Category Archives: d-democratic

English bulletin September 1, 2016


Once again this month, we find cities in the lead for the various componens of a culture of peace, including sustainable development, tolerance and solidarity, democratic participation, peace activism and disarmament.

Before going into detail, we should celebrate the formal signing of the peace accord for Colombia, which has been under negotiation for several years and which has been followed, step-by-step, by CPNN, as well as the progress towards a peace accord to end 47 years of war between the government of the Philippines and the communist movement National Democratic Front.

The city council of Rennes, France, has voted unanimously to endorse a project working towards food sovereignty. This is the second city of France to take such an approach, the first having been the city of Albi. The project involves a partnership with the NGO “Incredible Edibles.” In presenting the project, Councilman Theurier stated, “The approach of Incredible Edible can offer spaces to garden for residents, can strengthen social ties, and promote the greening of the city. It offers free food and promotes the development of urban agriculture and therefore food autonomy of cities. Above all, it can educate for the protection of the environment and recreate the link between people in city and those in food production areas. As the urban population continues to grow, issues related to agriculture – including the preservation of the land – are less tangibly perceived by many of our fellow citizens. Recreating this link is a necessity for the future.”

The Mayor of Madrid, Spain, argues that cities can overcome the formal frameworks that keep nation states from resolving key issues. Madrid, for example, has negotiated its own accord with the United Nations to welcome refugees. It has instituted participatory budgeting which can help to end democratic apathy. And as we have noted earlier, Madrid’s response to terrorism is to promote a pro-peace education. As the mayor says, “It starts at school. We want children to learn the value of dialogue and mediation, and for them to learn to solve their own problems among themselves.”

The Culture of Peace Commission of Ashland, Oregon (USA) continues to show the way for promoting peace at the level of the city. It has established a ” Community Peacebuilders Network” which lists “all of those local groups and individuals, from all sectors of our community, that have already decided to join us.” The Commision plans to hold periodic conferences “encouraging collaborative solutions as we work toward our goal of creating an interconnected web of peace, justice, sustainability and inclusion in our local area.”

The newest city peace commission is that of Santos, Brazil. The commission supports the Mayors for Peace Network, as well as activities of civil society, such as the “Paz na ponta do Giz” project of ABrasOFFA that promotes the concepts of peace within schools. A key role of the commission is to make the subject of PEACE a priority on the agendas of all leaders of the city (whether formal, such as the mayor and city representatives, or informal such as leaders that influence citizens’ decisions).

Finally, the UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) have announced the five finalists for the City Peace Prize which will be awarded during their annual conference to be held in Bogota, Colombia in October. Appropriately (given the signing of the peace accords), two of the cities are in Colombia: Palmira and Cali. Palmira uses a music competition to promote peace, while Cali is training community peace workers. The other cities are Canoas, Brazil, which has established “peace territories,”, Shabunda, DRC Congo, which has created “Permanent Peace Committees”, and Kauwagan, Philippines, for their programme “From Arms to Farms” for the demobilization of former rebel soldiers.


Iranian Women Won More than a Medal at the Olympics


Peru: #NiUnaMenos: 50,000 protest violence against women in Lima


Historic Peace Accord for Colombia Is Signed in Havana


UN: National Human Rights Institutions will play a more strategic role in education


Global Youth Rising 2016 – Reflections


Rennes, France: 210 000 inhabitants move towards food self-sufficiency!


Breakthrough in Philippine peace process


Three Decades of Peace Education in the Philippines

English bulletin June 1, 2016


Since its creation over 70 years ago, the United Nations has been the hope of mankind “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” But more and more, we are losing hope that in its present form it can succeed. This was especially evident in recent weeks when the great powers did not bother to send high-level delegations to the UN’s Humanitarian Summit despite the fact that 60 other countries sent their heads of state. While Germany was represented by its Chancellor Angela Merkel, the other great powers were essentially absent: Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and China.

Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a rising chorus of demands for reform of the United Nations.

The most dramatic and far-reaching demand comes from Africa. This month the Pan-African Parliament, with representives from the 54 countries of Africa, has called upon the African Union to support its demand for a new UN body, a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. The Parliament’s President explained that “It is long overdue that ‘We, the Peoples,’ as the UN Charter begins, have more say in global affairs. For this purpose, a UNPA needs to be established.” This could become a powerful voice for peace. Instead of reflecting the policies of Member States with their military budgets and military policies, the proposed Assembly would be composed of representatives of bodies directly elected by the people and without direct responsibility for military institutions.

Another call for extensive reform comes from a group including former UNESCO Director-general Federico Mayor. Their joint declaration calls for a “new UN System” with a General Assembly of 50% of States representatives and 50% of representatives of civil society, and adding to the present Security Council and Environmental Council and a Socio-Economic Council. In all cases, no veto but weighted vote.

Many calls for reform consider that the present Security Council, with veto powers by the five Permanent members, the victors of World War II, is outmoded and ineffective in dealing with today’s global problems.

There are ongoing meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, but they are complicated by rivalries among the Member States. At the most recent meeting at the beginning of May, India called for additional Permament members, including themselves, Brazil, Japan and Germany, thus including the losers as well as the winners of World War II. But immediately there were objections from India’s rival Pakistan and from Japan’s rival North Korea, as well as from another group of 13 countries led by Italy. Another proposal was put forward by Ireland for a new category of Security Council members with an 8 year term. They proposed 6 seats in this category, with 2 each from the African and Asia-Pacific group, and 1 each from WEOG (Western Europe and Others Group) and GRULAC (Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries).

At the recent Humanitarian Summit, the Arab League, which consists of 22 member states, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, called for limitation on the veto power of the Permanent Security Council Members, echoing a similar demand by Turkish President Erdogan. This, too, was complicated by inter-state rivalries as their remarks were directed only against the use of the veto by Russia with regard to the war in Syria.

The Elders, the group of former heads of state and international agencies that was formed several years ago around Nelson Mandela, has made a series of recommendations regarding reform of the Security Council. They call for a new category of Council members with longer terms to counter-balance the five Permanent members, a pledge to restrict the use of their veto and more involvement of the civil society,

Another proposal of the Elders is for a more independent UN Secretary-General. This proposal is echoed in conclusions of the recent United Nations High Level Thematic Debate on Peace and Security, and it is already being implemented to some extent in new procedures to choose the next Secretary-General.

But the question remains: are these proposals radical enough to enable the UN “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war?” In the view of the CPNN coordinator, we need a more radical approach; see his blog.




Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform


Peace in Colombia Is Impossible Without Us, Women Declare


Paris: A standing orchestra !!!


Red carpet film festival asserts Gaza’s pride and talent


Mali: The struggle against terrorism: Towards the creation of a global network of Ulemas


Tens of Thousands Take Part in Global Actions Targeting World’s Most Dangerous Fossil Fuel Projects


Colombia celebrates agreement to legally bind the peace accord


For the first time, a Peace Plan for Cali, Colombia

English bulletin April 1, 2016


The culture of peace is increasingly promoted at the level of the city according to the articles we have been publishing so far this year in CPNN.

At the highest level, the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, are planning to hold an international forum against violence and for peace education. Along with Brussels, their cities have suffered the most from terrorist attacks in Europe. While nation states promote military responses, they propose education for non-violence.

While nation states continue to make nuclear weapons, the network of Mayors for Peace, with over 6,900 cities in 161 countries, continues to prioritize the struggle for nuclear disarmament. We recently published an article from one of their member cities, Wellington, New Zealand.

The network of International Cities of Peace, with 130 member cities in 40 countries, has recently announced an alliance with the newly formed network of Compassionate Cities that includes 70 cities in almost 50 countries that have affirmed the Charter for Compassion, which promotes a culture of peace at the local level.

In the United States there is a growing movement of cities that undertake the transformation to a culture of peace.

In New Haven, Connecticut, this is the fourth year that the City Peace Commission, an organ of city government, has published a report on The State of the Culture of Peace in New Haven. The report identifies priorities for action by the city. Two of their priorities have been featured in recent CPNN articles: restorative justice in the schools, and welcoming refugees.

The city of Ashland, Oregon, has recently established an official City Culture of Peace Commission, and among its tasks is a similar annual report on the state of the culture of peace in their city. Other tasks include the training of peace ambassadors, peace education in schools, a directory of community resources that promote a culture of peace, and a monument containing the World Peace Flame.

Civil society organizations in Wilmington, Delaware, are developing a “strategic vision, plan and resource document that will bring peace to Wilmington. The plan will deal with the actions needed to transform a culture of violence to a culture of peace. The plan would include input from civic groups, city and state governments and agencies, churches, students, the elderly, and general public.”

A new initiative aims to create a network of Nonviolent Cities, modeled after an initiative in Carbondale, Illinois. Its goals are similar to those of New Haven, Ashland and Wilmington: “Nonviolent cities would work to end racism, poverty, homelessness, and violence at every level and in every form; dismantle housing segregation and pursue racial, social and economic integration; end police violence and institutionalize police nonviolence; organize to end domestic violence and teach nonviolence between spouses, and nonviolence toward all children; work to end gang violence and teach nonviolence to gang members; teach nonviolence in every school; pursue more nonviolent immigration programs and policies; get religious leaders and communities to promote nonviolence and the vision of a new nonviolent city; reform local jails and prisons so they are more nonviolent and educate guards and prisoners in nonviolence; move from retributive to restorative justice in the entire criminal justice system; address local environmental destruction, climate change, and environmental racism, pursue clean water, solar and wind power, and a 100 percent green community; and in general, do everything possible to help their local community become more disarmed, more reconciled, more just, more welcoming, more inclusive, and more nonviolent.”

The practices promoted by culture of peace cities include mediation, restorative justice and participative budgeting, as described in previous CPNN articles.




USA: Working on creating a culture of peace in Ashland


csw unionists

Education International and other Global Union Federation delegations begin their work at the 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women



United Kingdom: Thousands call for Britain’s nuclear deterrent Trident to be scrapped



2015: When Global Governments Trampled Human Rights in Name of National Security



GLOBAL YOUTH RISING: Empowering passionate activists and peace workers from around the world– JULY 2016



Fishing ban in remote Pacific waters is working, report finds



Guantanamo could be turned from a war facility to a peace park


Romania: Systemic Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation & Post-War Recovery and Reconciliation