Wednesday, 1 October 2008

For the Second Election in a Row, Axworthy and Roche Call for a Department of Peace in Canada

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:56 PDT

Once again, two of Canada’s most important and respected figures in the field of human security, peacebuilding and disarmament are calling for the creation of a Canadian Department of Peace and for all national party leaders to respond to this proposal.

The Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Hon. Doug Roche, former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and Chair, UN Disarmament Committee, state, in their letter, that, “it would be timely to provide for greater balance, coordination and direction in peace and security policy by creating a Minister and Department of Peace, working closely with Foreign Affairs Canada, DND and civil society organizations.”

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Peace and Social Justice Workers Receive Alternative Nobel Prize

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:15 PDT

A jury has named winners from Germany, India, Somalia and the United States as recipients of the 2008 Right Livelihood Awards, often called the Alternative Nobel Prize.

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The Dark Heart of the Guantánamo Trials

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:14 PDT

On September 24, Col. Lawrence Morris, the chief prosecutor of Guantánamo’s Military Commission trial system, announced that Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, the prosecutor in the case of Mohamed Jawad (an Afghan — and a teenager at the time of his capture — who is accused of throwing a grenade at a jeep containing two US soldiers and an Afghan translator), had asked to quit his assignment before his one-year contract expired.

Although Col. Morris attempted to explain that Lt. Col. Vandeveld was leaving “for personal reasons,” the real reasons were spelled out in a statement issued by Vandeveld (PDF), in which he expressed his frustration and disappointment that “potentially exculpatory evidence” had “not been provided” to Jawad’s defense team…

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Karzai calls for Taliban talks

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:13 PDT

Karzai said on Tuesday, in his traditional message to mark the Muslim Eid-al-Fitr holiday, that he was trying to encourage the group, which was forced from power by a US-led invasion in 2001, to lay down their arms.

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Asad: Peace with Israel will not affect relations with Iran

Filed under: Middle East,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:04 PDT

Syrian President, Bashar Asad, stated on Tuesday that an Israeli-Syrian peace deal will not have any impact on the relations between Syria and Tehran and will not affect the relations between Syria and any other Arab country.

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Quaker week will focus on story telling in good faith

Filed under: Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:46 PDT

Building bridges with storytelling is the focus for an information week beginning on Saturday, when Quakers in Britain will profile their life, faith and practice as a distinct and viable commitment in a divided world.

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America as others see us, Pt. 1: Der Spiegel

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:45 PDT

This week’s lengthy cover article in Germany’s Der Spiegel is definitely worth reading. Non-German readers can even read it in English there.

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Can settlement orientated mediators like me cherry pick from transformative process?

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:40 PDT

Like many commercial mediators I fall in and out of love with transformative mediation all the time.

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Study eases fear about wind farm threat to birds

Filed under: Environment — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:34 PDT

LONDON – Wind turbines do not drive birds from surrounding areas, British researchers said on Wednesday, in findings which could make it easier to build more wind farms.

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Fostering global climate change cooperation: How can China help reduce emissions policy costs?

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Environment — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:33 PDT

Policymakers seeking to fight global warming need to reach an international agreement for post-2012 climate change policy, but developing countries seem unlikely to immediately participate. This column explains the importance of full global participation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and proposes means of inducing developing countries, most notably China, to participate in an international agreement.

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On International Day, Ban urges greater efforts to ensure rights of older persons

Filed under: Human Rights,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:11 PDT

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for ensuring the dignity and well-being of older persons, noting that despite the commitment of States to eliminate discrimination against this vital segment of society, their rights are being violated every day.

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U.S. Should Boost Nonmilitary Security

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:11 PDT

At a time when national consensus on anything is rare indeed, here’s one example: The balance between our spending on military forces and other security tools – like diplomacy, nonproliferation, foreign aid and homeland security – needs to change.

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Myanmar: Aid still needed

Filed under: Myanmar,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:09 PDT

Five months ago, Tropical Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar which killed more than eighty thousand people and left 50,000 missing and 20,000 injured…

The ruling junta of Myanmar was initially criticized for the slow relief work and for refusing the entry of international relief groups. Thanks to international pressure, the junta welcomed relief efforts from other countries. After several months, relief groups noted the improving situation inside Myanmar, with regards to the coordination of humanitarian assistance.

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New Book: Practicing Narrative Mediation: Loosening the Grip of Conflict

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Restorative justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:52 PDT

Practicing Narrative Mediation: Loosening the Grip of Conflict
by John Winslade, Gerald Monk
JosseyBass, 2008

Practicing Narrative Mediation provides mediation practitioners with practical narrative approaches that can be applied to a wide variety of conflict resolution situations. Written by John Winslade and Gerald Monk—leaders in the narrative therapy movement—the book contains suggestions and illustrative examples for applying the proven narrative technique when working with restorative conferencing and mediation in organizations,

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The Power of Negative Thinking

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:47 PDT

GREED — and its crafty sibling, speculation — are the designated culprits for the financial crisis. But another, much admired, habit of mind should get its share of the blame: the delusional optimism of mainstream, all-American, positive thinking.

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UGANDA: Post-conflict HIV programmes needed in the north

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth,gender,Human Rights — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:46 PDT

By day the northern Ugandan town of Gulu is a busy municipality, but at night it really comes alive, when its pubs, powered by generators and fuelled by the local spirit, Waragi, fill up with boisterous patrons looking for a good time… Many girls and women have resorted to sex work to earn a living because they were orphaned or unable to complete their schooling as a result of the two-decade war between the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government. Attempts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict have stalled, but although the LRA have allegedly been active in neighbouring Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo recently, their last attack in northern Uganda was over two years ago.

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Report Abstract: Refocusing and prioritizing HIV programmes in conflict and post-conflict settings: funding recommendations

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 05:50 PDT

Conflict and post-conflict settings pose specific challenges to HIV prevention and care efforts. Whereas armed conflicts have decreased very considerably in number, the interactions between HIV epidemiology and conflict remain problematic. This review describes factors that affect HIV in conflict and post-conflict settings, identifies challenges to addressing HIV, and presents actionable and measurable programming and funding recommendations that can be implemented immediately.

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