This is why we believe in a strong multilateral system, underpinned by an unshakeable will to uphold the rule of law, where power is balanced by responsibility and decisions are taken on a long-term and strategic basis.

This is the message we took last month to the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, for a series of public and private meetings with the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the members of the Security Council and other senior leaders.

The Elders’ delegation – our Chair Mary Robinson, Deputy Chair Ban Ki-moon and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and myself – emphasised in all our meetings that as the UN approaches its 80th anniversary, it is needed more than ever but is also facing unprecedented threats from a growing trend of unilateralism and impunity.

Ban Ki-moon highlighted the devastating human cost of the failure of leadership at a public debate of the UN Security Council on the plight of children in armed conflict. Speaking alongside the Special Representative of the Secretary-General who presented the annual report of the Secretary-General on the scale of the crisis, Ban Ki-moon deplored the increase in the number of children killed and maimed in conflicts worldwide over the past year, from Gaza and Israel to Ukraine, Sudan to Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Yemen, to name but a few.

He confronted the Security Council with a painful truth: it is patently ineffective, and failing to perform its most fundamental function of upholding peace and security, and protecting innocent lives.  

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Even when the Council does reach agreement, as it did when passing Resolution 2735 on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on 10 June, significant challenges remain in pressuring the conflict parties to implement the resolution in full. To secure a lasting ceasefire, the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian political prisoners, and the safe and effective distribution of aid throughout Gaza as the resolution requires, all Council members must act in good faith and with persistence, in line with the values of the UN Charter.

The sentiments of Ban Ki-moon’s speech were echoed across all our conversations in New York, including with representatives from China, Russia, Ukraine and Iran, and the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine.

We also raised and discussed specific proposals on how the UN and member states could be more effective. These included: engagement on finding political pathways to resolve specific conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; strengthening the effectiveness and representation of the Security Council and the role of the General Assembly; using the UN Charter to its fullest; and strengthening the role of women leaders in peace-building.

The current failure of the UN Security Council members with veto power to honour their responsibility not only deepens the misery of innocent civilians but damages unfairly the effectiveness and reputation of the entire UN system.

All Council members, and indeed all UN member states, have a degree of culpability for the current difficulties encountered by the UN organisation but the greatest responsibility lies with the five Permanent Members of the Security Council. For this reason, in our conversation with the President of the General Assembly and a number of ambassadors, we emphasised the need for the General Assembly to be more proactive in advocating the regulation of the veto power to limit its abuse by the P5.

The Security Council, and in particular the veto power, must evolve if the UN system is to prove itself fit for purpose in the 21st century. We were encouraged by some of the innovative reform proposals we heard, and we hope that the Summit of the Future in September will be an opportunity to sow the seeds for lasting, positive change in the years ahead.

With thanks as always for your ongoing support,

Ernesto Zedillo

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The Summit of the Future

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Jeffry Sachs* in the Transcend Media Service

The world’s geopolitical system is not delivering what we want or need.  Sustainable development is our declared goal, meaning economic prosperity, social justice, environmental sustainability, and peace.  Yet our reality is continued poverty amidst plenty, widening inequalities, deepening environmental crises, and war.  To get back on track, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has wisely called for a Summit of the Future (SOTF)  at the United Nations on September 22-23, a call that has been endorsed by the 193 UN Member states.

The core idea of the Summit of the Future is that humanity is facing a set of unprecedented challenges that can only be solved through global cooperation.  The crisis of human-induced climate change (especially the warming of the planet) cannot be solved by any one country alone.  Nor can the crises of wars (such as in Ukraine and Gaza) or the geopolitical tensions (between the US and China) be settled by one or two countries alone.  Each country, even the major powers including the US, China, Russia, India, and others are part of a complex global structure of power, economics, and politics that requires truly global solutions.

The Summit will revolve around 5 core topics, all of them related to multilateralism, meaning the system by which nations co-exist with the rest of the world.  These topics are: (1) the goal of sustainable development; (2) the goal of peace; (3) the control of new technologies such as artificial intelligence; (4) the empowerment of young people and future generations; and (5) reform of the UN architecture.

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which I direct on behalf of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has issued a statement summarizing the view of leading academics around the world about the reform of the multilateral system.  The SDSN statement on the SOTF  is Chapter 1 of the SDSN’s 2024 Sustainable Development Report.

On the goal of sustainable development, the core challenge is global finance.  Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including the fight against poverty, hunger, disease, and environmental degradation – requires sizable public investments.  The main priority public investment areas including education, health care, zero-carbon energy, sustainable agriculture, urban infrastructure, and digital infrastructure.  The problem is that the poorer half of the world — the low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries – lack the access to financing they need to achieve the SDGs.  The most urgent reform of the global system these countries need is access to long-term, low-cost financing.

On the goal of peace, the core challenge today is great-power competition.  The US is in competition with Russia and China.  The US aims for primacy in Europe over Russia, and primacy in Asia over China.  Russia and China resist the US.  The result is war (in Ukraine) or risk of war (in East Asia).  We need a stronger UN-led system in which great-power competition is governed and restrained by the UN Charter rather than by militarism and power politics.  More generally, we are past the era when any single country can or should aspire to primacy or hegemony.  The major powers should live in peace and mutual respect under the UN Charter, without threatening each other’s security.

On the goal of technology, the main challenge is to ensure transparent and responsible governance of the new advanced technologies, including biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and geo-engineering.  Such powerful technologies cannot continue to be managed in secrecy by the militaries and powerful corporations.  They need to be governed by honesty, transparency, and responsibility to the public.

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Question for this article:

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

Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

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On the goal of youth and future generations, the major challenge is to ensure that every child can achieve his or her potential through a high-quality education.  Education is essential for a decent job and a life of dignity.  Yet hundreds of millions of children, especially in the poor countries, are either out of school or in sub-standard schools that are not teaching the skills needed for the 21st century.   Without a quality education, these children will face a lifetime of poverty and under-employment or unemployment.  We need a new global financial arrangement to ensure that every child, even in the poorest countries, is given the opportunity for a decent education.

On the goal of reforming the UN system, the key is to give more power to UN institutions and to make them more representative.  The UN today depends too much on a few powerful countries, most on notably the US.  When the US doesn’t pay its dues to the UN, for example, the whole UN system is weakened.  We need to strengthen the UN system by ensuring that it is properly and reliably financed through a new system of international taxes – for example, on CO2 emissions, shipping, aviation, and financial transactions – rather than the contributions of individual governments.

We also should make the UN institutions more representative of the world of 2024 rather than the world of 1945, when the UN was established.  India, for example, should become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.  India is the world’s most populous country, the third largest economy, and a nuclear power as well.  In 1945, India was still a British colony, and so was not given its proper place in the UN system at that time.

Another core recommendation of the SDSN is to introduce a UN Parliamentary Assembly as a new chamber alongside the UN General Assembly (UNGA).  The UNGA gives each member state one vote, with the power of that vote in the hands of the executive branch of each government.  A UN Parliament would represent the peoples of the world rather than the governments.

Most importantly, the Summit of the Future is an invitation to intensive global brainstorming on how to make our deeply interconnected world fit for sustainable development in the 21st century.  It is a great challenge that should be welcomed and joined by people all over the world.  A great debate will open in September and then continue for years to come.
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* The author, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He has served as Special Adviser to three UN Secretaries-General [Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary-General António Guterres. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, Building the New American Economy, and most recently, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism. Sachs was also an advisor to the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as to the first president of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin.

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Gaza protests at universities around the world

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

A pictorial survey by CPNN

As of June 12 Wikipedia lists protests against the Israeli attacks on Gaza in more than 25 countries. “Twenty encampments have been established in the United Kingdom; across universities in Australia, beginning with the University of Sydney; and in Canada, including an encampment at McGill University. On May 7, protests spread further on European campuses after mass arrests at the University of Amsterdam campus occupation, including occupation of campus buildings at Leipzig University in Germany, Sciences Po in France, and Ghent University in Belgium. As of May 8, protests have taken place in more than 25 countries. On May 13, approximately 1,000 Dutch students and university staff took part in a national walk-out.”

Here are photos from the various countries. Click on the country name if you wish to see the source for the photo and caption.

AUSTRALIA


The pro-Palestinian student protesters who set up the camp at the University of Sydney want disclosure of and divestment from all university activities that support Israel, as well as a ceasefire and the end of government ties to Israel. Photograph: Jessica Hromas/The Guardian

BANGLADESH


Bangladeshi students wave Palestinian flags, as they march during a pro- Palestinian demonstration at the Dhaka University area in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, May 6, 2024. Credit: AP/Mahmud Hossain Opu

CANADA


Pro-Palestinian supporters take part in a sit-in at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa on Monday, April 29, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

COSTA RICA


Estudiantes de la Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) instalaron un campamento desde la noche del Primero de Mayo en el pretil de la Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio en solidaridad con Palestina

CUBA


Cubans rally in support of US students, Palestine (frame from video)

DENMARK


Pro-Palestinian protesters set up camp at the city campus of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Photograph: Thomas Traasdahl/AP

EGYPT


Students at American University of Cairo call for university to divest from corporations tied to occupation

FINLAND


Students began a pro-Palestinian demonstration on the University of Helsinki campus on Monday. The demonstration is organised by a group called Students for Palestine, which is demanding that the university cut ties with Israeli universities.

FRANCE


Students demonstrate outside La Sorbonne university with a huge Palestinian flag, Monday, April 29, 2024 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)”

GERMANY


Protesters attend a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Berlin. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

GREECE


A woman shouts slogans during a protest against Israel’s military action in Gaza at Syntagma Square, central Athens, Greece, on May 11, 2024. People protesting at Athens Law School the following Tuesday were arrested [Michael Varaklas/AP]

INDIA


From Jatinangor, Unpad Students Support Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations in the US. Photo: ist

INDONESIA


The University of Indonesia academic community held a solidarity camp action at the University of Indonesia Campus, Depok, West Java, Friday (3/5/2024).

IRAQ


Iraqi university students carry Palestinian flags and placards during a rally at the Baghdad University campus. Photograph: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

IRELAND


A student encampment on the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, as seen from above. Photograph: Damien Eagers/Reuters

ISRAEL


Demonstrators protest calling to end the war in Gaza at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on May 28, 2024.Yoatan Sindel/Flash90

ITALY


Pro-Palestine protests, the first Italian protest with tents at the University of Bologna: “Stop complicity with Israel” Frame from video.

JAPAN


Japanese students rally at the Waseda University in Tokyo on Friday (May 3, 2024). Pro-Palestine student rallies spread across other countries after it began at Columbia University in April. (Anadolu)

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Question related to this article:

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

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KUWAIT


Faculty members and students of Kuwait University carry placards during a protest in solidarity with Gaza and Palestine on April 29, 2024. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

LEBANON


Demonstrators hold Lebanese and Palestinian flags during a protest in solidarity with Gaza at the Lebanese American University (LAU), in Beirut, Lebanon April 30, 2024. REUTERS/Mohamed Azaki

MEXICO


Pro-Palestinian activists erect a tent in front of the rectory building of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Photograph: Yuri Cortéz/AFP/Getty Images

MOROCCO


From the student movement in Morocco in solidarity with Gaza, May 8, 2024 (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed)

NETHERLANDS


Teachers from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) held a walk-out on the Roeterseiland campus on May 13. Image ANP

NEW ZEALAND


Students take part in a pro-Palestine rally at the University of Canterbury on Thursday. Iain Mcgregor / The Press

POLAND


Students from the Jagiellonian University are occupying one of the buildings of the Jagiellonian University. The protesters demand unequivocal condemnation of Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip and the severance of all contacts with Israeli companies and universities. Photo PAP/Art Service.

PORTUGAL


Occupation of the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon organized by the Student Climate Strike movement and several groups of students demanding justice for Palestine. Photo: Nuno Fox

ROMANIA


Several dozen young people are protesting at the University of Bucharest, where some of them have set up tents in the yard of the Faculty of Psychology, in a pro-Palestine movement, modeled on those in the USA. They say they will stay as long as it takes for the University of Bucharest to end any collaboration with Israel or institutions in Israel. The protesters put Palestinian flags around them, Photo: David Leonard Bularca / Hotnews

SOUTH AFRICA


Students have set up a “Wits liberated zone” solidarity encampment on the Wits University library lawns. Photo: Ihsaan Haffejee

SOUTH KOREA


Members of SNU Soobak, a student organization for solidarity with Palestine, carry out an anti-war sit-in on the campus of Seoul National University on May 8, 2024. (Kim Jung-hyo/The Hankyoreh)

SPAIN


Students camp at the University of Barcelona cloister to support Palestine on May 6, 2024 / Natàlia Segura

SWEDEN


Students all over Sweden are today joining the global student uprisings and are now occupying universities in Sweden, against the genocide in Palestine, for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the occupation. Photo from twitter of Greta Thunberg

SWITZERLAND


The hall of EPFL’s architecture building in Lausanne is currently (May 7) occupied by around 50 Pro-Palestinian protesters. KEYSTONE/© KEYSTONE / JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

TUNISIA


Since yesterday Monday (April 29), students of the Institute of Press and Information Sciences have observed an open sit-in day and night, boycotting classes and exams, setting up tents and launching a movement they called “ Camp Shirine Abu Aqla”, in support of the Palestinian people.

UNITED KINGDOM


Students gather outside Oxford University Museum of Natural History in the UK
Photograph: Hollie Adams/Reuters

UNITED STATES


CNN May 10:.As pro-Palestinian protests have erupted on college campuses nationwide, protesters — including students and faculty — continue to be arrested. Map: Where university protesters have been arrested across the United States. (click on map to enlarge)

YEMEN


DHAMAR April 29. 2024 (Saba) – Members of the Faculty of Education at Dhamar University organized a protest to denounce the massacres committed by the Zionist enemy in Gaza.

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6 ways you can support Palestinians in Gaza

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An editorial by Jennifer Bing for the American Friends Service Committee

Many people of conscience are looking for ways to support Palestinians in Gaza as violence continues to escalate. On Oct. 7, a Hamas-led attack on Israel killed at least 1,200 Israelis and took an estimated 200 hostages. Israel immediately launched attacks on Gaza. After months of bombardment, Israeli attacks have killed more than 37,000 Palestinians in Gaza and displaced nearly 2 million from their homes.

Now Gaza is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that grows worse by the day. People are dying of starvation and disease. The entire health care system has collapsed. Still, Israel continues to hinder the delivery of aid and maintains its total siege on the territory.


A Palestinian girl walks next to a Banksy mural of children using an Israeli army watchtower as a swing ride, on a wall in Beit Hanoun town, in the northern Gaza Strip. April 10, 2015. Sameh Rahmi

Gaza’s 2.3 million people have long faced suffocating conditions imposed by Israel and upheld by the international community. For 16 years, Palestinians in Gaza have lived under Israel’s brutal blockade, isolated from the rest of Palestine and the world. More than 50% of Palestinians were unemployed and over 80% relied on humanitarian relief to survive. They had limited access to clean water, electricity, and medical care.  

Previous Israeli military attacks on Gaza—including devastating bombing assaults in May 2021, August 2022, and May 2023—killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed critical infrastructure. Even before Oct. 7, 2023, the psychosocial well-being of children, young people, and their caregivers had declined to alarming levels, according to Save the Children.  

Today, we must renew and strengthen our efforts to change these realities. Here are six ways you can support Palestinians in Gaza today.  

1) Contact your member of Congress and call for an immediate cease-fire. 
 
Popular opinion polls show a majority of people in the U.S. favor of a cease-fire. Millions have joined protests around the globe. Yet only a few members of Congress have publicly called for a cease-fire. Our elected officials must keep hearing from us.  

° Take a few minutes today to call your representative using this online form. Then, send them an email.  

° Join AFSC online for our weekly Action Hour for a Cease-Fire. Every Friday, we’ll share updates from AFSC’s staff in Gaza, tips for advocacy, and then make calls and write letters to Congress. Register here

2) Help bring attention to what’s happening in Gaza.  

° Take part in protests. Marches, rallies, and vigils are a powerful way to publicly demonstrate solidarity with Gaza. To make your message loud and clear, download and print our free posters for Palestine

° Write a letter to the editor. This is an effective way to show support for Gaza, counter harmful media narratives about what’s happening, and add context that news outlets often miss out on. Use these letter-writing tips.

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Question related to this article:

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

How can just one or a few persons contribute to peace and justice?

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3) Learn more about Gaza and lift up Palestinian voices. 

Read “Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire.” This anthology features work by 12 Palestinian writers who imagine the future of Gaza beyond the cruelties of occupation and apartheid.  For a limited time, you can download the e-book for free. You can also listen to online conversations with “Light in Gaza” contributors and organize a group in your community to read the book.  Use our study guide  to help facilitate discussions.  

Check out articles by AFSC staff, including: 

Yousef Aljamal’s articles on decimation of education in Gaza and impact of 200 days of genocide in Gaza.

Article by Firas Ramlawi on AFSC’s efforts in Gaza to bring relief to children. 

Article by Zoe Jannuzi on creating community on AFSC’s weekly Action hours for a cease-fire. 

Check out our list of resources about Gaza, including films, articles, books, and websites. Seek out news coverage from outlets with Palestinian journalists reporting from Gaza including the Electronic Intifada, Middle East Eye, Mondoweiss, and Al Jazeera

4) Hold corporations accountable for their role in violating the rights of Palestinians in Gaza. 

This war is enabled by the U.S. military industrial complex, as was the case with Israel’s previous attacks on Gaza. This short list includes large weapon manufacturers  that have been complicit in military attacks on Gaza. Here is the list of companies that are profiting from current attacks on Gaza, which will continually be updated by AFSC.

However, that is the tip of the iceberg. Many U.S. corporations are involved in Israel’s apartheid regime and other routine human rights violations against Palestinians. Ensure your money is not contributing to human rights violations—and call on these companies to end their complicity in apartheid and war crimes. 

Visit AFSC’s Investigate website to learn more about companies involved in the occupation, and how you can join efforts to divest or boycott them. 

5) Join us in working to dismantle Israeli apartheid. 

In 2023, AFSC and partners launched the Apartheid-Free initiative. Over 324 communities, groups, and organizations, have pledged to call themselves “Apartheid-Free” and join others in working to end all support to Israel’s apartheid regime, settler colonialism, and military occupation. Use the resources on the Apartheid-Free website and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter to get involved and help build a movement for a world where all people are equal and treated with dignity and respect.

6) Make a gift. 

Donate to support AFSC’s emergency relief in Gaza: Your donation will bring humanitarian relief and support efforts to stop the violence and build conditions for peace.

Support AFSC’s advocacy for Palestinian rights. Help fund our ongoing work with communities across the U.S. to bring about peace, justice, and human dignity for all people. 
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‘Glimmer of Hope’ as UN Security Council Approves Gaza Cease-Fire Resolution

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY .

An article by Brett Wilkins from Common Dreams

In a move that boosts the three-phase plan announced by President Joe Biden late last month, the United Nations Security Council on Monday voted 14-0—with permanent member Russia abstaining—in favor of a U.S.-sponsored resolution for a cease-fire in Gaza.


The ambassadors of the United Kingdom, United States, and Algeria raise their hands to vote in favor of a United Nations Security Council resolution for a cease-fire in Gaza in New York on June 10, 2024. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia chose not to exercise its power to veto the resolution, which urges Israel and Hamas to “fully implement its terms without delay and without condition.”

Responding to the vote, Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement that “although the Biden administration should have allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a permanent cease-fire resolution many months and many slaughtered Palestinians ago, we welcome today’s development as a positive and long overdue step toward ending the genocide.”

“The Biden administration must now use American leverage to force [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to agree to a permanent cease-fire so that the massacres of Palestinian civilians can end, all hostages and political prisoners can safely go free, international tribunals can begin holding those responsible for war crimes accountable, and the world can finally begin pursuing a credible end to the illegal occupation of Palestine that has fomented decades of injustice and oppression.”

As U.N. News explained:

Phase one includes an “immediate, full, and complete cease-fire with the release of hostages including women, the elderly and the wounded, the return of the remains of some hostages who have been killed, and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners.”

It calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from “populated areas” of Gaza, the return of Palestinians to their homes and neighborhoods throughout the enclave, including in the north, as well as the safe and effective distribution of humanitarian assistance at scale.

Phase two would see a permanent end to hostilities “in exchange for the release of all other hostages still in Gaza, and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

In phase three, “a major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza” would begin and the remains of any deceased hostages still in the strip would be returned to Israel.”

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Question related to this article:

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

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The council also underlined the proposal’s provision that if negotiations take longer than six weeks for phase one, the cease-fire will continue as long as negotiations continue.

“The only way to end this cycle of violence and build a durable peace is through a political settlement,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield—who vetoed several previous Security Council cease-fire resolutions— said following Monday’s vote.

The Biden administration has provided Israel with billions of dollars in military aid, arms and ammunition sales, and diplomatic cover.

In a statement, Hamas—which led the October 7 attack on Israel that left more than 1,100 people dead and over 240 others taken hostage—welcomed the resolution’s passage and affirmed  its willingness “to enter into indirect negotiations on the implementation of these principles.”

However, Reut Shapir Ben-Naftaly, Israel’s representative at the U.N., said her country’s objectives in the war have not changed and vowed to keep fighting “until all of the hostages are returned and Hamas’ military capabilities are dismantled.”

“Israel will not engage in meaningless and endless negotiations which can be exploited by Hamas as a means to stall for time,” she added.

According to Palestinian and international agencies, at least 37,124 Palestinians—mostly women and children—have been killed by Israeli forces during the 248-day Gaza onslaught, which is the subject of an International Criminal Court genocide case  brought by South Africa and supported by more than 30 nations and regional blocs. Nearly 85,000 Palestinians have also been injured. At least 11,000 other Palestinians are missing and believed buried beneath the rubble of hundreds of thousands of bombed-out buildings.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan is seeking  arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders for alleged crimes including extermination.

Algerian Ambassador Amar Bendjama said  after Monday’s vote that “as a free and dignified people, the Palestinians will never accept living under occupation. They will never abdicate their fight for liberation.”

“This text is not perfect, but it offers a glimmer of hope to the Palestinians as the alternative is continued killing and suffering,” he added. “We voted for this text to give diplomacy a chance. It is time to halt the killing.”

The Security Council resolution’s passage follows last month’s vote by the U.N. General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood—a move supported  by 143 members of the World Body but vehemently opposed by Israel and the U.S. Only nine nations voted against recognizing Palestine as an independent state.

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2024 Theme for the International Day of Peace: Cultivating a Culture of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article from the United Nations

The 2024 Theme for the International Day of Peace is “Cultivating a Culture of Peace”.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.

In that declaration, the United Nations’ most inclusive body recognized that peace “not only is the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process where dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.”

In a world with rising geopolitical tensions and protracted conflicts, there has never been a better time to remember how the UN General Assembly came together in 1999 to lay out the values needed for a culture of peace. These include: respect for life, human rights and fundamental freedoms; the promotion of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation; commitment to peaceful settlement of conflicts; and adherence to freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, cultural diversity, dialogue and understanding at all levels of society and among nations.

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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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In follow-up resolutions, the General Assembly recognized further the importance of choosing negotiations over confrontation and of working together and not against each other.

The Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) starts with the notion that “wars begin in the minds of men so it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed”. It is this notion that framed the theme and logo of this year’s observance of the International Day of Peace. The ideas of peace, the culture of peace, need to be cultivated in the minds of children and communities through formal and informal education, across countries and generations.

The International Day of Peace has always been a time to lay down weapons and observe ceasefires. But it now must also be a time for people to see each other’s humanity. Our survival as a global community depends on that.

Background

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

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English bulletin June 1, 2024

. MOBILIZING FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE AROUND THE WORLD

Last September we described more than 942 events to mark the International Day of Peace that took place in 93 countries. And in March we carried photos of mobilizations for International Women’s Day that took place in 68 countries in all regions of the world.

Mass mobilizations for peace and justice continued during the past two months.

Workers took to the streets around the world to celebrate May Day, and we carried photos from events in 11 countries of Europe, 10 countries of Asia/Pacific, 6 countries of Africa and the Middle East and 12 countries of the Americas. In addition to the traditional demands of wage increases and job security amid soaring food and oil prices, many of them demanded action against the Israeli genocide in Gaza, and others protested the new fascist regimes in Italy and Argentina. A transcript of the rally in New York with its demands for peace in Gaza has been published by Amy Goodman.

University students occupied their campuses to protest the Israeli genocide. The latest counts of university encampments list 17 countries including India, Mexico, Japan, as well as the UK, Australia, France and, of course, the United States where encampments are listed in at least 24 colleges and universities.

Michael Moore compares the students’ actions to those that made possible women’s suffrage, trade union rights, civil rights and protests against the American war in Vietnam. The Global Campaign for Peace Education published an eloquent description by an encampment participant explaining how they are guided by the UN definition of a culture of peace.

Youth participated in a global strike marking Earth Day to demand “climate justice now”. In Sweden, Greta Thunberg  joined hundreds of other demonstrators for a march in Stockholm; in Kenya, participants demanded that their government join the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty; and in the U.S., youth activists held more than 200 Earth Day protests directed at pressing President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency. Mobilizations took place around the world, not only in Sweden, US and Kenya, but also in Bangladesh, UK, Ireland and Spain. An interview with Earth Day founder Denis Hayes says the young climate activists carry on the spirit of his generation.

Mobilizations like this are necessary if our world is to survive the economic and political storms that are gathering on the horizon of history. But they are not enough. As described in this month’s blog, they need to be guided by a vision of a new world of peace and justice. Recent bulletins describe voices of reason and hope and culture of peace as a vision for the future. But will the activists for peace and justice be guided by them?

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



May 1, workers’ day, around the world

HUMAN RIGHTS



Michael Moore: I Now Bring You the Voices of a New Generation

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



Working for water and peace in the Tessalit area of Mali

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



UN Women: Rebuilding the women’s movement in Afghanistan, one organization at a time

  

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY



Manifesto: European mobilization against increasing militarization and wars

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Egypt: Role of Universities in Building Bridges of Understanding and Peace between East and West” International Conference

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY



Recasting the narrative of pro-Palestine student encampments: a commitment to nonviolent changemaking

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



“Workers Have Power”: Thousands Rally in NYC for May Day, Call for Solidarity with Palestine

Norway, along with Ireland and Spain, to recognize Palestinian state

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article by Nerijus Adomaitis and Gwladys Fouche from Reuters (reprinted by permission)

Norway will recognise an independent Palestinian state in the hope that this will help to bring peace with Israel, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Wednesday (May 22).

Ireland  and Spain  will also announce the recognition of a Palestinian state, sources said on Wednesday.


Map from Wikipedia. Note the resemblance to maps of the American Empire.

European Union members Slovenia and Malta have also indicated in recent weeks that they plan to make the recognition, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.
 
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Question related to this article:

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

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“In the middle of a war, with tens of thousands of dead and injured, we must keep alive the only thing that can provide a safe home for both Israelis and Palestinians: two states that can live in peace with each other,” Stoere told a press conference.

Before the announcement, some 143 out of 193 member-states of the United Nations recognised a Palestinian state.

European countries have approached the issue differently. Some, like Sweden, recognised a Palestinian state a decade ago, while France is not planning to do so unless it can be an effective tool to make progress towards peace.

The moves come as Israeli forces have led assaults  on the northern and southern edges of the Gaza Strip in May, causing a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of people, and sharply restricted the flow of aid, raising the risk of famine.

Non-EU member Norway has long said it would recognise Palestine as a country only if it could have a positive impact on the peace process, in step with what the United States has said on the issue.

Norway is a close U.S. ally, and the Nordic country has sought to help broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians on several occasions in recent decades.

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UN General Assembly presses Security Council to give ‘favourable consideration’ to full Palestinian membership

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A news release from the United Nations

The UN General Assembly convened again in New York on Friday (May 10) for an emergency special session on the Gaza crisis and overwhelmingly passed a resolution which upgrades Palestine’s rights at the world body as an Observer State, without offering full membership. It urged the Security Council to give “favourable consideration” to Palestine’s request.

What does the resolution mean?

Here’s a quick recap of what this means: by adopting this resolution the General Assembly will upgrade the rights of the State of Palestine within the world body, but not the right to vote or put forward its candidature to such organs as the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Granting Palestinian membership requires a recommendation from the Security Council. At the same time, the Assembly determines that the State of Palestine is qualified for such status and recommends that the Security Council “reconsider the matter favourably”.

(Editor’s note: The negative vote of the United States on this resolution and their remarks quoted below suggest that they will continue to veto any resolution for UN membership of Palestine at the Security Council, as they did most recently on April 18).

None of the upgrades in status will take effect until the new session of the Assembly opens on 10 September.

Here are some of the changes in status that Palestine will have a right to later this year:

1. To be seated among Member States in alphabetical order
2. Make statements on behalf of a group
3. Submit proposals and amendments and introduce them
4. Co-sponsor proposals and amendments, including on behalf of a group
5. Propose items to be included in the provisional agenda of the regular or special sessions and the right to request the inclusion of supplementary or additional items in the agenda of regular or special sessions
6. The right of members of the delegation of the State of Palestine to be elected as officers in the plenary and the Main Committees of the General Assembly
7. Full and effective participation in UN conferences and international conferences and meetings convened under the auspices of the General Assembly or, as appropriate, of other UN organs

4:59 PM

Saudi Arabia: Re-establish the truth

Saudi Arabian Ambassador Abdulaziz Alwasil recalled General Assembly resolutions adopted over the years that reaffirmed the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination.

“The resolution presented today is fully in line with those resolutions. It seeks to implement the will of the international community and contribute to building true peace in the Middle East based on the two-State solution,” he said.

“It is high time for the international community to re-establish the truth because the world can no longer ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people that has lasted for decades,” he added.

Ambassador Alwasil further noted Israel, the occupying power, has perpetrated “all sorts of crimes” against Palestinian people, scorning international law.

“Israel is convinced that they are above these resolutions and that they enjoy a certain level of immunity…which explains their ongoing hostile and brutal policies,” he said.

He highlighted the dire situation in Rafah, the last refuge for the Palestinian people which was also densely populated by those displaced from elsewhere and called he for a strong international position to put an end to the Israeli practices in Gaza.

Concluding his statement, the Ambassador expressed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to supporting the right of Palestinian people to self-determination and to build their own independent State within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with relevant resolutions. 

4:43 PM

China: Resolution reflects the will of the international community

Ambassador FU Cong of China said that Palestine should have the same status as Israel and that Palestinian people should enjoy the same rights as Israeli people.

“It is the common responsibility of the international community to support and advance the process of Palestinian independent Statehood, and provide strong support for the implementation of the two-State solution and a lasting peace in the Middle East,” he said.

He further noted that on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, the United States repeatedly used its veto “in an unjustified attempt” to obstruct the international community’s efforts to correct the “historical injustice long visited on Palestine”.

“It is not commensurate with the role of a responsible major country,” he said.

He also recalled the overwhelming support for the General Assembly resolution, adopted earlier in the day, reaffirming the right of Palestinian people to self-determination and recommending that the Security Council reconsider favourably its application to join the United Nations.

“China welcomes this historic resolution, which reflects the will of the international community,” Ambassador Fu said.

“We believe that the special modalities adopted within the limits permitted by the UN Charter will enable the international community to listen more adequately to the voice of Palestine and help it to talk and negotiate with Israel on a more equal footing.”

3:04 PM

Assembly President Francis resumed the meeting, with about 72 speakers left to take the floor. The spokesperson for the General Assembly announced earlier in the day that due to the number of remaining speakers, the meeting will likely continue on Monday.

1:07 PM

With the last speaker for the morning having delivered their statement, the President of the General Assembly adjourned the meeting. It will reconvene at 3 PM New York time.

1:00 PM

Switzerland: Ceasefire urgently needed

Swiss Ambassador Pascale Christine Baeriswyl explained that her country’s abstention from the vote was in line with its position at the Security Council last month.

“We felt that in view of the great instability prevailing in the region, this stage was not conducive to improving the situation,” she said.

“Without opposing it, we believe it would be preferable to consider admitting Palestine as a full member of the United Nations at time when such a step would insert itself in the logic of emerging peace,” she added, noting that such admission would have to follow the procedures enshrined in the UN Charter.

She also voiced Switzerland’s firm support to the two-State solution, stating that only a negotiated solution in which two States – Israel and Palestine – live side by side in peace and security can lead to lasting peace.

Ambassador Baeriswyl also voiced deep concern over the catastrophic situation of civilians in the ongoing conflict in Gaza, stating that it could worsen further in the event of a major Israeli military offensive in Rafah.

“Such a prospect is unacceptable, and Switzerland reaffirms its opposition to such an operation,” she said, emphasising the need to ensure protection of humanitarians and respect for international humanitarian and human rights laws.

In conclusion, she called for an immediate ceasefire.

“Safety of civilians must be ensured. All hostages must be released immediately and unconditionally, and safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian aid must be allowed via all crossing points.”

12:10 PM

Firmly committed to two-State solution: UK

Barbara Woodward, Ambassador of the United Kingdom, said that her country remains “firmly committed” to the two-State solution that guarantees security and stability for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people.

“We are abstaining from this resolution because we believe the first step towards achieving this goal is resolving the immediate crisis in Gaza,” she said, emphasising that the fastest way to end the conflict is “to secure a deal which gets the hostages out and allows for a pause in the fighting”.

“We must then work together to turn that pause into a sustainable, permanent ceasefire.”

She added that “setting out the horizon” for a Palestinian State should be one of the vital conditions from moving from a pause in fighting to a sustainable ceasefire.

“Recognising a Palestinian State, including at the UN, should be part of that process,” she said.

Ambassador Woodward also noted that the UK remains deeply concerned about the prospect of a major operation in Rafah and that it will not support such an act, unless there is a “very clear plan” on protecting civilians as well as their access to aid and medical care.

“We have not seen that plan, so in these circumstances, we will not support a major operation in Rafah,” she said.

11:58 AM

France: High time for political solution

French Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière said his country voted in favour of the resolution, noting also the clarifications provided in the text on the right to vote and the right to be elected, which are the prerogatives of Member States alone.

“France recalls that the procedure for admitting a new Member State is defined by the UN Charter, and it must not be circumvented,” he said.

He also noted that France is in favour of the admission of Palestine as a full member of the Organization, which is why it voted in favour at the Security Council last month.

Reiterating his country’s condemnation of the terrorist attacks by Hamas and other groups on 7 October, Ambassador de Rivière stated France’s demand for a ceasefire and release of all hostages.

“The offensive that has started in Rafah risks causing numerous victims and displacing people at a time where nowhere can be deemed safe today in Gaza. There is further risk of disrupting delivery of aid,” he said, expressing his country’s opposition to the military operation.

“All parties must do everything they can to protect civilians and guarantee access for humanitarian aid. It is high time to mobilise for a political solution,” he added.

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Question(s) related to this article:

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

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

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11:46 AM

Statehood must be negotiated: US

Explaining the US’s negative vote, Ambassador Robert Wood said that it did not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood.

“We have been very clear that we support it and seek to advance it meaningfully. Instead, it is an acknowledgement that statehood will come from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties,” he said.

“There is no other path that guarantees Israel’s security and future as a democratic Jewish State. There is no other path that guarantees Palestinians can live in peace and dignity in a State of their own,” he added.

He further expressed the US commitment to intensifying its engagement with Palestinians and the rest of the Middle East region to advance a political settlement that will create a path to Palestinian statehood and subsequent membership in the UN.

“This resolution does not resolve the concerns about the Palestinian membership application raised in April in the Security Council…and should the  Security Council take up the Palestinian membership application as a result of this resolution, there will be a similar outcome,” he said.

11:24 AM

Draft resolution passed overwhelmingly

The vote is in. It has passed overwhelmingly with 143 countries in favour, nine against and 25 abstaining.

11:22 AM

The Assembly just voted to pass the draft resolution as long as two thirds agree.

11:18 AM

Pakistan: Resolution vote will determine strong support

Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan said there will come a day when Israel will be held accountable for the crimes committed against Palestinians, especially in Gaza.

The insults hurled today are “the arrogance of the aggressor” reflecting the impunity of the occupier, he said, explaining his delegation’s position ahead of the vote on the draft resolution.

He also expressed hope that the international community will appropriately respond in that regard.

The Ambassador underscored that the resolution’s adoption will determine the widespread support for Palestine to be accorded full UN membership.

11:05 AM

Russia: A moral duty

The Assembly is now preparing to vote on the draft resolution.

Before that, some countries are exercising their right to make statements before the vote, starting with Russia’s Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

He is criticising the US, saying that the resolution is complicated because it is attempting to advance Palestinian membership as far as possible without provoking another veto from Washington on full membership.

He said Palestine deserves nothing less than full membership at the UN. 

“It is the moral duty of everyone,” he said.

“Only full-fledged membership will allow Palestine to stand alongside other members of the Organization and enjoy the rights that this status implies.”

10:55 AM

Israel: Extra benefits for Palestine would appease terrorists

Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan said that after Hitler’s rise to power, the Nazis had sought to annihilate the Jewish people and all those they deemed sub-human, but the forces of good fought to return peace to the world, and the UN was founded to ensure that such tyranny never raised its head again.

“Today, you are doing the opposite…welcoming a terror State into its ranks,” he said. 

“You have opened up the United Nations to modern-day Naziism. It makes me sick.”

The terrorist group Hamas controls Gaza and has taken over areas of the West Bank, he said, holding up a poster showing Hamas’s leader, who he described as “a terrorist diplomat whose stated goal is Jewish genocide”.

“Today, you have a choice between weakness and fighting terror,” he said, adding that the UN is appeasing “murderous dictators” and destroying the UN Charter. “This day will go down in infamy.”

In closing, he held up a mini portable electric document shredder and inserted the cover of the UN Charter.

10:48 AM

Palestinian flag ‘flies high and proud’

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the observer State of Palestine, recounted the devastating impacts of the ongoing war in Gaza, with over 35,000 Palestinians killed, a further 80,000 injured and over two million displaced.

“No words can capture what such loss and trauma signify for Palestinians, their families, their communities and for our nation as whole,” he said.

He added that the Palestinians in Gaza have been pushed to the “very edge” of the Strip “to the very brink of life” with “bombs and bullets haunting them”.

Mr. Mansour highlighted that despite the attacks and destruction, the flag of Palestine “flies high and proud” in Palestine and across the globe, becoming a “symbol raised by all those who believe in freedom and its just rule”.

‘Lives cannot be restored’

“It is true that we will not disappear, but the lives lost cannot be restored,” he stated.

The Permanent Observer said people have to make a decision: stand by the right of a nation to live in freedom and dignity on its ancestral land, standing with peace and recognising the rights of Palestinians or they can stand on the sidelines of history.

Mr. Mansour said after holding observer status for 50 years, “we wish from all those who invoke the UN Charter to abide by the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination guaranteed by the Charter.”

“A ‘yes’ vote is a vote for Palestinian existence; it is not against any State, but it is against attempts to deprive us of our State,” he added, stating that it would be an investment in peace and empowering the forces of peace.

10:29 AM

Security Council must heed global call for Palestinian statehood: UAE

On behalf of the Arab Group, Mohamed Issa Hamad Mohamed Abushahab, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the UN, introduced the draft resolution, saying it recommends that the Security Council reconsider Palestine’s full UN membership application.

“Today marks a defining moment,” he said.

The State of Palestine has demonstrated that it deserves full membership in the international community by acceding to international treaties, adhering to the UN Charter and meeting requirements of statehood. In addition, more than 140 countries now recognise Palestine as a State, he said.

Voting for the resolution amid the ongoing conflict would support the two-State solution to the crisis, he said, adding that the Security Council must respond to the will of the international community.

Vote to take place at 11:00 AM

After delivering his statement, the UAE Ambassador called on the Assembly to vote on the draft at 11:00 AM New York time.

Members agreed to do so and would afterwards resume the debate.

10:17 AM

Middle East on course for ‘full-scale catastrophe’, warns General Assembly President Dennis Francis

Mr. Francis said from the podium of the Assembly Hall that the Israel-Palestine crisis was the original crisis before the world body when it was founded in 1946.

Peace has remained elusive, and today has become an untenable situation that is deteriorating “at an alarming speed”, he told delegates.

This is “bringing countless innocent victims into its deadly fold and pushing the region further to the brink of full-scale catastrophe”.

He urged the international community to not look away from the dire situation that has unfolded since the  7 October terror attacks and the ensuing Israeli devastation of Gaza.

End the scourge of war

“Today, let us remember the legacy from which we hail. We stand proudly upon the shoulders of those who, many decades ago, recognised their ultimate responsibility to forge a peace that will banish the scourge and terror of war,” he urged.

“I therefore call upon the membership to purposely assess the situation before us, with nothing else in mind but a commitment to peace as our utmost ambition,” he said.

He called upon the parties to the conflict, supported by nations with leverage, to urgently come to an agreement on a ceasefire to bring to an end to the suffering of countless people and secure the release of all hostages.

“We must believe in the essential goodness of others,” he said, and “in the understanding that no problem of human relations is insoluble”, calling on them to help bring lasting peace, save lives and end the violence.

10:14 AM

He’s inviting the Assembly to recognise the fact that some members are in arrears with their mandatory contributions. If you don’t pay up, you lose your vote. Those are the rules. But, there are exceptions that have been made, including today. 

10:12 AM

The President of the General Assembly Dennis Francis has just gavelled in the resumed session on the Gaza crisis.

09:55 AM

Aid operations have come to a standstill since the start of the military’s ground operation in Rafah this week, with an estimated 100,000 Palestinians displaced once again in a highly fluid situation, according to humanitarians.

The Assembly is also expected to vote on a draft resolution, co-sponsored by a group of countries, concerning the status of the observer State of Palestine at the United Nations.

Read our explainer on Palestine’s status at the UN here.

The draft resolution follows the veto cast by United States at the Security Council on 18 April, which blocked Palestine’s admission as a full UN Member State. That draft resolution, submitted by non-permanent Council member Algeria, had received 12 votes in favour, with Switzerland and the United Kingdom abstaining.

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Mayors for Peace: Join us in promoting the culture of peace

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An news flash from Mayors for 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:

[W]e 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.

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.

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. To raise the public awareness of This Month, we also put banners and run digital signage in some gathering sites and streets of city center.

“Month for the Culture of Peace 2023” by the City of Hiroshima (in Japanese): https://heiwabunka.info/

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.

Pass down Atomic Bomb Experiences through Testimonies

We encourage member cities to provide their citizens with opportunities to hear hibakusha’s testimony while using online video conference platforms or on video to have as many people as possible share in the hibakusha’s sincere desire for the abolition of nuclear weapons and to encourage them to take action for peace.

If your city wishes to set up an opportunity to hear a testimony online, please contact the Secretariat.

Providing opportunities to hear hibakusha’s testimony (Mayors for Peace
website): https://www.mayorsforpeace.org/en/visions/initiatives/testimonies/

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

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Hold Mayors for Peace Atomic Bomb Poster Exhibitions

Mayors for Peace provides member cities with “Mayors for Peace Atomic Bomb Posters,” which visually present the realities of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, consequences of nuclear weapons use, and Mayors for Peace initiatives, featuring photos, drawings created by hibakusha, and other images. Posters are available in the following nine languages: English, German, French, Russian, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Japanese. To have more citizens deepen their understanding of the realities of the atomic bombings and share in the wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons, we encourage member cities to organize poster exhibitions at facilities to which many residents have access, such as city halls, community centers, and public libraries.

Mayors for Peace Atomic Bomb Poster Exhibition (Mayors for Peace website):
https://www.mayorsforpeace.org/en/visions/initiatives/posters/

To download the posters from the above webpage, please contact the Mayors for Peace Secretariat to obtain a user ID and a password.

Exhibition organizers are encouraged to set up a petition booth at the venue for visitors to sign the petition calling for all states to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) at the earliest day. The petition form and the poster encouraging people to join the petition are available on the Mayors for Peace webpage below.

Petition drives calling for all states to join the TPNW at the earliest date (Mayors for Peace website): https://www.mayorsforpeace.org/en/visions/initiatives/petitions/

Nurture seeds and seedlings from atomic bomb survivor trees

We distribute to member cities seeds from hibaku trees—atomic bomb
survivor trees which have survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. We encourage you to raise second-generation hibaku
trees, which serve as symbols of peace, to help raise citizens’ peace
consciousness.

Should you wish to receive seeds from hibaku trees, please contact the
Secretariat.

Distribute and nurture seeds from atomic bomb survivor trees
(hibaku trees) (Mayors for Peace website): https://www.mayorsforpeace.org/en/visions/initiatives/trees/

Participate in the Children’s Art Competition “Peaceful Towns”

Mayors for Peace organizes the annual Children’s Art Competition “Peaceful Towns” for children in all the member cities to further promote peace education in the member cities.

We organize the competition this year, too. Click here for details.

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