The members of the Youth Advocacy Team that presented your report to the United Nations in October (see http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/youth.html ) have continued their fine work. Here is a review of their recent activities as compiled by UNOY Peacebuilders, based in The Hague, Netherlands.
POSSIBLE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRINA: Josefina Lofgren, David Adams and Alicia Cabezudo met with Ismail Serageldin, the Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, and they found common ground between the current civil society initiative for the culture of peace and the objectives of the Bibliotheca. A Memorandum of Understanding was drafted as a result which would create a partnership between the Peace Studies Institute of the Bibliotheca, The Women's International Peace Movement led by the wife of the Egyptian president, Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, and the Fundación Cultura de Paz. A special paragraph in the draft Memorandum of Understanding emphasizes the importance of involving youth and women in Culture of Peace projects and processes. Hopefully, it will be completed and cooperation will begin by the time of the next bulletin.
EARTH CHARTER: On 5-9 November 2005, the Earth Charter +5 Summit took place in Amsterdam. Thematic sessions explored the application of the Earth Charter in peace-making, inter-faith dialogue, business, education, local governments, in international law, with one special thematic session on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. Anika May and Hilary Jeune of the Youth Advocacy Team were a rapporteur and speaker, respectively in the latter session, along with Federico Mayor, former UNESCO Director-General and now President of the Fundación Cultura de Paz. A number of other prominent international leaders participated in the meeting including primatologist, Jane Goodall; Jordan's Princess Basma Bint Talal; Ruud Lubbers, former Prime Minister of The Netherlands. For more information visit: http://www.earthcharter.org .
AFRICAN STUDENTS CONFERENCE AND A CULTURE OF PEACE: On 19 November 2005 a one day follow up event from the 7th annual African Students Conference was organised by the African Student Committee of the Netherlands and UNOY Peacebuilders. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of a Culture of Peace and to reinforce the potential of African students to become peace promoters in their home countries.
SPREADING THE MESSAGE OF A CULTURE OF PEACE BY THE YOUTH ADVOCACY TEAM: In November Josefina Lofgren, Alicia Cabezudo and David Adams attended a conference in Alexandria, organized by the Swedish NGO Life-Link Friendship-Schools, in which presentations and workshops on the Culture of Peace, advocacy and participatory peace education were given.
In December, Hilary Jeune (UNOY Peacebuilders) and Henk Zandvliet (NEAG - Alternatives to Violence) organized a workshop on the Culture of Peace at the "Celebrating Non-Violent Resistance Conference" in Bethlehem, Palestine. The conference was organized by Holy Land Trust and Non-Violence International.
In January Gert Danielsen (Rotary World Peace Fellow) spoke as a panellist at the One World Forum at the University of Warwick, on the issue of corruption. In his talk, Danielsen argued that corruption simultaneously is the cause and result of the culture of war, accepted behaviours which work against the culture of peace. By promoting a culture of peace, especially through transparency, openness, sustainable development and democracy, one will also reduce corruption, he explained. Danielsen also gave a workshop on Building a Culture of Peace at the One World Forum, the largest student organised conference in the world. For more information, see: http://www.oneworldweek.net/web/?templateID=67&eventid=1
Meanwhile Anika May of UNOY Peacebuilders has been spreading the Culture of Peace by lectures and presentations to students at Makarere University, Uganda. Anika has also been sharing with the community the activities of the Youth Advocacy Team at the United Nations in 2005 to show how the youth have, and can, play a role in bringing about a Culture of Peace.
After the excellent results of the Youth Advocacy Team in New York during October 2005, new advocacy projects are being prepared. In 2006, a youth advocacy team coordinated by the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) plans to visit again country missions to the United Nations in New York, the European Union in Brussels, and Embassies in The Hague and other cities. If you would like to take part, please contact: Hilary Jeune, firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite you to share with us your plans and ideas to advance the Culture of Peace in 2006. As you know from the previous bulletin, we have opened new Internet Information Boards for published articles on the culture of peace and for discussion of strategy for the Decade, and we will continue to send out this periodic bulletin. Also please note that a Spanish version of the Summary report is now available through a link on the home page and a French version will be available soon.