Tag Archives: East Asia

Asia and Pacific: International Day for the Culture of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A survey by CPNN

We have found 42 events in 13 Asian and Pacific countries. They were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 this year under the key words “International day of peace”, “Peace Day” and 国际和平日 (Chinese). 3 come from the facebook page of International Cities of Peace and 2 came from the website of Campaign Nonviolence. 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 120 events listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years.


Children in a Rohingya refugee camp

AUSTRALIA

Australian Raising Peace Festival from 16-26 Sept, celebrating the UN international Day of Peace. Sponsored by Pace e Bene Australia in Partnership w/ Raising Peace. 33 great FREE online events.

ANNA BAY, AUSTRALIA

Peace is Possible. During this time, if fully vaccinated, people are able to exercise in groups of 2s or 5s on a reflective walk through the environment. This activity will be in solidarity with the aims of Campaign Nonviolence and awareness of the the need for Peace in this world.

BLUE MOUNTAINS, AUSTRALIA

The Blue Mountains Interfaith Group are inviting all concerned people to join with them in a gathering offering meditation, prayer, music and reflection via Zoom at 11am Tuesday, September 21

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Two Indian origin sisters based in Australia are planning to set a world record by singing the world’s 195 national and UN permanent member state anthems in 100 languages, including Qatar’s national anthem. Siblings Teresa Joy and Augnes Joy will attempt the record at the St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane in Australia on September 21 as part of Cathedral’s International Day of Peace celebrations in approximately six hours, with a 10-minute break permitted every two hours. . . United nations Association of Australia Queensland and Augnes & Teresa Peace foundation are organising the programme.

COWRA, AUSTRALIA

Despite the cancellation of traditional World Peace Day events in Cowra, Chairperson of the Australian Chapter of the World Peace Bell Association, Ian Brown said the spirit of the occasion was important now more than ever. . . this year’s event will be scaled down with Mr Brown ringing Cowra’s World Peace Bell at 12pm on the day. . . Mr Brown also paid tribute to the nine nominees for this year’s Cowra Youth Peace Award, with the winner being named at a Rotary dinner on September 23.

SHEPPARTON, AUSTRALIA

Tuesday marks the International Day of Peace, and while the Shepparton community can’t gather together, more than 100 people across the city will come together online to light a candle for Afghanistan. Organised by Picnic 4 Peace, the annual event is designed to bring people together in solidarity against war across the globe, but this year’s event has a focus on Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country last month.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Sydney’s Peace and Anti-War networks are collaborating on an 11-day, online Raising Peace Festival, 16-26 September. . . Raising Peace features more than 30 public events, clustered around the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September, when the keynote address will be given by His Excellency Mr Armando Vargas Araya, Ambassador for Costa Rica, at noon. . . The Festival brings together academics, activists and practitioners to celebrate key achievements, and to address challenges and strategies. The objective is to raise the profile of peace in public debate. . . The concept of a Raising Peace Festival began two years ago when International Volunteers for Peace (IVP), the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF NSW) got together. Now some 30 peace groups are registered to be part of the Festival, from Knitting Nannas and the Marrickville Peace Group to PEN Sydney, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and the United Nations Association of Australia (NSW). The festival will showcase a variety of approaches to peace, including a day devoted to First Nations voices and a session on Youth for Peace. Other topics include practising non-violence; prospects for peace in Afghanistan; faith and peace; peacebuilding in the Asia-Pacific; disarmament and anti-militarism; permaculture for peace, and the road to a nuclear free future. The program will also feature musical performances, poetry reading, yarning circles, film screenings and workshops.

BANGLADESH – ROHINGYA REFUGEE CAMPS

To mark World Peace Day on 21 September and as part of NRS Relief’s #PeaceDoves campaign launch, NRS Relief partnered with Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to run an art exhibition in three refugee camps within the Kutupalong area in Bangladesh. More than 300 Rohingya refugee children participated in the contest that highlighted peace and hope in conflict settings. Children were awarded with cuddly dove-shaped toys made from upcycled aid blanket and tarpaulin offcuts. . . .The #PeaceDoves project is NRS Relief’s latest CSR-driven awareness campaign that creatively and responsibly transforms production waste into messengers of peace. The campaign aims to spread ‘messages of peace’ and addresses critical issues such as the refugee crisis, sustainability and the private sector’s contribution to achieving a more peaceful society.

BRAC UNIVERSITY, BANGLADESH

For International Peace Day, CPJ and UN Women along with Peace Café members organised a series of events and activities such as peace adda, rally, seminar, social media campaigns, peace-message, essay, and photography competitions. . . Following the Peace Adda, a photo book named “The Power of Women”, was officially launched. This Photo Book displays the top submissions from all categories, selected from a range of excellent works from very talented youth artists across the country. This virtual programme was broadcasted live, and the recording can be viewed on CPJ’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cpj.bracu

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – CENTER FOR PEACE STUDIES

CPS celebrates Peace day 2021 through Book Launching, Rohingya Art Exhibition and Peace rally at NSU – A launching ceremony of a Bangla book on the Rohingya titled “Rohingya Refugee-Life: The Uncertain Future and the Liability of Civilization” was held virtually on 21 September 2021. It was jointly organized by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG), North South University (NSU) and Prothoma Prokashon. . . . CPS also celebrated World Peace Day 2021 through in person activities maintaining physical distance. These are; releasing balloons and pigeons, organizing a peace rally and a week-long Exhibition of Rohingya Artifacts. . . . Discussants in the book launching opined that the recommendations of the various chapters of this book would play a key role in policy formulation and implementation of action plans to address the Rohingya crisis. The program started with a poem recitation by a young Rohingya refugee. Arun Bosu, Coordinator of Prothoma Prokashon delivered the concluding remarks and hoped that the Prothoma Prokashon has been successful in conveying the true picture of Rohingya people’s lives to the readers. Academics, researchers, diplomats, journalists, and students were present among the participants. The event came to an end with a performance of a Rohingya traditional song by the Rohingya musicians.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – RUSSIAN CULTURAL CENTER

Scores of school children discussed the consequences of war at an event at the Russian cultural centre in Dhaka on the occasion of International Day of Peace on Tuesday. The programme — Why do we need peace –was organised by Russian House (Russian Centre of Science and Culture) in collaboration with Russian compatriots association Motherland, and online children and youth forum Dove of Peace. Apart from the local school children, their parents and teachers also took part in the programme.

KUSHTIA, BANGLADESH

World Peace Day is celebrated today (Tuesday) 21st September 2021 with the slogan “We will all be a messenger of peace”. A colorful bicycle rally was organized by Bangladesh Scouts, Kushtia District Rover to spread the message of peace to all. Rover Leaders, Rover Scouts and Girl-in-Rover Scouts from various colleges and universities of the district participated in the rally, which started from Kushtia Government Central College at 8.30 am. They went to Kuthibari, stayed there for a while, talked to the people on the occasion of International Peace Day and distributed masks to raise awareness of Corona. Then everyone left from there and went to the shrine of the famous mystic saint Lalon Shah. On reaching there, a short song session was set up. After staying there for some time, we left again for Kushtia Government College. Arriving there our bicycle rally ended.

CAMBODIA

Events on the occasion of the International Day of Peace were held at the Russian Embassy in Cambodia. . . On this occasion, the school at the Russian Embassy in Cambodia joined the Dove of Peace Children and Youth Forum initiated by the Heirs of Victory International Union and the Dove of Peace International Project. The event was attended by teachers and schoolchildren of the educational institution at the RZU.

INDIA

On September 21, the International Day of Peace. . . an online launch event to kick-off the new World BEYOND War India and Afghanistan chapters! We’ll discuss World BEYOND War’s mission and campaigns, the current state of the peace movement in Afghanistan and India, and why we need a world beyond war. We’ll have time to break out into discussion groups to talk about what anti-war issues matter to you and how we can work together to create World BEYOND War chapters in India and Afghanistan.

AKHNOOR, INDIA

The Indian Army celebrated the International Day of Peace with local people at High School jogwan and Battal village. The program started at 9:30 from Battal village, where 7 villagers includin Sarpanch, Panch, women and children joined forces for the march raising slogans of peace. After the program a drawing competition was organized in which a total of 63 children participated. An Indian Army officer addressed the local people and delivered a lecture about the importance of peace and co-existence in the society followed by distribution of prizes bo the winners of the drawing competition.

DELHI, INDIA

Celebrating International Peace Day with a spirit of providing protection to the community, Aarohan (Delhi) with CFAR and DLSA has iitiated to vaccinate 1000 transgeners in Sultanpuri.

DIMAPUR, INDIA

To commemorate International Day of Peace 2021 on September 21, The Morung Express, a Nagaland-based newspaper, is organising a YouTube singing competition with theme: The Road to a Lasting Peace. An update issued on Sep. 9 informed that the competition, ‘Sing For Peace’ is to celebrate through music the International Day of Peace which was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people. The competition is said to be free and open to all with no age limit. The song must be an original composition sung in any one of the Naga languages

GARAMPANI, INDIA

Various competitions were organized as Messenger of Peace by Innovative Scout-Guide Open Group at Rainka Khairna. In the painting competition organized, Ankit Kumar got first. . . various Cub Bulbul Scout Guide Rover Ranger and Unit Leaders will participate in a three-day Messenger of Peace webinar on behalf of the National Headquarters of Bharat Scouts-Guides.

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2021) for the International Day of Peace?

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JEHANABAD, INDIA

Under the leadership of Bihar State Bharat Scouts and Guides District Jehanabad, a painting competition was organized on the occasion of World Peace Day. In which Vaishnavi Kesari stood first. . . The organization commissioner, while addressing the scouts and guides on this occasion, said that people from all over the world adopt humanity on this day and forget all the gaps of the society and think about the well being of each other, United Nations Organization Invites countries to honor the cessation of their respective hostilities on this day.

JHAPA, INDIA

Today, on the occasion of World Peace Day, Purnima Devi, head of Gram Panchayat Jhapa, was speaking in a seminar organized in the Panchayat Bhawan of Gram Panchayat Jhapa, on the occasion, social worker Mukund Saw said that by talking peacefully. Every issue can be resolved. . . In the meeting, the Vice President and Treasurer of the Gram Sabha from all the 14 villages of the Panchayat, all the honorable members, all the people of the Gram Panchayat Jhapa were present.

LEH, INDIA :

All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties & Social Justice (AICHLS) and Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC ) are jointly organizing 11th International Peace Conference to observe International Day of Peace, in Leh. . . the Peace Conference will be conducted in collaboration with the all religious organizations in Ladakh. On the occasion, the Council also conferring the 7th Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award to Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena, the Founder of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre.

MANIPUR, INDIA

Manipur would be organising ‘Foot March for Justice and Peace’ from September 21 (International Peace Day) to October 2 (International Non-violence Day) in some select villages of five districts of the state. In a statement, the Parishad informed that the march will be carried out along with its associated groups and partner organisations. On the occasion of International Peace Day, a campaign will be launched at Karang Thanga and Andro-Huikap in Bishnupur and Imphal East district respectively. The foot march will also be participated by Ekta Parishad national coordinator Ramesh Sharma and state coordinator Aribam Rishikanta Sharma. The foot march will be carried out in more than 100 districts of 13 states including Manipur. The main objective of the march is to propose establishment of Ministry of Justice and Peace at national and state level.

MEERUT, INDIA

On the occasion of World Peace Day, a program was organized by the Environment and Sanitation Club at the Commissioner’s residence. In this, Commissioner Surendra Singh flew white pigeons as a symbol of peace. . . Commissioner Surendra Singh said that the importance of World Peace Day becomes more in today’s context.

NAGALAND, INDIA

Nagaland State Bharat Scouts and Guides (NSBSG) will be celebrating the ‘International Day of Peace’ on September 21 at Mezhür Higher Secondary School in Kohima on the theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” Different activities are being taken up by members at various levels to celebrate the day in a befitting manner.

NAGPUR, INDIA

Every year, the India Peace Centre commemorates World Peace Day by holding its major event. This year, in light of pandemic guidelines and to have a broader impact, an All India Speech, Competition on the concept of Peace has been arranged. . . Dr. Tejinder Singh Rawal, the project manager and Deputy Director of the India Peace Centre, explained the event, saying, “Submissions are welcomed from citizen Indians of all age ranges.” The preliminary round’s topic is “What Constitutes Peace in the Indian Context.” . . Nagpur Toastmasters Club will manage the entire procedure, screening entries, providing technical assistance, and judging the occasion.

PARIKRAMA MARG, INDIA

World Peace Day was celebrated by Rotary Club Samarpan at New Horizon School, Parikrama Marg. On this occasion, speech competition, poster making competition and slogan competition were organized among the students. The students who secured first, second and third place in all the three competitions held on Tuesday were awarded with prizes and certificates.

PHAGWARA, INDIA

International peace day was celebrated at MLU DAV College Phagwara with great zeal and enthusiasm under the guidance of Dr. Kiranjeet Randhawa Principal of the college . . . A seminar was ogranised by faculty members for students to encourage them to learn the word ‘Peace’ and its true meaning. Peace day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit and build a culture of peace. Students participated in various activities and shared their views through speeches, poems and songs.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA

Local Self Government, Rural Development and Excise Minister MV Govindan Master, who arrived at the Magic Planet yesterday evening as part of the International Peace Day celebrations organized by the Child Rights Commission and the Different Arts Center, flew balloons into the sky as a message of peace with children with disabilities. The sight of hundreds of water balloons soaring into the sky fascinated children and spectators alike.

JAPAN

Friends in Japan celebrate the International Day of Peace by wearing traditional kimono as a symbol of the Culture of Peace and the World Peace Flag Ceremony. May Peace Prevail On Earth. See video

SHIJUKU, JAPAN

International Peace Day-Panel exhibition and lunch lecture on human rights was held in Shinjuku on September 20th to learn about human rights again.

SEOUL, KOREA

The Kyung Hee University System will host the Peace BAR Festival 2021 to mark the 40th U.N. International Day of Peace that falls on Sept. 21. The event will kick off under the theme of “No Time to Lose, A Quest for Immediate Action for Planetary Crisis”. . . This year’s festival will consist of five conferences to be held until December, bringing together scholars from around the world, including representatives of the Club of Budapest and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and professors from Stanford and Harvard universities. They will discuss measures to overcome various crises facing the world, such as climate change, exhaustion of natural resources, the COVID-19 pandemic, social polarization and inequality. . . All conferences will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, and will be streamed through the YouTube channel of the Kyung Hee University Global Academy for Future Civilization.

PENANG, MALAYSIA

In conjunction with the International Day of Peace on September 21, Penang Harmony Agency organized the “Ride around the World, Ride for Peace” virtual cycling event. . . Penang State Women’s Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Commettee Chairman Zhang Ying said at the launching ceremony that the state government celebrated the International Day of Peace for the first time this year.

BANKE, NEPAL

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, we celebrated by ‘lightening the lamp’ (Deep Prajwalan). This and the Panchmukhi Shiva Temple sanitation program were jointly organized by Nepal Unites, Nepal Youth Council Lumbini, Genteel Society Nepal, and the United Religions Initiative at Rapti Bridge in Duduwa Rural Municipality Ward No. 4 of Banke District. The chief guest of the program, ward Chairperson Bhandari Lal Yadav, expressed the need for peace in the world and the need to clean the environment because we are all human beings living on the earth. Bandari said that we need to protect and find peace in nature.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

An online vigil to support victims of the Auckland terror attack will take place on Sunday. The prayer vigil, organised by the Wellington Interfaith Council, will be an opportunity for people all over the country to offer solidarity to the victims of the attack, and also the Sri Lankan and Muslim communities. The vigil would also mark the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on Tuesday.

PAKISTAN – KASHMIR PARLIAMENTARY PEACE CONFERENCE

Pakistan on Tuesday observed the International Day of Peace calling upon the United Nations to play its due role in mitigating decades’ long sufferings of the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). . . . Addressing the Kashmir Parliamentary Peace Conference here, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said it was the history that Kashmir region always remained peaceful but its peace was destroyed during the Dogra rule before creation of Pakistan. He said more than 1.5 million homes had so far been burnt by brutal Indian forces in IIOJK where all basic human rights were being denied. The speaker was of the view that a referendum should be held in IIOJK in accordance with the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, giving people of Kashmir their legitimate right to self-determination. . . . In Sukkur, Shaheed Dodo Soomro Welfare Orgnization (SDSWO) held a ceremony to mark the International Peace Day.

PAKISTAN PEACE LEAGUE

A number of peace activists, human rights defenders, religious leaders, media, political qnd CSO representatives attended the Pakistan Peace League 2021. Guests, audience and youth appreciated the idea qnd speaches about the importance of peace.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN

A walk was held in connection with World Peace Day at Cathedral Crunch Lahore.

PHILIPPINES – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE PROCESS

Throughout the month of September, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will spearhead various peacebuilding activities to instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people on the comprehensive peace process to strengthen and sustain institutional and popular support for and participation in this effort, as well as in the global movement spearheaded by the United Nations to promote a Culture of Peace based on nonviolence, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, tolerance, understanding and solidarity. .. . The Peace Month celebration also coincides with the observance of International Day of Peace with this year’s theme, “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” For more details, click here

PHILIPPINES BOY SCOUTS

Boy Scouts of the Philippines – Messengers of Peace Roadshow. Held on September 21, 2021 (5-7pm) via Zoom Meet together with Scouts and Leaders around the Philippines! Where the Base Commanders gave us an exciting activities! ; shares one’s hobbies, showing our talents in dancing, slogan & poster making, fun games & quiz and a dialogue for peace. Understanding the meaning of Peace, the Impact in making Peace.

CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPPINES

On the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, with the theme “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World,” the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) has appealed to both the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)to give peace talks a try.

LIPA CITY, PHILIPPINES

Just like in the previous years, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) actively commemorated the International Day of Peace and International Peace Month last September 21. DLSL’s symbolic observance was in accordance with this year’s theme for the United Nation-led activity, “Recovering Better for a Sustainable and Equitable World. Among the highlights of the event were the recollection of the past years’ Peace Month remembrance, Prayer for Peace, showcasing of Peace Cranes, and a Song for Peace.

DHAMMAKAYA, THAILAND

In Thailand, Buddhist monks lit 200,000 candles on Tuesday at the Dhammakaya temple near Bangkok to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

Peace and Common Security Advocates from Around the World Oppose QUAD , & AUKUS Militarism – 26 Sept 2021

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network

Meeting on the eve of the QUAD alliance summit, peace, justice and common security advocates from the QUAD and AUKUS member countries, and Australia, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, India, Britain, Germany, and the U.S. met to analyze and build opposition to the dangerous and increased militarism of the QUAD and AUKUS alliances.

The incipient coalition decries the QUAD and AUKUS alliances which dangerously intensify geostrategic military tensions with China. In addition to increasing the dangers that accidents or miscalculations to trigger escalation to catastrophic wars, this increased military competition seriously undermines the possibility of U.S.-Chinese and broader international cooperation to reverse the existential threats of nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics. The strategic competition between the great powers includes the danger of a great power war which will destroy the planet.

Opposing the recently announced U.S.-Australian-British alliance, Australian peace organizations are demanding that Australia not become a staging point for the U.S. military, that Australian sovereignty not be abrogated to the U.S. and their government must not encourage the nuclear proliferation and risk environmental catastrophe inherent in the agreement to purchase submarines powered by highly enriched uranium.

President Biden has spoken of an inflection point. Negotiation and announcement of the AUKUS alliance indeed marks a dangerous turning point in geostrategic situation. Among them:

Instead of increasing stability and security, the QUAD and AUKUS alliances fuel dangerously spiraling cold war-like arms races that must be reversed with common security diplomacy.

The transfer of highly enriched uranium and related technologies to Australia, violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and encourages nuclear weapons proliferation. It provides Australia with resources needed to become a nuclear power, and significant political and military figures in India, South Korea and Japan ask why they have been denied these capabilities.

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Question for this article:

How can we stop the new cold war with China?

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Announcement of the AUKUS alliance has disastrous global strategic ramifications. Coming on the heels of the precipitous NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden Administration has again acted without consulting its NATO allies. This fuels calls from European and E.U. leaders to create an independent European military superpower. The new military alliance strengthens worldwide the arms race

The AUKUS alliance increases pressure on ASEAN and other nations to choose between sides in a way that compromises their independence.

Forty years ago, the adoption of common security diplomacy played major roles in the negotiation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and the end of the Cold War. The new international peace coalition is committed to building international pressure for Indo-Pacific demilitarization and common security diplomacy to address and reverse the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics.
 
No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars. Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate.

(signatories as of Sept.26, 2021)
 
International Peace Bureau
Asia Europe Peoples Forum – Peace and Security cluster
Independent and Peaceful Australia Network
Australian Anti Bases Campaign Coalition
Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice (Guam)
Le Mouvement de la Paix (France)
Veterans For Peace Chapter 113 Hawaii
Peace Women Partners, Philippines
Action for Sovereign Philippines
I Hagan Famalao’an Guahan, Inc. (Guam)
KILUSAN (Movement for National Democracy) Philippines
KAISAKA (Unity of Women for Liberation) Philippines
Maui Peace Action (Hawaii)
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers/BMP) Philippines
Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy (US)
Philippine Women’s Network for Peace and Security
Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice
ʻOhana Koa / Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific
Blue Banner Mongolia
Initiatives for International Dialogue
ALAB Katipunan (Philippines)
Japan Asia Africa Latin America (Japan)
MapaladKa Peace Movement (Philippines)
Communist Party of Australia
Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
Dap-ayan ti Babba-I (North Luzon, Philippines)
YouWin (Young Women’s Initiatives)
Kauai Women’s Caucus (Hawai’i)
Ko’olauloa Waialua Alliance
LABAN ng MASA (Philippines)

Childrens Message for Peace

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

A message from the Japan Art Mile Foundation, received by email from Joanne Tawfilis

This mural was created by the 66 members of the Yuge Elementary School graduating classes of 2004.


(Click on image to enlarge)

This mural was born in the process of a Peace Study.

Their town is located near City Nagasaki, where the second Atomic Bomb was dropped in 1945.

The image of the painting was developed from “The Statue of Peace”; the symbol of Nagasaki Peace Park.

His right hand stretching up means “the threat of the Atomic Bomb” and his left hand stretching horizontally shows “Peace”.

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Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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The children tried to express their wishes for peace in the beautiful rainbow derived from the tip of the statue.

The rainbow is a bridge for peace, extending to the bright future.

The children poured their love into this mural, not only toward their home area but also toward our planet.

They enclosed their wishes, hopes and dreams within this painting.

(Thank you to Joanne Tawfilis for sending this to CPNN.)

See the following CPNN articles about or by Joanne Tawfilis:

US: The First Mural Museum in the World is a Culture of Peace Museum

Oceanside woman promotes peace through murals (US)

UNA-USA San Diego 2006 Eleonor Roosevelt Human Rights Award

BAM in a Box

Peace through Art

The Art Miles Mural Project

UNAC statement: Ban nuclear weapons starting with the US! Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A statement from the United National Antiwar Coalition

On August 6, we will once again recognize one of the most horrendous events ever to take place in human history. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the largely residential city of Hiroshima. Three days later they dropped a second nuclear bomb on the city of Nagasaki. As many as 250,000 people, men, women and children were annihilated and many more died subsequently from the wounds, radiation poisoning and radiation-induced cancers. The United States is the only country to ever drop a nuclear bomb on people.

The stated reason for this barbaric act was to hasten the end of World War II. But many historians believe that Japan was ready to surrender before the dropping of the bomb especially once the Soviet Union entered the war against Japan and moved its forces into Manchuria. Germany had already surrendered, and Japan stood alone. At the time, some argued that the bomb should be dropped in Tokyo Bay in the water where it would have done far less damage and Japan’s leaders could see its destructive potential, but the decision was made to drop it on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. Once was not enough, they had to do it twice.


Many people now believe that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not to end WWII, which was in its final days but to start the Cold War and show the Soviet Union and the world what the US could do if any country dared to oppose it.

One also wonders if dropping the bomb on non-white people played a role. Were Japanese lives valued less by the white supremacist US government, which maintained a segregated military during World War II? After all, people of Japanese descent, including US citizens were put in internment (concentration) camps in the US while people of German descent were not.

There was also serious consideration by the US of using nuclear weapons in the Korean war. The US actually sent the B29 bombers used to drop the bombs on Japan to a military installation in Okinawa along with the nuclear bombs and the fissile cores needed to make them work. This was in preparation for their possible use in the war. President Truman told a press conference in November 1950 that he would take whatever steps were necessary to win in Korea, including the use of nuclear weapons. General Douglas MacArthur, who was the “supreme commander” of the US led forces in Korea disagreed with Truman on the use of nuclear weapons in the war. So, Truman fired MacArthur and replaced him with General Matthew Ridgway, who was given “qualified authority” to use the bombs if he felt they were necessary.

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

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The problem the US administration faced with in the use of the atomic bomb in Korea were two-fold. The first was that the US public and certainly the people of the world were horrified after seeing the effects of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Much of this horror was accredited to the book Hiroshima by John Hershey which was published in its entirety in the New Yorker magazine in 1949. The book described the destruction and told the story of 6 survivors of the bombing. It led to a groundswell of opposition to nuclear weapons. The second problem for the US administration was that in 1949 the Soviet Union conducted their first tests of an atomic bomb, and the assessment was that they soon would have a workable weapon. Although nuclear weapons were not used in Korea, the military did several test-runs with their B29 bombers carrying conventional bombs.

Unlike WWII, the United States has consistently refused to end the Korean war. To the US government, it is still going on and they still intend to win. The US maintains a large troop presence in Korea at the border with the North and has conducted annual “war games,” which many consider practice invasions of the Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK), AKA, North Korea. These “war games,” typically include scenarios in which the US uses nuclear weapons against the DPRK. In recent years the US has provocatively sent nuclear capable bombers within 75 miles of the border with the DPRK. Yet in the upside-down logic of US Imperialism and its corporate media it is not the war games, the US troops on the border, or the nuclear capable flights that are provocative but the clearly defensive nuclear program of the DPRK.

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened the nuclear arms race that has led to today’s reality where it is possible to kill off the entire population of the world several times over. This is supposed to make us safer.

But the nuclear arms race was always one-sided, with the US making the new and more advanced systems, and then the Soviet Union and later China taking steps to do the same to gain parity. After the development of the atomic bomb, the US made the more powerful hydrogen bomb, then the Soviets did the same. The US then made missile delivery system and multiple warhead missiles, nuclear submarines, etc. and then others scrambled to gain parity. And now the US has announced it will develop a space force, so other countries feel the need to find a way to counter or do the same. Without the investment of money and effort that was put into these weapons of mass destruction, the world may have been able to address global warming, hunger, poverty, etc. That would have made us safer.

In recent years the U.S. has unilaterally withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, has initiated a $1.5 Trillion program to modernize the US nuclear arsenal and started the creation of the new military space force.

For these reasons, the United National Antiwar Coalition sees the main danger of nuclear war coming from the United States and believes that we in the US have a special obligation to the world to oppose that danger.

Ban nuclear weapons starting with the US!
Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Nagasaki Peace Declaration

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A declaration by TAUE Tomihisa Mayor of Nagasaki

This year saw the passing of a Catholic monk. OZAKI Toumei spent his whole life following in the footsteps of Father Maximilian Kolbe, the man who was called the “Saint of Auschwitz.” Brother Ozaki spoke out about his experiences in the atomic bombing up until just before his life came to a close at the age of ninety-three. In his diary he left behind these words:

The countries of the world, all of them, must completely abolish nuclear weapons or there will be no peace on earth. Nuclear weapons are not conventional bombs. Only those who experienced the atomic bombings can understand the terror inherent in radiation. Parents, children, loved ones and many others were killed by these bombs. In order to see that they are not used again I keep saying, “This is wrong! This is wrong!” I keep screaming for the abolition of nuclear weapons.


Those of us who survived the hell of the atomic bombings want to make sure that we have peace without nuclear weapons before we die.

The “peace without nuclear weapons” that Brother Ozaki continued to call for has not as yet been realized. However, the wish he had has borne fruit in the form of a certain treaty.

This year marks the 76th year since humankind experienced the tragedy of the atomic bombings and we are now standing on a new horizon with regard to nuclear weapons. When the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into force this January, it was the first time in human history that there had been an international law clearly stating that nuclear weapons are unequivocally illegal.

The process to make this newly-established treaty grow into a universal rule for the world and realize a world free of nuclear weapons will now begin. The point of departure will be the first meeting of state parties to the treaty, which will be held next year.

Conversely, however, the danger of nuclear weapons continues to grow. While the nuclear-armed nations have a responsibility to uphold the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and reduce nuclear weapons, moves such as the public announcement by the UK about increasing the number of nuclear warheads in that country show that dependence on such weapons is actually increasing. Furthermore, the competition to replace existing nuclear weapons with more sophisticated weapons and develop new types of nuclear weapons increases.

In order to follow a single path toward a world free of nuclear weapons amidst these two conflicting movements, world leaders must commit to nuclear arms reductions and build trust through dialogue, and civil society must push them in this direction.

I hereby appeal to the Government of Japan and members of the National Diet:

As the country that is most aware of the tragic consequences of nuclear weapons, please join as an observer to the first meeting of state parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in order to look into ways to develop this treaty. With regard to the stipulation in the treaty to provide assistance to victims of the use or testing of nuclear weapons, surely this is an area where Japan and its government can contribute more than any other country. In addition, please sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and see to its ratification at the earliest possible date.

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

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While adhering to the war-renouncing principle of peace in the Japanese Constitution, please look into building a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Northeast Asia that would create a “non-nuclear umbrella” instead of a “nuclear umbrella” and be a step in the direction of a world free of nuclear weapons.

I hereby appeal to the leaders of nuclear-armed nations and countries under their nuclear umbrellas:

You must face the reality that thinking of nuclear weapons as necessary to defend your countries under “nuclear deterrence” actually makes the world a more dangerous place. I ask you to see that substantial progress towards nuclear disarmament is made at the next NPT Review Conference, starting with greater steps by the U.S. and Russia to reduce nuclear weapons.

To everyone living on this earth:

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have experienced on a global scale the loss of everyday aspects of our lives that we previously took for granted. We have learned that in order to overcome this crisis it is necessary for each and every one of us to think of ourselves as concerned parties and act appropriately. Now we all ponder together the question of how we can build an even better future when the pandemic is over instead of just returning to the way things were before.

It is the same with nuclear weapons. Are we members of the human race going to choose a future in which we continue to maintain nuclear weapons that will pollute the earth and doom humanity?

Hasn’t the time come for us to raise our individual voices, as is being done in the movements for decarbonization and sustainable development goals, and speak out against the dangers inherent in nuclear weapons in order to bring about change in the world?

May Nagasaki be the last place to suffer an atomic bombing.

These words are sent from Nagasaki to people all over the world. Hiroshima will eternally be remembered in history as the first place to suffer an atomic bombing, but whether Nagasaki continues to take its place in history as the last place to suffer an atomic bombing depends on the future we build for ourselves. The unchanging resolve of the hibakusha to see that “no one in the world ever goes through that experience again” is expressed in these words, as is the goal clearly stated in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It is a hope that each and every one of us should continue to hold onto.

Let us share these words with the people of the world and follow a clear path towards a nuclear- free world over the twenty-five-year period that begins this year and brings us to the one- hundredth anniversary of the atomic bombings.

While joining forces with young people of the last generation to directly hear the voices of the hibakusha, Nagasaki will continue to communicate the truth about what happened seventy-six years ago; facts that must never be forgotten.

The average age of the hibakusha is now over eighty-three. I ask that the Government of Japan provide improved support for the hibakusha and relief measures for those who experienced the atomic bombings but have not yet received official recognition as bombing survivors.

Ten years have now passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and its aftermath. We will not forget what happened in Fukushima. We extend from the bottom of our hearts a call of encouragement to all those in Fukushima who continue to face a variety of hardships.

While extending our deepest condolences to those who lost their lives to the atomic bombs, I hereby declare that Nagasaki will work tirelessly alongside Hiroshima and all people who desire peace to spread a “culture of peace” around the world and bring about the abolishment of nuclear weapons and the realization of eternal peace.

The City of Hiroshima: PEACE DECLARATION

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A declaration by The City of Hiroshima

August 6, 2021. On this day 76 years ago, a single atomic bomb instantly reduced our hometown to a scorched plain. That bombing brought cruel death to countless innocent victims and left those who managed to survive with profound, lifelong physical and emotional injuries due to radiation, fear of aftereffects, and economic hardship.One survivor who gave birth to a girl soon after the bombing says,”As more horrors of the bomb came to light, and I became more concerned about their effects, I worried less about myself and more about my child. Imagining the future awaiting my daughter, my suffering grew, night after sleepless night.”


“No one else should ever suffer as we have.”These words express the will of survivors who, having known horrors too painful to recall, were condemned to fear, frustration, and agony by the likely future of their children and their own irradiated bodies. When hibakusha tell their stories, they convey not only the horror and inhumanity of nuclear weapons but also an intense yearning for peace, born of compassion. Finally, after 75 long years of sustained activity, their demands have moved the international community. This year, on January 22, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into effect. It remains now for world leaders to support this treaty, shifting their focus toward a truly sustainable society free from nuclear weapons.

The novel coronavirus still ravages our world. The community of nations recognizes this threat to humanity and is taking urgent measures to end it. Nuclear weapons, developed to win wars, are a threat of total annihilation that we can certainly end, if all nations work together. No sustainable society is possible with these weapons continually poised for indiscriminate slaughter. The combined wisdom of all peoples must be trained on their total abolition.

The road to abolition will not be smooth, but a ray of hope shines from the young people now taking up the hibakusha’s quest. One survivor who witnessed hell that day entrusts our future to the young with these words:”Start small, but I hope each of you will do whatever you can to promote and maintain the treasure we call peace ..” I ask our young to sustain an unshakeable conviction that nuclear weapons are incompatible with full, healthy lives for their loved ones. I further ask them to share that conviction persuasively with people around the world.

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

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We must never forget that young people can certainly compel world leaders to turn away from nuclear deterrence. Three years after the bombing, Helen Keller visited Hiroshima, encouraging its residents in the struggle to recover. “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Her words remind us that individuals, when united, have the power to change the world. If the determination to live in peace sweeps through civil society, people will elect leaders who share that determination. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate human violence. If civil society decides to live without them, the door to a nuclear-weapon-free world will open wide. The atomic bombed city of Hiroshima will never stop preserving the facts of the bombing, disseminating them beyond borders, and conveying them to the future. With the more than 8,000 Mayors for Peace member cities in 165 countries and regions, we will promote a worldwide “culture of peace.” In a global culture where peace is a universal value, world leaders will find the courage to correct their policies.

Given the uncertainty concerning nuclear weapons derived from stalled disarmament negotiations, I have an urgent demand to make of world leaders. The time has come for a profound tactical shift away from reliance on threats toward security based on trust derived from dialogue. Experience has taught humanity that threatening others for self defense benefits no one. Our leaders must understand that threatening rivals with nuclear weapons achieves nothing of value, but treating each other with empathy and building long-lasting friendships connect directly to national self-interest. To that end, I urge all world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, achieve a deeper understanding of the bombings, fulfill the disarmament mandate of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and join the discussions aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of the TPNW.

With respect to the Japanese government, I request productive mediation between the nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states. Furthermore, in accordance with the will of the hibakusha , I demand immediate signing and ratification of the TPNW, then constructive participation in the first Meeting of States Parties . Fulfilling the role of mediator must involve creating an environment that facilitates the restoration of international trust and security without reliance on nuclear weapons. The average age of our hibakusha is close to 84. I demand more generous assistance for them and the many others suffering daily due to the harmful physical and emotional effects of radiation. I demand as well immediate relief for those exposed to the black rain.

At this Peace Memorial Ceremony marking 76 years since the bombing, we offer heartfelt prayers for the peaceful repose of 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.

MATSUI Kazumi
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima

South and Southeast Asia: Digital Games for Peace: Creativity, Innovation & Resilience

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

.An announcement from the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development

The #DigitalGamesForPeace challenge calls upon youth (aged 18-35) from South and Southeast Asia who are game designers, game developers, or researchers in the fields of peacebuilding, prevention of violent extremism, or intercultural dialogue – to submit their applications for a chance to develop innovative ideas on the use of games for peacebuilding.

What is the Challenge about?

The #DigitalGamesForPeace Challenge aims to harness the creative energies of youth from South and Southeast Asia and the promise of game-based innovations in cultivating pertinent competencies for prevention of violent extremism. The Challenge is being organised by the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT), United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and United Nations, Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).

Who is it for?

Youth who wish to apply must: – Be between (and including) 18 and 35 years old. – Be nationals from or have a domicile in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka. – Have experience with 1 or more of the following areas of expertise: social and emotional learning (SEL), the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) or (video)gaming. – Have good research and writing skills – Apply before June 7, 2021, 11:59 PM IST

What’s in it for me?

If selected, you will have the opportunity to spearhead a UN project. Further, your capacities on intercultural dialogue, social and emotional learning, game-based methodologies will be significantly improved such that post the project, you will have additional skills to wage sustainable peace in your respective community. You will meet and work with a formidable group of young gamechangers from South and Southeast Asia. Additionally, you will be part of a select group of individuals who will have the opportunity to meet and interact with experts from the fields of social emotional learning, game-design, and prevention of violent extremism.

Questions for this article:

Where can one find games for peacebuilding?

How do I participate?

To be considered for selection, submit the call for application on the link that helps us understand your motivations and past experiences to be a gamechanger. We are also seeking some specific information related to digital games and how you think they have the potential to promote ideas of peace, social and emotional learning and prevention of violent extremism.

Apply to be a Gamechanger

Timelines

Phase 1 (June – September 2021)

Release of Call for applications to shortlist 51 gamechangers between the ages 18-35 years. The shortlisted youth will embark upon improving their capacities on game-based methodologies for peace. This includes exclusively curated training, bootcamps, and mentorship opportunities by thought and industry leaders in the disciplines of game design/development, social-emotional learning, and prevention of violent extremism. The shortlisted youth would then review and test existing games that contribute to building intercultural dialogue and SEL competencies for PVE.

Phase 2 (October – December 2021)

21 selected youth will move into the next phase based on their activity reports and participation in Phase 1. The cohort of gamechangers will ideate, design, and develop innovative projects on the use of games for peacebuilding.

Expected Products

The final products would range from creating a repository of reviewed video games, designing alternate endings to existing games, defining ideal governance practices that define the future of gaming and PVE, designing game storyboards of SEL and PVE, adapting games for SEL and PVE curricula and other possible projects that expand the scope of games for peacebuilding. A team of experts and partners will continue to mentor the gamechangers towards the fruition of their selected project.

Expected Outcomes

1. Youth-led, innovative, game-based methodologies are harnessed to enhance social emotional learning and intercultural dialogue competencies for PVE amongst young people in South and Southeast Asia.

2. Young people in South and Southeast Asia have improved skills capacities for intercultural dialogue and social emotional learning to prevent violent extremism, using the practical guidance developed.

Expected Impact

It is expected that at the conclusion of the initiative, the long term impact will be the use of digital games by young peacebuilders, education professionals and students – to cultivate social and emotional competencies in youth for intercultural dialogue in the South and Southeast Asia Region.

Be a Game Changer! Apply Now!

Interested to learn more? Contact Dani at d.dani@unesco.org or youth.mgiep@unesco.org

Australia : Brisbane Weapons Expo Protest Planned

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article by Rose Lane from the Westender

From 1 to 3 June a weapons expo will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre, but, unlike the Wedding Expo or the Health, Wellness, and Fitness Expo, for example, this one is not open to the public.


Land Forces 2021  is being organised by the AMDA Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that originated in 1976 when it began conducting airshows. Over the past 45 years its purpose has expanded. The website states:

“The vision is for Australia to be strongly positioned as a nation at the forefront of aviation, aerospace, maritime, defence and security, with leading-edge resources and capabilities in industry, manufacturing and information/communications technology throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and around the world.”

Their mission is to take Australia to the World by bringing the World to Australia.

Land Forces 2021 attendance is “reserved for those with a professional, government agency, business, academic, scientific, operational or response involvement in land defence and related industry sectors.” Fourteen stakeholders will be in attendance, including Boeing, Saab, Raytheon, Rheinmetall Defence, and Nioa, a Brisbane-based company that, since 2016, has donated almost $600,000 to the Katter’s Australia Party, and the Liberal National Party. (disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au)

On Saturday 1 May a public meeting and art show entitled “Disrupt Land Forces” will be hosted by a coalition of organisations, including Wage Peace, Quakers Queensland, Just PeaceUnited Nations Association of Queensland, and others. It proposes to “raise public awareness” about the Expo, and to “seek to ban the Expo using non-violent action…expose companies in Brisbane engaged in weapons designing, engineering, and/or manufacturing” and “redirect the national conversation…”

The last Land Forces Expo was held in 2018 in South Australia and attracted 15,331 attendees from 26 countries. According to a spokesperson from the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, “hosting Land Forces in Queensland is an opportunity to showcase the amazing defence, innovation, manufacturing, and maintenance operations” of the state. He said the expo “will give Queensland small and medium businesses a platform to generate quality leads, which will boost the industry and create more jobs for Queenslanders” and that manufacturing in the defence industry “employs nearly 180,000 people across Queensland, contributing over $19.2 billion to the economy and driving innovation across a range of growth sectors”.

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Question related to this article:

How can the peace movement become stronger and more effective?

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However, local state member, Amy MacMahon argues that the money and energy invested in innovation and manufacture within the weapons industry could be better spent.

“Why are our best minds being used to make products to kill innocent human beings? Why are they not being used to create things that will foster partnerships and make the planet safer?”

Ms MacMahon argues the conflicts the Australian government has been involved in have been devastating, citing the refugees still being held in detention at Kangaroo Point as evidence. She claims that anything that feeds into warfare is problematic and that there is a lack of transparency over where public money is spent.

When asked how much money the State Government had invested in Land Forces 2021 the Department of State Development stated, “The sponsorship amount to be paid for the 2021 event is confidential under the terms of the sponsorship agreement”.

Organisers of the Disrupt Land Forces claim Australia spends $98.9m a day on defence and related industries, money that could be better spent on public housing, health, employment, and education. They claim increasing militarisation does not, as the government claims, make Australians safer:

“Australia’s national security is better served through adopting an independent foreign policy; relationship building with all our Asian neighbours; managing conflicts without violence; finding diplomatic solutions rather than depending on militarism; creating a culture of peace, e.g. adding Australia’s signature to the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”

Christine Venner Westaway from Quakers Queensland, argues more investment in war only begets more war, and that talk of an increasingly hostile China and claims of job creation are merely used to justify making money from the arms trade. Ms Westaway cites the example of the New Zealand defence force sent to war-torn Bouganville on a peace-keeping mission as an example of how peace can be achieved without the use of weapons. In 1997 NZ troops entered Bouganville without weapons, instead taking music and culture to share with the people. As Bouganville is a matrilineal society, more female troops were included in the mission. According to NZ website RNZ,

“When the NZ led mission went in, what it did was it created space. We were able to get their trust to such an extent that they handed in their guns, and they would talk to each other.”

A documentary Soldiers Without Guns  was made about the mission and released in 2019.

MORE INFORMATION

The meeting on 1 May will be held at Jagera Hall, Musgrave Park from 2.30 to 4.30pm and speakers include MP Amy MacMahon; Binil Kattiparambil from the Islamic Council of Queensland; Gamilaraay and Kooma radio host and podcaster, Boe Spearim; and Zelda Grimshaw from Wage Peace.

Details at this LINK.

Interview with Chas Freeman on US-China policy

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

Excerpts from an interview conducted by Sam Kolitch and published in the Brown Political Review

Ambassador Chas Freeman is a retired career diplomat who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 1993-1994, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989-1992 during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1986-1989 during the Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola and the U.S. mediation of Namibian independence from South Africa, Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in the American embassies at Bangkok from 1984-1986 and at Beijing from 1981-1984, and Director for Chinese Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from 1979-1981. In 1972, he was the primary American interpreter for President Nixon’s trailblazing visit to China.


Image Credit: The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Ambassador Freeman is the author of America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East, Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, America’s Misadventures in the Middle East, The Diplomat’s Dictionary, Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy, and Cooking Western in China. He has also published in prestigious academic journals such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Harvard International Review. Prior to becoming a Visiting Scholar at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Ambassador Freeman served as President of the Middle East Policy Council and Co-Chair of the United States China Policy Foundation. He speaks Chinese fluently, Spanish and French at the professional level, and Arabic conversationally, in addition to several other languages. Ambassador Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and he earned a JD from the Harvard Law School and an AB magna cum laude from Yale University. . . .

SK: Before we discuss China, how do you define “good diplomacy”? 

CF: The basis of diplomacy is empathy. It is the ability to understand how and why someone else sees things in order to persuade them of your position. Good diplomacy is all about persuading others to redefine their interests in order to conform with yours. It is also about forming relationships with people so that you can make them want to cooperate with you—not oppose you. This allows you to draw on people at a moment of crisis to gain access or to be heard. Diplomacy is also negotiation. It is about trying to ensure that bad things that could happen don’t happen. Very often, diplomats don’t get credit for what didn’t happen. But a lot of things don’t happen because skillful diplomats have prevented them from happening. So good diplomacy is complex and requires a lot of skill. 

SK: What is the root cause of the United States’ desire to confront China? 

CF: I think the rudimentary driver of the United States’ confrontation with China is psychology, not strategy. We became the world’s largest economy sometime in the 1870s. That’s 150 years ago. Now we’ve either already been eclipsed, or we’re about to be eclipsed, by China. So we’re afraid of not being number one and we’ve decided that we will hamstring the rise of China. No one on the American side has described where this confrontation is supposed to take us—it’s just an end in itself. Also, we have exercised military primacy in the Asia-Pacific region since 1945. Now, we confront the return of China to wealth and power in the region. And our position in the Asia-Pacific is precarious. What does that mean? It means that we object to things like China’s anti-access and area denial weapon system (A2/AD), otherwise known as defense. The Chinese now can stop us from running through their defenses. So this is a threat: we’re not all-powerful anymore. We are in danger of losing primacy. 

But there’s not much evidence of China wanting to replace us. They are displacing us in some spheres because they’re big and growing and successful. Do they want to take on our global dominion and hegemony role? No, but we assert that they do. We posit that China thinks and behaves like us: “We had Manifest Destiny and it took us across the Pacific to the Philippines. Therefore, China must have a Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny in mind.” This is wrong. Things don’t work like that. So I would argue that we have inhaled our own propaganda, and we are living in the appropriately stoned state that that produces. If we have sound policies, we can out-compete anyone. But we’re not looking at sound policies; we’re looking at pulling down our competitor. 

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Question for this article:

Is there a growing danger of war between US and China?

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SK: Isn’t the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) indicative of China’s desire to expand its influence, if not “replace” our hegemonic role on the global stage?

CF: The initial impulse of the Belt and Road Initiative was that China had a surplus capacity in steel, cement, aluminum, and construction capability—and it extended these resources abroad. Then China looked at what it was doing and said, “Actually, it would be really good if Lisbon was connected to Vladivostok efficiently, and Arkhangelsk was connected to Colombo. Maybe we could throw in Mombasa, too. This would create a huge interconnected area in which trade and investment could flow smoothly.” So, actually, a major part of the BRI is an agreement on tariffs, customs barrier treatment, transit, and bonded storage. It is the construction of roads, railroads, airports, ports, industrial parks, fiber optic cables, et cetera, over this huge area. 

And the Chinese assumption—not aspiration, but assumption—is that as the largest and most dynamic society in that area, they will be the preeminent force in it. But this is an economic strategy, it’s not a military one. So the problem we have conceptually is that the only way we, the United States, know how to think about international affairs is in military terms. Our foreign policy is very militarized and is driven by military considerations. 

SK: China has rejected the U.S. State Department’s characterization of its treatment of Uighurs in the Xinjiang region as “genocide.” Do you agree with this characterization?

CF: I think what is happening to the Uighurs is awful—no doubt about it. We do not, however, know exactly what’s happening to them. There are terms like genocide being thrown around, which may not fit the case. But I think it is entirely appropriate that we express the view that the treatment of the Uighurs is appalling. What are we going to do about it? It is a complicated situation. I hate to keep coming back to American hypocrisy, but why does the Muslim world not line up with us on the Uighur situation? Because when was the last time we said anything about the Palestinians, Kashmiris, or Chechens? There are Muslims being oppressed all over the world, and we don’t say anything. So selective outrage isn’t very effective.

SK: China continues to defend its crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong. How will this impact U.S. foreign policy toward China? 

CF: What I expect will happen, now that ‘one country’ has been established, is that politics in Hong Kong will evolve to address some of the domestic problems in Hong Kong that have been neglected—housing, education, and social welfare, for example. So I don’t think there’s an easy answer to the Hong Kong issue, but I think that people who have written off the idea of any kind of democracy are wrong. Hong Kong’s democracy will not be focused on secession from China; it will be focused on problems inside Hong Kong. And it may or may not be effective. 

We need to get real about these problems. If we really care about the Uighur and Hong Kong situations from a humanitarian point of view, we need to try to find a way to chip away at them—not just condemn them. Condemning things doesn’t do anything but make people angry and less receptive to your arguments. These issues ought to be addressed seriously. 

SK: How does China view Taiwan’s continued push for independence?  

CF: The Chinese government sees Taiwan as a continuation of a foreign sphere of influence on Chinese territory. They see it as a continuation of warlordism, which means local independence from central control. The Chinese see an independent Taiwan as a challenge to their legitimacy. 

SK: With that in mind, do you think that we are heading toward a military confrontation with China in the Taiwan Strait? 

CF: There is no framework for keeping the peace in the Taiwan area anymore. And I think it’s pretty clear that we’re heading into a war. We seem to be heading toward a bloody rendezvous with Chinese nationalism—and I don’t think that’s too smart. We’re talking about contesting the territory of a nuclear power. Does anybody think about that? There is an underlying assumption, probably born from the thirty years since the end of the Cold War, that we’re invulnerable and omnipotent. I don’t have any problem with the use of force. But I do have a problem with the foolish use of force by picking fights you’re going to lose. Let’s pick a fight, but let’s make sure it’s one that we can win. So I think that instead of trying to bring China down, which we won’t be able to do, we should be trying to leverage its growing prosperity to increase our own prosperity.

SK: How do we do that—leverage China’s prosperity to further our own interests? 

CF: China has the world’s best technology for building infrastructure. We have infrastructure that is falling apart. Maybe their technology can be licensed. Maybe bonds could be issued against tolls on repaired roads or traffic on revamped rail lines. Maybe ports could be rebuilt. There’ve been a whole series of international meetings in recent years about the problem of American infrastructure—our ports can’t handle traffic and they’re not being modernized. I think, actually, our country needs to come to a point where we rediscover what made us great in the beginning: an openness to foreigners, foreign ideas, and best practices from abroad so that we can apply them at home. We should not be approaching the world with the attitude that we have all the answers.  

We should be cooperating with China on broad, planet-wide international problems like climate change, nuclear nonproliferation, environmental remediation, and so forth. We should be cooperating in order to bring a peaceful end to the confrontations with North Korea, Iran, and others. Lastly, we should not be pushing Russia and China together, which is what we are doing. The one maxim of diplomacy is “divide your enemies”—and we are doing the opposite. 

(Thank you to The Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research for calling out attention to this article.)

Weifang, China established their City as an International City of Peace

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article by Fred Arment for International Cities of Peace

TRULY HEARTENING. The millions of citizens of Weifang, China established their City as an International City of Peace in February. They are now deeply involved in peacemaking within their community and beyond. Take a look at this extraordinary magazine focusing on their City of Peace efforts. It is in Chinese language but, from the photos, you can see the budding of global peace in their community. This morning’s email from Weifang City of Peace Liaison Sun Li:


Special issue on peace city
(Click on image to enlarge)

“Dear Mr. J. Fred Arment,

Thank you very much for the congratulations’ link you sent me. Weifang has become an international city of peace, which is of great significance to Weifang and has attracted great attention from all walks of life in China. At the same time, with the help of Professor Liu Cheng, Weifang is making great efforts to do a good job in peace propaganda activities and fulfill the responsibility of a peaceful city.

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

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Recently, we have held a lot of teaching activities. Our staff have entered many schools in Weifang City, carried out peace education, and led the children to do activities related to peace. We help children understand the meaning of peace and the beautiful vision of world peace.

Website links of some activities:
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/8nAhZYk3a4i-2KYabMeG2g
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/nXaaNy-keK1zKbkJga_yBw

In addition, we have published a special issue of peace city.
Link to the website of the special issue:
https://book.yunzhan365.com/dlyu/npqi/mobile/index.html

At present, Weifang is discussing cooperation with Professor Liu Cheng, planning to hold some activities on peace, hoping to let more people understand the true meaning of peace through publicity and education activities.
With respect and appreciation,
Sun Li