Category Archives: South Asia

UN Women : Five young women on the forefront of climate action across Europe and Central Asia

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from UN Women

Women and girls are powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation and must be included in the design and implementation of climate action. Without their leadership, knowledge and participation in climate responses today, it is unlikely that solutions for a sustainable planet and gender-equal world tomorrow will be realized.

Across the Europe and Central Asia, women and girls are advancing feminist climate justice and leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response. They are mobilizing local, national, regional and global climate movements and harnessing the transformative power of feminist leadership to face the unprecedented challenges of our times.

Ainura Sagyn, 33, is an ecofeminist, computer software engineer, and CEO of Tazar  [Become Greener], a startup mobile application that connects waste producers with recyclers and educates consumers about waste management in Kyrgyzstan. She actively promotes women’s rights, gender equality and environmental issues through her technological activism.

Some 65 per cent of Tazar app users are unemployed women with children who sell sorted recycled waste to earn points they can exchange for prizes such as deposit money from a bank or cosmetics, all from partners who are mostly women entrepreneurs. They have collected more than 10 tonnes of waste since the end of 2020. Sagyn and her partner Aimeerim Tursalieva also launched a Tazar Bazaar platform that sells eco-friendly products made by women entrepreneurs, which helps support local businesses, women entrepreneurs and promotes eco-consumption.

“Women, in particular, are disproportionately affected by climate change due to their lack of access to natural resources management, limited mobility in rural areas and by being excluded from decision-making processes,” says Sagyn, who aspires to extend her startup to promote environmentalism in other Central Asian countries.

Gabriela Isac, 29, is an environmental activist, co-founder of the Seed It Forward  volunteer agroforestry initiative and a project coordinator at the EcoVisio  grass-roots ecological non-profit in Moldova.

With the Seed It Forward team, she organizes tree-planting events, consults civil society organizations, local public authorities, schools and the general public on environmental issues, and educates them through informational materials on trees, composting and permaculture. They have planted over 50,000 trees and bushes, while their recent environmental campaign reached more than 1.5 million people online.

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Question related to this article:
 
What is the relation between the environment and peace

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

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“Moldova is quite vulnerable to climate change. Though the effects are not as disastrous yet as in other parts of the world, climate change increases an already existing burden on women. Women often work in rural areas and take the least-paid day jobs in agriculture. Women’s welfare is directly affected by the harvest, which in the low-tech agricultural system of Moldova highly depends on climate,” says Isac.

Ania Sauku, 19, is an active voice for gender equality, climate action and youth empowerment in Albania. She is one of the incumbent Albanian Youth Delegates to the United Nations, where she advocates for climate issues and sustainable development and shares the perspective of youth in her country.
She raises awareness on climate change and feminism and how they are inextricable from one another. Sauku believes that for many people in Albania, climate change is still not an issue, and that gender equality and climate are not related. Together with her team, she organizes movie nights on environment, protests and marches for climate justice, and other educational initiatives to raise awareness about climate change and intersectional feminism.
“Climate crisis does not affect us all in the same way and often women are the most vulnerable to this crisis, especially women from marginalized communities such as women of ethnic minorities, women of colour, women with disabilities, queer women, women living in poverty, and other women and girls at the intersection of multiple systems of oppression,” says Sauku.

Pakizat Sailaubekova, 29, is an environmentalist, project manager at Greenup.kz public fund and a co-founder of the Recycle BIRGE  [Recycle Together] ecological movement in Kazakhstan. She won the “>Tereshkevich Youth Environmental Award  for her eco-activism and a 3.2.1. Start!  eco-project grant.

She organizes public and corporate clean ups, climate-related events, conducts eco-consulting and gives various educational lectures on household waste and living an eco-friendly life. Together with colleagues, Sailaubekova has organized 43 clean ups with the participation of over 1,700 people. They have also collected and transferred more than 4,000 kg of recyclable materials for processing and implemented 14 large-scale environmental projects.

“The role of women in preserving nature is enormous,” she says, adding that 95 per cent of the eco-volunteers and the participants in their environmental campaigns are women and girls. “Women are at the forefront of solving many environmental problems, each at their own level. Our organization is also founded solely by women.”

Sanne Van de Voort, 27, is Advocacy Officer for Women Engage for a Common Future  (an international ecofeminist network), and an NGO representative on the Dutch Delegation to this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

She believes that feminist climate justice recognizes the intersectionality of climate and environmental issues and how each individual is affected differently by climate change and can lend their unique experiences to finding solutions. As an Advocacy Officer, she works to ensure that Dutch and international decisions taken on climate and environmental issues reflect the needs, perspectives and solutions of women and feminists across the world, especially from the Global South. In her new role as a Dutch NGO representative to CSW, she contributes to preparations and priority-setting in the Dutch Government’s CSW delegation alongside other Dutch civil society organizations.

“We need changes that start putting people and planet over profit,” says Van de Voort. “A system that puts equality, sustainability and justice at the centre, instead of the exploitation of natural resources at the expense of biodiversity and a healthy environment.”

Indian Ministry of Law and Justice : The Mediation Bill, 2021

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

A project of law from PRS India

 The Mediation Bill, 2021 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on December 20, 2021.  Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), where parties attempt to settle their dispute (outside courts) with the assistance of an independent third person (mediator).  The Bill seeks to promote mediation (including online mediation), and provide for enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation.  Key features of the Bill include:

° Applicability: The Bill will apply to mediation proceedings conducted in India where: (i) all parties reside in, are incorporated in, or have their place of business in India, (ii) the mediation agreement states that mediation will be as per this Bill, or (iii) there is an international mediation (i.e., mediation related to a commercial dispute where at least one party is a foreign government, a foreign national/resident, or an entity with its place of business outside India).  In these cases, if the central or state government is a party, the Bill will only apply to: (a) commercial disputes, and (b) other disputes as notified by such government.

° Pre-litigation mediation: In case of civil or commercial disputes, a person must try to settle the dispute by mediation before approaching any court or certain tribunals as notified.  Even if the parties fail to reach a settlement through pre-litigation mediation, the court or tribunal may at any stage of the proceedings refer the parties to mediation if they request for the same.

° Disputes not fit for mediation: Disputes not fit for mediation include those: (i) relating to claims against minors or persons of unsound mind, (ii) involving prosecution for criminal offences, (iii) affecting the rights of third parties, and (iv) relating to levy or collection of taxes.  The central government may amend this list of disputes.
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Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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° Mediation process: Mediation proceedings will be confidential.  A party may withdraw from mediation after the first two mediation sessions.  The mediation process must be completed within 180 days (even if the parties fail to arrive at an agreement), which may be extended by another 180 days by the parties.  In case of court annexed mediation (i.e., mediation conducted at a mediation centre established by any court or tribunal), the process must be conducted in accordance with directions or rules framed by the Supreme Court or High Courts.

° Mediators: Mediators only assist the parties to settle their dispute, and cannot impose a settlement on the them.  Mediators may be appointed by: (i) the parties by agreement, or (ii) a mediation service provider (an institution administering mediation).  Mediators must disclose any conflict of interest that may raise doubts on their independence.  Parties may then choose to replace the mediator.

° Mediation Council of India: The central government will establish the Mediation Council of India.  The Council will consist of a chairperson, two full-time members (with experience in mediation or ADR), three ex-officio members (including Secretaries in the Ministries of Law and Justice and Finance), and one part-time member (from an industry body).  Functions of the Council include: (i) registration of mediators, and (ii) recognising mediation service providers and mediation institutes (providing training, education and certification of mediators).

° Mediated settlement agreement: Agreements resulting from mediation must be in writing, signed by the parties and authenticated by the mediator.  Such agreements will be final, binding, and enforceable in the same manner as court judgments (except agreements arrived at after community mediation).  Mediated settlement agreements (besides those arrived at in court referred mediation or by Lok Adalat or Permanent Lok Adalat) may be challenged only on grounds of: (i) fraud, (ii) corruption, (iii) impersonation, or (iv) relating to disputes not fit for mediation.

° Community mediation: Community mediation may be attempted to resolve disputes likely to affect the peace and harmony amongst residents of a locality.  It will be conducted by a panel of three mediators (may include persons of standing in the community, and representatives of RWAs).

° Interface with other laws: The Bill will override other laws on mediation (except certain laws such as the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, and the Industrial Relations Code, 2020).  The Bill also makes consequential amendments in certain laws (such as the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996). 

Indian farmers call off lengthy protest after govt assurances

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Mayank Bhardwaj and Rajendra Jadhav from Thomson Reuters foundation (reprinted by permission)

Indian farmers called off a long-running protest on Thursday (December 9) after the government conceded a clutch of demands, including assurances to consider guaranteed prices for all produce, instead of just rice and wheat, union le


Farmers celebrate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that he will repeal the controversial farm laws, at Ghazipur near New Delhi [File: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters]

The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said last month he would roll back https://www.reuters.com/world/india/indias-modi-repeal-controversial-farm-laws-2021-11-19 three farm laws, giving in after more than a year of protests by tens of thousands of farmers who demanded their repeal, as key state elections approach.

Question for this article:

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

How effective are mass protest marches?

Despite the government’s climbdown, the farmers had continued to press for other demands, such as the guaranteed prices, as well as for legal action against protesters to be dropped.

“We have received a letter from the government which has conceded to our requests,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, a senior leader of a coalition of farmers’ unions, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, or United Farmers’ Front.

But farmers’ leaders would meet on Jan. 15 to review progress on the government’s assurances, Rajewal told a news conference.

“We will resume our protests if the government moves away from the assurances,” said Gurnam Singh Charuni, another farmers’ leader.

From Dec. 11, farmers will start leaving the protest site on the outskirts of the Indian capital of New Delhi, they said.

The government will set up a panel of growers and government officials to find ways of ensuring Minimum Support Prices (MSP), as the guaranteed rates are called, for all farm produce, according to the letter seen by Reuters.

The government now buys mainly rice and wheat at such guaranteed prices, benefiting barely 6% of India’s millions of farmers.

Agriculture, which accounts for nearly 15% of India’s $2.7-trillion economy, is the livelihood of more than half its population of 1.3 billion.

Bangladesh: Dhaka Peace Declaration Adopted

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Barta 24

The two-day ‘World Peace Conference 2021’ ended in Dhaka. The conference was held as part of the celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.


photo of conference

The World Peace Conference 2021 ended with the adoption of the Dhaka Declaration at the conclusion of the World Peace Conference on Sunday (December 5) afternoon at the Hotel Intercontinental.

The points are-

>> Establishing peace on the occasion World Peace Conference of 4-5 December and announcing membership.

>> Acknowledging the theme of the conference as progress of peace through social inclusion. Get rid of corona and try to build it stronger. Conflict has been avoided.

In the context of the conference, praising the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh and 50th anniversary of Independence. it has been said that we remember that the journey of Bangladesh in the last five decades is legitimacy for human liberation. Empowerment Fundamental rights and freedoms as a way to maintain peace, promote and uphold sustainable development.

>> We pay tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for his personal commitment as he has contributed for peace throughout his colorful political career.

>> We appreciate the capable leadership displayed by the Prime Minister, the political successor of Bangabandhu. Sheikh Hasina is carrying forward her legacy with courage and determination. Her culture of peace philosophy has been adopted at the UN.

We reminisce on the memory of the martyrs and victims of Bangladesh’s War of Independence in 1971 and reiterate our commitment to never bow down to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. In addition to international crime, the culture of impunity impedes justice and accountability for that crime. We pledge ourselves to move forward to end such cowardly oppression and injustice.

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Question related to this article:

How can the peace movement become stronger and more effective?

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>> We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights in our efforts to build a peaceful, just and inclusive society. We acknowledge the invaluable work done by the United Nations for human rights.

>> We respect the supremacy of international humanitarian law in both war and peace. We remain committed to international protection and assistance policies for refugees and stateless people around the world. In compliance with international disarmament, we renounce the use of all weapons of mass destruction in the nuclear, chemical and biological world arms race. We condemn terrorism.

>> We emphasize the importance of democracy, good governance and the rule of law for peace and stability. We evaluate the role of national parliament and local government institutions. He raised his voice against the just demands and aspirations of the people. We condemn colonialism, illegal occupation. I oppose the seizure of unauthorized power on any pretext. We recognize the role of peace building, peace building. We commend the UN peacekeepers for their dedication.

>> We emphasize the need for a stable, peaceful, social justice and inclusive development. We are committed to protecting the right to employment for all adults in a changing world. We acknowledge the important role of the private sector in advancing social order.

>> We must continue to work to restore our commitment to ‘keep no one behind’. Of course women need to create increased opportunities for political and economic gain. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent all forms of violence and exploitation against children. We need to pay extra attention to the special needs of the elderly, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples for their meaningful participation in society.

>> We adhere to the underlying and eternal message of peace across all religions, faiths and beliefs. We reject attempts to associate any religion or ethnicity with terrorism and violent extremism. We condemn all forms of violence and abuse on the basis of race, caste or gender. We unequivocally condemn communal violence.

>> We reward and nurture our diverse culture, language as a tradition. We must respect and nurture the boundaries of education, moral studies, science, art, music, literature, media, tourism, fashion, architecture and archeology.

>> We are sensitive to the growing security, displacement and environmental challenges posed by climate. We must invest in health care and provide quality medical care and vaccines for all.

>> We cannot lose sight of the fact that there is no peace anywhere in the world. We recognize the role of regional cooperation in building trust, understanding and unity among the people. We hope to establish a world order that improves the ecosystem of our entire planet. Build consistency. We adhere to tolerance, generosity, empathy and solidarity to achieve love, compassion, lasting peace and security.

>> We do swear solemnly from our respective points at this World Peace Conference peace, social inclusion, fundamental rights, freedoms and sustainability. The reasons for this are spreading the message. We thank the Government and people of Bangladesh for their warm hospitality. Let’s share the ideals and vision for peace.

VIEW Reactions to India’s decision to repeal farm laws

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from Reuters (reprinted by permission)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that he had decided to repeal three agriculture laws that farmers have been protesting against for more than a year. read more.
(See also CPNN January 26, 2021)


A farmer sits on barricades at the site of the farmers protest against farm laws, at Ghazipur near Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, in New Delhi, India, October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

The protesting farmers said the laws, that allow growers to sell produce beyond government-regulated wholesale markets, where they are assured a minimum price, would benefit big private buyers at their expense.

The government said the legislation was needed to reform an agricultural sector beset by wastage.

Modi, in an address to the nation, said the laws would be repealed in the new session of parliament, starting this month.

Following are some reactions:

ARVIND KEJRIWAL, CHIEF MINISTER OF DELHI
“Generations to come will remember how the farmers of this country put their lives on the line and saved farming in this country. I bow before them.”

RAHUL GANDHI, LEADER OF OPPOSITION PARTY CONGRESS
“Congratulations on this victory against injustice!”

Question for this article:

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

How effective are mass protest marches?

NAVJOT SINGH SIDHU, LEADER OF OPPOSITION CONGRESS PARTY IN PUNJAB STATE
“Repealing of black laws a step in the right direction … You’re sacrifice has paid dividends.”

ARVIND SINGH DHANKAR, SECRETARY OF FARMER UNION KHEDUT SABHA
“With our consistent protests despite pandemic we have proven that we were doing the right thing by questioning the government’s flawed farm laws, we showed the world all the problems it will create for millions of Indian farmers. Finally, government has acknowledged our legitimate woes.”

DARSHAN PAL, SENIOR LEADER OF FARMER UNION COALITION SAMYUKTA KISAN MORCHA
“We welcome the announcement made by the prime minister, but we need to know the government’s stand on our other key demand of making minimum support prices compulsory for call crops.”

MAMATA BANERJEE, LEADER OF OPPOSITION ALL INDIA TRINAMOOL CONGRESS
“My heartfelt congratulations to every single farmer who fought relentlessly … This is YOUR VICTORY! My deepest condolences to everyone who lost their loved ones in this fight.”

RAKESH TIKAIT, LEADER AND SPOKESMAN OF BHARTIYA KISAN UNION
“The agitation will not be withdrawn immediately, we will wait for the day when agricultural laws will be repealed in Parliament. Along with MSP, the government should also discuss other issues of farmers.”

RAMAN SINGH RANDHAWA, HEAD OF JAI KISAN ANDOLAN IN RAJASTHAN STATE
“It is a win of farmers and this should have been repealed on the day one. These laws are not against the farmers but against the Indian structure. Had the government listened to us on day one many farmers lives could have been saved. You also see the elections are here so the government had to repeal the laws.”

RAMESH PATEL, REGIONAL PRESIDENT OF GUJARAT KHEDUT SAMAJ
“This is a big victory for farmers. Implementation of the three farm laws would have been detrimental to the interests of farmers, traders, and consumers. The government has done the right thing by announcing withdrawal of the laws.”

MAHUA MOITRA, A LAWMAKER FROM OPPOSITION ALL INDIA TRINAMOOL CONGRESS
“Whether it was fear of losing (Uttar Pradesh) or finally facing up to conscience @BJP govt rolls back farm laws. Just the beginning of many more victories for people’s voices.”

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Asia and Pacific: International Day for the Culture of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A survey by CPNN

We have found 42 events in 13 Asian and Pacific countries. They were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 this year under the key words “International day of peace”, “Peace Day” and 国际和平日 (Chinese). 3 come from the facebook page of International Cities of Peace and 2 came from the website of Campaign Nonviolence. No doubt there were also events listed on the Internet in languages other than those for which we searched.

In addition to these, there are about 120 events listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years.


Children in a Rohingya refugee camp

AUSTRALIA

Australian Raising Peace Festival from 16-26 Sept, celebrating the UN international Day of Peace. Sponsored by Pace e Bene Australia in Partnership w/ Raising Peace. 33 great FREE online events.

ANNA BAY, AUSTRALIA

Peace is Possible. During this time, if fully vaccinated, people are able to exercise in groups of 2s or 5s on a reflective walk through the environment. This activity will be in solidarity with the aims of Campaign Nonviolence and awareness of the the need for Peace in this world.

BLUE MOUNTAINS, AUSTRALIA

The Blue Mountains Interfaith Group are inviting all concerned people to join with them in a gathering offering meditation, prayer, music and reflection via Zoom at 11am Tuesday, September 21

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Two Indian origin sisters based in Australia are planning to set a world record by singing the world’s 195 national and UN permanent member state anthems in 100 languages, including Qatar’s national anthem. Siblings Teresa Joy and Augnes Joy will attempt the record at the St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane in Australia on September 21 as part of Cathedral’s International Day of Peace celebrations in approximately six hours, with a 10-minute break permitted every two hours. . . United nations Association of Australia Queensland and Augnes & Teresa Peace foundation are organising the programme.

COWRA, AUSTRALIA

Despite the cancellation of traditional World Peace Day events in Cowra, Chairperson of the Australian Chapter of the World Peace Bell Association, Ian Brown said the spirit of the occasion was important now more than ever. . . this year’s event will be scaled down with Mr Brown ringing Cowra’s World Peace Bell at 12pm on the day. . . Mr Brown also paid tribute to the nine nominees for this year’s Cowra Youth Peace Award, with the winner being named at a Rotary dinner on September 23.

SHEPPARTON, AUSTRALIA

Tuesday marks the International Day of Peace, and while the Shepparton community can’t gather together, more than 100 people across the city will come together online to light a candle for Afghanistan. Organised by Picnic 4 Peace, the annual event is designed to bring people together in solidarity against war across the globe, but this year’s event has a focus on Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country last month.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Sydney’s Peace and Anti-War networks are collaborating on an 11-day, online Raising Peace Festival, 16-26 September. . . Raising Peace features more than 30 public events, clustered around the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September, when the keynote address will be given by His Excellency Mr Armando Vargas Araya, Ambassador for Costa Rica, at noon. . . The Festival brings together academics, activists and practitioners to celebrate key achievements, and to address challenges and strategies. The objective is to raise the profile of peace in public debate. . . The concept of a Raising Peace Festival began two years ago when International Volunteers for Peace (IVP), the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF NSW) got together. Now some 30 peace groups are registered to be part of the Festival, from Knitting Nannas and the Marrickville Peace Group to PEN Sydney, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and the United Nations Association of Australia (NSW). The festival will showcase a variety of approaches to peace, including a day devoted to First Nations voices and a session on Youth for Peace. Other topics include practising non-violence; prospects for peace in Afghanistan; faith and peace; peacebuilding in the Asia-Pacific; disarmament and anti-militarism; permaculture for peace, and the road to a nuclear free future. The program will also feature musical performances, poetry reading, yarning circles, film screenings and workshops.

BANGLADESH – ROHINGYA REFUGEE CAMPS

To mark World Peace Day on 21 September and as part of NRS Relief’s #PeaceDoves campaign launch, NRS Relief partnered with Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to run an art exhibition in three refugee camps within the Kutupalong area in Bangladesh. More than 300 Rohingya refugee children participated in the contest that highlighted peace and hope in conflict settings. Children were awarded with cuddly dove-shaped toys made from upcycled aid blanket and tarpaulin offcuts. . . .The #PeaceDoves project is NRS Relief’s latest CSR-driven awareness campaign that creatively and responsibly transforms production waste into messengers of peace. The campaign aims to spread ‘messages of peace’ and addresses critical issues such as the refugee crisis, sustainability and the private sector’s contribution to achieving a more peaceful society.

BRAC UNIVERSITY, BANGLADESH

For International Peace Day, CPJ and UN Women along with Peace Café members organised a series of events and activities such as peace adda, rally, seminar, social media campaigns, peace-message, essay, and photography competitions. . . Following the Peace Adda, a photo book named “The Power of Women”, was officially launched. This Photo Book displays the top submissions from all categories, selected from a range of excellent works from very talented youth artists across the country. This virtual programme was broadcasted live, and the recording can be viewed on CPJ’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cpj.bracu

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – CENTER FOR PEACE STUDIES

CPS celebrates Peace day 2021 through Book Launching, Rohingya Art Exhibition and Peace rally at NSU – A launching ceremony of a Bangla book on the Rohingya titled “Rohingya Refugee-Life: The Uncertain Future and the Liability of Civilization” was held virtually on 21 September 2021. It was jointly organized by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG), North South University (NSU) and Prothoma Prokashon. . . . CPS also celebrated World Peace Day 2021 through in person activities maintaining physical distance. These are; releasing balloons and pigeons, organizing a peace rally and a week-long Exhibition of Rohingya Artifacts. . . . Discussants in the book launching opined that the recommendations of the various chapters of this book would play a key role in policy formulation and implementation of action plans to address the Rohingya crisis. The program started with a poem recitation by a young Rohingya refugee. Arun Bosu, Coordinator of Prothoma Prokashon delivered the concluding remarks and hoped that the Prothoma Prokashon has been successful in conveying the true picture of Rohingya people’s lives to the readers. Academics, researchers, diplomats, journalists, and students were present among the participants. The event came to an end with a performance of a Rohingya traditional song by the Rohingya musicians.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – RUSSIAN CULTURAL CENTER

Scores of school children discussed the consequences of war at an event at the Russian cultural centre in Dhaka on the occasion of International Day of Peace on Tuesday. The programme — Why do we need peace –was organised by Russian House (Russian Centre of Science and Culture) in collaboration with Russian compatriots association Motherland, and online children and youth forum Dove of Peace. Apart from the local school children, their parents and teachers also took part in the programme.

KUSHTIA, BANGLADESH

World Peace Day is celebrated today (Tuesday) 21st September 2021 with the slogan “We will all be a messenger of peace”. A colorful bicycle rally was organized by Bangladesh Scouts, Kushtia District Rover to spread the message of peace to all. Rover Leaders, Rover Scouts and Girl-in-Rover Scouts from various colleges and universities of the district participated in the rally, which started from Kushtia Government Central College at 8.30 am. They went to Kuthibari, stayed there for a while, talked to the people on the occasion of International Peace Day and distributed masks to raise awareness of Corona. Then everyone left from there and went to the shrine of the famous mystic saint Lalon Shah. On reaching there, a short song session was set up. After staying there for some time, we left again for Kushtia Government College. Arriving there our bicycle rally ended.

CAMBODIA

Events on the occasion of the International Day of Peace were held at the Russian Embassy in Cambodia. . . On this occasion, the school at the Russian Embassy in Cambodia joined the Dove of Peace Children and Youth Forum initiated by the Heirs of Victory International Union and the Dove of Peace International Project. The event was attended by teachers and schoolchildren of the educational institution at the RZU.

INDIA

On September 21, the International Day of Peace. . . an online launch event to kick-off the new World BEYOND War India and Afghanistan chapters! We’ll discuss World BEYOND War’s mission and campaigns, the current state of the peace movement in Afghanistan and India, and why we need a world beyond war. We’ll have time to break out into discussion groups to talk about what anti-war issues matter to you and how we can work together to create World BEYOND War chapters in India and Afghanistan.

AKHNOOR, INDIA

The Indian Army celebrated the International Day of Peace with local people at High School jogwan and Battal village. The program started at 9:30 from Battal village, where 7 villagers includin Sarpanch, Panch, women and children joined forces for the march raising slogans of peace. After the program a drawing competition was organized in which a total of 63 children participated. An Indian Army officer addressed the local people and delivered a lecture about the importance of peace and co-existence in the society followed by distribution of prizes bo the winners of the drawing competition.

DELHI, INDIA

Celebrating International Peace Day with a spirit of providing protection to the community, Aarohan (Delhi) with CFAR and DLSA has iitiated to vaccinate 1000 transgeners in Sultanpuri.

DIMAPUR, INDIA

To commemorate International Day of Peace 2021 on September 21, The Morung Express, a Nagaland-based newspaper, is organising a YouTube singing competition with theme: The Road to a Lasting Peace. An update issued on Sep. 9 informed that the competition, ‘Sing For Peace’ is to celebrate through music the International Day of Peace which was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people. The competition is said to be free and open to all with no age limit. The song must be an original composition sung in any one of the Naga languages

GARAMPANI, INDIA

Various competitions were organized as Messenger of Peace by Innovative Scout-Guide Open Group at Rainka Khairna. In the painting competition organized, Ankit Kumar got first. . . various Cub Bulbul Scout Guide Rover Ranger and Unit Leaders will participate in a three-day Messenger of Peace webinar on behalf of the National Headquarters of Bharat Scouts-Guides.

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2021) for the International Day of Peace?

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JEHANABAD, INDIA

Under the leadership of Bihar State Bharat Scouts and Guides District Jehanabad, a painting competition was organized on the occasion of World Peace Day. In which Vaishnavi Kesari stood first. . . The organization commissioner, while addressing the scouts and guides on this occasion, said that people from all over the world adopt humanity on this day and forget all the gaps of the society and think about the well being of each other, United Nations Organization Invites countries to honor the cessation of their respective hostilities on this day.

JHAPA, INDIA

Today, on the occasion of World Peace Day, Purnima Devi, head of Gram Panchayat Jhapa, was speaking in a seminar organized in the Panchayat Bhawan of Gram Panchayat Jhapa, on the occasion, social worker Mukund Saw said that by talking peacefully. Every issue can be resolved. . . In the meeting, the Vice President and Treasurer of the Gram Sabha from all the 14 villages of the Panchayat, all the honorable members, all the people of the Gram Panchayat Jhapa were present.

LEH, INDIA :

All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties & Social Justice (AICHLS) and Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC ) are jointly organizing 11th International Peace Conference to observe International Day of Peace, in Leh. . . the Peace Conference will be conducted in collaboration with the all religious organizations in Ladakh. On the occasion, the Council also conferring the 7th Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award to Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena, the Founder of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre.

MANIPUR, INDIA

Manipur would be organising ‘Foot March for Justice and Peace’ from September 21 (International Peace Day) to October 2 (International Non-violence Day) in some select villages of five districts of the state. In a statement, the Parishad informed that the march will be carried out along with its associated groups and partner organisations. On the occasion of International Peace Day, a campaign will be launched at Karang Thanga and Andro-Huikap in Bishnupur and Imphal East district respectively. The foot march will also be participated by Ekta Parishad national coordinator Ramesh Sharma and state coordinator Aribam Rishikanta Sharma. The foot march will be carried out in more than 100 districts of 13 states including Manipur. The main objective of the march is to propose establishment of Ministry of Justice and Peace at national and state level.

MEERUT, INDIA

On the occasion of World Peace Day, a program was organized by the Environment and Sanitation Club at the Commissioner’s residence. In this, Commissioner Surendra Singh flew white pigeons as a symbol of peace. . . Commissioner Surendra Singh said that the importance of World Peace Day becomes more in today’s context.

NAGALAND, INDIA

Nagaland State Bharat Scouts and Guides (NSBSG) will be celebrating the ‘International Day of Peace’ on September 21 at Mezhür Higher Secondary School in Kohima on the theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” Different activities are being taken up by members at various levels to celebrate the day in a befitting manner.

NAGPUR, INDIA

Every year, the India Peace Centre commemorates World Peace Day by holding its major event. This year, in light of pandemic guidelines and to have a broader impact, an All India Speech, Competition on the concept of Peace has been arranged. . . Dr. Tejinder Singh Rawal, the project manager and Deputy Director of the India Peace Centre, explained the event, saying, “Submissions are welcomed from citizen Indians of all age ranges.” The preliminary round’s topic is “What Constitutes Peace in the Indian Context.” . . Nagpur Toastmasters Club will manage the entire procedure, screening entries, providing technical assistance, and judging the occasion.

PARIKRAMA MARG, INDIA

World Peace Day was celebrated by Rotary Club Samarpan at New Horizon School, Parikrama Marg. On this occasion, speech competition, poster making competition and slogan competition were organized among the students. The students who secured first, second and third place in all the three competitions held on Tuesday were awarded with prizes and certificates.

PHAGWARA, INDIA

International peace day was celebrated at MLU DAV College Phagwara with great zeal and enthusiasm under the guidance of Dr. Kiranjeet Randhawa Principal of the college . . . A seminar was ogranised by faculty members for students to encourage them to learn the word ‘Peace’ and its true meaning. Peace day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit and build a culture of peace. Students participated in various activities and shared their views through speeches, poems and songs.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA

Local Self Government, Rural Development and Excise Minister MV Govindan Master, who arrived at the Magic Planet yesterday evening as part of the International Peace Day celebrations organized by the Child Rights Commission and the Different Arts Center, flew balloons into the sky as a message of peace with children with disabilities. The sight of hundreds of water balloons soaring into the sky fascinated children and spectators alike.

JAPAN

Friends in Japan celebrate the International Day of Peace by wearing traditional kimono as a symbol of the Culture of Peace and the World Peace Flag Ceremony. May Peace Prevail On Earth. See video

SHIJUKU, JAPAN

International Peace Day-Panel exhibition and lunch lecture on human rights was held in Shinjuku on September 20th to learn about human rights again.

SEOUL, KOREA

The Kyung Hee University System will host the Peace BAR Festival 2021 to mark the 40th U.N. International Day of Peace that falls on Sept. 21. The event will kick off under the theme of “No Time to Lose, A Quest for Immediate Action for Planetary Crisis”. . . This year’s festival will consist of five conferences to be held until December, bringing together scholars from around the world, including representatives of the Club of Budapest and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and professors from Stanford and Harvard universities. They will discuss measures to overcome various crises facing the world, such as climate change, exhaustion of natural resources, the COVID-19 pandemic, social polarization and inequality. . . All conferences will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, and will be streamed through the YouTube channel of the Kyung Hee University Global Academy for Future Civilization.

PENANG, MALAYSIA

In conjunction with the International Day of Peace on September 21, Penang Harmony Agency organized the “Ride around the World, Ride for Peace” virtual cycling event. . . Penang State Women’s Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Commettee Chairman Zhang Ying said at the launching ceremony that the state government celebrated the International Day of Peace for the first time this year.

BANKE, NEPAL

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, we celebrated by ‘lightening the lamp’ (Deep Prajwalan). This and the Panchmukhi Shiva Temple sanitation program were jointly organized by Nepal Unites, Nepal Youth Council Lumbini, Genteel Society Nepal, and the United Religions Initiative at Rapti Bridge in Duduwa Rural Municipality Ward No. 4 of Banke District. The chief guest of the program, ward Chairperson Bhandari Lal Yadav, expressed the need for peace in the world and the need to clean the environment because we are all human beings living on the earth. Bandari said that we need to protect and find peace in nature.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

An online vigil to support victims of the Auckland terror attack will take place on Sunday. The prayer vigil, organised by the Wellington Interfaith Council, will be an opportunity for people all over the country to offer solidarity to the victims of the attack, and also the Sri Lankan and Muslim communities. The vigil would also mark the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on Tuesday.

PAKISTAN – KASHMIR PARLIAMENTARY PEACE CONFERENCE

Pakistan on Tuesday observed the International Day of Peace calling upon the United Nations to play its due role in mitigating decades’ long sufferings of the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). . . . Addressing the Kashmir Parliamentary Peace Conference here, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said it was the history that Kashmir region always remained peaceful but its peace was destroyed during the Dogra rule before creation of Pakistan. He said more than 1.5 million homes had so far been burnt by brutal Indian forces in IIOJK where all basic human rights were being denied. The speaker was of the view that a referendum should be held in IIOJK in accordance with the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, giving people of Kashmir their legitimate right to self-determination. . . . In Sukkur, Shaheed Dodo Soomro Welfare Orgnization (SDSWO) held a ceremony to mark the International Peace Day.

PAKISTAN PEACE LEAGUE

A number of peace activists, human rights defenders, religious leaders, media, political qnd CSO representatives attended the Pakistan Peace League 2021. Guests, audience and youth appreciated the idea qnd speaches about the importance of peace.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN

A walk was held in connection with World Peace Day at Cathedral Crunch Lahore.

PHILIPPINES – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE PROCESS

Throughout the month of September, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will spearhead various peacebuilding activities to instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people on the comprehensive peace process to strengthen and sustain institutional and popular support for and participation in this effort, as well as in the global movement spearheaded by the United Nations to promote a Culture of Peace based on nonviolence, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, tolerance, understanding and solidarity. .. . The Peace Month celebration also coincides with the observance of International Day of Peace with this year’s theme, “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” For more details, click here

PHILIPPINES BOY SCOUTS

Boy Scouts of the Philippines – Messengers of Peace Roadshow. Held on September 21, 2021 (5-7pm) via Zoom Meet together with Scouts and Leaders around the Philippines! Where the Base Commanders gave us an exciting activities! ; shares one’s hobbies, showing our talents in dancing, slogan & poster making, fun games & quiz and a dialogue for peace. Understanding the meaning of Peace, the Impact in making Peace.

CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPPINES

On the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, with the theme “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World,” the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) has appealed to both the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)to give peace talks a try.

LIPA CITY, PHILIPPINES

Just like in the previous years, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) actively commemorated the International Day of Peace and International Peace Month last September 21. DLSL’s symbolic observance was in accordance with this year’s theme for the United Nation-led activity, “Recovering Better for a Sustainable and Equitable World. Among the highlights of the event were the recollection of the past years’ Peace Month remembrance, Prayer for Peace, showcasing of Peace Cranes, and a Song for Peace.

DHAMMAKAYA, THAILAND

In Thailand, Buddhist monks lit 200,000 candles on Tuesday at the Dhammakaya temple near Bangkok to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

Search for Common Ground: Engagement — Not Isolation — Offers Best Hope for Afghanistan

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Search for Common Ground

August 18, 2021 — Search for Common Ground expresses profound concern for the safety and well-being of the people of Afghanistan and urges the international community to engage with all parties, including the Taliban leadership, who can affect the well-being of the Afghan people. We also urge the Taliban to engage with the full diversity of Afghan society, as well as international actors, to support intra-Aghan reconciliation and the protection of the rights of all Afghan citizens.

“International isolation will hurt all Afghans by exacerbating an already-dire humanitarian crisis and raising the specter of renewed civil war” said Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground. “Engagement offers the best promise of securing progress toward internationally recognized standards to which Afghans – and all people – aspire, which are articulated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the rights of women and ethnic minorities. While international actors work to assure the safety of their colleagues and partners in Afghanistan, we ask that all who are able redouble their commitment to engaging and supporting the Afghan people and society.”

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Question related to this article:

Is peace possible in Afghanistan?

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In Afghanistan, Search for Common Ground will continue its work as guided by the Common Ground Approach. This is a process that: humanizes people using diverse methods devised by local teams who, themselves, embody the dividing lines that they seek to bridge; mobilizes people to advance common interests, understanding that shared success is the best way to build trust and make allies out of adversaries; and systematizes cooperation through changes in institutions and the culture of conflict resolution. This approach does more than resolve disputes; it changes systems.

Search for Common Ground recognizes that the Taliban, Afghan public, and international community share substantial common ground. All parties want Afghanistan to have standing and participate in the community of nations. All parties want a functioning nation-state that protects rights and dispenses services through functioning institutions. And all parties want basic security and dignity for Afghans in their daily lives. From this foundation of shared wants, peace can take shape.

“Afghanistan is facing a new and uncertain phase. Search for Common Ground encourages all parties to work towards a healthy, safe and just society. Isolation would likely lead to renewed violent conflict, and violent conflict is not a solution,” Idriss said.

(Editor’s note: At CPNN we have received an email from the Director of Search for Common Ground, Shamil Idriss, saying “We want you to know that we are not giving up. Our country director, Zuhra Bahman, and her staff are committed to continuing to work in Afghanistan. We are staying the course because we know that intensive and consistent dialogue between all parties is the key to building a safe, healthy, and just society.  . . Please send a gift today to help ensure Zuhra and her staff have the support they need — because they are needed now more than ever. All donations will be matched by a board member and worth 2X as much.”)

Bangladesh: Dhaka to host World Peace Conference on Dec 4-5

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from the Dhaka Tribune

The government has fixed December 4 and 5 to hold the planned “World Peace Conference” as part of the ongoing celebration of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.


Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen adressing the press in Dhaka on Thursday, May 20, 2021 Focus Bangla

“We have decided to hold the conference in the month of victory, and we are hopeful to make it in-person,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his residence on Monday.

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Question related to this article:
 
Are there countries that promote a culture of peace?

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He said that the “Bangabandhu Peace Award” would be introduced and conferred during the conference. Many countries introduce such awards after the name of their father of the nation, like Gandhi Peace Prize in India.

Momen also said Dhaka is not planning to invite any heads of states or governments to the conference, rather the government will gather the world-renowned peace activists, writers, poets, singers and global civil society figures to promote the culture of peace and tolerance.

A national committee headed by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury has already been formed to organize the peace conference successfully. The committee members sat for the first meeting on Monday.

At the conference, a special discussion would be held on the life of Bangabandhu as Bangladesh is now a model of peace following the path shown by its founding father, the minister said.

He added that Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is spreading the peace message across the world, which is the “culture of peace.”

Afghanistan: Striving for Human Security While Ending Forever Wars

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

The announcement of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has initiated an essential discussion of the terms and conditions under which the demilitarization of security might be carried out without undermining the human security of the populations involved.  While the process of demilitarization will be long and complex, the immediate requirements of something more than careless abandonment are evident in Afghanistan. We urge the peace education community to inquire into the terms of the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan that would be as ethical and constructive as possible. We see such an inquiry as a first step toward the design of a comprehensive and effective transition strategy from a militarized to human security system. In the near future further pieces on the problematic of troop withdrawals and human security will be shared here as we explore the possibilities for such design.


A woman walks in front of tents at an internally displaced persons (IDP) site in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. (Photo: OCHA Afghanistan/Fariba Housaini)

We recommend that educators begin this process with a discussion of Nicholas Kristof’s Op Ed in the May 17, 2021 issue of the New York Times reproduced below. Carefully review the multiple practical needs withdrawal that he outlines, and reflect together on Kristof’s assessment of the significance of education.  Also, note that he quotes our colleague and longtime GCPE member and IIPE participant, Sakena Yacoobi. And, if you are so moved, write to the President and other US responsibles, urging them to assure that the withdrawal process does not cause further suffering among the Afghan people.

-BAR, 5/17/21

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Question related to this article:

Is peace possible in Afghanistan?

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Education Poses an Existential Threat to Extremism

(Reposted from: New York Times.  May 15, 2021)

By Nicholas Kristof

Lying in her hospital bed in Kabul, Afghanistan, having survived an extremist group’s bombing  that killed more than 80 students at her school, a 17-year-old named Arifa was as determined as she was frightened.

“I will continue my education, even if I’m afraid,” Arifa, who hopes to become a doctor, vowed  to Richard Engel of NBC News.

Afghan girls and boys may lack books, pens and laptops, but in their thirst for education, they have plenty to teach the world. Indeed, one of the few things the extremists and the students seem to agree on is the transformational power of education, especially girls’ education.
In some hideous way, perhaps it was rational for fundamentalists to blow up the school, because girls’ education poses an existential threat to extremism. That’s why the Pakistani Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head. It’s why the Afghan Taliban threw acid in girls’ faces.

In the long run, a girl with a book is a greater threat to extremism than a drone overhead.
“The way to long-term change is education,” said Sakena Yacoobi, a hero of mine who has devoted her life to educating her fellow Afghans. “A nation is not built on temporary jobs and mining rights, contractors and political favors. A nation is built on culture and shared history, shared reality and community well-being. We pass these down with education.”

Since 9/11, we Americans have sought to defeat terrorism and extremism with the military toolbox. As we pull our forces out of Kabul and Kandahar, this is a moment to reflect on the limits of military power and the reasons to invest in more cost-effective tools to change the world, like schooling.

After almost 20 years and $2 trillion, the mightiest army in the history of the world couldn’t remake Afghanistan. Some Americans are critical of President Biden for withdrawing from Afghanistan, but I think he made the right decision. I’ve long argued that we were losing ground and that the war was unsustainable.

I reached that conclusion after Afghan contractors in Kabul who supplied U.S. forces told me  that for every $1,000 America paid them, they gave $600 to the Taliban in bribes to pass through checkpoints. To support a single U.S. soldier in Helmand Province, contractors paid the Taliban enough in bribes to hire 10 men to fight against that American.

Yet while America’s longest war is unsustainable, we must remember our obligations. We should greatly accelerate visas for the roughly 17,000  Afghan translators, aides and others who have worked with the United States and will be in danger when our forces are gone. Otherwise, their blood will be on our hands.

So with a heightened appreciation of the limits of military power, let’s try to chip away at extremism with tools like education. It’s also much cheaper. For the cost of deploying a single soldier in Afghanistan for one year, we can establish and pay expenses of 20 rudimentary schools.

There’s a misperception that the Taliban will not allow girls to be educated. It’s not easy, but it can be done. The Taliban tolerates many girls’ schools, particularly primary schools and those with female teachers, but aid groups must negotiate with communities and win support. It doesn’t work to have a sign saying it’s donated by America.

“Most aid groups have been able to operate successfully on both sides of Taliban front lines,” noted Paul Barker, who has spent many years in the region as an aid worker.

Girls’ education is not a magic wand. Schools were built in all corners of Afghanistan over the last 20 years, yet this was not enough  to stymie the Taliban.

“It’s not that you go to school and suddenly are empowered,” a young Afghan woman told me. Let’s be honest: Nothing works as well as we would like to overcome extremism.
Yet this young woman is an example of what’s at stake. She studied on her own in the Taliban heartland and then was able to come to the United States — where she is now doing research on quantum algorithms.

Education is an imperfect weapon against extremism, but it helps. It works through some combination of opening minds, building a middle class, giving women a greater voice in society and reducing population growth and thus a destabilizing “youth bulge” in the population.

So I hope that as we, chastened, pull military forces from Afghanistan, we will learn something from extremists and their victims alike: Promoting girls’ education isn’t about mushy idealism, but about employing an inexpensive tool that is frustratingly slow — but sometimes the best tool we’ve got.

“There is no other way to build a nation,” Yacoobi told me. “Maybe someday we will melt down some of these guns and trade them in for medicines and new Homeric epics. If we wish to get there, we must always start with education.”

South and Southeast Asia: Digital Games for Peace: Creativity, Innovation & Resilience

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

.An announcement from the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development

The #DigitalGamesForPeace challenge calls upon youth (aged 18-35) from South and Southeast Asia who are game designers, game developers, or researchers in the fields of peacebuilding, prevention of violent extremism, or intercultural dialogue – to submit their applications for a chance to develop innovative ideas on the use of games for peacebuilding.

What is the Challenge about?

The #DigitalGamesForPeace Challenge aims to harness the creative energies of youth from South and Southeast Asia and the promise of game-based innovations in cultivating pertinent competencies for prevention of violent extremism. The Challenge is being organised by the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT), United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and United Nations, Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).

Who is it for?

Youth who wish to apply must: – Be between (and including) 18 and 35 years old. – Be nationals from or have a domicile in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka. – Have experience with 1 or more of the following areas of expertise: social and emotional learning (SEL), the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) or (video)gaming. – Have good research and writing skills – Apply before June 7, 2021, 11:59 PM IST

What’s in it for me?

If selected, you will have the opportunity to spearhead a UN project. Further, your capacities on intercultural dialogue, social and emotional learning, game-based methodologies will be significantly improved such that post the project, you will have additional skills to wage sustainable peace in your respective community. You will meet and work with a formidable group of young gamechangers from South and Southeast Asia. Additionally, you will be part of a select group of individuals who will have the opportunity to meet and interact with experts from the fields of social emotional learning, game-design, and prevention of violent extremism.

Questions for this article:

Where can one find games for peacebuilding?

How do I participate?

To be considered for selection, submit the call for application on the link that helps us understand your motivations and past experiences to be a gamechanger. We are also seeking some specific information related to digital games and how you think they have the potential to promote ideas of peace, social and emotional learning and prevention of violent extremism.

Apply to be a Gamechanger

Timelines

Phase 1 (June – September 2021)

Release of Call for applications to shortlist 51 gamechangers between the ages 18-35 years. The shortlisted youth will embark upon improving their capacities on game-based methodologies for peace. This includes exclusively curated training, bootcamps, and mentorship opportunities by thought and industry leaders in the disciplines of game design/development, social-emotional learning, and prevention of violent extremism. The shortlisted youth would then review and test existing games that contribute to building intercultural dialogue and SEL competencies for PVE.

Phase 2 (October – December 2021)

21 selected youth will move into the next phase based on their activity reports and participation in Phase 1. The cohort of gamechangers will ideate, design, and develop innovative projects on the use of games for peacebuilding.

Expected Products

The final products would range from creating a repository of reviewed video games, designing alternate endings to existing games, defining ideal governance practices that define the future of gaming and PVE, designing game storyboards of SEL and PVE, adapting games for SEL and PVE curricula and other possible projects that expand the scope of games for peacebuilding. A team of experts and partners will continue to mentor the gamechangers towards the fruition of their selected project.

Expected Outcomes

1. Youth-led, innovative, game-based methodologies are harnessed to enhance social emotional learning and intercultural dialogue competencies for PVE amongst young people in South and Southeast Asia.

2. Young people in South and Southeast Asia have improved skills capacities for intercultural dialogue and social emotional learning to prevent violent extremism, using the practical guidance developed.

Expected Impact

It is expected that at the conclusion of the initiative, the long term impact will be the use of digital games by young peacebuilders, education professionals and students – to cultivate social and emotional competencies in youth for intercultural dialogue in the South and Southeast Asia Region.

Be a Game Changer! Apply Now!

Interested to learn more? Contact Dani at d.dani@unesco.org or youth.mgiep@unesco.org