Wednesday, 30 November 2011

International Anti-Corruption Day 9 December

Filed under: Business, Human Rights, Environment,children and youth,Conferences, Events,Environment,gender,Human Rights — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:14 PDT
Sunday, 9 December 2012 Monday, 9 December 2013

On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties (resolution 58/4). The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it.

Here is the list of countries that have ratified the UNCAC.


The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice | July 21 – August 18, 2012

Filed under: Conferences, Events — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:43 PDT

Saturday, 21 July 2012 01:00 PDT to Saturday, 18 August 2012 01:00 PDT

In partnership with the Clingendael Institute of International Relations, The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice will be held in The Netherlands from July 21 – August 18, 2012 and will bring together 60-80 of the world’s brightest young minds from top law schools, graduate institutions, international organizations, judiciaries, grassroots justice movements, and the military. Over a four-week period, participants will undergo intensive training from the field’s premier political leaders, academic experts, practitioners, and advocates in the skills necessary to holistically restructure a society after the cessation of violent conflict and/or authoritarian rule, as well as bring those responsible for human rights violations to justice.  Participants will gain a broad understanding of this emerging field, including concepts, controversies, and institutions, as well as critically examine the historical and contemporary uses of different justice interventions through direct interactions with the actual decision makers.  In light of the Arab Spring and the increasing reach of the International Criminal Court, this training could not be more timely or necessary.

Through formal lectures, site visits to International Tribunals and Courts, and interactive simulations and workshops (as well as in informal settings), emerging leaders selected to attend will increase their understanding of strengthening legitimate institutions and governance to provide security, justice, and development and break cycles of violence; skills that are instrumental in ensuring long-term stability and preventing conflicts from recurring. In addition, students will have the option to earn LLM course credit from the Grotius Center for International Legal Studies at Leiden University; consistently ranked as one of the world’s top centers for education in international law.

The academics in The Hague will focus both on dilemmas and process, including the following key areas of interest:

More at the International Peace and Security Institute


Bologna, Italy | Symposium on Conflict Prevention, Resolution, & Reconciliation | June 16 – July 14, 2012

Filed under: Conferences, Events,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:37 PDT

Saturday, 16 June 2012 to Saturday, 14 July 2012

In cooperation with Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the 2012 Bologna Symposium will bring together the globe’s brightest young minds from top graduate institutions, NGOs, international organizations, grassroots peace movements, and the armed services. Over a four-week period, from June 16 – July 14, participants will undergo intensive training by the field’s premier political leaders, academic experts, practitioners, and advocates in the practical skills necessary to foster peace and security in their communities and the world. In addition, participants may apply to earn graduate-level course credit from SAIS, one of the world’s top graduate schools for international affairs.

The Bologna Symposium’s unique curriculum bridges the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge by employing practitioners at the forefront of the peace and security field to teach about theory from the perspective of personal experience. Each expert lecture is then matched with a workshop, game, or simulation to provide the student body with crucial experiential learning.  Participants graduate from the program with the knowledge to effectively transform violent conflict – be it ethnic, social, political, religious, or economic – through the following learned techniques:

More at the International Peace and Security Institute


An Army of Giant Rats Unearths Peace in Africa

Filed under: Africa files,Cambodia,Disarmament,Southeast Asia,Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:06 PDT

It takes a true visionary to see a Buddhist monk deploying a pack of giant rats as the solution to the devastating danger posed by landmines.

Every few hours, another person is killed or maimed by a landmine. Even in areas removed from active conflict, landmines are more than just distressing reminders of former bloodshed — they’re hidden hazards that terrorize populations and freeze development.

Identifying, unearthing, and disarming these explosives is dangerous and daunting. Despite record clearances, more countries deployed anti-personnel mines last year than in any year since 2004.

But one social innovator has risen to the challenge — with the help of a few hundred friends. The innovator is the industrial engineer, Buddhist monk, and Ashoka Fellow Bart Weetjens.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Establishing a peaceful Palestinian State next to Israel long overdue – Ban

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 15:05 PDT

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today led a chorus of United Nations officials in stressing the need for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine and achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

“The establishment of a Palestinian State, living in peace next to a secure Israel, is long overdue,” Mr. Ban said, in a message marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is observed annually on 29 November.


The Revolution Will Be Mediated

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:12 PDT

Those still wondering what OWS wants, continue to miss the point. OWS is busy being born and no one asks newborns to deliver demands at the barricades or nail a couple dozen complaints on the White House gate.

Aside from reminding us of Dylan’s dictum that he who is not busy being born is busy dying, OWS is telling us that democratic processes require study and practice, not talking points.

OWS is not about having a point of view. It’s about forming a point of view after everyone’s had the chance to speak. So though many are saying OWS has changed our conversation, I believe we’ve all just begun to have one.


Egyptians Flock to Vote in Historic Election

Filed under: Africa files,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:09 PDT

Long lines formed at polling stations for a second day of voting Tuesday and the head of the election commission, Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim proclaimed that the turnout so far had been “massive and unexpected.” But he did not give figures.

The generals, who took power after Mr. Mubarak’s Feb. 11 fall, did not field any candidates. But they were clearly hoping their successful shepherding of Egypt’s freest election in living memory would deflate the wave of protests against them that erupted 10 days ago. The protests, which drew more than 100,000 people to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, galvanized growing anger among some Egyptians against the military, who they accuse of perpetuating the old regime’s autocratic rule.


This year, consider a donation to Peacemakers Trust to support access to resources on conflict transformation and peacebuilding

Filed under: Administrative,Conferences, Events — administrator @ 12:27 PDT

Thursday, 1 December 2011 to Saturday, 31 December 2011

Did you know that Peacemakers Trust work has no paid staff? This means our overhead is low and your donor dollars go farther. In 2012, Peacemakers Trust would like to expand its work in three major ways all of which require funding for additional expenses or honoraria for students, interns, educators or researchers:

We would welcome your partnership as a donor or funder. Peacemakers Trust is pleased to announce its registration with CanadaHelps for secure online donations by individual or instituional subscribers.
Donate Now Through!

Here is some more information about donating to Peacemakers Trust.
Here is more information about CanadaHelps.

Year-end gift acceptance

This is to let you know that Canadian law requires charitable organizations to receipt donations in the year they are received. Cheques and money orders sent by mail must be:
• dated in the current year,
• the envelope both metered (if a stamp is not used) and postmarked prior to December 31 of the current year,
• and delivered within one week of New Year’s Day in order for an official receipt for tax purposes to be issued for the current year.


ICRC and Armed Conflict | Safeguarding health care: It’s a matter of life and death

Filed under: Humanitarian work,International Law: War,Peace and health — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:39 PDT

Violence against health care personnel, patients and structures prevents millions of people from receiving life-saving health care. The ICRC is submitting a resolution to this week’s 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent aimed at addressing this humanitarian challenge. The resolution aims to safeguard the delivery of health care in armed conflict and other situations of violence. Paul-Henri Arni, an experienced ICRC manager who leads the organization’s efforts to address the issue, describes what’s at stake and how the ICRC hopes to achieve its goal over the next few years.


Monday, 28 November 2011

Justice is too important to be left solely to the lawyers

Filed under: Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:06 PDT

The origins of the transitional justice mindset can be traced back to the Nuremberg trials after the second World War. But the concept really began to come into its own towards the end of the 20th century as a number of states in Latin America and Africa in particular began to emerge from protracted periods of authoritarian rule which involved mass killings, disappearances, torture and disdain for human rights.

The key issue was impunity: should the perpetrators be called to account for the abuses of the past? There were obvious mechanisms for doing precisely that, not least criminal trials. But, apart from the practical and political difficulties involved in bringing people to trial – not least the continuing or residual power of the military – human rights advocates faced a very real dilemma: would prosecutions and trials dislodge a fragile peace that is being constructed out of the wreckage of the past?

Transitional justice comes in with an answer, in effect calling for an imaginative approach that includes but also moves beyond criminal justice mechanisms. Truth recovery, amnesties, testimony and story-telling, memorialisation, institutional reform – all of these have been tried as a way of building a human rights-compliant future without at the same time encouraging amnesia about the past. In fact, at the core of the transitional justice approach is the belief that amnesia is never a solution, and that moving forward can only genuinely occur through coming to terms with the past.

The approach also rests on another belief, not necessarily articulated in these exact words, that justice is too important to be left solely to the criminal justice system…


Ask the Religion Experts: How can we improve interfaith dialogue?

Filed under: Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:03 PDT

Rev. GEOFFREY KERSLAKE is a priest of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Ottawa.

Genuine interfaith dialogue hinges on respecting the freedom of the participants to hold their respective beliefs. It is not about trying to synthesize a “common religion” out of the beliefs of different communities because to have a genuine dialogue everyone must be prepared to respect each community’s teachings. Interfaith dialogue fails when participants try to use it as an opportunity to “convert” their dialogue partners.


Hamas Edges Closer to the Mainstream: Agreeing to Nonviolence, Opening the Door to Recognizing Israel

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:59 PDT

The leaders of the two biggest Palestinian parties met in Cairo on Thanksgiving, and just going by the headlines afterward, you’d have thought nothing had happened. “Palestinians talk unity, no sign of progress,” said Reuters. AP: “Palestinian rivals talk, but fail to resolve rifts.” But read the stories, and it becomes clear that a great deal is going on, with immense implications for the future of peace talks with Israel.


Women Bring Peace to Zuccotti Park

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation,gender,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:58 PDT

Peter, Paul and Mary memorably sang “whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name, there is love.” But whenever two or more of us are gathered to build a bridge, stage a protest, or run a business, there is conflict.

Fortunately for Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park, mediators and other peace workers have been providing conflict resolution services to protestors, including daily nonviolent communication training and mediation for conflicts among the occupiers.

Four of those peace and conflict workers will be sharing their OWS dispute resolution experiences on the first of December between 8:00 and 10:00 in the morning at John Jay College, located at 899 Tenth Avenue, Room 630.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Mexican Rights Activists Seek ICC Investigation of President, Others

Filed under: Human Rights,Latin America & Caribbean — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:05 PDT

A Mexican human rights lawyer has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing President Felipe Calderon, other top Mexican officials and drug traffickers of crimes against humanity.

Netzai Sandoval filed the complaint Friday with the court in The Hague, calling for an investigation into the deaths of hundreds of people at the hands of the Mexican military and drug traffickers. More than 20,000 Mexican citizens signed the document.


Mexico: Widespread Rights Abuses in ‘War on Drugs’: Impunity for Torture, ‘Disappearances,’ Killings Undermines Security

Filed under: Human Rights,Latin America & Caribbean — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:04 PDT

(Mexico City) – Mexico’s military and police have committed widespread human rights violations in efforts to combat organized crime, virtually none of which are being adequately investigated, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 212-page report “Neither Rights Nor Security: Killings, Torture, and Disappearances in Mexico’s ‘War on Drugs,’” examines the human rights consequences of President Felipe Calderón’s approach to confronting Mexico’s powerful drug cartels. Through in-depth research in five of Mexico’s most violent states, Human Rights Watch found evidence that strongly suggests the participation of security forces in more than 170 cases of torture, 39 “disappearances,” and 24 extrajudicial killings since Calderón took office in December 2006.

“Instead of reducing violence, Mexico’s ‘war on drugs’ has resulted in a dramatic increase in killings, torture, and other appalling abuses by security forces, which only make the climate of lawlessness and fear worse in many parts of the country,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.


Peace Activists Honor Victims of Violence in Mexico

Filed under: Human Rights,Latin America & Caribbean,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:02 PDT

MEXICO CITY – Peace activists led by poet Javier Sicilia turned Mexico City’s iconic Angel of Independence monument into a huge altar festooned with candles and crosses to honor Mexico’s victims of violence.


And the Peace Medallion goes to…

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:54 PDT

FREDERICTON – The YMCA Peace Medallion will be awarded for the 25th year in Fredericton this week, but its reach now extends far beyond the province’s borders.

This year the medallion will be awarded to Jon Oliver, a Fredericton man known for motivating countless individuals – particularly young people – to become politically engaged and active, “whether it is through participating in party politics or community activist groups, defending civil liberties, advocating for the protection of Fredericton’s natural spaces or building community in his neighbourhood.”

The YMCA’s description of Oliver’s accomplishments goes on to say that he participated in the founding of Mysterious East, an independent magazine which, from 1969-72, provided an alternative voice to the media monopolies in the Atlantic provinces.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Occupy may just get the last laugh

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:25 PDT

In a shocking development, the Occupy (fill in city) movement is winning.

I know. The tents are coming down across the country. Polls show support slipping for the demonstrators, particularly when violence makes the news. But those numbers have slipped in much the same way that poll numbers have slipped for the tea party. We may not like party establishments so much these days, but we don’t like demonstrators so much, either. It’s America.

Several liberal commentators have pointed out that the late-night raids are actually good for Occupy, because the winter weather and media apathy were going to do the movement in eventually anyway. Now, Occupy gets to have a moment of glory.

But Occupy’s victory has nothing to do with pepper spray and everything to do with how Occupy has changed the conversation.


Salutin: Non-violence is back and shaking things up

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:24 PDT

This is a time of rejuvenation for non-violence. The Occupy movements were built on what one writer called “the courage of young people to fly into conflict on Gandhi’s wings.” The Arab Spring won its tenuous victories non-violently. A leader of the Tunisian Islamist party said recently, “I wish in the West they would focus on our non-violence when they talk about Islam, how the masses of people did not react to the incredible violence thrown at them.” He meant this in contrast to the bloody civil war that Algerian Islamists fell into after being robbed of their election victory in 1992.


Although Violence Captures Most Attention, Palestinians Carry on with Nonviolent Resistance

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:23 PDT

Mazin Qumsiyeh, a professor of genetics who worked at several American universities before returning to his native Palestine, is the author of four books, including his latest, “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment.” As an activist as well as an academician, Qumsiyeh had hoped to be a passenger onboard the most recent ship convoy attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in early November, but was bumped at the last minute when the Turkish government forced organizers to reduce the number of passengers by two-thirds. Professor Qumsiyeh returned to his home in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, in time to present a talk on the Palestinian struggle to a group of international solidarity activists.

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