Proposal to the UN Summit of the Future from the International Alliance of Women

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

A submission on the UN Website for the Summit of the Future (abridged)

website: https://womenalliance.org/
President Alison Brown iawpresident@womenalliance.org
Secretary General Tunica Miranda Rosario iawsecgen@womenalliance.org

Chapeau

International Alliance of Women (IAW) is an international non-governmental organization in consultative status with ECOSOC since 1947. It firmly believes that a strengthened well-functioning United Nations, working on the basis of “trust, solidarity and universality” will be able to build peace through “multilateral cooperation and collective security” as well as advance economic independence for all.

Chapter I. Sustainable development and financing for development (not copied here)

Chapter II. International peace and security

IAW strongly supports the New Agenda for Peace and wishes to contribute constructively to Member States’ and civil societies’ deliberations in preparation for the *2024 Summit of the Future.*

At its 39th Triennial Congress 2022, IAW adopted a series of resolutions of relevance to the five priority areas, as they relate to a culture of peace, greenhouse gas emissions and the military as well as the necessary UN Security Council Reform.

Culture of Peace:

The 39th Congress affirming the commitment to secure and foster a global Culture of Peace by ensuring such a culture in the homes, communities, and between nations;

noting that global peace must be restored to ensure human security and sustainable development; is of the opinion that gender equality and women’s empowerment must be at the centre of the UN Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development so that future generations may thrive;

trusts in the spirit of respect, sharing, solidarity, non-violent conflict resolution, arbitration and reconciliation to be practiced in everyday life and promoted by peace education;

recalls the banner in front of the NGO peace tent in Huairou during the 4th UN World Conference on Women 1995 reading

“Change the Culture of War to a Culture of Peace

calls on the UN and all stakeholders to increase political and financial resources for social protection, prevention, and early intervention for girls and women of all ages and abilities affected by violence and conflict.

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Questions related to this article:

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

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

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Greenhouse Effects and the Military:

The 39th Congress alarmed by global warming and the neglect of the greenhouse effect caused by the military

is of the opinion that the dangerous pollution caused by the military activities worldwide has to be formally recognized and made public. It is grotesque to scandalize the citizens’ footprints and to close one’s eyes in the face of the monstrous pollution caused by the military worldwide;

is deeply concerned about the fact that since the Kyoto protocol, 1997 (in force since 2005) through the Paris Climate Agreement, 2015 (in force since 2016) until today, the CO² and other climate relevant emissions caused by the military either in times of combat or in times of preparations for military activities is not included in the statistics of worldwide emissions;

believes that there will be no reduction and mitigation on the impact of climate change by the military without holistic and gender differentiated data and that it is particularly important to work on the basis of these data on the scientifically proven immense amount of emissions produced by the military;

is convinced that in order to save the planet and people’s survival and well-being, these statistics are needed to advocate for a profound change of people’s mindset and the military system.

Chapter III. Science, technology and innovation and digital cooperation (not copied here)

Chapter V. Transforming global governance

UNSC Reform:

The 39th Congress considering that the UN Security Council structure should be reformed as soon as possible on the basis of equal responsibilities and shared power;

is of the opinion that the UN General Assembly should urgently setup a task force mandated for creating structural changes of the UNSC in order to become operational and serving the UN Charter. This process should urgently come into force and produce a first draft in a timely manner;

calls on the UNGA, UNSG and this upcoming task force to change the structure in such a way that all UN member states will be in charge to keep, shape and sustain peace by shared and equal power of member states of all regions by alternating terms and in a balanced relation of regions. The veto powers’ rights must be eliminated;

further calls on the UNGA and the UNSG and all members states that this task force should discuss their proposals system wide within the UN and ensure that it shall be composed by 50 percent of women delegates and the stakeholders involved as experts shall be consisting of 50 percent of women, also young women, youth in general, indigenous women and men, vulnerable groups and minorities and citizens from regions under war shall be invited for contributions and listened to;

finally calls on the UNGA, the UNSG, the permanent and former and current non-permanent UNSC members and all member states, civil society and all stakeholders to support these efforts and donate resources and capacities for any support to this reforms end.

(Editor’s note: The International Alliance of Women was founded in 1902 as the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Legal Citizenship. At the present time its membership includes 43 women’s organizations in 32 countries.)

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The Role of Universities in Supporting Young People to Become Effective Peace Builders: The Experience of Hawassa University in Ethiopia

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article by  Fikrewold Yeneneh from Ukfiet, the Education and Development Forum

Before the political change in Ethiopia in 2018, when political upheavals and recurring conflicts intensified throughout the country, a number of public universities in the country were exposed to violent clashes. These clashes resulted in the loss of life and the destruction of property, and the teaching, learning and research functions of many public universities in the country have been repeatedly disrupted. In addition, these clashes have weakened the social bonds among students and have made our universities more vulnerable to conflicts, evident in the increased frequency of violent incidences that are occurring in universities across the country. This security threat is so serious that the federal government decided that all public universities should be guarded by the federal police and the army. Accordingly, the federal police have now been stationed in all public universities.


Hawassa University, where I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Governance and Development Studies, is one of these public universities. It is situated in Southern Ethiopia in Sidama National Regional State and has an enrolment of about 40,000 students. Before 2019, Hawassa University was under the administrative region known as the South Nations and Nationalities Regional State, but following years of conflict and active campaigning for regional statehood, in which young people played a significant role, this region has been divided into four separate regions along ethnic lines, following different groups’ quest for self-administration.

In view of the prevailing conflict environment in public universities, intervening in peacebuilding has become a practical imperative for our university. In addition to helping stem conflicts with police involvement, we believe that universities, through their teaching, research and community service mandates, can make an important contribution to conflict resolution and the improvement of the conflict situations on their campus by helping their students to become effective peacemakers.

In this respect, Hawassa University, in collaboration with international organisations (including the EU and the British Council in our Enabling University Peace Education project, and activities supported by USAID), has focused on three main interventions that enhance the capacity of the students and enable them to take up an active role in peacebuilding activities, within the university as well as in their respective communities. It is these practical steps taken by our university to promote peace in difficult conflict-affected circumstances that I focus on in this article.

1. Strengthening the peacebuilding role of student clubs

To rebuild the social bonds among students and facilitate a constructive dialogue for peace, we have strengthened and empowered our student clubs. The five main student clubs at our university (two of which are women’s clubs) have been given more resources for their activities and their student leaders provided with leadership training.

We also supported the clubs to host events on the theme of peace values within the university, including dialogues and debates on the role of youth in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, in which over 1,000 students have participated to date. Through these events, we have enabled the student clubs to provide institution-wide platforms for mainstreaming a culture of peace in students’ social lives. The positive impact this has had is evident in the students’ increasing participation and their eagerness to host even more of these events. Moreover, we have observed a growing commitment among our students to support others who are adversely affected by violent conflicts. For instance, one of the clubs hosted an event to welcome displaced students from the universities in the Tigray region, which have been devasted by conflict, with the aim of demonstrating their compassion and empathy.

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Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

University campus peace centers, What is happening on your campus?

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2. Providing peace education courses

To enhance the capacity of the students’ peacebuilding role, we have provided training to nearly 350 students on conflict management, conflict resolution and peace values, particularly aimed at club leaders and those who are active in student affairs. Half of the trainees are female students. The training has spurred the students on to increased civic activism on issues pertaining to peacebuilding. Notably, under their own initiative, they established a peace club, which is the first of its kind in the University.

3. Communicating a culture of peace

To integrate a culture of peace within the social fabric of our diverse study body, a billboard that reflects the value of peace has been mounted at each of the four different campuses of Hawassa University. In addition, brochures that promote democratic and peace values have been distributed to 4,000 students. As a more permanent and visible reminder of the ideation of peace and peace values among students, and to provide a space where students can meet in groups to discuss and enforce positivity and peace, we established a peace park on the main campus of Hawassa University.

Hawassa University’s peacebuilding initiatives and the results achieved so far are showing us that we can facilitate students to become better agents of peace through establishing, in collaboration with them, the spaces to discuss and debate peace, by providing good quality capacity-building interventions that enhance their conflict analysis, conflict management and critical thinking skills, and by mainstreaming a visible culture of peace in our institution. However, this does not mean that the activities that we have conducted thus far are alone sufficient to enable students to be as effective as peace agents as they could be. Looking to the future, we believe we could do more:

Firstly, our capacity-building interventions have to encompass many more students. To date, the peace education courses have reached less than 1,000 students, that is one 40th of the university’s 40,000 students.

Secondly, we need to facilitate activities that link the students and communities in future interventions. Thus far, students’ peace initiatives have not extended beyond the walls of the university campus, constraining their peacebuilding impact and visibility as peace agents within wider society.

Thirdly, to enhance the effectiveness of students’ peacebuilding role, the university should extend its future capacity-building interventions to within the local communities in which students undertake their peacebuilding activities. To this end, the university should conduct more peace research to understand in more depth their local contexts. Our Enabling University Peace Education Project is supporting these three ambitions by enabling us to develop and offer peace education training to many more students of all disciplines, form local community partnerships for peace and by funding eight new context-relevant research projects.

We suggest that our experiences at Hawassa University can contribute to the learning about how universities in conflict-affected settings can play a positive role in peacebuilding. We would welcome further contact with other universities that are interested in sharing and exchanging learning and knowledge of peace education journeys and our efforts to make a difference in the peacebuilding processes in our societies.

This article was supported by ‘Enabling University Peace Education’, a three-year project funded by the EU and British Council with the aim of improving the participation of young people, particularly women, in peacebuilding activities in Sudan and Ethiopia. It is one of a series of articles ‘Telling our story’ which share the experiences and learning of our partner universities with a focus on one or more of the project’s main thematic areas. Through these articles, we hope to highlight to the wider higher education sector, communities and policymakers the important role that universities can play in peace education, and to encourage more universities to enable young people in and outside their institutions to participate in peacebuilding. You can learn more about the EUPE project here.

Ukrainian Pacifists Decide to Participate in Implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A report by video from the Ukrainian pacifist movement

At the general assembly of Ukrainian Pacifist Movement on 24.02.2024, on the sad occasion of two years anniversary of lethal and devastating Putin’s invasion, a statement was adopted regarding participation of unarmed pacifist forces in implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula. Also, practical approaches to nonviolent resistance to Russian aggression, human rights defense and organizational questions were discussed. New members Afanasiy Kolisnyk, Viacheslav Zastava, and Oleksandr Ivanov solemnly proclaimed the WRI declaration.

Executive secretary Yurii Sheliazhenko reported about advocacy of legal guarantees of the right to conscientious objection to military service, protests against anti-constitutional draft laws with draconian measures to impose mandatory military registration, situation with the persecution of conscientious objectors to military service and activists of the peace movement. The general assembly unanimously approved a decision of the executive secretary to expel Ruslan Kotsaba for refusal to participate in nonviolent resistance to Russian aggression and violations of principles of peaceful communication.

Participation of unarmed pacifist forces in implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula (A statement, adopted by the general assembly of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement on 24 February 2024).

Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, bearing in mind the formula that peace is not equal to war (Peace≠war), supports and will implement in our activities the values of peace, democracy, and justice, declared in the Ukrainian peace formula of President Zelensky.

° We agree with condemnation of Russian aggression, demands of withdrawal of troops and compensations of damages.

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Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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° Nobody could feel safe while the war is considered normal and dictates its rules of lawlessness.

° We will act on the basis of belief that democratic society and democratic world must be united for common good and common security.

° We will resist nonviolently to Russian aggression and all forms of militarism and war.

° We will support preservation and development of democracy. We will protect  human rights and rule of law.

° Pacifism is a vital part of diversity of thoughts and beliefs in the democratic society. We will preserve pacifist identity, which gives hope for better future without wars, and we will uphold our right to refuse to kill.

Practical approaches to nonviolent resistance to Russian aggression

– Society and the state must unite for nonviolent resistance and unarmed protection of civilians.

– The basis of nonviolent resistance is individual and collective action as a manifestation of values: reason, conscience, hope, truth, love, dialogue, work.

– Keeping the light and banishing the darkness from your home is also a resistance to the aggression that awakens our dark instincts

– In the unofficial discussion group of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, methods and joint actions for non-violent resistance to Russian aggression and all forms of war, tyranny and militarism should be discussed, starting with the simplest ones, which can be practiced both independently and together with others: spreading hopes, visions, knowledge for a future just peace; to seek honest and dignified reconciliation and understanding in peaceful dialogue; care about your own safety by avoiding risks (shelter, relocation, etc.); to speak the truth against war propaganda; protect human rights, especially the absolute right to conscientious objection to military service, by all legal means; to refuse cooperation and manifest civil disobedience to Russian aggression and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the military and militant authorities.

– We confirm the decision: to endorse refusal to kill, protection of human rights, peace education, truth telling, political protests, international solidarity as forms of nonviolent resistance; support activists of peaceful resistance to militarism and war in Ukraine and everywhere in the world, including the occupied territories of Ukraine; prepare a report on perspectives of resistance.

African Union Calls for a 4th Edition of the Luanda Biennale Forum for the Culture of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An excerpt from tha African Union Assembly published on horseedmedia

ASSEMBLY OF THE AFRICAN UNION Thirty-Seventh Ordinary Session 17 – 18 February 2024 Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA

DRAFT DECISION ON THE REPORT ON THE THIRD (3RD) EDITION OF THE PANARICAN FORUM FOR THE CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE – “LUANDA BIENNALE”

The Assembly,

1. COMMENDS the Government of the Republic of Angola, the African Union and UNESCO for the excellent organization of the 3rd Edition of the Pan-African Forum on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence “Luanda Biennial”, held in Luanda from 22 to 24 November 2023.

2. ACKNOWLEDGES the connection between the theme “Education, Culture of Peace and African Citizenship as a Tools for the Sustainable Development of the African Continent” of the 3rd Edition of the Pan-African Forum on Culture of Peace and Non-Violence “Luanda Biennial” and the African Union´s theme for the year 2024 “Educating an adequate African for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems to increase access to inclusive, lifelong, quality and relevant learning in Africa.

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Question related to this article:

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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3. GUIDES the African Union Commission and UNESCO in preparing and disseminating activities and programs inherent in the Roadmap of the theme of the 3rd Edition of the Pan-African Forum on Culture of Peace and Non-Violence “Luanda Biennial” during the year 2024

4. REQUESTS the Member States and the Regional Economic Communities, within the framework of the implementation of the roadmap of the theme of the year 2024, to include activities related to theme of the 3rd Edition of the Pan-African Forum on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence “Luanda Biennial”

5. CONSIDERS the crucial role played by the Pan-African Forum on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence “Luanda Biennial” in the process of continental pacification and stability and ENCOURAGES the Government of the Republic of Angola, together with the African Union and UNESCO, to organize the 4th Edition of the Pan-African Forum on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence “Luanda Biennial”.

6. CALLS FOR the active participation of Member States and Regional Economic Communities in the 4th Edition of the Pan-African Forum on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence “Luanda Biennial”.

7. FURTHER DIRECTS that future editions of the Pan-African Forum on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence be henceforth held during the month of October.

The Biennale of Luanda 2023 – Through eyes of its young participants

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

The transcript of the UNESCO Youtube video

(Editor’s note: The 2023 Biennale of Luanda included 790 participants from all of Africa including some young people since the Biennale “advocated the establishment of partnerships between political leaders and young people, in sustainable social and economic projects, which could benefit society as a whole.” In addition to those listed below, three youth were invited from Togo. The previous Biennale in 2021 included 118 young people from 49 African countries and 14 countries of the Diaspora.)

Hello, my name is Mpule. I am from Botswana and I was selected together with eleven other young people from across Africa to participate in the third edition of the Biennale of Luanda. Every two years since 2019. the Biennale brings together heads of state, international organizations, the private sector, artists, academics and young people to boost dialogue and foster collective actions for peace in Africa. The event lasted three days with many discussions between youth and political leaders, thematic forums as well as cultural festivities.

Palmira Cassova from Angola: This third edition of the Biennale of Luanda is of great importance for us, young people, because it was a learning moment and a moment to share experiences with young people from other countries such as Egypt, Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, We believe that we will remember this for life and we will be able to contribute with what we learned here to peace in Angola and Africa.

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(click here for the French version of this article. or here for the Portuguese version )

Question related to this article:

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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60% of Africans are under 25 and the Biennale placed young Africans at the heart of the discussions. We engaged in dialogue with heads of states and focused on the vital role young Africans play in education, culture, climate change and many more.

Genila Hiel from Tanzania: The Biennale of Luanda 2023 is a very important platform for me because it gave me a chance to have intergenerational dialogue with very good African leaders to be on the same table expressing my ideas on behalf of my fellow youngsters from Africa in general. But the Biennale is above all a great opportunity for us to build networks and strengthen our knowledge for our work back home.

Hello, my name is Hakim, I am 30 years old. I am Algerian. I am also one of the young people selected for the Biennale. I am honoured to be able to develop solutions with our heads of state for African youth. In my opinion, entrepreneurship is key to reducing inequalities and fostering a culture of peace on the continent. We discussed during the Biennale, inclusive growth as a lever for peace, I strongly believe in it because the sustainability of family businesses and support for entrepreneurship can highlight the potential of our youth so that everyone finds their place in our societies. We also discussed the key role of education and higher education. I am the first of eight children to go to university. I became aware of the importance of getting involved in issues like equal opportunities, education and social justice. Education plays a crucial role in shaping free and well-informed African citizens.

Yasmein Abdelghany from Egypt: Education for peace is an education that provides learners with knowledge, skills and competences to be active agents of the change in their community. It aims to learn to teach them about tolerance, about acceptance, about diversity. Education for peace is very important because at the heart of our African aspirations is to build an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa and this won’t be achieved without education, without teaching our future generations the values of peace and nonviolence.

Mpule from Botswana: I’ve always been actively engaged in promoting women’s empowerment. Today, my mission is to increase women’s participation in leadership and decision making processes. The Biennale highlighted the role of women in peace, security and development processes. On this occasion, we had the opportunity to stress the crucial link between women’s political participation and peace and security. Young people are crucial as catalysts for building a culture of peace. Our presence was felt and our voices were heard. The spirit of the Biennale of Luanda inspires a new generation of young Africans that paved the way towards a peaceful and prosperous Africa.

Join the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace.

Luanda. Capital of Peace in Africa. Join the movement.

Greenpeace: Here are the REAL culprits of the agricultural crisis in France

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from Greenpeace France (translation by CPNN)

Why are many farmers unable to make a decent living from their work, even though they feed us? To this vital question, at the heart of the social and environmental crisis that the agricultural world is going through, the government has still not answered, preferring to attack ecological standards and favor agro-business, without looking at the root causes. . However, those responsible for this agricultural crisis are known: the massive industrialization of our production system and the ultra-liberal trade policies pursued for decades.

In order to denounce the real culprits of the agricultural crisis, this morning we carried out simultaneous actions in six cities in France, targeting groups in the agro-food industry, agrochemicals, seeds and mass distribution, as well as than the majority agricultural union. So many symbols of a system that profits from free trade agreements and impoverishes farmers, to the detriment of our health and our environment.


Photo Credit : © Micha Patault 2024

Who are the culprits of the agricultural crisis? Here are 5 very concrete examples of this agro-industrial system that we point out:  LDC, Avril, Bayer, Lactalis, E.Leclerc and the FNSEA.

LDC, the poultry giant that defeathers the breeders

Its name is little known, but it controls 40% of the poultry market in France! LDC is the owner, among others, of the Le Gaulois and Maître Coq brands, and it contracts with almost half of the broiler poultry breeders in France, owns slaughterhouses, manufactures animal feed, etc. This all-powerful group in its areas of establishment is capable of depriving breeders of alternative outlets . With its industrialized system, LDC relegates the breeder to the rank of “subcontractor”, a real an uncomfortable situation .

This chicken giant is also developing its activities in Belgium, the United Kingdom and Poland, not hesitating to resort to imports . During a highway blockade in France, breeders discovered Polish chickens imported for LDC in a truck . A real goose that lays golden eggs: LDC generated 5.8 billion euros in turnover in 2022, an increase of 8% compared to 2021. The fortune of the Lambert family, co-founders of the group, is as for it estimated at 825 million euros.

Avril, the big fish of the agro-industry

The fifth French agri-food group, Avril is the perfect example of the clever mix of economic, financial and political interests in the agricultural sector . The chairman of the board of directors of this agro-industrial behemoth is none other than Arnaud Rousseau, recently put in the spotlight as president of the majority agricultural union, the FNSEA (see below).

We are far, very far from small-scale farming. This multinational generates more than half of its turnover abroad, through multiple activities: food production, chemicals, energy, agrofuels, finance, etc. In France, the group is number 1 in the vegetable oils market. (via its Lesieur and Puget brands, among others) and commands 25% of the oleochemicals market share. Its influence is therefore considerable: Avril is very clearly one of the proponents of the policy of industrialization of French agriculture which is fueling the crisis in the agricultural world.

Bayer, the powerful lobby of pesticides and seeds

World number one in seeds and pesticides, Bayer is particularly famous for having bought Monsanto and its famous Round Up, a cocktail based on glyphosate , the most used herbicide in the world, classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the International Center for Research on WHO cancer. Not content with poisoning farmers and the environment, its commercial weight on the seeds and pesticides market makes farmers dependent on its products.

Bayer is also a powerful lobby, whose activities have disastrous consequences on the agricultural world, health and the environment. The German pharmaceutical and agrochemical giant spent more than 7 million euros on its lobbying activities at European level in 2022 alone. For decades, Bayer has actively fought for the development of GMOs and against the ban and reduction of pesticides, not without some success, unfortunately: the regulation of GMOs is now threatened, glyphosate has been re-authorized for 10 years and the European legislative project aimed at reducing the use of pesticides has just been purely and simply withdrawn…

Lactalis, the multinational that butters its bread on both sides

Dairy products are at the heart of the current agricultural crisis. And Lactalis (the world’s leading group in the sector which has joined forces with number 2, Nestlé, within the Lactalis-Nestlé company), bears a heavy responsibility for the impoverishment of the small farmer. In 2022, while consumers paid more for their liter of semi-skimmed milk, breeders saw the amount of their gross margin on this product drop by 4% compared to 2021, while agri-food companies experienced an increase of their gross margins of 64% and those of mass distribution of +188%! An extremely inequitable distribution observed across all dairy products, as denounced by the Foundation for Nature and Man in its report “ Farmers and consumers, big losers from the rise in dairy product prices ”.

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(Click here for the original article in French

Question for this article:

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

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

(Article continued from the left column)

Nearly 20% of dairy farmers live below the poverty line and are extremely dependent on public subsidies to survive. A concern that Lactalis does not experience, whose turnover increased by 28.4% in 2022 compared to 2021, climbing to 28.3 billion euros! Added to this are various scandals: salmonella in infant milk, pollution of waterways, non-compliance with environmental standards, concealment of information. The company, known for its President, Lactel and Galbani brands, is described as a “lawless” firm by the investigative media Disclose, in an edifying investigation into the “milk ogre”.

E. Leclerc, the leader in mass distribution and secrecy

Today six groups control 90% of the mass distribution market. Among them, the leader E. Leclerc, with almost a quarter of market share, has become a dominant player in the lives of French consumers and farmers . In 2022, the French number 1 has increased its turnover, but not its transparency… The E. Leclerc group is regularly suspected of circumventing the French Egalim law in order to obtain lower prices from producers, in particular via a central d Eurelec purchase located in Belgium, where the law is much more flexible.

From their dominant position, the mass distribution giants do not hesitate to compress the prices paid to farmers to make more profits . Producer remuneration thus serves as an adjustment variable, with farmers going so far as to sell at a loss. Also at issue: products imported and sold at very low prices on the shelves of these major brands. Products that Michel Édouard Leclerc would like to sell even cheaper: he has denounced in the past the obligation of a 10% margin on food products from abroad, a measure precisely intended to protect the remuneration of producers.

FNSEA, historical defender of industrial agriculture

With 212,000 claimed members, the FNSEA is the majority agricultural union in France. But far from fighting for the interests and remuneration of small producers, its leaders continue to defend the agro-industrial and productivist model serving the largest farms. The very ones who receive the largest share of subsidies from the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). For decades, the FNSEA has ensured true co-management of agricultural policies, hand in hand with successive governments, successfully fighting in favor of industrial agriculture and agro-industry, to the detriment of peasant and organic agriculture. , and against environmental measures.

Its current president, Arnaud Rousseau, is himself at the head of a cereal farm of more than 700 hectares, ten times the average size of a French farm… In 2021, he received more than 170,000 euros from the CAP, or 5.6 times the average amount received by a farm in France. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the agro-industrial group Avril (see above).

Faced with those responsible for the agricultural crisis, what should we do?

If the culprits are known, the solutions are also known to overcome this agricultural crisis, allow farmers to live with dignity from their work and protect the health and environment of all.

Several measures seem essential to us today to meet the expectations of farmers regarding their remuneration, support them in the ecological transition and sustainably transform the agricultural sector. In particular, it is necessary:

° Put an end to Free Trade Agreements , by reviewing the agreements in force and establishing a moratorium on current negotiations (in particular between the European Union and Mercorsur, and with Chile).

° Establish a floor price , i.e. a ban on the sale of agricultural products below cost prices (including costs, labor remuneration and contributions).

° Regulate the margins of processors and large retailers , for better distribution of value.

° Establish a minimum entry price for imported products , particularly for the sectors most in difficulty, to deal with unfair imports on social and environmental levels.

° Reform the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) , in particular in order to direct public money as a priority towards the most vulnerable farmers, organic farming operations and towards supporting the agroecological transition.

° Massively increase support for farmers in the agroecological transition.

Environmental standards and the reduction of pesticides are necessary, both for the health of farmers and for that of consumers and the preservation of biodiversity. We must therefore maintain them and help producers in their implementation.

To find out more about the causes and solutions to farmers’ difficulties: The agricultural crisis (and how to get out of it) in 4 questions.

The Catalan Forum for Peace is born, a participatory process to create Catalan public peace policy

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from the Instituto Catalan Internacional para la Paz

The Catalan Forum for Peace  was publicly presented this Wednesday, February 14, within the framework of the Second Day of Peace held in the Parliament of Catalonia. The forum is a participatory process of reflection and debate that was born with a double objective: to create a public peace policy in Catalonia and to reinforce the agendas and social and political advocacy capacities of Catalan peace organizations.


screenshot from their website

The Catalan Forum for Peace is an initiative promoted by the Government of Catalonia, the Catalan Council for the Promotion of Peace, the ICIP and the Catalan associative network for the promotion of peace. It arises, therefore, from social and institutional collaboration, and will be developed throughout 2024 and 2025. The Forum will consist of a process of citizen participation based on five axes of debate: Culture of peace; Security and justice; Armed conflicts; Global challenges; Women, peace and security.

Coinciding with the public presentation, the website www.forumcatalapau.cat has been inaugurated, from which the participation of citizens, entities and institutions committed to the values of the culture of peace and social justice will be encouraged.

“For a public policy of peace”

The public presentation of the Catalan Forum for Peace was made during the celebration of the II Peace Day of the Parliament of Catalonia, co-organized by the Catalan chamber, the ICIP and Lafede.cat. With the title “For a public policy of peace”, the conference brought together representatives of numerous peace organizations and experts in the field of research and work for peace, as well as representatives of the Government and several city councils. and institutions.

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(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

The culture of peace at a regional level, Does it have advantages compared to a city level?

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At the opening of the day, the vice president of the Catalan Council for the Promotion of Peace and director of the ICIP, Kristian Herbolzheimer, called on the Catalan institutions and entities committed to the values of the culture of peace and social justice to join the Catalan Forum for Peace: “it is time to open the reflection on how we understand a Catalonia in peace and on how we can contribute, from Catalonia, to peace in the world. It is time to tell each other, meet and explain to all the people, groups and institutions that we share the values of the culture of peace and that we share the commitment to a more just and supportive world.”

For her part, the president of Lafede.cat, Arés Perceval , highlighted that the Catalan Forum for Peace must allow “the design of a public peace policy endorsed by all parliamentary groups, a pending subject” and added that the process also “It has to serve us to strengthen the movement for peace and nonviolence that we lead from civil society.”

The day was inaugurated by the president of the Parliament of Catalonia, Anna Erra , who highlighted the tradition of promoting peace in Catalonia, a “country of peace” that “has not hesitated to embrace the values of democracy and freedoms.” fundamental.” In her intervention, Erra predicted that the Catalan Forum for Peace will help strengthen the culture of peace, “become a useful tool for the international community,” and “shape some responses based on the collective intelligence of the country.”

The day included two round tables: the first focused on the challenges and opportunities for peace in the context of global threats, and the second was dedicated to the five axes of debate that will guide the Catalan Forum for Peace. when the participatory process begins, in the month of April. Carme Colomina , CIDOB researcher ; Luca Gervasoni , director of NOVACT; Maria Josep Parés , consultant; Jesús Vinyes , president of the School Council of Catalonia; Nora Miralles , president of the Delàs Center; Albert Caramés , director of FundiPau; Jordi Armadans , journalist and political scientist; and Blanca Camps , researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

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Manifesto for Peace Media in the 21St Century

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from Comunicacion y paz

The manifesto presented below has been agreed upon by the Spain chapter of the Latin Union of Political Economy of Communication, Information, and Culture (ULEPICC-Spain) and the Research Network on Community, Alternative, and Participatory Communication (RICCAP). The initiative emerged from the presentations and dialogues that took place within the framework of the VIII International Congress on Communication and Peace of ULEPICC-Spain (Complutense University of Madrid, March 2023) and the II International Congress on Communication and Citizenship of RICCAP (University of Extremadura, May 2023). It urges media outlets and political representatives to be mindful of the analyses and representations they provide of conflicts, as well as to take firm steps to update the media system and improve its role in the prevention and peaceful and fair resolution of conflicts. It also encourages the academic community and citizens to get involved in peace processes through co-responsibility and participation.

For the short term, it proposes a guide of good journalistic and communicative practices. Although the dominant journalistic structure, business model, and culture of the media are important obstacles to its implementation, we encourage professionals to take advantage of opportunities to advance towards peace communication. For the medium term, it poses the need to carry out structural reforms that create the necessary conditions to make peace communication effective in a systematic way. 

The manifesto includes an agenda of priorities to favor democratization in access, production of content, ownership and governance of media and communication. To this end, it is essential to reach agreements through participation and solidarity among all the actors involved in the transition towards total peace. The improvement of the communication system, together with the transformation of eco-social and geostrategic structures, would not only curb the organized barbarity of war, but would also contribute to the good conviviality of citizens, improve the autonomy and working conditions of communication professionals and increase the credibility of journalism.

The #PeaceMediaManifesto is a living document, so we encourage you to send your suggestions for strengthening it to comunicacionypaz@ulepicc.org. All individuals, media, institutions, associations and research groups that share its principles and proposals are invited to sign it.

MANIFESTO

° For a Peace Communication that favors the just transformation of conflicts and helps to stop wars, to rebuild relationships through reconciliation, and to create more egalitarian social and geostrategic structures.

° For communicative justice that promotes social and environmental justice through collective and democratic participation.

° For the improvement of the quality of journalism and communication, and for the radicalization of democracy.

° In the face of media coverage that marginalizes causes, contexts, and solutions, and reproduces conflict and structural violence.

° In the face of media that do not act as a counter-power but as accessories to the military-industrial complex at the service of the dominant power structures.

° In the face of the emergence or prolongation of armed conflicts that are presented as irresolvable…

… this Manifesto urges the media and those responsible for media and politics to:

1. Produce an in-depth diagnosis of the nuances, roots, results, and responsibilities of any conflict, portraying the complexity of eco-social problems based on their structural elements.

2. Promote approaches that include the voices of the people who suffer the consequences of conflicts and that prioritize agents promoting transformation and dialogue.

3. Support social, negotiated, and diplomatic solutions for the resolution of any conflict, offering examples and practical evidence that have proven successful in the past.

4. Carry out a preventive, slow and contextualized journalistic work that contributes to the de-escalation of conflicts and prioritizes the prospects for peace, before, during, and after the outbreak of violence.

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

Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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5. Prevent negative and stereotyped representation of historically marginalized social groups, drawing a line to avoid journalistic coverage that incites hatred or discrimination.

6. Foster community communication to understand the global roots of local problems (and how large-scale conflicts also impact smaller contexts).

7. Defend and promote the achievement of human rights (and other emerging rights) as a criterion of newsworthiness to avoid false objectivity and false equidistance.

8. Provide ways for citizens and their organizations to access, participate in, or appropriate the media system in order to represent their cultures, rights, interests and solutions for peace and dialogue.

9. Promote meetings between journalists, universities, and the third sector to foster social dialogue and share knowledge on conflicts and peace practices.

10. Transform the framework of individual security based on warmongering discourse to one of positive and shared security based on restorative narratives and values of participation, equality, co-dependence and eco-social justice.

We consider that these are practices that the media can begin to apply, even if it is to a limited extent, through the application of protocols to identify ideological biases and shortcomings, as well as good practice guides that orient the processes of content production towards peace journalism and communication.

However, the systematic production of peace communication also requires deep structural reforms that generate conditions that allow professionals to be free from the economic and ideological interests of conflict and violence. History and the critical analysis of current coverage and treatment show that the media and large technology companies tend to promote dominant narratives of conflict and war, which contributes to the self-serving propaganda of only one side and avoids critical, preventive, and pro-conflict resolution positions. With the popularization of technological networks, there has been an expansion of fake news and hate speech fueled by the ultra-right and ‘deniers’ (scientific, climate, gender, etc.), which target the most disadvantaged sectors and promote extreme positions of confrontation and social and emotional polarization. 

Beyond direct violence, there are more invisible structural, cultural, and symbolic inequalities that are just as threatening as the first and that are often neglected and help the established media economic model. The datafication of social experience and mass surveillance through Big Data are fundamental phenomena of violence that, based on their opacity, can have a decisive influence on social behavior according to dominant economic and political interests. Likewise, the logic of profit maximization has led to the proliferation of clickbait in commercial media as a consumption and business model. These phenomena, which are central to today’s media systems, are opposed to data justice, corporate transparency, user privacy, professional integrity and ethics, and genuine and independent public service media practices. The most recent threat comes from the uncritical use of Artificial Intelligence in journalism, such as the complete writing of news stories without checking sources or biases based on class, gender, culture or ethnicity.

In order to exist, peace requires not only the absence of physical violence, but also the promotion of ideals of social, economic, and environmental justice that contribute to eradicate structural violence. At the present juncture and fueled largely by conflicts and their economic, ideological and cultural interests, the enormous threat posed by historical problems such as class, ethnic and gender inequalities, chronic economic crises, and the climate emergency is being revealed. 

In this context, it is equally necessary to analyze, criticize and improve both the use and access and the impact of the technological devices that provide material support to communications in the different phases of the contemporary linear economic system: extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and generation of waste. Without media education and environmental awareness that favors structures and practices for fairer, more egalitarian and eco-sustainable access to technologies, it will not be possible to promote the elimination of violence and conflicts. In this sense, it is absolutely necessary to open a social conversation about the current harmful relationship between technology, peace, and environmental sustainability in order to think of viable alternatives.

Likewise, based on a critical analysis of the dominant media system, it is essential to think of public policies that promote structural reforms that will facilitate the democratization of access, production, ownership, and governance of the media. This would benefit communication professionals and improve their autonomy, working conditions and motivation. More time, security, incentives, and freedom to inform and communicate will favor good journalism and communication practices that contribute to the visibility of initiatives for peace and eco-social justice.

Authoritarian phenomena such as war, inequality, and polarization, on the one hand, and peace, diversity, and the construction of the commons, on the other, are extremes in a dispute currently underway in which different interests oppose each other with a profoundly asymmetrical correlation of forces. Only by coming together and generating spaces for reflection, empowerment and collective action will we be able to tip the balance in favor of democratic deepening in a society of free and equal people.

In an effort to contribute to these processes, today, as yesterday, we reflect, share and shout “No to war” and to the intensification of conflicts. Instead, we offer our collaboration to the movements committed to peace and eco-social justice. We need real democracy so that we do not have to shout

NEVER AGAIN

World Court to Review 57-Year Israeli Occupation

. . HUMAN RIGHTS . .

An article from Human Rights Watch

An unprecedented number of countries and international organizations are expected to participate in the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) oral hearings on Israel’s occupation beginning February 19, 2024, Human Rights Watch said today (February 16). Fifty-two countries and three international organizations will participate in the oral proceedings, more than in any other case since the world’s highest court began functioning in 1946.


The broad participation in the hearings and the many written submissions reflect growing global momentum to address the decades-long failure to ensure respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

“The International Court of Justice is set for the first time to broadly consider the legal consequences of Israel’s nearly six-decades-long occupation and mistreatment of the Palestinian people,” said Clive Baldwin, senior legal adviser at Human Rights Watch. “Governments that are presenting their arguments to the court should seize these landmark hearings to highlight the grave abuses Israeli authorities are committing against Palestinians, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

The oral proceedings stem from a December 2022 request by the United Nations General Assembly for an advisory opinion  by the court on the legal consequences of Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The court has the opportunity to address the prolonged occupation, to consider Israel’s practices and policies violating international legal prohibitions against racial discrimination, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, and to appraise the legal responsibilities of other countries and the UN to address violations of international law arising from the occupation.

Although ICJ advisory opinions are non-binding, they can carry great moral and legal authority and can ultimately become part of customary international law, which is legally binding on states.

These proceedings, which will last six days, are distinct from the case brought  by South Africa to the same court alleging that Israel  is violating the Genocide Convention amid the hostilities between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups that escalated following the October 7, 2023, Hamas-led attacks.

The General Assembly first asked the ICJ for an advisory opinion related to the Occupied Palestinian Territory in December 2003. In July 2004, the ICJ’s advisory opinion  found that the route of Israel’s separation barrier violated international law and that it should be dismantled.

(Click here for the French version of this article.)

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Question related to this article:

How can war crimes be documented, stopped, punished and prevented?

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

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The December 2022 request to the court is wider in scope. The General Assembly asked the court to give its opinion on the “legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation” of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including “its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures,” and on the legal consequences of the occupation and Israel’s practices for all states and the UN.

The request provides the court the opportunity to evaluate the situation two decades after its last advisory opinion on the Occupied Palestinian Territory and provide guidance on the law, including the continued application of international humanitarian law and human rights law. The court could also assess Israel’s conduct under international human rights law, including prohibitions on racial discrimination, and international criminal law, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

The ICJ adjudicates disputes between states and issues advisory opinions on international law. It lacks jurisdiction over the conduct of non-state armed groups like Hamas. The International Criminal Court (ICC), by contrast, addresses serious international crimes allegedly committed by individuals, including members of armed groups. The ICC prosecutor confirmed that since March 2021 his office has been conducting an investigation into alleged atrocity crimes committed in Gaza and the West Bank since 2014, and that the court has jurisdiction over international crimes committed by all parties in the current hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

Human Rights Watch has documented that Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution  against Palestinians. Given that the responsibilities  of an occupying power toward the rights of the occupied population increase over time, Human Rights Watch has also called for Israel to provide Palestinians in the occupied territory with rights at least equal to those it grants its own citizens, in addition to the protections of international humanitarian law.

The ICJ is composed  of 15 judges elected by the UN General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms. Fifty-seven states and international organizations had filed a written statement  in the proceedings in July 2023, before the October escalation in hostilities. Fifteen states and international organizations filed additional written comments in October and November 2023. Among those participating in the oral proceedings are Palestine, South Africa, Belgium, Brazil, the United States, Russia, France, China, Namibia, Pakistan, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the African Union. Israel submitted a written statement and chose not to participate in the oral hearings.

The ICJ will issue its legal opinion at a date to be determined. Past practice suggests that the opinion will be issued before the end of 2024.

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Message from World Beyond War Annual Report

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

An excerpt from the annual report of World Beyond War

Message from David Swanson, Executive Director

World BEYOND War is growing at an increasing rate. In 2023 we hired organizers in Latin America and Africa, who join our Canada Organizer and our Organizing Director on staff, along with our Executive Director, Education Director, Technology Director, Development Director, Social Media Manager, a researcher, and an intern. Much of our activity is done by volunteers, however, and we leaped from 22 active chapters the year before to 32 chapters in 21 countries in 2023. Our Declaration of Peace now has signers in 196 countries.

In 2023 we placed an increased focus on media work (production of web tools, videos, podcasts, articles, and social media, as well as outreach to media outlets) and reshaped our strategy for ongoing work to emphasize not only education and activism, but the third area of media and communications.

This was a year in which two very different wars, in Ukraine and in Palestine, were big stories in the media. We’ve worked to increase opposition to those wars, to nudge war opponents toward opposing all sides rather than cheering for certain warmakers, to activate newly engaged peace advocates, and to recruit them into a lasting movement for war abolition and peace-building beyond the current crises.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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In 2023, we sought, through our annual conference, our annual film fest, and numerous articles and interviews, to more effectively address the perennial question of how to use nonviolence in the face of violence, how to employ unarmed civilian defense, diplomacy, the rule of law, and alternatives to mirroring the violence of an attacker or invader. We’ve planned a new online course on the topic for 2024.

With the close of 2023, World BEYOND War becomes 10 years old. We’ve educated huge numbers of people about peaceful alternatives. We’ve played a leading role in passing resolutions, in divesting funds from weaponry, in preventing the construction of new military bases. We’ve built a large and growing community of informed global citizens working together, strategically, and cooperatively for steps away from the institution of war and toward a sustainable world. We aim to do much more each year than the year before.

With the close of 2023, World BEYOND War was working with allies around the world to press — with some intial success — for the application of the rule of law to the horrific war on Gaza — among many other steps, generating a half-million emails to governments in support of prosecution at the International Court of Justice. Not only is the reliability of international bodies being tested, but the risk of even wider and more deadly wars is on the rise.

The case for a wiser path is needed more desperately than ever. We are finding our global footing none too soon. Peace!