Biennale of Luanda 2021 : Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace


Information from the programm published by UNESCO

The 2021 Biennale of Luanda is underway. Here is a brief resumé of the programme which can be found entirely at the preceding link.

Organized in partnership between UNESCO, the Government of Angola and the African Union, the Biennale of Luanda – “Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace” aims to promote the prevention of violence and the resolution of conflicts, by encouraging cultural exchanges in Africa, dialogue between generations and the promotion of gender equality. As a space for reflection and dissemination of artistic works, ideas and best practices related to the culture of peace, it brings together representatives of governments, civil society, the artistic and scientific community, and international organizations.

This 6-day hybrid programme combines in-person and on-line events.

• National Pavilions where countries offer cultural digital activities for
the promotion of the culture of peace, as part of the Festival of Cultures

• Partner Stands, where institutions and companies, foundations and NGOs will share best practices and future initiatives

Question related to this article:

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

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On-line events – a live stream of the Biennale available in three languages (English, French, Portuguese). Register here for online or replay.

• November 27. The Official Opening organized in Luanda with high-level participants – Heads of State, Ministers, International organisations representatives and renowned personalities to support the Biennale.

• November 27. The Intergenerational Dialogue to enable young people to interact with Heads of State and Ministers and make their voices heard.

• November 27-30. The 4-day Festival of Cultures with virtual and live cultural events offering a unique space for exchange between the cultural identities of Africa and its Diasporas.

• Novemberr 29-30. The 4 virtual Thematic Forums to share best practices based on impactful initiatives already implemented for peace and sustainable development in Africa and elaborate flagship initiatives.

I. The contribution of arts, culture and heritage to sustainable peace

II. Engaging young people as actors of social transformations for conflict prevention and sustainable development

III. Africa and its diasporas in the face of conflicts, crises and inequality

IV. Harnessing the potential of the oceans for sustainable development and peace

• November 30. The Closing Ceremony to officially launch the Alliance of Partners for a Culture of Peace and adopt the Biennale Joint Communiqué and Roadmap.

• December 1-2. The 4 virtual Partnership Sessions to identify projects and initiatives, and mobilize resources to turn them into action within the Alliance of Partners for a Culture of Peace.

Culture of Peace at the Encuentro Mundial Educar para la Vida


Information from the website y facebook page of the Encuentro Mundial Educar para la Vida (translation by CPNN)

The global meeting of Educar para la Vida (Educating for Life) is a project that aims to reflect and create a dialogue about education, the ways of life that humanity has adopted and the possibilities of transforming them through a different education. This project arose from the challenge that the pandemic and the environmental crisis have posed for humanity, challenges that have been aggravated by social problems such as inequality, poverty and migration.

The objective of this project is to stimulate a transformative cultural mobilization of the ways of thinking, of producing, of consuming, of living in harmony with ourselves, with the community, with society and with nature, taking into account the perspective that education is the key to building a collective future based on respect for the common good.

The dialogue that this Meeting proposes is carried out in virtual format and developed around six themes: Educating for criticism, Culture of peace, Global citizenship, Justice, Communication and Educating in life and with life. There are keynote conferences, dialogues between international specialists and an exhibition of the experiences of NGOs, activists, leaders, academics and pedagogues.

One of the six fields of reflection is the culture of peace.

Culture of Peace

This is understood as a process of recognition of the thousands of forms, experiences of resistance and local, community and ethnic expressions from which it is possible to learn to live peacefully or to defend ourselves peacefully from war. The universe of human rights and democracy is the context for its guarantee. An antimilitarist culture where the language of war has been replaced by one of solidarity, a language of the acceptance of multiple dissensions, from where we work hard to build a just, anti-patriarchal, anti-racist planetary society, in solidarity with ourselves as human beings, with the other species that inhabit the planet and with the world of nature of which we are part.

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(click here for the original version in Spanish).

Question for this article:

What are some good films and videos that promote a culture of peace?

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10 Conferences

Culture of Peace : Video of David Adams, Coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network and promoter of the UN Declaration and Program of Action for a Culture of Peace (1999).

Culture of peace towards the future : Video of Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Pharmacist, professor, poet, politician and high international civil servant. He was director of UNESCO (1987-1999). Since 2000 he has presided over the Culture of Peace Foundation. He is president of the Scientific Council of the Ramón Areces Foundation since 1993.

What education and for what kind of life?”> : Video of Manuel Dios Diz, Teacher, institute professor, diplomas in geography and history from USC. Founder and ex-president of the Galician Seminary of Education for Peace. Former president of AIPAZ and member of the Culture of Peace Foundation.

Education for a Culture of Peace : Video of Sofía Herrero, Pedagoga con Master Internacional en Estudios de Paz, Conflictos y Desarrollo y Doctora con mención internacional.

Culture of Peace and Neuroscience: Contribution from Mexico : video of Roberto Mercadillo, Psychologist with a Master of Science, specialist in Neurobiology with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences. He is a professor at CONCACyT and his research revolves around Social Neuroscience. He has worked at the Institute for Biomedical Research at UNAM, in addition to being a Professor at the National School of Anthropology and History.

Towards an education in human rights and citizenship from the United Nations models : video of Matías Penhos, Researcher Professor, his Master’s thesis revolves around the United Nations Models to address discriminatory situations in the field of non-formal education and its incidence in schools. He is a member of human rights education networks at the regional and international levels.

Colombian youth are transforming politics : video of Fabián Acosta, Philosopher, Master of Arts, Kliment University of Ojrid Sofia Bulgaria. Master in Political Science, Doctor in Social and Political Philosophy, Kliment University of Ojrid. Associate Professor Dept. of Political Science National University of Colombia, professor of political theory. Social researcher, Director of the UN OBJUN Youth Observatory.

Constructing Cultures of Peace: Today’s Challenge video of Alicia Cabezudo, Graduate in History and Social Sciences, Master in Spanish Studies and in Education for Human Rights, Peace and International Cooperation. She completed a Doctorate in Education and Social Sciences. She is currently a professor at the International Peace Bureau – IPB and the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace- GAMIP.

The challenges of education for peace and sustainability of life : video of Jaume Martínez Bonafé, Doctor in Philosophy and Educational Sciences, founder of the Pedagogical Renewal Movements and the University of the Paulo Freire Institute of Spain.

La décima conferencia no está disponible

3 Experiences

Our thinking at Embera : video of Miguel Angel Parada, Jumara Kincha Embera, Colombia.

Psychosocial support strategy with the use of ICTs, through the Meraki school magazine : video of Janeth Triana Triana, Colegio de Cultura Popular, Colombia.

Culture of Peace in the Network of Women Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs video of Leticia Adela Mosqueda Ochoa, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico.

Mauritania: establishment of a new network of mayors to consolidate citizenship


An article from Sahara Medias (translation by CPNN)

The creation of a network of mayors to promote citizenship and the consecration of social cohesion and the culture of peace was announced on Monday in Nouakchott.

This new network includes all the mayors of Mauritania. According to the Minister of the Interior and Decentralization Mohamed Salem O. Merzoug, “It constitutes an important step in the framework of the preservation of the values ​​of the nation-state” .

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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The minister added that the new network promotes a culture of citizenship, the consolidation of social cohesion in the aftermath of the birth of the commemoration of a new independence.

The creation of this network, adds ould Merzoug, is the best indicator for a promising development of state building and the protection of the nation.

The minister again said that the new creation is the path leading to the birth of a Mauritanian citizen in a unified space, convinced of unity and participatory democracy that leaves no room for negative divisions.

The creation of this network, adds the minister, will strengthen the system of democratic practice in a new era that began more than two years ago with the election of Mohamed O. Cheikh Ghazouani as president of the republic.

Ould Merzoug reaffirmed the government’s readiness to support this new creation and its objectives, thus devoting the support of the President of the Republic to the decentralization process, the strengthening of the mechanisms of local democratic culture, as a fundamental basis for local and regional development.

Jamaica: Increase In Use Of Restorative Justice Centres To Resolve Conflicts


An article from The Jamaica Information Service

Restorative Justice Centres, which offer services to resolve conflicts, have noted an increase in referrals from the courts and communities across the island.

This was disclosed by Restorative Justice Coordinator, Andriene Lindsay. She tells JIS NEWS that conferences, in particular, have exceeded their target by 269 cases.

Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck consults with Coordinator, Restorative Justice, Ministry of Justice, Adrienne Lindsay

“The target for this year is 2,200 conferences and for the second quarter we actually completed 616 conferences, and that was in addition to our first-quarter results, and a total of 1,369 at the moment. or where we should be, which is 1,100, we are 269 ahead of our target. So, we’re doing really well in terms of conferences,” she says.

“This, when it comes to the variance, would be due to an increase in the referrals associated with sensitisation, particularly from the courts and the community. We’ve also had an increase in staff, which means we have an increased capacity for how many conferences we can actually conduct,” she further adds.

Ms. Lindsay says the Centres have also included virtual sessions, which makes it “easier for participants to interact”.

A conference is a tool used by the centre administrators that includes its facilitators, a Justice of the Peace and community supporters who can help to provide emotional support to everyone involved in the dispute.

“During the sessions, each person gets to tell their side of the story, but this time to the other parties that are involved. At that time, nobody else can speak; it’s just one person at a time.

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Discussion question

Restorative justice, What does it look like in practice?

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If there are any questions, those can be asked and responded to by the facilitator or community supporters. The last phase of the conference is what to do to move on and make things right,” she tells JIS News.

Ms. Lindsay notes that after each conference, the individuals involved in the disputes sign an agreement relative to the agreed resolution.

“If this process is done through the court, then that document once returned to court becomes a legally binding document, but if it is in the community, then what we do is just trust the participants to stick to that agreement, and we monitor it,” she adds.

She says follow-up for each case is done between three and six months and citizens can benefit from the Centre’s services free of charge.

“This is a free service, from the starting point to the finishing point. The Ministry of Justice does not charge any fees for interacting with the Restorative Justice Unit. We provide follow-up sessions, as well, free of charge and, of course, if any counselling services are required, we will also refer them free of charge to our Victim Services Unit,” she says.

The Restorative Justice Centres form part of the Ministry of Justice’s efforts to improve alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods.

The Centres will be established in every parish and are equipped to handle matters related to child diversion, restorative justice and dispute resolution, among other justice-related issues.

They also serve as a point of contact for custodes and justices of the peace.

“The Ministry of Justice is committed to make restorative justice a major part of the work that we will be carrying out, and we are doing so because we have seen that it is successful,” Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says. He was speaking at a previous Restorative Justice Facilitator Training Programme.

The aims of the Restorative Justice Programme include the creation of a culture of peace through processes that emphasise the values of mutual respect, dignity and concern among one another in an environment of healing, reconciliation and restoration.

The Ministry is also trying for individuals and communities to become empowered to respond to crime positively, to enable productive relationships and reduce criminal case backlog.

UN chief sees firsthand the progress and challenges five years after Colombia’s historic peace deal


An article from UN News

In Colombia to mark the fifth anniversary of the peace accord between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC-EP, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday visited a small mountainside village he described as a “laboratory of peace”, where former combatants and civilians are living and working side-by-side.

UNMVC. Secretary-General António Guterres talks to villagers in Llano Grande, Colombia, where he witnessed how the peace process was developing in Colombia.

The Secretary-General visited the northern town of Llano Grande, in the Department of Antioquia, along with Colombia’s President, Ivan Duque, as well as the former FARC-EP commander, Rodrigo Londoño. The town is one of several areas in the country where the former guerillas are being reincorporated into civilian life.

Colombia has 32 Departments, or ‘States’. With up to 80 per cent of its population affected, Antioquia was one of the areas most impacted by the more than 50-year conflict.

Llano Grande is a town of 150 inhabitants, where former ‘enemies’ now live and work together. With the support of the United Nations and the Government, the small village has become a place where peace reigns, and as inconceivable as it may have seemed five years ago, FARC combatants and locals now consider themselves family.

The UN chief walked through the town and was able to talk with its residents who are benefiting from different reincorporation entrepreneurial projects.

“I am very pleased to be in Llano Grande and I see first-hand the achievements of peace,” Mr. Guterres while visiting the town’s tailoring workshop.

There, he spoke with worker Monica Astrid Oquendo, who recently told UN News  that the Peace Agreement had brought with it initiatives that have greatly helped their community.

Mr. Guterres also spoke with other workers about their labour and discussed the importance of women’s leadership in the peace process.

A new brand of coffee

Meanwhile, a group of former combatants took advantage of the UN Chief’s visit to launch Trópicos, a new coffee brand created by a cooperative with 1,200 members.

Mr. Guterres was very interested in the cultivation process of the plant and the different types of coffee that are produced in Colombia.

“Trópicos [Spanish for ‘tropics regions’] is a brand whose geography offers special characteristics. The ‘rebellion’ of the tropics makes this coffee special because it comes from the community, and from people in the process of reincorporation. It not only has a social background but also quality standards. We have carefully selected each grain to be able to achieve high quality and to offer ‘Trópicos’ to the world,” explained Frey Gustavo de Maté, one of its creators.

The Secretary-General also learned of other projects such as a town school, an arepas (Colombian cornmeal cakes) factory, and a soap factory.

Later, in a brief address to the community on the town’s soccer field, Mr. Guterres congratulated everyone for “their enthusiasm and dedication” to these projects, which, he added, have the support of the Government and the international community.

He also acknowledged that the projects have been hampered by financial difficulties and stressed that as such, it will be necessary to redouble efforts to guarantee their sustainability, as well as to involve the private sector to help find solutions.

The UN chief recognized the work of the community in the entire municipality of Dabeiba, of which Llano Grande is part, and in other nearby municipalities, which he praised “as an example of integration and reconciliation for receiving ex-combatants with open arms and normalizing democratic life”.

“This shows true human qualities of teamwork, generosity, hope and courage to build a better future,” he added.

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

Questions related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

Peace does not come overnight

After hearing from many more members of the community, Mr. Guterres said they know better than anyone that peace does not come overnight.

“It costs work to build it, take care of it, sustain it…There is a paradox: the objective of peace is a society with no enemies, but unfortunately there are enemies of peace,” he said expressing his solidarity with the victims and their families.

Since 2017, there have been 30 homicides and four disappearances, mostly men, only in the Department of Antioquia, according to UN reports.

Moreover, throughout the country, more than 300 former combatants have been murdered, with some 25 disappearances. Almost 500 human rights defenders and civic leaders have also lost their lives in violent attacks.

Mr. Guterres said he admired “the tenacity and commitment” of the people who “continue to bet on building peace in Colombia on a day-to-day basis”. He also warned that “ensuring their security is vital to consolidating peace”.

United Nations remains committed

The Secretary-General reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to support the peace process and assured that he will discuss with the Government both the issue of security and housing. “We are all going to take advantage of this meeting to enhance our work,” he said.

However, he said that he recognized “with humility” that the Organization’s work is secondary and that the essential work in the construction of lasting peace belongs to Colombians.

“If this were a film, we would not be candidates for the Oscar for Best Actor, but for the best Supporting Actor,” he concluded

Joining Mr. Guterres in Llano Grande was the ex-commander of the FARC-EP, Rodrigo Londoño, who stressed that even though some 300 signatories to the peace deal had been killed, “we remain committed”.

The visit of the Secretary General, he said, “shows that we have made progress and that this is not a failed process.” It also “refutes the assertions of those who do not believe in this process.”

Mr. Londoño also expressed gratitude to Colombian President, Iván Duque, saying that the leader’s presence in Llano Grande “is encouraging” and a hopeful sign that the Colombian people must continue travelling the path of peace.

In his remarks, President Duque stated that the progress underway in Llano Grande showed the will of his Government to support efforts to build lasting peace.

“I think the most important thing that we see today is the rejection of violence … We value those who have made the decision to categorically reject the violence that was once justified,” the President said, and added: “This implies that there is no cause or ideology …that justifies murder, kidnapping or any other form of violence that threatens our freedom.”

Marking five years of peace

From Llano Grande, Mr. Guterres and President Duque flew by helicopter to Apartadó, in the Urabá region, a province dedicated to the cultivation of bananas and where the Government chose to hold a regional commemorative event to mark the fifth anniversary of the peace accord.

Ahead of that event, they visited the region’s Territorial Development Programme, which seeks to  improve the collaboration of different territorial agencies to achieve more effective sustainable development. With the Government’s backing these programmes are supporting a range of reconciliation projects, including the building of a school that will be inaugurated soon.

The celebration event was held in a park and was attended by a large audience comprised of members of the municipality and the national government.

For his part, the Secretary-General highlighted the role of women in the peace process and stressed that their participation “can help generate more inclusion.”

He went on to express concern about the fact that several regions continue to face increasing insecurity.

“The actions of the illegal armed actors diminish the hopes of local communities, as well as jeopardize the prospects for sustainable development,” said the Secretary-General.

He concluded that “peace requires facing the suffering of the past” and “reconciliation is the only way to a stable and lasting peace.”

Tomorrow on his last day in Colombia, Mr. Guterres will participate in the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Final Peace Agreement in the capital, Bogotá. He will also attend the ‘La Paz es Productiva’ fair.

Can a culture of peace be achieved in Africa through local indigenous training and participation?

Judging from article published in CPNN, it would seem that Africa is fully engaged in indigenous training and participation for a culture of peace. In 2021 alone, we have published articles on this theme from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, South Sudan, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Benin, Cameroon and Gabon.

CEPEJ Takes Peace, Environmental Advocacy To Schools Across Nigeria

Burkina Faso: Great nights of the communities of Dédougou: Young people sensitized on the culture of peace

Dalaba, Guinea: launch of the APAC Project of Didhèrè Foulah in Kaala

Chad: AJPNV training for democracy and human rights

South Sudan : Community leaders in Unity state pledge to promote a culture of peace

Fatima Al-Ansar Describes Her Vision While Launching a “Urgent Appeal” to All Malian Organizations Working in the Field of Conflict Resolution, Mediation and the Prevention of Violent Extremism to “Unite Their Efforts”

Toumodi, Ivory Coast: Community leaders trained in the culture of peace

Congo and UNESCO to Cultivate Peace in Youth

Benin: Traditional kings and religious leaders pray for peace in Parakou

Cameroon : From a life of violence to a culture of peace

Gabon: Youth for the Culture of Peace

Mali National Restitution Conference: Women propose possible solutions

African Union Office of the Youth Envoy: Winners Announced for Youth Silencing The Guns Awards

USA: Bernie opposes exorbitant defense spending bill


An article from Nation of Change

Outraged at his colleagues for incessantly fighting against social welfare programs while promoting corporate welfare, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared his opposition against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which would cost at least $778 billion.

“Many of my colleagues tell the American people, day after day, how deeply concerned they are about the deficit and the national debt,” Sen. Sanders said Tuesday in a press release. “They tell us that we just don’t have enough money to expand Medicare, guarantee paid family and medical leave, and address the climate crisis to the degree that we should if we want to protect the well-being of future generations. Yet, tomorrow, the U.S. Senate will be voting on an annual defense budget that costs $778 billion – $37 billion more than President Trump’s last defense budget and $25 billion more than what President Biden requested. All this for an agency, the Department of Defense, that continues to have massive fraud and cost overruns year after year and is the only major government agency not to successfully complete an independent audit. Isn’t it strange how even as we end the longest war in our nation’s history concerns about the deficit and national debt seem to melt away under the influence of the powerful Military Industrial Complex?”

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Question for this article:

Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

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In 2018, the Defense Department reported to Congress that from fiscal years 2013 to 2017, over $6.6 billion  had been recovered from defense contracting fraud cases. In 2020, the DOD Office of Inspector General reported that 395 of its 1,716 ongoing investigations—or approximately one-in-five—are related to procurement fraud.

Due to the fact that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report earlier this year determining that the DOD has wasted billions of dollars in less than a decade due to corruption and fraud, Sanders has called for defunding the U.S. military, which consecutively has the largest budget in the world without any reasonable justification. In addition to losing the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. military remains a perpetual drain on the economy despite repeated incompetence and corruption.

Sanders added, “Further, it is likely that the Senate leadership will attach to the National Defense Authorization Act the so-called ‘competitiveness bill,’ which includes $52 billion in corporate welfare, with no strings attached, for a handful of extremely profitable microchip companies. This bill also contains a $10 billion handout to Jeff Bezos for space exploration.

“Combining these two pieces of legislation would push the price tag of the defense bill to over $1 trillion – with very little scrutiny. Meanwhile, the Senate has spent month after month discussing the Build Back Better Act and whether we can afford to protect the children, the elderly, the sick, the poor and the future of our planet. As a nation, we need to get our priorities right. I will vote ‘NO’ on the National Defense Authorization Act.”

As his fellow legislators drag their feet in opposition to repairing failing infrastructure and improving healthcare for all, Sanders remains well aware that the NDAA passes every year with an overwhelming majority due to all the political contributions from defense contractors and lobbyists. By reducing the exorbitant defense budget, more money would be available to improve the quality of life for most Americans.

But as President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

On Tuesday, Sanders took to twitter and wrote, “No. Congress should not provide a $10 billion handout to Jeff Bezos for space exploration as part of the defense spending bill. Unbelievable.”

Thousands demonstrate in France to stop violence against women


A press survey by CPNN

Thousands took to the streets in France demanding that the government do more to stop violence against women that includes more than a hundred cases of women killed by their partners. The protests are part of a week of global actions marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Demonstrations took place in about 60 towns and cities in France as well as some of overseas terrorities and departments. Image from Nous Toutes

Here are photos and posters from some of the demonstrations.

A scene from Paris where organizers said that 50,000 marched. Photo by Dea Drndarska

The collective Nous Tous mobilizes 300 demonstrators in Niort. Photo from La Nouvelle Republique

At Chartres the demonstration was organized by the Collective Nous Toutes 28. Photo by agence de Chartres, published by l’Echo Republicain

Hundreds marched in Valenciennes. Photo from va-infos

In Reims the demonstration was organized by the feminist collective Nous Toutes de la Marne. Photo from France Bleu

The march in Marmande (Lot et Garonne), organized by the association SOS Accueil Mamans enfants mobilized about 50 participants. Photo by Camille Groc pubished by Sud Ouest

Over 200 marched in Perpignan. Photo by Claire Guédon, published by France Bleu

In Metz some of the 400 demonstrators lay down on the street to symbolize the 101 victims of femicide. Photo by Juliette Mylie, copyright Radio France, published by France Bleu


Over a thousand took part in the demonstration in Montpellier, organized by Nous Toutes 34 with planning familial, le Scum, SOS homophobie, etc. Photo by Richard de Hullessen, published by Midi Libre

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Questions for this article

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

How effective are mass protest marches?

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In Rodez the demonstration was organized by Nous Toutes 12 including Attazc, FSU, CGT, Solidaires, Unsa, etc. Photo from Centre Presse Aveyron

Nous Toutes Upec mobilized over 40 persons at the University of Créteil. Photo by Delphine Dauvergne published by actu-val de marne.

Scene from the demonstration in Bourg-en-Bresse. Photo by Cecile Chambon and Le Progres

Poster for the march in Coulaines, a “marche nordique” to stop conjugal violence. Published by Ouest France

Florie, co-founder of the feminist association La Mèche shows the poster for the demonstration in Agen. Photo from La Depeche

The demonstration in Remiremont (Vosges) was initiated by two teachers, Sabine Cavalli and Sèverine Bernard. Photo VM/Léa Didier published by Vosges Matin

In Moselle-Nord, the mayors of the towns of Yutz, Maom and Rochonvillers co-organized the demonstration to take place 25 November in Yutz. Photo by DR published by La Semaine

On the island of Réunion, a march will take place on November 27. Photo from Clicanoo

Here is the poster from St Martin, French collectivity in the Caribbean. Photo from St Martin Week

A story about a Japanese friend, peace and political friendship


An article by Elisaveta Nica, special for CPNN

This article presents an interview that I conducted with my Japanese friend Naomichi Ishibasi in which he expressed creative insights into significance of friendship in the service of politics, a new way of thinking in building peace mentality and love for humanity, great concepts that a Culture of Peace promotes. Even though Ishibashi suffers from ill health, he published the book “Always go ahead” by which he disseminated values of COP that we have exchanged through our correspondence more than one decade. He also inspired me to write a book about Friendship and the Culture of Peace.

EN: In the book “From Yalta to Berlin ,” the author W.R. Smyser made a marvellous description of the friendship between the French President, Charles de Gaulle and West Germany’s first chancellor Konrad Adenauer. This friendship formed the “central element” for the new political structure of the European Union and shaped the mentality of acceptance and appreciation between the people of the two nations after centuries of adversity. Do you have similar examples of leaders from your community or country that you think serve to inspire good relations, both now and in the future, between people, communities and nations?

NI: Yes, I have.

After WW II, People’s Republic of China was established by Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (Mao Zedong) in 1949. In 1972 the then prime minister of Japan, Mr. Kakuei Tanaka visited China, met the chairman. They held very friendly discussion and after intense negotiations a Peace Treaty was concluded between the two great neighbor countries on August 12, 1978.

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

Mr. Tanaka, coming from an impoverished farming family, climbed to the top of the political ladder with his open character, inborn personality of kindness and candor to ordinary people, and gumption. Chairman Mao comes from a remote local small farmer, won the civil war with Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek (Chiang Chieh-Shih) and his followers, and initiated the revolutionary communist government.

According to the Peace Treaty China totally relinquished the right of war reparation toward Japan, which could have been a colossal amount. Ever since then, amicable relations between the two countries continue for 38 years, despite occasional territorial and economic frictions.

EN: What strategies do you envision for promoting friendship and peace as an alternative to today’s conflict in areas of global significance?

NI: I worked in Jordan some decades ago. There I was told by many Jordanians I contacted with that they were Palestinians by origin, which their families lived in conflict with Israelis calling them unforgivable felons.

“When they asked me why we did not hate Americans who killed hundreds of thousands of our civilians by atomic bombs, I answered that there is a proverb in Japan, which goes, ‘Let’s wash away the past.’ It means the same when a Christian says, ‘Forgive and forget.’ We told them that instead of brooding over how to revenge Americans, spending precious mental energy in that direction, we have concentrated on how to elevate our educational and living standards.”

* * *

To me, Naomichi Ishibashi stands as a symbol of Japanese generosity, friendship and love for humanity. The story of Ishibashi included in my interview may have a great contemporary political significance. His well documented answers may inspire today’s political leaders to overcome relations of hereditary enemies, to build partnerships and collaborate for the common good. Working side to side they have the potential to triumph over adversities.

Elisaveta Nica

I hold a Master in TESOL from APU, CA in addition to a Bachelor ‘s degree in History from “Babes- Bolyaui” University, Cluj Napovca, Romnia. I have a great experience in working on a Culture of Peace through presentations in academic setting and publishing work such as “Culture of Peace Presentation at Kitchener Collegiate Institute (KCI)”in

VIEW Reactions to India’s decision to repeal farm laws


An article from Reuters (reprinted by permission)

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

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

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

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

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

Following are some reactions:

“Generations to come will remember how the farmers of this country put their lives on the line and saved farming in this country. I bow before them.”

“Congratulations on this victory against injustice!”

Question for this article:

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

How effective are mass protest marches?

“Repealing of black laws a step in the right direction … You’re sacrifice has paid dividends.”

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

“We welcome the announcement made by the prime minister, but we need to know the government’s stand on our other key demand of making minimum support prices compulsory for call crops.”

“My heartfelt congratulations to every single farmer who fought relentlessly … This is YOUR VICTORY! My deepest condolences to everyone who lost their loved ones in this fight.”

“The agitation will not be withdrawn immediately, we will wait for the day when agricultural laws will be repealed in Parliament. Along with MSP, the government should also discuss other issues of farmers.”

“It is a win of farmers and this should have been repealed on the day one. These laws are not against the farmers but against the Indian structure. Had the government listened to us on day one many farmers lives could have been saved. You also see the elections are here so the government had to repeal the laws.”

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

“Whether it was fear of losing (Uttar Pradesh) or finally facing up to conscience @BJP govt rolls back farm laws. Just the beginning of many more victories for people’s voices.”