CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of March 1, 2022

Peace Activists Against War in Ukraine

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

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

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

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

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

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

and going beyond the Ukraine they demand:

  • global deescalation and disarmament,
  • the dissolution of military alliances,
  • the elimination of armies and borders dividing people.

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

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

(Editor’s note: More recently, as of February 26, protests have intensified including thousands of Russian artists and scientists who have signed open letters against the war.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

paix

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

  TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

pope

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

  WOMEN’S EQUALITY

women

United Nations : Commission on the Status of Women 2022

  FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

experts

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

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Tchad

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

  DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

olympics

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

  HUMAN RIGHTS

apartheid

Amnesty International : Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians

  EDUCATION FOR PEACE

chairs

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

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of January 1, 2022

. . THE BIENNALE OF LUANDA . .
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

highlights

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

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

youth

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

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

Phyllis

Phyllis Kotite has passed away

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

mercociudades

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

 

 

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

India

Indian farmers call off lengthy protest after govt assurances

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

Dhaka

Bangladesh: Dhaka Peace Declaration Adopted

HUMAN RIGHTS

Elders

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

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Jalisco

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

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of December 1, 2021

The Failure of COP26

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

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

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CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of November 1, 2021

Cities, Towns for Culture of Peace

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

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

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CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of May 1, 2021

Overcoming Israeli Apartheid

Believing that a solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is the key to peace in the Middle East, CPNN has carried many articles on this subject. Increasingly it is recognized that the situation resembles the apartheid of South Africa.

The overcoming of apartheid was accomplished by a combination of struggle within South Africa and international pressure through boycotts, divestment and sanctions. In this regard, a number of important developments have occurred since the beginning of this year.

Sanctions

A report released by Human Rights Watch : Abusive Israeli Policies Constitute Crimes of Apartheid, Persecution Human Rights Watch on April 27 states that the Israeli oppression of Palestinians has reached a “threshold and a permanence that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution.” According to HRW director Kenneth Roth, “Those who strive for Israeli-Palestinian peace, whether a one or two-state solution or a confederation, should in the meantime recognize this reality for what it is and bring to bear the sorts of human rights tools needed to end it.”

The HRW report confirms previous reports, such as that of January 12 by the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem labelling Israel as an “apartheid state.” According to Richard Falk, who served from 2008-2014 as the  United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, B’Tselem is Israel’s most respected human rights organization. He states that the report “confirms earlier UN reports and allegations that the Palestinians are victimized by an apartheid regime that seeks to impose policies and practices that ensure the supremacy of Jews by victimizing the Palestinian people.”

Perhaps the most important development is the decision of the International Criminal Court on February 5, 2021. By a 2-1 vote the Chamber’s decision affirmed the authority of Fatou Bensouda, the ICC Prosecutor, to proceed with an investigation of Israeli war crimes committed in Palestine since 2014. Richard Falk considers that ICC decision may turn out to be a turning point in the struggle against Israeli apartheid, not unlike the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa.

According to Michael Lynk, the present United Nations Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, the ICC decision “offers profound hope to those who believe that consequences, not condonation, must be the answer to the commission of grave crimes . . . Ending impunity and pursuing justice can only bring us closer to peace in the Middle East.”

Boycotts and Divestment

Boycotts and divestment continues to develop around the world, especially from religious and academic institutions, as reviewed in the website of the BDS movement.

Struggle within Palestine

Pressure continues to grow for elections in Palestine in order to arrive at a unified struggle against apartheid, since elections previously scheduled for May have been postponed. Palestinian activist Mazin Qumsiyeh reports on key points towards a electoral program for the needed social change, as agreed to in recent discussions with Palestinian activists. These include, among other points :

  • Support for human rights including a) the right of return for refugees to their homes and lands and to be compensated for their suffering, b) the full equality to women (in all aspects of social, educational and economic rights, c) the right to education to all, d) the right to due process of law, e) the right to clean and healthy environment, d) right to food/sustenance and shelter;
  • Complete freedom of expression through all communication media;
  • Mechanisms created to weed out corruption, nepotism and other unethical behaviors in all levels of society;

Struggle within Israel

Israel has not seen mass demonstrations for justice for Palestine since 2017 when some 15,000 Israelis attended a Tel Aviv rally to demand progress for a two-state solution to the conflict.

However, there continues to be a movement among young Israelis to refuse to serve in the armed forces. In January of this year sixty Israeli teenagers published an open letter addressed to top Israeli officials declaring their refusal to serve in the army in protest of its policies of occupation and apartheid.

When will it end, and hwo ?

Quoting Richard Falk, “the African majority waited more than 30 years for their emancipation from apartheid. The Palestinian people have already endured the hardships and humiliations of racist subjugation and Jewish supremacy for more than 70 years. When will it end, and how?”

HUMAN RIGHTS


Human Rights Watch : Abusive Israeli Policies Constitute Crimes of Apartheid, Persecution

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

Glen Greenwald : My New Book on Journalism, Exposing Corruption, and the Resulting Risks, Dangers and Societal Changes

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Biden’s Climate Summit Falls Short : Lofty Words But Where is the Plan?

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

We the Peoples : Call for Inclusive Global Governance

In addition to articles, we list virtual events for the culture of peace: Click here for upcoming events. Last month we registered 19 virtual events
 

 

  

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

Generation Equality Forum: Mexico City, 29-31 March 2021

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

Latin American Congress of Research for Peace will be held virtually in August

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY


Richard Falk: A Palestinian Balance Sheet: Normative Victories, Geopolitical Disappointments

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Brazil: Compaz invites schools to the 19th edition of the book Londrina Pazeando

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of April 1, 2021

International Women’s Day

This year’s celebration of the International Women’s Day was especially strong in Latin America with millions marching in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay.

In Mexico, it was the biggest March 8 protest in the country’s history. On March 9,  many women walked off the job for “A Day Without a Woman.” The primary motor for the protest was the indignation with femicides, which are all too common in Mexico. In 2019 alone, about 10 women were killed every day and thousands more have gone missing. 

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CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of March 1, 2021

African Union and Culture of Peace

The African Union (AU) increasingly promotes a culture of peace on the continent.

As described in a new book by Kathryn Nash, the African Union has developed, since its beginning at the turn of the century, a conflict management policy that was not available to its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity. Currently, the AU deploys monitors, authorizes peace support operations, and actively engages to resolve internal conflicts.

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CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of February 1, 2021

Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The Red Cross: "For more than 75 years, almost half of the ICRC’s 158 years of existence, we have been advocating for the elimination of nuclear weapons for one simple reason: We do not believe they can be used without inflicting significant death and suffering among civilians. That is why January 22, 2021, is such a momentous day for us. It is the day the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) comes into force. This day is nothing short of a victory for humanity."

This month, many others joined with the Red Cross in celebrating the Treaty.

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