Tag Archives: Mideast

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

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from Sahara Medias (translation by CPNN)

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

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

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tunisia: Inter-Religious Conference in Tunis On International Day for Tolerance

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article from All Africa

 The celebration of the International Day for Tolerance aims at enshrining the principles of peaceful coexistence between citizens of the same country, regardless of their cults and beliefs, said participants in the inter-religious conference held Tuesday (November 16) in Tunis at the initiative of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The participants also stressed the role of culture and education in consolidating the values of tolerance and openness, saying that Tunisia is a platform for peace.

Minister of Religious Affairs Brahim Chaïbi said that the conference aims to bring children of the same country closer together and to overcome the barriers of religion.

He called on the men of faith representing the three great monotheistic religions to unite in the service of peace, humanity and the homeland, “spared until now by interfaith conflicts and discord”, warning against any attempt to stir up tensions using the sacred as a pretext for fomenting crises that run counter to the values of tolerance and peace advocated by the religions.

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

Question related to this article:
 
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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Minister of Cultural Affairs Hayet Ktat Guarmazi stressed that the celebration of the International Day for Tolerance reflects the deep conviction that peace, peaceful coexistence and respect for religious diversity are indispensable and essential to enable the world to combat all forms of fanaticism that lead to hatred and violence.

She recalled that inter-religious dialogue imposes tolerance as a social, political and economic requirement, adding that her department works, in collaboration with other ministries, to establish the values of culture, art, beauty, positivity and building bridges, as vectors of tolerance and peace in society.

The Mufti of the Republic Othmane Battikh explained that tolerance implies an ease in contact and relations with others, far from any rancour, rejection and hatred. He recalled that Tunisia has always been a land of tolerance, even before the arrival of Islam, and that these values have been anchored in Tunisians throughout the ages and are perfectly consistent with the founding principles of international laws and charters.

Father Jawad Alamat, representative of the Catholic Church of Tunis, said that the Church works to spread the culture of peace through an open discourse that welcomes Muslims to all festivals and religious ceremonies, in addition to opening its library to Tunisian researchers and thinkers and encouraging, through the Catholic school of Tunis and in collaboration with civil society, the building of a tolerant and supportive society.

Moshe Wazan, Deputy Chief Rabbi of Tunisia, stressed the importance of such conferences which bring together representatives of various religions, adding that faith remains a private matter and that religious diversity in Tunisia is not an obstacle to peaceful coexistence among Tunisians.

Leila Ben Sassi, Director of the National Observatory of Education, stressed, in her speech on behalf of the Minister of Education, the essential role of schools in developing a sense of citizenship and raising awareness of tolerance and openness to all religions and civilisations.

A message from Palestine: This is the time to re-imagine, re-create and restore.

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An post from the Facebook page of the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability

A few days ago we were sent a message about the failure of political leaders to change the catastrophic situation we are facing for our planet. One can attest to many things: 85% of the world’s wetlands lost, 50% of reefs died since 1950 (14% since 2010), a third of forests disappeared, and a 15% increase in the global consumption of individual materials since 1980, and bees decreased 40% (the bees) Crops Which depend on insects for vaccination is 36% of the world crops), humans were less than 1% of the breast biological mass and now humans and our hybrid animals have become 96% of the mammals biocals and soon there will be more plastic than fish in the planet’s water

This is the time for work. This is the time to re-imagine, re-create and restore….

1) We held a workshop to launch work on the National Biodiversity Strategy and Work Plan (NBSAP) for Palestine. This is based on our work on the National Biodiversity Report of the Diversity Agreement (posted here. ). Director General of Natural Resources in the Environment Quality Authority, Dr. Issa Adwan, opened the workshop, who pointed out that the national strategy for biodiversity contributes to supporting Palestine commitments globally and locally to a healthy planet even in the face of colonial occupation.

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Question for this article:

If we can connect up the planet through Internet, can’t we agree to preserve the planet?

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Professor Mazen presented a presentation on the mechanism of building strategies and national work plans for biodiversity including examples of strategies for other countries. Mr. Mohammed Mohasna, Director of Biodiversity Management in Environmental Quality Authority, presented the roles of stakeholders including organizing a weekly workshop on key topics every Thursday 11 am Palestine Time for the next six months. The meeting is here – in two parts (Let us know if you would like to participate and/or help in this crucial project).

2) Participate in Rotary meetings for Palestine and House of Meat to plan more service projects. Rotary puts the global environment in its top five priorities

3) Participating in a workshop on gas species management (this in addition to climate change and habitat destruction are the three most negative issues affecting biodiversity)

4) Participating in a workshop on preserving biodiversity in developing countries (speakers from 10 countries).

5) We presented many seminars to students and others from Palestine and the world on areas ranging from human rights to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

6) Through the project “Unity and Diversity in Nature and Society” funded by the EU Peace Building Initiative we organized in cooperation with the Directorate of Education in Bethlehem a training workshop for teachers on biodiversity in Palestine

7) With the same funding, we organized Thursday students’ visit to the museum and parks and learned about the importance of preserving biodiversity. We’re getting a mobile education unit this week to provide conservation efforts for remote communities.

This is the time for work. This is the right time…. Join us.

Email info@palestinenature.org

Remembering Georgi Vanyan: for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article by Onnik James Krikorian from Osservatorio balcani e caucaso transeuropa

Peacebuilder and true activist, anti-nationalist Georgi Vanyan died at the age of 58 on October 15th. He is especially remembered for the enormous effort to bring Azerbaijani and Armenians to dialogue


Georgi Vanyan © Meydan TV

The last time I spoke to Georgi Vanyan was by telephone at the end of September. The Armenian human rights and peace activist was visiting Tbilisi to meet with Emin Milli, the Azerbaijani founder and former director of Meydan TV. He had already interviewed Georgi about his peacebuilding activities and there were now plans to visit the Georgian village where many of his previous activities were held.

Georgi invited me accompany them, but there was one problem.

The 58-year-old was feeling ill and needed to test for COVID-19 before we could meet. Two days later, he sent a text message to say that he had tested positive and had to self-isolate in Tbilisi. He’d be in touch once he had recovered, but things took a turn for the worse and he was hospitalised. Eventually moved on to a ventilator, Georgi Vanyan was pronounced dead on 15 October.

The loss was a personal tragedy for those that knew him and also for a handful of committed individuals that had been working across closed borders in pursuit of regional peace.

“Now, at this stage of the Armenian-Azerbaijani reconciliation process, the peacebuilding community needed him more than ever,” tweeted Baku-based regional analyst and researcher Ahmad Alili. “Sincere Person. Genuine Peacebuilder. Great Loss. Rest in Peace, Georgi.”

For most others, however, Georgi’s passing went unnoticed.

“I am so afraid that Georgi Vanyan’s story will be left untold in Armenia as well as globally,” says Milli. “I observed social media yesterday and I saw almost no Armenians, with rare exception, talking about this [loss]. It was as if nothing happened and as if this man did not exist. It was as if this wasn’t the only courageous man in Armenia and Azerbaijan that did the things that he did.”

A controversial figure in Armenia, the silence was hardly surprising. The whole media and information space had been engaged in a coordinated campaign of public defamation against him for well over a decade. In 2007, a group of nationalist bloggers disrupted his Days of Azerbaijan event at an experimental school in Yerevan and in 2012 a nationalist mob launched an assault on his attempts to screen Azerbaijani films in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri.

And during the 2020 Karabakh War, while many peace-builders instead became proponents of war, Vanyan released an open letter calling for Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to stop the fighting and to enter into dialogue with Baku. His words fell on deaf ears in both countries, although the Armenian police did notice enough to threaten a hefty fine if he continued to make such calls.

But perhaps Georgi’s best-known project was his convening of regular meetings of Armenian, Azerbaijan, and Georgian activists, academics, and journalists in the village of Tekali. Inhabited by ethnic Azerbaijanis, Tekali is located in Georgia close to its borders with Armenia and Azerbaijan and was arguably one of the few genuine grassroots peace initiatives in the region.

The proximity of Tekali for those living in the regions of all three countries allowed almost anyone to participate. Bucking the usual ‘closed doors and usual suspects’ approach by other peace-building projects held in expensive hotels or holiday resorts, the local community also benefitted from the Tekali Process. Villagers, for example, would provide and earn income from the catering.

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Question related to this article:
 
Can peace be achieved between Azerbaijan and Armenia?

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And as a sign of how effective Tekali had been in facilitating people-to-people contact, one discussant on an Azerbaijan TV show warned in 2019 that Georgi Vanyan’s approach was dangerous. “For Azerbaijan there is only the enemy on the other side of the border, nobody else” the discussant said. “If an Azerbaijani soldier sees that the other side also has mothers, sisters, coffins, and tears then he won’t obey his orders.”

But this criticism was unknown in Armenia where he had been forced to live out his last remaining years in poverty close to the border with Azerbaijan. In one online meeting dedicated to his memory, Armenian activist and Tekali participant Sevak Kirakosyan remembered that Georgi still pushed NGOs to move their activities to where it really mattered – in actual conflict-affected communities.

When Georgi’s body was transferred to the Armenian capital for burial, several prominent figures did at least go to pay their last respects. There was Boris Navarsadyan, head of the Yerevan Press Club (YPC), Ashot Bleyan, the head of the school where Georgi had invited Azerbaijani intellectuals and writers in the late 2000s, and Soviet-era dissident Paruyr Hairikyan, for example.

Armenia’s Epress.am, a regular fixture at Tekali, also covered the memorial but only a few others joined them.

Mariam Yeghiazaryan was one. The 26-year-old team member from Bright Garden Voices, a grassroots cross-border initiative to bring Armenians and Azerbaijanis together online in the aftermath of last year’s 44-day war, implies that this might have been for the best.

“Before going to the funeral, I was afraid that something bad would happen in the mourning hall,” she says. “Something that would be disrespectful to him and his legacy, as had happened during and after the [film] festival. Fortunately, it didn’t․”

And even though the young activist had never met Georgi, she says that she payed more attention to his peacebuilding work following the 2020 Karabakh War and especially his death. Yeghiazaryan now compares him to other prominent Armenians, including the great Armenian writer Hovhannes Tumanyan and slain Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink.

“We honour Tumanyan, a truly great writer and a humanist,” she says, “ but I do not know how many have read his letters and articles about the Armenian-Tatar clashes. We honour Hrant Dink, not so much for his legacy and contribution, but for the chance to use and manipulate his death because he was murdered by a Turkish nationalist, forgetting that his whole life was aimed at Armenian-Turkish dialogue. What is the difference between them and Vanyan?”

She also remembers how Georgi had instead been labeled as a ‘traitor’ by those who were, in effect, opposed to a negotiated and mutually concessionary peace deal.

“Journalists played a big role in this case I note with regret,” she says. “There are terrible articles with terrible headlines, reports, and videos. How many quality articles, interviews can be found in Armenian about Vanyan? The fact that Vanyan’s death was almost not covered in the Armenian media is not about him, but about Armenia and Armenian journalism. It is extremely sad. Extremely.”

And it is this that concerns Milli the most.

“I’m very worried that his narrative could die with him,” he says. “I had seen courage that I had never seen before and I realised that there was nobody in Azerbaijan, including myself, that would dare to organise a Days of Armenian Cinema [in Azerbaijan]. Vanyan’s courage was so powerful that it impacted me profoundly. It was the moment that nationalism died in me.”

Milli, now having left Meydan TV, now has a new project, the Restart Initiative, which while primarily seeking to contribute to the development of Azerbaijan will also seek to nurture and develop dialogue with Armenia and Armenians. Some of Georgi’s former initiatives might well be resurrected for this purpose.

“I hope his Tekali project will be implemented [again],” remarks Yeghiazaryan, and I hope his approach will be the subject of discussion, debates, research, and daily conversations – both in Armenia and in Azerbaijan.”

(Editor’s note: In a new article about Georgi Vanyan in Al Jazeera, entitled Georgi Vanyan’s peace legacy must live on, Emin Milli adds that there is talk about a forthcoming meeting between Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, with increasing hope in the South Caucasus that perhaps the two countries will make some progress on peace.)

Olive Trees and the movement for justice in Palestine

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

An article by CPNN

This is the season for the olive harvest in the Middle East. According to Al Jazeera, “About 80,000 to 100,000 Palestinian families rely on the olive harvest, which takes place every year between October and November, for their income – including more than 15 percent of working women.”

CPNN has received, read and appreciated the video below in which the olive trees and olive harvest are seen as a symbol for the movement for justice in Palestine.


`A scene from the video “The olive trees are growing again in Gaza.”

Unfortunately, there are forces in Israel opposed to justice in Palestine, and for them the olive tree and olive harvest is also a symbol but one that they wish to destroy.

According to the same article in Al Jazeera, “During the 2020 olive harvest season, OCHA documented  at least 26 Palestinians injured and more than 1,700 trees vandalised. As of October 4, 2021, the UN group for humanitarian affairs recorded at least 365 settler attacks against Palestinians. This week, a 10-day campaign  to aid and protect farmers was launched in areas considered to be at high risk of Israeli settler attacks.”

The 10-day campaign mentioned by Al Jazeera is managed by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. In response on October 19, the Israeli government has outlawed this organization, along with five others, claiming that that they are “terrorist.”

Human Rights Watch , in a joint statement with Amnesty International, writes the following about the Israeli decision :

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Question for this article

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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“This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement. For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. While staff members of our organizations have faced deportation and travel bans, Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations. The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.

“How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders. We are proud to work with our Palestinian partners and have been doing so for decades. They represent the best of global civil society. We stand with them in challenging this outrageous decision.”

Despite the official Israeli position, there are are Israelis who support the Palestinian olive harvest. In another website we find the following:

“There are repeated efforts to replant destroyed trees, including by Israeli activists, who earlier this year brought 200 trees to plant in Burin.

“A week later we came [back again] and a lot of the trees were uprooted — the new trees — so we replanted them,” said Rabbi Nava Heretz.

A member of the Israeli organisation Rabbis for Human Rights, the 66-year-old has for years been harvesting olives alongside Israeli and foreign volunteers. Activists have also been attacked by settlers, including an elderly rabbi whose arm was broken in 2019.

“We are going to places where there is a threat on the Palestinian farmers,” she said, standing between olive trees in the Burin area.”

The article concludes with remarks from a Palestinian:

“Going beyond economics, Mr Abu Jiyab said olives remain an important symbol across Palestine. ‘Palestinians cherish this tree,’ he said, which has grown for hundreds of years.
‘Whether we are in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the border areas or far from the border areas, we consider this tree like one of our children.’”

Israeli and Arab women demand peace between Israelis and Palestinians

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from Prensa Latina

Some 1,000 Israeli and Arab women marched in Jerusalem to demand peace between Palestinians and Israelis, whose Government currently keeps the door closed to any negotiation.


Click on image to enlarge

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Question related to this article:
 
Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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Convened by Women Wage Peace, the women on Thursday (September 21) formed a human chain along the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem before assembling for a rally in Jaffa Gate square, The Jerusalem Post informed.

Tel Aviv’s continued military operations failed to achieve the promised security, Women Wage Peace member Nadia Hamdan stressed, referring to the Israel Defense Forces’ successive attacks on Palestinian territories, especially the Gaza Strip.

Founded in the summer of 2014 following the Israeli attack on Gaza, Women Wage Peace has some 45,000 members in the Israeli state.

Since Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took office in June, he has repeatedly refused to negotiate with the Palestinian National Authority and has shown his opposition to establish a state for that people.

Africa: International Day of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .
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A survey by CPNN

The following 36 events in 19 African countries include those listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 this year under the key words “International day of peace” and “Journée internationale de la paix.” The events also include some listed on the facebook page for the International Cities of Peace.

About 52 events are listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years.

For events in North Africa see the page of events in the Arab States .


Kinshasa Forum of Media Professionals

Here are excerpts from the articles.

AFRICAN UNION

Message from the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security on the commemoration of the International Day of Peace. Fellow Africans, like the rest of the world on 21 September every year, the African Union (AU) observes the International Peace Day, dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace. This 39th commemoration indeed, presents an occasion for us to reflect on the progress made in the unwavering commitment of African leaders to work towards the achievement of Aspiration 4 of the AU Agenda 2063, namely, a peaceful and secure Africa, a Continent where the idea of Silencing the Guns shall be engraved in the minds and the hearts of each and every African. It also calls for further reflection, notably on the challenges impeding the sustainability of peace in our Continent. . . We therefore encourage our Member States, AU Organs, RECs/RMs, civil society and all African citizens and the diaspora to scale-up their work towards peacebuilding, to promote a culture of peace in all forms through cultural and artistic expression that contribute to the respect of human rights, diversity, solidarity and the rejection of violence as well as hate speech towards building peaceful societies.

COTONOU, BENIN

English International School. We celebrated World Peace Day at school on Friday, 20th September. Under beautiful skies, our march over to the school field was symbolic. Sitting down on the grass, in the formation of the peace symbol, we observed a minute of silence. Some of the poems that the children wrote on that day are now on display in the school hall. Our reflections and prayers go out to those who are suffering because of lack of peace for various reasons. (with photos)

BAMENDA, BUEA, GAROUA, KUMBA, MAROUA, NGAOUNDERE AND YAOUNDE, CAMEROON

For this year’s U.N. World Peace Day (September 21), thousands of Cameroonians have called for a cease-fire between the military and separatists. People who marched in several cities and towns said they were tired of burying civilians caught up in the fighting. But the conflict is not likely to end soon. The song, “We want peace,” by Cameroonian performer Salatiel blasted through speakers in Yaounde, capital of the central African country, on 2021 World Peace Day. In the music, Salatiel says Cameroon needs immediate peace without which the entire country will sink into ruins. Esther Njomo Omam, director of the non-governmental organization Reach Out Cameroon, organized the rally. She says Cameroonians should give peace a chance. . . Similar peace walks took place in Buea, Bamenda and Kumba, all cities in western regions, where armed separatist groups are active, and the northern towns of Maroua, Garoua and Ngaoundere, all close to Cameroon’s border with Nigeria, the site of many incursions by the militant group Boko Haram. . . The government said a majority of people who took part at the peace walks were women affected by the crises. Some of them said they lost family members in the crises.

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON

l’Unesco will train 1800 young people to resolve cross-border conflicts. The announcement is from the Director of UNESCO Central Africa on the occasion of World Peace Day which is being celebrated on September 21, 2021. . . . Today’s ceremony was attended by the Minister of Youth and Civic Education Mounouna Foutsou, the Director of the Unesco Regional Office for Central Africa, Mr. salah Khaled and human rights representatives in Cameroon as part of the week of activities organized in Yaoundé jointly with MINJEC. . . The celebration of the International Day of Peace will also have been marked by a training of residents of the National Football Academy, followed by a match of football. So many activities that bring hope to young people.

MAO, CHAD

The Livelihood Improvement Project in Western Chad (PAMELOT / GIZ), in partnership with the student ambassadors of peace from Kanem, initiated a day of peace in Mao on September 21. . . . The prefect of the Kanem department, Brahim Alifa Ali, representative of the governor, presided over the ceremony at the meeting room of radio Ndjimi. He explained that this day is in line with the policy of the transitional government and urged community leaders, religious, young people, associations and groups to play their role in the framework of peaceful cohabitation and peace. . . This day was marked by the presentation of poems and sketches, as well as talks and debates on peace.
 
BENI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The Congolese government, its partners and the youth must each play their part in order for peace to return to the Beni region. This is what the Youth Parliament supports in a declaration made public this Tuesday, September 21 on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. For the president of the Youth Parliament, Katembo Sekanabo Samule, the young people of North Kivu must dissociate themselves from the armed groups so that peace reigns: “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. Finally, remaining consistent with the values ​​that drive us, we remain convinced that young people remain a major and important and important partner for the return of peace. And let us ask that everyone play their role in accordance with their regular attributions, finally to hope one day for a lasting peace ”.

BUKAVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

September 21, 2021: In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country faced with different forms of insecurity that undermine peace and stability especially in its eastern part, several messages are sent to this effect by various personalities and organizations working for peace, as is the case by Patient Bashombe Matabishi, national coordinator of Community Dynamics for Social Cohesion and Development (DYCOD-RDC).

KALEMIE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The Press and Youth were called upon to take over from MONUSCO’s actions in Tanganyika province. This appeal was launched jointly by MONUSCO and UNFPA during a press conference held Monday, September 20 at the MONUSCO / Kalemie base. An activity organized as a prelude to the International Day of Peace which brought together MONUSCO and UNFPA in partnership with the NGO AFRYAN. It is the Collective of Journalists Committed to Peace and Development (CJPD) and the Youth of AFRYAN that MONUSCO and UNFPA have targeted in this press conference in order to sensitize the Press and Youth to the peace and the fight against the Coronavirus in a province that the United Nations Mission intends to disengage next year.

KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

MONUSCO’s Strategic Communication and Public Information Division (SCPID) held a forum for discussion with the media on September 21 in Kinshasa. photo: Training of media professionals in the framework of the Peacebuilding Forum.

KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The International Day of Peace, celebrated on September 21 of each year was the perfect opportunity for the executives of the Convention for the Republic and Democracy (CRD) to bring together the women of the party, according to different federations of Kinshasa, to talk to them the importance of peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. . . In this dynamic of popularizing the message of peace to all, the two party executives announced soon the holding of a large meeting which will take place in one of the municipal stadiums of the city-province of Kinshasa.

GABON

Under the theme “Getting up for a more equitable and sustainable world”, the International Day of Peace was celebrated across the world on September 21. In Gabon, the Christian Peace Observatory (OCP) has joined this international movement to promote a culture of plural peace. . . ” This day in 2021 comes in a particular context which leads us to understand peace in a more global sense in connection with the Sustainable Development Goals “, declared Pastor Rostand Essono Ella, one of the panelists. While anti-Covid measures are still relevant in the country, he recommended that the government not use Covid-19 to violate human rights and individual freedoms.

NAIROBI, KENYA

Brief video – The above is from Dandora Nairobi Kenya East Africa. Very happy celebrating international peace. Joyful children with smiling faces

BREWERVILLE, LIBERIA

A local nongovernmental organization, Center for Peace and Education joined the rest of the World in recognition of the International Day of Peace through a grand parade and indoor program spreading messages of peace. . . The one-day event took place in Brewerville at the Alfred Billy Curtis Hall with the theme “Spread Peace not COVID”.

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Question related to this article:

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

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BAMAKO, MALI

Mali is organizing on September 21, 2021, an official ceremony of the International Day of Peace in Bamako, under the high patronage of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of United Nations El-Ghassim Wane. . . . At least 378,000 internally displaced persons were registered in Mali during the current year. . . The special representative of the UN Secretary General recalled that all these displaced people are not at home and therefore cannot contribute to the development of their communities, much less to the recovery of the crisis situation that Mali is going through. “It is therefore up to us to work together to achieve the commitment that our Heads of State and Government have made to transform our world through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063, “the Africa we want” ”, declared Alain Noudehou, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations within the Integrated Mission. of the United Nations for the stabilization of Mali (MINUSMA). . . For his part, Alhamdou Ag Iliyène, Minister for Malians living abroad and African Integration said: “By celebrating this day, we know that we will have to rebuild the peace, which we have lost in recent years”. As a reminder, Mali has been facing a security crisis since 2012 fueled by separatist claims and terrorist attacks, particularly in the north, center and south of the country.

MAURITIUS

An art competition on the theme ‘Women for Peace’ and accentuating the role of women in the peacebuilding process was launched, this morning, by the Minister of Arts and Cultural Heritage, Mr Avinash Teeluck, in Port-Louis. The competition is a joint endeavour of the Ministry with the Rotary Club of Beau Bassin-Rose Hill in the context of World Peace Day 2021 which is observed globally on 21 September.

MAURITIUS ROTARACT CLUBS

In view of the International Peace Day celebrated annually on the 21 September, the Rotaract clubs of Mauritius met today at Sophie Nature Walk for Tree Planting, trail, Meditation session by Mrs. Prema, hug a tree to transfer the pure energy and forming a Human Peace sign that symbolizes Peace all around the world, one of the Rotary Axes. A strong connection to the natural environment enhances emotional well-being and alleviates negativity that is being experienced during tough times in COVID pamdemic. (with photos°

ROSE BELLE, MAURITIUS

Sunfield City School
Video of student celebration of world peace day

NIAMEY, NIGER

The High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace (HACP), a Nigerien institution working in the search and consolidation of peace throughout the national territory, in collaboration with several partners including the UNDP, celebrated this day of September 21 through the organization of a popular cross in Niamey. At the launch of the competition, the starting signal was given by Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Sékou Doro Adamdou in the presence in particular of the Secretary General of the HACP and his deputy as well as the representative of the UNDP, there were many athletes Nigeriens for having responded to the call of the HACP to run or roll in the name of peace in Niger and around the world. The popular cross concerned the able-bodied but also those with disabilities, particularly locomotor in several categories. The HACP specifically invited junior and senior runners (Men), runners (ladies) but also disabled cyclo crossers (men and women) who competed in courage for the cause of peace, in front of a large audience who made the trip to the General Seyni Kountché stadium (SGSK). . . . The event ended with a release of doves for peace and the presentation of various prizes to the winners of the various races. Mr. Yahaya Adié announced that in addition to the popular cross country, the HACP is also organizing a football match between the students and the Defense and Security Forces at the GSK stadium.

NIGERIA

The West Africa Net­work for Peacebuilding (WANEP) – Nigeria, a Non-govermental Organ­isation (NGO), has called on Nigerian government to recognise and promote the role of women in peace building activities to fore­stall peace and security in the country. The National Network Coordinator, Chief Mrs. Bridget Osakwe, made the appeal while mark­ing the 2021 World Peace Day, with the theme: ‘Re­covery Better for an Eq­uitable and Sustainable World’. Osakwe said women had been playing important role in stabilising the soci­ety, starting from the home.

ABUJA, NIGERIA

The director-general, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Bakut T. Bakut, has disclosed that the Institute had concluded arrangements with some stakeholders to achieve a ‘ceasefire’ or ‘silent the guns’ in some Nigerian communities. Addressing a press conference to herald the 2021 International Peace Day in Abuja, Bakut also called on all Nigerians to work assiduously to return peace to the country.
. . Bakut said the Institute was working with stakeholders to advocate and sensitize parties in violent conflict across the country on the need to observe a ceasefire on the day and adopt a non-violent approach to resolve conflict. To achieve this, he stated that five of the institute’s newly created peace-building zonal offices will be fully engaged in their various locations on the Day.

AGODI, NIGERIA

International Day of Peace Lecture and Award ceremony organised by African Foundation for Peace and Love Initiatives, AFPLI, in collaboration with Joint Communities in Bode Kumapayi, Agbala Itura, Ibadan will take place on September 21, at House of Chiefs Parliament Building, Agodi, Ibadan. Tagged “The Road to a Lasting Peace,” the event will bring together hundreds of security experts, traditional rulers, religious leaders and community heads. It will feature lecture, security fund raising, book and award presentations.

BENIN CITY, NIGERIA

Organization: Faculty of Peace. Action: Conference with notable speakers that will dwell on the Topic “Nigeria’s Unity: Dialogue as a pathway “, At the event we will also be looking at the chronicles of Sectarian Agitations in Nigeria.

TARABA, NIGERIA

As part of events to mark this year’s World Peace Day, the Dephee Peace and Community Development Initiative (DPCDI) on Tuesday organised a sensitisation session for school children and other stakeholders at the at the Raddai Metropolitan school Jalingo. The Executive Director of DPCDI Mr Bulus Daniel Dauda said that the initiative was to ensure that the culture of peaceful coexistence was inculcated into the younger generation at the early stages of their lives. ‘As we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic this year, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, more equitable and inclusive, sustainable and healthier.

RÉUNION

La Réunion: On September 25, meeting at 10 am Saint-Paul Cimendef – climate march

CASAMANCE, SENEGAL

Several activities are planned in the region of Ziguinchor (south), Tuesday and Wednesday, for the celebration of the International Day of Peace, in a context of calm, clashes between the Senegalese armed forces and the rebels becoming more and more rare. The Platform of Women for Peace in Casamance (PFPC), the most active organization in the celebration of peace, is carrying out a “mobilization and sharing” campaign in Brin on Tuesday. “Getting up for a more equitable and sustainable world” is the theme of this event planned in this village located on the outskirts of Ziguinchor. An “inaugural speech” on peace and security will be delivered by Deputy Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, director of the Pan-African Strategy Institute, in the presence of the administrative authorities of the region. Several community organizations, youth associations, technical and financial partners will take part in this event.

SEYCHELLES

As part of activities to mark the International Day for Peace which falls tomorrow, Tuesday September 21, 2021, the International Day of Peace Committee (IDPC) of Seychelles organised a collection of non-perishable goods/items at the STC hypermarket. The commodities and monies collected will be used in good faith by the Seychelles Red Cross for the ones in need and the most vulnerable of our society. . . The other activities of the IDPC of Seychelles up to Peace Day 2021 will be a live SBC Radio AM programme today at 10 am and on Peace Day tomorrow . . . A Peace Talk with students from the Youth Hostel Peace Club at 3pm at the UniSey (Anse Royale) campus.

SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA

Learners of Curro school have released a peace song to mark International Day of Peace, which is normally celebrated today. Titled Peace Song, it is based on the original Peace in Our Land song, which was written in 1992 and produced by Sello “Chicco” Twala and featured many music stars, including Brenda Fassie, Thandeka “PJ” Powers, Nana Coyete, Mzwakhe Mbuli and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Through the song, Curro High School learners use their voices to encourage South Africans to continue spreading the message of hope, encouraging them to stay positive during this difficult time.

WARRAP, SOUTH SUDAN

International Peace Day was an opportunity for communities from the conflict-ridden Tonj North county in Warrap, South Sudan, to come together in a commemoration organized jointly by state authorities and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This significant Day was marked by the handover of a newly constructed prison and courthouse in Warrap town. Speaking at the event, Anastasie Nyirigira, Head of the UNMISS Field Office in the state accentuated the importance of the new facilities. ”This prison and courthouse will provide a much-needed boost to rule of law here and ensure that justice is delivered swiftly and promptly, while suspects are treated with due respect to their human rights. There can be no peace without justice,” she stated. . . Women, men and youth representatives spoke about their individual efforts to build peace from the ground up: Providing sanctuary for displaced individuals, refraining from retaliatory measures against other communities, and bolstering community policing efforts to protect civilians.

TANZANIA.

Tanzania Peace Legal Aid and Justice Center is joining other peace stakeholders to communicate the International Day of Peace as a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. (with photos of the celebration).

LOME, TOGO

The Togo branch of the West African Network for Peacebuilding and the Pan-African Research Circle on Security, Peace and Development formalize their framework of collaboration. The two organizations sealed their partnership through an agreement signed on September 21, 2021, on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Peace. The objective of this signature of agreement is to give an official character to the collaboration and to the academic, educational, scientific and expertise exchanges between the two contracting parties.

Arab and Middle Eastern States: International Day of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

A survey by CPNN

The following 18 events in 12 Arab and Middle Eastern countries were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 this year under the key words “International day of peace” “peace day”, “journee internationale de la paix” and اليوم الدولي للسلام .

About 18 events are listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years


AFGHANISTAN

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

ARAB LEAGUE

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, 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. . . The Arab League affirmed its full support for the efforts undertaken by the United Nations with the aim of promoting sustainable peace, including its commitments to peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and its keenness to establish a strategic partnership with the International Organization for the Prevention of Peace. disputes and their resolution. The Arab League also called on all peoples to work on building and spreading a culture of peace by consolidating a set of values ​​and behavioral patterns based on respect for human rights, rejecting violence in all its forms and forms, strengthening the rule of law, adhering to the principles of democracy, freedom and justice, spreading the values ​​of tolerance, acceptance of others, cultural pluralism and promoting dialogue.

BAHRAIN

AThe Bahrain Shura and Representatives Councils hold a dialogue seminar in conjunction with the International Day of Peace. . . the original topic has been published and is available on the Bahraini Al-Watan newspaper , and the editorial team at Al-Jadeed Press has verified it . . .

CAIRO, EGYPT – HELIOPOLIS LIBRARY

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace.. Fine Art Exhibition at Heliopolis Library . . . Iman Mahdi, director of the Heliopolis Library, confirmed that the exhibition includes paintings that reflect the various symbols of peace in a graffiti style, where the dove of peace, the olive branch, and the various symbols of peace from all civilizations are painted to express peace . . . Mahdi indicated that on the sidelines of the exhibition, a number of workshops will be held on the theme of the International Day of Peace, under the supervision of the artist Ahmed Biro, with the participation of the exhibition’s pioneers . .

CAIRO, EGYPT – TALAAT HARB CULTURAL CENTER

The Talaat Harb Cultural Center “in Mrs. Nafisa”, affiliated to the Cultural Development Fund Sector, will hold a number of artistic and cultural activities on the occasion of the International Peace Day . . . The celebration comes to familiarize the center’s youth and children with the concepts and objectives of the International Day of Peace, and it includes: plastic arts workshops and an art exhibition for the production of the August workshops, a cultural evening around the International Day of Peace, and the celebration ends with a concert by the “Sabaya” band, led by the artist Nashwa Talaat, who presents a collection of traditional songs. From different countries.

CAIRO, EGYPT – tour and symposium

The Department of Cultural Development and Community Communication at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in cooperation with the Ability Center for Studies and Training, organized the first rounds of the “Parents of Determination” program for 30 families of deaf and hard of hearing, under the title “With reference, you will know the history of the ancestors.” . . . At the end of the tour, an educational symposium was organized in Al-Ghouri Dome on “Accepting the Other”, on the sidelines of the celebration of the International Day of Peace.

TEHRAN, IRAN

International art show themed with global peace. Each one of these delicate works of art are created by an artist from a different country, each trying a unique way to highlight the need for a lasting peace in the world. Dubbed Aspiration for Peace, the art gallery is organized by the ECO Cultural Institute with the aim of promoting global peace through the language of art. . . . The art show was held on the occasion of the International Day of Peace.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

In honor of International Peace Day, some 1,000 Jewish and Arab mothers will gather Wednesday for a number of events held by Women Wage Peace, including creating a human chain and a rally. “The events of the past year proved that it is impossible to manage the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” said Women Wage Peace steering committee member Nadia Hamdan. “We will come to Jerusalem during Hol Hamo’ed Sukkot and demand that the government do everything possible to resolve the conflict with a political agreement. We embark on a New Year waging peace,” she said. “We Jewish, Moslem, Christian, Druze and Bedouin mothers, secular and religious, will stand together in a Human Chain of peace and hope, along the walls of the Old City, and will hold a Mothers’ Rally. Our voices must be heard!”

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Question related to this article:

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

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LIBYA

23 Libyan organizations and institutions, including Solidarity, issued a statement on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, in which they called to support peace efforts in Libya, and to make every possible effort to stop hate speech, and to stop and silence the platforms of incitement and violence. It also stresses support for the Libyan youth initiatives that are active in peace initiatives, and to stay away from resorting to weapons and bullets. At the conclusion the statement recommended the Government of National Unity to strive for the recovery of all Libyans and protect them from the Covid-19 pandemic by providing vaccines and medical care for all, citizens, migrants and workers, without discrimination.

SOMALIA

The Home of Somali Poetry also hosts an annual Somali Poetry Awards to recognize the very best creative talent, including the Poet of the Year, Woman Poet of the Year, sponsored by UNDP, and Youth Poet of the Year. The awards open each year on the International Day of Peace, 21st September, and are open to all Somalis around the world. Entries can be submitted through the Home of Somali Poetry website until 21st October. The awards are handed out at a ceremony on 21st November. This year’s judges include some of the best known and upcoming Somali poets, including Ahmed F. Ali, known as Idaajaa, Osman Abdullahi Guure, Mohamud Haji Mohamed, commonly known as Tarash, Asha Mohamud Yusuf, or Asha-luul and Hawa Jama Abdi.

SOUTH SUDAN

Today, on the International Peace Day under the motto “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world” we, the undersigned faith-based organizations and members of the Ecumenical Network on South Sudan (ENSS) Europe and North America Hub, urgently call for ‘Peace and Accountability’ in South Sudan, joining the voice of the church in South Sudan. We call 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. We reiterate our strong solidarity with the women, men, boys and girls in South Sudan who have for too many years borne the burden of conflict. We express our deep solidarity with civil society, the church and traditional leadership, especially youth and women working for peace and justice and those denouncing violence on a daily basis.

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

A wide spectrum of stakeholders commemorating International Day of Peace in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, has dedicated the day to work together to infuse fresh momentum in the peace process with a resolute call for peace partners to stop conflict and promote human rights so that the trauma and scars of past civil wars can be healed. . . In the spirit of recovery and reconciliation, The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) helped sponsor a panel discussion to mark the Day, drawing panelists from various universities across Juba, the South Sudan Peace Commission and the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.

SYRIA

On the International Day of Peace, children expressing peace in their own way here, in a refugee camp in northwestern Syria, specifically in the camps of oppression and suffering. On what they called the “roll of peace”. (article includes photos and statements by the children)

TUNISIA

Video of Celebration of the International Day of Peace in Tunisia- Sept 2021 United Religions Initiative MENA

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Al-Ali, CEO of Trades Research and Consulting, and Hamad Al-Kaabi, editor-in-chief of Al-Ittihad newspaper, announced the organization of a joint symposium under the title: “Spreading a Culture of Peace and Tolerance in the World: What Should We Do?” The symposium is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, September 21, in the Peace Hall in the “Trends” headquarters in Al Rawda area in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of a group of experts and men of thought, politics and religion from the UAE and several countries. The symposium is held in conjunction with the International Day of Peace. . .

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The Bangladesh Digital Social Innovation Forum and the Digital Social Innovation Forum are going to host the Global Peace and Humanitarian Award 2021 on September 21 in Dubai for the first time on the World International Day of Peace. Ali Akbar Asha, Founder President of BDSIF and DSIF informed about the event.The Awards is presented to honor individuals and organizations whose exemplary efforts have significantly improved the lives of others and contributed consistently to a culture of peace and humanitarian service.

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The Sharjah India International School organiwed various events as part of the International Peace Day celebrations. Students in brightly colored clothes marched on campus holding placards proclaiming the importance of peace.

TAIZ, YEMEN

In Taiz, Abductees’ Mothers Association held, today, a seminar titled “Release Them for Prevailing Peace” in conjunction with the International Peace Day, September 21st. During the seminar, the representative of the association in Taiz, Asma’a Al-Ray’i, 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. She talked about Abductees’ Mothers Association’s determined efforts in all governorates and under different conditions, attempting to make a difference in order to have their abducted and forcibly disappeared sons released from all prisons in Yemen.

Search for Common Ground: Engagement — Not Isolation — Offers Best Hope for Afghanistan

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Search for Common Ground

August 18, 2021 — Search for Common Ground expresses profound concern for the safety and well-being of the people of Afghanistan and urges the international community to engage with all parties, including the Taliban leadership, who can affect the well-being of the Afghan people. We also urge the Taliban to engage with the full diversity of Afghan society, as well as international actors, to support intra-Aghan reconciliation and the protection of the rights of all Afghan citizens.

“International isolation will hurt all Afghans by exacerbating an already-dire humanitarian crisis and raising the specter of renewed civil war” said Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground. “Engagement offers the best promise of securing progress toward internationally recognized standards to which Afghans – and all people – aspire, which are articulated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the rights of women and ethnic minorities. While international actors work to assure the safety of their colleagues and partners in Afghanistan, we ask that all who are able redouble their commitment to engaging and supporting the Afghan people and society.”

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Question related to this article:

Is peace possible in Afghanistan?

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In Afghanistan, Search for Common Ground will continue its work as guided by the Common Ground Approach. This is a process that: humanizes people using diverse methods devised by local teams who, themselves, embody the dividing lines that they seek to bridge; mobilizes people to advance common interests, understanding that shared success is the best way to build trust and make allies out of adversaries; and systematizes cooperation through changes in institutions and the culture of conflict resolution. This approach does more than resolve disputes; it changes systems.

Search for Common Ground recognizes that the Taliban, Afghan public, and international community share substantial common ground. All parties want Afghanistan to have standing and participate in the community of nations. All parties want a functioning nation-state that protects rights and dispenses services through functioning institutions. And all parties want basic security and dignity for Afghans in their daily lives. From this foundation of shared wants, peace can take shape.

“Afghanistan is facing a new and uncertain phase. Search for Common Ground encourages all parties to work towards a healthy, safe and just society. Isolation would likely lead to renewed violent conflict, and violent conflict is not a solution,” Idriss said.

(Editor’s note: At CPNN we have received an email from the Director of Search for Common Ground, Shamil Idriss, saying “We want you to know that we are not giving up. Our country director, Zuhra Bahman, and her staff are committed to continuing to work in Afghanistan. We are staying the course because we know that intensive and consistent dialogue between all parties is the key to building a safe, healthy, and just society.  . . Please send a gift today to help ensure Zuhra and her staff have the support they need — because they are needed now more than ever. All donations will be matched by a board member and worth 2X as much.”)

United Nations: Strengthening women’s meaningful participation in peace processes

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from UN Women

Worldwide, complex conflicts and humanitarian crises continue to ravage communities and hinder the overall well-being and prosperity of societies. Women are often the most impacted by these crises, bearing the brunt of conflict and paying a higher price of the devastation – from increased gender discrimination and violence, to the waning of gender-sensitive structures and programming. Still, they remain largely excluded from participating in peace processes, despite overwhelming evidence showing that women’s involvement in peacebuilding and mediation leads to lasting, positive peace that goes well beyond just the silencing of guns.


Left: Kawkab Al-Thaibani. Right: Odi Lagi. Photos courtesy of each.

Although important strides have been made since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 in 2000, women’s direct participation and representation in formal peace processes continues to be the one area that lags behind in the implementation of the  empowering women leaders to participate in peacebuilding becomes increasingly crucial. Women who participate in peace processes tend to represent broader and more diverse constituencies, ensuring a range of views and interests are represented and peace processes are fully democratized.

Using digital and online tools to foster women’s participation in peacebuilding

Amera Malek is a Syrian activist in the field of Women, Peace and Security and, as the director of MAUJ for Development (previously Radio Souriat), she is familiar with digital technologies and the use of tools to enhance women’s voices and gather support. “We launched our online radio in 2014 as a media initiative and platform that provides a voice for Syrian women, tackling issues affecting them – from honor killings to sexual harassment, and more – and addressing wider societal problems from a gender perspective,” says Malek. “We started out by broadcasting programmes and live talks, bringing together women from all walks of life and taking into account their specific needs and situations.”

As the Syrian conflict went on and power cuts and other disruptions became more frequent, Radio Souriat turned to social media as a new outlet for their activism. “In complex, conflict-afflicted contexts such as the Syrian one, new tools must be deployed to foster participation and mobilize a country-wide support base. On top of our radio work, we’ve taken on producing visual and audio assets for dissemination on social media, which has enabled us to continue to reach out to and engage with communities.”

In June 2020, Radio Souriat changed its name to MAUJ for Development, a community-based, not-for-profit foundation guided by feminist principles. MAUJ works on four strategic programmes: supporting pluralism and community cohesion, promoting women participation in public life, producing gender-sensitive media content, and ensuring sustainable resources. From its headquarters in al-Nabk, MAUJ reaches women across the country and beyond, supporting them to voice their opinions and be informed on issues that directly affect their lives.

While digital tools have created an unprecedented opportunity to democratize peace efforts, making them more transparent and inclusive, some issues remain to be addressed. “We see that women are more likely to participate in online discussions because they can do so anonymously and flexibly, balancing their care burdens,” says Malek. “Yet, we must ensure these methods are underpinned by robust gender analysis. We must continue to leverage the huge potential of digital tools for constituency-building while ensuring that existing discrepancies in accessing digital tools do not further inequalities.”

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Questions for this article

Does the UN advance equality for women?

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

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Bringing together women civil society actors and political representatives

Kawkab Al-Thaibani is the co-founder of Women4Yemen, a network of women working in media, human rights and civil society, which mobilizes and empowers women to foster peace and achieve stability for Yemen. As part of her work, she has been seeking to close the gap between women’s grassroots initiatives for peace and decision-making spaces.

“Yemeni women are facing huge challenges to access negotiating space and get a seat at the peace table,” says Al-Thaibani. “As the conflict in Yemen continues, women’s representation has decreased quite considerably: for the first time in 20 years, women are absent from the newly formed Cabinet. In this context, it is vital that political leaders expand their constituencies and engage closely with civil society to make sure women’s voices are heard.”

“Yemeni women are the carriers of peace and have been instrumental in leading the country to a more stable and peaceful transition,” she adds. “Yet, we don’t have full legitimacy to support peacemaking initiatives and be involved in the peace process in a meaningful way. More work needs to be done at the government and institutional levels to connect women’s grassroots movements with formal representatives who sit at the decision-making table.”

“While it’s important that representatives build strong civil society constituencies, this per se is not enough. To be credible and for constituencies to be strengthened, politicians must ensure that they represent the interests and views of their communities in peace talks, and that they make themselves accountable for shaping the negotiating agenda, ensuring the requests of women are being dealt with.”

Introducing special temporary measures to increase women’s representation in peacebuilding

Odi Lagi, Program Director of the Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI), Nigeria, highlights the importance and challenges of gender quotas and other temporary special measures in fostering more gender-inclusive peace processes. “I believe the introduction of quotas as a temporary measure to achieve gender equality in political participation is very much necessary,” says Lagi. “We underestimate the importance for women and girls of seeing women in leadership positions and the power of role-modelling: seeing women in power is the first step toward becoming one. However, quotas also have limitations – their introduction by governments has increasingly become a box-ticking exercise rather than a tool to foster positive change. We need to set a 50/50 benchmark if we truly want to see structural transformation in decision-making spaces.”

In Nigeria, a 30 per cent quota for representation in political processes was introduced in the early 2000s. Since then, women’s participation has been declining and, as conflict escalated, women’s voices have been increasingly ignored. “While instruments like quotas have strong transformative potential, there is also a clear danger that they might restrict greater women’s participation and be used by conflict parties as bargaining chips to appeal to minority and women’s groups, while in fact making little progress in advancing meaningful political inclusion,” adds Lagi.

About the Global Convening

From 7-27 July 2021, UN Women, in partnership with CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation, hosted the global convening on “Gender-Inclusive Peace Processes: Strengthening Women’s Meaningful Participation through Constituency Building.” The conference explored good practices and strategies for gender-inclusive constituency building and the links between constituency building and women’s meaningful participation in formal peace processes, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It was made possible through a long-term collaboration with, and financial support from, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Visit the conference public dashboard on SparkBlue for more information