Organized in Cotonou from May 26 to 28, 2015, the International Symposium on the launching of the African Initiative for Education for Peace and Development through Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue is once again in the news. On May 26 and 27, 2016, a workshop was held at the Cotonou congress center to review the modalities of the official start of the second edition.
NONVIOLENCE IS MAKING HISTORY
Nonviolence is in our news these days. Let us begin by recalling the words of the great tactician of nonviolence, Martin Luther King, speaking of Mahatma Gandhi: "nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is not truly nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight… nonviolent resistance … is not a method of stagnant passivity… For while the nonviolent resister is passive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, his mind and his emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade his opponent that he is wrong. The method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually. It is not passive non-resistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil."
THE STRUGGLE OF AFRICA
There is an epic struggle for the heart of Africa between the forces of the culture of war and those of the culture of peace. On the one hand, attacks by Boko Harem, Al Qaida, ISIS, and Al-Shabaab get the headlines in the commercial media, not to mention potential for civil war in Burundi and the fratricidal war in Southern Sudan, On the other hand, if the many recent articles in CPNN about initiatives for the culture of peace are an indication, it is the culture of peace that is gaining!
PEACE: ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS ?
As we enter the new year of 2016, we may ask if the culture of peace continues to advance on all the fronts that we covered in the various CPNN bulletins of 2015:
WELCOME THE REFUGEES (December): Despite the political resistance to refugees in Europe, there are also social movements in defense of the refugees. This was expressed recently by rallies throughout Europe marking the Global Day of Action against Racism. The Madrid Rally was held under the slogan: "We are all migrants and refugees, we all have rights." Another slogan was "No to NATO!", making it clear that the influx of refugees is largely due to the military interventions by NATO in Africa and the Middle East.
Communication to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire of January 27, 2016 on the financing of the feasibility study for the Panafrican School of Peace to be set up in Côte d'Ivoire: The Council authorized the release exceptional contribution of 35,000 US dollars as a contribution of our country for the feasibility study of the Pan-African Peace School project. This high-level center, under the auspices of the African Union and UNESCO, will be set up and located within the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for the Yamoussoukro.
CULTURE OF PEACE: LATIN AMERICA
In the past two months we have carried no less than 18 articles about culture of peace from Latin America, as the continent continues to set an example for the rest of the world.
The Eduardo dos Santos Foundation (FESA) organized an International Conference on the Culture of Peace on September 11, 2015 in Soyo (Angola). Among the participants were the Minister of Culture, the Secretary of State for External Relations of the Republic of Angola, the Secretary of State for Human Rights and the Secretary of State for the Family and the Advancement of Women , as well as representatives of the Network of Foundations and Research Institutions for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace in Africa, the Youth Network for the Culture of Peace in Africa, civil society, and religious and traditional organizations.