Tag Archives: english bulletin

English bulletin July 1, 2022

. COLOMBIA AND NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT .

Two sets of events this month promise progress towards a culture of peace.

In Colombia, the newly-elected President Gustavo Petro promises to re-invigorate the peace process, while at the same time the Colombian Truth Commission has published its long-awaited report.

The election of Petro is the first time in the history of Colombia that a left-wing candidate has been elected President. Petro based his candidature on the promise to complete the peace process by making peace with the ELN guerillas, and to ensure the safety of community leaders and former FARC guerillas. This will not be easy since during the administration of the outgoing President Duque 4,930 leaders were assassinated.

The Colombian Truth Commission has been working since 2018 to clarify the violations that occurred during the armed conflict and to contribute to uniting Colombian society so it can advance towards the construction of a future of peace for all. As expressed by newly-elected President Petro, “The truth cannot be a space for revenge.”

Also in June, two important international meetings took place in the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons.

On 9-10 June scholars and experts met in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to discuss the importance, challenge and prospects for Nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ). The participants congratulated Mongolia on the 30th year of its unprecedented initiative to establish a single-State NWFZ.

More than half of the world is now covered by Nuclear-weapon-free zones, as shown in the world map published with the article from Mongolia.

Then on 21-23 June, the historic first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons met in Vienna and adopted a political declaration and practical action plan that set the course for the implementation of the Treaty and progress towards its goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

CPNN readers may recall that the Treaty was was adopted by a majority of States (122) at the UN on July 7, 2017 (See CPNN bulletin for August 2017) and it entered into force on January 22, 2021 (see CPNN bulletin for February 2021).

The urgency of these initiatives was underlined in the most recent report from SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Of the total inventory of an estimated 12 705 nuclear warheads at the start of 2022, about 9440 were in military stockpiles for potential use. Of those, an estimated 3732 warheads were deployed with missiles and aircraft, and around 2000—nearly all of which belonged to Russia or the USA—were kept in a state of high operational alert. SIPRI adds that nuclear arsenals are expected to grow over the coming decade.

The war in Ukraine runs the risk of escalating into a nuclear war. Speaking at the meeting in Vienna, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “The once unthinkable prospect of nuclear conflict is now back within the realm of possibility.

Cities have no use for nuclear weapons. Hence the United States Conference of Mayors has called on the U.S. and the other nuclear-armed states to commit to a process leading to the adoption no later than 2030 of a timebound plan for the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045. The European Chapter of Mayors for Peace expressed their solidarity with Ukrainian cities and called for a long-term vision of international security that overcomes nuclear deterrence. They attended and supported the Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapon in Vienna that is mentioned above. Activists in a number of European cities mounted actions to support that meeting.

We conclude with homage to the great peace activist Bruce Kent who passed away at the age of 93 last month in England. One of his last acts was to join a small CND delegation delivering a letter to the Russian Embassy in London, which said: “For the sake of Ukrainian children taking shelter from Russian missiles; for the sake of all those who will die if the situation escalates and for the sake of the millions of us who will perish if the heightened risk of nuclear war turns into a nuclear conflict, we urge your government to halt the attacks, withdraw the troops and withdraw the nuclear threats.”

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

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Ulaanbaatar Statement on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

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Gabon: Training to Prepare Project of Youth as Weavers of Peace

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

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One year driving action for gender equality. One year of Generation Equality

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

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Colombia: What is Gustavo Petro’s campaign proposal for ‘total peace’?

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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La Via Campesina calls on States to exit the WTO and to create a new framework based on food sovereignty

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

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Algeria: 19th edition of the Mediterranean Games

HUMAN RIGHTS

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Colombia: Final report of the Truth Commission: an oral and written legacy for the country

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

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Mexico: First issue of the electronic magazine “Culture of Peace” published by the State Human Rights Commission

English bulletin June 1, 2022

. A GLOBAL YOUTH MOVEMENT? . .

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement for peace and sustainable development?

If Australia is an example, the answer may be positive.

In Australia, the political landscape was changed radically in recent elections that saw young people turn out to vote in record numbers to address the issues they care about most: climate change, housing affordability and the rising cost of living. The electoral “greenslide” was made mostly of wins for seats that have the highest population of young people. 

In other countries around the world, it is the new generation that has taken the lead for social change.

In Chile, the young president Gabriel Boric won at the polls in December with historic popular support that surpasses even what the candidate’s own supporters could have imagined. In this sense, an important variable for the victory was undoubtedly the participation of young people. The youthfulness of Gabriel and the team that accompanied him in his campaign was a great asset in the face of a society tired of the same old faces, where young people had been neglected. His movement represents not only a political change, but also a generational change; there is no doubt that it accompanies a process that has been fundamentally raised in recent times by young people.

In Brazil, an army of volunteers, in just a few short weeks, have registered hundreds of thousands of first-time voters. Their nationwide drive is taking aim at youth voter apathy – and may help to boost a slipping advantage for left-wing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as he seeks to unseat far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in October’s election. “Nobody likes Bolsonaro,” said Evelyn Santana, 17, shortly after registering to vote. “Among my friends, most people are going to vote for (Lula). They want Bolsonaro gone.” Polls show the trend holds up nationally. More than half of young people aged 15-24 prefer Lula, according to a survey by pollster Datafolha, while less than 25% of that age group back Bolsonaro.

In Colombia, Gustavo Petro’s candidature for president goes into the run-off election with the support, above all, of Colombian youth, who demand changes and an improvement in living conditions. In fact, that request was shouted for months last year in the streets of Colombia, during an unprecedented National Strike. Young people are a key demographic for Gustavo Petro, who has close to 50% support among voters in that age group. The run-off election will take place on June 19.

In France, young voters are the key to the possibilities of the Left political parties, united in a coalition named NUPES (Nouvelle Union Populaire Ecologique et Sociale) to gain power the National Assembly in elections scheduled for June 12 and 19. In this context, considerable publicity was given to a speech delivered at the prestigious AgroParisTech graduation ceremony on May 10, in which eight students said they refused to perform “destructive jobs” and called on their comrades to join the ecological struggles and to work with their hands.

In the United States, it is students who have taken the lead in responding to continued school massacres by demanding that military weapons should be banned from sale. Although President Biden has said that something should be done, the US Congress continues to be dominanted by the gun lobby. “Legislators need to keep in mind that if we can’t vote now, they need to listen because we will be able to vote eventually,” said Maddie Ahmadi, a 17-year-old advisory board member for Students Demand Action. “And if they are not hearing us and they are not passing common sense gun legislation, we are going to vote them out of office.”

And in Russia, where President Putin and the Duma legislature are pushing the war in the Ukraine and suppressing any expression of opposition, young people are the only part of the population who are against the war. In the poll taken at the beginning of March, only 29% of youth aged 18-24 supported the war, while it was supported by 60% of the general population. Time will tell if their opposition can help end the war.

Despite all of the bad news (war in Ukraine, climate change, global famine, information wars, massive migrations) and dire predictions (crash of dollar, fall of Putin, civil war in the United States, danger of World War III), can we still dream of the promised land of peace? We can only hope that the new generation will provide the leadership required to survive this perilous period of history and guide us towards a culture of peace.

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

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‘We Refuse to Go On Like This’: US Students Walk Out to Demand Gun Control

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

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Palestine: Tears and hope from the last few days

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

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Women of the World Call for Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

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World Social Forum 2022 Declaration: Building together a common agenda for another urgent and necessary world

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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France: “Desertons”: young engineers call for refusing “destructive jobs”

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

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The Boric effect on Chilean youth

HUMAN RIGHTS

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‘It’s a Fight They’ll Get’: Defenders of Abortion Rights March throughout the United States

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

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Ecuador: Hip-hop and urban art are reaffirmed as a ‘culture of peace’ at a festival in Garza Roja

English bulletin May 1, 2022

. THE STRUGGLE FOR TRUTH .

As the Culture of War, now led by Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, continues to use the control of information and outright lies as a major weapon in their arsenal, the struggle for truth becomes ever more important for the culture of peace. As Gandhi said, “’Non-violence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another.’ He called it Satyagraha.”

This is not safe or easy, as we see in the following recent exampes of those who engage in this struggle.

Julian Assange has been imprisoned for many years now and threatened for extradition to the United States where he could be imprisoned for the rest of his life. In a letter this month to President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, more than 30 progressive advocates, intellectuals, and former heads of state argued the charges against Assange should be dropped. The charges against Assange stem from his publication of classified material that exposed U.S. war crimes, including video footage of American forces gunning down civilians in Iraq.

According to a report by Yahoo News, the CIA and senior officials of the Trump administration discussed how to assassinate him.

Dmitry Muratov, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his independent journalism criticizing Russian policies, was attacked recently by someone shouting “Here’s to you for our boys” (i.e. Russian soldiers). Perhaps saved by his notariety as a result of the prize, he was not assassinated like several others of his journalist colleagues. Although his journal, Novaya Gazeta, has been shut down by Russian authorities, there are plans to re-open it abroad.

Glenn Greenwald is an American journalist who has been defending freedom of information for almost 20 years now, including defense of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, and publishing investigative reports on corruption in Brazil and elsewhere. In an article this month republished by CPNN, he reviews the extreme censorship now being orchestrated from Washington has greatly limited the possibility to know what is truly happening in the Russian Federation and the Ukraine. He asks, “Why is there so much urgency about silencing the small pockets of dissenting voices about the war in Ukraine?” And he responds, “The answer seems clear,” and he documents the enormous contracts being given to the military-industrial complex to expand the war.

As an example of how censorship limits the possibility of knowing what is happening in Russia, the reader should recall the editor’s note on the CPNN article of January 19 this year, prior to the invasion of Ukraine: “: In recent weeks, Russian President Putin has proposed new peace treaties between Russia and the US and between Russia and NATO. Google lists perhaps a hundred news articles that mention Putin’s proposals but nowhere in any of the articles could I find a reference to the actual text of the proposals or to the historical context that includes American assurances at the end of the Cold War that NATO would not be expanded towards Russia. Instead, the articles listed by google support American and NATO claims that that Putin’s proposals mask a justification for Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Finally, after a rather long and detailed search, I found the following article (not listed by google) that links to the treaty proposals and to the historical context. Here it is.)

Sergey Aleksashenko, a former deputy governor of the Russian central bank, now writes a dissident blog from inside the Russian Federation. As republished in CPNN, he documents the censorship now being conducted by the Russian authorities which is so extreme as to become ridiculous at times. Somehow, despite the Russian censorship, he continues to publish daily blogs about the situation there.

Medea Benjamin and Nicholas Davies, from the American peace organization Codepink, condemn not only the war crimes committed by Russia in the Ukraine, but even more so the long list of war crimes committed by the United States military in recent years, such as those in Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq. ” The United States and its allies have waged war in country after country for decades, carving swathes of destruction through cities, towns and villages on a far greater scale than has so far disfigured Ukraine.”

Marina Ovsyannikova is the Russian journalist who dared to interrupt a live news bulletin on Russian state TV Channel One holding a sign reading ‘NO WAR. Stop the war’. CPNN carried a link to the video of the event in which she describes her motivation.  She was immediately arrested and according to a more recent article in Haaretz, ” A court fined her the equivalent of about $270, but she still faces charges of violating a law against ‘false news,’ which makes it illegal to refer to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “war.” If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.”

Oliver Stone, the film-maker who dared to defy the American authorities with his film JFK about the asassination of President Kennedy, has now published a film about the coup d’etat in the Ukraine in 2014 orchestrated by the American government, including Vice-President at the time Joe Biden. This provides key evidence of why the Russians have invaded, including links to the conversation between the US ambassador to the Ukraine and a top State Department authority on how to form the new government in 2014, and a statement from Vladimir Putin, asking what can be done to stop the encroachmen of NATO against his country.

In CPNN in recent weeks we have published statements and petitions from hundreds of thousands of Russians opposed to the war as detailed in last month’s bulletin. And most recently we have published also a call from Ukrainian pacifists who dare to criticize their own country as well as the Russians.

The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement writes, “We condemn military actions on both sides, the hostilities which harm civilians. We insist that all shootings should be stopped, all sides should honor the memory of killed people and, after due grief, calmly and honestly commit to peace talks. . . . War is a crime against humanity. Therefore, we are determined not to support any kind of war and to strive for the removal of all causes of war.”

Finally, we turn to the censorship of China.

As re-published in CPNN, “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. . . . 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.”

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

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Russian Nobel Laureate Muratov Doused With Red Paint By Unknown Attacker

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

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Chad, Cameroon and Gabon: Youth as Weavers of Peace in the border region

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

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Gabon Candidate for International Peace Ambassador

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

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Statement of The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement Against Perpetuation of War

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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UN climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

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France : “We, Mayors, want to be architects of Peace!”

HUMAN RIGHTS

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Glenn Greenwald: The Censorship Campaign Against Western Criticism of NATO’s Ukraine Policy Is Extreme

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

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Transformative Peace Initiatives through TOCfE Tools

English bulletin April 1, 2022

. THE RUSSIAN PEACE MOVEMENT . .

As we stated in last month’s bulletin the mass media is jammed with articles about the war in Ukraine, whether Russian atrocities or Western arms being sent to expand the war.

We see our role in CPNN to provide the other side of the news, the mobilization of the peace movement.

Last month we published information from the peace movement on all sides of the conflict. This month there has been an enormous mobilization of the peace movement in Russia opposing their government’s aggression, despite censorship and despite the risks of loss of jobs, destruction of independent media and imprisonment of those who protest. This has been expressed in social media, since mainstream media is government-controlled.

A relatively complete list of Russian petitions, appeals and open letters against the war in social media is published on Google docs and we have reprinted it in CPNN along with frequent updates to overcome the censureship being imposed by the Russian government.

Those aspects of Russian culture that are world-renowned are strongly represented, including science and mathematics, information technology, chess and the arts.

Thousands of Russian scientists have signed an open letter condemning the war and saying that it “means that we, scientists, will no longer be able to do our job normally: after all, conducting scientific research is unthinkable without full cooperation with colleagues from other countries.”

Hundreds of Russian mathematicians have signed a similar open letter, saying that “our many years of efforts to strengthen the reputation of Russia as a leading mathematical center have been completely depreciated as a result of the unprovoked military aggression initiated by our country.”

Tens of thousands of Russian IT workers have signed an open letter, saying that “Progress and development of technologies for the benefit of man are impossible in conditions of war and threats to people’s lives and health, they are possible only in conditions of cooperation, diversity of points of view, information exchange and open dialogue.”

Leading Russian chess players have signed an appeal, saying, “The Ukrainian chess team is the reigning European champion, one of the best teams in the world along with ours. We played dozens of matches and hundreds of games. We have always put the game above politics – and the Ukrainians have responded to us in return. We ask you to give teams, players and ordinary people from both countries a chance for mutual respect. We are for peace. Stop the war!”

Tens of thousands of cultural figures signed an open letter against the war, saying, “the further escalation of the war will have irreparable consequences for artists and cultural workers. This will take away our last opportunities to fully work, speak out, create projects, popularize and develop culture, take away the future. Everything that has been done culturally over the past 30 years has now been jeopardized: all international ties will be broken, cultural private or public institutions will be preserved, partnerships with other countries will be suspended.”

Other aspects of deep Russian culture are also represented, including the Russian Orthodox Church and schoolteachers and the mothers of Russian soldiers.

Many priests and deacons of the Russian Orthodox Church signed an appeal to end the war, warning that “The Last Judgment awaits every person. No earthly authority, no doctors, no guards will protect you from this trial,” and “No nonviolent call for peace and an end to war should be forcibly suppressed and regarded as a violation of the law, for this is the divine commandment: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’”

Thousands of teachers from all regions of Russia signed a petition against the war but the names were withdrawn after they were threatened. However, some of the teachers who signed it describe the difficulty they face in responding to students’ questions about what is happening.

The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers began during the Soviet war in Afghanistan as a network of locally based initiatives led by the families – principally the mothers – of soldiers to lobby the Kremlin for their safe return. They have become the main contact for tearful family members across Russia frantically tried to figure out the fate of their sons, brothers and husbands fighting in the Ukraine. And if there is one thing that can effectively counter the Kremlin’s narrative about its use of force in Ukraine, it is personal knowledge  from trusted sources of information – such as the testimony of combatants delivered to their parents. And these parents will share this knowledge with their extended family, with neighbours, with co-workers, and with friends.

A public opinion poll in Russia found 72% support for the Ukraine war in Russians over the age of 50. Their opinion is strongly influenced by state-controlled television. And this coincides with the fact that opinions about the United States and its allies, which were positive 25 years ago, have turned negative in recent years with the increasing menace cf the incorporation of Eastern Europe into NATO.

On the other hand, only 29% of Russians 18-24 years old support the war. They are more influenced by social media than by television. Hopefully, they will join with the Russian cultural figures mentioned above into a peace movement that can help bring an end to the war.

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

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Russian anti-war movement takes shape on the streets – and on screens

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

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Medellín and Barcelona advance in the project “Without Rumors We Build a Culture of Peace”

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

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UN Women: International Women’s Day celebrates the contribution of women and girls as climate solution multipliers

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

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Germany: Bodensee Peace Region: No rearmament! Practice nonviolence

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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Historic day in the campaign to beat plastic pollution: Nations commit to develop a legally binding agreement

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

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Brazil : Juiz de Fora City Hall launches culture of peace project in schools

HUMAN RIGHTS

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Colombia: Decriminalization of abortion is a triumph for human rights

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

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Puerto Rico : Educate for a Culture of Peace

English bulletin March 1, 2022

PEACE ACTIVISTS AGAINST WAR IN UKRAINE

(Editor’s note: This was originally published on February 21 prior to the invasion.)

The commercial mass media, more than ever an arm of the culture of war, has trumpeted claims that the Ukraine is about to be invaded by Russia in open warfare and that the US and NATO are moving forces into the surrounding countries.

What you don’t find in the commercial mass media is any mention of the antiwar declarations by peace activists in all of the countries concerned.

By careful searching we have been able to find these declarations. Here they are.

Ukraine: The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement has published a declaration on their facebook page, demanding

– compliance with the Minsk peace agreement of 2015;
– withdrawal of all troops,
– suspension of all supplies of weapons and military equipment,
– suspension of total mobilization of the population for war, propaganda of war and hostility of civilizations in the media and social media.”

and going beyond the Ukraine they demand:
– global deescalation and disarmament
– the dissolution of military alliances,
– the elimination of armies and borders dividing people.”

Russia: An open letter, signed by many Russian artists, politicians and academics, and even a retired colonel of the armed forces, criticizes what they call “the party of war in the Russian leadership.” “Only one point of view. is presented on state television, and that is the point of view of the supporters of the war.  We hear about military threats and aggression concerning Ukraine by America and Western countries. But the most dangerous thing is that war is being presented as an acceptable and inevitable course of events. People are trying to deceive, corrupt, impose on us the idea of a holy war with the West instead of developing our country and raising our standard of living. The question is not discussed, but it is ordinary people who will have to pay this price – a huge and bloody price.”

Ironically, the Google document with the full list of signatures is blocked by Google, with the statement that “You can’t access this item because it is in violation of our Terms of Service.”

(Editor’s note: More recently, as of March 5, protests have intensified including thousands of Russian IT workers, teachers, the directors of LUKOIL, the largest private company in Russia, mathematicians, chess champions, artists and cultural workers and scientists who have signed open letters or declarations against the war.)

United States: The United National AntiWar Coalition (UNAC), which brings together most of the leading antiwar organizations of the United States, has issued a statement recalling that the United States promised Soviet leaders at the end of the Cold War that NATO would not expand east of Germany, and criticizing the West for breaking this promise and threatening Russia.

UNAC demands:
– No US weapons or military advisors for the Ukrainian military;
– Stop the US saber rattling;
– No war with Russia;
– Keep Ukraine out of NATO.

France: An extensive list of French peace organizations and trade unions have signed a statement condemning the “geopolitical games at work both on the part of the Russian Federation, the European Union, NATO and others” and demanding:

– Immediate negotiations for de-escalation;
– Stopping threats, NATO and Russian troop concentrations and arms deliveries to all parties;
– A ceasefire in Ukraine and the implementation of existing agreements;
– That the United Nations be the privileged framework for developing political and diplomatic solutions to settle the Ukrainian question.

United Kingdom: Stop the War Coalition has issued a statement opposing war in the Ukraine and criticizing the role the the Britsh government has played by talking up the threat of war continually, advancing no proposals for a diplomatic solution and sending arms to Ukraine and deploying further troops to Eastern Europe. Among other demands, the Coalition call for “a halt to the eastward expansion of NATO” and “a new security deal for Europe which meets the needs of all states and peoples.”

Germany: A petition signed by over 200 German politicians and peace activists states that “A one-sided blaming of Russia, as practiced by some Western governments and in the major media, is unjustified  and is increasingly taking on the character of war propaganda.” The petition demands:

– Concrete steps to de-escalate, no military supplies to Kiev,
– No more war rhetoric, confrontational politics and sanctions against Russia;
– Active advocacy for the implementation of the Minsk II agreement, which is binding under international law ;
– Negotiations with Russia based on a clear commitment to detente and the principle of common security;
– Active advocacy for arms control and disarmament negotiations.

In addition to these declarations by peace activists, the European Leadership Network has published an updated set of seven far-reaching recommendations for reducing the military tensions between Russia, the US and NATO that is signed by 26 leading Russian academicians and 49 leading academicians from the West. In addition to academicians among the signatories from the United States are former ambassadors to Russia, Ukraine and NATO, a former Secretary of Defense, and several retired admirals and generals. On the Russian side there are also very high-placed signatories in addition to academicians, including the former head of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, a former ambassador to the United States, a former Chief Military Representive to NATO and a retired general of the armed forces.

Will the political leaders of Russia, Ukraine, United States and NATO listen to these voices, even though they are not found in the commercial mass media. We can only hope so.

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

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France : War is never the solution. Yes to a negotiated political solution.

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

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The Pope : “The time has come to live in a spirit of fraternity and build a culture of peace”

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

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United Nations : Commission on the Status of Women 2022

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

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The Expert Dialogue on NATO-Russia Risk Reduction: Seven recommendations

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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Central Africa : Safeguarding the Lake Chad basin, a major regional challenge

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

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UN chief calls for Olympic Truce to build ‘culture of peace’ through sport

HUMAN RIGHTS

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Amnesty International : Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

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Mexico : Renowned researchers share their experience of the UNESCO Chairs of the Latin American and Caribbean Region

English bulletin February 1, 2022

. MEDIATION AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE .

While it is difficult to find progress in the culture of peace in international relations, the methods of the culture of peace such as mediation and restorative justice continue to advance at the level of inter-personal relations.

The greatest advances continue to be seen in Latiin America.

In Brazil, two years ago CPNN reported that almost all state courts and judicial policy makers took part in a debate at the Superior Labor Court in Brasilia on the current stage of restorative justice in the country. And recently we have seen developments in restorative justice aimed at promoting a culture of peace in the Brazilian states of Pernambuco and Ceará.

In Argentina, the National Directorate of Mediation and Participatory Methods of Conflict Resolution, held the “National Meeting of the Federal Network of Community Mediation Centers and Training in School Mediation”. In the CPNN article they list the advantages of community mediation and the responsibilities of the mediators and the parties concerned.

In Panama, the Coordination Office of the Community Mediation Program presented the main results achieved during the year 2021. Most cases continue to be initiated voluntarily, that is, that the citizen directly attends the Center to request the conflict management service without the intervention of a judge or other authority.

In Mexico, 13 mediation centers are available in the capitol state. The CPNN article describes the process of mediation in detail.

In the Dominican Republic, the National Conflict Resolution System (Sinarec), reported that in the past year 2021 it trained more than 11 thousand people in its citizen education programs for alternative conflict resolution and culture of peace. Among those trained were members of public ministries, psychologists, teachers, members of the National Police, community and ecclesiastical leaders.

Europe is advancing as well. Ministries of Justice of the Member States of the Council of Europe took part in the Conference on the theme of restorative justice, in Venice in December. The two-day Ministerial Conference concluded with the signing of the Venice Declaration, a joint document that stimulates policies aimed at a wider dissemination of restorative justice, access to which “should be an objective of the national authorities”.

In Spain, the Specialized Mediation Group of the Granada Bar Association has discussed and described the transformative practice of mediation. This type of mediation orients the participants towards conflict transformation, maximizing the choice and control of the parties in terms of content and process, increasing the intervener’s transparency, avoiding the use of pressure, manipulation and overreaction and promoting the conversation between the parties.

Over the years CPNN has carried many articles about the use of restorative justice in the United States. And most recently, the law school of Marquette University has established a Center for Restorative Justice. The center will train law students in how to use restorative justice at local, national, and international levels in a guided civil dialogue to address conflict, promote healing, and facilitate problem solving.

A bill was introduced in December in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India to promote mediation (including online mediation), and provide for enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation.  The bill sets out the procedures that must be followed in mediation and among other measures, it would require the central government to establish the Mediation Council of India.

If only these principles of mediation and restorative justice could be used at the level of international relations ! For example, Russia has recently proposed peace treaties with the United States and with NATO, but so far they are being completely ignored, not only by the USA and Europe, but also by the mass media in these countries.

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Europe

Council of Europe : Ministerial Conference on restorative justice concludes with the signature of the Declaration of Venice

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

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Spain: More than 140 people participate in the first Congress ‘Aragon, culture of peace’

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

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Conakry: former deputies launch a new coalition for peace, rights and development, COFEPAD-Guinea

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

Russia

US Must Take Russia’s Security Concerns Seriously

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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Mexico: The government integrates the Mayan Train in the program Promotion of the Culture of Peace and Reconstruction of the Social Fabric

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

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Russia, China, Britain, U.S. and France say no one can win nuclear war

HUMAN RIGHTS

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Amnesty International : 33 human rights wins to celebrate this year

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

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Dominican Republic: 11 Thousand People Train in Conflict Resolution and Culture of Peace in 2021

English bulletin January 1, 2022

. . THE BIENNALE OF LUANDA . .

For almost a decade now, CPNN has been following the Biennale of Luanda as it strives to make Africa the first continent to adopt everywhere a culture of peace.

The process began in 2013 with the Pan-African Forum “Sources and Resources for a Culture of Peace ” held in Luanda, Angola. It was extended in by the 2nd international conference on the culture of peace in Africa , December 2016 in Luanda.

The process was formalized to occur every two years as the Biennale of Luanda, and the first Biennale was held in September 2019.

Last month, the process culminated in the Second Biennale of Luanda held from November 27 to December 2 as a hybrid programme of in-person and on-line events.

The representative of UNESCO who led this process from the beginning, Enzo Fazzino, was honored in a videoconference, as he retired after this year’s event. The account on the UNESCO website is entitled, Une étoile s’ajoute parmi les grands sages de l’UNESCO (A star is added to list of the great wise men of UNESCO).

This year’s Biennale gathered high-level participants from governments, international institutions, the private sector, the artistic and scientific communities, and many more. It was organized as an intergenerational dialogue involving young people from all the countries of the African Union, as well the diaspora.

In the end, 118 young people were selected from 49 African countries and 14 countries of the Diaspora to take part in the Biennale, of whom 10 came in person to Luanda and the others participated virtually. The youth made a number of commitments, including to “Strengthen the capacity of Pan-African youth to promote the culture of peace, identify and support youth initiatives and best practices that work towards the sustainable implementation, individually and collectively, of the concepts of the culture of peace.”

The event included a rich selection of films and shows for culture of peace in Africa. Links to videos of 20 are provided on CPNN, coming from Cape Verde, Congo, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal and Zimbabwe, as well as the Diaspora in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Germany, Haiti, Portugal and Sweden.

The Biennale was opened by the President of Angola, João Lourenço, He recognized the involvement of the African Diaspora, “Many of Africa’s children have been leaving the continent in inhumane conditions and at the risk of their own lives in fleeing conflict zones or looking for a job and better living conditions. Regardless of their age, academic or professional background, they are all important and needed for the development of our continent. We always have the expectation that one day they will voluntarily return with the desire to contribute towards leveraging progress and development in all sectors of African national life.

Speaking as the President of the African Union, Félix Tshisekedi, assured their continued support and paid tribute to the role of youth, ““Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, in the words of the illustrious Agostinho Neto Kilamba, President and Poet, champion of the liberation of man and human brotherhood, ‘poet of sacred hopes’, we should ‘look at Africa with the eyes of the future’,”

And in her speech, UNESCO Directrice-General Audrey Azoulay said “UNESCO will continue to give its full support to this pan-African initiative, so that it is sustainable, in cooperation with the African Union and the Government of Angola. The culture of peace and non-violence is a long relay race ; it takes s a united team, generation after generation, to be victorious.”

The Biennale will be re-convened in two years, again organized by the African Union, Angola and UNESCO. In the meantime, it is up to the youth to keep the flame going.

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

highlights

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

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

youth

Youth at the Luanda Biennale – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

Phyllis

Phyllis Kotite has passed away

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

mercociudades

Mercociudades: A Latin American Network to Fight for More Inclusive, Egalitarian, Diverse and Supportive Cities

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

India

Indian farmers call off lengthy protest after govt assurances

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

Dhaka

Bangladesh: Dhaka Peace Declaration Adopted

HUMAN RIGHTS

Elders

The Elders: Israel’s designation of Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist” undermines core democratic principles

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Jalisco

Mexico: Toys and Games as Instruments of the Culture of Peace

English bulletin December 1, 2021

..THE FAILURE OF COP26. . .

Once again, this time the 26th, the Conference of Parties has failed – the conference of the nation-states of the world to deal with the climate crisis.

As described by Greta Thunberg, it was a “greenwashing event” of “blah, blah, blah”: “The leaders are not doing nothing; they are actively creating loopholes and shaping frameworks to benefit themselves, and to continue profiting from this destructive system. This is an active choice by the leaders to continue the exploitation of nature and people and the destruction of presents and future living conditions to take place”.

As described by Amnesty International, “Leaders have catastrophically betrayed humanity at large by failing to protect people most affected by the climate crisis and instead caving into the interests of fossil fuel and other powerful corporations.

The crisis has intensified, but little else has changed since the previous conferences such as those described in CPNN bulletins in 2012 and again in 2015 and summarized here.. After those conferences, CPNN remarked that while the nation-states could not deal with the crisis, the organizations of cities were taking effective action, and young people around the world were mobilizing into a global youth movement.

Again this year, the organizations of cities are showing the way.

Global city partners C40, ICLEI, the Global Covenant of Mayors, CDP, UCLG, WRI and WWF, are working together to recruit cities to the Race to Zero. The 1049 cities and local governments signing onto the Race to Zero represent 722 million people and will pursue ambitious climate action in line with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5℃ – the global standard for climate action. The mayors’ presence at COP26 is the culmination of years of visionary climate leadership from local leaders who have leveraged their influence to bolster global climate ambition. They have promoted their vision for a Global Green New Deal, which aims to place inclusive climate action at the centre of all urban decision-making to create healthy, accessible, liveable, and sustainable cities for all.

And again this year, it is the young people like Greta Thunburg who are seizing the initiative.

At Glasgow there were an estimated 250,000 demonstrators, led by young people and their organizations like Fridays for the Future which was started by Greta Thunberg.. Other demonstrations, largely led by youth, took place in Brussels, Melbourne, Palu (Indonesia), Paris, Berlin, Seoul, Manila, New York, Dharmsala (India), Wellington (New Zealand), Fiji, Istanbul, and Victoria (Canada), just to mention those for which we published photos.

The peace movement recognizes that the struggle for climate justice is an essential part of the struggle for a culture of peace. An example is our report from Mouvement de la Paix in France.

Religious organizations are also mobilizing. Many Catholics joined the demonstrations in Glasgow, inspired by the 2015 encyclical letter of Pope Francis entitled “LAUDATO SI’ drawn from the words of Saint Francis of Assisi. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us.”

A global movement is forming and it is led by youth. Quoting from the website of Fridays for the Future, “Along with other groups across the world, Fridays for Future is part of a hopeful new wave of change, inspiring millions of people to take action on the climate crisis. . . The goal of the movement is to put moral pressure on policymakers, to make them listen to the scientists, and then to take forceful action to limit global warming. Our movement is independent of commercial interests and political parties and knows no borders. We strike because we care for our planet and for each other. We have hope that humanity can change, avert the worst climate disasters and build a better future. Every day there are more of us and together we are strong. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is needed. No one is too small to make a difference.”

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Glasgow
COP26: Thousands of young people take over Glasgow streets demanding climate action

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

France
Some villages in France have found a second life by welcoming refugees

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

UNiTE
United Nations : UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

cities
From LA to Bogotá to London, global mayors unite to deliver critical city momentum to world leaders tasked with keeping 1.5 degree hopes alive at Glasgow’s COP26

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

Nicaragua

What I Saw on Election Day in Nicaragua

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

Vanyan
Remembering Georgi Vanyan: for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia

HUMAN RIGHTS

Amnesty
Amnesty International: Leaders’ catastrophic failure on climate at COP26

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Merida
Mexico: Municipal Mediation Unit of the City of Merida to promote a Culture of Peace

English bulletin November 1, 2021

CITIES, TOWNS FOR CULTURE OF PEACE

As we have previously remarked in this bulletin most recently in 2020 and 2016, the leadership for a culture of peace is often taken by cities and towns, since, unlike nation-states, they are not heavily invested in the culture of war and since they tend to be more responsive to the needs of their citizens.

This month, there are four articles in this regard from Mexico.

The mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, has emphasized the social programs that she has implemented during her mandate to improve security conditions. She explains that “security is also the result of social justice, that is why we address the causes of violence with programs that allow access to education, culture and sports.” She emphasized the projects that have been the foundations of her government in the capital of the country: the Points of Innovation, Freedom, Art, Education and Knowledge (Pillars), Yes to disarmament, yes to peace, Inside the Neighborhood and Wellbeing for Girls and Boys, My Scholarship to Get Started.

Mayor Sheinbaum also hosted the third World Forum on Cities and Territories of Peace in Mexico City. The Forum demonstrated the power of women and their influence in the most important positions to run large cities in the world. In the first session of the event, all the participants were women. Claudia Sheibaum (representative of Mexico City), Claudia López (mayor of Bogotá), Ada Colau (mayor of Barcelona), Manuela Carmena (former mayor of Madrid) and Reyna Rueda (mayor of Managua).

Women have also taken the lead for a culture of peace in the Mexican city of Chihuahua. Their network, the Red Mesa de Mujeres, highlights the importance of training women leaders in this area. “We started with the idea of building a group of ten women and we already have 65 of all ages.”

In the Mexican city of Saltillo, the Mano Cadena program works to create, implement and disseminate preventive strategies for conflict resolution that promote a culture of peace. Actions include more than 138 information and awareness talks on the subject of alternative justice, 30 workshops on Peace Circles, and more than 50 training courses-workshops in community, school and alternative justice mediation given to more than 1,800 participants, community representatives and teachers.

Other articles come from Spain, United States, Japan, China, United Kingdom and France.

In Spain, United States and Japan, organizations of cities are putting pressure on their national governments to join the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which so far has only been signed by non-nuclear countries. Details are provided in the newsletter of Mayors for Peace.

Also in the United States, the city of Pittsburgh is taking steps to create “a city of peace with a culture of nonviolence.” A group, which called the Black Elected Officials Coalition, announced it would begin a series of community events to promote peace in the streets.

In China, the city of Nanjing hosted the 2021 Nanjing Peace Forum, co-sponsored with UNESCO. The Forum conducted a lively and in-depth discussion on the natural environment and human destiny, sustainable development goals and green investment, environmental challenges and youth actions, global green recovery and good business, peace actions and international practices. The “2021 Nanjing Peace Consensus” was passed. This has become an annual event, as the 2020 Forum was described in CPNN.

In the United Kingdom, the city of Coventry, the current City of Culture, which is known as a city of peace and reconciliation, welcomed Little Amal, a giant puppet of a child, as she nears the end of a 5,000-mile walk from Syria to “rewrite the narrative about refugees”. Coventry is home to about 1,500 people seeking refuge.

In France, the welcome of refugees also contributes to a culture of peace. The lead in this regard is being taken by small villages that have lost population in recent years and that find a revitaliization by refugees. In Notre-Dame-de-l’Osier, the refugees have engaged in gardening and a weekly market, as well as pottery workshops, cooking and honey harvesting that have enlivened village life. In Pessat-Villeneuve, the immigrants took responsibilty for the creation and distribution of masks that were needed to combat the epidemic of COVID.

The mayor of Grigny, France, Philippe Rio was chosen as best mayor in the world by the London association “ City Mayors Foundation ”to reward his management of the Covid crisis, and his fight against poverty in his city.” He has also taken part in the welcome of refugees and the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons.

Mayor Rio spoke at the first national forum of the AFCDRP (Association of Mayors for Peace, France) that took place October 13 in Montpelier.

At the Forum I was privileged to deliver an address that described how cities can contribute to the culture of peace, with reference to the Declaration for the Transition to a Culture of Peace in the 21st Century.

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

CDMX
Mexico City successfully holds the World Forum of Cities and Territories of Peace

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

worldmarch
Successful start of the Latin American March for Nonviolence, Multiethnic and Pluricultural

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Thunberg
Our future, our decisions: young activists call for seat at climate table

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Sheinbaum
The programs of Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum to reduce violence in Mexico City

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

Nobel

The Nobel Peace Prize 2021

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

IPB
World Peace Congress concludes in Barcelona with successful participation

HUMAN RIGHTS


abortion

USA: Women Rally for Abortion Justice Amid ‘Unprecedented Attack’ on Reproductive Rights

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Jovenes
Chad: AJPNV training for democracy and human rights

English bulletin October 1, 2021

. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE .

In our survey of the Internet this year we found actions for the International Day of Peace in 628 communities located throughout the world. This total is similar to what we found last year, with the greatest number of actions taking place in Europe.

In Western Euope we found reference to actions in 191 communities. The greatest number was recorded in Belgium where 114 towns and municipalities participated in a campaign to fly the peace flag on official buildings, calling for a Belgium without nuclear weapons in a world without nuclear weapons. In France, the Collective for 21 September coordinated and described actions in 46 communities, including marches and demonstrations, often linked to the struggle to preserve the planet from global warming. The Collective is composed of 35 French organizations, led by Mouvement de la Paix.

Mikis Theodorakis, who passed away on September 2, was honored in Athens by dancers celebrating the Day of Peace, with the following quote from him, “”We are a vast, deep river that is constantly deepening, that is constantly widening and enriching as it moves towards this endless, wide sea, which is global cooperation in a world of peace.”

In the former Soviet countries of Eastern Europe, especially Russia, and the Ukraine, we found actions in 157 communities, most of them involving the children in schools. Following the tradition of recent years, the children made paper doves and wrote their wishes for peace, sometimes attaching them to balloons to fly into the sky and travel across the earth. This year many of the schools prepared videos of their actions and wishes.

As was the case last year, many of the actions took place in communities across the two sides of the armed coflict in the Ukraine. One of the celebrations, in Yasinovataya, took place despite being under an artillery attack. In one school after another, the war was mentioned, for example in Markivka it was said that “In the conditions of the war in the East of Ukraine, this holiday acquired a special, at the same time sublime and tragic significance. ”

In North America we found actions in 159 communities, of which 122 were coordinated and listed on the website of the Campaign Nonviolence, mobilizing “across the country and around the world for a culture of peace, economic equality, racial justice and environmental healing.” 48 of the 50 states of the United States were represented, along with the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.

As usual, the most intensive celebration was in Philadelphia (Peace Day Philly) with 15 events, including four events with colorful flyers for which links are provided.

Ongoing wars and recent peace accords were addressed by the day’s celebrations in the rest of the world.

In Africa we found celebrations in 36 communities in 19 countries, many of them torn by violent conflict. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Youth Parliament of the Beni region declared ““We launch a vibrant appeal to all young people in the province of North Kivu to dissociate themselves from the armed groups in order to make possible the return of peace and security in our region.” In Cameroon, thousands who marched in several cities and towns said they were tired of burying civilians caught up in the fighting. They called for a cease-fire between the military and separatists. In Abuja, Nigeria, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution called on all Nigerians to work assiduously to return peace to the country. And the African Union repeated its call for “Silencing the guns.”

In the Middle East and North Africa, we found actions in 18 communities in 12 countries. In Taiz, Yemen, the Abductees’ Mothers Association spoke of the suffering of mothers and families of the abducted, arbitrarily arrested, and forcibly disappeared individuals while waiting for peace resolutions leading to their sons’ freedom. In South Sudan, the Ecumenical Network on South Sudan called upon the leaders of South Sudan, both in government and in opposition, the security forces and citizens to finally take responsibility and resolve conflicts both national and locally through nonviolent means. In Jerusalem, some 1,000 Jewish and Arab mothers gathered for a number of events held by Women Wage Peace, including creating a human chain and a rally, demand that the government do everything possible to resolve the conflict with a political agreement. And the Arab League called on all nations and peoples, especially Arab countries experiencing armed conflicts, to immediately cease fire, abide by the cessation of hostilities, and resort to a political solution, as it is the only way to settle conflicts and disputes

In Latin America we found actions in 29 communities and 11 countries. Celebrations in Colombia were linked to commemoration of the fifh year since the signing of the peace agreement. In Bogota, the Unit for Victims reiterates its commitment to those most affected by the violence, working to implement all the actions that are the central axis of the Final Agreement with the FARC. In Medellin, the Mayor’s Office noted that the city is becoming an epicenter for the implementation of the Peace Accords, above all, putting in the center to the victims and their right to access justice, truth and guarantees of non-repetition. And in Nariño, the Third World Summit announced that San Bernardo and Tablon de Gómez iare now free of antipersonnel mines.

In Asia and the Pacific we found actions in 42 communities in 13 countries. The plight of Rohingya refugees was addressed by the Center for Peace Studies in Dhaka, Bangladesh and by the NRS Relief in refugee camps. The plight of the people of Kashmir was addressed by the Kashmir Parliamentary Peace Conference. And the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process in the Philippines called for strengthening institutional an popular support for this effort.

As mentioned above, women are playing a leading role in peace efforts in Yemen and Jerusalem. Similarly, in the Ukraine, the “Women for Peace” “demonstrated and demanded fulfillment of promises by the government and Supreme Council to establish peace in the country. “We very much hope that once again the demands of our women, which we set out in our appeal, will be heard and measures will be taken.” And in Casamance, Senegal, it is the Platform of Women for Peace that is most active.

Summing up the sentiments of Peace Day participants, and repeating a phrase of young activist Greta Thunberg, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres concluded “We need peace to recover from the pandemic and re-build shattered systems and shattered lives. We need peace to level the playing field and reduce inequalities. We need peace to renew trust in one another — and faith in facts and science. And we need to make peace with nature — to heal our planet, build a green economy, and achieve our net-zero targets. Peace is not a naïve dream. It’s a light in the darkness. Guiding us to the only pathway to a better future for humanity. Let’s walk the pathway of peace as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.”

      

GLOBAL

world-rev

What has happened this year: International Day of Peace

UNITED STATES AND CANADA

New-London-CT

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace

EUROPE

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Europe: International Day of Peace

ASIA AND PACIFIC

Bangladesh-NRS
Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

EX-SOVIET COUNTRIES

Irshava-Ukraine
Ex-Soviet countries: International Day of Peace

ARAB STATES AND MIDDLE EAST

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Arab and Middle Eastern States: International Day of Peace

LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN

Peru
Latin America: International Day of Peace

AFRICA

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Africa: International Day of Peace