Many of you responded to my question about going to the World Social Forum in Belem, but only a few of you came to the Forum, and only a few of us were able to meet there. In fact, the Forum had very little presence of the culture of peace. Even the organizations from Brazil that were represented in the 2005 World Report were mostly absent.
Despite this, the Forum was very important and inspirational (see the CPNN article at http://cpnn-world.org/cgi-bin/read/articlepage.cgi?ViewArticle=432 ), with a leadership role for the indigenous peoples and a strong presence of youth.
In addition to the article about the Forum, CPNN has received seven other new articles which are listed below.
In response to the call for suggestions about follow-up to the International Decade, we have received a number of very interesting and informative replies:
- According to Michel Cibot of the Association Française des Communes, Départements et Régions pour la Paix, it would be useful to follow-up with a Decade for Disarmament. He says that "In any case, we will have international campaigns such as that of Mayors for Peace that will enable us to maintain contact with institutions even if the economic and financial crisis forces us to take up other priorities."
- Joe DeRivera of Clark University in the US suggests that we should publicize the scholarly work that the culture of peace concept has generated, and to "present the tools that different people believe may be used to build a culture of peace."
- Nina Goncharova, president of the Siberian center for Eurasian projects, suggests " a Women for a New World Vision meeting together with heads of the states to bring the male / female balance for the planet of culture of peace." She also suggests a "Theatre of New Time world tour to become a real international voice for culture of peace by means of media & arts - all countries who are interested in hosting this international art event are welcome to cooperation."
- Denis Alberto Torres, Director of the Martin Luther King Institute in Nicaragua, reminds us that, in response to their request, this year has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Reconciliation, which is complementary to the culture of peace. He would would like to help develop programming and networks such as those for the culture of peace and to disseminate through our networks the Declaration of the General Assembly of the United Nations so that its call for reconciliation is taken up by governments and the civil society. The Declaration is available at the following Internet address: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/RES/61/17 "
- Helena Lourenço, from the IOV South America (International Organization of Folk Art), reminds us that "we will hold a major Peace Congress in the Americas, for which information is available at http://www.abrasoffa.org.br/ "
- Irene Hadjidakis - van Schagen writes from the Netherlands: "Let us invite elders from all kind of indigenous peoples around the globe to be our elders too. Let us invite them to celebrate the International day of Peace with us in front of the peace palace at the Hague, or maybe even inside, together with the judges of the International Court of Justice and ask them to be consultants in our disputes. I think they are the best teachers to educate us to listen to understand again, to preserve the planet, to respect all life and share with others."
- David Inkey writes from the United States: "Let us examine the first known peace treaty on earth, the treaty of kadesh, 1269 b.c.......and prepare all of our peace study programs to study it now and to prepare programs bridging from the end of the decade for the culture of peace to 2031.....the presumed 3300th anniversary of the treaty of kadesh, not allowing any calendar corrections in that long expanse crammed with so many skirmishes, conflicts, battles, war and rumors of war."
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Happy New Year from TRANSCEND International