EUROPE MEETS AND MARCHES FOR PEACE
Meetings and demonstrations for peace have been taking place throughout Western Europe in the last month or so. Here are those with articles in CPNN:
Spain: The II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace was closed in Madrid by a panel of women chaired by the Manuela Carmena, the mayor of Madrid and host of the Forum She called for more leadership by women, saying “We must be protagonists in the 21st Century and in the following centuries. . . . the voice of women is the voice of peace.” The Forum elaborated an agenda of cities for peace including: policies of caring rather than policies of security, preparation, implementation and supervision of action plans for the prevention of violence, and local action plans to address them.
During the Forum, it was announced that 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence will start from Madrid on October 2, 2019, International Day of Nonviolence and finish on March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day, It will be 10 years since the 1st WM that travelled through 97 countries on 5 continents. In this new edition, Madrid will be the beginning and end point for the 159-day circumnavigation of the planet which will pass through Africa, America, Oceania, Asia and Europe, going through more than 100 countries.
France: There were several major peace events in France.
At the Paris Peace Forum, sponsored by the French government to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that “blinkered” nationalism was gaining ground in Europe and beyond. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his hope that the Forum could help avoid falling into the traps of the past by promoting multilateralism. He wants it to demonstrate the power of reconciliation a century after Europe was torn apart by one of history’s bloodiest conflicts. Among others at the Forum were Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan as well as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres.The Forum sought concrete actions to address today’s challenges. 850 initiatives were audited by the Selection Committee; 120 projects were selected and were presented at the Forum.
Also in Paris, Human rights defenders from across all corners of the world gathered for the Human Rights Defenders World Summit, to develop a plan of action for how to protect and promote the work of activists fighting for rights, 20 years on from the first UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Speakers included UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
In Paris as well as in other cities of France and Europe, women took to the streets on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence to Women in a “feminist tidal wave” against sexist and sexual violence. According to its organizer, “This is the biggest feminist mobilization that we have known in France.”
Germany: During the Days of Protest for Peace and Disarmament from 1 to 4 November, actions were carried out in almost 50 German cities and thousands of signatures were collected. The days of protest were organised by the national initiative “disarm instead of rearm” and supported by the two big networks of the peace movement “Cooperation for Peace” and the Committee of the Federal Peace Council.
Previously, in October, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched through Berlin in protest against the far right, racism, and xenophobia. Organisers said 242,000 people across Germany took part in the rally, making it one of the biggest in recent years.
Iceland: Also at the end of October rallies were organized across the country to demand equal pay and rights and declaring “Don’t Change Women, Change the World!” Demonstrations were held in 16 towns and cities and the largest was in Reykjavík, where female musicians, poets, actresses and a 230-strong choir performed.
Italy: An International Conference “Scientists for Peace” was held in Città della Pieve. The scholars who took part in the Conference signed the “Declaration of the Scientists for Peace” which they are sending to UNESCO.
United Kingdom: A Nationwide Public Meeting Tour is being devoted to the themes of Stop Bombing Yemen and Stop Arming Saudi. It is taking place between 8 November and 13 December in York, Brent, Cardiff, London, Portsmouth, Norwich, Merseyside, Manchester, Sheffield, Basingstoke, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Lewisham.
Ireland: Dublin hosted the First International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases with speakers from around the world. In CPNN, we have reprinted the speech to the conference by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire: “Unfortunately, we are constantly bombarded with the glorification of militarism and war; therefore building a culture of peace and nonviolence will not be an easy task. . . However, I believe that peace is both possible and urgent. It is achievable when we each become impassioned about peace and filled with an ethic that makes peace our objective and we each put into practice our moral sense of political/social responsibility to build peace and justice.”
Launch of the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence at the 2nd World Forum of Peace Cities in Madrid
Città della Pieve, Italy: The Declaration of the Scientists for Peace
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