Tag Archives: global

Revealing He Too Had Manning Leaks, Ellsberg Dares DOJ to Prosecute Him Like Assange

. . HUMAN RIGHTS . .

An article by Jessica Corbett in Common Dreams

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on Tuesday dared U.S. prosecutors to come after him like they have Julian Assange by  revealing  in a BBC News interview that the WikiLeaks publisher sent him a backup of leaked materials from former military analyst Chelsea Manning.

“Let me tell you a secret. I had possession of all the Chelsea Manning information before it came out in the press,” Ellsberg said to BBC’s Stephen Sackur in the on-camera interview. “I’ve never said that publicly.”

Assange had sent him the materials—which include  evidence  of U.S. war crimes—in case “they caught him and they got everything,” the 91-year-old explained. “He could rely on me to find some way to get it out.”

Australian-born Assange is currently detained in London and  fighting  in British and European courts against his extradition to the United States, where he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted under Espionage Act charges.

Inviting action by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Ellsberg said that “I am now as indictable as Julian Assange and as everyone who put that information out—the papers, everybody who handled it.”

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Question related to this article:
 
Is Internet freedom a basic human right?

Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

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“Yes, I had copies of it and I did not give them to an authorized person. So, if they want to indict me for that, I will be interested to argue that one in the courts—whether that law is constitutional,” he continued, referring to the Espionage Act.

Highlighting that the highest U.S. court has never held that it is constitutional to use the Espionage Act as if it were a British Official Secrets Act, Ellsberg said that “I’d be happy to take that one to the Supreme Court.”

The Espionage Act, “used against whistleblowers, is unconstitutional,” he asserted. “It’s a clear violation of the First Amendment.”

Ellsberg’s public confession comes after editors and publishers at five major media outlets that collaborated with WikiLeaks in 2010 for articles based on diplomatic cables from Manning  released  a letter late last month arguing that “it is time for the U.S. government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets.”

“This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” the letter states. “Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.”

The new Ellsberg interview also follows the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) confirming earlier this month that 51-year-old Assange has asked the tribunal to block his extradition to the United States.

Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton  told  Reuters last week that “I would imagine the U.S. wants to avoid” a case going before the ECHR for “trying to extradite a publisher from Europe for publishing U.S. war revelations when the U.S. is asking Europe to make all sort of sacrifices for the war in Ukraine.”

Because ‘Publishing Is Not a Crime,’ Major Newspapers Push US to Drop Assange Charges

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article by Jake Johnson from Common Dreams

The five major media outlets that collaborated with WikiLeaks in 2010 to publish explosive stories  based on confidential diplomatic cables from the U.S. State Department sent a letter Monday calling on the Biden administration to drop all charges against Julian Assange, who has been languishing in a high-security London prison for more than three years in connection with his publication of classified documents.


Demonstration October in Berlin. Photo by Keystone

“Twelve years after the publication of ‘Cablegate,’ it is time for the U.S. government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets,” reads the letter   signed by the editors and publishers of The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El País. “Publishing is not a crime.”

The letter comes as Assange, the founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, is fighting  the U.S. government’s attempt to extradite him to face charges of violating the draconian Espionage Act of 1917. If found guilty on all counts, Assange would face a prison sentence of up to 175 years for publishing classified information—a common journalistic practice.

Press freedom organizations have vocally warned   that Assange’s prosecution would pose a threat to journalists the world over, a message that the five newspapers echoed in their letter Monday.

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Question related to this article:
 
Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

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“This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” the letter reads. “Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.”

The “Cablegate” leak consisted of more than 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables that offered what the Times characterized as “an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world.”

Among other revelations , the documents confirmed   that the U.S. carried out a 2009 airstrike in Yemen that killed dozens of civilians. Cables released by WikiLeaks showed that then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh assured U.S. Central Command Gen. David Petraeus that the Yemeni government would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”

The media outlets’ letter notes that “the Obama-Biden administration, in office during the WikiLeaks publication in 2010, refrained from indicting Assange, explaining that they would have had to indict journalists from major news outlets too.”

“Their position placed a premium on press freedom, despite its uncomfortable consequences,” the letter continues. “Under Donald Trump, however, the position changed. The [Department of Justice] relied on an old law, the Espionage Act of 1917 (designed to prosecute potential spies during World War One), which has never been used to prosecute a publisher or broadcaster.”

Despite dire warnings from rights groups, the Biden administration has decided to continue   pursuing Assange’s extradition and prosecution.

In June, the United Kingdom formally approved   the U.S. extradition request even after a judge warned   extradition would threaten Assange’s life.

Assange’s legal team filed an appeal  in August, alleging that the WikiLeaks founder is “being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions.”

See 867 US Military Bases on New Online Tool

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Transcend Media Service

World BEYOND War has launched a new online tool at worldbeyondwar.org/no-bases  that allows the user to view a globe pock-marked with 867 U.S. military bases in (76) countries other than the United States, and to zoom in for a satellite view of and detailed information on each base. The tool also allows filtering the map or list of bases by country, government type, opening date, number of personnel, or acres of land occupied.

video about the new bases tool.

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Question related to this article:

Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

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This visual database was researched and developed by World BEYOND War to help journalists, activists, researchers, and individual readers understand the immense problem of excessive preparation for war, which inevitably leads to international bullying, meddling, threats, escalation, and mass atrocity. By illustrating the extent of the U.S. empire of military outposts, World BEYOND War hopes to call attention to the wider problem of war preparations. Thanks to davidvine.net for a variety of information included in this tool.

The United States of America, unlike any other nation, maintains this massive network of foreign military installations around the world. How was this created and how is it continued? Some of these physical installations are on land occupied as spoils of war. Most are maintained through collaborations with governments, many of them brutal and oppressive governments benefiting from the bases’ presence. In many cases, human beings were displaced to make room for these military installations, often depriving people of farmland, adding huge amounts of pollution to local water systems and the air, and existing as an unwelcome presence.

U.S. bases in foreign lands often raise geopolitical tensions, support undemocratic regimes, and serve as a recruiting tool for militant groups opposed to the U.S. presence and the governments its presence bolsters. In other cases, foreign bases have made it easier for the United States to launch and execute disastrous wars, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. Across the political spectrum and even within the U.S. military there is growing recognition that many overseas bases should have been closed decades ago, but bureaucratic inertia and misguided political interests have kept them open. Estimates of the yearly cost to the U.S. of its foreign military bases range from $100 – 250 billion.

‘Historic Win’: UN Members to Start Talks on ‘Inclusive and Effective’ Global Tax Standards

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Jessica Corbett from Common Dreams

Tax justice advocates around the world on Wednesday celebrated the unanimous adoption of a resolution to “begin intergovernmental discussions in New York at United Nations Headquarters on ways to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation.”


The U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the “promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations” was spearheaded by the African Group —which is composed of the continent’s 54 member states—and comes after about a decade of delays on the topic at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“We note that the OECD has played a role in these areas,” a representative of the Nigerian delegation to the U.N. reportedly said Wednesday. “It is clear after 10 years of attempting to reform international tax rules that there is no substitute for the global, inclusive, transparent forum provided by the United Nations.”

“The African Group urges countries to remain committed to the development of inclusive tax instruments at the United Nations and encourage the OECD to play a supporting role in this regard,” the Nigerian representative continued.

After the resolution was adopted, Global Alliance for Tax Justice executive coordinator Dereje Alemayehu declared that “this is a historic win for the tax justice and the broader economic justice movement and a big step forward to combat illicit financial flows and tax abuse.”

“African countries stood together and made historic strides, breaking through the long-standing blockade by the OECD countries,” Alemayehu added. “Shifting power from the OECD is paramount to end the exploitation and plunder of developing countries.”

Tax Justice Network chief executive Alex Cobham similarly commended member nations “on their bold action today to move rule-making on global tax into the daylight of democracy at the U.N.,” highlighting that “the adopted resolution will now open the way for intergovernmental discussions on the negotiation of a U.N. tax convention and a global tax body.”

A proposed amendment to the resolution from the United States that would have cut the mention of “the possibility of developing an international tax cooperation framework or instrument that is developed and agreed upon through a United Nations intergovernmental process” was defeated.

Cobham emphasized that the resolution moved forward despite the fact that “the OECD has been unprecedentedly aggressive in its lobbying.”

“Some OECD countries spoke in favor of the organization’s role after the resolution’s adoption, but… the OECD’s two-pillar tax proposal is on life support, with even the organization’s own members… struggling to defend its work,” he said. “Work which has failed to deliver after nearly a decade of promises and work which has left countries losing $483 billion in tax to tax havens a year; and work which has been widely identified as exclusionary by countries outside the core membership of rich countries. Ultimately, this only confirms the importance of moving tax rule-making to a globally inclusive and transparent forum at the United Nations.”

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Question for this article:

Opposing tax havens and corruption: part of the culture of peace?

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Though it was backed by more than 100 countries and jurisdictions last year, the OECD’s international tax reform framework has been called “skewed-to-the-rich and completely unfair,” with critics warning that its 15% global minimum tax for multinational corporations is “way too low.”

“Fears that the OECD process had stalled grew over the summer after the nation of Hungary blocked a 15% minimum corporate tax from being adopted in the European Union,” The Hill reported Wednesday. Experts said the timing of the UNGA resolution was tied to “the delay on the OECD provision that stipulates where a corporation can be taxed for the use of its products as well as frustration from lower-income countries about the amount of that tax.”

According to news outlet:

“There’s a document that’s supposed to be coming out in December outlining which unilateral measures will need to be abandoned, including digital services taxes,” Daniel Bunn, president of the Tax Foundation, a Washington think tank, said in an interview. “The goal is to have a multilateral treaty ready for signature middle of next year.”

On the amount that corporations can be taxed—which is known as Pillar Two within the agreement—E.U. finance ministers are set to meet again in December.

“The language of their announcement is that they’re going to be ‘aiming for agreement’ on Pillar Two, but it’s not clear that that’s certain. Hungary has been holding things up,” Bunn added.

Other analysts in Washington say that the interests of developing countries are not given proper consideration in the OECD’s framework, an oversight that could further delay a final deal.

Tove Maria Ryding, tax coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said Wednesday that “some rich countries are still holding on to the archaic idea that they can keep global rule-making on tax under the control of the OECD—also known as the rich countries’ club.”

“But today’s vote shows that at the end of the day, they know they cannot stop the development towards inclusive, transparent, and U.N.-led tax governance, which is already highly overdue,” Ryding argued. “The OECD-led governance is coming to an end—both because it was deeply unjust and biased in favor of a few rich countries. But also because the OECD has so blatantly failed to stop international tax abuse.”

While welcoming the success of the resolution on Wednesday, Pooja Rangaprasad at the Society for International Development warned that “the post-adoption statements by some developed countries have made it clear that the road ahead will be challenging.”

“However, it is in the interest of all countries to fix an outdated international tax system that is bleeding hundreds of billions of dollars in much-needed resources and public revenue,” Rangaprasad said. “The fight continues in holding all our governments accountable to agree to an effective U.N. tax convention that will ensure wealthy corporations and elites pay their fair share in taxes.”

Cobham of Tax Justice Network stressed that “the intergovernmental discussions next year will be crucial in setting the path for this new era of international tax. It is vital that countries in each region of the world follow the African leadership that underpinned this success, and engage together to generate common positions on an ambitious agenda.”

At Fez forum, UN chief calls for global ‘alliance of peace’ recognizing inclusion and richness of diversity

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY .

An article from the United Nations

In a world where “old evils – antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, persecution of Christians, xenophobia, and racism – are receiving new leases on life”, the UN Alliance of Civilizations is helping to show the way on how to act in solidarity, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said on Tuesday.

Mr. Guterres was speaking at the opening of the 9th Global Forum  of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) which is taking place in Fez, Morocco. 

“The forces of division and hate are finding fertile ground in a landscape marred by injustice and conflicts,” said Mr. Guterres calling for the creation of an alliance of peace  through recognizing “diversity as richness” and investing in inclusion; and making sure that “all of us – regardless of race, descent, origin, background, gender, religion, or other status – can live lives of dignity and opportunity.”  

“The Holy Quran teaches us that God created nations and tribes ‘so that we might know one another’,” said UN Secretary-General urging at this time of peril, to be inspired by the essence of these meanings and “stand together as one human family – rich in diversity, equal in dignity and rights, united in solidarity.” 

‘Clash of interests and ignorance’ 

Miguel Angel Moratinos, the UNAOC High Representative, recalled the thesis of prestigious American political scientist Samuel Huntington, in his famous lecture on the “clash of civilizations,” but gave his views on the idea. 

Mr. Moratinos asserted that “international conflicts cannot be the sole consequence of religion, culture or civilizations. It must be stated bluntly: there is no clash of civilizations. There is a clash of interests and a clash of ignorance.” 

For the High representative, the world is not facing a clash of civilizations, because the world of the 21st century is global and interconnected. Hence, “we are one humanity facing multiple global challenges.” 

“The recent crises affecting the international community have shown us that there are no borders that can stop viruses and wars, whether they occur in Europe or in any other corner of the world,” Mr. Moratinos stated, noting further that, “a regional war, the war in Ukraine has affected the peace and stability of the entire international order.” 

“In the face of defending tolerance, let us defend mutual respect. In the face of defending coexistence, let us defend living together: “convivencia” [coexistence]. 

Indeed, he said: “In the face of defending minorities, let us defend the equal rights of all citizens; In the face of exclusion and separatism, let us defend inclusion and fraternity; In the face of only a dialogue of civilizations, let us engage ourselves in an Alliance of Civilizations, in a collective commitment.” 

‘Politics speaks to citizens, religion speaks to their souls’ 

The Forum takes place against the backdrop of an extremely complex global context marked by myriad challenges, ranging from the surge in violent extremism, terrorism, xenophobia, hate speech to racism, discrimination, and radicalism, among others.  

Over 1,000 representatives from nearly 100 countries participated in the event, including Advisor to the King of Morocco, André Azoulay, who delivered a powerful message of solidarity on behalf of th4e King, focusing on the importance of finding pathways to peace, unity and solidarity, and how Fez and wider Morocco embodied these values. 

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

Question for this article:

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

“Morocco is built around a model of openness, harmony and synergy that has seen the convergence of Arab-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharan-Hassanian confluents, and that has, at the same time, been enriched by African, Andalusian, Hebrew and Mediterranean tributaries,” he said. 

In his remarks to the Forum, Mr. he explained that Morocco was committed from the beginning has been committed to this avant-garde and has remained there with constancy through: Firstly, promoting openness as a pillar of the culture of peace; secondly, living religion as a vehicle of peace; thirdly, working for development – in the broadest sense of the term – as an ingredient for peace. 

“Politics speaks to citizens, religion speaks to their souls, dialogue speaks to their civilizations”, stressed Mr. Azoulay, adding that there is really no point in carrying out major projects “if we do not manage to go beyond this first link in the chain of ‘living-together’, in the name of a single humanity, which puts back human beings at the center of its concerns.” 

On the margins of the Forum, the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, a joint initiative between UNAOC and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with a network of over 50 partner organizations worldwide that support the creative efforts of young people and distribute their videos worldwide, took place today. 

This festival aims at encouraging and empowering youth to explore the pressing social issues of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia and to share their creative vision with the world. 

“We are in our 14th year of collaboration with our friend and partner UNAOC for the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival,” said Antonio Vitorino, Director General of IOM.   

“We share their commitment to promote the benefits of safe migration, to better the inclusion of migrants, and particularly young migrants, and to improve the misleading narratives that generate negative perceptions of migrants, and which are, concerningly, too often popularized in contemporary media,” he added, congratulating the young participants who received today. 

After receiving his award for his short film Adventure in Other Seas, Twelve-years old Ariel Pino, from Spain, spoke on behalf of his colleagues Diego, Paula and Danie, thanking the jury for their recognition. 

Their film is about a fish who decided to migrate from its community to another, and the hardship it faced along the way but also the bad treatment from the fishes in the new community. 

Ariel pointed out that they learnt many things while making their film: 

“First is to put ourselves in the place of the people who are crossing the sea; and second is to contribute to the new community that we migrate to. And most importantly we learn that we shall be good to our family.” 

Recognized PLURAL+ videos are chosen on the basis of their potential to have an impact on issues of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia, as well as on their artistic, innovative, and creative content.  

This year, PLURAL+ has received 246 video entries from 53 countries, of which 21 have been selected recognized. 

Fez Declaration 

During its work today, the 9th Global Forum adopted the Fez Declaration, which stressed, among others, the importance of the central role of education, women as mediators and peace-makers, combating discrimination and intolerance based on religion or belief anchored in human rights, sport as a vector for peace and inclusiveness, balancing migration narratives through programming, the role of religious leaders in promoting peace, coexistence and social harmony, reinvigorating multilateralism through culture of peace and on countering; and addressing online hate speech. 

The Declaration also commended the international initiatives, including those by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designed to promote the safeguarding of cultural heritage in time of peace and in the event of armed conflicts, and encouraged the members of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations to condemn the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites. 

It underlined also the positive impact that migration can have on countries of origin, transit and destination, including through promoting cultural pluralism.

Peace Pals International Art Exhibition and Awards

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

Excerpts from the website of Peace Pals International

This year, Peace Pals International celebrated our 25th anniversary with artwork coming from 77 countries and 4,540 young people creating beautiful artwork filled with love and hope for a peaceful world.  We would like to thank our International Judges for 2022  for taking the time and voting for our winners and finalists.


Video of exhibition and awards

To view the Winners and Finalists Artwork, Please CELEBRATE our 25th Anniversary with us and watch the video above or click on an image below. .


First prize and second prize for ages 5-7.

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Question for this article:

The Elders welcome historic breakthrough on loss and damage at COP27, but call on G20 leaders to phase out fossil fuels faster

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

A press release from The Elders

The agreement reached at COP27 in Egypt shows that solidarity and co-operation between nations on the world’s most pressing issues is possible through negotiation and compromise, even in testing times. But the world needs urgent actions, not just carefully crafted words, to avoid climate catastrophe.


Photo: Rafapress/Shutterstock

We welcome governments’ reaffirmation of the need to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5℃,  the historic breakthrough on financial help for countries experiencing loss and damage caused by climate change, and the pressure COP27 has added for bold reform of the international financial system to generate more climate finance.

We now call on G20 leaders in particular to build on this restored foundation of cooperation to implement the changes needed, before it is too late. It is time for governments to turn their commitments into real change, not more promises that are broken. 

With the 1.5℃ limit reinforced in the final COP27 agreement, following similar commitments at the G20 summit last week, world leaders now have a clear mandate to redouble efforts to reduce global emissions by 43% by 2030. This will require bold leadership at home to convince citizens and businesses that the costs of inaction outweigh the costs of action, and reform of the multilateral development banks to generate more money to support countries most in need of help.

We welcome the recognition that renewables are the answer to the energy crisis, but regret that not all governments could agree the necessity of phasing down fossil fuels to keep 1.5℃ alive, notably Saudi Arabia and Russia. Disappointingly, developed countries failed to follow up on their COP26 pledge to double adaptation finance by agreeing a roadmap for delivery. At future COPs, climate science must drive decisions, and commitments must be kept.

We welcome the USA and China’s renewed dialogue at the G20 and COP27. We call for sustained leadership from the world’s two largest economies and emitters, and for all G20 countries to reduce emissions more rapidly and accelerate their phase out of fossil fuels by transitioning faster from coal, oil and gas to renewable energy. We urge accelerated financing of just transition partnerships in South Africa, Indonesia and elsewhere to ensure this change happens across all major emitters.

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Question for this article:

Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

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

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We commend youth activists, indigenous communities, other civil society organisations and businesses who refused to allow governments to backtrack on the Paris Agreement and COP26 commitments to 1.5℃. Their persistence, in spite of unacceptable state restrictions on civic space in Egypt, reminds us why COPs should be open and inclusive, with hosts abiding by their human rights commitments. The climate crisis affects us all, and everyone’s voice should be heard in finding solutions to it.

The outcome of COP27 demonstrates the potential for multilateral negotiations to deliver tangible results, sometimes against predictions. But this was only a partial success. There is no room for complacency, given the continuing increases in global emissions and extreme weather events around the world.

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said:

“In a year of multiple crises and climate shocks, the historic outcome on loss and damage at COP27 shows international cooperation is possible, even in these testing times. Equally, the renewed commitment on the 1.5℃ global warming limit was a source of relief. However, none of this changes the fact that the world remains on the brink of climate catastrophe.

“Progress made on mitigation since COP26 in Glasgow has been too slow. Climate action at COP27 shows we are on the cusp of a clean energy world, but only if G20 leaders live up to their responsibilities, keep their word, and strengthen their will. The onus is on them.

“All climate commitments must be transformed into real-world action, including the rapid phase out of fossil fuels, a much faster transition towards green energy, and tangible plans for delivering both adaptation and loss and damage finance. We avoided backsliding and made progress in Sharm El-Sheikh. Now leaders must stop sidestepping and fulfil their promises to safeguard a liveable future.”

Graça Machel, Deputy Chair of The Elders and first Education Minister of Mozambique, said:

“This was the ‘African COP’, and at COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh the multiple crises of food, energy and the impacts of climate change on vulnerable nations were at the forefront of discussions. Though there were restrictions on civil society in Egypt, people living on the frontlines of the climate crisis still made their voices heard: their cries for a loss and damage fund for nations devastated by climate impacts were heeded. Now rich countries must deliver on their promises and ensure the funding starts to flow as quickly as possible.”

Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:

“Richer countries – particularly those in the G20 – must continue to come together to address the threat posed by the climate crisis, and to seek solutions inside and outside the UNFCCC system. We have seen signals of solidarity on tackling climate change at COP27, but these signals must evolve into meaningful actions that benefit the most vulnerable. COP27 is part of a process, not an endpoint.”

Martha Ines Romero appointed new Secretary General of Pax Christi

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

An article from Independent Catholic ndews

Pax Christi International, the global Catholic movement for peace and nonviolence, has announced that Martha Inés Romero has been appointed secretary general as of 1 January 2023.

Based in Colombia, Martha Inés has served Pax Christi International for over 15 years, including a term in the international board. She is currently the regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. She will continue in this role as she also takes up her duties as Secretary General.

Martha Inés describes herself as a “humble life-long learner,” and brings a rich depth of experience working throughout the Americas and with global partners. She studied conflict transformation at the Kroc Institute for Peace (USA) and was a member of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network. She has contributed to the transformation of Catholic teaching through promoting a culture of peace, nonviolence, and reconciliation, first with Catholic Relief Services, contributing to the Caritas Internationalis network, and then with Pax Christi International, through participation in synodal processes and the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

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Question for this article

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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She is both ecumenically and interfaith minded and works with partners across the civil society for dialogue and cooperation within communities across Latin America and the Caribbean. Her previous experience is in the aid sector, where she held international roles at OXFAM Great Britain and CRS.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead Pax Christi International in this challenging time,” said Romero. “I look forward to listening and learning from our dedicated members and partners worldwide. The diversity in our movement is our main strength, one that we can draw on as we transform communities through justice, peace, and nonviolence.”

Pax Christi International co-presidents Bishop (Em) Marc Stenger and Sr Wamuyu Wachira also expressed their appreciation for Martha Inés as she takes up her new role within our movement.

“I admire the great ability of Martha Inés to mobilize and unite for the sake of human rights, justice, peace, and the preservation of Creation. She’s a tireless worker, seizing every opportunity for dialogue and connection throughout Latin America and now around the world,” said Stenger.

“We thank Martha Inés for generously accepting this call to serve, and the willingness to be open to the will of God in this new role and respond to the needs of this movement at this time of our history and beyond,” remarked Wachira. She continued, recalling the words of Psalm 18, “May the Lord continue to be your rock, your fortress, in whom you will continue to find joy and hope, take refuge in situations of challenges, the Lord who will always be your shield and stronghold.”

Martha Inés Romero will replace outgoing Secretary General Greet Vanaerschot, who retires after 40 years of service to Pax Christi International in a variety of roles. There will be opportunities for the movement to welcome Martha Inés and express gratitude to Greet in the new year.

International Peace Bureau: 2022 MacBride Peace Prize recipients

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

An article from the International Peace Bureau

Every year the International Peace Bureau (IPB) awards a special prize to a person or organization that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights. These were the principal concerns of Séan MacBride, the distinguished Irish statesman who was Chairman of IPB from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride began his career as a fighter against British colonial rule, studied law and rose to high office in the independent Irish Republic. He was a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 1974.

The Prize is a non-monetary one.

This year the IPB Board has chosen the following three winners of the prize:

Alfredo ‘Fred’ Lubang – as part of Non-Violence International Southeast Asia (NISEA), a Philippines based non-governmental organization working towards peacebuilding, disarmament and non-violence as well as regional peace processes. He holds a Master degree in Applied Conflict Transformation Studies and served on various boards of global disarmament campaigns. As the Regional Representative of NISEA and National Coordinator of the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL), Fred Lubang is a recognized expert on humanitarian disarmament, peace education and decolonialization of humanitarian engagement for almost three decades. His organization NISEA served on the board of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Control Arms Campaign, a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a member of the International Network on Explosive Weapons and Stop Killer Robots Campaign as well as a co-convener of the Stop Bombing campaign. Without Fred Lubang’s unflagging work and commitment – especially in the face of ongoing wars – the Philippines would not be the only country that has ratified nearly all humanitarian disarmament treaties today.

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Question related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Eset Maruket Gagieva & Yurii Sheliazhenko – two activists from Russia and Ukraine, whose common goal of a peaceful world seems more important today than ever before. Eset Maruket is an experienced psychologist and activist from Russia, who since 2011 has been active in the fields of human rights, democratic values, peace and non-violence communication aiming at a more peaceful country through cooperation and cultural exchange. She holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology and Philology and is presently working as Coordinator/Project Manager in several women’s empowerment projects. In line with her voluntary positions, Eset has been constantly working towards a safer country for women and other vulnerable society groups. Yurii Sheliazhenko is a male activist from Ukraine, who has worked towards peace, disarmament and human rights for many years and is currently serving as the Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement. He is a member of the Board of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection as well as World BEYOND War and a lecturer and research associate at the Faculty of Law and KROK University in Kyiv. Beyond that, Yurii Sheliazhenko is a journalist and blogger persistently defending human rights. Both Asya Gagieva and Yurii Sheliazhenko have raised their voices against the ongoing war in Ukraine – including in the IPB Webinar series “Peace Voices for Ukraine and Russia” – showing us what commitment and bravery looks like in the face of unjust war. 

Hiroshi Takakusaki – for his lifelong dedication to a just peace, the abolition of nuclear weapons and social justice. Hiroshi Takakusaki started his career by serving as a student and international youth movement leader and soon became involved in the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo). Working in several positions for Gensuikyo, he provided the vision, strategic thinking and dedication that fuelled Japan’s nationwide nuclear abolition movement, the international campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and Gensuikyo’s yearly World Conference. Regarding the latter, he played a leading role in bringing high-ranking United Nations officials, ambassadors and leading figures from the field of disarmament to participate in the conference. Apart from this, Hiroshi Takakusaki’s care and unstinting support for the Hibakusha as well as his ability to build unity within the social movement demonstrate his subtlety and leadership qualities. After four decades in service to the disarmament and social movements, he is presently the Representative Director of the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.

Peace Through Tourism had a Family Meeting with You included

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by  Juergen T Steinmetz in eTurboNews

Family meetings are usually private, but the family of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism thinks tourism is a global family and you should be included.

Supporters, Board-members and followers of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) organization met virtually last week as a “global family” meeting arranged by the World Tourism Network and eTurboNews.

Louis D’Amore founded IIPT 34 years ago and expressed his commitment to welcome 1000 peace parks. Currently, IIPT has established peace parks in every continent except Antarctica

The family meeting heard chapter updates from around the world including Jamaica, Australia, Iran, and welcomed a new chapter in the Maldives.

Listen to the podcast.

Family meetings are usually private, but the IIPT board decided to make last week’s virtual meeting public. Peace Through Tourism after all is a Global Family of peace-loving members of the travel and tourism industry anywhere.

IIPT family members attending included Dr. Taleb Rifai, former two-time secretary-general of the UNWTO, Ajay Prakash , VP & President of IIPT India, Kiran Yadov, VP and Co-founder IIPT India, Diana McIntyre, president of the Caribbean Chapter, Gail Parsonage, president IIPT Australia, Fabio Carbone, IIPT Ambassador at Large and President IIPT Iran, Philippe Francois, CEO World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education& Training, Juergen Steinmetz, Founder World Tourism Network and CEO of the Travel News Group, Maga Ramasamy, President IIPT Indian Ocean Islands, Ms. Mmatsatsi, President IIPT South Africa, Bea Broda, film-maker, Mohamed Raadih , IIPT Maldives Chapter President, among others.

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Question related to this article:

How can tourism promote a culture of peace?

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The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) was born in 1986, the International Year of Peace, with a vision of travel and tourism becoming the world’s first global peace industry and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace.” The IIPT First Global Conference, Tourism: A Vital Force for Peace, Vancouver 1988, with 800 delegates from 68 countries was a transformative event. At a time that most tourism was ‘mass tourism’, the Conference first introduced the concept of ‘Sustainable Tourism’ as well as a new paradigm for a “Higher Purpose” of tourism that gives emphasis to the key role of tourism in fostering travel and tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding; cooperation among nations; an improved quality of environment; cultural enhancement and the preservation of heritage; poverty reduction; reconciliation and healing wounds of conflicts; and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world. IIPT has since organized some 20 international conferences and global summits in different regions of the world with a focus on actual case studies that demonstrate and promote these values of tourism.

In 1990, IIPT pioneered the role of tourism in poverty reduction by identifying potential projects in four countries of the Caribbean and three in Central America. Following the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Summit in 1992), IIPT developed the world’s first Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism and in 1993, conducted the world’s first international study on Codes of Conduct and Best Practices for Tourism and Environment. IIPT’s 1994 Montreal Conference: “Building a Sustainable World through Tourism” was the first major international conference on sustainable tourism.  The Conference was instrumental in the World Bank beginning its support for tourism projects aimed at poverty reduction in developing nations. Other development agencies followed and by 2000, tourism’s role in poverty reduction became widely recognized.

The Amman Declaration resulting from IIPT’s Global Summit in Amman, Jordan 2000 was adopted as an official document of the United Nations. Similarly, the Lusaka Declaration on Sustainable Tourism Development, Climate Change and Peace, resulting from the IIPT Fifth African Conference, 2011, was adopted by UNWTO and broadly circulated. The Conference also resulted in a book publication: Meetng the Challenges of Climate Change to Tourism and was instrumental in the UNWTO 20th General Assembly being co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe. The IIPT Global Symposium, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa honored the legacies of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. IIPT has also had featured events each year since 1999 at World Travel Market, London – the past four years at ITB, Berlin and several manor Chapter conferences and events in the Caribbean, Australia, India, Jordan, Malaysia and Iran.

In 1992, as part of Canada 125 celebrations commemorating Canada’s 125th birthday as a nation, IIPT conceived and implemented “Peace Parks across Canada.” 350 cities and towns from St. John’s, Newfoundland across five time zones to Victoria, British Columbia, dedicated a park to peace on October 8 as the nation’s Peace-Keeping Monument was being unveiled in Ottawa and 5,000 Peace Keepers passing in review.  Of the more than 25,000 Canada125 projects, Peace Parks across Canada was said to be the “most significant.” Since then, IIPT international peace parks have been dedicated as a legacy of each of IIPT’s international conferences and global summits. Noteworthy IIPT International Peace Parks are located at Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Christ’s baptism; Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world; Ndola, Zambia, site of U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold crash en route to a peace mission in the Congo; DMedellin, Colombia, dedicated on Opening Day of the UNWTO 21st General Assembly; Sun River National Park, China; and the Uganda Martyr’s Catholic Shrine, Zambia.