Dorothea Sheasby carried on the legacy of mentor Helen Tucker, says John Stewart.
I realize that
peace may seem intangible or even impossible at
times but that is why it is so very important that
it is celebrated and encouraged at every level of
I realize that peace may seem intangible or even impossible at times but that is why it is so very important that it is celebrated and encouraged at every level of civilization.
As usual, she was on a mission. She wanted official recognition that Mississauga had been mundialized (declared a city dedicated to international cooperation and world law) in December 1979, thanks to a zealous campaign by Tucker and support from a new mayor named Hazel McCallion.
She again proposed a peace statue where Mississaugans could gather each Sept. 21 for International Peace Day.
Sheasbys extraordinary efforts as the soul and hearts inspiration of the World Registry, after Tucker passed the mantle to her, were recognized on International Womens Day when she received the Muriel Duckworth Peace Activism award from Voice of Women.
Its hard to imagine anyone more genuinely dedicated to a cause. She attended numerous events, often at her own cost. I well remember her providing an impassioned update on a conference immediately after a 12-hour bus ride from New York City, where shed stayed at a YWCA hostel.
The Canadian world registry branch was essentially her dining room table on Green Meadow Crescent.
She headed a group of stalwarts who ignored indifference and cynicism with calm determinism to try to make the world safer for their children and grandchildren.
The group was scaled back in 2007, just before Sheasby suffered a stroke. Last year, a blood infection, a fall that broke her arm and hip and advancing dementia prompted a move to Erin Mills Amica where shes surrounded by books, photos and mementoes of her work.
About 50 boxes of archives are headed to Peels archives.s
UN Calls for Summit Forum on Refugees and Migrants: Role of NGO in Its Preparation, by René Wadlow
THE UNITED NATIONS, 15 February 2016
The UN has called for a high level Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. The forum is scheduled for 19 September 2016 at the United Nations in New York, one day before the opening of the UN General Assembly. A report of the Secretary-General will be published in May to structure the discussions and to facilitate research and the collection of up-to-date information at the national and regional levels. There is agreement among the representatives of governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that it is time to take a more comprehensive look at the various dimensions of the migration and refugee issue that affects countries of origin, transit and destination. We need to understand better the causes of international flows of people and their complex inter-relations with development, armed conflict and environmental changes.
Ms Karen Abu Zayd of the USA has been appointed as the Special Adviser for the Summit, in effect its organizer. From 2005 to 2010, she was Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Previously she held high posts in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. She is an academic specialist on the Middle East.
Recently, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) published a report on international migration indicating that there are some 244 million migrants, some 76 million live in Europe, 75 million in Asia, 54 million in North America, others in the Middle East, Latin America, and the Pacific, especially Australia and New Zealand. In addition, there are some 20 million refugees - people who have crossed State frontiers fleeing armed conflict and repression as well as some 40 million internally displaced persons. Acute poverty, population growth, high unemployment levels and armed conflicts provide the incentives for people to move, while easier communications and transport are the means.
The flow of refugees and migrants toward Europe during 2015 has made the issue of migration and refugee flows front page news. The disorganized and very uneven response of European governments to this flow has indicated that governments are unprepared to deal with such massive movements of people. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have not been able to deal adequately with this large number of persons despite many good-will efforts. Certain political movements and political parties have used the refugee issue to promote narrow nationalist and sometimes racist policies. A much small flow of refugees to the USA has also provoked very mixed reactions - few of them welcoming.
The COP 21 conference in Paris in December was an opportunity to highlight what is increasingly called ecological refugees - people who move due to changes in the climate and the environment. The persistent drought in the Sahel States of Sub-Saharan Africa has led to large scale movements and the creation of very difficult socio-economic conditions.
The September 2016 UN Summit provides an opportunity for coordinated NGO action. UN conferences or Summit forums serve as a magnet, pulling Governments to agree to higher ideals and standards collectively than they would proclaim individually. This is not only hypocrisy - though there is certainly an element of hypocrisy as Governments have no plans to put these aims into practice. Rather it is a sort of collective unconscious of Government representatives who have a vision of an emerging world society based on justice and peace.
The role of non-governmental organizations is to remind constantly Government representatives of the seriousness of the issues and for the need for collective action. National NGOs can highlight local conditions and thus provide information to the international NGOs in consultative status with the UN who will be at the Summit in New York. NGOs, close to the people can provide a realistic view of needs of individual families and the type of community responses required. NGOs will also stress poverty reduction, conflict resolution support and respect for human rights. Between now and the end of August gives us time to assemble the research, to analyze both short and longer-term consequences and to make policy proposals to governments. However, there is no time to loose and efforts must be made now.
The United Nations at 70 : What Prospects for Peace?
The title of the talk is "The United Nations at 70 - What Prospects for Peace?" The lecture will focus on the UN's successes, failures and future prospects for peace.
Most importantly it will explore how UN can pursue its Charter goals of ending the scourge of war, promote sustainable development, protect Human Rights, mitigate climate change, build peace and justice for all. After the lecture there will be opportunity for the audience to have interactive Q&A session.
"Now, we have to go forward in the giant undertaking of building democratic United Nations to make the real world safe, just and sustainable for all its children" - Erskine B. Childers
Date : Wednesday 23rd of September 2015, Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Venue : Hilton London Euston, 17 - 18 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0HT
FREE public meeting - Donations welcome
For registrations and any other info please contact: Vijay Mehta email@example.com
Uniting for Peace website: www.unitingforpeace.org
Creating a Workable World Conference, October 9-10, 2015
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Global problems demand global solutions. However, the present international system is incapable of coping effectively with problems such as climate change, the North-South economic gap, civil wars, terrorism, pandemic diseases and many others. Fortunately, creative thinkers have put forward numerous workable proposals for dealing with the major threats now facing humanity. Many of these will be addressed by a stellar group of experts at the Creating a Workable World conference to be held at the University of Minnesotas Humphrey School of Public Affairs on October 9-10, 2015.
Conference: Creating a Workable World
Date: October 9-10, 2015
Location: University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium
Conference Moderator: John Trent, former Secretary General, International Political Science Association
Burundi: Storm Warning
The United Nations Human Rights Council ended its session on Friday, 3 July, and called attention to two new country situations which require strong efforts to limit violence and on-going violations of human rights: South Sudan and Burundi.
The UN human rights bodies had been concerned with Burundi before at the time of large scale killings, and the UN had helped to develop the 2005 Arusha Peace Agreement creating a new and more inclusive structure of government for Burundi. The Arusha compromises led to some years of relative peace. The Peace Agreement was in part based on an agreement on term limits - the president of the country would be limited to two terms. However, being in power can become a habit, and the current President Pierre Nkurunziza has decided to run for re-election to a third term claiming that for the first term he had not been elected by popular vote but chosen by the Parliament - thus he could be elected twice by popular vote.
The legalistic reasoning was lost on most people who only saw a third term coming up. Thus the decision led to violent protests in the capital Bujumbura, to a failed military coup on 13 May, to repression by the military loyal to the President, and to a large refugee flow to Rwanda and the Congo by people fearing that the worst is to come.
The administration of President Nkurunziza, while providing relative stability and lack of violence, has done little for the socio-economic development of the country. Many people would welcome change. However, Nkurunziza has prevented the development of a well-organized political opposition. There are currently 17 groupings calling themselves political parties. Most have called for a boycott of the elections. These opposition parties have been unable to mount a campaign of debates on issues or to present candidates with a country-wide following.
The election is to be held on 15 July, and all points to a re-election of Nkurunziza. The danger is that the post-election period will be filled with protests and street violence. The weak administration may turn to the military to keep order. The best one can hope for is continued stagnation of socio-economic development in relative calm. However storm warning flags must be posted. The danger of violence is real, and relatively few people are working for what could be a reasonable compromise: the President leaving power but with someone from his inner circle replacing him. A situation to watch.
NPT: Nuclear Weapons and Tension Areas
As Winston Churchill once quipped God so loved the world that he did not send a committee. The Drafting Committee of the Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was unable to draft an outcome document or as it is sometimes called a final statement. Even with the last-days efforts of the President, Ambassador Taous Feroukhi of Algeria and the UN Disarmament Secretariat to smooth over the rough edges of the document by weakening all the controversial wording, there was no possible meeting of minds. In the end, the USA, UK, and Canada refused to accept the final document citing the paragraph proposing a nuclear-weapon free zone in the Middle East. (to be continued)
Il faut s'interroger sur le manque de volonté dont font preuve la plupart de gouvernements de s'engager à bannir l'arme nucléaire. Si on veut aller au fond des choses pour les comprendre, il faut chercher les motivations profondes, et on trouve qu'en général, ce sont des intérêts économiques. En effet, quelles sont les retombées économiques de la recherche et de la fabrication d'armes nucléaires et quelles conséquences aurait leur interdiction ?
Government of Catalonia endorses a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
Officials express support following a resolution of the Catalan parliament
The government of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia supports the international campaign for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. In a formal ceremony, the Catalan Secretary for Foreign and European Union Affairs, Roger Albinyana, and the Catalan Director General for Multilateral and European Affairs, Manuel Manonelles, signed a document stating the government's endorsement.
The endorsement follows on a resolution that was adopted by the Catalan parliament on September 26th last year. The resolution called on the government of the autonomous community to support the international efforts and to advocate for a UN Parliamentary Assembly at the EU level and in the framework of the government's international activities.
The ceremony in Barcelona on February 3rd was attended by the campaign's representative for Spain, Joan Marc Simon. "We now hope to bring the topic to the state level and convince the Spanish government to embrace the cause of supranational democracy," Mr. Simon commented.
The international appeal for a UN Parliamentary Assembly so far has been endorsed by more than 1,400 former and sitting members of parliament from over 100 countries, among others. In a resolution adopted in 2011, the European Parliament expressed support for the proposal. Two weeks ago, a resolution was introduced in the parliament of Iceland.
The parliament of Catalonia is the second subnational regional parliament to officially endorse a UN Parliamentary Assembly. In 2012, the Congress of the State of Jalisco, a Mexican federal state, expressed support as well.
Source : UNPA
Concordia International University
In the early part of the 21st century, education at all levels took a gigantic step forward in the right direction. After a few decades of preparation, leading educators in South Korea put successfully into operation Concordia International University with branches in quite a few countries. Special attention is made on the young since they will inevitably become the eventual leaders of future governments.
Professional instructors began to volunteer their services at a faster rate than anticipated. In the meantime, students at all ages, who felt a sacrosanct obligation to create a better and more peaceful world began to join this international institution. Needless to say, the positive and constructive changes they wanted to make on a global scale are now bound to take place in quite a few years (to be continued)
Holocaust survivors condemn Israel for 'Gaza massacre,'
"Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of Nazi genocide unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza
As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine. We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and Western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation. Genocide begins with the silence of the world.
"We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting Neo-Nazi insignia.
"Furthermore, we are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesels abuse of our history in these pages to justify the unjustifiable: Israels wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water.
"We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. Never again must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!"
Saturday, August 23rd edition of the New York Times
Violent conflicts in parts of Iraq and Syria
The Association of World Citizens (AWC), a Nongovernmental Organization in Consultative Status with the United Nations (UN) and active in the promotion of human rights, is particularly concerned with the current violent conflict in parts of Iraq and Syria and the politics of the "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham" (ISIS) against the Yazidi, the Christians, and other religious minorities in direct violation of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
Therefore, the AWC has proposed the calling of a Special Session of the Human Rights Council through messages to the Ambassadors of the Member States of the Council as well as to UN human rights authorities.
Your support for such a Special Session through your own contacts and appeals is most welcome.
As background on the Yazidi and Mandaeans of Iraq, here is a recent article from the AWC blog:
20 mars : TODAY IS WORLD UNITY DAY.
Reproducing my three tweets to celebrate this day in its true spirit.
Today, 20 March, is the World Unity Day. Let us celebrate people of Crimea joining Russia. G7 or G8 resolve to dump Divide and Rule policy.
March 20 is the World Unity Day. Best to remind that 5000 years ago India gave Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (World Family) vision to the world.
UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Magna Carta 1215, English Bill of Rights 1689, French Declaration of Rights of Man 1789 aver Unity Day.
An Olympic Flame of Light
The Olympic Spirit should embody the highest aspirations of humanity for Olympus was considered the « home of the gods ». The gods came to represent the best of human qualities: justice, fairness, acting to the best of ones abilities and understanding. It was in such a spirit that the modern Olympic Games were re-created.
Unfortunately, the ideology of nationalism has marked the modern Olympic Games the most obvious example of this being the 1936 Games and their attempted use by the Nazi Party of Germany for narrow nationalistic and racist purposes. Thus, there have been ever-greater calls that the Olympic Games be a period of peace, universalism, and the respect of human rights as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Thus Citizens of the World call for all to use this period of the Winter Olympic Games as a time for renewal of humanistic values in conformity with universal civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens
The association from Montauban "sentinels of peace ....." does not know border.
Indeed, this quite new association is the spearhead of an artistic and "citizen of the peace" movement (land art), initiated by the plastic and visual artist Alain Mila and intented to be spread in the hugest number of countries.
The symbolic expression of this share consists in building "sentinels", stony columns in balance.
Short-lived and fragile realizations,as for the essentials values of life : the peace as well.
This movement, who seems to be derisory, is not harmless.
Its artistic and symbolic strentgh puts on our world rules a noble and wise mark of our humanity.
These sentinels appear all around the world where every men and women choose the hope, the symbol and the poetry of this act.
the photos of the sentinels are collected on the site of the association, a planispher places them, a charter details the ethic and the objectives.
An itinerant view of the photos will be scheduled and it is envisaged at the UNO.
Sunday, december 1st (first) 2013, from 10h30 AM, the association "sentinels of peace" supported by "les citoyens du monde (world citizen ) and its "relai du Lot" revitalizes the"route mondiale de la paix" (world road for the peace), initiated in 1950 by André Breton, Garry Davis, Lord Boyd Or (nobel price in 1949), Louis Sauvé and other famous people .....
On Valentré's bridge, a land art performance (everybody will be allowed to build sentinels), will be followed by an artistic course, up to the city hall of Cahors where a video projection will present the planisphere with all the current sentinels.
If you are not able to come to this evenement, please contact and encourage our movement, by mailing to the "firstname.lastname@example.org" or on facebook "https://www.facebook.com/SentinellesDelaPaix", please do not forget to inform us of the place and the picture of your sentinels.
Sunday, the 1st of decembre 2013, all these sentinels will be located on the video projection of the planisphre, on Cahors 's city hall (send it before 30 novembre 2013.
We wish that these gouts of poetry mobilize all thoses who fight against war fates, terrorism, racism and xenophobia.
* You can visualize the planisphere of presence)of the Sentinels on the site of the association :
Post-2015 Development Agenda should include elected UN Assembly to strengthen democratic participation
Brussels, 21 October 2013 | The fifth international conference on a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly held in the European Parliament in Brussels on 16th and 17th October called on the United Nations and the international community to make democratic participation a key element of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
In a final declaration, participants from around thirty countries unanimously expressed concern that "no adequate measures have been taken to address the democratic deficit of global governance in general and of the United Nations in particular." The conference suggested that "a global democratic body of elected representatives" should be established "to bring global governance in the pursuit of post-2015 development goals" closer to the world's citizens.
The conference was hosted by the Members of the European Parliament Elmar Brok, Jo Leinen, Isabella Lövin, and Graham Watson from the four largest political groups EPP, S&D, Greens, and ALDE respectively. Jo Leinen who is also a co-chair of the advisory board of the international campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly emphasized that there was no formal body that would give citizen-elected representatives a say in global governance. At best they had an observer status. "This is not acceptable," said Mr Leinen. "In a democratic system, the representatives of the citizens are not observers of what the governments do. They should provide oversight and hold the government executives accountable."
The UN's Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, who was participating as a special guest confirmed that "Participation is a hallmark of democratic governance" and that "civil society is entitled to more space." He said that the establishment of a World Parliamentary Assembly was "a promising avenue" to achieve this.
In a message issued on the occasion of the conference, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, emphasized the longstanding support for the proposal by the European Parliament. In addition, he declared that "The European Parliament may serve as a model for how a UN Parliamentary Assembly could develop over time. What once began as an advisory body composed of national parliamentarians is a directly elected legislature today."
The conference was also a kick-off event for the Global Week of Action for a World Parliament that takes place until UN day on 24 October. Activities are taking place in more than fifty cities around the world.
BUMMEL, Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly,
International Meeting, 16/17 October 2013 Declaration of Brussels:
Recalling and affirming
1. We, the participants in the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA), reiterate our joint appeal to the United Nations and its member states to advance the necessary processes for the establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations.
2. We express our concern that in the intergovernmental realm no adequate measures have been taken to address the democratic deficit of global governance in general and of the United Nations in particular.
3. We reiterate our view that a UNPA is a vital component to strengthen democratic participation in and the democratic legitimacy of the United Nations as well as other intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.
4. A UNPA would enable citizen representatives, i.e. elected parliamentarians, to be directly involved in global political deliberations, agenda-setting, and decision-making, in a formalized and institutionalized manner.
5. Global problems require global solutions. The daily lives of the worlds citizens are increasingly shaped by economic, social and political forces that transcend national boundaries and demonstrate a growing need for more inclusive, effective and transparent global governance.
6. The universality of human rights and the necessity of a democratic basis for legitimate governance are widely acknowledged. Yet, far too many people are denied their human rights and democratic participation. We are convinced that a UNPA as a global democratic body of elected representatives would strengthen the practice of democratic governance and fulfillment of human rights regionally, nationally and locally. Conversely, we believe that excluding democratic principles and participation from global governance undermines democracy at the regional, national, and local levels.
7. We emphasize our conviction that a UNPA needs to be inclusive and open for participation of parliamentarians of all UN member states and observer states. We acknowledge that ensuring the democratic character of a UNPA presents challenges. We are convinced that these challenges can be overcome, and that with political will a parliamentary assembly for the United Nations can be constructed in a manner that is both representative and legitimate.
8. We welcome the decision of the UNs Human Rights Council to mandate an Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, and encourage the Independent Expert to keep considering the question of a UNPA and in particular to examine possible processes towards its creation.
9. We welcome the recent and ongoing broad-based consultations among a wide range of governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders, to develop a global consensus on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. We feel encouraged that these consultations have emphasized (1) the importance of a rights-based approach to sustainable development; and (2) the necessity of a comprehensive, global approach, to address poverty and inequality in all countries.
10. The UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda recently noted that achieving the post-2015 vision will require reshaped and revitalized global governance partnerships to ensure that the United Nations, multilateral systems, and all development actors effectively support the post-2015 development agenda. Indeed, we observe that sustaining a multi-stakeholder consensus for shared global goals is one of the key functions that a UNPA would be expected to provide.
11. To maintain political support, to reinforce accountability and to bring global governance in the pursuit of post-2015 development goals closer to those directly affected, we encourage the creation of a UNPA when the international community adopts its Post-2015 Development Agenda.
12. A UNPA is a global parliamentary body that includes distinctive innovative features that go beyond the characteristics of existing national and regional assemblies and parliaments. Acting as an institutionalized network of networks, a UNPA could allow representatives of existing parliamentary networks and institutions to formally participate in its work, thus providing them with more leverage and influence. Consideration should be given to the possibility of involving local authorities and representatives of indigenous peoples and nations in the activities of a UNPA.
13. We affirm that a UNPA can and should evolve gradually. Eventually members of a UNPA should be directly elected. From the UNPAs inception its statutes should allow participating states to opt for direct elections of their delegates if they wish to do so.
14. With a view to exploring innovative forms of civic participation in a UNPA, implementing models of electronic direct or "liquid" democracy that allow citizens to participate in deliberations or to influence decision-making processes could be considered.
15. We congratulate the European Parliament on its pioneering role in promoting the establishment of a UNPA, dating back to resolution A3-0331/93 adopted in 1994, and most recently expressed in resolution P7_TA 0255 of 2011, which called on the EU Council to introduce the establishment of a UNPA into the proceedings of the UN General Assembly.
16. We call on the European Parliament and its members as well as on all other parliaments and their members to reinforce their commitment to more democratic global governance through continued support for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
Renowned professor given world citizenship award
MISSISSAUGA As the battle drum pounds in Syria and other parts of the globe, the Canadian branch of the Registry of World Citizens delivered a timely message of peace Saturday at Richard's Memorial Park.
Members of the organization and the public gathered at the Peace Stone monument to mark International Peace Day. The hour-long ceremony featured musical performances by Angela Turone, Christina Mulligan, The Raging Grannies and The Reverend Elvis as well as several heartfelt messages of non-violence.
Keynote speaker Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish was honoured with the 2013 Citizenship in Action Award at the event.
A professor at the University of Toronto, Abuelaish was the ideal recipient of the distinction, says organizer Charlotte Sheasby-Coleman, because he exemplifies the organization's vision of world citizenship.
Citing the words of her mother Dorothea Sheasby, longtime registrar of the organization and award presenter Sheasby-Coleman said, "When my mom talks about world citizenship, she talks about it as a concentric circle radiating out. We all have responsibilities in our own lives, then our communities and the planet.
"As a symbol of somebody who represents this radiating out of love for family and love for planet (Abuelaish) embodies that," she continued. "He is deeply concerned with peace in the greater Middle East."
Abuelaish's concerns come from a personal tragedy amid the ongoing turmoil in his native Palestine. In 2009, he lost three of his daughters and a niece to an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip. Instead of lashing out, he re-channeled his pain and suffering into a campaign for human rights and peace.
With forgiveness and understanding in his heart, Abuelaish went on to set up the Daughters for Life Foundation as well as pen a best-selling book entitled I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey.
He has received several awards for his efforts and has been nominated three times for the Noble Peace Prize.
"To have taken this love and compassion that he had for his family members, even though they are not here, and turn it into this movement to effect change for a lot more people makes him the perfect person (for the award)," said Sheasby-Coleman.
Now in its third year, the honour was given to Mississauga residents Doug and Janis Alton in 2012 and was posthumously awarded to Jack Layton in its inaugural year.
Founded after the Second World War, the Registry of World Citizens was set up as a "way to settle global problems on a global level with a main purpose to have a globally-elected people's assembly at the United Nations," explained Sheasby-Coleman.
Members make a pledge to global citizenship by taking responsibility for the planet, each other and the environment.
There are branches all over the world including Europe, the U.S. and Africa with the only Canadian arm based in Mississauga.
The ceremony ended with an anthem for peace sung by host The Reverend Elvis, Sheasby-Coleman's brother. The opening lyrics appropriately mirrored that of Mahatma Gandhi's words, which are inscribed on the Peace Stone: "Planet Earth is Our Home, Humanity is Our Family."
DR. IZZELDIN ABUELAISH
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, OOnt, MD, MPH, is a Palestinian physician and internationally recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist devoted to advancing health and education opportunities for women and girls in the Middle East, both through his own research and by founding the charitable organization The Daughters of Life Foundation. He has dedicated his life to using health as a vehicle for peace. He has succeeded despite all odds through a great determination of spirit, a strong faith, and a stalwart belief in hope and family.
Dr. Abuelaish is the first Palestinian doctor to receive an appointment in Medicine at an Israeli hospital. Through his work he has had the opportunity to experience the impacts of conflict in countries like Palestine, Egypt, Israel, Uganda, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. Working as both an insider and outsider to conflict led him to consider doctors as peace-makers by the moral doctrine of their profession. His work as both a healthcare practitioner and a peace advocate mobilizes health as a tool for peace.
Dr. Abuelaish has overcome many personal hardships, including poverty, violence, and the horrific tragedy of his three daughters' and niece's deaths in the 2009 Gaza War. He continues to live up to the description bestowed upon him by an Israeli colleague, as a "magical, secret bridge between Israelis and Palestinians". He is now one of the most outspoken, prominent and beloved researchers, educators and public speakers on peace and development in the Middle East.
Dr. Abuelaish's book, I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey, and autobiography of his loss and transformation, has achieved critical acclaim. Published in 2010, (currently in 20 different languages), the book has become an international best-seller and was inspired by the loss of his three daughters - Bessan, Mayar, and Aya - and their cousin Noor to Israeli shelling on January 16th, 2009. The book has become a testament to his commitment to forgiveness as the solution to conflict, and the catalyst towards peace.
Dr. Abuelaish's impact on peace-seeking communities is exceptional. He has been invited to give many speeches at places such as, the Canadian House of Commons, the American Congress, the Chilean Senate and Parliament, the European Parliament at Place Du Luxembourg in Brussels, the State Department, and Forum 2000 in Prague, and many more.
He has been interviewed by major media in dozens of countries by leading journalist and prominent personalities, to name a few, Christiane Amanpour, Anderson Cooper, Sir David Frost and Zeinab Badawi. And appearing on prominent media outlets such as, BBC News Hard Talk, Fox News Channel (FOX), CNN, Al Arabiya News, London's The Telegraph, ABC, TVO, The Globe and Mail, The Economist, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Boston Globe, People Magazine.
In addition, he has given speeches all over the world in academic institutions, universities, and organizations in Canada, USA, Europe, Africa, and Austral-Asia.
Dr. Abuelaish has been named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims five consecutive years by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan and has received a number of national and international awards and nominations in recognition of his advocacy and promotion of Human Rights, Peace and Health, to name a few, The Order Of Ontario, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Foundation P7V Citizenship Award, Calgary Peace Prize, Lombardy Region Peace Prize, first to receive Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award of Canada, Stavros Niarchos Prize for Survivorship, Top 25 Canadian Immigrants, One of three finalist for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and nominated three years consecutively for the Nobel Peace Prize, and support for his candidacy keeps growing exponentially every year.
He has been given three honorary degrees in law from the University of Manitoba, from Queens University, from Victoria University, and from The University of Western Ontario. In addition to sharing the stage with several Nobel Peace Laureates such as, Senator Romeo Dallaire, Dr. James Orbinski, Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia).
Many influential figures within the diplomatic community have spoken very highly of Dr. Abuelaish's work. In nominating Dr. Abuelaish for the Nobel Peace Prize the Belgian Parliament named him the "Martin Luther King of the Middle East". In his nomination for the Sakharov Prize, Dr. David Naylor, then President of the University of Toronto, called Dr. Abuelaish a remarkable ambassador for peace and an exemplar of forgiveness and reconciliation. The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pottering spoke of him in his speech in Strasbourg, Germany at the opening of the exhibition "From Hebron to Gaza". President Barak Obama referred to him as an example of strength and reconciliation in his address on May 19th, 2011 when he discussed the possibility of peace within the Middle East.
Dr. Abuelaish has founded Daughters for Life, a Canadian charity that provides young women in high school and university the opportunity to develop a strong voice and play a more influential role in improving the quality of life throughout the Middle East through their education.
Currently, Dr. Abuelaish lives with his five children in Toronto where he is an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
Canadian branch of the Registry of World Citizens
The World Federalist Movement -Institute for Global Policy Celebrates International Day of Peace
New York- On Saturday, September 21, 2013, The World Federalist Movement- Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) marked the International Day of Peace. Since 1981, the United Nations has celebrated this day as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace among peoples, both within and between nations.
Ongoing and devastating conflicts throughout the world continue to highlight the need for the establishment of more effective, long-term structures for peace. The world requires accountable institutions and laws that provide a comprehensive system of global security. WFM-IGP is dedicated to ensuring the safety of civilians throughout the world and mobilizing the international community to respond to all threats to their security. WFM-IGP Executive Director, William Pace stated that We have seen enormous progress in the last 66 years, but our challenges in 2013 remains the same as in 1947, if we want human civilization to survive the human race must make peace with itself; humanity must make peace with the rest of life on our planet; and we must make peace with our planet.
The World Federalist MovementInstitute for Global Policy works to advance the global promise of peace and is committed to building a safer and more just world. We work in partnership with the United Nations, governments, and other international and regional institutions around the globeas well as with thousands of committed individuals and world leadersto advance a mission of peace, prosperity, and security for all.
Education is vital for fostering global citizenship and building peaceful societie, by Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General's of UN
The International Day of Peace is a time for reflection a day when we reiterate our belief in non-violence and call for a global ceasefire. We ask people everywhere to observe a minute of silence, at noon local time, to honour those killed in conflict and the survivors who live with daily trauma and pain.
This year we are highlighting Education for Peace. Education is vital for fostering global citizenship and building peaceful societies.
In June, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl targeted for assassination by the Taliban for campaigning for the right to education, came to the United Nations. Malala said: One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world. These are our most powerful weapons.
That is why, last year, I launched the Global Education First Initiative. Every girl and every boy deserves to receive a quality education and learn the values that will help them to see themselves as part of a global community.
Governments and development partners are working to get every child in school and learning well to equip them for life in the 21st century. There is new momentum in countries with the greatest needs, such as those affected by conflict, which are home to half of all children lacking education. But we must do more much more. Fifty-seven million children are still denied an education. Millions more need better schooling.
Educating the poorest and most marginalized children will require bold political leadership and increased financial commitment. Yet aid for education has dropped for the first time in a decade. We must reverse this decline, forge new partnerships, and bring much greater attention to the quality of education.
On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.
NEW FIRES RELIGHT IN EASTERN CONGO, by René Wadlow
In a message of August 24, 2013 addressed to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Association of World Citizens (AWC) highlighted that the Democratic Republic of Congos eastern capital of North Kivu Province, Goma, had been shelled for the past three days, including Saturday 24.
The shelling seems to be a continuation of the struggle for power and wealth between heavily-armed rebels, called the March 23 Movement (M23) and the Congolese central governments army the Democratic Republic of Congo Armed Forces (FARDC).
This struggle with ever-changing groups began in 1996, two years after the genocide in Rwanda which led to a refugee influx into eastern Congo. From 1998 to 2003, the area was the scene of fighting between forces of at least six countries Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Since the end of the international fighting, the area has been divided into what can be called mafia clans running protection rackets and trying to make a profit from minerals, timber, food supplies for the UN forces and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations present. A deep and deadly struggle for influence is being played out in the shadows with an ever-changing cast of characters.
The UN has a large and expensive peacekeeping group in the area, the MONUC, but with uneven results. UN forces are seen by the local population as favorable to the far-away incompetent central government. The M23 is widely considered to be favored by the government of Rwanda.
UN peacekeeping troops are generally effective when there is peace to keep. However what is required today in eastern Congo is not so much more soldiers under UN command as reconciliation bridge-builders, persons who are able to restore relations among the ethnic groups of the area. The UN, national governments, and non-governmental organizations need to develop bridge-building teams who can help to strengthen local efforts at conflict resolution and re-establishing community relations.
World Citizens were among those in the early 1950s who stressed the need to create UN peacekeeping forces with soldiers especially trained for such a task. Today a new type of world civil servant is needed those who in areas of tension and conflict can undertake the slow but important task of restoring confidence among peoples in conflict, establishing contacts and looking for ways to build upon common interests.
There is only so much the MONUC mission can do to keep the peace and assist the civilian population in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As the militias and mafia clans have proliferated, rivalries, particularly over land tenure and use have become a key source of conflict. With the breakdown of society, there was a parallel breakdown of local, traditional conflict reduction mechanisms. The precolonial tribal society had been too weakened during the colonial period to return to precolonial forms of governance. Post-colonial administration had never been put into place, and so the result was a void of social rules and mechanisms for dispute settlement.
In particular, disputes over land became critical. Land tenure issues have always been complex. Land is often thought of as belonging to the ethnic community and is given to clans or to individuals for their use, sometimes for a given period, sometimes for several lifetimes if the land is continually cultivated. The rules of land tenure often differ from one ethnic group to another, even a small distance apart. Traditionally, clan chiefs would be called upon to settle land disputes, often by compromises, so win-win solutions were often found. With the large displacement of people, land disputes have become frequent, and clan chiefs have often disappeared or lost their function as judges.
Many people have left villages near main roads to live in relative safety far from roads. They have had to move several times and to re-clear land for planting. Local markets have been destroyed. Social organizations such as churches have been disbanded, and family links, which provide the African safety net have been destroyed by death and displacement. What trust existed between groups has been largely replaced by fear. A few people are making money from the disorder by plundering natural resources, but economic injustice and deprivation remain the order of the day.
There is a short-term need to bring the current fighting to a negotiated end, but future security is closely linked to the ways in which land tenure and land use issues are settled.
René Wadlow is President and Chief Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva of the Association of World Citizens.
Citizens of the World: A bibliography of current writings in English, by René Wadlow
Much of the world citizen approach to world politics can be called cosmopolitan. In a world of growing interdependence, cosmopolitanism deals primarily with a specific range of issues: world security, international efforts for human rights, financial and economic regulation, migration due to economic conditions and increasingly to climate change, ecologically-sound development, and intercultural dialogue.
Although the term and many core ideas of the cosmopolitan ethos can be traced back to Classic Greek and Roman Stoics, as the term is now used, it is based on 18th century Enlightenment thought with its emphasis on human dignity and the full development of the person through education, on the primacy of reason, on the rule of law, equality, and solidarity. While many of these elements are also found in other cultures, their combination into a framework for life began in 18th century Western Europe and from there spread to North America and then the world.
The Enlightenment set the foundations of international law as well as the basic principles of human rights. Today, a sophisticated contemporary cosmopolitan ethos builds on the Enlightenment tradition but places its emphasis on the way in which local, national, regional, and global levels of governance are explicitly coordinated in the development of a world community.
A world citizen cosmopolitan approach is closely linked to the way Stephen Krasner defined an international regime composed of a set of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors expectations converge in a given area of international relations. (See S. Krasner International Regimes (1983)
Since specific problems facing actors in the field of world politics are of an increasingly global nature and since the solutions to them call for both global vision and global cooperation, the relation between the framework provided by the cosmopolitan ethos and other approaches to world politics such as the realist school, the institutionalist school and the Marxist school needs to be worked out.
In order to facilitate an understanding of the cosmopolitan-world citizen approach and to highlight the increasing use of the term, I list a number of recent books with the term cosmopolitan in the title as well as in the content. The term is even more widely used in the title of journal articles, but I limit myself to recent book to keep the bibliography to useful proportions. Happy Reading!
Rape as a weapon of war
In a message to the President of the UN Security Council, the Ambassador of Great Britain, Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens, welcomed the Councils unanimous resolution on 24 June 2013 demanding the complete and immediate cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties in armed conflict. He stressed that It is time that the United Nations takes a clear and strong stand against rape as a weapon of war and works to monitor sexual violence in armed conflict. The Association of World Citizens welcomes the resolution as an important signal to perpetrators that their acts will no longer be tolerated and that they will be held accountable. Even after a war ends, the effects of sexual violence continue in the form of unwanted pregnancies, sexually-transmitted infections, discrimination and ostracizing of victims and often lasting psychological damage.
As Meredeth Turshen and Clotilde Twagiramariya point out in their book What Women Do in Wartime: Gender and Conflict in Africa (London: Zed Press, 1998, 173pp.) There are numerous types of rape. Rape is committed to boast the soldiers morale, to feed soldiers hatred of the enemy, their sense of superiority, and to keep them fighting; rape is one kind of war booty; women are raped because war intensifies mens sense of entitlement, superiority, avidity, and social licence to rape; rape is a weapon of war used to spread political terror; rape can destabilize a society and break its resistance; rape is a form of torture; gang rapes in public terrorize and silence women and force them to flee homes, families and communities; rape targets women because they keep the civilian population functioning and are essential to its social and physical continuity; rape is used in ethnic cleansing; it is designed to drive women from their homes or destroy their possibility of reproduction within or for their community; genocidal rape treats women as reproductive vessels, to make them bear babies of the rapists nationality, ethnicity, race or religion, and genocidal rape aggravates womens terror and future stigma, producing a class of outcast mothers and children this is rape committed with consciousness of how unacceptable a raped woman is to the patriarchal community and to herself. This list combines individual and group motives with obedience to military command; in doing so, it gives a political context to violence against women, and it is this political context that needs to be incorporated in the social response to rape.
The Association of World Citizens first raised the issue in the UN Commission on Human Rights in March 2001 after the judgement of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia sitting in the Hague on 22 February 2001 in the case of Kumarac, Kovac and Vukovic. The Tribunal maintained that there can be no time limitation on bringing an accused to trial. The Tribunal also reinforced the possibility of universal jurisdiction that a person can be tried not only by his national court but by any court claiming universal jurisdiction and where the accused is present.
The Association of World Citizens stressed the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Special Session of the Commission on Human Rights on Human Rights Violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has repeatedly drawn attention to the issue there since.
Wartime rape is a dramatic example of violence against women, but we must keep in mind that world-wide, girls and women, across lines of income, class and culture, are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Violence can take many forms including rape, genital mutilation, honour crimes, and sexual trafficking.
However, women should not only be seen as victims of war. They are often significantly involved in taking initiatives to promote peace and finding alternatives to violence. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (31October 2000) called for full and equal participation of women in conflict prevention, peace processes and peace-building, thus calling for women to be fully involved in governance and leadership
We need to have a peace-building approach which asks how does political conflict degenerate into pervasive mass violence, generating new crises and new forms of violent conflict in the future. How does a community pull itself out from the cycle of violence and set up sustainable ways of living in which different categories of people are able to contribute?
The Association of World Citizens along with governments and other civil society groups will build upon the Security Councils new resolution on rape as a weapon of war to help create new awareness, new attitudes, and new institutions of conflict resolution to promote human dignity.
Year of Water Cooperation
World Citizens highlight 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation and will promote the ratifications of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses
The United Nations General Assembly by Resolution A/RES/65/154 has declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation with UNESCO as the lead agency for the Year. The objective of this International Year is to raise awareness both on the potential for increased cooperation and on the challenges facing water management in the light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services. The importance of water will grow given changing climatic conditions and rising demand.
How we manage and care for water raises issues of justice, power and forms of cooperation and conflict resolution. The way we manage freshwater for growing food, meeting household needs, transporting goods are complex issues raising concerns of control of existing patterns and possible alternatives.
As David L. Feldman in his recent overview Water underlines that First, the worlds freshwater is unevenly distributed and unequally used. (to be continued)
Lucknow Declaration seeks new world order
LUCKNOW: The 13th international conference of chief justices of the world on Article 51 of the Constitution of India came to an end at CMS Kanpur Road auditorium on Tuesday. Chief justices, judges of Supreme Court and legal luminaries from 60 countries of the world, after four days of hectic activity and intense pondering on global issues, with their unanimous consent, released the Lucknow Declaration 2012.
On the momentous occasion of releasing this important document, the chief justices and judges of various countries of the world presented their thoughts before the media and said that they will not rest till a 'new world order' is constituted democratically to safeguard the future of the world two billion children and generations yet unborn. They will, until that time, continue to strive in this direction.
According to the Lucknow Declaration-2012 the present global scenario poses grave danger to the very survival of humanity from weapons of mass destruction, worldwide militarisation and wars, environmental degradation, global warming, climate change, lawlessness, violence, terrorism, cyber-crime etc. "A very large section of the world population is deprived of basic human rights such as the right to live with dignity, liberty and freedom, and is living in abject poverty due to unequal distribution of resources. Hundreds of millions of children of the world are exposed to various abuses due to poverty and are deprived of various rights. On the other hand, huge resources are being squandered on the pretext of defence", the declaration reads. The Lucknow Declaration-2012 reaffirming the resolutions of the previous conferences of chief justices of the world has appealed to the United Nations that the present world scenario requires a democratic global governance structure and enforceable world law, for which the world urgently requires a world parliament to enact enforceable world law, to form a world government and to establish a world court of justice.
The declaration also demanded imparting peace education and cross-cultural education compulsorily in all schools of the world, to inculcate in children feeling of love, tolerance, understanding and humility in order to make them future citizens of the world. "The resources currently used in wars and in manufacturing and maintenance of weapons of mass destruction, be directed for the progress of development," the Lucknow Declaration-2012 added.
Women appeal against nuclear
Following the example of women Fukushima (nuclear tsunami of 11 March 2011), a network of women was organized to collect the signatures of all those who seek to stop the use of atomic energy. "each one of us simply commits herself to be, in her own way, a Woman for an Immediate Stop to the Use of Atomic Energy, and to speak and act as such, by herself or with others, wherever and whenever she finds it possible."
and signature on the website "Women for the immediate cessation of the use of atomic energy"
The text of this call is in the same direction as the "World Declaration n ° 19" of Peoples Congress
World Peace Movement : Peace and Disarmament from Harmony PDH
The Global Harmony Association (GHA) has honor to invite you to the new World Peace Movement: Peace and Disarmament from Harmony PDH (see attachment and here: http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=532), which GHA initiated in September 2012.
PDH is motivated by the growing threat of a military attack on Iran, which will follow after the presidential elections in the United States and which can grow into a new world war. We, the peacemakers, cannot remain indifferent to the growing threat of war. We, the peacemakers, do not find any moral justification in the view of our children and grandchildren, and in history, if war happens. But, we, the peacemakers, resist this threat now are incapable and powerless virtually because of our theoretical, religious, institutional, and national disunity and fragmentation. In the world today there is practically no single world peace movement, making the separate peace organizations impotent. In this critical situation for peace and in the face of a new world war, the need to consolidate peace organizations becomes acutely urgent as never.
In this regard, the GHA, which has devoted almost eight years developing the science of global social harmony and has created during this time many peace projects based on it, has initiated the formation of the new world peace movement. It is created as a union of peace organizations and peacekeepers on the common spiritual platform of global social harmony, the scientific basis of which is presented in GHA book: The ABC of Harmony, 2012: http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478. This movement was called: Peace and Disarmament from Harmony (PDH). This movement raises every peace organization to a higher level of responsibility for world peace and ensures the development of its peacemaking potential fully. This is the highest spiritual and value meaning of joining the PDH movement. The following 12 International peace organizations joined PDH and formed its core:
Now we invite other peace organizations to join. The leaders of these organizations may send a simple response: "Our peaceful organization (title) is ready to join the PDH World Peace Movement and participate in the formation of its governing bodies and the Charter." This work will begin when at least 40 organizations from different continents will join the PDH movement.
This answer you could send me (but I will be away during October 30 to November 20 in India) and to the PDH Coordinators and the GHA Ambassadors for Peace and Disarmament from Harmony:
The key element of the PDH movement is disarmament, without which world peace is inconceivable. The GHA therefore invites all peace organizations and all peacemakers to sign the GHA Petition to the UN for Total Disarmament in 50 years as part of the PDH Movement here: http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=529
The sooner your peace organization joins the PDH Movement, the sooner it will oppose new war through collective efforts.
Your signature and joining will be evidence of your organization's highest liability for world peace. This will confirm that for your organization world peace is more valuable than saving your separatism and fragmentation.
We established also that PDH Movement in terms of organization requires not only united peace organizations (at least 40), but also the world-famous peace leaders. Only in this case, the PDH will be visible and popular in the world, and only in this case it will find not only a moral but also financial support in the world, without which it cannot exist. We think we should invite the first Indian leaders to make India the world leader of PDH, whose headquarters will be in New Delhi. India has earned this honor as the most peace-making country in the world with the oldest spiritual tradition of harmony and as a world leader of the Age of Harmonious Enlightenment based on the ABC of Harmony since February 2012.
You could name in addition to these two (see two attachments) other well-known leaders for the PDH from the world, we have to invite.
On behalf of GHA,
Dr. Leo Semashko,
State Councillor of St. Petersburg,
Port Credit couple awarded for world citizenship efforts
A longtime Port Credit couple was honoured this morning with an award that recognizes the principles of global citizenship.
Dr. Douglas Alton and Janis Alton were presented with the Registry of World Citizens in Canada's World Citizenship in Action Award during a ceremony beside the Peace Stone at Richard's Memorial Park. The presentation coincided with International Day of Peace, marked annually on Sept. 21.
The award, now in its second year, is handed out as a tribute to the core principles of global citizenship - love and devotion to family, dedication to city and those who live in it, a passionate faith in country and its people, and an unwavering belief that people can and must address injustice wherever it occurs on the planet.
Last year, the award was presented posthumously to former NDP leader Jack Layton.
"I'm deeply touched that we're following in the footsteps of Jack Layton, and those are some pretty big footsteps," said Janis. "I'm very honoured and very happy (with the award)."
The serene park seemed a perfect setting for a ceremony devoted to peace.
Douglas is a former board member of the Physicians for Global Survival, the Canadian affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Janis has been a member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace for several decades, having served as co-chair and on the board of directors.
"It's really nice to be with like-minded people committed to peace and against war," said Douglas.
"I'm assuming we're like-minded and no one here is supporting nuclear war," quipped Douglas to chuckles from the audience.
Dorothea Sheasby, registrar of the Canadian chapter of the Registry of World Citizens and who organized the presentation with her daughter Charlotte Sheasby-Coleman, called the couple deserving of the award.
"They've been travelling all over the world promoting peace and this (honour) is (well-deserved)," she said.
Far from a sombre ceremony, there was music and song throughout the morning. Songs, such as John Mayer's Waiting on the World to Change and Imagine by John Lennon, delivered messages of equality and peace.
The Peace Stone, erected in 2009 steps from the shore of Lake Ontario, is a five-foot sculpted marble oval with a message that reads: Planet Earth is our Home, Humanity is our Family.
Quick report on WATUNs events
Here is a quick report on WATUNs events and activities in Mexico City, which will be followed by a more complete report fairly soon. Our first International Congress and all of our other events and activities were a huge success and managed to actually match or exceed our wildest hopes and expectations, for which we are extremely grateful. However, we recognize that this was probably just the result that came from all of the hard work, good planning, personal contributions, and a job well done by so many, particularly Franciscos team from Guadalajara, along with the general interest and rather apparent and seemingly widespread belief among NGOs at the Annual Conference that the UN does need to be significantly strengthened and democratized or transformed.
Many organizations expressed an interest in joining WATUN and ten or twelve selected a representative that was elected to serve on our new Governing Council, along with those from our existing organizations, so that we now have a new council with 18 representative members. The meeting rooms where we met were packed and everyone paid total attention to what was said.
Planetafilia made arrangements for both events to be videotaped; and it seemed like the video crew were doing an excellent job. The presentations by myself, Lucy Webster, Quisia Gonzalez from the Earth Rights Institute, Rikio Kaneko, Shahriar Sharei, Benton Musslewhite, Andreas Bummel from the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, and Francisco Plancarte were excellent, along with the job that Veronica Baron from Planetafilia and Cesar Gayoso did in chairing the panel discussions; and it should make for very good video indeed, as well as being highly informative. And the questions and comments from the audience were wonderful as well.
You can also see photos of the Congress meeting that Cesar Gayoso took by going to:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2016174&id=1606696665&ref=mf. And Shahriar Sharei did an excellent job of chairing the actual Congress Meeting, during which our new Statutes, Bylaws, and Mission Statement were approved almost unanimously following extensive discussion and a few good amendments to the Mission Statement.
We are extremely grateful for all of the work done by the crew from Planetafilia, along with the materials, banners, logo, folders, excellent simultaneous translation, etc. that they provided. It was obvious however that a considerable amount of money was spent in order to create such great events and for them to be so successful. Indeed it probably cost somewhere between eight and ten thousand dollars to put it all together and carry it out. Thus if anyone would care to make a donation to help us defray the outstanding costs it would be greatly appreciated. You can do so by contacting Planetafilia and/or Francisco Plancarte at:
email@example.com or call: (52 33) 3817 3475 or 3817 3478. Córdoba 2606; Colonia Providencia CP 44630; Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.
Many of us spoke about WATUN and the need for an Article 109 Charter Review Conference during the question and answer period at various sessions during the Annual DPI/NGO Conference as well, so most of the 1300 or so people that attended the Congress now know quite a bit about WATUN and what we are trying to accomplish. In any case, WATUN is now well launched, is firmly underway, and headed onward toward our next port of destiny New York City at the end of October where we will have our first Council Meeting, along with a great social event at David and Marians, etc.
Thanks again for your interest everyone; and also a BIG THANK YOU to Francisco Plancarte and all of his team, along with the Conference Organizing Committee, that did so much to make our activities such a great success.
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