Category Archives: d-disarmament

English bulletin March 1, 2021

AFRICAN UNION AND CULTURE OF PEACE

The African Union (AU) increasingly promotes a culture of peace on the continent.

As described in a new book by Kathryn Nash, the African Union has developed, since its beginning at the turn of the century, a conflict management policy that was not available to its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity. Currently, the AU deploys monitors, authorizes peace support operations, and actively engages to resolve internal conflicts.

The 34th Session of the African Union Summit ended on 7 February 2021 with the new Chair, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), outlining an ambitious agenda, including combating climate change, expediting regional integration, investing in human capital, promoting Africa’s culture, empowering women and youth, and accelerating the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

One of the priorites mentioned by President Tshisekedi is the “Silencing the Guns” campaign, which has been extended to 2030, and now consists of a roadmap and practical steps to achieve its objectives. There will be a two-year periodic review of implementation.

As part of Youth Silencing the Guns Campaign, the Office of the Youth Envoy (OYE) in collaboration with partners has recently provided grants to four youth projects:
– Silencing the Climate Crisis Award to project Ibn El Bitar (Algeria)
– Silencing Gender-Based Violence Award to #ShutItAllDown movement (Namibia)
– Silencing Corruption Award
to Citizens Gavel Foundation for Social Justice (Nigeria)
– Silencing Youth Unemployment Award
to Garden of Hope Foundation (Kenya)

Another recent initiative of the AU Office of the Youth Envoy has been the virtual meetings of women activists in the five regions of Africa, which resulted in a Africa Young Women’s Manifesto. The Manifesto is a comprehensive document addressing all aspects of the culture of peace.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), mentioned as a priority for the AU, began operation on January 1, 2021. This may become an important contribution to the culture of peace on the continent as it may transform conflicts across the continent by reducing the incentives for participating in conflicts, via the creation of jobs. AfCFTA has the potential to promote women’s equality in Africa as stated in remarks to the AU Summit by outgoing President Cyril Ramaphosa. He stated that state parties would report annually on progress made in strengthening women’s participation in continental trade matters. “This includes tailor made financial products for women with reliable means to save, access, transfer and borrow money.” He called for a “women-led Peace Forum to be attended by Heads of State and Government and to implement decisions of the Peace and Security Council to institutionalise the office of the special envoy on women, peace and security.”

In his remarks to the AU summit, incoming President Felix Tshisekedi also confirmed the AU participation in the 2nd Biennale of Luanda on the Culture of Peace to be held in Angola in September, 2021 (see the many articles on this in CPNN). The strategic objective of the Biennale is to promote a peaceful and prosperous Africa through the defense and encouragement of actions that prevent conflicts in the management of national and cross-border natural resources on the African continent, as well as to educate a generation of young Africans as agents of peace, stability and development. The theme of the event this year will be: “Art, Culture and Heritage: Levers to build the Africa we want”.

In her analysis of the African Union, Kathryn Nash Nash argues that the devlopment of its conflict management policy largely happened within the African context, and international pressure was not a determinant factor in its evolution. If the AU continues its independent development, it has a chance to escape from the culture of war that was imposed by the old colonial powers and that is maintained by the economic exploitation of Africa by the empires of Europe, United States and China. The development of the new continental free trade zone can help protect this independence and enable an Africa in peace.

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY



Book review: African peace: Regional norms from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



Central Africa: Ambassador Sita José Analyzes Luanda Biennial With ECCAS Commissioner

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



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

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Colombia: Cultural spaces for the construction of peace

In addition to articles, we list virtual events for the culture of peace: Click here for upcoming events. Last month we registered 23 virtual events.

  

HUMAN RIGHTS




New ICC ruling ‘opens the door’ for justice in occupied Palestine – Independent UN expert

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



‘Women and girls belong in science’ declares UN chief  

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY


G5 Sahel: Heads of State announce Prize for the promotion of the culture of peace

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Brazil: Culture of Peace in schools will be the subject of a webinar on February 18th

US war against Venezuela: How can it be prevented?

. DISARMAMENT & SECURITY . .


US invasion of Panama in 1989: Is Trump trying to repeat this for Venezuela?
(click on image to see video)

The following email was sent by CPNN to its mailing lists on April 2, 2020:

I have never used this mailing list for anything except the CPNN bulletin.

However, the threat of Trump to make war against Venezuela demands a special and unique response from all of us.

Here are the sources:
Associated Press
Russian Television Website

For the moment, it seems that this news is being ignored by other commercial media.

If you are in the USA, I suggest you contact your senator with a message similar to the following:

Please use your influence in the Senate to prevent Trump from starting a war with Venezuela which could lead to World War III because of the support to Venezuela from Russia and China. Trump is trying to divert attention from the medical and economic crisis but he is producing a crisis that is even more dangerous.

If you are in a country that is in NATO or the UN Security Council, I suggest you contact your government with a message similar to the following:

Please use your influence in the [UN Security Council] [direction of NATO] to prevent Trump from starting a war with Venezuela which could lead to World War III because of the support to Venezuela from Russia and China. Trump is trying to divert attention from the medical and economic crisis but he is producing a crisis that is even more dangerous.

If you are not in one of the above countries, you can still urge your government to call a special session of the UN General Assembly to deal with the crisis.

Peace through struggle, and patience,

David Adams
CPNN coordinator

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

English bulletin March 1, 2020

. CITIES TAKE THE LEAD . .

Nuclear disarmament. New York City is becoming the most recent city to plan for divestment of their funds from the nuclear weapons industry. Public hearings in the city on January 28 heard from a wide range of speakers in favor of this action. Speakers included the global campaign, Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, Mayors for Peace, young peope from Peace Boat and a representrative from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. Participants at the hearing expressed their love of the city and strong unwillingness to see New York, or any other place on the Earth, to be exposed to the threat of irreversible destruction that nuclear weapons poses.

Hundreds of cities have joined the cities appeal of ICAN calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. The appeal states: “Our city/town is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this Threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. Therefore, we warmly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations in 2017, and we call on our national government to join it.”

The Appeal is also supported by Mayors for Peace with its network of 7675 cities in 163 countries around the world. The most recent city to support the appeal, on January 27, was Oxford in the UK.

Sustainable development. UN Habitat recently sponsored the Tenth World Urban Forum to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders in 2015. At the meeting, which took place in Abu Dhabi from 8-13 February, the 13,000 participants  recognized that “an increasingly urbanized world is a ‘transformative force’ that can be harnessed and steered to boost sustainable development.” Among the organizations of cities taking part in the Forum was ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), a network of cities in over 100 countries, with global experts in 22 offices.

At the World Urban Forum, the Global Parliament of Mayors presented a project called the Virtual Parliament, an online tool to connect with Mayors around the world, to debate and vote on political issues and to exchange experiences. For example, it has supported an action of the US congress of Mayors against gun violence.

Reducing international tensions. The organization of International Cities of Peace reports that the first City of Peace on the Korean peninsula was established February 5 near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Pocheon. A major celebration was held at City Hall where Mayor Park signed a Proclamation as a crowd of media, dignitaries, and over 100 citizens packed the hall. Pocheon has the potential to help make the dream of Reunification of South and North Korea come true in order to benefit citizens of both countries.

Urban violence. A new initiative, the Strong Cities Network (SCN), is working with a broad coalition to reduce urban violence. According to the SCN, “Today, 83% of deadly violence occurs outside of conflict zones, with the majority of this violence concentrated in cities.” Their report highlights successful initiatives in Glasgow (Scotland), Oakland (California), and cities in Ecuador.

Tackling urban violence is also the priority of the World Forum on Cities and Territories of Peace, which is a project of the United Cities and Local Governments. Previous forums were held in Madrid in 2017 and 2018. The next one will take place this coming October in Mexico City to construct “solutions that promote urban environments capable of eliminating expressions of violence.”

According to the Strong Cities Network,”Nation states have dominated the global political arena for centuries, but with more than half of the world’s population today residing in cities, it may be time to rethink who should be at the table when it comes to decisions on how we can reduce violence.” The same could be said with regard to nuclear disarmament, sustainable development and the reduction of international tensions.

          

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Strong Cities Network: Reducing violence is not impossible, and cities are proving this

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



Peace promotion in the Sahel: The best award-winning radio productions

HUMAN RIGHTS




Amnesty International: New generation of young activists lead fight against worsening repression in Asia

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY



New York City hearings pave the way for nuclear weapons divestment

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



For Bob Marley’s 75th Birthday, Ziggy Marley Reflects On His Father’s Legacy

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



The Wet’suwet’en Fight Against New Pipeline Spreads Across Canada with Blockades & Occupations

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY


Switzerland: Lutheran World Federation marks World Interfaith Harmony Week

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



Devoted to discovery: seven women scientists who have shaped our world

Drones (unmanned bombers), Should they be outlawed?

Here’s what Kathy Kelly said as she went to prison for protesting the use of drones by the United States:

It’s a good time to be very uncompromising with regard to the United States’ wars. These wars are murderous. The wars are killing civilians, as has been happening in the United States’ wars since World War II. Now 90 percent of the people killed in wars are civilians. And this is true certainly with the drone strikes. The Reprieve organization has said that for every one person who is selected as a target for assassination, 28 civilians are killed. And even just three nights ago, there was another targeted assassination in which they hit two homes in the Logar province, and six people were wounded, four people were killed, all of them civilians.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

The growing use of weaponised drones risks destabilising global peace and security

Peace Activist Kathy Kelly Heads to Prison for Protesting U.S. Drone War

Germany: 5000 people protest in Ramstein – drone war is murder. We will be back!

USA: We come to the gates of Hancock Drone Base today to install a memorial of Jerry Berrigan.

USA Exclusive: Air Force Whistleblowers Risk Prosecution to Warn Drone War Kills Civilians, Fuels Terror

United States: Ad for drone pilots to refuse runs in Air Force Times

Ban ‘Killer Robots’ Before It’s Too Late

UN Counter-Terrorism Expert to launch inquiry into the civilian impact of drones and other forms of targeted killing

Protesters march on RAF base calling for UK’s killer drones to be banned

Medea Benjamin to Receive 2014 Gandhi Peace Award (United States)

A culture of peace in Iraq, Is it possible?

Awaiting comment

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Can Cyprus be reunited in peace?

Since 2003 CPNN has carried at least ten articles about initiatives to promote peace and reconciliation on the island of Cyprus that has been divided since 1983 between two sides with allegiance to the ancient enemies Greece and Turkey.

The Presidents of the two sides of the island have called for reconciliation on several occasions mentioned in these articles, but the most consistent action has been carried out at the grassroots by organizations of teachers from the two sides.

CPNN has been describing the education project since it began in 2016.

In 2018-2019, the educational programme “Imagine” which addresses primary, lower and upper secondary and vocational schools managed to bring together 3665 students and 397 teachers from more than a 100 Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot schools from across Cyprus.

At the the ‘Imagine’ Head Teachers Conference in December 2019, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. Anastasiades said “there is no other choice or alternative but to bring peace to our land”. In his address, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci referred to the importance of cultivating a culture of peace in Cyprus and highlighted the value of education.

Akinci added that the decision with President Anastasiades to form the bicommunal technical Committee back in 2015 was “the most important decision we took with my friend Nicos.” That committee thas supported the educational programme “Imagine.”

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

How can the peace movement become stronger and more effective?

Here is a response to this question delivered by Ingaborg Breines to The World Congress of the International Peace Bureau.

More than thousand people have registered for this congress and we know that thousands more would have loved to come. We also know that several thousands are with us in the struggle for a world without war, the struggle to make WAR a thing of the past, something unheard of, something obsolete that humanity only in its infancy could think of.

So we are here to sharpen our non-violent tools, to deepen our understanding and strengthen our cooperation and friendship, so as to be that peace force for a transformative shift presenting alternatives to the insane, dangerous and naïve thinking that inequality, injustice, insecurity and marginalization can be solved by military means. We must develop together the strategies to stop this basically imperialistic thinking that if you want peace, you have to prepare for war. This old fashioned patriarchal way of insisting on the importance of having strong muscles and being militarily strong, is just a sign of moral and creative weakness. If we want peace, and most women and most men do, then we have to prepare for peace and use our financial and intellectual resources accordingly.

Excessive military expenditures not only represent a theft from those who are hungry and suffer, but are also an ineffective means of obtaining human security and a culture of peace. Substantial reductions in military costs would eliminate the crushing poverty whereby nearly one third of humanity lives in insufferable conditions, a majority being women, children and young people. We need to move the money from the military sector and instead tackle the real security issues such as the threat to the very survival of the planet and humanity, be it by climate change, nuclear weapons or excessive inequality. We suggest that all countries reduce their military spending by 10% per year over the 15 years of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. Although it will not change any power imbalance, it would go a very long way in meeting the needs and aspirations of people. Since one year military spending equals about 615 years of the UN annual budget, such a reduction in military costs would also strengthen the United Nations’ efforts and possibilities to “ save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.

Rich and poor states alike seem to be pressured into arms races, spending more on armament than they need and can afford. To continue a process of militarization, often outside democratic control, that mainly serves the arms producers and dealers and even brings corruption is a dangerous path that will not bring hope to young people in desperation but may lead into extremism.

There is no way to justify war, killing and suffering. In IPB’s own words, we have to choose between warfare or welfare. We have only this one very unique and beautiful planet. The global climate change warrants urgent remedial actions and an holistic approach which again requires changing attitudes and rethinking of unsustainable and destructive production and consumption patterns.

The path of confrontational policies and accompanying militarization that we are on, is not leading us ahead. So let us create “an active disgust for war” to use Bertha von Suttner’s wording and create the world we want based on the vision and the principles of a culture of peace so well described by UNESCO.

Finally, allow me to share with you an encouragement that former president Gorbachev gave to the peace movement at one of the Nobel Summits in Rome. He said that he would never have dared take the steps he did to end the cold war if it had not been for the urging of the strong peace movement.

Friends, we have work to do.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

“Put down the gun and take up the pen”, What are some other examples?

This expression, “Put down the gun and take up the pen”, comes from the Somali Youth Organization. Here are excerpts from their Web presentation:

The somali youth organization SOY is a non-governmental organization founded by a group of Somali youth in the millennium year 2000 in order to serve Somali social protection and engage in development and reforming activities for the Somali community.Due to the collapse of the central government of Somalia, Somalia has been exposed to lack of protection and lack of development during three decades of inefficiency.

In the past 15 years, Somalia has been engulfed by civil confrontation, which devastated the whole country’s infrastructure and institutions. As a result, many services remain paralyzed including hopes for peace, social services, democracy, Human rights, education and other social development factors. In view of all this, SOY was initiated to respond to the general social setback of the Somali people.

INTRODUCTION:

We are national youth Organization which consists of many Somali youth in different countries as network representing different NGOe’s non governmental, non political and non- profitable.

MAIN FIELDS:

Democracy and civil society ,support Reforming and development programs Peace building process through the participatoryApproaching ,Youth militia demobilization, disarmaments andIntegrating, Protecting and advocating civilian social rights Specially equality of women ,Investigation and documentation of Human rightsViolation Education skills development Income generations programs.

TAGET PEAPLE

Youth, vulnerable community groups, misleading militia groups, illiterate people, women, and authorities.

OPERATINIG AREA

All Somali regions south, central, and north Motto: “put the gun down and take up the pen”

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Do war toys promote the culture of war?

While it’s not clear that war toys promote a culture of war, it is clear that the reverse is true, i.e. the culture of war promotes war toys.

Here is a good discussion of this.

Critics of war play frequently treat play as if it occurs in such a social vacuum, with little consideration of the broader societal context in which play happens. Social and cultural values shift with time and it is foolhardy to think that toys and play will not follow these trends. Increasing levels of aggression within toys have to be seen as part of a wider trend within society towards desensitisation of violence. Today, violence is brought ever closer to home through the intensity of round-the-clock news footage of armed conflict and incidents of terrorism, and the use of cultures of fear by world leaders to sustain particular (geo)political ideologies.

When reflecting upon the trend reported in the study, economic factors also have to be taken into consideration. Toy companies have to produce a saleable product – and this tends to be a product reflective of wider societal trends. With the drive towards franchising and diversification of target audiences as marketing strategies (as seen with the Lego brand, prompting the likes of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter themed play sets, and the targeting of adult consumers) digital media is leading developments in non-digital media. Here we are seeing trends towards fantasy scenarios centred on overcoming imaginary evils.

Scholars have shown this is part of wider cultures of fear within the post 9/11 era. Toys and digital media are, therefore, reflecting the social and political life of their time and contributing to the prevailing geopolitical climate. Childhood is not a sphere of innocence magically shielded from the wider world; it plays an active part in shaping it.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Can the culture of peace be established at the level of the state?

At least one analysis responds to this question by saying that the culture of peace cannot be established with states, because the states have become themselves the culture of war. Here is the argument.

“The state devotes its resources and is more or less controlled, overtly or covertly, by the military throughout the world. This is not new but has been true throughout history.

“Let us begin with the Great Powers. The United States, which we may more appropriately refer to as the “American empire” devotes more than half of its national budget to the military and now maintains hundreds of military bases throughout the world. Countries without an American military base are exceptional. Now we learn that almost every African country has one. A Nobel peace laureate, Barak Obama, aided in this expansion.

“Where is the ultimate power in China if it is not with the Red Army?

“Not one of the world’s nuclear powers, the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, took part in the negotiations at the United Nations for nuclear disarmament.

“Should we have been surprised when the Arab Spring was cut short by a military coup in Egypt?

“At one time it was believed that believed that peace could be obtained by converting the state from capitalism to socialism. And indeed, in the 20th Century, we saw many examples where capitalist states were indeed overthrown by socialist revolutions. But what ensued was not peace. What ensured was a socialist culture of war instead of a capitalist culture of war.

“And we can see why socialism has failed. A socialist culture of war will alway lose in competition with a capitalist culture of war. Socialists tend to share wealth with their client states, while capitalists exploit their client states. In the long run, it is the capitalist states that win the economic competition. The socialist states must either submit (as was the case of the USSR) or become capitalist (as in the case of China).

“If socialism is to succeed it cannot be based on the state. If peace is to be obtained, it cannot be based on the state.”

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Macron, Merkel defend multilaterism as Trump avoids peace forum

2018 “World Beyond War” Toronto Conference Included Workshop on Departments and Infrastructures for Peace

Discussion question: Does Costa Rica have a culture of peace?

Film: Costa Rica Abolished its Military, Never Regretted it

Survey of national measures and unilateral efforts toward disarmament

Consolidation as a zone of peace is the aim of Venezuela

Consolidarse como una zona de paz es el objetivo de Venezuela

Suisse 2013: Un Nid pour la Paix – Sixième Sommet de l’Alliance Globale pour les Ministères et Infrastructures pour la Paix

Switzerland 2013: Nesting Peace – Sixth Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace

Outgoing Rep. Dennis Kucinich: With 2 Parties Failing U.S., It’s on Us to Build a

Lema de Cumbre ASPA: Una cultura de paz, inclusión y desarrollo

Slogan of the ASPA Summit: A culture of peace, inclusion and development

The PRI to propose a National Commission for the Culture of Peace in Mexico

Plantea PRI crear Comisión Nacional para la Cultura de la Paz

The Fifth Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments