Tag Archives: East Asia

Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A survey by CPNN

We have found 53 events in 14 Asian and Pacific countries. They were listed in Google during the weeks of September 17-28 this year under the key words “International day of peace”, “Peace Day” and 国际和平日 (Chinese). The events also include some listed on the facebook page for the International Cities of Peace. No doubt there were also events listed on the Internet in languages other than those for which we searched.

In addition to these, there are about 125 events listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but, with the exception of five Montessori schools listed here that sang for the first time this year, there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years.


India, Tamil Ndu, SARVAM villages

AFGHANISTAN

British actor Jude Law said Thursday in Kabul that he took part in the filming of a documentary in Afghanistan to promote the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21. “Afghanistan is the central subject of the second documentary” that Peace One Day is currently filming. Jude Law spoke with reporters alongside Peace One Day founder, British director Jeremy Gilley, at the UN mission in Kabul. The film crew notably visited schools in Jalalabad, in eastern Afghanistan, “to see how this day for peace could save lives”, said the actor, whose stay in Afghanistan took place in the greatest secrecy for security reasons.Mr. Gilley pointed out that the first screening of this film would probably take place in Kabul “in the spring of next year”. “We want to bring this film back to where it was made,” he said, pointing out that this documentary would also be shown in some fifty countries and at festivals.

AUSTRALIA, ASCOT VALE

Centre of Melbourne Multifaith and Others Network (COMMON) invites you to International Peace Day 2022 Family Event. Feature performance by Kate Ceberano. Special guests: MUMUS Medchoir A delicious lunch will be served followed by a program with entertainment, round table discussions and presentations. The event is supported by the State Government Victoria, WIN (Women’s Interfaith Network) Foundation, Somali Community Inc and Youth for Human Rights Australia, Victoria Chapter.

AUSTRALIA, AUCHENFLOWER, QUEENSLAND

Montessori Children’s House joined Montessori schools all over the world to sing for peace on the International Day of Peace to light a candle for peace, for love, for life!

AUSTRALIA, BRAHMA KUMARIS

Brahma Kumaris online vigil for peace. This half hour peace-filled event, including messages of hope and a gentle guided meditation, will celebrate and reinforce compassion, resilience, courage and hope within each one of us, within the community – and for our world.

AUSTRALIA, BRISBANE

International Day of Peace Brisbane Peace Lecture by Megan Davis. This free event will take place at St. John’s Cathedral on September 21. Professor Megan Davis is an Aboriginal Austgralian activist and international human rights lawyer. Her talk will focus on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA

Rotary Club Canberra Burley Griffen sponsors the International Day of Peace Ceremony 21 September 2022, at the Canberra Peace Bell.

AUSTRALIA, DARWIN

On 21st of September is celebrated as the United Nations International Day of Peace. This year Consul Gulfan Afero attended the event organized by the United Nations Association of Australia – the Northern Territory Division (UNAA-NT) at the Darwin Memorial Uniting Church. The representatives from the Islamic, Christian, and Buddhist communities in Darwin as well as the representative from the Indigenous community shared their views about peace and harmony.

AUSTRALIA, MARYBOROUGH

Maryborough Rotary Peace Pole Dedication: On the International Day of Peace, celebrate the dedication of a unique Peace Pole, conceived to celebrate our past, our present, and our future as we move forward together. A Peace Pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the message ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ on each of its sides, usually in different languages.

AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE

UN Peace Day Rally to protect peacemakers like Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. State Library NAARM, 18 September, sponsored by PEN Melbourne, Writers for Peace.

AUSTRALIA, SHEPPARTON

Audio program about event, picnic for peace

AUSTRALIA, TOOWOOMBA

The Peace Day event is to celebrate United Nations International Day of Peace. This event is supported by organisations that contribute to our regions stability, peace and harmony. It is supported by United Nations Association of Australia – Queensland Branch and Toowoomba Regional Council. It has a purpose to unite our diverse community and inspire individuals to contribute to peace and harmony through making connections and raising awareness of community initiatives. On the day there will be food, entertainment, inspirational speakers and organisations that participants can meet.

BANGLADESH, DHAKA

To establish united peace, JMI Group has celebrated International Day of Peace-2022, declared by the United Nations with due dignity like every year keeping in mind the motto of this year, “End Racism, Build Peace”. On Wednesday morning, in a discussion meeting organized at the ‘Abdus Salam’ auditorium of the National Press Club, speakers highlighted the importance of observing World Peace Day with the aim of creating public opinion to achieve happiness and peace for humanity regardless of caste, religion and color, said a press release.

BANGLADESH, NOAKHALI

ORGANIZATION: Participatory Research & Action Network- PRAAN – FOCUS: Intl Peace Day – ACTION DETAILS: Organizing in solidarity with CNV Sept 21st (Wed) Int’l Day of Peace

BANGLADESH, NORTH SOUTH UNIVERSITY

The Center for Peace Studies of South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance of North South University has celebrated International Day of Peace by holding a peace peocession, releasing pigeons and planting tree at the NSU recently, said a press release.

CAMBODIA, STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER

Prime Minister Hun Sen says Cambodia has been actively engaging with all countries within both regional and international diplomacy frameworks to promote peace, stability and prosperity. In a public address marking the International Day of Peace on September 21, he said that as the chair of ASEAN this year, Cambodia has been steering the bloc through numerous unprecedented challenges, in line with the theme “ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together”.

CHINA, BEIJING

On September 21, on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the International Day of Peace, the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (and the Disarmament Council) held a conference entitled “Practicing the Global Security Initiative and Maintaining World Peace and Stability” commemoration of the International Day of Peace. Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and President of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament Ma Biao, and representatives of 244 political organizations, peace organizations and security advisory organizations from around the world attended the commemorative event. 

CHINA, CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF HEFEI

On Wednesday, September 21st, the CISH community observed the International Day of Peace. This is an international day of observance recognized by the United Nations and intended to be a moment for calm reflection on the importance of peace in local and global communities. Students and staff at CISH wrote positive messages about peace focused around this year’s theme of “End Racism – Build Peace”.

CHINA, STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT

On September 21, the commemoration of the 2022 International Day of Peace was held in Beijing. General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the commemorative event. Xi Jinping pointed out that at present, the international security situation is undergoing profound and complex changes, and the world has entered a new period of turbulence and change. At this important historical juncture, I put forward a global security initiative, advocating that all countries adhere to a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, pay attention to the reasonable security concerns of all countries, and conduct dialogue and consultation. Settle differences and disputes between countries, share responsibility for maintaining peace, follow the path of peaceful development, and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

INDIA, AGARTALA

Photo: Kids from a pre-school hold paper pigeons to mark the International Day of Peace in Agartala, capital city of India’s northeastern state of Tripura.

INDIA, ASSAM

The NSS PG Unit of Dibrugarh University celebrated the International Day of Peace on 21st September 2022 at Bishnurabha hall. A talk on the role of volunteers in making a peaceful society was delivered by Dr. Kaustubh Kumar Deka, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Dibrugarh University. Around 150 volunteers and students participated in the celebration.

INDIA, BANGALORE

Rotary Club of Bangalore will observe World Peace Day on September 21, at Rotary House of Friendship, Lavelle Road. . . . The evening programme will have sessions by Nobel Peace laureate Mahithi Bharatesh, who works with the United Nations World Food Programme, and N Parthsarathi, who has served with the Indian Foreign Service for more than three decades. Artists G Subra and Shirley Mathew will paint their idea of peace, and fusion band Akhandha will perform.

INDIA, BHOPAL

Fifteen students of Bachelor of Physical Education and Sports (BPES) course visited hospitals, schools-colleges, social institutions, government offices, religious places and public places on cycle and informed people about the importance of World Peace Day.

INDIA, BHUBANESWAR

International Day of Peace was celebrated at Blossoms school here yesterday. To mark the day, several activities were planned in the school. The new look to the ‘Peace Wall’, the open discussion on respecting and accepting others’ opinions, the peace-based crafts and the paintings of the peace symbols were just few such activities taken up by the students. Some cultural programs were also performed by the junior wing.

INDIA, GANDHI NAGAR

Jammu and Kashmir Bharat Scouts and Guides celebrated ‘International Peace Day’ by holding a programme at SHQ, Gandhi Nagar, here today. ID Soni, former State Commissioner (S) J&K Bharat Scouts and Guides was the chief guest, while Atual Kumar, Joint Director Youth Services and Sports Jammu was the special guest on the occasion. All the dignitaries took active part and gave their views on the Day under the theme “End Racism and Build Peace” in a very impressive and touching manner

INDIA, GOA

The theme for International day of peace was “End Racism Build Peace”. Vidya Vikas Academy celebrated this occasion by conducting a special assembly. A skit on peace was performed by the students which enlightened us on the importance of peace. Students also performed two songs highlighting the theme and stressed on peace being the need of the hour. There was a short quiz conducted for the audience on this theme. The objective of this assembly was to enlighten the students about the importance of peace, to heal the world and make it a better place.

(Survey continued in right column)

Question for this article

What has happened this year (2022) for the International Day of Peace?

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INDIA, JAMMU

NSS GGM Science College celebrated International Day of Peace on September 21. . . . . NSS volunteers made a Peace wall pasting posters and slogans. They carried out signature campaign. The theme focuses on promoting harmony among the various communities living. The theme encourages embracing diversity with peace and acceptance. International Day of Peace promotes inclusiveness, trust, and cooperation to bring peace and harmony among societies. The co-existence of the individuals is the main aim behind the celebration of International Day of Peace. The day also recognizes all the efforts to have been working and have worked towards building a culture of peace.

INDIA, CHÜMOUKEDIMA, NAGALAND

The Department of Political Science, St Joseph University (SJU), Chümoukedima observed the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, 2022 themed ‘End Racism, Build Peace’ on September 21. The occasion was marked with a talk by Dr Kethoser Aniu Kevuchusa, Freelance Speaker and Academic on the topic, ‘Peace in the context of Naga Political Conflict’, the university stated in a press release.  . . . . Results of class-based competitions on flag designing and sketch/painting held the day prior, were also declared and winners felicitated.

INDIA, NAGPUR

On 21st September, 2022, the UN International Day of Peace, India Peace Centre hosted its signature annual event, the IPC Bicycle Rally For Peace. The Bicycle Rally for Peace is a brainchild of Dr. Rawal, and has been held every year since 2013. After a break of two years, due to Covid, this year the Rally was conceived on a much bigger scale. Online Registrations were opened 10 days in advance to facilitate easy registrations. The people of Nagpur gave a tremendous response to the rally, and registrations were closed after crossing 1050 registrations!

INDIA, NEW DELHI, ARDEE SCHOOL

FOCUS: Intl Peace Day – ACTION DETAILS: Creating awareness by organising a march.

INDIA, NEW DELHI, SRRO

A National Seminar organized by Social Reforms & Research Organization on the occasion of Vishwa Shanti Diwas (World Peace Day) in series of Vishwa Dharm Samvad. Subject: INDIA’S GROWING ROLE IN WORLD PEACE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

INDIA, NEW DELHI, SAARC
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Under the leadership of Rachna Sharma, Founder – Phuro Innovations, and Co-Chair – Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs India – an evening with an event titled “Political Peace Dialogue – SAARC” will be organized on 21 September 2022, 0500 PM onwards for supporting World Peace Day at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Saket, New Delhi.

INDIA, NONEY

On the occasion of International Day of Peace, Noney Battalion of Assam Rifles (East) organised an awareness programme on Wednesday at T Khonom village as a part of its continuous efforts to promote peace, harmony and stability in the area.

 . . .

The event was attended by village authorities, villagers, youth organisations of T Khonom village and neighbouring village of Pholjang and school children of Thanglongbung UJB School, T Khonom.

 . . 

Troops of Kotlen Company, also organised a painting competition for children of all age groups under the theme of International Peace Day to inculcate essence of peace and its importance in human life in young minds, through means of colours and creative imagination.

INDIA, PUNE

World Peace Day was celebrated at Victorious Kidss Educares (VKE) on September 21, to cultivate attributes of global citizenship in the students. Following the theme, the students participated in Peace Match’, a sports venture for a cause, ‘Peace Tree’, an activity curating an installation with artistic responses of students with ideas of peace, ‘Peace Yoga’, observed through students doing Surya Namaskara and ‘Peace Symbol’ curated by the grade 8 students where they created a human chain to form Peace Symbol. ‘Peace Card’ initiative was observed by all students of the Programme to craft an individual artistic response for Peace. Besides, ‘Peace Mob’ was choreographed and performed by the dance students to shout out the idea of Peace.

INDIA, RAJASTHAN

ORGANIZATION: Rajputana Society of Natural History – FOCUS: Intl Peace Day – ACTION DETAILS: Organizing in solidarity with CNV Action Days: Sept 21st, Int’l Day of Peace

INDIA, TAMIL NADU, SARVAM VILLAGES

SARVAM organised an awareness programme for the students and women of the villages under its purview. The main objective of this programme was to help the students and women understand that they have a significant role in creating peace in their families and society. The participants were delighted to attend this session, which gave them much motivation and new thoughts on peace.

NEPAL, KATMANDOU

Nepal has marked the International Day of Peace since 2002 by organizing several activities. On the occasion today, various organizations, including Human Rights and Peace Society (HURPES) and The Story Kitchen (TSK) are hosting programs to assert global peace.

NEW ZEALAND, AUKLAND

Video: Lajna New Zealand hold their 11th Peace Symposium

NEW ZEALAND, AUKLAND

Kohimarama Montessori Pre School joined Montessori schools all over the world to sing for peace on the International Day of Peace to light a candle for peace, for love, for life!

NEW ZEALAND, HAWKE’S BAY

ORGANIZATION: World Beyond War Aotearoa- New Zealand – FOCUS: Intl Peace Day, Ending Wars & Nukes, Teach Ins – ACTION DETAILS: Organizing in solidarity with CNV Action Days: Sept 21st (Wed) Int’l Day of Peace.

NEW ZEALAND, PALMERSTON NORTH, AWAPUNI

Montessori Educare joined Montessori schools all over the world to sing for peace on the International Day of Peace to light a candle for peace, for love, for life!

NEW ZEALAND, WHANGANUI

The 20th anniversary of the Handspan Peace Sculpture and the International Day of Peace celebration is gathering community momentum ahead of the event on September 21. In rededicating the original idea of having tiles with hand casts from local and broader communities on Handspan, it symbolises collective efforts in creating a culture of peace.

PAKISTAN, ISLAMABAD

Political and rights activist Jalila Haider on Friday won the first-ever ‘Pakistan Peace Award’ for her work and contribution to bring tolerance and sustainable peace in the country., The Peace Award was given to Ms Jalila here at the “Pakistan Peace Festival” organized by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA). . . . The lawmakers, academicians, former diplomats, retired army officers, journalists, rights activists, and representatives of civil society participated in the event besides others. The other key events at the festival included “art exhibition, live theatre, music concert, poster competition and cultural dance performance.” . . . Director PIPS Muhammad Amir Rana in his earlier remarks said that violence was the biggest challenge Pakistan was facing today and the purpose of the launch of document of “Charter of Peace” was to make efforts to counter violent behaviours prevalent in the society and promote peace and tolerance.  “We aim to keep this award an annual activity to be announced each year around International Peace Day (21 Sep),” he said while talking about the Peace Award.

PAKISTAN, KARACHI

International Peace Day was celebrated at MiTE (Millennium Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship) today where students shared their thoughts about Peace and how they can inculcate it across the nation. Free brownies were distributed among the students as a symbol of peace, sharing, love and joy

PAKISTAN, RAWALPINDI

As many as 54 paintings and posters by the youth were put on display at the Punjab Arts Council Rawalpindi to commemorate the United Nations International Day for Peace on Wednesday. The exhibits are an outcome of the art competition organized by the Devcom-Pakistan (Development Communications Network) to mark another significant day of the UN. Islamabad Crescent Lion Club supported the event.

PHILIPPINES, ALABEL, SARANGANI

Various peace advocates and peace partners of the provincial government of Sarangani participated in the peace covenant signing on September 21 at the Capitol gym. Signing of the Peace Covenant with the stakeholders from all over the seven municipalities of Sarangani was in line with the celebration of the International Day of Peace every 21st of September, as declared by the United Nations.

PHILIPPINES, TUGUEGARAO CITY

September 21, 2022 – St. Paul University Philippines (SPUP), in cooperation with the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (WCCI), celebrated the International Day of Peace. . . . Organized by the Paulinian Student Government (PSG) and the Center for External Relations, Alumni, and Advocacies, SPC Sisters, Administrators, Faculty members, staff and personnel, students, and parents gathered together to celebrate the event. The main program began with a “WALK for PEACE” led by student-leaders of the different organizations in the University. They held placards of Bible quotations on peace and care for creation aimed at instilling collective consciousness to work for building peace and stewardship as a personal and an institutional commitment. This was followed by an Ecumenical Liturgy consisted of the symbolic offering, intercessory prayers, and the prayer for peace. The prayer gathering emphasized the call to peace and care for creation as a communal act and a responsibility. The activity culminated by a pledge of commitment through the “THREAD of PEACE” and the community singing of “Let There Be Peace” by all the participants.

PHILIPPINES, VALENZUELA

Memo from the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. We are pleased to inform you that there will be a celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 24,2022 at the Bonifacio Shrine, Heroes Park; Ermita, Manila.

SOUTH KOREA, REFUGEE TRAIL

On a beautiful Sunday morning, 18 Sept 2022, refugees who live in South Korea and local peace activists set foot on a peace trail celebrating the International Day of Peace 2022. The event was organized by Active Refugee Korea (ARK), supported by UNHCR local office. Interestingly, the trail started with a guided tour at the War Memorial Hall of Korea Museum, which is located in Yongsan District, Seoul, “visiting with a critical eye”. “For refugees who fled persecution, violence and war-torn homes hoping to find security, a longing for peace would be profound. Nevertheless, the notion of peace will vary depending on the concrete realities we face in our lives, communities, and nations”. This was an urgent calling for peace on the organizers’ side who actively challenged militarism, distorted narratives of wars, and perpetrators justifying increasing military capacity.

SOUTH KOREA, SEOUL

Montessori DAMI joined Montessori schools all over the world to sing for peace on the International Day of Peace to light a candle for peace, for love, for life!

SRI LANKA, UNIVERSITY OF KELANIYA

An event to celebrate the International Day of Peace was held at 11a.m. at the K2 002 hall of the University of Kelaniya on the 21st of September 2022. The Department of Philosophy of the University of Kelaniya celebrated this day with the slogan “End Racism, Build Peace” with the aim of promoting peace among communities and individuals as it directs to embrace diversity and support one another to the fullest extent possible. 

THAILAND, BANGKOK, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Due to COVID restrictions still in place for our student assemblies, ISB’s International Day of Peace event, originally scheduled for September 21st, 2022, has been moved to March 21st, 2023. In unity with Peace Day events held around the world, ISB will observe a moment of silence at 9:15am on September 21st to remember those who have suffered because of racism, and given their lives fighting against racism.   

THAILAND, BANGKOK, PATANA SCHOOL

At the Bangkok Patana School, World Peace Day was celebrated today across campus in both Primary and Secondary schools, with non-uniform day donations going toward the various school community charity clubs. Dressed in purple and blue, students participated in activities that emphasised world peace. Primary students handcrafted paper cranes, which will be sent to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to be integrated into the Children’s Peace Monument at Peace Memorial Park. In Secondary school, the well-being Hub hosted a movie day, karaoke was on in the Lounge and students were asked to share what peace means to them on chalkboards in the shared areas.

VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH CITY

Learn n Play Kindergarten joined Montessori schools all over the world to sing for peace on the International Day of Peace to light a candle for peace, for love, for life!

Launch of Philippine National Action Plan on Youth, Peace, and Security

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

Article composed of excerpts from 4 facebook pages as indicated

Facebook page of National Youth Commission (NYC)

The National Youth Commission, through its Chairperson and CEO USec. Ronald Cardema and Commissioner representing Mindanao ASec. Alexa Dayanghirang, witnessed another milestone of the youth during the launching of NAP-YPS at the PICC on August 30, 2022.

The NAP-YPS is a 10-year plan that details key action points strengthening the meaningful participation of young people in peacebuilding, governance, protection of human rights, and the implementation of global and national sustainable development agenda.

It is also the first youth-led and multi-stakeholder driven national policy on youth, peace, and security in the Philippines.


Photo from NYC facebook

In his welcome remarks, Chairperson Cardema stressed the importance of NAP-YPS and expressed his support to the initiatives of the partner agencies, and the youth in building the future of the country. Commissioner Dayanghirang also also delivered her message of support as the Commissioner representing Mindanao and likewise expressed her gratitude to the partners in making the launch possible.

Youth contributors and representatives from partner agencies were also present to witness the launching.

Here’s to youth as our partners in nation-building!

Facebook page of Meg Vallanueva, August 31

Yesterday, August 30, the Philippines launched its National Action Plan on Youth, Peace and Security (NAPYPS). It is the 1st in Asia and the 4th in the world.

This NAP was written BY YOUNG PEOPLE. Their draft was circulated to a multi-stakeholders group, where academic institutions, CSOs, and national government agencies were able to contribute. On its last and final editing, government agencies such as DILG, DepEd, PCW, NYC, OPAPRU, JJWC, TESDA partnered with the editors to finalize their respective pillars.

Yesterday, 5 of the core writers presented a summary of the contents of the NAP. Carmela Francesca Adelantar spoke about the challenge she had in the protection pillar – to grasp and represent the myriad of challenges of Filipino youth in armed conflict. Brian Delos Santos shared a story from his context in Masbate and the importance of moving away from treating young people as beneficiaries to actually considering them true and equal partners. Abdulrahman shared his insights as a young leader and public servant from Tawi Tawi and the importance of supporting young people’s work in peace all the way. I didn’t know Jawi-Jawi means ‘far far or a far place’ Samuel C. Madriaga shared about how meaningful and youth responsive DDR – that includes provision for entrepreneurship opportunities should be put in place to help young combatants and those affected by armed conflict reintegrate into society fully. Lastly Dan represented the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) one of the most unique youth government structures in the world, and how the SK could be maximized to play a big role in YPS. He has been setting this example!

Hearing these young people speak and share yesterday, gave me the full circle of my own journey as a trainer and facilitator in youth and peacebuilding. When I decided to come back to the Philippines in 2017 after living and working abroad, I had one goal in mind – to share everything I learned to the Filipino youth, especially in Mindanao. Hearing my name mentioned by them during their speeches and sharing – as a mentor, as a facilitator, and to be remembered for the lines or phrases I shared in the past – made me feel so grateful and FULL.

I turn 40 next year, the age limit for youth in some countries, but sometimes I feel like I’m still 24 running around the UN back then with David Adams, lobbying permanent mission delegates to include young people in their statements. Back then, ‘to be mentioned’ was the first step and it was good enough. We followed speeches and highlighted mentions of youth that you can count with one finger! With Nick Martin and Helene Leneveu I remember how frustrated we were at some countries who ‘betrayed us’ and didn’t mention young people.

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Question related to this article:
 
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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And here we are now. Young people asking to be considered equal partners in peace and security. Young people asking for trust from the government. Young people rallying their fellow youth to meaningfully participate in peace.

We’ve come a long way. What a meaningful journey!

Young people wrote this NAP, other stakeholders contributed to its final stages.

And I think it is time for me to let this sink in: ‘as the branch of the tree where the bird sits get older and eventually breaks, there’s no need to worry because the wings of this bird are strong enough and ready to fly’

Facebook page of Brian Delos Santos, August 30

Today, at Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) , we officially launched the Philippine National Action Plan on Youth, Peace and Security (NAPYPS), which represents a historic milestone by the youth #FortheFilipinoYouth

The Philippines is the 4th country in the WORLD to have a NAPYPS and the 1st in ASIA.

I am delighted that I have contributed to the advancement of our country, especially for the youth.

Being a core writer of this 10-year National Action Plan is a great legacy I will treasure forever.

During my speech, I emphasized that the youth must not be mere benefactors but partners in decision-making at the national and local levels.

Here is an excerpt from my speech:

More often than not, Filipino youth are seen as beneficiaries or mere participants of peacebuilding interventions that are supposed to be solutions to address their challenges. The partnership pillar suggests that more young people are given leadership roles alongside adults to increase ownership and sustainability of these interventions.

The outcome we want in the partnership pillar is that the Filipino youth are considered meaningful and trusted equal partners in the implementation of the whole-of-society and whole-of-nation approach to peace and security initiatives at the national and local levels.

It is, therefore, essential for the government, both the national and local, especially the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, to value and consider the youth not as mere benefactors but as partners in development planning and decision-making processes. With the youth in the equation, peace may no longer be elusive.

As an emerging leader, I think beyond the present, I think beyond oneself, and I value the life of others.

Kilos Kabataan, ORAS NATIN ‘TO!

Facebook page of Samuel C. Madriaga, August 30

Kabataan para sa kapayapaan at para sa Bayan 🕊🇵🇭

Today, we celebrated the historic Ceremonial Launching of the Philippine’s National Action Plan on Youth, Peace, and Security (NAPYPS) at the PICC.

The NAPYPS is a significant platform for the Filipino youth to be involved in designing evidence-based solutions and formulating rights-based policies that could strengthen our advocacy of building safer spaces for all. Driven by its youth-centered campaign, this serves as an impetus for every Filipino youth to assert our collective narratives and power to contribute to the development of sustainable strategies and actions towards a just, peaceful, and genuinely progressive Philippines.

It was an honor for me to represent the Kabataang San Pableño and serve as one of NAPYPS’ core writers. Thank you so much to OPAPPRU, Ma’am Roxy Figueroa-Mallari, Ms. Meg Villanueva, and Kuya Aldren Hila for this opportunity. We’ll continue to stand and serve with our peace champions para sa kapayapaan, para sa kabataan at para sa Bayan! #NAPYS

Nagasaki mayor warns of ‘crisis’ on atom bomb anniversary

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Radio France International

Nuclear weapons present a “tangible and present crisis” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the mayor of Nagasaki said Tuesday, August 9, the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing that destroyed the Japanese city.

On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki was flattened in an inferno that killed 74,000 people, three days after the world’s first nuclear bomb attack in Hiroshima.

The twin strikes by the United States led to the end of World War II, and to this day Japan remains the only country to be hit by atomic weapons in wartime.

But on Tuesday, mayor Tomihisa Taue sounded a note of alarm.

“In January this year, the leaders of the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China released a joint statement affirming that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’,” he said.

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Question related to this article:
 
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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“However, the very next month Russia invaded Ukraine. Threats of using nuclear weapons have been made, sending shivers throughout the globe.

“The use of nuclear weapons is not a ‘groundless fear’ but a ‘tangible and present crisis’,” Taue said, warning that they could be unleashed through mistaken judgements, malfunctions or in terror attacks.

Survivors and foreign dignitaries joined by hundreds of members of the public offered a silent prayer at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the exact moment the bomb was dropped on the port city.

Bells rang out and doves were released during the sombre memorial at Nagasaki’s Peace Park, with purified water offered in a prayer ceremony for the victims who died of burns and other injuries.

Instead of waging war, mankind should foster “a ‘culture of peace’ that spreads trust, respects others and seeks resolutions through dialogue”, Taue said.

On Saturday, UN head Antonio Guterres gave a speech in Hiroshima on the anniversary of the attack that killed around 140,000 people, including those who perished after the blast from radiation exposure.

He warned that “humanity is playing with a loaded gun” as crises with the potential for nuclear disaster proliferate worldwide.

A message from Guterres, read out in Japanese at Tuesday’s ceremony, said that “in these times of high tensions and low levels of trust, we should draw on the lessons of Nagasaki”.

Japan has long called for a world free of nuclear weapons but has not joined a nuclear ban treaty that took effect in 2021, saying it hopes to bridge the gap between nuclear powers which did not join the treaty and non-nuclear countries.

Full text of Hiroshima Peace Declaration on 77th A-bomb anniversary

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from The Mainichi

The following is the full text of the Peace Declaration read on Aug. 6 by Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui at a ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.


Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui delivers the Peace Declaration during the memorial ceremony on the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city, at Peace Memorial Park in the city’s Naka Ward, on Aug. 6, 2022. (Mainichi/Daiki Takikawa)

“I adored my mother; she raised me with such kindness and care.” The woman speaking was 16 when she left home carrying the lunch her mother had lovingly prepared. She never imagined it would be their final parting. Summer, 77 years ago. That morning, without warning, the first nuclear weapon was dropped and detonated over humanity. Standing near Hiroshima Station, the girl saw a terrifying flash. Then came a thunderous roar. Striking from behind, the blast blew her through the air and knocked her unconscious. When she came to, she wandered through the smoldering city, searching for her mother. She saw a horrifying number of blackened bodies. One charred corpse still stood, clinging to the neck of a cow. Bodies floating in the river drifted up and down with the tide. She still remembers the morning when everyday life vanished violently into scenes from hell.

In invading Ukraine, the Russian leader, elected to protect the lives and property of his people, is using them as instruments of war, stealing the lives and livelihoods of innocent civilians in another country. Around the world, the notion that peace depends on nuclear deterrence gains momentum. These errors betray humanity’s determination, born of our experiences of war, to achieve a peaceful world free from nuclear weapons. To accept the status quo and abandon the ideal of peace maintained without military force is to threaten the very survival of the human race. We must stop repeating these mistakes. Above all, entrusting a nuclear button to any world leader is to sanction continued nuclear threats to humanity and potential re-creation of the hellscape of August 6, 1945. We must immediately render all nuclear buttons meaningless.

Must we keep tolerating self-centeredness that threatens others, even to the point of denying their existence? We should take to heart the words of Leo Tolstoy, the renowned Russian author of “War and Peace,” who advised, “Never build your happiness on the misfortune of others, for only in their happiness can you find your own.”

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(Click here for a version in French.)

Question related to this article:
 
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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Earlier this year, the five nuclear-weapon states issued a joint statement: “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” They further declared their intent to “…remain committed to our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations.” Having issued such a statement, why do they not attempt to fulfill their promises? Why do some even hint at using nuclear weapons? The nuclear powers must act now to build bridges of trust among nations. Rather than treating a world without nuclear weapons like a distant dream, they should be taking concrete steps toward its realization. I call on the leaders of the nuclear-weapon states to visit the atomic-bombed cities where they can personally encounter the consequences of using nuclear weapons and strengthen their will to take these steps. I want them to understand that the only sure way to protect the lives and property of their people is to eliminate nuclear weapons. I fervently hope that the leaders who attend the G7 Summit in Hiroshima next year will reach this conclusion.

With the hibakusha’s (A-bomb survivors’) will to peace at our core, and inheriting the “never-give-up” spirit of hibakusha leader Tsuboi Sunao, who dedicated his life to the cause, Hiroshima will continue striding toward nuclear weapons abolition, however arduous the path.

Mayors for Peace, now a network of 8,200 peace cities around the world, will hold its 10th General Conference in Hiroshima this year. That conference will work toward a civil society in which each and every citizen shares the conviction that happy lives require an end to war, an end to armed conflict, and an end to life-threatening social discrimination. In that pursuit, we will intensify cooperation among our peace-minded member cities to promote a “culture of peace” that rejects all forms of violence. Mayors for Peace encourages policymakers to pursue foreign policies through dialogue without relying on nuclear deterrence.

This past June, the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) adopted a declaration that, against the backdrop of the Russian invasion, categorically rejects the threat of nuclear weapons. With nuclear weapons-dependent states participating as observers, the meeting specifically stressed that the TPNW contributes to and complements the NPT. Therefore, I demand first that the Japanese government serve as mediator at the NPT Review Conference. Then, Japan must participate in the next Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, promptly become a State Party itself, and wholeheartedly support the movement toward nuclear weapons abolition.

The average age of the hibakusha now exceeds 84, and their lives are still impaired by radiation’s adverse effects on their minds and bodies. Thus, I further demand that the Japanese government empathize with their suffering to better offer them enhanced support measures.

Today, at this Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorating 77 years since the bombing, we offer heartfelt condolences to the souls of the atomic bomb victims. Together with Nagasaki and likeminded people around the world, we pledge to do everything in our power to abolish nuclear weapons and light the way toward lasting world peace.

ASEAN Regional Forum Statement to promote peace, stability, and prosperity through confidence building measures and preventing diplomacy

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article from The Diplomatic Service of the European Union

The 29th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was held on 5 August 2022, in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, under the Kingdom of Cambodia’s 2022 ASEAN Chairmanship.

REAFFIRMING the responsibility of all members to uphold the principles of mutual respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and equal rights of all nations as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and calling on all nations to exercise maximum self-restraint and make utmost efforts to pursue peaceful dialogue through all channels, including diplomatic means to reduce tensions and mitigate conflicts;


The 29th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) opened in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on August 5 with the participation of foreign ministers from countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Source: baoquocte.vn

RECOGNISING the impacts and uncertainties posed by the growing complexities of regional and global security challenges, including traditional and non-traditional security issues, and ACKNOWLEDGING that such challenges require a holistic and comprehensive approach to address these challenges;

RECOGNISING the continued relevance of the ARF and the commitment of its members  in promoting and maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and its vital role in building confidence and trust amongst its participants;

REAFFIRMING the commitment of the ARF in fostering constructive dialogue and cooperation on political and security issues of common interest and concern, enhancing mutual understanding and transparency, accepting and whenever possible reconciling divergent views to reduce the risk to security, promoting respect for international law, including the UN Charter and its related instruments as well as promoting confidence-building and preventive diplomacy to maintain peace, stability, and prosperity in the region;

REITERATING the basic principles contained within the 1994 ARF Concept Paper, which is an important foundational document that has guided the development of the ARF since its inception;

ACKNOWLEDGING the importance placed by ASEAN on the principles and objectives in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific;

COGNIZANT of the significance of dialogue encompassing interfaith and inter-cultural interaction as well as efforts to promote respect, understanding and tolerance among people of all religions and no religions, beliefs and cultures as an important part of ARF efforts to promote peace and security;

RECALLING all the principles and purposes of the United Nations as set out in the Charter of the United Nations which calls for maintaining the international peace and security; and underlining the necessity of respecting human rights and international humanitarian law in resolving conflicts;

REAFFIRMING the role of ASEAN as the primary driving force of the ARF and emphasizing that the active, and equal participation and cooperation of all ARF participants is critical for the success of the ARF;

UNDERSCORING the importance of Cambodia’s ASEAN theme “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together” for 2022, which calls on ASEAN Member States to uphold the spirit of togetherness and to reinforce ASEAN’s founding principles, as well as address major challenges with perseverance and fortitude so as to further develop an ASEAN Community where all peoples live in harmony, peace, stability, and prosperity;

EMPHASISING the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes and sustaining peace, particularly through the prevention of armed conflict, strengthening of the rule of law, and promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, poverty eradication, social development, sustainable development, reconciliation and unity including through inclusive dialogue and mediation, access to justice, accountability, good governance, and gender equality while promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms;

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Question related to this article:

Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?

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CONCERNED that despite the ARF’s best efforts and successful endeavours, security threats and challenges that could undermine the peace, security and stability of the region still exist, and that such challenges are increasingly multifaceted in nature which require our common resolve and cooperation to address them;

STRESSING the importance of creating a favourable environment for enhancing cooperation among our countries in keeping with the principles of consensus, equality, partnership, consultation, and mutual respect, and the value of ARF as a venue for constructive dialogue, thereby contributing to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world at large;

Do hereby endeavour to:

1 . Renew our individual and collective commitment to build upon the achievements of the ARF and strengthen dialogue and cooperation in existing and new areas to promote and maintain regional peace and security;

2. Commit to maintain and promote peace, stability and prosperity through confidence building measures and preventive diplomacy in the spirit of upholding the fundamental principles of international law as reflected in the UN Charter and ASEAN basic principles, and shared values and norms;

3. Deepen cooperation towards a collective and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic; advance regional recovery through effective COVID-19 vaccine rollout management and support the enhancement of ASEAN-led regional cooperation and initiatives, including the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its Implementation Plan, in ensuring equitable access to safe, effective and quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines;

4. Work jointly to encourage constructive dialogue and partnerships to build common ground for cooperation in areas of mutual concern and shared interest and peaceful settlement of international disputes;

5. Exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would and affect peace and stability, to refrain from the threat or use of force, to adhere to the principles of preventive diplomacy and to resolve differences and disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law;

6. Further strengthen cooperation among ARF Participants in the response to emerging traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including through information sharing, awareness raising, as well as capacity building measures;

7. Commit to concrete and practical cooperation to address issues of common interests, with the view to build capacity, develop expertise and enhance coordination in areas that can contribute to the region’s collective security objectives;

8 . Conduct more concrete and effective confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy (CBMs and PD), so as to promote mutual respect, dialogue and consultation, and a culture of peace and non-violence, which can contribute to avoiding misunderstanding and miscalculation, promote the purposes and principles as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, and support multilateralism founded on the principles stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations and on the basis of international law;

9 . Support ASEAN Centrality as driving force in upholding an open, transparent and inclusive regional architecture based on the principles of international law; 

10 . Explore new possible areas of cooperation in accordance with the objective of ARF to promote mutual trust and respect and mutual benefit, thereby contributing to regional peace, stability, and long-term prosperity and sustainability;

11 . Support the enhanced role of the ARF Chair in facilitating dialogue and consultation among ARF Participants to promote confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy (CBMs and PD) in the ARF process;

12 . Promote cooperation in peacebuilding initiatives including through encouraging the participation of women and youth in peace processes, foster the sharing of experience, best practices, capacity building, and collaboration on political and security issues of common interest and concern, including in humanitarian assistance and demining actions towards achieving peace, stability, prosperity, and sustainability in the region and beyond.

Adopted on the Fifth of August in the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-Two (2022) at the 29th ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.

(Editor’s note: ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The member states are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.)

Ulaanbaatar Statement on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from the International Peace Bureau

Nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) scholars and experts have met on 9-10 June 2022 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and discussed the importance, challenges and prospects of NWFZ development in this period of the post-cold war era.

The participants expressed their conviction that the most effective way to prevent nuclear weapons threats is their total elimination.


Demarcation of nuclear-weapon-free zones, nuclear-weapon-free states and nuclear-weapon-free geographical regions

Today two parallel developments are unfolding in international relations. On the one hand, nuclear weapons of the cold-war era of the then two superpowers have been substantially reduced by mutual agreement. A number of NWFZs have been established bringing thus their number to five zones with 116 states that have committed to ban the manufacture, deployment and transit of nuclear weapons through their territories preventing thus proliferation of nuclear weapons in those concrete regions. South Africa has ended and dismantled its nuclear weapons program and became part of a NWFZ, while some others in Europe and Asia have agreed to remove their weapons in exchange for security assurances and become parties to the NPT. The participants called for further strengthening of the TPNW through its broader signing and ratifying as well as for concrete results for arms control and nuclear disarmament at the 10th NPT Review conference.

Currently the idea of establishing of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is being under consideration. Informal exchanges of views and ideas to establish a Northeast Asian NWFZ and a zone in the Arctic are being discussed. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has entered into force and provides a legal framework to delegitimize further nuclear weapons and strengthen the global norms to abolish such weapons. 

On the other hand, in parallel with the above positive changes troubling developments are also underway. Thus the number of states possessing nuclear weapons have increased, new generations of such weapons and even mini-nukes are being introduced in national arsenals lowering thus the decades of nuclear weapons use taboo. There is a dangerous trend to assign broader roles to such weapons in nuclear doctrines and rationalization of their use. Time and space are becoming dominant military and geopolitical factors with all the ensuing consequences.

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Question related to this article:
 
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The established NWFZs are working to coordinate closer their activities so as to contribute to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. To make NWFZs more credible and effective, all five de jure nuclear weapon states need to sign or ratify without delay the protocols to NWFZ treaties and withdraw reservations or unilateral interpretative statements that affect the statuses of the NWFZs. The states that have assumed international responsibility over dependent territories need to make sure that their responsibilities do not affect the NWFZs or the legitimate interests of the peoples of those territories. 

The international community needs to continue promoting the creation of NWFZs throughout the world as an effective and practical means for gradually achieving the cherished goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Hence to be more effective the very concept of NWFZs needs to be made inclusive. This horizontal expansion of NWFZs should not be limited to groups of states only. Establishment of single-State zones is not anymore an academic issue but has far reaching practical implications.  Individual states due to their geographical location or for some credible political or legal reasons cannot be part of the traditional regional zones and thus be left out. Cumulatively they and their territories far exceed Central Asia and Southeast Asian NWFZ states or their sovereign territories. Ignoring this would result in political vacuums and create loopholes in international law. As is known, the nuclear-weapon-free world that we are all trying to establish would be as strong as its weakest link(s). Therefore second comprehensive study on NWFZs needs to be undertaken to address this and other issues connected with NWFZs and their increasing role in the world.

The participants have underlined that it was time to make practical steps to start the process to establish a Northeast Asian NWFZ. Mindful of the events in Europe, it was pointed out that it was time to think to extend NWFZs to the Northern hemisphere

Disarmament and non-proliferation education constitute important measures that will contribute to the common cherished goal. Therefore states and civil society organizations need to promote programs aimed at instilling the values of one common world as well as of peace and disarmament as the means to ensure such a world in their educational programs and academic works.  

The participants have congratulated Mongolia on the 30th year of its unprecedented initiative to establish a single-State NWFZ and ensure that no state or territory is left out of the common effort to establish a nuclear-weapon-free world.

UN rights chief concludes China trip with promise of improved relations

. HUMAN RIGHTS .

An article from the United Nations

High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet during her visit to China, in Ürümqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. (Photo from OHCHR)

At the end of her official visit to China, the first such trip in 17 years, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet announced new areas of engagement between her office and the Chinese Government on rights issues, and summarized the many rights issues raised during her six-day May mission.

During Saturday’s virtual press conference, Ms. Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, outlined the new opportunities for dialogue between her office and the Chinese authorities that were discussed during the visit, which include an annual senior strategic meeting, and a working group that will meet in Beijing and Geneva, as well as online.

The working group, explained Ms. Bachelet, will discuss specific thematic areas, including development, poverty alleviation and human rights, minority rights, business and human rights, counterterrorism and human rights, digital space and human rights, judicial and legal protection, and human rights.

The High Commissioner pointed out that, as her Office does not have a presence in China, the working group will allow for structured engagement on these and other issues, and provide a space for her team to bring specific matters of concern to the attention of the Chinese Government.

Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong on the agenda

During her mission, Ms. Bachelet spoke with a range of government officials, several civil society organisations, academics, and community and religious leaders. In addition, she met several organizations online ahead of the visit, on issues relating to Xinjiang province, Tibet, Hong Kong, and other parts of China. 

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Question for this article:

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

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In Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority, Ms. Bachelet raised questions and concerns about the application of counterterrorism and de-radicalisation measures and their broad application, and encouraged the Government to undertake a review of all counterterrorism and deradicalization policies, to ensure they fully comply with international human rights standards, and are not applied in an arbitrary and discriminatory way.

On the Tibet Autonomous Region, Ms. Bachelet reiterated the importance of protecting the linguistic, religious, and cultural identity of Tibetans, and allowing Tibetans to participate fully and freely in decisions about their religious life, and for dialogue to take place. 

Regarding Hong Kong, Ms. Bachelet urged the Government to nurture – and not stifle – the tremendous potential for civil society and academics in Hong Kong to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights. She described the arrests of lawyers, activists, journalists and others under the National Security Law as “deeply worrying”, and noted that Hong Kong is due to be reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee in July.

“To those who have sent me appeals, asking me to raise issues or cases with the authorities – I have heard you”, she declared. “I will continue to follow up on such issues and instances of concern on a sustained basis”.

‘China has a very important role to play’

The rights chief praised China’s “tremendous achievements” in alleviating poverty, and eradicating extreme poverty, 10 years ahead of its target date. 

The country, she added, has gone a long way towards ensuring protection of the right to health and broader social and economic rights, thanks to the introduction of universal health care and almost universal unemployment insurance scheme. 

A number of other developments in the country were welcomed by Ms. Bachelet, including legislation that improves protection for women’s rights, and work being done by NGOs to advance the rights of LGBTI people, people with disabilities, and older people.

The UN rights chief underscored the important role that China has to play, at a regional and multilateral level, and noted that everyone she met on her visit, from Government officials, civil society, academics, diplomats and others, demonstrated a sincere willingness to make progress on the promotion and protection of human rights for all. 

(Editor’s note: Bachelet’s trip does not support US propaganda claiming that China is engaged in genocide in Xinjiang.)

Australia: On our “frightening” future: how this election shows young people are taking back their voice

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Rose Mary Petrass from The Fifth Estate

This election, young people turned out to vote in record numbers to address the issues they care about most: climate change, housing affordability and the rising cost of living.


Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather unseated Labor in the Queensland electorate of Griffith

You may or may not have heard the news: young people felt ignored in this election.

They felt there was no plan put forward to address the issues that affect them the most: namely, the climate crisis, housing affordability and cost of living. 

Against a backdrop of unprecedented social upheaval, economic uncertainty and collective trauma, young people feel that the future is uncertain. 

They felt that politicians were short-sighted and with selective hearing; that they were prioritising the short-term over the long-term.

So young people turned up in record numbers to let their voices be heard.

A record number of more than 700,000 enrolment applications were received by the Australian Electoral Commission in the span of just one week. 

In fact, 18 April set a record as the biggest single-day enrollment in Australian history, in what was described by the electoral commission as a “modern-day democratic miracle”.

The AEC said about 80,000 18-24 year olds enrolled to vote in the lead up to the election. That means 97 per cent of the eligible population is now enrolled.

“The majority of people who have enrolled to vote since the election was announced are young Australians aged 18 to 24,” Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said.

According to the AEC, young people make up 26 per cent of enrolled Australians; 55 years and older make up around 40 per cent. 

Yet only two per cent of 18-29 year olds believe that politicians are working in the best interests of young Australians, a recent Triple J survey found.

What’s more, a Plan International report in early May revealed that most young women don’t think politics is an equal space for women and people of colour.

Young people are feeling left out of the political discussions, but have proven to be more politically engaged than ever

The unprecedented wins for The Greens, teal independents, women of colour and Indigenous candidates  demonstrate just how powerful that vote really is. 

Let’s take a look at why this election saw such a turnout

In the ABC’s Vote Compass survey, climate change, cost of living and the economy were ranked as the most important issues to Australians this election, with the cost of living seen as more important to voters in 2022 than in the past two elections.
 
Young people are often quickly labelled as being self-absorbed and narcissistic, but it was 18-29 year olds that most commonly put climate action on the top of their wishlists. 

They are seeing climate change as the massive existential threat that it really is, and also seeing the lack of action from those in leadership as a serious red flag.

The climate crisis, like the pandemic and the housing crisis, is also inextricably linked to a mental health crisis, with one study last year finding that young people feel abandoned by their governments and by older generations. Inadequate action by those in power has, according to the study, led to feelings of betrayal, abandonment and “moral injury”.

The results of the study were harrowing. Over half the respondents said they believed “humanity is doomed”.

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Question for this article:

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

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

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Among young people surveyed 84 per cent were “at least moderately worried,” nearly 60 per cent were “very or extremely worried,” and 75 per cent felt that the future was “frightening”. 

Seventy five per cent. 

Let that sink in for a moment.

Yet there was largely radio science from the major parties on climate in this election. No wonder the younger demographic turned out in higher numbers than ever before to vote Green.

The “greenslide” is made mostly of wins for seats that have the highest population of young people. 

Electorates that turned Green (Brisbane, Griffith, and Ryan) have the highest proportion of youth voters in the country.

For example, Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather unseated Labor in the Queensland electorate of Griffith after knocking on 90,000 doors. 

He lives in a sharehouse with his partner and two friends. He represents the majority of youth today who are living in similar circumstances. And his party has had climate at the top of its agenda since the beginning. 

Chandler-Mather says that people have “lost faith in a political system that puts the interests of a few big corporations ahead of the rest of us”. 

Griffith has the third-highest proportion of voters under 30 in the country, at 24.7 per cent.

A similar number of young people live in Melbourne (25.7 per cent), where Adam Bandt held strong. 

“People have delivered a mandate for action on climate and inequality,” Greens leader Adam Bandt said. 

Only 1 per cent of young people believe politicians are working in the best interests of our planet.

This election dragged into the daylight how much those in power treat our high-stakes future like a game, offering what last week we called “show bags stuffed with a few self-interested goodies” against large-scale existential threats to the survival of humanity.

Young Australians simply didn’t have many options on the ballot paper.

For example, much of the election focused on cost of living, without much in the way of housing affordability. 

Young people have been actively encouraged to tap into their superannuation in recent years, and steal from their future in order to afford a roof over their head. 

Australia is staring down the barrel of a housing affordability crisis. This year, house prices have jumped by 22.4 per cent, the biggest price increase since 1989. Rental prices in capital cities rose by up to 21.2 per cent in the 12 months to April.

With the average house in Sydney and Melbourne selling for over $1 million, many young adults are forced to keep living at home with their families or renting homes with friends or strangers well into their 30s.

Meanwhile, the rate of annual wage growth has stagnated over the past decade, with wages growing by 2.4 per cent – less than half the rate of inflation. 

In the Reserve Bank’s quarterly statement on monetary policy  released this month, Australians’ real wages are set to shrink by 3 per cent in 2022 as salaries lag behind inflation.

New PM Anthony Albanese’s plans to address the cost of living include a “Help to Buy” scheme that would only be available for up to 10,000 homes a year. 

That’s a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated two-thirds (roughly 2.6 million people) of young Australians who said last year that they would never be able to afford a home

Young people are looking for some kind of beacon in the darkness of an increasingly uncertain future. 

The “Greenslide”, the “teal independants”, and unprecedented success of women of colour on Saturday night should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the increasingly politically engaged young people around them. 

For many young people, it was the first time that they saw an election win that showed positive signs for the future. 

China: Academic dissent emerges on war in Ukraine but is censored

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article from University World News (reprinted as non-commercial use with information conveyed to publisher)

As China steers an ambiguous path on Ukraine – refusing to condemn Russian aggression yet supporting Ukraine’s right to exist – Chinese academic dissent is emerging against the official government line, albeit quickly censored.


Image: iStock

At the same time academics in China are scrambling to understand the fast-changing international landscape, with restrictions on international academic contacts still in place.

With an urgent need to understand significant policy changes in Europe in recent weeks, a proposal was presented to the joint sessions of China’s National People’s Congress and its advisory body the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) for strict controls on contacts by academics – including contact via video link – with overseas academics and universities to be lifted.

Chinese professors have been restricted from airing their views and are reluctant to contradict the official Communist Party line on international relations and political events. However, a group of five prominent history professors from top Chinese universities were willing to go against the official narrative in a rare joint letter condemning the invasion of Ukraine.

The letter, signed by Nanjing University’s Sun Jiang, Peking University’s Wang Lixin, Hong Kong University’s Xu Guoqi, Tsinghua University’s Zhong Weimin, and Fudan University’s Chen Yan, described the Russian invasion as a “war that began in the dark”, and for an immediate end to the fighting.

“We emphatically call on the Russian government and President [Vladimir] Putin to stop the war and resolve any dispute through negotiations,” it said, despite Beijing’s ban on airing views on Russia in Ukraine, outlined in instructions from the government in late February.

The letter was immediately removed by censors when it appeared on 26 February on the Chinese social media platform WeChat but not before it had been viewed and commented upon – including attacking the professors on China’s social media with some calling them spies or traitors.

Chinese social media has been dominated by nationalistic voices in the days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They follow the official line blaming the United States and its Western allies for the crisis.

“Over the past few days we have been closely following the development of the situation,” the professors said in their letter. “In the midst of all the noise, we felt the need to make our voices heard.”

“We empathise with the suffering of the Ukrainian people,” they said.

“We are concerned that Russian military action will lead to turmoil in Europe and the entire world, and trigger wider humanitarian disaster.”

Avoid narrow nationalism

Xu, professor of history at the University of Hong Kong and one of the signatories, said in an interview with the BBC’s Chinese service that he initially hoped that the open letter would attract other scholars to sign up and did not expect it to be blocked so soon.

“Our starting point at the time was that in the midst of all the noise, we historians should have a little independent thinking of our own.”“We hoped to appeal to rationality, to conscience, and appeal to everyone to get out of the trap of narrow nationalism.”

He noted that the two World Wars were caused by such nationalism. “Narrow and blind nationalism is not only a risk to China but to all countries,” he said.

Andreas Fulda, political scientist and China scholar at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, described the professors as “pretty daring” for coming out with their letter.

The letter “goes against the entire grain of the propaganda of [Chinese President] Xi Jinping, and whilst the [Chinese] government is trying to play a neutral role, it is fairly evident from state media but also social media that there’s a pro-Russia campaign under way”.

“We also know this from the censorship instructions that are instructed to scrub off any reference to Ukraine or pro-Ukraine sentiment or critique of the Chinese government position or any understanding they may have towards the position of NATO [in the crisis],” Fulda said. “So if you issue a statement that is clearly pro-peace and sympathetic towards Ukraine, then you are taking considerable risks in China right now.”

Sigrun Abels, head of the China Centre at the Technical University of Berlin in Germany, described the academics as courageous but noted that barring their views “goes beyond the normal censorship because China is struggling to find its position in this political crisis now”.

Experts have been observing China’s balancing act, “to somehow find a position and not being too concrete – not condemning Russia, for example, for the invasion into Ukraine – and knowing that the whole world is waiting for Xi Jinping to intervene if he could,” Abels told University World News.

In this situation, “it is difficult for the Chinese Communist Party to accept people who position themselves on the academic stage.”

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

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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Abels noted that the Chinese leadership would see it as dangerous for others to set the tone. “If somebody else is leading the political line, even though the political lines are not really fixed at this moment, it’s easier to handle it with their normal censorship instruments, and this is what is happening.”

On Monday 7 March, a petition condemning the invasion of Ukraine signed by 121 alumni from several of China’s top universities was circulating in and outside China. The petition called on the Chinese government to honour commitments made to Ukraine under UN Security Council Resolution 984, which provides security assurances to countries without nuclear weapons.

“We resolutely support the righteous fight of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression. We demand that the international community maintain and respect the territorial integrity, the national dignity, and the sovereignty of Ukraine,” the statement said.

Restrictions on professors

Professors have been punished in the past for comments against government policies in China, and there are also incidents of students reporting professors and teachers to the authorities for politically “inappropriate” remarks in class.

Last month Peking University’s Institute of International and Strategic Studies published a report which concluded that China would suffer more than the US in ‘decoupling’ technology – the report was removed from the web shortly after publication.

Academics need permission to attend even virtual international conferences. Chinese universities hosting virtual conferences organised abroad are required to submit the agendas for advance approval together with details of all foreign participants.

Chinese scholars, and those in the field of international relations, face some of the toughest restrictions, hampering communication with the outside world.

“Definitely people in universities are more cautious about talking openly about certain issues if they affect the Chinese government,” said Dominic Sachsenmaier, professor of modern China at the University of Göttingen, Germany.

Contacts are being limited, according to Fulda. “Chinese academics were always keen to have face-to-face exchanges but now China is cut off from the global community. Social media isn’t the solution because everything that you say on Weixin [social media] is monitored, so the idea that academics can have a protected space where you can communicate has subsided.”

Last year, Jia Qingguo, a Peking University professor of international relations who is a CPPCC delegate, said in a formal statement that such restrictions could harm China’s foreign policy.

“Excessive management will affect experts’ analysis of international issues and the quality of their advice,” Jia said in a proposal to the CPPCC National Committee to lift the restrictions, saying approvals for academics engaging with overseas think tanks and universities were unnecessary.

Renewed proposal to lift restrictions

As international events have moved at breakneck speed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are indications that Chinese academics and think tanks are struggling to make sense of the changes.

Some Western academics, particularly in Germany, noted that some Chinese academics had reached out unofficially to them in recent weeks to understand major changes under way in German foreign policy since the invasion of Ukraine.

“There is a lot of confusion in Chinese academic circles in the political science and international relations fields; they are struggling to understand these historic changes in Europe,” said an academic in Hong Kong who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“They have only the official version, but they fear it may be ill-informed without input from experts in the West who really understand their own countries’ policies. Like all academics, they want to refer to a variety of sources.”

Abels said universities and academics in Germany were used to having discussions with Chinese partners and trying to explain what is going on in Europe, but contacts are limited and it has been difficult to have proper discussions online.

“Normally we have frequent contact with the [Chinese] embassy to keep in touch, but this is not the case at the moment; there is no active discussion going on.”

“I’m sure they have their official channels and I think they are translating every article that academics are writing in German,” she added.

Jia repeated his call this year in a renewed proposal to the National Committee of the CPPCC which started its annual session on 5 March.

His proposal included giving universities and think tanks more autonomy to decide who could attend international conferences rather than seeking advance approval from the central authorities.

China should “take effective measures to encourage experts and scholars to conduct foreign exchanges, including policy support for experts and scholars to organise international conferences, facilitate foreign exchanges by experts and scholars, and provide the necessary financial support for experts and scholars to conduct foreign exchanges when particularly needed, so that the voice of the Chinese people can be more easily and effectively disseminated abroad”, Jia said.

Jia said last year some institutions demand approval from two persons for any meeting with foreigners, and the Chinese expert has to submit a detailed meeting report afterwards. They also cannot meet the same foreigners more than twice in a year.

“It is only through keeping in touch with others, and exchanges, that experts can get an up-to-date and objective understanding of what’s happening outside, and provide reasonable policy suggestions to the government,” Jia said in his 2021 communication to the CPPCC National Committee.

A story about a Japanese friend, peace and political friendship

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

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 http://cpnn-world.org/cgi-bin/read/articlepage.cgi?ViewArticle=758.