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Vol. XVIII, Number 1                                         Fall, 2003



ONGOING ACTIVITIES


    In May 23, A coalition of over 150 peace groups and global NGOs protested the U.N. Security Council's adopting a resolution that virtually legitimizes the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and endorsed the foreign occupation of a U.N. member state, in the course of lifting UN sanctions against Iraq by a 14-1 vote with a no vote from Syria, the only Arab state on the Council.

 

     The national conference of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) took place in Chicago, June 6-8, with more than 500 participants, from 38 states and approximately 350 organizations. The organizations continue to work toward being broadly multi-cultiural, and are still learning how to combine a maximum of inclusive democracy with a decision-making process that is effective and coherent.

     It was decided that, "UFPJ's over-arching goal in the coming year to 18 months is to impact and mobilize public opinion in order to force a shift by the US government away from its present policy of permanent war and empire-building, and to address the ramifications of that policy both abroad and at home." The two proposals that were given the highest priority were:

  1.   a project to develop an on-going campaign against attacks on immigrants and civil liberties, to repeal the Patriot Act, etc.,
  2.  an effort to actively support developing campaigns for actions September 10-15 during the World Trade Organization's ministerial meeting (and the 9/11/01 second anniversary), the ministerial meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas November 17-21 in Miami, Fl., and the Fort Benning School of the Americas protest November 22-23.
    Next was a comprehensive proposal for a Peoples Convention/World Says No to Bush campaign, with the key milestones an issue-oriented Peoples Convention in the spring of 2004, a mass action around the Democratic Convention in Boston, July 25-30th and a huge mass protest in New York City and around the world in early September during the time of the Republican Convention.

   Another group of proposals with significant support were campaigns for an end to the Israeli occupation/justice for
Palestine, for nuclear disarmament and an end to military recruitment in the high schools, and a broad popular education campaign which would develop useable materials for grassroots organizing.

   There were also proposals to set up a "Baghdad Occupation Watch," the development of "peace zones," the planned August 2-30 National Poor People's March for Economic Human Rights from
Mississippi to Washington, D.C., a campaign to get rid of all weapons of mass destruction in all countries, and educational work around Iran and North Korea. A Steering Committee was elected which will establish work groups in many, if not all, of these areas, particularly the ones with the highest votes, and to coordinate the overall package. The structure of UFPJ has similarities to IPPN's structure. The highest body is a National Assembly that will meet at least once every 18 months. Under it is a Steering Committee which elects 35 people at the Assembly, but can add additional people to strengthen diversity and breadth. The targets are at least 50% women, 50% people of color, 20% youth and 15% labr. The S.C. is also to have a roughly 50-50 balance between representatives of local organizations and national organizations. There is a provision for those elected at the Assembly to add to the S.C. to meet the targets, and this will need to be done. The new Steering Committee will need to elect three Co-Chairs and a 12 person Administrative Committee. It will meet monthly either via conference call or in person. For more information, contact United for Peace and Justice NYC: 330 W. 42nd Street, 15th floor, New York, NY (212) 603-3700, http://www.unitedforpeace.org/nyc, National UFPJ Announcements List: http://www.unitedforpeace.org/email.php.

 

     This spring, representatives of some of the world's largest anti-war coalitions met in Jakarta, Indonesia. They created an action plan, "the Jakarta Peace Consensus," that includes launching a global campaign against the international proliferation of U.S. bases and a World Says No to Bush Campaign to culminate during the 2004 Republican Presidential Convention in New York. For details contact Rights Action, that raises funds for over 50  community development and human rights projects in Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru, while educating about global development and human rights, (416)654-2074, info@rightsaction.org, www.rightsaction.org.

 

     The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PSJ) has been very concerned about continuing Israeli-Palestinian violence, and one of its main causes, injustices against Palestinians. "On June 5, 2003, the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, we call for linked actions by Palestinian, international, and Israeli peace groups to protest the escalating violence against the Palestinian community and international human rights workers in the occupied territories. We demand protection for Palestinian civilians and for internationals, a moratorium on construction of the apartheid wall and its associated land confiscations and home demolitions, and an end to the occupation". PJSA offers several publications. The Peace Chronicle is a 32 page newsletter published by PJSA three times a year, featuring new scholarship and literature, the latest developments in peace research, peace studies and peace education, central issues in the peace and justice movement, book and film reviews and other selected resources for educators and activists. Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research is co-published by the PJSA and the Peace History Society. The journal features articles related to the creation of a peaceful, just, and humane society. Peace & Change seeks to transcend national, disciplinary, and other arbitrary boundaries while building bridges between peace research, education, and activism. The journal includes articles on a wide variety of topics related to peace and justice organizing around the world, conflict resolution, nonviolence, internationalism, race and gender issues affecting peacemaking and peacebuilding, cross cultural studies, globalization and economic development. Also available is Global Directory of Peace and Conflict Resolution, compiled by COPRED in 2000, prior to its merger with PSA to form PJSA, this is a comprehensive annotated guide to peace studies and conflict resolution programs at colleges and universities worldwide. PJSA is among the many groups and individuals reporting pressure to silence their outspokenness on public issues.

    Even at the Evergreen State College, considered one of the most progressive campuses in the country where justice for Palestine has been a primary concern for many faculty, students and staff, following its involvement in organizing after Evergreen student Rachel Corrie was murdered. Those involved were accused by several Jewish faculty members of antisemitism and creating an hostile environment for Jews on campus. Some people from the community went to their elected officials and pressure was put on the university to inquire into their work. This promoted an informal investigation and re-negotiation of PJSA's relationship to the college. 3 of those involved, came under personal attack and suffered damage to their reputations, despite having the support of many of their colleagues and having engaged in productive conversations with both the administration and adversarial colleagues. In some cases those advocating Middle East Peace have been attacked by proPalestinian people and groups for not being sufficiently anti-Israeli. For more information contact PJSA, The Evergreen State College, Mailstop: SEM 3127, Olympia, WA 98505 98505 (360)867-5230 pjsa@evergreen.edu, www.peacejusticestudies.org.

 

     Gush Shalom and The Other Israeli and Palestinian peace organizations continue to pressure the Israeli government to take up a more effective and just policy for peace, while protesting the building of the wall, mostly on seized Palestinian land, to separate Palestinian lands from Israel, and injustices to Palestinians (including continuing destruction of homes), in addition to providing support for the growing number of regular and reserve Israeli military personnel who refuse to serve in the occupied territories. The wall has been so routed as to unilaterally make 10% of the occupied West Bank part of Israel. "With the pretext of the settlers' security concerns, the Wall of Apartheid is being erected deep in the heart of the Palestinian territories. The Wall is being built on agricultural land confiscated from Palestinian villages. The dispossessed Palestinian peasants, caught in between the Wall and the 'green line' without any sources of income and livelihood, are being forced to leave their land. The Wall is not built in order to secure the safety of Israeli citizens but in order to gain hegemony and control over the water resources; for the sake of the de-facto annexation of the settlements to Israel; to bisect the Palestinian territories into small isolated enclaves void of territorial contiguity and viability, and in order to create a border zone 'clean' of Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians have already left their homes because of lack of means to survive.

    In April 23, 2003, the bulldozers have arrived to the village Mas'ha, adjacent to the Israeli settlement Elkanah. Elkana is about 7 kilometers away from the green line, but the route of the fence, approved in the government meeting of June 24, was changed so that it will include Elkana as well in the Israeli side. The bulldozers have started to separate Mas'ha, in effect, from its only remaining source of livelihood after two and a half years of closure. 98% of the lands of Mas'ha will be placed in the Israeli side of the fence - between the fence and the green line, together with thousands of dunams of Bidia Sanniriya and other villages in the area. Along with the lands that will be cut off the villages, the fence disconnects the road from Jenin to Ramallah, a segment of which will now be in the Israeli side of the fence, thus establishing further the isolation of the Palestinian enclaves from each other. We say NO to the 'Silent Transfer'." "Against Sharon's plan to destroy 40 Arab Villages in the Negev: Sharon's plan for the concentration of all the rural Negev Arabs into seven towns, is a plan that has set aside considerable sums of money to destroy and force the Arabs into towns against their will. It is a plan that was created without consulting the people it is planned for. It is plan that makes clear that the Bedouin Arabs of the Negev are not citizens with rights in their country, but rather a 'land problem', to be dealt with in any manner to achieve the goal of total Jewish control over the Land of Israel."

 

     The Israeli peace movement also decried the Israeli governments closing of the Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and Raprochement offices in Beit Sahour including the arrest of five people, three of whom were internationals. The ISM, a Palestinian led non-violent group which attempts to provide protection to the Palestinian people and to enable them to resist non-violently, http://www.palsolidarity.org, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palsolidarity. For more information contact Gush Shalom, pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033, http://www.gush-shalom.org/, Jerusalem Women in Black and Peace Now +972-(0)54-578822, http://www.seruv.org.il/.

 

     In June, a delegation of 250 Israeli Arabs and Jews undertook a unique journey to the Holocaust death camps in Poland. The trip was organized by a group of Israeli Arab intellectuals and educators who, after the riots of October 2000, "realized that reconciliation between Arabs and Jews would never be possible unless Arabs understood what the Holocaust means to Jews." A program for Arab and Jewish schoolchildren called "The Image of Abraham," which encourages the children and their parents "to explore their shared religious heritage through a series of games, guided tours and creative workshops." a coexistence workshop organized by the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. The program - which began in 1998 - encourages schoolchildren, aged 9 and 10, to explore their shared religious heritage through a series of games, guided tours and creative workshops. Following its success, the museum decided this year to extend the annual eight-week program to include parents, with between 30 to 40 parents showing up for each session. "There was just as much enthusiasm and curiosity among the parents, as there were among the children," said Yehuda Kaplan, the head of the museum's education department. The project is about building communication and trust where none exists. The project, whose annual budget is about $42,000, is supported by the Abraham Fund, private donations and by the Jerusalem Foundation. But like so many Israeli programs which rely heavily on charity, it is under threat due to a worsening world economy and the ongoing intifada. The West-Eastern Diwan project, launched under the initiative of Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and the US based Palestinian writer and critic Prof. Edward Said, brings together teenage musicians from Israel and Arab countries for a multinational concert tour.

 

     At a time when the eyes of the world are on the political leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and their neighbors in peace talks, the Jerusalem Circle of Peacemaker Circles International continues grassroots work of building bridges between different communities in the Holy Land. There have been regular meetings developing a vision of Jerusalem as a city of peace and sessions with the Israeli government and Palestinian groups seeking an agreement about a 'hudna' (ceasefire), with the intent to plant the seeds for the next phase after 'hudna', which is 'sulha' (reconciliation)...to bring 'sulha' between the family of Abraham. In June, 45 people took part in a Jewish-Sufi gathering at a-Nabi Musa, the Islamic holy place dedicated to the prophet Moses in the Judean desert near Jericho. White bearded Sheikh Muhammad Usta, guardian of this vast desert stone castle, welcomed the participants, who consisted of Israelis and Palestinians, joined by seekers of peace from all over the world, including a family from Jordan and people from Japan, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and the U.S. Joining the group, also, was Rabbi Ohad Ezrahi and community members from Hamakom, the Jewish spiritual eco-village near the Dead Sea. For details conatact Eliyahu McLean, 02-625-4648 or 050-219-952, new E-mail address: eliyahu@peacemakercircle.org or Mahmud - 054 995974, www.metasulha.org, or Peacemaker Circles Int'l, 177 Ripley Rd., Montague, MA 01351.

 

     The Joseph Burg Chair in Education for Human Values, Tolerence and Peace - UNESCO Chair on Human Rights. Democracy, Peace and Tolerance at Bar Ilan University in Israel has been increasing its efforts to educate for peace and tolerance, producing several books, undertaking a number of projects and conducting  seminars in such fields as conflict resolution, creating cultural bridges at schools, and education for tolerance and peace in Israel. For details contact Professor Yacov Iram, UNESCO/Borg Chair in Education, Bar Ilan University, Israel.

 

     Search for Common Ground (CG) Summer 2003 News Letter reports that "'These are difficult times for those of us who work as peacemakers. Non-violent conflict prevention failed in Iraq.  Despite some forward movement, the Israeli-Palestinian struggle is still caught up in violence. It would be easy to despair and forget that peace processes typically have enormous ups and downs. We need to keep reminding the world - and ourselves - that: There is no conflict that cannot be resolved. Violent conflict is created and sustained by human beings, and it  can be ended by human beings'. - Former US Senator George Mitchell. 'Political activists usually define themselves by what they oppose.  We are different.  Our goal is to build a new, non-adversarial system - not to fight the old one.  Thus, we operate within a framework of being for - rather than being against.  As individuals, we have strong views about right and wrong, but we try to avoid getting caught up in divisive issues and becoming part of the problem.  Instead, we want to be part of the solution, which we see as resolving the conflict. Our commitment is to the process of finding common ground - not to the positions of one side or the other. 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has'. - Margaret Mead".

    CG produces a series of weekly radio programs on world affairs in the United States. A Program Guide and Network List is available from Common Ground, 209 Iowa Ave., Muscatine, IA 52761, www.commongroundraio.org.

 

     "When we began 21 years ago, we had a staff of two. Today, we have 375 employees in 13 countries. Our largest program is in Burundi where 100 people work on tens of projects.  When we began in Burundi in 1995, the country was on the edge of genocide. Now, while huge problems remain, there is also good news. In May, President Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, peacefully stepped down and was replaced by Vice President Domitien Ndayizeye, a Hutu. Our role was - and is - to help defuse ethnic tension. We make extensive use of media, and we are engaged for the long haul from both the top-down and the bottom-up. In Burundi and elsewhere, we work at a societal level to change attitudes and behavior toward violent conflict."

    Common Ground's Multi-Pronged Approach in Burundi includes the radio production, Studio Ijambo, with 13 hours a week of original programming. The most popular show is a soap opera, Our Neighbors, Ourselves, that promotes tolerance and good governance, attracts 90% of Burundi‚s listeners, and is in its 540th episode. There are also mediated call-in shows, roundtables, and programs by and for young people, women, and elders. There is a series on Hutus who have saved the lives of Tutsis - and vice versa.  The studio responds to misinformation and violence by sending reporters across the country to give voice to people from all groups.          

    Radio Isanganiro (Crossroads Radio) was launched in 2002, with CG supporting the journalists who work for Studio Ijambo in operating their own independent station, broadcasting most of Studio Ijambo's output, as well as original programming. Through web-streaming (www.ijambo.net), it also reaches thousands of Burundians who live abroad and who stay connected by e-mailing and phoning-in. The station‚s motto is: "Dialogue is better than force". The Women‚s Peace Centre assists Burundian women in establishing and strengthening local associations that encourage reconciliation and healing. In the last two years, it has worked with 240 such associations to provide training in conflict resolution, leadership, organizational development, and transparency. It also produces radio programs about the work of these associations in order to encourage and inspire other Burundian women. The Youth Project supports activities that promote ethnic cooperation and rehabilitate child soldiers. In partnership with Burundian groups, it uses sports, music, and skills training as tools for peacebuilding, and co-sponsors publication of an anti-violence comic book that is now part of the national school curriculum.

 

Victims of Torture was initiated in March, promoting physical and psychological healing, legal assistance, awareness raising, support for social reintegration, and preventive advocacy. It partners with Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services, International Human Rights Law Group, and Ligue Iteka.

 

     In partnership with His Royal Highness Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, CG has launched a project called Partners in Humanity (PiH) to build (two-way) bridges between the Muslim world and the United States. In July, PiH held a three-day meeting in Amman, bringing together 60 leaders of NGOs, media outlets, government agencies, international organizations, and CG staff members from Amman, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Rabat, and Washington. The goal was to develop a concrete action plan.

 

     Search for Common Ground in the Middle East (SCGME) is putting the Bulletin of Regional Cooperation in the Middle East on line via E-mail and at www.scfg.org and www.ecg.org beginning with the current Fall issue. It will now be available in Arabic and Hebrew as well as English. SCGME is producing a series of five one hour television documentaries in Hebrew, Arabic, English and French on final Israeli-Palestinian settlement questions, such as the right of refugees to return, Jerusalem, settlements and Holy Places. Peace oriented radio soaps also continue to be produced, and in February 15 Palestinian television talk show hosts received training in Ramallah on principles and practical skills for putting on talk shows on contentious issues in Palestinian society. SCGME has been undertaking workshops with Palestinian NGO leaders using the NGO handbook developed with U.S. State Department help last year. Common Ground News Service has launched a new English, Hebrew and Arabic database of articles distributed by the service available at its existing website: www.sfcg.org/. The Security Working Group has been involved in a number of projects encouraging regional collaboration against the threat of terrorism and other incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. In October of 2002, a meeting of Egyptian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli health professionals agreed to establish the Middle East Consortium on Infectious disease Surveillance to develop and link regional methods of detecting, reporting and processing information on disease outbreaks. The Consortium began operation in March. In January, participants from Jordanian, Egyptian, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, meeting in Prague, agreed in principle to form a consortium to deal with chemical risks from industrial accidents to terrorism, and commenced developing case studies of local accidents and lessons from them concerning emergency response. Search for Common Ground in Morocco has been finding the September 2002 election of a private sector businessman as Prime Minister an indication of renewed governmental emphasis on social and economic development, providing an enhancing environment for Common Ground projects involving community building, labor relations development and media.

 

     In June, with support from the Arca Foundation, CG held a conference on creating a Global Marshall Plan on St. Simon‚s Island, Georgia. The goal was to develop recommendations on how to improve drastically the quality and quantity of foreign aid. Present were a wide cross-section of development experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs from the governmental and non-governmental sectors, corporations, and academia. Participants defined two strategies that will become part of an ongoing Campaign for New Development Strategies: Creating the political will for bold development approaches that raise levels of foreign assistance and drive major reform of the aid process, improving the support structure for local entrepreneurs and building links between innovators and sources of investment capital.

 

     In Indonesia, as in Burundi, CG reaches large numbers of people through radio soap opera and comic books. Their focus is on three local conflicts: in Kalimantan, Madura and Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), with funding by the Australian, British, and Dutch governments. "Ethnic conflict tore through West and Central Kalimantan between 1996 and 2001, with thousands killed and about 200,000 people displaced. Working with communities and civil-society organizations in conflict-vulnerable areas of Indonesia, our Community Transformation Teams are carrying out cross-sectoral dialogue programs, conflict resolution training, peace education programs in Islamic boarding schools in Madura, and activities to reunite children separated by conflict. In Papua, we are developing a video dialogue program and a second-track dialogue program".

 

       In Macedonia, in 1999, CG created Nashe Maalo (Our Neighborhood), a dramatic TV series for Macedonian kids.  Four years ago, as it went into production, war broke out in neighboring Kosovo.  Macedonian state television (called MTV), that had previously agreed to broadcast the series, no longer wanted to air programs on ethnic tolerance. CG managed to cobble together a network of independent stations that reached the whole country, so that Nashe Maalo reached 70% of Macedonian children, and spun off a number-one music video, a magazine, and a website in five languages (www.nashemaalo.com). Recently, MTV agreed to air the series on a new, multi-lingual channel in both the Macedonian and Albanian languages.

 

     CG began working inside the United States in 1992, and recently laid the groundwork for similar activities in Belgium, its European base. US projects include: A campaign, initiated in 2001, to urge Congress to establish the United States Consensus Council (USCC), an agency that would facilitate consensus on national issues. The campaign, headed by Republican National Chairman Marc Racicot and former Democratic Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, is close to final passage, with Congress approving a $1 million start-up appropriation. CG is working in several US cities to apply consensus-building processes to local problems. In Philadelphia, under the leadership of former Mayor W. Wilson Goode, Sr., it set up a task force to find common ground on crime policy, for a year facilitating meetings with key community participants to try to improve the way the city deals with re-entry of ex-prisoners into society. In February, the group agreed on 24 recommendations that were accepted by Mayor John Street at a City Hall ceremony.

    In addition, Mayor Street stated he would use the Group as his advisory council on ex-offender reentry. Common Ground plans to take its consensus process to other cities. For further details contact Search for Common Ground, 1601 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC  (202)265-4300, search@scfg.org, www.sfcg.org; European Centre for Common Ground, Rue Belliard 205 bte 13, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium, Tel.: (32-2) 736-7262, eccg@eccg.be, www.sfcg.org.

 

     Conflict resolution Center International's Conflict Resolution Notes will cease publication after more than 20 years, with a special December issue, on the retirement of director and editor Paul Wahrhftig.

    Paul reports, in the July issue of the Notes, that in the midst of a 40 year civil war, that spawned a larger culture of violence in Columbia, a culture of peace is being built in the capitol of Bogotá. Currently 1% of Columbia's population is killed by violence each year, with less than 10% of the deaths war related. In 1996 there were 56.63 homicides per 100,000 people in the capitol, compared to 9.4 in the U.S. and 2.1 in Europe. Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic drop in violence in Bogota, while the violence rate remains unchanged in the rest of the nation. The homicide rate in the city dropped from 82 per 100.000 in 1993 to a current 28. Strong leadership from two of the last three mayors and implementation of the Mossavi model by the Gamma Idear Foundation to impact families, schools and the community.

    A key piece of the implementation has been extensive teacher training to make the method widely available. The Mosavi model of conflict analysis focuses upon changing and preventing violent behavior. To make the approach manageable, individuals are encouraged to apply it to one conflict at a time, using a grid that helps individuals identify the structural roots of the conflict, the type of conflict (e.g. physical, emotional, sexual,...), the relationships involved (e.g. family, school, community, work,...), and provides the opportunity to locate and list relevant resources. When the grid is completed, participants have a map of their conflicts and the remedies that fit each conflict, with referrals to relevant resources such as mediation and service agencies. For information about Mossavi, contact Matha E. Mantilla, 2243 Wightman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15217, marthamantilla@fungamma.org or Amparo Mantilla de Ardila, Director, Fundacion Gamma Idear, Caille 105 No. 43-34 Interior 101, Apartado Aero 93426, Bagota D.C., Columbia, Tel: +571 623 0725, AmparoMantilla@fungamma.org, www.fungamm.org. Details about CRI are available from Conflict Resolution Center International, Inc., 204 37 St., Pitttsburgh, PA 15201 (412)687-6210, Paul@ConflictRes.org, http://www.ConflictRes.Org.

 

     Conciliation Resources (CR) is an international service for conflict prevention and resolution. "CR's organizational objective is to provide practical and sustained assistance to people and groups in areas of armed conflict or potential violence. We specifically work with those working at community or national levels to prevent violence or transform conflict into opportunities for social, economic and political development based on more just relationships. Where mechanisms for effective participation are non-existent or weak, sustained conflict transformation support implies providing opportunities locally, nationally and sometimes regionally, to build or strengthen civic capabilities for dialogue and problem-solving.... In striving to attain our objective, CR: assists local organizations in the development of indigenously-rooted, innovative solutions to short and long-term social, economic and political problems related to armed conflict or communal strife; involves previously marginalized or excluded groups in community and national peacebuilding processes; helps build or strengthen civic capabilities for dialogue, problem-solving and constructive action, locally, nationally and sometimes regionally, when existing mechanisms for effective participation are either weak or lacking; promotes organizational transparency and accountability, as well as inclusive and participative decision-making; participates as fully as possible in the local and international development and dissemination of conflict transformation practice and theory; enters into partnerships and collaborative arrangements with other organizations and participates in networks such as the Committee for Conflict Transformation Support (CCTS), the UK Conflict and Development Network (CODEP) and the European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation; draws on a pool of skilled staff, programme associates and consultants to apply a wide range of expertise in addressing armed conflict or the threat of large-scale violence."

    A major effort of CR has been to promote peace in the troubled Manu River Countries of West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Because troubles in any of these nations spill over into the others, CR has been engaged, since 2001 in facilitating dialoguing among NGO's in the three nations, assisting them in developing a deep understanding of the conflicts and their causes, and enhancing the NGO's ability to take peace promoting action. Related to this, CR has been working with the Sulima Fishing Community Development Project and the Bo Peace and Reconciliation Movement (BPRM) in Sierra Leone. The Sulima project involves an indigenous peace monitering system between two tribes that promotes peacebuilding, development and access to justice. BPRM is a coalition of 11 communities engaged in peacebuilding and reconciliation. Recognizing that how media cover events and topics relating to on going or potential conflicts often has inflaming or calming effects,CR's Media and Conflict Program helps African journalists provide more balanced and constructive coverage of conflicts, particularly in Uganda, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

    In the Caucuses, CR has been active in conflict transformation and civil society capacity building work relating to the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict for five years, and has been working with the media to promote more peace enhancing coverage.

    In Northern Uganda, CR has been helping Kacoke Madit, formed by Acholi communities, to improve its communications in efforts to find alternative ways of building peace in the region.

 In Angola, CR has partnered with Action for Rural Development and Environment in a civic and human rights education effort. In Fiji, CR has been working with the Citizens Constitutional Forum (www.ccf.org) to facilitate the rebuilding of democracy by enhancing civil society development.

    In Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, CR has been working with local NGOs in developing dialogue and understanding between ethnic groups. CR has been engaged in a number of short and long term conflict transformation projects, including in Sri Lanka and Nepal.

     In addition, CR's Accord program of on line and in print publications documents peace building work, providing a record and analysis of what does and does not work in what circumstances. Current accord projects being developed involve Columbia and Angola.  For more information see the latest CR's latest Annual Report, which can be downloaded as a PDF file at: http://www.c-r.org/pubs/annreps/annreps.shtml, or contact Conciliation Resources, 173 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1RG, UK, Tel. +44 (0)20 73597728, communications@c-r.org. 

 

     The Carnegie Endowment for Peace has produced a study of the U.S. attempts at nation building. In only four of 16 attempts since 1900 has the U.S. actually produced lasting democracies.  (Japan, West Germany, Grenada and Panama). In Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua, brutal dictatorships, albeit friendly to Washington, emerged in the wreckage of botched U.S. nation-building efforts. In Cambodia, a genocidal regime gained power after the departure of American troops and perpetrated one of the worst crimes against humanity in history. Generally, multinational efforts at nation building have been far more successful than unilateral attempts. Factors involved in whether an attempt succeeds include the extent of fracturing or coherence in the society (the greater the fracturing, the greater the difficulty), the readiness of the administrative and political infrastructure to carry out social and political functions, and to do so democratically, the adequacy of effort at economic development (both in terms of appropriateness and amount of investment), and the degree to which the rebuilding nation is free from external disrupting pressures.

    For the executive summary or the full report, consult the CEIP, April 2003 report " Lessons from the Past: The American Record in Nation-Building," by Minxin Pei and Sara Kasper, by going to http://www.ceip.org/, or contact them at: 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington D.C. 20036, (202)483.7600 Fax 202.483.1840, info@ceip.org.

 

      Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) and the Society for the Study of Peace Conflict and Violence: Peace Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, International Peace Practitioner's Network reports that International refugee groups in Eastern Europe and central Asia have been having a difficult time because many international relief foundations in various countries were cut off from U.S. aid by the Bush Administration's decision only to fund faith based organizations.

    The network also announced that women peacebuilders in Latin America met in Quito, Ecuador, in February, "to demonstrate that peace is a process of permanent construction of respect, justice, inclusion, equity and solidarity.... the historical tendency of the armed militarization of the region has been profoundly deepened with the intervention of the North American government throughout our countries, with the presence of troops, economic impositions, military bases and training, local police corps... In the face of this situation, the Women of Latin America and the Caribbean... declare ourselves in total rejection militarization, and all of the forms of violation of integral human rights that provoke suffering in the life of people. We manifest our repudiation of threats against the defenders of human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean who struggle against impunity, and demand that states respect their lives and physical integrity," For more on this declaration and meeting go to Latin American Information Agency at: alainet.org. PsySR offers a complete set of abstracts from its October conference at: www.psysr.org. For more information go to this site or contact Psychologists to Social Responsibility, 2604 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (202)745-7084, psysrusa@cs.com.

 

     Amnesty International (AI), in May, released a report, "A Catalogue of Failures: G8 Arms Exports and Human Rights Violations", accusing the world's wealthiest countries of arming some of the worst human rights abusers despite their assurances to the contrary. AI said it was calling for an international arms trade treaty to strengthen and harmonize national controls on the flow of arms to countries it describes as human rights abusers such as Israel, Colombia, Afghanistan and Senegal. The report indicated that the United States accounted for 28 per cent of global arms transfers from 1997 to 2000, making it the world's top supplier of weapons. For details, go to http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/19/1053196529293.html.

 

     The International Education for Peace Institute (EFP-International), in Switzerland, is a newly-founded, non-profit organization and an affiliate agency of Landegg International University, whose main purpose is to create the necessary structure for the development and implementation of peace education programs in all parts of the world for all segments of society. The main objective of Education for Peace is to contribute to a collective process of community building by assisting younger generations and their teachers, parents, and leaders to become peace makers. EFP's ultimate goal is to assist the participating populations to take a significant step toward establishing an all-inclusive civilization of peace.

    Since June 2000, EFP has been implementing a program of Education for Peace (EFP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 2-year program, involving the entire curriculum, focuses on the development of 1) a culture of peace, and 2) a culture of healing in the participating school communities. The Program has been implemented in primary and secondary schools in Sarajevo, Travnik and Banja Luka. The EFP-World program is being developed as an online version of the EFP Curriculum. For more details contact Sanna Heikkinen, Executive Assistant, International Education for Peace Institute, Landegg International University, CH-9405 Wienacht/AR, Switzerland, Tel: +41 71 845 5939, efp@landegg.edu, http://efp.landegg.edu.

 

     The Coalition for Work With Psychotrauma and Peace (CWWPP) in Vukovar, Croatia, associated with the Stichting Coalition for Work With Psychotrauma and Peace in Groningen, Netherlands, reports, "The situation in eastern Croatia, northern Bosnia and western Serbia is not improving. Nearly nine years after the end of the war, there are still high levels of traumatization and little adequate psychotherapy or counseling. Most psychological problems are still treated with drugs. There are also high levels of physical illness related to the war. There are virtually no efforts toward reconciliation in the region. Civil society is still in its infancy. Human rights are still a problem. Unemployment is estimated at about 90% unofficially. The upcoming elections in Croatia will increase tensions. Unfortunately, this region seems to have been forgotten. The president of the European Union has said that Croatia will enter the Union sooner or later, but that it will enter, and that other countries in the region will follow soon after. While we support these aspirations, we feel that a great deal of work needs to be done to support the people of the region in their recovery and further development. Unfortunately, we have not seen much of that help until now, and we see no cogent strategies to bring it about." CWWPP is engaged in numerous activities.

    Together with the organization Tratincica in Vinkovci, the coalition runs two weekly groups counseling veterans, and veterans peer counseling training. "At present, neither Tratincica nor we have sufficient staff to increase the number and the types of groups as we would like to. We need to start groups in other places in the region, we need groups for wives and children and we need family counseling.  We also need to train more people to be peer counselors."

    In Dalj, an ethnically mixed village about 20 km northwest of Vukovar. CWWPP is running a training for a group of motivated workers in trauma counseling, civil society and non-violent conflict resolution. "We would like to expand support of such groups, particularly in troubled villages". "

    The CWWPP is assisting the group Marimo ("We Care") in Osijek. This is a group that has two sets of difficult problems. These families were traumatized by the war and have the additional problems of a family member being mentally ill. Mental illness is stigmatized, facilities for and methods of treatment are rarely modern or adequate.  The CWWPP is providing the possibility for families to speak openly with one another and to learn how to deal with their own feelings. We plan that we will be teaching these families to help others in a similar position". In addition, the coalition continues to see a small number of individual clients with the average length of assistance is two years, and also provides some short-term counseling. An important principle of the work of the CWWPP is that the participants -either in counseling or in training - do not pay fees. This is particularly important in an area where unemployment is high and where taboos against psychological treatment are strong.

    Since the beginning of 2002 there has been an alliance between the CWWPP and the Jewish Community of Osijek, Europe House Vukovar and the Bench We Share Association of Osijek to implement a field institute for post-conflict studies, including units for inter-religious dialogue, the trauma of war, civil society and democratization and non-violent conflict resolution and human rights with a good library. The institute, which will concentrate on both theoretical and practical work and the integration between the two, is to be housed in the Vukovar Synagogue, now destroyed. For more information contact, Coalition for Work With Psychotrauma and Peace, Gunduliceva 18, 32000 Vukovar, Croatia, tel and fax +385-32-441975, tel +385-32-444662, cwwppvuk@zamir.net, http://www.cwwpp.org.

 

     Transcend Peace University (TPU) is the worlds first truly global, on-line Peace University designed for practitioners, policy makers and students working in the fields of peace, conflict transformation, development and global issues. Its goal is: "to bring about a more peaceful world by using action, education, networking and research to handle conflicts with creativity, nonviolence and empathy". Since 1996, 300+ on-site skills institutes have been offered for 6,000+ participants around the world, using the TRANSCEND manual "Conflict Trans-formation By Peaceful Means," published by the United Nations. In Semester, TPU offered 12 on line courses.

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     The Centre for the Study of Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Coventry University in England offers an MA in Peace and Reconciliation Studies, a Certificate in Peace and Reconciliation Studies by Distance Learning, and a three year BA in Peace and Conflict Studies. For Full details contact, Centre for the Study of Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, England, Tel. (44) 02476 887448, a.rigby@coventry.ac.uk, http://www.coventry.ac.uk/acad/isl/forgive/.

 

     The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation  (NCDD) connects and informs leaders in dialogue and deliberation, recognizing that community.  Dialogue and deliberation help people bridge gaps, make better decisions, take collective action and become more active citizens. Dialogues are powerful personal experiences that lead to careful deliberation and collaborative action or policy recommendations. For information contact (802)254-7341, sandy@thataway.org, www.thataway.org.

 

     Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT) provides resources for careers and opportunities in human rights, peace and conflict resolution, development and civil society development, maintaining announcement forums for individuals seeking jobs and scholarships and information on conferences/events, and for organizations interested in recruiting qualified candidates/applicants in the fields of conflict resolution, peace studies, development, human rights, women's rights, civil society development, micro finance and similar fields. Posting of jobs/scholarships/conference and other announcements are free of charge. For subscriptions, a contribution is required, although residents of designated international regions may qualify for a free subscription. For information contact Alliance for Conflict Transformation, Inc., P.O. Box 3203 . Fairfax, VA, www.conflicttransformation.org.

 

     Peace Foundation International (PFI) is an NGO, based in Nigeria (West Africa) that has been operating since 1995. PFI focuses upon civil society strengthening for a culture of peace and democracy through grassroots empowerment and training of key stakeholders in communities. It is committed to promoting the culture of democracy, dialogue, mediation, conflict mitigation, tolerance, understanding, fostering electoral values and political dialogue through education, training, retraining, capacity building, grassroots enlightenment, advocacy, etc. for the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. At heart is the desire to create a peaceful and enabling environment in accordance with the canons of democracy. The motivation is service that is not encumbered by geo-political, religious, race and ethnic divides. To this end, the two cardinal objectives are:
  1. Capacity building through training/education on the skills and techniques of creative conflict resolution and prevention, positive electoral practices and values and political dialogue.
  2.  Grassroots/civil empowerment through enlightenment campaigns. PFI is the collaborating NGO with OICI/NOIC in the implementation of USAID sponsored Work Force Development Civil Society Strengthening Initiative (WDCSSI) in Nigeria.
    The organization's projects include: Development of job descriptions, recruitment of peacebuilders and provision of an induction course for peacebuilders for vocational skills acquisition centers for Lagos, Niger Delta and Kano; Training of stakeholders in Alimosho local government area, Alimosho, Lagos State; Alimosho local government sponsored conceptualization, trials & development of peace education curriculum for primary, secondary, vocational schools and skill acquisition centers in Nigeria; Training of peacemakers, a Corps of Mediators and the Promoters of the Culture of Peace for Global Marines LTD; Training of peace educators & teachers for Pamak Nig. Ltd.; Training of peace ambassadors for PREDA; Training of Senate Committees on Electoral Commission, Inter Governmental Affairs on the place of political dialogue for sustainable democracy, etc, along with the giving of several workshops in conflict resolution; Training of community leaders for peace and conflict resolution; Training of religious leaders on tolerance and conflict; several trainings for managers on corporate conflict resolution, team building, team work and improving communication skills; Peace education training workshop for primary & secondary school teachers from Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Benin, Liberia, Togo and Nigeria; Several mediation meeting within Lagos and it's environs; NGO capacity building workshops, training of peace mediators and consultations; and collaborating with NGO Grupa hajdeda da in Beograd, Yugoslavia on charity know how for organizations, and on elections & electioneering activities.

    For further information, contact Peace Foundation International, AREF Complex, Old Secretariat Road, G.R.A. Ikeja, P.O.Box 1006, Festac Town, Lagos State, Nigeria, Contact Persons: Mrs. Ehis Abebe, Dr. Amos Abu (Ph.D), peacenet3@yahoo.com.

 

     The Colombian Virtual Youth Desk (VYD) of the Global Campaign is a new addition to the Youth team, working in collaboration with International Advisor Amada Benavides and her Schools of Peace. They are currently developing the "Catedra for Peace, Life and Freedom" which includes 55 people including youth from their peace network, teachers, indigenous peoples as well as 30 youth from the most deprived areas of Bogotá. This program is run through the Peace and Development Studies Institute and focuses on strengthening "culture of peace and coexistence values, enlarging the design projects capacity and executing projects at the local and regional levels, by means of reflection exercises that contribute to a construction of a new Colombian society." According to Educating Cities Latin America, International Relations Bureau in the Municipality of Rosario, Argentina, several peace education projects are underway. For more information contact: Educating Cities Latin America, Director: Prof. Alicia Cabezudo, Youth Department, Buenos Aires 711, Piso 2. (2000) Rosario; Pcia. de Santa Fe- Argentina; Tel./ Fax: +54 341 4802275, ce_americalat@rosario.gov.ar, http://ar.geocities.com/ce_paz

 

     Maher is a registered society in India created for the purpose of alleviating distress and the resulting low self esteem and poverty amongst rural women and their children caused specifically by unjustified ill treatment from spouses, in-laws and by factors outside the personal control and responsibility of the victim/s. Originally formed in the early nineties as a result of several urgings from rural areas, the mission has grown under the stewardship of Father Francis X. D'Sa and the untiring efforts of Sister Lucy and her dedicated team.

    Today Maher operates in scores of villages around Pune and has taken under its umbrella several hundred women and children.  Most have been rehabilitated and have returned home, and are now leading productive lives as part of regrouped families and communities. However, quite a few (38 women and 156 children as on 31st December 2002), subjected to extreme trauma, continue to be looked after under the watchful care of Maher. All of them receive quality level preventive and ongoing medical attention, psychiatric counseling, and healthy foods with nutritional supplements. They also engage in various community-based activities in loving and motivating environments. Women are trained in various trades enabling self-esteem and self-sufficiency, while children are given formal education followed by vocational training.

    Maher has started 12 rural schools of which six have been handed over to the Government, complete with dedicated staff and ongoing curriculums. Maher has initiated and supports over 30 village self-help groups, which now rely on a cooperative movement amongst themselves, rendering them free of unscrupulous moneylenders from whom they had earlier borrowed at interest rates of the order of 12-15% per month. Maher is dedicated to establishing clean and healthy environments. Accordingly, growing and harvesting of organic foods with use of nonpolluting solar energy, recycled waste, permiculture and biogas is the norm. In addition, Maher has initiated training programs based on human divinity, justice and achievement, with the longer-term objective of permanently changing the attitudes and mindset of our people towards women, particularly in rural areas.

    The organization has initiated professionally supervised Change Management Programs where all work towards establishing democratic values and achievement of common visions of benefit to the families and communities. The useful role and contribution of all including the female population in achieving this common benefit is widely discussed and having been unequivocally demonstrated, is quickly appreciated leading to increased harmony and tolerance. Maher's next needs based project is the setting up of a special school and an old persons home. Older children, previously deprived of education, who were put in primary classes along with much younger children were often embarrassed, leading to lack of motivation and causing coordination problems.  The special school will provide fast track learning conducted by specially trained teachers, leading to vocational training.  There is also a need for an old-persons home where the elders are looked after, given medical attention when needed and, while they are still capable, participate in assignments of value to the rural working community, e.g., assisting in the management of crèches and various routine jobs. For more information go to: http://www.maherashram.org.

 

     Creative Response to Conflict (CRC), focusing on creating alternatives to violence for children in school and other settings, celebrated its 30th birthday last December. For details of its activities and publications, contact Creative Response to Conflict (CRC), P.O. Box 271,521 N. Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960.

 

     Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) reports that collaborative work with other organizations and individuals brought about a vote, in July, by the House subcommittee on Energy and Water Appropriations to remove millions of dollars for funding research on new and redesigned nuclear weapons. FCNL continues to work for a more collaborative and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy, long run protection of real national security by promoting government budgets and legislation that support the needs of people and protect the environment, and by promoting civil liberties, including opposing the excesses of the Patriot Act. For more information contact FCNL, 245 Second St., NE, Washington, DC 20002 (800)630-1330, fcnl@fcnl.org, www.fcnl.org.

 

     Resist is a 35 year old NGO that funds small activist groups around the U.S. working against militarism, violence and racism and for peace and social justice.  For information contact Resist, 359 Elm St., Sommerville, MA 02144. Peace Action is a grassroots citizens organization with a network, of 100 local chapters in the U.S., organized into 27 state affiliates, with a national office near Washington, DC, working to craft a U.S. foreign policy dedicated to abolishing nuclear weapons, cutting military spending in order to fund human needs, supporting human rights at home and abroad, and fostering peaceful resolution of international conflicts, in cooperation with the United Nations. More information can be obtained from a local chapter: Peace Action-CNY, 658 W. Onondaga St., Syracuse, NY 13224, giege3m@twcny.rr.com.

 

    The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is concerned that the U.S., which has not signed the international treaty against landmines, but previously said it would cease using them except in Korea, shipped land mines to the Middle East during the initial invasion stage of the Iraq conflict. AFSC continues to provide humanitarian relief in many places, including Afghanistan and Iraq while politicking and acting for peace and nonviolent solutions to problems from the local level to the world.

    For information contact American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102 (888)588-2372, www.afsc.org.


    The International Rescue Committee (IRC) continues to be involved with the ongoing refugee struggle to return home in Afghanistan, while delivering aid in war torn Iraq, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, other places in Africa and elsewhere. For information contact International Rescue Committee, 122 E. 42 St,. New York, NY 10168, www.theIRC.org.


    Doctors Without Borders
has been providing humanitarian medical assistance in Iraq through the war and current guerilla activities, and continues to work in many places in Africa, including war torn areas that are suffering epidemics of Cholera (including in the Congo and more recently in Liberia), Malaria (including in Asia in Afghanistan), Menengitis (which has become more serious from Ethiopia to Senegal) and Kala Azar, which is almost 100% fatal if not treated, that has reached exceptional levels of outbreak in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. The Nobel Prize winning medical organization warns that across Africa the terrible HIV/AIDS epidemic is spurring the rise of a worldwide tuberculosis threat, as HIV/AIDS sufferers' reduced immune systems make them extremely susceptible to TB.

    For more information, contact Doctors without Borders. 6 E. 39 St., 8 Fl., New York, NY 10016.

 

     Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is concerned that the U.S. government "has done little or nothing to make Americans safer from the threats posed by the chemical industry," whether in terms of accidents and pollution or acts of terrorism. EPA has estimated that 123 chemical plants in the U.S. are located in such proximity to major urban centers that a large explosion at any of them could put more than a million people at risk.

    In addition, research shows ordinary exposure has caused most U.S. residents to carry numerous of the more than 80,000 artificial chemicals developed by industry in their blood, with women passing many of them on to their children in the womb or in breast milk, posing considerable health hazards. PSR believes that the Bush administration's unilateralism and reliance on military and nuclear development force is weakening U.S. security, by making additional wars and terrorist attacks more likely, while stimulating other countries to develop nuclear weapons. The organization advocates a preventive approach relying heavily on international cooperation to control and stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to counter terrorism and ameliorate its causes. PSR is urging states "to take decisive action to curb climate change, clean up the air, and embrace sustainable energy solutions.

    The organization released reports this year analyzing the impacts of air pollution, climate change and energy choices in Texas and California, with an emphasis on health, economic and employment benefits from switching to energy efficiency and clean renewable energy. For more information contact PSR, 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202)667-4260, psrnatl@psr.org, www.psr.org.

 

     The First People's World Water Forum, cosponsored by several hundred peace, environmental and antipoverty organizations (including Greenpeace and WWF) met in Florence, Italy, in March, calling for a new world wide set of arrangements for water for people based on public sector control and a legal right to water for all by 2012. To make this a reality, a world water parliament is being called for, anchored to democratically governed local water bodies around the world. For more details go to: www.contrattoacqua.it or the Polaris Institute: www.polarisinstitute.org. Population Communications International (PCI) is concerned that unless a major effort to reduce human reproduction is undertaken, world population will reach 7 billion by 2016, reducing environmental quality, increasing poverty and causing threats to peace. PCI runs a series of population growth reduction programs. For details contact PCI, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 (212)687-3366, www.population.org.

 

     The Sierra Club is concerned that 40% of U.S. waters are below the standards of the Clean Water Act and 60,000 aces of U.S. wetlands are destroyed annually, while the Bush administration is moving to relax environmental standards that will put more wetlands at risk. For information, contact the Sierra Club, 85 Second St., Second Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105, www.sierraclub.org.

     The Nuclear Information Service (NIRS) is very concerned that the Bush Administration is open to the construction of new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and that, as of March, three major utilities had told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that they would seek early permits to build new atomic power plants by the end of the year, asking tax payers to pay for the development.

    For more information contact Nuclear Information Service, 1424 16 St., NW, Suite 401,Washington, DC 20036 (202)328-0002, nirsnet@nirs.org, www.nirs.org.

 

     An international campaign lead by the U.S./Labor Education in the Americas Project (US/LEAP) has succeeded in achieving the first unionized maquiladora factory in El Salvador, Just Garments operated by Tainan. For more information contact U.S./Labor Education in the Americas Project, P.O. Box 268-290, Chicago, IL 60626 (773)262-6502, usglep@igc.org, www.uslcap.org.

 

 

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