Category Archives: global

Global Peace Education Day: Virtual Conference

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

Excerpts from the website of Global Peace Education with links to youtube videos

Global Peace Education Day Virtual Conference
EMPOWERING EDUCATORS FOR PEACE
20th September 2022 – 11 am New York Time


Part 1: Call for a UN Day for Global Peace Education

Conference Host:

Michael Nouri: International screen actor; Goodwill ambassador for Seeds of Peace and the Multiple Sclerosis Society

Conference Chair:

Gabriela Ramos: UNESCO Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences (Click here for her remarks)

Welcome from Founders

Alberto Guerrero: President, Federación Española De Asociaciones, Centros Y Clubes Para La UNESCO

Why Campaign for a United Nations Peace Education Day

The United Nations declared 2021 as the International Year for Peace and Trust. The United Nations has established more than 150 international days for different humanitarian themes. However, there is no day dedicated specifically to the theme of peace education.

Because peace education is central to the United Nations central mission, it certainly deserves a special day for public awareness – a day to promote practical efforts in peace education throughout the world, a day to empower educators for peace; a day to connect and celebrate with others in the peace education field.

Keynotes: Call to the UN

Anwarul Chowdhury
Founder; Global Movement for a Culture of Peace; Former Under-Secretary-General, United Nations; Former President, UN Security Council (Click here for his keynote address)

Federico Mayor Zaragoza
Founder, Culture of Peace Foundation; Former Director General, UNESCO (Click here for his remarks)

Doudou Diene
Former Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance (Click here for his remarks)

Ouided Bouchamaoui
2015 Nobel Peace Laureate, President, Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) (Click here for her remarks)

Prof Karim Errouaki, PhD:
President Emeritus of the American University of Europe . . .

Reiner Braun
Executive Director, International Peace Bureau (Click here for his remarks)

Garry Jacobs
President and CEO, World Academy of Arts and Sciences

Ambassador Amat Al Alim Alsoswar
Former Minister of Human Rights, Yemen . . .

Francisco Rojas
8th Rector, University of Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica

Part 2: A Culture of Peace

What skills and knowledge do we need to build a culture of peace on a healthy planet? Some leading voices offer examples.

Keynotes

Federico Mayor Zaragoza: Founder, Culture of Peace Foundation; Former Director General, UNESCO

Prem Rawat: Author; Founder of The Prem Rawat Foundation and the Peace Education Program.

Steve Killilea AM: Founder & Executive Chairman, The Charitable Foundation; Institute for Economics and Peace
Roundtable

Ramu Damoradan: Former Chief of Academic Impact, United Nations

Alexander Laszlo, PhD: Human Evolution to Peace

Willow Baker: Program Director, Peace Education Program, TPRF

Special Features

Tony Jenkins, PhD: Mapping Peace Education

(This article is continued in the column on the right.)

Question for this article:

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

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Part 3: Restoring Humanity

What skills must we learn to support more than a million people forced to flee their homes by conflict, climate change and persecution? Can peace education make us more human?

Keynote – Peace Skill: Right Relationship

Lisa Worth Huber PhD: President and Board Chair, National Peace Academy

Roundtable

Guila Clara Kessous, PhD: Moderator – UNESCO Artist for Peace

Richard F. Mollica, MD, MAR: Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) at Massachusetts General Hospital

Enayet Khan: Artist; Photographer; Publisher Rohingya Together; Mentor, Rohingya refugee youth in Cox’s Bazar, world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Professor Nisha Sajnani: founder of the Arts and Health initiative at New York University.

Héloïse Onumba-Bessonnet: victimologist specialising in sexual violence in armed conflict.

Part 4: Peace & Justice

“No justice, no peace.” How do we create a culture that offers peace, prosperity and dignity to every human being? How will peace education help us to face prejudice and injustice? How do we make equality reality?

Keynote

Bishop Horace Smith, M.D: Pastor, Chicago Apostolic Faith Church

Roundtable

Philip Shelton: Moderator – Director, Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity, Indianapolis . . .

Rita Rubin Long: Educational consultant. Peace education facilitator.

David Weinberg: Executive Director, Global Peace Education Network, Inc.

Conversation

Chic Dambach: President Emeritus, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Part 5: Peace & Leadership

How do peacebuilding skills merge with global economics to promote a culture of peace? How will peace education stop the scourge of prejudice and violence?

Keynote

Stephane Monney-Mouandjo, PhD: Directeur Général, Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administrative pour le Développement (CAFRAD)

Roundtable

Marc Levitte: Moderator – Executive coach; Senior Facilitator, the Art of Hosting.

Bakari Sidiki Diaby: Founder, CADHA-Afrique

Rachidi Adam: President, Paix et Education; Assistant Administratif, FODEFCA

Philippe Rio: President of the Association “Maires pour la Paix France”

Special Feature

Michael Nouri: Mayors for Peace letter

Part 6: Peace & Planet

The UN Secretary General warns that “we’re sleepwalking toward climate catastrophe.” How can education reverse this trend? Young global activists showcase solutions

Keynotes

Kehkashan Basu: M.S.M. Founder, Green Hope Foundation

Francisca Cortes Solari: Founder, Filantropia Solari

Alexia Leclercq: Grassroots environmental justice organizer; Co-founder, Start: Empowerment

Part 7: Arts and Peace

The language of the arts flows through borders and transforms lives. How do arts and culture nurture peace skills? Our artists offer a creative exploration.

Keynote

Aixa Portero Y De La Torre PhD: Fine Arts Professor, University of Granada

RoundTable Panel

Alla Rogers: Moderator – Artist & Curator

Richard Dana: Artist

Melvin Hardy: Chairman, Millennium Arts Salon

Lucian Perkins: Independent photographer, and filmmaker

Sarah Tanguy: Curator

Part 8: Peace & War

Nuclear holocaust is closer than ever before. Armed conflicts are raging in 27 countries, with civilian populations mistreated by the military. How can peace education help end the threat of war?

Keynotes:

Gina Langton MAMBM FRSA: Founder of 80,000 Voices Ltd . . .

Monica Willard: URI and International Academy for Multicultural Cooperation

Fawziah al-Ammar Phd: senior research fellow with the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies . . .

Conversation:

Tezekiah Gabriel: Executive Director, Pathways to Peace

Tadhi Blackstone: Institute of Noetic Sciences

The Search for the Exceptional Women of Peace Award: A Reflection

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article by Genevieve Balance-Kupang in Pressenza

On September 13, 2022, Pathways to Peace honored eight women peace awardees, the Exceptional Young Women of Peace [EYWP] and the Exceptional Women of Peace [EWP] to commemorate the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243) resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 1999.

Out of the 30 nominees, from different parts of the globe, eight were awarded– Emma DeBiase, Nina Meyerhof, Hortense Minishi, Lois Nicolai, Oman Espe Njomo (Esther), Rebecca Turay, Catherine Volk, and Salma Yusuf.


Awardees: Clockwise- Nina Meyerhof, Catherine Volk, Hortense Minishi, Oman Espe Njomo (Esther), Lois Nicolai, and Emma DeBiase.

Pathways to Peace is grateful for the presence and words of wisdom of our keynote speaker Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury.

I was privileged to be part of the EWP Leadership Team (LT) who read all the entries and selected the winners. Below is my reflection on the search process.

I would like to express my profound admiration and infinite gratitude to Pathways to Peace for its commitment to creating positive change and building lasting peace. Joining the Leadership Team was a tough yet invigorating task and an exciting adventure as we welcomed the nominees, read, and learned about their unique stories, and rated and deliberated the finalists.

I have learned through our peace work that the spirituality of celebration gives joy and bliss to those who participate in it. The campaign period, selection process, and eventually the recognition of the uplifting and life-giving works of women peacebuilders add value to their bravery, transformational leadership, and staunchness to the work of peace. Indeed, these women are beacons of strength and hope as Kimberly Weichel puts it.

Kudos to Pathways to Peace Executive Director Tezikiah (Tez) Gabriel, Project Lead Kimberly Weichel, and other fellow leadership team members Natasha Singh-Ally from South Africa, and Asha Asokan from India. It is a joy and pleasure knowing you, discussing and deliberating with you, and working with you for the advancement of the culture of dialogue and peace.

To read, re-read, or even watch and learn about the unique, touching, inspiring narratives of incredible women peace advocates from all over the world is like basking in the drapery of light of the vivacious grandfather sun glowing with its radiance giving hope, pacifying frightened and traumatized embodied souls. The stories of these women nominees are speaking to me saying “It is another day to shine,” Go, my lady, be not afraid, continue to get involved in recovery, in healing, in vivifying other beings by reconnecting and restoring.” Their narratives warm my heart so intimately that I am moved to do more and work with others with my divine core.

It is like listening to the chorus of the early morning chuckles of birds, chickens, and insects; it is like being a flower on a garden bed being taken care of by a loving and caring gardener. I felt the “authenticity” of the women advocates who were nominated, and amid the challenges we are experiencing like the covid19 pandemic, living in tents among refugees, among others, these women are up, working for their families and communities.

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Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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Many always say “to be nominated is an honor in itself.” I, therefore, congratulate all the nominees from many parts of the globe. Some have experienced the trauma of war and violence themselves. Some have transcended the scourge of poverty and lack of opportunities. Some have realized early on in their life, that peacebuilding is their calling and what gives meaning to their existence. And some are human rights, environmental and peace advocates, and interreligious dialogue practitioners. Some are widows and single moms who, in spite of their situations, find time to help others and work for peace and interbeing. Some have experienced great challenges like the lack of economic resources, but they have shown that collaboration and boldness to seek help from others will keep the peace work moving.

Some worked for peace for more than 40 years, or less, but they are known to have spent their energy and resources for the cause of peace. So, hurray, and my hats off to the following women: Pea Horsley, Barbara Gaughen-Muller, Nina Meyerhof, Dot Maver, Kat Haber, Barbara Condron, Monica Willard, Teri Miller, Pam Ahern, Caroline Myss, Aïssatou Adamou, Safiatou Dan Mallam Kindo, Hortense Minishi, Genevieve Balance Kupang, Maritza Adonis, Khadija Arfaoui, Najla Al-Sheikh, Maha Awn, Omam Espe Njomo (Esther), Somaia Alhosam, Lois Nicolai, Rabab Fatima, Elizabeth Sheridan, Martiza Adonis, Safiatou Dan Mallam Kindo, Salma Yusuf, Catherine Wolk, Emma De Biase, and Rebecca Turay.

Here are some lines that struck me as a reader of their narratives:

“I lost my son and his wife to gruesome killings. Nonetheless, I do not believe in the death penalty… Killing another person is not a solution to crimes done by lawbreakers…”

“I am you; you are me, there is no other.”

“I was bullied as a child…many drops of water form a mighty ocean. I believe our working together can bring about a large ocean of change…”

“I am a child of war. My family was displaced because of armed conflict. But we were able to lead thousands of volunteers to enhance security and stability, supporting women entrepreneurs, and working towards peace and development.”

“Joy is a special wisdom. Taking a long view in both directions of this remarkable human journey offers an assurance that we have free will and as conscious beings will ultimately choose light and love over destruction and violence. The challenges are seen and experienced like blades of grass growing up through cement.”

“We are invigorated in performing land blessings, planting peace poles, and infusing the world with the energy of peace. We are convinced that peace is possible. We all must do our part and become part of the solution.”

There were many precious words that were shared that cannot be captured in one article. Watch the awarding ceremony that honored these women and listen more to their words of wisdom on building peace. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1SjGSQOH5M.

Mabuhay ang lahat ng nanalo (Long live to the winners), finalists, nominees, and all peace advocates in the world. Long live all people of goodwill!

About the Author:

Genevieve Balance Kupang (Genie) is an anthropologist, consultant, researcher, and advisor to individuals and organizations engaged in working for good governance, genuine leadership, justice, integrity of creation, peace, the indigenous peoples, preservation of cultures, and societal transformation processes. She is a peace educator, author, interreligious dialogue practitioner, and resource person with a career in the academe and NGO.

United Nations High Level Forum: The Culture of Peace Bolsters the Potential for Sustainable Peacebuilding

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article by Anwarul K. Chowdhury in Indepthnews

23 years ago today, on 13 September 1999, the United Nations adopted the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, a monumental document that transcends boundaries, cultures, societies, and nations. It was an honor for me to Chair the nine-month long negotiations that led to the adoption of this historic norm-setting document by the United Nations General Assembly.

(Editor’s note: The Declaration and Programme of Action was drafted by UNESCO on the request of the UN General assembly and submitted in 1998.)

That document asserts that inherent in the culture of peace is a set of values, modes of behaviour and ways of life. I was highly privileged to introduce at the 53rd Session of UN General Assembly on its concluding day that resolution for adoption without a vote presenting the consensus text reached under my chairmanship.

20th anniversary of the culture of peace decision was the last in-person High Level Forum in 2019. After two years of virtual Forums, on 6 September this year, President of the 76th General Assembly Abdulla Shahid convened the in-person High Level Forum on The Culture of Peace. That was the eleventh in the series of annual Forums, the first day-long Forum being convened by the 66th President Ambassador Nassir Al-Nasser in 2012.

As his Senior Special Advisor, I had the full responsibility of organizing this pioneering initiative on 14 September. It was a huge success particularly amongst the UN’s civil society organizations which welcomed the opportunity they received to participate proactively along with the Member States and the rest of the UN system. Since then, the afternoon’s Panel Discussion has been considered as the civil society component of the Forum all these years.

Mandated by the UNGA resolutions, the Presidents of the General Assembly have been convening the annual high-level forums since 2012. The Forum provides a platform for the Member States, civil society, and relevant stakeholders to deliberate on the continuing applicability of the Culture of Peace in the contemporary contexts.

The Forum also has been the only UN gathering which was addressed by the largest number of women Nobel Peace laureates—six times out of eleven Forums. Also, the Forum’s panelists were always gender-balanced, on most occasions with more women, as was the case this year.

The Culture of Peace remains one of the key items for the General Assembly since 1997 when the Assembly decided to include a new and self-standing item to its agenda. This was followed by the UNGA resolution 52/15 of 20 November 1997 that proclaimed the year 2000 as the “International Year for the Culture of Peace” and GA resolution 53/25 of 10 November 1998, that proclaimed the period of 2001-2010 as the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World”.

Over the years the scope of the Culture of Peace expanded allowing adoption by the General Assembly multiple resolutions on a wide range of issues relating to various areas of its Programme of Action.

This year’s Forum theme was “The Culture of Peace: Importance of justice, equality and inclusion for advancing peacebuilding”.

It provided an opportunity to Member States, UN system and the civil society to explore and discuss ways to promote justice, equality, and inclusion for advancing peacebuilding and sustaining peace, especially through inculcation and promotion of the values of the Culture of Peace, as the concept note stated.

The concept note also underscored that “… there is no alternative to investing in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, with a view to build a common vision of a society, ensuring that the needs of all segments of the population are taken into account. Such vision encompasses activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation, and recurrence of conflict and addressing root causes. At the same time, there is an urgent need to eliminate discrimination and inequalities and promote social cohesion and inclusive development, to ensure no one is left behind. In this context, as elaborated in the UNGA resolution on the Culture of Peace, empowerment of people to address the challenges in a peaceful and non-violent way is an essential component.”

The United Nations was born in 1945 out of World War II. The UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace was born in 1999 in the aftermath of the Cold War. Apart from the Charter, the Declaration and Program of Action is the only document which has focused so comprehensively on peace. Simply put, the Culture of Peace as a concept, as a motivation means that every one of us needs to consciously make peace and nonviolence a part of our daily existence. We should not isolate peace as something separate or distant.

Ever since the initiative taken by me in July 1997 to formally propose inclusion of a separate agenda item on the culture of peace in the UN General Assembly and its decision to do so, for the last two decades and half, my focus has been on advancing the culture of peace which aims at making peace and non-violence a part of our own self, our own values, our own personality. This has now become more pertinent amid the ever-increasing militarism, militarization and weaponization that is destroying both our planet and our people.

I believe there are two major developments that have the enormous opportunity to bolster the global movement for the culture of peace. Decision with regard to one has already been initiated while the other is still being brewed and hopefully will be ready by next week.

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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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First the upcoming one—recognizing that education is a foundation for peace, tolerance, human rights and sustainable development, Secretary-General António Guterres has convened a Transforming Education Summit (TES) 16th to 19th September. Its three overarching principles are Country-led; Inclusive; Youth-inspired. All very relevant to creating the Culture of Peace. The Summit provides an opportunity to mobilize greater political ambition, commitment, and action to reverse the slide on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Summit should highlight that the Point 4.7 of that Goal includes, among others, promotion of culture of peace and non-violence, women’s equality as well as global citizenship as part of the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. It also calls on the international community to ensure that all learners acquire those by the year 2030. I hope the outcome document of the Summit would reflect 4.7 of the SDG 4 with strong emphasis.

Never has it been more important for us to learn about the world and understand its diversity. The task of educating children and young people to find non-aggressive means to relate with one another is of primary importance.

Targeting the individual is meaningful because there cannot be true peace unless every one of us value peace and non-violence and practices the culture of peace in their actions. Connecting the role of individuals to broader global objectives, Dr Martin Luther King Junior affirmed that “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” The UN Programme of Action on the Culture of Peace pays special attention to the individual’s self-transformation.

All educational institutions need to offer opportunities that prepare the students not only to live fulfilling lives but also to be responsible and productive citizens of the world. For that, educators need to introduce holistic and empowering curricula that cultivate the culture of peace in each and every young mind.

Indeed, such educating for peace should be more appropriately called “education for global citizenship”. Such learning cannot be achieved without well-intentioned, sustained, and systematic peace education that leads the way to the culture of peace.

The other major development was announced in 2021. At last year’s Forum during the Panel Discussion, the peace activist and globally respected Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima and President of Mayors for Peace in his virtual participation announced that “On the 7th of July this year, Mayors for Peace adopted its new Vision, titled: “Vision for Peaceful Transformation to a Sustainable World”. One of the objectives set forth by the new Vision is to ‘promote the culture of peace’, in addition to the ongoing objectives, “realize a world without nuclear weapons,” and “realize safe and resilient cities.”

He added that “Under this new Vision, Mayors for Peace will continue making our utmost efforts toward our ultimate goal of realizing lasting world peace in solidarity with its 8,043 member cities in 165 countries and regions.” This new vision would be placed at the center of the deliberations during 10th Annual General Conference of Mayors for Peace in Hiroshima this October.

These two developments—outcome of Transforming Education Summit and the Mayors of Peace initiative on the Culture of Peace—have the potential of making the Culture of Peace a major force in sustaining peace.

In conclusion I would reiterate that women have a major role to play in promoting the culture of peace in our violence-ridden societies, thereby bringing in lasting peace and reconciliation. While women are often the first victims of any conflict, they must also and always be recognized as key to the resolution of the conflict. It is my strong belief that unless women are engaged in advancing the culture of peace at equal levels with men, sustainable peace would continue to elude us.

In various parts of the world, women have shown great capacity as peacebuilders.  They assumed activist roles while holding together their families and communities. At the grassroots and community levels, women have organized to resist militarization, to create space for dialogue and moderation and to weave together the shattered fabric of society. Through my field experiences, I am proud to recognize that involvement of women in the peace process in various conflict areas of the world has contributed immensely to ensuring longer term benefits for their present as well as future generations.

As has been rightly said, without peace, development is impossible, and without development unachievable, but without women, neither peace nor development is even conceivable.

Often, I am asked how the UN is doing in the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted by the General Assembly in 1999. I believe that the Organization should own it fully and internalize its implementation throughout the UN system.  Also, Secretary-General should prioritize the culture of peace as a part of his leadership agenda. He should make good use of this workable tool that UN possess to advance the objective of sustainable peace. Not using the tool of the culture of peace is behaving like a person who needs a car to go to work and has a car… but with a minimal interest in knowing how to drive it.

I would repeat for the umpteenth time what former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace laureate Kofi Annan had said: “Over the years we have come to realize that it is not enough to send peacekeeping forces to separate warring parties. It is not enough to engage in peace-building efforts after societies have been ravaged by conflict. It is not enough to conduct preventive diplomacy. All of this is essential work, but we want enduring results. We need, in short, the culture of peace.”

I continue to emphasize that The Culture of Peace is not a quick fix. It is a movement, not a revolution!

One voice creates a ripple—many ripples make a wave—collectively, our voices for the culture of peace can transform the world.

2022: Nobel Committee Gets Peace Prize Wrong Yet Again

. HUMAN RIGHTS . .

An article by David Swanson in World Beyond War

The Nobel Committee has yet again awarded a peace prize  that violates the will of Alfred Nobel and the purpose for which the prize was created, selecting recipients who blatantly are not “the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses.”


With its eyes on the news of the day, there was no question that the Committee would find some way to focus on Ukraine. But it steered clear of anyone seeking to reduce the risk of that thus-far relatively minor war creating a nuclear apocalypse. It avoided anyone opposing both sides of the war, or anyone advocating for a ceasefire or negotiations or disarmament. It did not even make the choice one might have expected of picking an opponent of Russian warmaking in Russia and an opponent of Ukrainian warmaking in Ukraine.

Instead, the Nobel Committee has chosen advocates for human rights and democracy in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. But the group in Ukraine is recognized for having  “engaged in efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population,” with no mention of war as a crime or of the possibility that the Ukrainian side of the war was committing atrocities. The Nobel Committee may have learned from Amnesty International’s experience of being widely denounced for documenting war crimes by the Ukrainian side.

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Question related to this article:

Nobel Prize for Peace: Does it go to the right people?

When does human rights become a tool of propaganda?

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The fact that all sides of all wars have always failed and always will fail to engage in humane operations is possibly why Alfred Nobel set up a prize to advance the abolition of war.  It’s too bad that prize is so misused. Because of its misuse, World BEYOND War has created instead the War Abolisher Awards.

– – – – – – –

Adding here some thoughts from Yurii Sheliazhenko:

NGO Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine) recently was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize  with Russian and Belarussian human rights defenders.

What is the Ukrainian secret of success? Here are some tips.

– don’t rely on support of local citizens, embrace international donors with their agendas, like the U.S. Department of State and NED;

– support NATO membership of Ukraine, shame those who seek compromise with Russia  and ask the West to engage in war against Russia on Ukrainian side by imposing no-fly zone and delivery of armaments;

– insist that war is necessary for survival and no negotiations are possible;

– insist that international institutions are worthless and therefore human rights activists must ask for weapons for the Ukrainian Armed Forces;

– insist that only Putin violates human rights in Ukraine, and only the Ukrainian army are real human rights defenders;

– never criticize Ukrainian government for suppression of pro-Russian media, parties, and public figures;

– never criticize Ukrainian army for war crimes, for violations of human rights related to war effort and military mobilization, like beating of students by the border guard for their attempt to study abroad  instead of becoming cannon fodder, and nobody should hear from you even a word about human right to conscientious objection to military service.

“End War in Ukraine” Say 66 Nations at UN General Assembly

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies in the TRANSCEND Media Service

We have spent much of the past week reading and listening to speeches by world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York. Most of them condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the UN Charter and a serious setback for the peaceful world order that is the UN’s founding and defining principle.

But what has not been reported in the United States is that leaders from 66 countries, mostly from the Global South, also used their General Assembly speeches to call urgently for diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine through peaceful negotiations, as the UN Charter requires. We have compiled excerpts from the speeches of all 66 countries to show the breadth and depth of their appeals, and we highlight a few of them here.

African leaders echoed one of the first speakers, Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, who also spoke in his capacity as the current chairman of the African Union when he said, “We call for de-escalation and a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, as well as for a negotiated solution, to avoid the catastrophic risk of a potentially global conflict.”

The 66 nations that called for peace in Ukraine make up more than a third of the countries in the world, and they represent most of the Earth’s population, including India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Mexico.

While NATO and EU countries have rejected peace negotiations, and U.S. and U.K. leaders have actively undermined them, the leaders of five European countries – Hungary, Malta, Portugal, San Marino and the Vatican – joined the calls for peace at the General Assembly.

The peace caucus also includes many of the small countries that have the most to lose from the breakdown of the UN system that recent wars in Ukraine and the Greater Middle East represent, and who have the most to gain by strengthening the UN and enforcing the UN Charter to protect the weak and restrain the powerful.

Philip Pierre, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, a small island state in the Caribbean, told the General Assembly,

“Articles 2 and 33 of the UN Charter are unambiguous in binding Member States to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and to negotiate and settle all international disputes by peaceful means.…We therefore call upon all parties involved to immediately end the conflict in Ukraine, by undertaking immediate negotiations to permanently settle all disputes in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.”

Global South leaders lamented the failure of the UN system, not just in the war in Ukraine but throughout decades of war and economic coercion by the United States and its allies. President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste directly challenged the West’s double standards, telling Western countries,

“They should pause for a moment to reflect on the glaring contrast in their response to the wars elsewhere where women and children have died by the thousands from wars and starvation. The response to our beloved Secretary-General’s cries for help in these situations have not met with equal compassion. As countries in the Global South, we see double standards. Our public opinion does not see the Ukraine war the same way it is seen in the North.”

Many leaders called urgently for an end to the war in Ukraine before it escalates into a nuclear war that would kill billions of people and end human civilization as we know it. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, warned,

“…the war in Ukraine not only undermines the nuclear non-proliferation regime, but also presents us with the danger of nuclear devastation, either through escalation or accident. … To avoid a nuclear disaster, it is vital that there be serious engagement to find a peaceful outcome to the conflict.”

Others described the economic impacts already depriving their people of food and basic necessities, and called on all sides, including Ukraine’s Western backers, to return to the negotiating table before the war’s impacts escalate into multiple humanitarian disasters across the Global South. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh told the Assembly,

“We want the end of the Russia-Ukraine war. Due to sanctions and counter-sanctions, …the entire mankind, including women and children, is punished. Its impact does not remain confined to one country, rather it puts the lives and livelihoods of the people of all nations in greater risk, and infringes their human rights. People are deprived of food, shelter, healthcare and education. Children suffer the most in particular. Their future sinks into darkness.

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Questions related to this article:

Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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My urge to the conscience of the world – stop the arms race, stop the war and sanctions. Ensure food, education, healthcare and security of the children. Establish peace.”

Turkey, Mexico and Thailand each offered their own approaches to restarting peace negotiations, while Sheikh Al-Thani, the Amir of Qatar, succinctly explained how delaying negotiations will only bring more death and suffering:

“We are fully aware of the complexities of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the international and global dimension to this crisis. However, we still call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, because this is ultimately what will happen regardless of how long this conflict will go on for. Perpetuating the crisis will not change this result. It will only increase the number of casualties, and it will increase the disastrous repercussions on Europe, Russia and the global economy.”

Responding to Western pressure on the Global South to actively support Ukraine’s war effort, India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, claimed the moral high ground and championed peaceful diplomacy,

“As the Ukraine conflict continues to rage, we are often asked whose side we are on. And our answer, each time, is straight and honest. India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there. We are on the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out. We are on the side of those struggling to make ends meet, even as they stare at escalating costs of food, fuel and fertilizers.

It is therefore in our collective interest to work constructively, both within the United Nations and outside, in finding an early resolution to this conflict.”

One of the most passionate and eloquent speeches was delivered by Congolese Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso, who summarized the thoughts of many, and appealed directly to Russia and Ukraine – in Russian!

“Because of the considerable risk of a nuclear disaster for the entire planet, not only those involved in this conflict but also those foreign powers who could influence events by calming them down, should all temper their zeal. They must stop fanning the flames and they must turn their backs on this type of vanity of the powerful which has so far closed the door to dialogue.

Under the auspices of the United Nations, we must all commit without delay to peace negotiations – just, sincere and equitable negotiations. After Waterloo, we know that since the Vienna Congress, all wars finish around the table of negotiation.

The world urgently needs these negotiations to prevent the current confrontations – which are already so devastating – to prevent them from going even further and pushing humanity into what could be an irredeemable cataclysm, a widespread nuclear war beyond the control of the great powers themselves – the war, about which Einstein, the great atomic theorist, said that it would be the last battle that humans would fight on Earth.

Nelson Mandela, a man of eternal forgiveness, said that peace is a long road, but it has no alternative, it has no price. In reality, the Russians and Ukrainians have no other choice but to take this path, the path of peace.

Moreover, we too should go with them, because we must throughout the world be legions working together in solidarity, and we must be able to impose the unconditional option of peace on the war lobbies.

(Next three paragraphs in Russian) Now I wish to be direct, and directly address my dear Russian and Ukrainian friends.

Too much blood has been spilled – the sacred blood of your sweet children. It’s time to stop this mass destruction. It’s time to stop this war. The entire world is watching you. It’s time to fight for life, the same way that you courageously and selflessly fought together against the Nazis during World War Two, in particular in Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin.

Think about the youth of your two countries. Think about the fate of your future generations. The time has come to fight for peace, to fight for them. Please give peace a real chance, today, before it is too late for us all. I humbly ask this of you.”

At the end of the debate on September 26, Csaba Korosi, the president of the General Assembly, acknowledged in his closing statement that ending the war in Ukraine was one of the main messages “reverberating through the Hall” at this year’s General Assembly.

You can read here Korosi’s closing statement and all the calls for peace he was referring to.

And if you want to learn more about the “legions working together in solidarity… to impose the unconditional option of peace on the war lobbies,” as Jean-Claude Gakosso said, you can find out more at https://www.peaceinukraine.org/.

What has happened this year (2022) for the International Day of Peace

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This year we give links to 293 actions carried out in 1O countries of Western Europe and 126 in 6 countries in Eastern Europe that were once part of the Soviet Union. We link to 209 actions in 7 Canadian provinces and 44 of the 50 states of the United States. There are 64 actions cited in 16 countries of Asia and the Pacific, 52 from 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries, 74 from 30 African countries, and 28 from 15 Arab and Middle Eastern countries. See the CPNN bulletin for October for a synopsis.

Detailed data may be found on the following CPNN articles:

Europe: International Day of Peace

Ex-Soviet Countries: International Day of Peace

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace

Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

Arab and Middle Eastern States: International Day of Peace

Latin America and Caribbean: International Day of Peace

Africa: International Day of Peace

Sign the World Peace Treaty

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

Introduction from facebook page of Pathways to Peace

With so many conflicts today being waged between political militias, criminal, and international terrorist groups, feelings of uncertainty and conflict are top of mind around our world. In response, a coalition of peacebuilding organizations launched a project for people around the world to sign on to a World Peace Treaty.


Called Sign the World Peace Treaty, the initiative intends to give both organizations and individuals around the world a vehicle to express their desire for a more peaceful world, and then encourages them to take concrete steps that activate that desire. The initiative culminates on September 21, the International Day of Peace (Peace Day.)

We invite you to join Pathways To Peace, Police2Peace, the Rotary EClub of World Peace, and our partner organizations, and Sign the World Peace Treaty Now!

Sign here.

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Question related to this article:

How can the peace movement become stronger and more effective?

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Text from website of Sign the World Peace Treaty

Each year on September 21st, the world celebrates the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) as established by unanimous resolution by the United Nations in 1981.

We witness our world yearning for peace, and there is a step we can all take toward greater unity. This month of September is dedicated to peace.  Let us recommit to peace by removing the perception of separation, perceived borders, differences, and limitations.  Let’s work together and engage in shaping and building peace. It is how peace can be realized for us all.

Signers of the World Peace Treaty:

° Commit to moving beyond the myth of separation to recognize our common humanity and support unity through diversity.

° Model integrity, high ethical standards, and peace that is grounded in love.

° Act to end violence and to embody the peace our humanity cries out for and deserves.

° Promote earnestly the ideals of peace and articulate positive evidence of peace in all viable ways, in particular by advancing the Culture of Peace in the best interest of humanity.

° Recognize The International Day of Peace (Peace Day) as a day to commemorate, strengthen, and celebrate the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.

° Can be organizations or individuals

Vietnam shares importance of promoting culture of peace at UN forum

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An article from the Vietnam News Agency

(Editor’s note: As of this writing on September 9, there is no general article available on the United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace that took place on September 6. Instead, here is the press release of the Vietnam News Agency followed by links to all of the available published statements by the General Assembly President and various UN member states, all from Asia and the Middle East.)

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), stressed the importance of the culture of peace and non-violence in the world while attending the UN General Assembly’s high-level forum on culture of peace on September 6.


General Assembly President Abdullah Shahid

As a country that went through wars to protect its independence and sovereignty, Vietnam specially cherishes the value of peace and stability, Giang stated, adding in that context, generations of Vietnamese people have made efforts to build the foundation for peace, through promoting friendship, harmony and mutual understanding among nations.

Vietnam always promotes the settlement of conflicts and disputes by peaceful means, without the threat or use of force, and by complying and implementing international law.

The diplomat emphasised the need for the international community to support efforts to build and maintain peace, while respecting the responsibility, independence and mastery of countries in accordance with the UN Chapter and international law.

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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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President of the UNGA Abdullah Shahid said that the COVID-19 pandemic and long-lasting conflicts in many areas of the world have worsened discrimination and intolerance, and complicated instability and poverty.

Abdullah Shahid and speakers at the forum emphasised the importance of efforts to promote the building and maintenance of lasting peace, address the root causes of conflicts, and promote the building of harmonious and inclusive societies, in which no one is left behind.

Many of them recognised the role and contributions of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, calling for increased assurance of resources for efforts to build and maintain peace.

A culture of peace is given a very comprehensive definition in the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which was adopted by the General Assembly, in September 1999. It is defined as “a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations”./.

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Statement by the President of the UN General Assembly

Statement by Malaysia

Statement by Bangladesh

Statement by Armenia

Statement by India

Statement by Qatar

Statement by Oman

Statement by United Arab Emirates

Mikhail Gorbachev: The Last Statesman

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A eulogy by Roberto Savio in Meer (translation by CPNN)

With the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last great statesman and an entire era has disappeared.

I had the privilege of working with him, as deputy director of the World Political Forum (WPF), which Gorbi had founded in Turin in 2003, with a host agreement with the Piedmont Region. The Forum brought together personalities from around the world to discuss current events. Major international players, from Kohl to Mitterrand, from Jaruzelski to Oscar Arias, would candidly discuss their role and their mistakes.

I will always remember a WPF, in 2007, in which Gorbachev reminded those present that he had agreed in a meeting with Kohl to withdraw support for the East German regime, in exchange for a guarantee that NATO’s borders would not be moved beyond of the reunited Germany. And Kohl responded, pointing out to Andreotti, who was present, that some were not so enthusiastic about the idea of ​​re-creating Europe’s greatest power, a position shared by Thatcher. Andreotti had said: “I love Germany so much that I prefer to have two.” And the US delegation acknowledged this commitment, but complained that Secretary of State Baker had been outmaneuvered by the hawks, who wanted to further expand NATO and squeeze Russia in a straitjacket. Gorbi’s comment was to the point: “instead of cooperating with a Russia that wanted to continue on the socialist path of the north, you rushed to overthrow it, and you used Yeltsin for this.”

But after Yeltsin came Putin, who began to see things in a completely different way.

Gorbachev had cooperated with Reagan to end the Cold War. It is amusing to see how American historiography credits Reagan with the historic victory over communism and the end of the Cold War. But without Gorbachev, the powerful Soviet bureaucracy would have continued to resist, the Berlin Wall would not have fallen, and the wave of freedom in socialist Europe would surely have come after Reagan’s term.

After the 1986 meeting in Reykjavik it became clear to what extent Gorbachev intended, even more than Reagan, to advance on the path of peace and disarmament. Gorbachev proposed to Reagan the total elimination of atomic weapons. Reagan said that because of the time difference, he would check with Washington later. When the two met the next morning, Reagan told him that the United States was proposing the elimination of 40% of nuclear warheads. And Gorbachev replied: “If you can’t do more, let’s start like this. But I remind you that now we can destroy the planet and humanity hundreds of times. Time would show that Russia’s nuclear disarmament was indeed in the US interest if Defense Secretary Weinberg, who even threatened to resign, had been able to take the long view.

Yeltsin did everything possible to humiliate Gorbachev, to replace him. He stripped him of all pensions, of all perquisites: bodyguards, state car, and made him leave the Kremlin in a matter of hours. But under Putin Gorbachev practically became an enemy of the people. The propaganda against him was crude, but effective. Gorbachev had presided over the end of the Soviet Union “the great tragedy,” and he had believed the West. Now the USSR was surrounded by NATO, and Putin was forced, in the name of history, to recover at least part of the great power that Gorbachev had squandered.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Those who had been by Gorbachev’s side since Yeltsin’s arrival saw how the elderly statesman, who had changed the course of history, suffered deeply at the direction that Yeltsin was taking. Of course, the press chose to ignore the deep corruption of the Yeltsin era, which cost the Russian people terrible sacrifices. Under Yeltsin, a team of US economists issued decrees privatizing the entire Russian economy, with an immediate collapse in the value of the ruble and in social services. The average life expectancy fell back ten years at a stroke. I was shocked to discover that my breakfast in the morning at the hotel cost as much as an average monthly pension. It was very sad to see so many old women dressed in black selling their few poor belongings on the street.

At the same time, some party officials, friends of Yeltsin, bought the large state-owned enterprises put up for sale at bargain prices. But how did they do it, in a society where there were no rich? Giulietto Chiesa documented it in an investigation at La Stampa in Turin.

Under pressure from the United States, the International Monetary Fund granted an emergency loan of five billion dollars (in 1990) to stabilize the dollar. These dollars never reached the Russian Central Bank, nor did the IMF raise any questions. They were distributed among the future oligarchs, who suddenly found themselves fabulously millionaires.

When Yeltsin had to leave power, he looked for a successor who would guarantee him and his cronies impunity. One of his advisers introduced him to Putin, telling him that he could tame the uprising in Chechnya. And Putin agreed on one condition: that the oligarchs never get involved in politics. One of them. Khdorkowski, did not respect the pact and opened a front of opposition to Yeltsin. We know his fate: stripped of all his possessions and imprisoned. It was the only appearance of an oligarch in politics.

Gorbachev is the last statesman. With the arrival of the League in Turin, the agreement to host the World Political Forum was, to his surprise, cancelled. The Forum moved to Luxembourg and then the Italians Foundation in Rome took over some of its environmental activities. Gorbachev’s right-hand man, Andrei Gracev, Gorbi’s spokesman in the CPSU and in the transition to democracy, a brilliant analyst, moved to Paris, where he is the point of reference for debates on Russia.

Gorbi, suffering from diabetes, experienced the war in Ukraine as a personal drama: his mother was Ukrainian. He retired to a hospital under close surveillance where he eventually died. The era of statesmen is over, as is that of the debates of the great protagonists of history.

After Gorbachev, politicians lost the dimension of statesmen. Little by little they have gone back to the demands of electoral success, to short-term politics, to shelving the debates of ideas, and instead they do not resort to reason, but to the instincts of the voters. Instincts that are awakened and conquered, even by a relentless fake news campaign. A school that Trump has managed to export to the world, since the constitutional vote in Chile on September 4, to Bolsonaro, to Marcos, to Putin and, consequently, to Zelenski.

I find myself writing with bitterness and discouragement, not only because of the death of one of my mentors (including Aldo Moro) but because of an era that now seems definitively over: that of Politics with capital letters, capable of changing the world it found , with great risks and with the great objectives of Peace and International Cooperation.

And I write uncomfortable truths, known to few, that will be immediately buried by hostile interventions and ridicule. Andrei Gracev was right when he recently told me on the phone: «Roberto, my mistake and yours is to have survived our time. Let’s also be careful, because we will end up being an obstacle…».

Mikhail S. Gorbachev (1931 – 2022) / Imaginative and Unexpected Proposals

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A eulogy by Federico Mayor Zaragoza in Other News (translation by CPNN)

“Politicians alone cannot encompass or face all the challenges that the world presents today. Politics needs interaction with civil society and the intellectual community. Consequently, dialogue is absolutely essential, a wide-ranging dialogue that helps us develop bold and feasible approaches to solve the challenges of our globalized world. The world needs a vision with the will and perseverance to make it a reality. We need to cultivate a new culture and push new approaches, because the world needs a culture of peace.”

This is how Mikhail Gorbachev opened the third meeting of the World Political Forum, held in Bosco Marengo, Italy, on July 8, 2002. At that time, the former president of the Soviet Union had already become one of the most important figures in history.


Image from Wikicommons/MT

Once again, listening to him, I thought of the mistake made by Western leaders in not taking seriously the words of this man who had set the example, with extraordinary imagination and ability, by solving one of the most important challenges of the contemporary world without the use of weapons, without a single drop of blood. Obsessed with accounts and dividends, Western leaders look the other way. As a result they have led humanity to the current systemic crisis.

On December 15, 1984, Gorbachev arrived in London at the head of the Supreme Soviet delegation. It was the first visit by a Soviet delegation to Britain in some 15 years. His speech to the House of Commons was extraordinarily audacious: the nuclear age called for new “political thinking.” The danger of war was a reality; the cold war constituted an abnormal state of relations that propitiated the danger of warlike confrontation. In a nuclear war there could be no winners. No state can ensure its own security by threatening the security of others. In the limitation and elimination of armaments, and in particular in the case of nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union was prepared to go as far as its Western interlocutors wished…”. In his speech a phrase was especially remarkable: “Regardless of how much may separate us, we live on the same planet. Europe is our common home; a house, and not a battlefield.” It was clear already in 1984 that Mikhail Gorbachev was speaking in a different language.

On that occasion he unfolded a large map on which all the major nuclear arsenals were marked. “Each one of these small squares is enough to end any life on Earth… Thus, with the stocks accumulated in nuclear weapons we could annihilate our civilization a thousand times over.” His address to the British Parliament on December 18 had a great impact, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

In October 1986 the Issyk-Kul Forum met. Mikhail Gorbachev himself described it as follows: “In October 1986 an event had occurred that would have considerable importance in the years of perestroika. I am referring to the meeting at the ISSYK-KUL lake, which brought together leading artists from all over the world, including Arthur Miller, Alexander King, Alvin Toffler, Peter Ustinov, Zulfu Livanelly, Federico Mayor and Afework Teklé… Its initiator was the writer Chingiz Aitmatov. There was talk of nuclear danger, ecological catastrophes and the progressive lack of dignity, also in politics. My meeting with the participants of that Forum took place on October 20, a week after Reykjavík…”.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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It was after the meeting by the Issyk-Kul lake, when that distinguished group of intellectuals and creators – to which must be added James Baldwin, Augusto Forti, Rustem Khairov, Yaser Kemal, Lisandro Otero and Claude Simon – had with the secretary overall an extraordinarily interesting meeting. I was entrusted with the presidency and it was a memorable occasion for me to be able to learn about the vision and approaches of people who spoke not only of freedom but of responsibility, and how we could better advise the secretary general of the Soviet Union so that he could carry out the transformations necessary. How could we collaborate to put perestroika into practice?

In order to better understand the context in which the first meeting of the Issyk-Kul Forum took place, I would like to highlight President Gorbachev’s statements at a press conference he gave on October 14, 1986 after the Reykjavik Summit. Gorbachev highlighted all the proposals made to President Reagan on the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons, with effective verification; including total elimination by the Americans and the Soviets of “middle-range” missiles.…Gorbachev openly described that, at one point, a “real battle” had taken place between the two approaches on politics on a world scale – including the ending of the arms race and nuclear warheads … “I realized, indicated Mikhail Gorbachev, that the American president is a captive of the United States military-industrial complex”. This assertion is especially relevant and had already been made clear by President Eisenhower at the end of his term. “I think that the president of the United States and I have to reach an agreement on my next visit to Washington. Otherwise, a great historical opportunity will have been lost.”

In October 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev received the Nobel Peace Prize. He could not go to the corresponding ceremony in Oslo due to having to attend to very urgent responsibilities. For this reason, he delivered the “Nobel Lecture” in Oslo on June 5, 1991, in which he spoke at length and in depth about the need for peace to prevail over all other conditions. He expressed his confidence that solidarity and change had been accepted by the “whole world to face global challenges”.

How awesome! Who would have thought that it would be a politician from the Soviet Union who, with great imagination and skill, would be able to end the “Cold War” without a single casualty, placidly. while President Reagan spoke of “star wars”…?

Mikhail Gorbachev, very concerned about preserving the quality of human life, created in Geneva a “Green Cross International” whose objectives are the global challenges of security and the eradication of poverty and environmental degradation. President Gorbachev also founded “The World Political Forum.” He was accompanied by Andrei Grachev in the World Political Forum and by Alexander Likhotal in the Green Cross.

I want to mention the emotion that the event held in the great Albert Hall in London -full to the brim- produced in me on Gorbachev’s 80th birthday, in 2011. “The man who changed the world”, was in the center of a large arch in the immense Hall. I thought about the contrast between this man who had redirected so many erroneous tendencies, on the one hand, and the other impassive, short-sighted and irresponsible leaders, on the other hand, who are incapable of benefiting from such unexpected historical developments. And, in the midst of the applause, I thought of what Gorbachev had written in 1991: “The Berlin Wall collapsed because a system based on equality had forgotten freedom. Now, the alternative system will also collapse because, based on freedom, it has forgotten equality. And both have forgotten justice”.

On the first day of October 2016, from Moscow, he joined the “Disarmament for Development” campaign, sponsored by the Geneva International Peace Bureau, led by Ingeborg Breines and Colin Archer, in order to redirect 10% of the colossal daily investments in weapons and military spending. In Berlin, that symbolic city, many people marched for peace “unter den Linden”. Despite his express support and that of Pope Francis… the media paid no attention. But there have been many and in the future there will be many more who will be inspired by Gorbachev’s fabulous career. His imaginative and unexpected proposals have been and will continue to be very relevant guidance in my own daily behavior.

Gorbachev is a giant and luminous star. He gives us guidance for tomorrow. His legacy will remain as glimmers of hope for a future that has yet to be achieved.