PREPARE FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER

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(Note: The following is adapted from my remarks to the National Congress of Mouvement de la Paix.)

This month’s CPNN is dedicated to the developments of peace movements in Europe and North America. This reflects a growing consciousness around the world that we must move from the culture of war to a culture of peace. We see this growing peace consciousness each year with the celebration of the International Day of Peace, and we saw it during the International Year for the Culture of Peace when 75 million people signed the Manifesto 2000 promising to work for a culture of peace.

But consciousness is not enough by itself. The culture of war is so firmly established, especially in the modern state, that it will take a revolutionary change in global governance if we are to move towards a culture of peace.

To understand the nature of revolutionary change, I turn to that old expert, Karl Marx.

In his brief analysis of the dynamics of history, Marx says that social revolution doesn’t begin until contradictions in the economic relations of production become so great that the entire economic foundation is transformed. It is at this point that consciousness becomes key. To quote Marx, at this point the people become conscious of the conflict and fight it out to establish a new order.

We saw how this works at the end of the 1980’s when the Soviet economy collapsed. As a result, then the entire political structure collapsed as well. At UNESCO we took advantage of this to launch programs for a culture of peace and to draft the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace with its eight action areas that provides us with a framework for the actions to be done.

At that point in the 1990’s, NATO should have been abolished, but the military-industrial complex of the United States continued to support it and Europe agreed. At UNESCO, the United States and Europe failed to support the culture of peace programs. The UN Declaration and Programme of Action was adopted despite their opposition. The world was not yet ready for a culture of peace.

Why did the Soviet economy collapse? The reason is simple. While the West put half of its resources into the military, the Soviet Union put 80 or 90% of its economy into the military in order to match the West. That left almost nothing for the needs of the people. Marx could have been talking about military spending when he said “The impact of war is self-evident, since economically it is exactly the same as if the nation were to drop a part of its capital into the ocean.”

i believe that we are approaching another such economic collapse, providing us with another window of opportunity for radical change (See blogs on Collapse of the US dollar and on Bad News for 2021. The United States government is putting most of its resources into the military, leaving little for the needs of its people. Now half of America has no medical insurance and the government does not support education, leaving the burden on cities and towns that are going bankrupt. Half of the United States is ready to launch a civil war.

Will we be prepared to establish a new world order when the American empire collapses?

Can the anti-war consciousness that has been developing over the years be harnessed into effective action? Can this be accomplished before the historic window of opportunity closes and new culture of war empires arise?

Can we reform the United Nations to become an effective agency for peace?

For example, we will need a United Nations Security Council that is no longer run by the nuclear powers. We should begin now to plan for this? Why not plan for a Security Council run by the mayors of the world who have no interest in the culture of war? Already Mayors for Peace includes thousands of cities around the world that demand nuclear disarmament. I have asked them to establish a group of mayors to issue regular press releases saying what they would be doing if they were in charge.

Consciousness is important, but it needs to be prepared for concrete actions when the window of opportunity arrives. We need specific goals to achieve when the time is ripe.

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PRÉPARONS-NOUS POUR UN NOUVEL ORDRE MONDIAL

(Note : Ce qui suit est issu de mes remarques au Congrès national du Mouvement de la paix.)

Le CPNN de ce mois-ci est consacré aux développements des mouvements pacifistes en Europe et en Amérique du Nord. Cela reflète une prise de conscience croissante dans le monde afin de passer d’une culture de guerre à une culture de paix. Nous avons vu cette prise de conscience croissante de la paix chaque année avec la célébration de la Journée internationale de la paix, et nous l’avons vu lors de l’Année internationale de la culture de la paix lorsque 75 millions de personnes ont signé le Manifesto 2000 promettant de travailler pour une culture de la paix.

Mais la conscience ne suffit pas à elle-même. La culture de la guerre est si fermement établie, en particulier dans l’État moderne, qu’une culture de la paix ne peut être achèvée qu’avec un changement radical dans la gouvernance mondiale.

Pour comprendre la nature du changement radical, je me tourne vers ce vieil expert, Karl Marx.

Dans sa brève analyse de la dynamique de l’Histoire, Marx dit que la révolution sociale ne commence que lorsque les contradictions dans les rapports économiques de production deviennent si grandes que la base économique est complètement transformée. C’est à ce stade que la conscience devient la clé. Pour citer Marx, à ce stade, le peuple prend conscience du conflit et le combat pour établir un nouvel ordre.

Nous avons vu comment cela fonctionnait à la fin des années 1980 lorsque l’économie soviétique s’est effondrée. En conséquence, toute la structure politique s’est également effondrée. A l’UNESCO, nous avons profité de cette fenêtre d’opportunité pour lancer des programmes en faveur d’une culture de la paix et pour rédiger la Déclaration et le Programme d’action des Nations Unies sur une culture de la paix avec ses huit domaines d’action qui nous donne un cadre pour les actions à entreprendre comme utilise toujours le Mouvement de la Paix.

Avec le crash de l’empire soviétique, l’OTAN aurait dû être abolie, mais le complexe militaro-industriel des États-Unis a continué à la soutenir et l’Europe l’a accepté. Aussi à l’UNESCO, les États-Unis et l’Europe n’ont pas soutenu les programmes de culture de la paix. La Déclaration et le Programme d’action des Nations Unies ont été adoptées malgré leur opposition. Le monde n’était pas encore prêt pour une culture de la paix.

Pourquoi l’économie soviétique s’est-elle effondrée ? La raison est simple. Alors que l’Occident a mis la moitié de ses ressources dans les militaires, l’Union soviétique a mis 80 ou 90% de son économie dans les militaires afin d’égaler l’Occident. Cela ne laissait presque rien pour les besoins du peuple. Marx aurait pu parler de dépenses militaires lorsqu’il a dit : « L’impact de la guerre est évident, puisque économiquement c’est exactement la même chose que si la nation lançait une partie de son capital dans l’océan.

Je crois que nous approchons d’un autre effondrement économique qui va nous offrir une nouvelle fenêtre d’opportunité pour un changement radical. Il s’agit de l’empire Americain. (Voir les blogs Effondrement du Dollar Américain et Mauvaises Nouvelles pour 2021. Le gouvernement des États-Unis met la plupart de ses ressources dans le budget militaire, laissant peu de place aux besoins de son peuple. Aujourd’hui, la moitié de l’Amérique n’a pas d’assurance médicale et le gouvernement ne soutient pas l’éducation, laissant le fardeau aux villes et villages qui sont obligés d’imposer des lourds impôts à leurs citoyens.. En colère et équipé d’armes militaires, la moitié des États-Unis est prête à déclencher une guerre civile.

Serons-nous prêts à établir un nouvel ordre mondial lorsque l’empire américain s’effondrera ?

La conscience anti-guerre qui s’est développée au fil des années peut-elle être mise au service d’une action efficace avant que la fenêtre d’opportunité historique se ferme et qu’un nouvel empire de culture de guerre apparaisse ?

Pouvons-nous réformer l’ONU pour qu’elle devienne une agence efficace pour la paix ?

Pour être concret,, nous aurions besoin d’un Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies qui ne soit plus dirigé par les puissances nucléaires. Nous devrions commencer maintenant à planifier cela ! Pourquoi ne pas prévoir un Conseil de sécurité dirigé par des représentants des maires du monde qui n’ont aucun intérêt dans la culture de guerre ?

Étant donné que l’organisation Maires pour la Paix comprend déjà des milliers de villes à travers le monde demandant le désarmement nucléaire, je leur ai demandé de créer un groupe de maires pour publier des communiqués de presse réguliers indiquant ce qu’ils feraient s’ils étaient aux commandes.

Dans cette façon, nous pourions développer la conscience qu’un Conseil de sécurité complètement différent soit possible.

La conscience anti-guerre est importante, mais elle doit être préparée à des actions concrètes lorsque la fenêtre d’opportunité se présente. Nous avons besoin d’objectifs précis à atteindre quand le moment arrive.

Travaillons ensemble à cette tâche, en comprenant qu’un autre monde est possible.

MEDIATION AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE IN LATIN AMERICA

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Latin America continues to advance towards a culture of peace. Last month we reviewed progressive results of elections in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia and recalled that progressive government has returned to Bolivia following the coup d’etat against Evo Morales, and that Lula da Silva is favored to win the presidency of Brazil in next month’s election.

Latin America has been the leading edge in the transition to a culture of peace as we have remarked in this blog since 2013.

Recalling that an earlier wave of progressive governments in Latin America was suppressed by North American imperialism in collaboration with right-wing forces, I remarked that even if this new “Latin American spring” is suppressed, that is not the last word.  As I wrote eight years ago  during a similar “progressive wave, “even if Latin America is blocked from installing a culture of peace at national levels in its own zone, its attempts to move in this direction will have a lasting effect on the consciousness of its citizens and we may be confident that it is there, in consciousness, that history will ultimately be determined.”

This month we consider the progress towards a culture of peace on another level. The progress at a local level in mediation and restorative justice adds to this analysis of Latin America and to the possibility that it can achieve a culture of peace.

Mediation: The Eighth World Mediation Congress took place in Sucre, Bolivia. More than 2,000 people came from Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain, France, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal and Uruguay.

Restorative justice: This plays a major role in the peace process of Colombia. Former guerrillas, victims and public forces have created dialogue tables and worked together on local projects that provide reparation for the damages caused by the war. This month we see the results of a model program that has taken place in Viotá (Cundinamarca).

Latin America has been the world leader in these local peace processes for many years now. In CPNN since 2015, 27 of the 35 articles about mediation have come from Latin America and since 2016, 17 or the 19 articles about restorative justice have come from Latin America. In addition to the initiatves listed above from Bolivia and Colombia, here is a list of those from Latin America in the past year alone.

July 12, 2022: Honduras: “Mesas de seguridad ciudadana” in 298 municipalities

January 18, 2022: Centers for Mediation, Conciliation and Restorative Justice in the State of Mexico

January 18, 2022: Argentina : Federal Network of Centers for Community Mediation and Training in School Mediation with an Example from Province of Buenos Aires

January 18, 2022: Panama : Management results in 2021 of the Coordination Office of the Community Mediation Program

January 8, 2022: Brazil: Practices that promote a culture of peace at Funase had good results in 2021

January 8, 2022: Dominican Republic: 11 Thousand People Train in Conflict Resolution and Culture of Peace in 2021

November 18, 2021:Mexico: Municipal Mediation Unit of the City of Merida to promote a Culture of Peace

November 18, 2021: Petrópolis, Brazil : III International Restorative Justice Week will open next Monday

In the preceding years, initiatives in mediation and restorative justice were also recorded from Jamaica:, Peru and Guatemala.

In the case of Brazil, as we have followed in CPNN, the practice of restorative justice has been established throughout the entire judicial system.

In many of these cases we see that the local initiatives are linked to other initiatives of mediation and restorative justice both nationally and internationally. We have noted above that the recent mediation congress in Bolivia attracted participants from 8 Latin American countries. Similarly, the Latin Alerican Congress of Restorative Justice in June 2021 attracted virtual exhibitors from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Uruguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.

In conclusion, a culture of peace needs to be anchored at the local level and linked internationally, in order to survive the interventions of the global culture of war, headed by the American empire, that will not allow the establishment of culture of peace at any national level. For example, in an earlier blog, Advice to Colombia for the Peace Process , I recalled the local peace process developed in South Africa after the peace accords in that country and remarked that a similar local network was needed in Colombia. The development of restorative justice in Colombia contributes to this.

Considering all the above, Latin America continues to be the leading edge in the transition to a culture of peace.

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MÉDIATION ET JUSTICE RESTAURATRICE EN AMÉRIQUE LATINE

L’Amérique latine continue de progresser vers une culture de la paix. Le mois dernier, nous avons passé en revue les résultats progressistes des élections au Mexique, au Chili, au Pérou et en Colombie et rappelé que le gouvernement progressiste est revenu en Bolivie après le coup d’État contre Evo Morales, et que Lula da Silva est favori pour remporter la présidence du Brésil au cours de la prochaine l’élection du mois.

L’Amérique latine a été à l’avant-garde de la transition vers une culture de la paix, comme nous le remarquons dans ce blog depuis 2013.

Rappelant qu’une précédente vague de gouvernements progressistes en Amérique latine a été supprimée par l’impérialisme nord-américain en collaboration avec les forces de droite, j’ai fait remarquer que même si ce nouveau « printemps latino-américain » est supprimé, ce n’est pas le dernier mot. Comme je l’écrivais il y a huit ans lors d’une “vague progressiste” similaire, “même si l’Amérique latine est empêchée d’installer une culture de paix au niveau national dans sa propre zone, ses tentatives d’aller dans cette direction auront un effet durable sur la conscience de ses citoyens et nous pouvons être sûrs que c’est là, dans la conscience, que l’histoire sera finalement déterminée.

Ce mois-ci, nous examinons les progrès vers une culture de la paix à un autre niveau. Les progrès au niveau local dans la médiation et la justice réparatrice ajoutent à cette analyse de l’Amérique latine et à la possibilité qu’elle puisse atteindre une culture de la paix.

Médiation : Le huitième Congrès mondial de la médiation a eu lieu à Sucre, en Bolivie. Plus de 2 000 personnes sont venues d’Allemagne, d’Argentine, de Colombie, du Chili, d’Espagne, de France, du Mexique, du Nicaragua, du Pérou, du Portugal et d’Uruguay.

Justice réparatrice : Celle-ci joue un rôle majeur dans le processus de paix en Colombie. Anciens maquisards, victimes et forces publiques ont créé des tables de dialogue et ont travaillé ensemble sur des projets locaux qui permettent de réparer les dégâts causés par la guerre. Ce mois-ci, nous voyons les résultats d’un programme modèle qui a eu lieu à Viotá (Cundinamarca).

L’Amérique latine est depuis de nombreuses années le leader mondial de ces processus de paix locaux. Dans CPNN depuis 2015, 27 des 35 articles sur la médiation proviennent d’Amérique latine et depuis 2016, 17 ou 19 articles sur la justice restaurative proviennent d’Amérique latine. En plus des initiatives énumérées ci-dessus de Bolivie et de Colombie, voici une liste de celles d’Amérique latine au cours de la dernière année seulement.

12 juillet 2022 : Honduras : « Mesas de seguridad ciudadana » dans 298 municipalités

18 janvier 2022 : Centres de médiation, de conciliation et de justice réparatrice dans l’État de Mexico

18 janvier 2022 : Argentine : Réseau fédéral de centres de médiation communautaire et de formation à la médiation scolaire avec un exemple de la province de Buenos Aires

18 janvier 2022 : Panama : Résultats de la gestion en 2021 du Bureau de Coordination du Programme de Médiation Communautaire

8 janvier 2022 : Brésil : Les pratiques qui promeuvent une culture de la paix à Funase ont eu de bons résultats en 2021

8 janvier 2022 : République dominicaine : 11 000 personnes se forment à la résolution des conflits et à la culture de la paix en 2021

18 novembre 2021 : Mexique : Unité municipale de médiation de la ville de Mérida pour promouvoir une culture de la paix

18 novembre 2021 : Petrópolis, Brésil : La IIIe Semaine internationale de la justice réparatrice s’ouvrira lundi prochain

Au cours des années précédentes, des initiatives de médiation et de justice réparatrice ont également été enregistrées de Jamaïque:, Pérou and Guatemala.

Dans le cas du Brésil, comme nous l’avons suivi dans CPNN, la pratique de la justice réparatrice s’est établie dans tout le système judiciaire.

Dans nombre de ces cas, nous constatons que les initiatives locales sont liées à d’autres initiatives de médiation et de justice réparatrice tant au niveau national qu’international. Nous avons noté plus haut que le récent congrès de médiation en Bolivie a attiré des participants de 8 pays d’Amérique latine. De même, le Congrès latino-alérican de la justice réparatrice en juin 2021 a attiré des exposants virtuels d’Argentine, du Chili, de Colombie, du Mexique, du Brésil, du Pérou, du Honduras, d’Uruguay, de Bolivie, du Guatemala et de la République dominicaine.

En conclusion, une culture de paix doit être ancrée au niveau local et liée au niveau international, afin de survivre aux interventions de la culture de guerre mondiale, dirigée par l’empire américain, qui ne permettra à aucun moment l’établissement d’une culture de paix. niveau national. Par exemple, dans un blog précédent, Conseils à la Colombie pour le processus de paix, j’ai rappelé le processus de paix local développé en Afrique du Sud après les accords de paix dans ce pays et j’ai fait remarquer qu’un réseau local similaire était nécessaire en Colombie. Le développement de la justice réparatrice en Colombie y contribue.

Compte tenu de tout ce qui précède, l’Amérique latine continue d’être à l’avant-garde de la transition vers une culture de la paix.

NEEDED: A GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

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The world faces many dangers at this moment of history, famines, global warming, wars in the Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, mass migrations, increasing electoral tendencies towards fascism. But all these are pale in comparison to the danger of a nuclear World War III which could put an end to all of these problems by a suicidal destruction of all human civilization.

As UN Secretary-General recently said, referring to the confrontation between NATO and Russia in the Ukraine, “The once unthinkable prospect of nuclear conflict is now back within the realm of possibility.”

If we look for a solution from the nuclear powers, it seems hopeless. According to the new SIPRI report, the nine nuclear-armed states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea —continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals. There is no sign that any of them are even considering the possibility of eliminating their nuclear weapons.

On the other hand, the non-nuclear countries are developing a strategy for nuclear disarmament. As described in this month’s bulletin of CPNN, the meeting this month in Ulaanbaatar for nuclear-free zones (NWFZ) and the meeting in Vienna of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) both proposed contributions to this strategy.

There are now five nuclear-free zones with 116 states that have committed to ban the manufacture, deployment and transit of nuclear weapons through their territories preventing thus proliferation of nuclear weapons in those concrete regions. Currently the idea of establishing of a Middle East NWFZ is under consideration. Informal exchanges of views and ideas to establish a Northeast Asian NWFZ and a zone in the Arctic are also being discussed.

At their meeting in Vienna, the States Parties to the TPNW welcomed Cabo Verde, Grenada, and Timor-Leste who deposited their instruments of ratification, which brings the number of TPNW states parties to 65. Eight more states told the meeting that they were in the process of ratifying the treaty: Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Mozambique, Nepal and Niger.

The Vienna meeting adopted an Action Plan with 50 specific actions for taking forward the mission of the Treaty, including the establishment of a Scientific Advisory Group to advance research on nuclear weapon risks, their humanitarian consequences, and nuclear disarmament, and to address the scientific and technical challenges involved in effectively implementing the Treaty, and provide advice to states parties.

In addition to the initiatives of the NWFZ and TPNW countries, there continue to be initiatives by cities around the world. Of special importance last month were calls for nuclear disarmament by cities in the the United States and in Western Europe, including the nuclear-armed countries of France and the United Kingdom.

Can the initiatives of the NWFZ and TPNW countries be combined with those of cities in the nuclear-armed countries of the US and Europe? Can movements develop for nuclear disarmament in the other nuclear states of Russia, China, India, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea? The first three of these states are involved in the development of economic links (BRICS) free from the domination of the American Empire. Can the non-nuclear states of BRICS (Brazil and South Africa) add the issue of nuclear disarmament to their agenda?

The biggest obstacle to nuclear disarmament is the UN Security Counci which is completely dominated by nuclear-armed states with their powers of veto. How can it be reformed to escape from this nuclear domination?

The increased spending on the military by all of the nuclear powers, greatest in the case of the United States, runs the risk of their economic and political collapse; could this provide a window of opportunity for such a UN reform?

As I have previously suggested, can we develop a virtual alternative security council composed of mayors from around the world to issue press releases and raise consciousness that a nuclear-free world is possible. Perhaps, a variant of this proposal could be developed that involves the NWFZ and TPNW countries.

All of these questions should be on the agenda of a global movement for nuclear disarmament. There is nothing more important for the future of our species and our planet.

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NÉCESSITÉ DE CREER: UN MOUVEMENT MONDIAL POUR LE DÉSARMEMENT NUCLÉAIRE

Le monde est confronté à de nombreux dangers en ce moment de l’Histoire: famines, réchauffement climatique, guerres en Ukraine, au Yémen, en Syrie, migrations massives, tendances électorales croissantes vers le fascisme. Mais tout cela est pâle en comparaison du danger d’une troisième guerre mondiale qui sera nucléaire et pourrait mettre fin à tous ces problèmes par une destruction suicidaire de toute la civilisation humaine.

Comme l’a récemment déclaré le Secrétaire général de l’ONU, se référant à la confrontation entre l’OTAN et la Russie en Ukraine, “la perspective autrefois impensable d’un conflit nucléaire est maintenant de retour dans le domaine du possible”.

Si nous cherchons une solution de la part des puissances nucléaires, cela semble sans espoir. Selon le nouveau rapport du SIPRI, les neuf États dotés d’armes nucléaires – les États-Unis, la Russie, le Royaume-Uni, la France, la Chine, l’Inde, le Pakistan, Israël et la République populaire démocratique de Corée – continuent de moderniser leurs arsenaux nucléaires. Rien n’indique que l’un d’entre eux envisage même la possibilité d’éliminer ses armes nucléaires.

D’autre part, les pays non nucléaires élaborent une stratégie de désarmement nucléaire. Comme décrit dans le bulletin de ce mois-ci de CPNN, la réunion de ce mois-ci à Oulan-Bator pour les zones dénucléarisées (ZEAN) et la réunion à Vienne des États parties au Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires (TIAN) ont toutes deux proposé des contributions à cette stratégie.

Il y a maintenant cinq zones exemptes d’armes nucléaires avec 116 États qui se sont engagés à interdire la fabrication, le déploiement et le transit d’armes nucléaires à travers leurs territoires, en empêchant ainsi la prolifération dans ces régions concrètes. Actuellement, l’idée d’établir une ZEAN au Moyen-Orient est à l’étude. Des échanges informels de vues et d’idées pour établir une ZEAN d’Asie du Nord-Est et une zone dans l’Arctique sont également en cours de discussion.

Lors de leur réunion à Vienne, les États parties au TIAN ont accueilli le Cabo Verde, la Grenade et le Timor-Leste qui ont déposé leurs instruments de ratification, ce qui porte à 65 le nombre d’États parties au Traité. Huit autres États ont déclaré à la réunion qu’ils étaient dans le processus de ratification du Traité : Brésil, République démocratique du Congo, République dominicaine, Ghana, Indonésie, Mozambique, Népal et Niger.

La réunion de Vienne a adopté un plan d’action avec 50 actions spécifiques pour faire avancer la mission du Traité, y compris la création d’un groupe consultatif scientifique pour faire avancer la recherche sur les risques liés aux armes nucléaires, leurs conséquences humanitaires et le désarmement nucléaire, et pour répondre aux besoins scientifiques et défis techniques liés à la mise en œuvre efficace du Traité et fournir des conseils aux États parties.

En plus des initiatives des pays ZEAN et TIAN, il y a toujours des initiatives de villes à travers le monde. Le mois dernier, les appels au désarmement nucléaire lancés par des villes des États-Unis et d’Europe occidentale, y compris les pays dotés d’armes nucléaires que sont la France et le Royaume-Uni, revêtent une importance particulière.

Les initiatives des pays ZEAN et TIAN peuvent-elles être combinées avec celles des villes des pays dotés d’armes nucléaires des États-Unis et d’Europe ? Des mouvements pour le désarmement nucléaire peuvent-ils se développer dans les autres États nucléaires que sont la Russie, la Chine, l’Inde, Israël, le Pakistan, la Corée du Nord ? Les trois premiers de ces États sont impliqués dans le développement de liens économiques (BRICS) libres de la domination de l’Empire américain. Les États non nucléaires des BRICS (Brésil et Afrique du Sud) peuvent-ils ajouter la question du désarmement nucléaire à leur ordre du jour ?

Le plus grand obstacle au désarmement nucléaire est le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU qui est complètement dominé par les États dotés d’armes nucléaires avec leur droit de veto. Comment se réformer l’ONU pour échapper à cette domination nucléaire ?

L’augmentation des dépenses militaires de toutes les puissances nucléaires, la plus importante dans le cas des États-Unis, fait courir le risque de leur effondrement économique et politique ; cela pourrait-il offrir une fenêtre d’opportunité pour une telle réforme de l’ONU ?

Comme je l’ai suggéré précédemment, pouvons-nous développer un conseil de sécurité alternatif virtuel composé de maires du monde entier pour publier des communiqués de presse et faire prendre conscience qu’un monde sans nucléaire est possible. Peut-être qu’une variante de cette proposition pourrait être développée qui implique les pays ZEAN et TIAN.

Toutes ces questions devraient être à l’ordre du jour d’un mouvement mondial pour le désarmement nucléaire. Il n’y a rien de plus important pour l’avenir de notre espèce et de notre planète.

THE BIENNALE OF LUANDA: PAST AND FUTURE OF THE CULTURE OF PEACE IN AFRICA

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The Biennale of Luanda, as described in this month’s CPNN bulletin, is a process unique in the world.

Nowhere else on earth can you imagine a process that involves all of the countries of a continent in collaboration with the United Nations working together with a coordinating state to develop a culture of peace.

As for the past of this process, I was privileged to take part on December 20 in a video conference to celebrate its architect, Enzo Fazzino, as he took his retirement from UNESCO.

In one sense, it was the end of an era that began with the Culture of Peace Progamme of UNESCO. Taking part in the programme was Federico Mayor, who was Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999. Early in his mandate, he directed the Conference of 1989 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire that first called for a culture of peace at UNESCO. One can say that the culture of peace was born in Africa. Then in 1993, Mayor established the UNESCO Culture of Peace Programme.

Taking part in the video conference on December 20 was Firmin Edouard Matoko, now Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Priority Africa and External Relations. Along with Leslie Atherley and myself, he was named to the first senior staff of the Culture of Peace Programme which developed national programmes from 1993 to 1999.

One of the first national programmes was in Africa.

Taking part in the December 20 programme was Ana Elisa Santana Afonso who was the UNESCO liaison officer with the African Union before her retirement. She was the director of the National Commision for UNESCO in Mozambique when I worked on the national culture of peace programme there from 1994 to 1996. Our boss at that time, the President of the National Commission of UNESCO, was none other than Graça Machel.
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Enzo and I began to work together when were named by Mayor to develop the United Nations International Year for the Culture of Peace for the year 2000. We mobilized 75 million people to sign the Manifesto 2000 for the culture of peace. The first country to collect one million signatures was in Africa, Algeria, where the Manifesto was sung from the Mosques while signatures were collected on the streets by the scout movement.

Enzo went on to work for UNESCO in Africa where he developed the Biennale process.

Chairing the videoconference was Salah Khaled the UNESCO regional director for Central Africa. It was he who worked most closely with Enzo to establish the Biennale process.

Speaking eloquently about Enzo’s leadership was Yvonne Matuturu, who was in charge of the development of the Biennale youth engagement.

The results of their work, the 2021 Luanda Biennale – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace, is described in this month’s CPNN. It is a work in progress as the next Biennale is scheduled to take place in 2023.

Enzo and his colleagues had the foresight to organize this year’s Biennale as an inter-generational dialogue, including 118 young leaders from Africa and the Diaspora, as described in another CPNN article.

As for the future, there was a young woman who was present at the video conference on December 20, but who did not speak while I was listening. Her name is Irene Aragona. Along with another young woman named Mariana Serrano Silvério, she is working on the followup to the youth programme that was developed for the Biennale with the goal of promoting youth-led, multi-level pan-African movements for a culture of peace.

I had the privilege to speak with Irene and Mariana in another video conference on December 19, in which they explained the challenge they are facing. Yes, there are 118 young leaders who took part in the Biennale, but how can their involvement become youth-led, multi-level pan-African movements for a culture of peace?

UNESCO, the African Union, and Angola have agreed to continue the Biennale process (see their speeches at the Biennale as reprinted in CPNN). They should support the youth to give substance to this process.

The movement for a Pan-African Culture of Peace has a rich history going back to 1897 and the work of W.E.B. Dubois in the Pan-African Congresses of the 1920’s and 1945, as well as the establishment by Dubois under Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana of the Africana Encyclopedia in 1962.

Now the future of the Pan-African Culture of Peace is where it should be, in the hands of the youth of Africa and the Diaspora. A new day is dawning. It needs our support.

* * * * *

LA BIENNALE DE LUANDA : PASSÉ ET AVENIR DE LA CULTURE DE LA PAIX EN AFRIQUE

La Biennale de Luanda, telle que décrite dans le bulletin CPNN de ce mois-ci, est un processus unique au monde.

Nulle part ailleurs sur terre, vous ne pouvez imaginer un processus impliquant tous les pays du continent en collaboration avec les Nations Unies et un seul État parrain travaillant ensemble pour une culture de la paix.

Quant à son passé, j’ai eu le privilège de participer le 20 décembre à une visioconférence pour célébrer l’architecte de ce processus, Enzo Fazzino, alors qu’il prenait sa retraite de l’UNESCO.

Dans un sens, c’était la fin d’une ère qui a commencé avec le programme Culture de la paix de l’UNESCO. Au visioconférence figurait Federico Mayor, directeur général de l’UNESCO de 1987 à 1999. Au début de son mandat, il a dirigé la Conférence de Yamoussoukro de 1989 qui a d’abord appelé à une culture de la paix à l’UNESCO. On peut dire que la culture de la paix a été née en Afrique. Puis, en 1993, Mayor a créé le programme Culture de la paix de l’UNESCO.

Le 20 décembre, Firmin Edouard Matoko, aujourd’hui Sous-Directeur général de l’UNESCO pour la Priorité Afrique et Relations extérieures, a participé à la visioconférence. Avec Leslie Atherley et moi-même, il a été nommé parmi les premiers cadres supérieurs du programme Culture de la paix qui a développé des programmes nationaux de 1993 à 1999.

L’un des premiers programmes nationaux a eu lieu en Afrique.

Ana Elisa Santana Afonso, ancien liaison de l’UNESCO avec l’Union africaine, a participé au programme du 20 décembre. Elle était directrice de la Commission nationale pour l’UNESCO au Mozambique lorsque j’y ai travaillé sur le programme national de culture de la paix de 1994 à 1996. Notre patron à l’époque, la présidente de la Commission nationale de l’UNESCO, n’était autre que Graça Machel.
.
Enzo et moi avons commencé à travailler ensemble lorsque nous avons été nommés par Mayor pour développer l’Année internationale des Nations Unies pour la culture de la paix pour l’an 2000. Nous avons mobilisé 75 millions de personnes pour signer le Manifeste 2000 pour la culture de la paix. Le premier pays à recueillir un million de signatures a été en Afrique, l’Algérie, où le Manifeste a été chanté depuis les mosquées tandis que les signatures ont été recueillies dans les rues par le mouvement scout.

Enzo a ensuite travaillé pour l’UNESCO en Afrique où il a développé le processus de la Biennale.

La visioconférence était présidée par Salah Khaled, directeur régional de l’UNESCO pour l’Afrique centrale. C’est lui qui a le plus collaboré avec Enzo pour mettre en place le processus de la Biennale.

Yvonne Matuturu, qui était en charge du développement de l’engagement des jeunes, a parlé avec éloquence du leadership d’Enzo.

Les résultats de leur travail, la Biennale de Luanda 2021 – Forum panafricain pour la culture de la paix, sont décrits dans le CPNN de ce mois-ci. C’est un travail en cours puisque la prochaine Biennale est prévue en 2023.

Enzo et ses collègues ont eu la prévoyance d’organiser la Biennale de cette année comme un dialogue intergénérationnel, comprenant 118 jeunes leaders d’Afrique et de la diaspora, comme décrit dans un autre article de CPNN.

Quant à l’avenir, il y avait une jeune femme qui était présente à la visioconférence le 20 décembre, mais qui n’a pas pris la parole pendant que j’écoutais. Elle s’appelle Irène Aragona. Avec une autre jeune femme nommée Mariana Serrano Silvério, elle travaille dans le suivi du programme jeunesse développé pour la Biennale à promouvoir des mouvements panafricains à plusieurs niveaux dirigés par des jeunes pour une culture de la paix.

J’ai eu le privilège de parler avec Irene et Mariana lors d’une autre vidéoconférence le 19 décembre, au cours de laquelle elles ont expliqué le défi auquel elles sont confrontées. Oui, il y a 118 jeunes leaders qui ont participé à la Biennale, mais comment leur implication peut-elle devenir des mouvements panafricains multi-niveaux dirigés par des jeunes pour une culture de la paix?

L’UNESCO, l’Union africaine et l’Angola ont convenu de poursuivre le processus de la Biennale (voir leurs discours à la Biennale tels que réimprimés dans CPNN). Ils doivent accompagner les jeunes pour donner corps à ce processus.

Le mouvement pour une culture panafricaine de la paix a une riche histoire remontant à 1897 et les travaux de W.E.B. Dubois dans les congrès panafricains des années 1920 et 1945, ainsi que la création par Dubois sous Kwame Nkrumah au Ghana de l’Africana Encyclopedia en 1962.

Maintenant, l’avenir de la culture panafricaine de la paix est là où il devrait être, entre les mains de la jeunesse africaine et de la diaspora. Un nouveau jour se lève. Il a besoin de notre soutien.

DECLARATION FOR THE TRANSITION TO A CULTURE OF PEACE IN THE XXI CENTURY

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As we entered the year 2021, I wrote as follows to conclude the January bulletin: “a crash of the global system of governance will give us a window of opportunity for the radical change that is needed from the culture of war to a culture of peace. But such a change requires advance preparation. We need to work on this now, and I hope to address this question in my next blogs.”

I am pleased to say that we now have a new project that can help us prepare for this great challenge. It is called the DECLARATION FOR THE TRANSITION TO A CULTURE OF PEACE IN THE XXI CENTURY, prepared by Roberto Mercadillo in Mexico with inputs from myself and from Federico Mayor Zaragoza.

We will be circulating the Declaration as widely as possible for signatures and dissemination, and a website is in preparation for this.

Below is the short English version of the Declaration.

Brief versions are available on the Internet in Spanish and in French.

The full versions are also available in English, in Spanish and in French.

* * * * *

DECLARATION FOR THE TRANSITION TO A CULTURE OF PEACE IN THE XXI CENTURY

In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace. In 1999 it adopted the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, and in the years since then the General Assembly has continued to call for its implementation. Twenty years later, we recognize that the transition from the culture of war and violence to a Culture of Peace is a possible utopia.

We also recognize that in recent decades, human beings have been able to express themselves freely, and we hope that, now, “we the peoples” will be able to participate in the consolidation of democratic multilateralism. As never before, humanity is aware that “change” is the essence of life and that, as living beings capable of reflection and change, we can and must change the course of history and that of all humanity.

We recognize that changes emanating from individuals can guide us in the search for that which links us with other humans and with all of life. But, we also recognize that individual change is not enough and that the transition to a Culture of Peace requires profound changes and reforms of institutions and policies to make possible a collective transformation.

In view of the above we propose locally. . .

A global Culture of Peace that can be cultivated locally with various expressions . . . promoted and favored by the authorities of our cities, enabling citizens around the world to organize peace education and to propose public policies that:

Guarantee budgetary investment to improve and enrich the physical and social environments of cities, so that our brains are nourished from an early age with experiences of well-being and awareness of the conditions that need to be transformed in our communities.

Promote and support peace education programs in public institutions and in non-formal settings through community initiatives that go beyond schools and universities that operate as a business.

Share broad and transdisciplinary scientific knowledge with communities and neighborhoods: so that people can question and think about the relevance of our beliefs and values; so that we become aware of our position in the world and our relationship with other species; so that we understand that biology and previous history does not determine our destiny; and so that we can learn conflict resolution based on non-violence.

Share with communities and neighborhoods the history of world cultures and their actions in favor of peace: recognizing our unity with other peoples; knowing their symbols; and creating new shared symbols that promote the acceptance of others, solidarity, respect and cooperation.

Promote transparency and the free flow of information: avoiding the secrecy of the State; promoting, supporting and giving freedom to the imagination and the creation of new vocabularies, languages ​​and narratives about peace; and transforming the negative and violent portrayal of conflict in the mass media.

Publicize the knowledge and actions of organized civil society: enabling participatory democracy; training citizens, teachers, journalists, activists, social and religious leaders, policemen, students, professionals, politicians and scientists to participate in the exercise of their human rights, monitoring guarantees of all human rights including housing, health, sanitation, education and public safety; and thus evaluating the progress of the culture of peace in their communities.

Establish spaces for reflection, listening and dialogue between people of different ages, different physical, affective, cognitive and socioeconomic needs, and different ethnic, linguistic and gender identities.

Promote democratic participation through equitable representation mechanisms for ethnic and gender diversities, free from the influence of military industry, financial monopoly corporations, and institutions that influence national politics.

Prioritize local and sustainable agriculture, manufacturing and consumption that depend less on oil and corporate monopolies, that respect the diversity of regional species to help combat climate change and environmental problems, and that promote the creation of cooperatives that work for a social and solidarity economy focused on fair trade and the well-being of the families and groups that comprise them.

… and we propose globally

The creation of a “Mayors Security Council” made up of representatives of the principal cities from all regions of the world. This Council can increase awareness that another world is possible. It can be created immediately since its formation does not require agreements or approval from the United Nations Member States. It can meet virtually through modern forms of communication and display in the press and mass media its own agreements on global security issues on the agenda of the actual Security Council, including issues that the current Security Council has failed to address, for example, the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The creation of a Council for Socioeconomic Affairs and a Council for Environmental Affairs in the United Nations, whose decisions represent the global balance of powers and favor the adoption of agreements on these matters by the Member States.

The prompt re-founding of the United Nations System, with a General Assembly composed of 50% representatives of the Member States and another 50% of institutions, academies and civil society organizations from around the world that represent “We, the peoples…”; this will allow the redirection of present policies by means of democratic multilateralism.

“The peoples” already have their own voice.

We hold that history is in our hands and that another world is possible.

A global culture of peace is possible. Let’s not mourn, but organize!

* * *
Signatories
David Adams. Director of the UNESCO task force for the International Year for the Culture of Peace.
Federico Mayor Zaragoza. President of Fundación Cultura de Paz
Roberto Emmanuele Mercadillo Caballero. Researcher at the National Council of Science and Technology, Mexico; Secretary of Transitional Justice and Peace, CSO.

A new chapter in the history of the culture of peace

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(Une version française suit en dessous)

It will soon be 20 years since I wrote “An early history of the culture of peace.” During these years there have been thousands of initiatives described in the reports from the culture of peace decade and reports on the culture of peace news network. However, we have not yet seen any dramatic changes in this history

And it’s been over 10 years since I wrote the novella “I have seen the promised land” which predicted a global economic crash in the year 2000 followed by the transition of the United Nations into a guiding force towards a culture of peace. In addition to the English version, the novella is now available in French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Now, with the arrival of the global economic crash, the time has come for dramatic new initiatives to write a new chapter in this history. As a readers of this blog you are invited to contribute.

You may play an online game with two options: one defining the culture of peace; and the other choosing among different routes for the transition from the culture of war to a culture of peace. The game includes a discussion forum where you are invited to share your comments and suggestions.

Thanks to the hard work of Myrian Castello and Herbert Lima in Brazil, we have a series of social media connections where you are invited to subscribe and contribute.

The first connection is an ongoing series of webinars The initial program, Peace is in our hands, is available on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bwt6qsj2FI. It is a program of 29 minutes introduced by Myrian followed by my remarks concerning :

1) The origin of the economic crash started long before the coronavirus: the causes are financial speculation and militarization of the world’s economy.

2) A crash is also an opportunity for radical change, a change from the culture of war to a culture of peace.

3) A vision for the culture of peace was developed under Federico Mayor at UNESCO in the 1990’s, including national culture of peace programs, the Manifesto 2000 signed by 75 million people and the Declaration and Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999, despite opposition by the rich Member States.

4) The Programme of Action was based on an analysis of the 8 aspects of the culture of war and the 8 corresponding aspects of the culture of peace.

5) The opposition to the culture of peace by the rich countries showed the extent to which the nation-state has come over the course of history to monopolize the culture of war. Therefore to achieve a culture of peace, we need to reform the United Nations so that it is based directly on the people rather than the nation-states. For example, a United Nations Security Council run by representatives of the mayors of the world, a Mayors Security Council.

6) The economic crash is an opportunity to change the basis of the United Nations, because the Member States are no longer supporting or concerned with the UN.

(the following are responses to the questions and suggestions of participants)

7) The crisis shows us the great importance and potential of the internet and social media, and this can be a major tool for the radical changes that are needed.

8) The more women gain positions of authority, the more likely we are to be able to develop a culture of peace.

9) We need to develop more local political and economic initiatives to develop independence from the nation-state and the global industrialized economy. This may include local peace commissions.

10) Conclusion: think globally, act locally.

The webinar series will be continued and the next one is taking place today (May 1) at 17:00 Greenwich Mean Time. The channel is at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxL5jiQ7k6EgC4vNj0AXYbA/ . The theme is “Are human beings naturally aggressive?” Please subscibe, since we need subscribers to reach 100. We expect to produce at least two programs each month and we welcome your suggestions and participation.

A new facebook page is available: Peace is in our hands at https://www.facebook.com/peaceisinourhands.

Finally, we have a new instagram at http://www.instagram.com/peaceisinourhands..

Together, we can turn this crisis into an opportunity for progress towards a culture of peace.
 

* * * * *

Un nouveau chapitre dans l’histoire de la culture de la paix

Cela fera bientôt 20 ans depuis que j’ai écrit “Une première histoire de la culture de la paix“. Au cours de ces années, des milliers d’initiatives ont été décrites dans les rapports de la décennie de la culture de la paix et dans les rapports du reseau d’information CPNN. Cependant, nous n’avons pas encore vu de changements spectaculaires dans cette Histoire.

Et cela fait plus de 10 ans que j’ai écrit le roman “J’ai vu la terre promise” qui prédit un krach économique mondial en l’an 2000 suivi de la transition des Nations Unies en force directrice vers une culture de la paix. La nouvelle est aussi disponible en espagnol et en portugais ainsi qu’en anglais.

Maintenant, avec l’arrivée du crach économique mondial, le temps est venu pour de nouvelles initiatives dramatiques d’écrire un nouveau chapitre. En tant que lecteurs de ce blog, vous êtes invités à contribuer.

Vous pouvez jouer à un jeu en ligne avec deux options: l’une définissant la culture de la paix; et l’autre choisissant parmi différentes voies pour le passage de la culture de guerre à une culture de paix. Le jeu comprend un forum de discussion où vous êtes invité à partager vos commentaires et suggestions.

Grâce au travail acharné de Myrian Castello et Herbert Lima au Brésil, nous avons une série de connexions sur les réseaux sociaux où vous êtes invités à vous abonner et à partager vos contributions.

La première connexion est une série de webinaires en cours. Le programme initial, “La paix est entre nos mains,” est disponible sur YouTube à l’adresse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bwt6qsj2FI. C’est un programme de 29 minutes présenté par Myrian suivi par mes remarques concernant ces points :

1) L’origine du crach économique a commencé bien avant le coronavirus: les causes sont la spéculation financière et la militarisation de l’économie mondiale.

2) Un crash est également une opportunité pour un changement radical, un changement de la culture de la guerre à une culture de la paix.

3) Une vision de la culture de la paix a été élaborée sous l’autorité de Federico Mayor à l’UNESCO dans les années 1990: y compris les programmes nationaux de culture de la paix; le Manifeste 2000 signé par 75 millions de personnes; et la Déclaration et le Programme d’action pour une culture de la paix, adoptés par le Assemblée générale des Nations Unies en 1999.

4) Le Programme d’action a été basé sur l’analyse des 8 aspects de la culture de la guerre et des 8 aspects correspondants de la culture de la paix.

5) L’opposition à la culture de la paix des pays riches a montré à quel point l’État-nation est venu au cours de l’Histoire monopoliser la culture de la guerre. Par conséquent, pour instaurer une culture de paix, nous devons réformer l’Organisation des Nations Unies afin qu’elle repose directement sur le peuple plutôt que sur les États-nations. Par exemple, un Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies dirigé par des représentants des maires du monde, un .

6) Le crach économique est l’occasion de changer la base des Nations Unies, car les États membres ne soutiennent plus ou ne se préoccupent plus de l’ONU.

(voici les réponses aux questions et suggestions des participants)

7) La crise nous montre la grande importance et le potentiel d’Internet et des médias sociaux, et cela peut être un outil majeur pour les changements nécessaires.

8) Plus les femmes obtiennent des postes d’autorité, plus nous devons être capable de développer une culture de paix.

9) Nous devons développer davantage d’initiatives politiques et économiques locales pour obtenir indépendance vis-à-vis de l’État-nation et de l’économie industrielle mondiale. Cela peut inclure des commissions de paix locales.

10) Conclusion: penser globalement, agir localement.

La série de webinaires se poursuivra et la prochaine aura lieu aujourd’hui (1er mai) à 17h00, heure de Greenwich. La chaîne se trouve à https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxL5jiQ7k6EgC4vNj0AXYbA/. Le thème est “Les êtres humains sont-ils naturellement agressifs?” Veuillez vous abonner, car nous avons besoin d’atteindre 100 abonnés. Nous prévoyons de produire au moins deux programmes chaque mois et nous apprécions votre participation et vos suggestions.

Une nouvelle page Facebook est disponible: la paix est entre nos mains sur https://www.facebook.com/peaceisinourhands/.

Enfin, nous avons un nouvel instagram sur http://www.instagram.com/peaceisinourhands.

Ensemble, nous pouvons transformer cette crise en une opportunité de progrès vers une culture de la paix.

Has the crash arrived?

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(Une version française suit en dessous)

The headlines provide abundant details about economic shutdowns in order to slow the spread of the COV-19 virus.

But behind the headlines, there is another story more important in the long run: the global economy is a house of cards based on speculation and military spending. It seems likely that the house of cards will come crashing down as a result of the global economic shutdown.

The details of how this will come about in economic terms are difficult to predict since there are so many interacting factors.

But even more important is how this can play out in political repercussions and opportunities.

Will it provide us with the opportunity to make the transition from the culture of war to a culture of peace?

In the novella that I wrote ten years ago, I foresaw a global economic crash in the year 2020, which opened the possibility for this radical transformation.

Ultimately the result depends on our coordinated strategy and tactics, but it also depends on having the necessary communication and transportation mechanisms that allow our coordination and our actions.

Will we be able to travel and meet face to face? Already there are are severe travel restructions. In the novella I wrote: “Don’t forget that in 2021, airline flights around the world were running at less than 30% of pre-crash levels, and to get a ticket under ordinary circumstances you needed to reserve six months in advance and hope that the airline would stay in business that long. “

Can we depend on internet communications as the crash develops? In the novella, I predict that internet communication will also be curtailed, and I propose that alternative electronic communication will fill the void. I am not an expert in this domain, but perhaps some who read this blog may send me suggestions.

In the novella I considered that in the first few years after the global economic crash, the priority was to mobilize millions of people to resist the attempts by the rich to impose a “fascist solution” like that imposed last century in the Great Depression. I think this priority is appropriate today, since already in recent years we are seeing signs of this danger with the rise to power of authoritarian heads of state such as Trump, Bolsonaro, Duterte, Erdogan and Orban, not to mention the moves of Putin and Xi Jinping to retain power without elections.

The turning point, according to the novella, was the declaration by representatives from cities around the world meeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil:

    When in the course of history it
    becomes evident that the old order has
    failed and it becomes possible through
    the development and sharing of a new
    vision that power be transferred from
    the nation-state with its culture of war
    to a new order based on the culture of
    peace, it is the right and duty of those
    who have been elected to represent the
    people on the local and regional level
    to take up the higher responsibility of
    world governance.

Readers of this blog will recognize here the proposal in last month’s blog for a Mayor’s Security Council.

I don’t know if it will be in Porto Alegre, but Latin America seems a logical place to start the process towards a new world order. After all, it was the World Social Forums born in Brazil that gave us our slogan: “Another world is possible.”

* * * * *

Le crash est-il arrivé?

Les titres fournissent de nombreux détails sur les fermetures économiques afin de ralentir la propagation du virus COV-19.

Mais derrière les titres, il y a une autre histoire plus importante à long terme: l’économie mondiale est un château de cartes basé sur la spéculation et les dépenses militaires. Il semble probable que ce château de cartes s’écroulera à la suite de l’arrêt économique mondial.

Les détails économiques de la façon dont cela se produira sont difficiles à prévoir car il existe de nombreux facteurs d’interaction.

Mais e plus important encore est de savoir comment cela peut se traduire par les répercussions et les opportunités politiques.

Cela nous donnera-t-il la possibilité de faire la transition de la culture de la guerre à une culture de la paix?

Dans le roman que j’ai écrit il y a dix ans , je prévoyais un krach économique mondial en 2020, qui a ouvert la possibilité de cette transformation radicale.

En fin de compte, le résultat dépend de notre stratégie et de nos tactiques coordonnées, mais il dépend également de la disponibilité des mécanismes de communication et de transport qui sont nécessaires pour notre coordination et pour nos actions.

Dans l’avenir pourrons-nous encore voyager et faire des réunions? Il y a déjà de sévères restrictions de voyage. Dans le roman, j’écrivait: “N’oubliez pas qu’en 2021, les vols des compagnies aériennes à travers le monde fonctionnaient à moins de 30% des niveaux d’avant le crash, et pour obtenir un billet dans des circonstances ordinaires, vous deviez réserver six mois à l’avance espérons que la compagnie aérienne ne soit pas en faillite.”

Pouvons-nous dépendre des communications Internet à mesure que le crash se développe? Dans la roman, je prédis que la communication sur Internet sera également réduite, et je propose que d’autres systemes de communication électronique alternative comblent le vide. Je ne suis pas un expert dans ce domaine, mais peut-être que certains qui liront ce blog pourront m’envoyer des suggestions.

Dans la roman, j’ai considéré que dans les premières années après le krach économique mondial, la priorité était de mobiliser des millions de personnes pour résister aux tentatives des riches d’imposer une “solution fasciste” comme celle imposée au siècle dernier dans la Grande Dépression. Je pense que cette priorité est appropriée aujourd’hui, car déjà au cours des dernières années, nous voyons des signes de ce danger avec la montée en puissance de chefs d’État autoritaires tels que Trump, Bolsonaro, Duterte, Erdogan et Orban, sans parler des mouvements de Poutine et de Xi Jinping à conserver le pouvoir sans élections.

Selon la roman, le tournant a été la déclaration des représentants des villes du monde entier réunis à Porto Alegre, au Brésil:

    Au cours de l’histoire,
    il devient évident que l’ancien ordre
    a échoué et il devient possible grâce
    au développement et au partage
    d’une nouvelle vision que le pouvoir soit transféré de
    l’État-nation avec sa culture de guerre
    à un nouvel ordre basé sur la culture de
    la paix; c’est le droit et le devoir de ceux
    qui ont été élus pour représenter le
    le peuple au niveau local et régional,
    de prendre la plus haute responsabilité de
    gouvernance mondiale.

Les lecteurs de ce blog reconnaîtront ici la proposition dans le blog du mois dernier d’un Conseil de sécurité des maires.

Je ne sais pas si ce sera à Porto Alegre, mais l’Amérique latine semble un endroit logique pour entamer le processus vers un nouvel ordre mondial. Après tout, ce sont les Forums sociaux mondiaux nés au Brésil qui nous ont donné notre slogan: “Un autre monde est possible”.

The International Day of Peace

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The International Day of Peace (IDP), as officially proclaimed by the United Nations, is certainly the most universal action for peace in our times, and there is no doubt that it contributes greatly to the consciousness throughout the world that we need to turn from the culture of war to a culture of peace.

With this in mind it would be good to be able to measure the IDP actions each year, to know if they are increasing or not, and to know if this is occuring throughout the world, or more in some regions than in others.

During the first decade of this century, extensive international surveys were conducted by the Culture of Peace Initiative (see suveys from 2005 and 2009 as documented in Wikipedia), but they were discontinued, and there was nothing to replace them until 2017 when I conducted the first IDP survey from CPNN, searching for articles by Google and using other, less complete surveys.

This is now the third time that I have done the survey – not an easy task requiring something like 100 hours of labor – and I continue to find hundreds of events throughout the world, with the largest number from USA/Canada and Western Europe.

There is no doubt that, despite my best efforts, we continue to under-estimate the number and scope of actions involved. Many actions are not put on the internet. In addition to the languages recognzed by the United Nations (English, French, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish), I have searched via Google in Ukrainian, German and Portuguese, but no doubt there are actions described in articles in other languages as well.

There are other surveys of IDP events, but it is difficult to assess their data in some cases.

Pathways to Peace, the successor to the Culture of Peace Initiative, provides a map where people can enter their actions for the IDP. This year’s map has 642 entries, but perhaps half of them are from 2018, and perhaps half of the entries from 2019 are marked as meditation (not action in the sense defined by CPNN). The others from 2019 that are marked as music, march or multiple actions have been included in the CPNN survey.

The Campaign for Nonviolence lists CNV 3314 total actions, mostly in the United States, but this includes multiple actions by the 205 sites listed on their map. I have included all the 205 sites in the CPNN data.

One Day One Choir says that for the International Day of Peace “since we started in 2014, more than a million people around the world have connected with us to sing for peace and unity,” There are almost a thousand entries on their map of the world, but I could not use the data because it seems to be an accumulaton of all the events since 2014, with no indication in what year or years the action occurred.

The website of Montessori schools says that “In 2017, “Sing Peace” involved over 150,000 children from some 65 different countries.” The site provides a listing of 1141 schools “signed up to sing” and these are shown on a map of the world,, but as in the case of OneDayOneChoir, it is not clear if this is an accumulation of data over many years or if it refers to actions in 2019.

In addition, I should mention the website of Peace One Day which states that “throughout the years, millions of people have been active on Peace Day in every country of the world. . . In 2016, after several years work with global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, it was estimated that 2.2 billion people had been exposed to the Peace Day message, that 940 million were aware of the day and that 16 million behaved more peacefully as a result.” But since the website provides no listing or source for particular events, I don’t see how its claims. can be verified.

Failing to realize that the data from One Day One Choir and Montessori Sing Peace were not necessarily up-to-date, I included their data in the totals last year (2018). For that reason it makes no sense to compare this year’s CPNN total of 655 to last year’s total of 835. Although it is not possible to be precise, it seems likely that the number of IDP actions listed on CPNN might be as much as doubled if it were possible to obtain up-to-date information from One Day One Choir and the Montessori Schools.

Despite the incompleteness of the quantitative data, there is plenty of qualitative information to be found in the CPNN survey, as described in this month’s CPNN bulletin, and I think this justifies the labor involved. For example, it turns out that data cited from Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Ukraine, and Yemen are not reflected in the other surveys mentioned above.

The UN Resolution for the Culture of Peace

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(Une version française suit en dessous)

This summer and fall is seeing an increase in the number of international conferences dedicated to the culture of peace and basing their analysis on the Declaration and Program of Action for a Culture of Peace that was adopted 20 years ago by the UN General Assembly.

The UN resolution provides a holistic, positive view of peace. For each of the eight aspects of the culture of war, it proposes the alternative as described here. The resolution proposes specific actions to promote each of these eight program areas. And furthermore, it calls for a global movement for a culture of peace through partnerships between an among international, national and civil society organizations promoted through sysems of information exchange (such as the Culture of Peace News Network) on their initiatives.

The struggle for a culture of peace could gain much more force if this resolution were used as the basis for analysis and practice by more organizations around the world, but unfortunately it is relatively unknown.

The situation reminds me of the use of another landmark UN document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR).

The adoption of the UNDHR by the UN General Assembly in 1948 did not immediately yield results. For the first 40 years the document sat on the shelf and was rarely mentioned, as shown in the following graph which shows the citations of human rights in academic publications as monitored by the Science Citation Index. It has only in recent years that references have exploded into thousands of times per year.

Figure drawn from my book World Peace throught the Town Hall.

Now over 70 years after its adoption, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been taken up by thousands of other organizations and struggles in all social movements as a powerful tool for justice.

We may assume that the increased attention to human rights after the 1970s was largely due to the Nobel Peace Prize of 1977 to Amnesty International because of their efforts for human rights.

Hopefully, we will not have to wait another 20 years for such effective use of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. The work for culture of peace has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recent years, and if it were to be recognized by the Prize, that could help produce the kind of universal recognition and historical impact as that of the UNDHR.

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La résolution des Nations Unies pour la culture de la paix

Pour cet été et cet automne, le nombre de conférences internationales consacrées à la culture de la paix a augmenté. Leur analyse est souvent basée sur de la Déclaration et Programme d’action pour une culture de la paix adoptés il y a 20 ans par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies.

La résolution de l’ONU offre une vision globale et positive de la paix. Pour chacun des huit aspects de la culture de la guerre, il propose une alternative (voir ici). La résolution propose des actions spécifiques pour promouvoir chacun de ces huit domaines de programme. En outre, il appelle à un mouvement mondial pour une culture de la paix par des partenariats entre des organisations internationales, nationales et de la société civile, promues par des systèmes d’échanges et d’informations (comme CPNN) sur leurs initiatives.

La lutte pour une culture de la paix pourrait gagner beaucoup plus de force si cette résolution était utilisée comme base d’analyse et de pratique par plus d’organisations dans le monde, mais malheureusement, elle est mal connue.

La situation me rappelle l’utilisation d’un autre document historique des Nations Unies, la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’Homme (DUDH).

L’adoption de la DUDH par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies en 1948 n’a pas immédiatement donné de résultats. Pendant les 40 premières années, le document était sur l’étagère et rarement mentionné, comme l’illustre le graphique ci-dessous, qui montre les citations des droits de l’Homme dans des publications universitaires suivies par le Science Citation Index. Ce n’est que ces dernières années que les références ont explosé des milliers de fois par an.

[Figure tirée de mon livre “Paix mondiale à travers les municipalites”.]

Aujourd’hui, plus de 70 ans après son adoption, la Declaration universelle des droits de l’Homme a été reprise par des milliers d’organisations et de luttes dans tous les mouvements sociaux, en tant que puissant outil de justice.

Nous pouvons supposer que l’attention accrue portée aux droits de l’Homme après les années 1970 était largement due au prix Nobel de la paix de 1977 attribué à Amnesty International en raison de ses efforts en faveur des droits de l’Homme.

Espérons que nous n’aurons pas besoin d’attendre encore 20 ans pour une utilisation aussi efficace de la Déclaration et du Programme d’action pour une culture de la paix. L’œuvre pour la culture de la paix a été nominée pour le prix Nobel de la paix ces dernières années. Si elle devait être reconnue par le prix, elle pourrait contribuer à produire le type de reconnaissance universelle et d’impact historique de la DUDH.


 

Consciousness + Institutional Change = Culture of Peace

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People are taking to the streets to defend human rights and demand democracy around the world, including Hong Kong, Russia, Sudan, Algeria, Czech Republic and Brazil as described on the pages of CPNN and reviewed in this month’s CPNN bulletin.

They join the millions of people who have taken to the streets for human rights and democracy in the last few years in France , Germany and the United States.

And perhaps most important, it is the new generation that has often taken the lead, as we have seen in the global student movement to demand that we change the policies that are contributing to global warming. This is the new generation that is on the front lines every year to celebrate the international day of peace.

We see the development of a global, universal consciousness. But is it strong enough to counter the rise of authoritarian governance that is also developing at this moment of history, whether in the rich counties or in the poor countries?

In my little utopian novella I have imagined that people will take to the streets to resist the imposition of fascism after the present system crashes. It was fascism that was installed when the financial system collapsed in the 1930’s?

I come from the generation of the 60’s which also saw people taking to the streets to oppose the American war in Vietnam. In fact, in the 1990’s when we looked around the table of UNESCO workers developing the Culture of Peace Program, it turned out most of us had been involved in the movements of the 60’s in one way or another in France, Ecuador, Costa Rica and the United States. The consciousness developed in the 60’s came to fruition in the 90’s.

But consciousness is not enough. We need institutional change towards a culture of peace such as the initiative developed thanks to the leadership of Federico Mayor at UNESCO in the 1990’s. The United Nations resolution for a culture of peace which he inspired will have its 20th anniversary this September and will be celebrated at the annual High Level Meeting on the Culture of Peace at UN headquarters.

To see and understand these institutional changes, we cannot depend on the commercial media to which they are almost invisible. This was the case with the UNESCO culture of peace initiative, which was never mentioned in the American press at the time despite our signed agreements with two American institutions with 50 million members, the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Council of Churches, and the 75 million signatures on the Manifesto 2000 obtained around the world.

At CPNN we provide an alternative media that seeks out news about institutional change towards a culture of peace. A good example is the adoption of restorative justice princiiples and practices by the entire judicial system of Brazil, as described this month in CPNN. Over the years we have followed this initiative that was largely due to the work of Judge Leoberto Brancher. I don’t think it is by accident that prior to this he was involved in the development of city culture of peace commissions that came out of the UNESCO program and the UN Decade for a Culture of Peace.

We need more such institutional change if we are to harness the consciousness of people in the coming decade when the global financial system has crashed and a window of opportunity opens for us to move from the culture of war to a culture of peace.

CAN STUDENTS BECOME A REVOLUTIONARY FORCE?

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As often remarked in this blog, the world is in such a mess that we need radical action. In fact we need revolutionary change.

But where can it come from? Who can be the revolutionary actors?

A century ago, it was thought by some that revolution would come from industrial workers.

They were constantly and obviously exploited by their capitalist bosses.

They were concentrated in large numbers in factories

They had the power to stop production by going on strike.

Today there are few such factories in the rich countries of the North. Factories have been automated or transferred to China and the poor countries of rhe South.

We don’t hear anymore that factory workers will change the world.

On the other hand, as described this month on CPNN, it seems we are now starting to see student strikes to demand that their governments address the problem of climate change. Can this movement become revolutionary?

Students are beginning to see that their world is being exploited by their governments and that their schools seem to be in complicity with the governments.

Students are concentrated in large numbers in schools.

Their strikes do not stop production in the short term, but in the long term their compliance is necessary if governments are to continue their inaction. At least that is the hope of the American Youth Climate Strike who say in their mission statement that “if the social order is disrupted by our refusal to attend school, then the system is forced to face the climate crisis and enact change.”

Students today have a tool that was not available to workers a century ago. They can connect up rapidly everywhere by means of social media. An example of this is the initiative of Greta Thunberg whose actions have inspired the student movement around the world. Her twitter accounts and her website list events in 1325 places in 98 countries going on strike on March 15, including Washingto DC, Moscow, Mumbai, Shanghai, Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Nuuk, Paris, Nairobi, Santiago, New York, London Hong Kong, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Beirut, Zurch, Kyiv, Havana, Cork, Kampala, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Cape Town, Kyoto, Mexico City, Brussels, Por Vila, Los Angeles, Rome, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Auckland and Södertälje just to name a few.

What else does this student movement need to become truly revolutionary?

They would become more powerful by broadening their agenda to include other issues related to the question of environmental catastrophe. One such issue should be nuclear disarmament, given that a nuclear war would be even more catastrophic than global warming. In the long run both are important components of a global agenda to move from the culture of war to a culture of peace.

And they need to develop alliances with other movements that contribute to a culture of peace. One such alliance is the movement for equality of women, given that women have always been exploited and kept down by the culture of war and have usually taken the lead in movements for peace.

The largest mobilizations of the student strike movement have taken place in the rich countries of Europe and North America. To be come more effective they need to link up with students in the poor countries of the South, understanding and supporting their needs for education and development. This is not simple, since schools in the North may seem irrelevant, even oppressive, while education in the South is more often seen as liberation.

Insofar as the student strike movement broadens its agenda, other movements would be wise to accept their leadership. It may not always be easy for older generations to accept the leadership of the young. This was a problem in the 60’s in France when the organized workers refused to march with the revolutionary students, and in the US when the older peace activists refused to accept any leadership from the youth such as those of SDS (the Students for a Democratic Society). On the other hand, in South Africa, when the students took up the struggle against apartheid, their leadership was widely accepted by the older generation who were in prison or exile, and, as a result, this led to one of the greatest victories for justice in our times.

All this may seem fantastic in the face of the monolithic American empire and its alliances throughout the world, but, as often remarked this blog, the empire is crashing and we are coming into times of extraordinary change – and opportunity as well as danger. Let us hope that the students can rise to the challenge of leading us towards a better world.

Rationale for an Alternative to the UN Security Council

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In last month’s blog, after writing about the impending crash of the American empire and the window of opportunity this will create to change the global system of governance from the culture of war to a culture of peace, I returned to a previous theme of an Alternative UN Security Council.

It has been pointed out to me that I did not provide a very explicit rationale about this proposal and why it should be given priority. So let me try to do that now in terms of the following strategy and tactics involved.

1) The United Nations is capable of promoting a culture of peace, as we showed at UNESCO during the 1990’s when Federico Mayor was its Director-General. We initiated culture of peace programs at a national level in El Salvador and Mozambique that brought together the opposing sides of the civil wars in those countries to work together in projects of education, science, culture and communication. In one case the project was funded by one of the major donors to the UN (Germany) and in that case the program was successful. However, the major powers pointedly refused to fund the other projects, and despite the efforts of UNESCO and our partners “on the ground” the culture of peace programs could not be sustained. National programs foreseen in Russia, the Balkans and elsewhere could not even get started. An account of the one successful project in El Salvador is available here on the Internet.

2) Our experience at UNESCO shows that the peace capacities of the United Nations cannot be achieved so long as the UN is run by the Member States. In fact the Member States of the UN Security Council are the states who are responsible for wars and preparation for wars, such as the possession of nuclear weapons. This can be understood from the history of the culture of war which shows that over time the state has come to monopolize and embody the culture of war. Other entities that previously made war (cities, tribes, criminal organizations, etc.) have been “pacified” by the states and deprived of their war-making capacity. Meanwhile, the preparations for war remain the dominant expense of the state, and the huge military expenditures of the state have engendered a military-industrial-financial complex. This was even true in the old Soviet Union, as we found out at the end of the Soviet empire. A self-perpetuating cycle has resulted, as the military-industrial-financial complex promotes and ensures the election of a pro-military government.

3) There is a growing anti-war consciousness of the peoples of the world in contradiction to the policies of their national governments. We see this growth in anti-war consciousness in the news covered by the Culture of Peace News Network. See, for example, the increase in participation in the International Day of Peace from year to year.

4) There is a contradiction between the growing anti-war consciousness of the people and the continued priority of the culture of war by the state. So far this contradiction has been handled by the state and its allies in the miltary-industrial-financial complex in two ways.

a) First, they control the mass media and emphasize enemy images and news of violent events in order to convince the people that military preparedness is necessary.

b) Second, national elections have become more and more expensive and hence more dependent on funding from the military-industrial-financial complex. Anti-war candidates cannot get the funding they need to win on a national scale. As a result, almost no congressman or senator in the United States votes against the military budget, even if a majority of the voters that elected them may be anti-war.

5) Putting together the above, it would seem that the transition to a culture of peace needs a United Nations that is run by the peoples of the world rather than the Member States. This may be expressed In terms of the charter of the United Nations, which begins, “We the Peoples. . . ”

6) If history did not have major qualitative, revolutionary changes, but simply continued with only gradual change, it would seem that a United Nations run by the Peoples would never be possible.

7) However, there is good reason to believe that the American empire will soon crash because of its over-militarization similar to that which caused the crash of the Soviet empire. Many other countries will crash as well, similar to what happened to Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. This may open a window of opportunity during which the United Nations is more or less abandoned by the states and open to a radical refoundation. In fact, we have already seen in the last few decades the United Nations is abandoned by the major states when there is a crisis. The economic crisis of 2008 was handled directly by state ministries and power was not given the UN entities, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Similarly, the great powers avoid the United Nations when it comes to nuclear policy and rely on ad-hoc inter-state forums and agreements to contain nuclear proliferation. Also, the great powers do not seriously engage the United Nations in confronting the problem of global warming and climate change. As for military interventions, the great powers try to get consensus on the Security Council, but they go ahead with invasions and attacks when they cannot obtain it.

8) We don’t have to wait for the crash of the American empire to begin preparing. Given all of the above strategic considerations, we could create an unofficial Alternative Security Council (ASC). This would be an effective tactic for at least two reasons.

a) Wide dissemination of regular press releases by the ASC would support and strengthen the anti-war consciousness of the peoples of the world that “another world is possible.” It would start them thinking that the United Nations could be reformed in a way that would support peace instead of war.

b) Experience gathered by an ASC could provide a valuable input into the institutional changes that would be needed for an eventual refoundation of the United Nations based on “We the Peoples” instead of the Member States. Perhaps the eventual institutional arrangement would be different from the ASC, but the principles would be similar.

9) The effectiveness of an ASC at this time, especially its press releases and their effect on the peoples’ consciousness would depend upon the perceived stature and democratic representation of the members of the ASC. For this reason, a good choice would be an ASC composed of mayors and ex-mayors of major cities in all regions of the world (for example, two each from East Asia, South Asia, Arab states, former Soviet states, Africa, Europe, South America and North America).

10) This proposal does not depend on the timing of a crash of the American empire. Even if you do not think it will crash soon (as I do), you may wish to start thinking in the long run, how the world can turn from a culture of war to a culture of peace.

11) Nor does it depend on the maintenance of the United Nations after a global economic crash. Perhaps there will be a new institution, similar to what happened after World War II which did not retain the League of Nations but established a completely new institution, the United Nations. But even if there is a totally new institution, it will face the same challenges as the United Nations of today and the experience of a previous ASC could be useful.

12) Many readers may well persist in believing that the nation-state can be reformed to support a culture of peace. As you can see, I am skeptical of this. In any case, however, attempts to reform the state could also be served by the experience of a radical alternative such as the proposed ASC.

13) As for the importance of all this, I close with the words from the monograph on a culture of peace that we published at UNESCO in 1995:

14) When in the course of history there is an accumulation of changes which make possible a revolutionary transformation in social relations, the mobilization and participation of people on a vast scale, a global movement, becomes possible through the development and sharing of a common vision of a new world. The time is ripe for such a movement and vision for a culture of peace.

15) The transformation of society from a culture of war to a culture of peace is perhaps more radical and far reaching than any previous change in human history. Every aspect of social relations – having been shaped for millennia by the dominant culture of war, is open to change – from the relations among nations to those between women and men. Everyone, from the centres of power to the most remote villages, may be engaged and transformed in the process.

The answer is blowing in the wind

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(Une version française suit en dessous)

During the week (actually it took two weeks) during which I was seeking out the information about the observation of the International Day of Peace, I came across the article published by Unfold Zero about two meetings at the United Nations on the same day concerning nuclear weapons. The major nuclear states (USA, France, UK, China and Russia) all went to a meeting for non-proliferation and boycotted the meeting for nuclear disarmament. As the article correctly concludes, the nuclear states “place very little priority on their obligations to eliminate their own weapons of mass destruction, focusing instead on preventing others from acquiring such weapons.”

The contrast could not be stronger between the actions of these national governments and the great numbers of schools, cities and towns, civil society organizations and individuals everywhere in the world who took part in the International Day of Peace.

Having used more or less the same methodology this year as last year, we can see that the involvement in the International Day of Peace is increasing in most of the world. In fact, this is probably the best measure we have of the increasing anti-war consciousness of the peoples of the world.

Not only does this mean that new people, localities and organizations enter the celebration of Peace each year, but we can imagine as well that for those who have been involved before, there is an accumulation and strengthening of their anti-war consciousness.

And most important of all, the greatest part of the celebrations took place in schools with schoolchildren taking part in the International Day of Peace. This gives us great hope for the future. We are raising a new generation who, hopefully, can finally undertake the abolition of war.

The schoolchildren took part in a wide variety of actions for the Day, but for me the most symbolic was their release of balloons and doves into the sky, and their watching them disperse with the wind, as if they were going around the world. After all, the sky is something we share with everyone else in the world. Symbolically, “the answer is blowing in the wind,” as in the anti-war song written by Bob Dylan in my generation opposed to the Vietnam War.

The continuing growth of anti-war consciousness, as expressed by “the answer blowing in the wind,” is absolutely essential to our hopes for peace, including nuclear disarmament and the abolition of war. Perhaps it is not enough, as I have often emphasized in this blog, since we also need to develop an institutional framework for peace. But even if it is not enough, it still essential and indispensable.

Let us be like the children and launch our balloons and doves and desires for peace onto all the winds and involving all the peopes of our planet ! And knowing that the days are numbered for the national governments that hold onto nuclear weapons as instruments of power, let us look forward to the day when their power has crashed and they are replaced at the United Nations by true representatives of the people conscious of the need for a culture of peace.

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La solution souffle dans le vent

Au cours de la semaine (en fait, cela a pris deux semaines) au cours de laquelle j’ai cherché des informations sur l’observation de la Journée internationale de la paix, je suis tombé sur l’article publié par Unfold Zero à propos de deux réunions le même jour aux Nations Unies sur les armes nucléaires. Les principaux États nucléaires (États-Unis, France, Royaume-Uni, Chine et Russie) se sont tous rendus à la réunion sur la non-prolifération et ils ont boycotté ainsi la réunion sur le désarmement! Comme l’article le conclut à juste titre, les États nucléaires “n’accordent pas de priorité à leur obligation d’éliminer leurs propres armes de destruction massive, mais se concentrent plutôt sur l’empêchement des autres d’acquérir de telles armes”.

Le contraste ne pouvait pas être plus fort entre les actions de ces gouvernements nationaux et le grand nombre d’écoles, de villes et villages, d’organisations de la société civile et d’individus du monde entier qui ont participé à la Journée internationale de la paix.

Après avoir utilisé plus ou moins la même méthodologie cette année que l’année dernière, nous pouvons constater que la participation à cette Journée s’intensifie dans la plupart du monde. En fait, ces chifres sont probablement la meilleure mesure que nous ayons de la conscience croissante des peuples du monde entier contre la guerre.

Cela signifie non seulement que de nouvelles personnes, localités et organisations y participent chaque année, mais nous pouvons également imaginer que, pour ceux qui ont été impliqués auparavant, leur conscience anti-guerre s’accumule et se renforce.

Et le plus important de tout, la plus grande partie des célébrations de la Journée a eu lieu dans les écoles avec des écoliers. Cela nous donne un grand espoir pour l’avenir. Nous élevons une nouvelle génération qui, espérons-le, pourra enfin entreprendre l’abolition de la guerre.

Les écoliers ont pris part à de nombreuses actions pour la Journée, mais pour moi, le plus symbolique a été de lâcher de ballons et de colombes dans le ciel et de les regarder se disperser avec le vent, comme s’ils partaient faire un tour du monde. Après tout, le ciel est quelque chose que nous partageons avec tous les autres peuples du monde. Symboliquement, “la solution souffle dans le vent”, comme dans le chanson anti-guerre écrit par Bob Dylan de ma génération opposée à la guerre du Vietnam.

La croissance de la conscience anti-guerre, exprimée par “la solution qui souffle dans le vent”, est absolument essentielle à nos espoirs de paix, y compris le désarmement nucléaire et l’abolition de la guerre. Comme je l’ai souvent souligné dans ce blog, cela n’est peut-être pas suffisant, car nous devons également mettre en place un cadre institutionnel pour la paix. Mais même si cela ne suffit pas, cela reste essentiel et indispensable.

Soyons comme les enfants et lançons nos ballons, nos colombes et nos désirs de paix dans le vent pour arriver dans tous les coins de notre planète! Et sachant que les jours sont déjà compté avant que les pouvoirs nucleaires tombent dans un crash économique, attendons avec impatience ce jour quand leur pouvoir se sera écrasé et quand ils seront remplacés aux Nations Unies par de véritables représentants des peuples conscient de ce qui soufle dans le vent !

Movement for Sustainable Development: Model for Culture of Peace?

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From the beginning, sustainable development has been considered to be an essential component of the culture of peace, one of the eight action areas of the Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999.

In our analysis of the National Culture of Peace Programme in El Salvador, published in 1996, Francisco Lacayo Parajon considered that the global ecological movement provided the best model for the development of a global movement for the culture of peace. He described seven stages of its development, beginning with the adoption of a new paradigm, open to the participation to various sectors, so long as they share the same basic principles and culminating in its internalization in the daily life of people, until it becomes a benchmark of a great majority of societies.

Is the global movement for sustainable development still a good model for the culture of peace? I think the answer is yes, but in a way we did not envisage in 1996.

To some extent, it is true as we predicted that the new paradigm of sustainable development has become accepted and integrated into the thinking of a large proportion of humanity. But there is a new and different stage emerging now, as described in this month’s bulletin of CPNN, based on simple economic forces. This can be seen in the changing nature of fossil fuel divestment: Originally, it “was entirely driven by moral concerns—institutions pulled their money out of oil, gas, and coal companies because they didn’t want to be contributing to the destruction of a stable climate. Now, divestment is increasingly seen as a smart financial move for investors.” An example of this comes from India where “new renewable energy is less expensive to build than it costs to run most of the existing coal fired power in the nation—let alone construct new plants.”

Should we be surprised that economic forces turn out to be the most powerful factor in social change? Not if we were Karl Marx 150 years ago who analyzed historical change as follows: the era of social revolution is preceded by a transformation of the material productive forces of society, i.e. its economy, due to their conflict with the previous material productive forces which have become fetters. Put in terms of example of India, the reliance on coal-fired power is becoming more expensive than the new technologies of wind and solar power.

But is this relevant for the movement for a culture of peace? Yes, if we take seriously the analysis made several decades ago by the economist Lloyd Dumas in his book The Overburdened Economy. He shows that in the long run military production is a burden to the economy, draining its talent and material resources away from production which is useful for people. This was, in fact, the reason for the collapse of the Soviet economy (and Soviet empire) at the end of the 1980’s and it seems likely to produce the collapse of the American economy (and American empire) in the next few years. Recalling how the collapse of the Soviet empire produced a collapse of the linked economies of Eastern Europe, we should understand that the collapse of the American empire will have a similar effect throughout the world due to the interdependence of economies which has increased over time.

Already we see that the paradigm of a culture of peace, as opposed to a culture of war, is becoming internalized in the consciousness of a large proportion of humanity.

Can we not expect that the closer we come to a collapse of the present system, the more it will become evident that wise financial investment should seek out productive sectors instead of militarized sectors of the economy? If and when this occurs, then the time will be ripe for a social revolution from the culture of war to a culture of peace.

“Slow News” vs “Fast History”

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This month’s CPNN bulletin describes the “slow news” of culture of peace as it has been developing for some time now in Africa. The reforestation of the Great Green Wall and the Plant a Million Trees initiative seem to symbolize the slow pace of the process, especially when one recalls that the pre-colonial peace mechanism of Africa was to meet and resolve conflicts under the village tree.

At the same time this blog last month suggested that history is moving much faster than we think and that the collapse of the American empire is likely to come within the next two years.

This leads me to the question: Can the slow development of the culture of peace make it possible for a transition from the culture of war to a culture of peace when the American empire crashes?

I realize that it is out of fashion since the crash of the Soviet empire, but the best analytic framework to understand history is still that of dialectics as conceived by Hegel, refined by Marx and put into practice by Lenin. As Lenin wrote in his letter to the American workers in 1918: “Historical action is not the pavement of Nevsky Prospekt.” It does not proceed “easily and smoothly.” Instead, it proceeds “by leaps, catastrophes, and revolutions.” Put another way, there are times when the pace of history accelerates.

It seems likely that there will be an acceleration in the development of the culture of peace in the next two years as more and more people realize that the system is collapsing and needs to be replaced. I can see that there has already been such an acceleration in the last year or two, especially since the election of President Trump in the United States. Trump’s policies are the most evident sympton of the process, already many decades in the making, that brings us to the end of the empire. We have entered a period of accelerated history; both negative and positive forces are speeding up.

The key question is whether we are preparing the specific institutional frameworks that are needed for the transition? I have previously suggested that we need international frameworks for culture of peace that are above the level of the individual nation-states.

One such framework could be the African Union (AU) which is included in the “slow news” from Africa this month. As an international body, above the level of the nation-state, the AU is relatively free from the culture of war, and it has already made some initiatives towards a culture of peace.

Of course, the AU does not have many resources. Its previous benefactor, Muammar  Gaddafi, was assassinated at the initiative of the EU and the United States, especially due to the policy of Hillary Clinton who was the American Secretary of State. We don’t know precisely why Clinton undertook this policy, but it seems likely that it was, at least in part, to deprive the AU of Gaddafi’s support. After all, it was during her tenure that the United States was secretly establishing military bases throughout Africa. To some extent the support previously provided to the AU by Gaddafi has been taken up by China, but will this be continued or expanded after a crash of the American dollar? Maybe not, since China is heavily invested in the dollar and may have to reduce its overseas commitments.

For a while it seemed that UNASUR could develop as a regional organization for the culture of peace, but recent developments in Latin America have undermined that possibility. As described in an article from the ALBA movement, the major countries of UNASUR have withdrawn their support for the leadership of Bolivia which was dedicated to the culture of peace: “The sovereign and integrationist vision promoted by Bolivia and the other countries of ALBA-TCP is opposed by the war strategy of other UNASUR members, subordinated – as throughout history – to the imperial powers, at this moment in particular to the United States , whose elite tries to control again what they consider their backyard. For this purpose it is the political, media, economic and military siege against Venezuela and the diplomatic offensive against Unasur and CELAC.” [translation from the Spanish by CPNN.

As long as international organizations are based on nation-states, they are dominated directly by the culture of war (such as the UN, the EU, etc.) or else they are dominated indirectly through sabotage, as in the case of the African Union and UNASUR. This is not surprising when we consider the history of the culture of war and we find that over the course of the centuries it has become monopolized by the state.

At one time, there was some hope that the socialist countries might be able to play a positive role for peace, but they, too, were cultures of war. And in a struggle between a socialist culture of war and a capitalist cuture of war, it has always been the capitalists who win because they profit more from international exploitation. This was very evident towards the end of the Cold War when the Rand Corporation, an American culture of war think-tank, was paid to assess the economic relations betwen the Soviet Union and their “satellite countries” of Eastern Europe. They found that the net flow of wealth was from the center (the Soviet Union) towards the periphery (Eastern Europe), true to the principle of socialist solidarity. This is the opposite of the relationship between the imperial capitalist powers and the countries of the South. This becomes evident when you take into account the economic transactions that are secret and illegal.

For this reason, I have tended to put a priority on institutional frameworks for peace based on regional or global organizations of parliamentarians or cities instead of states, but for the moment it seems that they are also in a “slow mode” of development.

It seems that time is running out . . .

Towards a global movement against all violence

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The growing mobilizations by teenagers in the US and Palestine, cited in this month’s CPNN bulletin, remind me of the mobilizations by youth against the War in Vietnam in the 1960’s and by youth against Apartheid in the 1970’s.

If we learn from those mobilizations, now 50 years ago, there is a possibility that they can be expanded into a global movement against all violence.

Both began as localized movements and rapidly spread around the world, especially through the engagement of young people.

I had been active in the anti-Vietnam movement in the mid-60’s in the US and spent a year in Italy in 1968. The students in Italy joined the movement with enthusiasm and enlarged the agenda to include a general demand for education reform. 25 years later, working with the UNESCO team for a National Culture of Peace Program in El Salvador, we discovered that each of us had been radicalized in the movement of the 60’s and active in more than one country (USA/Italy, Nicaragua/France, Ecuador/France, etc.).

The student-led movement against Apartheid in South Africa was picked up by students around the world, including those at my university in the United States which became the first American university to divest its portfolio from companies doing business with the Apartheid regime. I was proud to be their advisor.

At that time there were still active movements of Communist Parties around the world that provided strategic and tactical support to the youth movements, helping them to achieve global networks and inspiration.

The Communists also helped broaden the agendas of action against all sorts of violence. Our actions in the USA against the Vietnam War were linked by the Left to the actions of the Civil Rights movement against the violence of racism. For example, with the help of the Left, a civil rights activist from the South who had been threatened with death in the South came north to help with our political campaign in Connecticut which gained the greatest number of votes of any anti-war candidate in 1966. And in April 1967 Martin Luther King united the civil rights movement with the anti-war movement in two dramatic speeches, one of which he delivered to an anti-war march to the United Nations. Accused of being pro-communist by FBI director J.Edgar Hoover, he was assassinated one year later.

In the 1960’s, It was Communist veterans from the 1930’s who taught us to recognize the agents provocateurs of COINTELPRO, the government agents who tried to infiltrate our ranks with guns and dynamite in order to give the government an excuse to crush our movement with violence.

The movement against the violence of Apartheid produced political leadership of people like Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela whose inspiration reached far beyond South Africa, inspiring us all towards a global movement against all kinds of violence and oppression.

Those of us who are veterans of the 60’s and 70’s need to assume the role played by veterans of the 30’s in those years and provide strategic and tactical support to the new generation. We need to help them broaden their agenda to protest all forms of violence and broaden their scope to become a truly global movement.

The time is short. Johan Galtung has repeated his prediction, first made in 2004, that the American Empire cannot be sustained beyond the year 2020. The window of opportunity is soon arriving when the culture of war and violence can be transformed into a culture of peace and nonviolence. The strength is in the hands of the new generation, but the support and advice of the older generation is still needed.

Towards a World without Walls

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    (Une version française suit en dessous)

Walls and frontiers are in the news these days – constructed by states in order to keep people out. At the same time, as we see in this month’s CPNN bulletin, it seems that movements of activists opposed to these walls are continuing to grow.In France, activists continue to aid migrants trying to escape from the wars and poverty of Africa and the Middle East and trying to enter France despite prosecution by the French authorities. As stated by Amnesty International, “These people are not traffickers or delinquents; they are worried, intimidated, pursued, defending human rights first and foremost.”

In the United States, activists continue to gather momentum in their movement to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants by the Trump administration. This month the mayor of New Haven proclaims “We’re the resistance”, while Trump continues to insist on the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico to stop further immigration.

A similar wall already exists, constructed by the state of Israel to keep people from entering from Palestine. But movements of solidarity continue to grow in opposition, such as the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement newly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

It will soon be 30 years since the historic destruction of the wall the separated East from West Berlin and East from West Germany. But another similar wall still exists, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Can the Korean wall be removed? There is a glimmer of hope for this in the actions around the Olympic games in Korea, where the top organizer said in his message to the closing ceremony: “The seed of peace you have planted here in PyeongChang will grow as a big tree, . . . a cornerstone of the unification of the Korean Peninsula.”

The Olympic Games can be seen as a foretaste of a world without walls. As stated by the UN Secretary-General, ““The Olympic spirit allows people to be together, from all over the world, to respect each other, to assert the values of tolerance, of mutual understanding that are the basic elements for peace to be possible.” The vision of thousands of athletes marching and mingling together at the opening and closing of this year’s Korean games provided viewers with a concrete image of this spirit.

In Africa, the actions for a culture of peace supported by UNESCO are designed not only to promote a lasting peace and endogenous development, but also Pan-Africanism, in other words, an Africa without walls, as was the dream a century ago of activists like W.E.B. Dubois.

The new generation can be seen as force towards a world without walls. The winners of the Youth Solidarity Fund of the United Nations Alliance of Civilization are young people acting in solidarity both within and across national frontiers. They are from a generation that travels and exchanges ideas more than ever before in history, a generation that resists visas and that crosses borders.

The construction of walls, the defense of borders and the demand for visas are among the very few functions of the state that cannot be done better by local authorities, on the one hand, and by a renewed United Nations and regional organizations, on the other hand. Walls, borders and visas go along with the most intensive function of the state which is war and war preparations, along with the taxation that supports them. Other than these, we could do without the state. Management of justice, agriculture, commerce, education, energy, labor, healthcare, transportation and communication which extend beyond the local level can already, for the most part, be managed by the various agencies of the United Nations and regional organizations such as the European Union, African Union, etc.

Of course, for a world without walls, we need a world without the injustices of war and exploitation that are producing the terrible waves of migration from south to north.

With this in mind, we can consider those who work for a world without walls are working for the transition from a culture of war to a culture of peace.

PS (added 5 March): In listing the functions of the state, I neglected to mention the establishment and enforcement of tariffs. This has taken on special importance in recent days with the announcement by President Trump that he will impose tariffs on imported metals. The announcement has been met by complaints of the business media that these actions risk to launch “trade wars.” Note the relationship to the state’s monopoly on the culture of war! In fact, according to the classical sociologist Max Weber, the state can be defined as the organization that has a “monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.”

* * * * * * VERS UN MONDE SANS MURS * * * * * *

Les murs et les frontières sont dans les infos ces jours-ci – construits par les Etats afin d’empêcher les gens d’entrer. En même temps, comme nous le voyons dans le bulletin du CPNN de ce mois-ci, il semble que le nombre de mouvements et de militants opposés à ces murs ne cesse d’augmenter.

En France, malgré les poursuites engagées par les autorités, les activistes continuent d’aider les migrants qui tentent d’échapper aux guerres et à la pauvreté de l’Afrique et du Moyen-Orient. Comme l’a déclaré Amnesty International, «ces personnes ne sont ni des trafiquants ni des délinquants, elles sont inquiètes, intimidées, poursuivies et défendent avant tout les droits de l’Homme».

Aux États-Unis, les militants continuent à prendre de l’ampleur dans leur mouvement contre la déportation des migrants sans papiers par l’administration Trump. Ce mois-ci, le maire de New Haven proclame «Nous sommes la résistance», tandis que Trump continue d’insister sur la construction d’un mur entre les États-Unis et le Mexique pour arrêter l’immigration !!

Un mur similaire existe déjà, construit par l’Etat d’Israël afin d’empêcher les gens venant de Palestine. Mais les mouvements de solidarité continuent de grandir dans l’opposition, comme le mouvement international de boycott, de désinvestissement et de sanctions, nouvellement nominé pour la prix Nobel de la paix.

Il y aura bientôt 30 ans depuis la destruction historique du mur qui séparait l’Est et l’Ouest, à la fois de Berlin et de l’Allemagne. Mais un autre mur similaire existe encore. Il s’agit de la zone démilitarisée entre la Corée du Nord et la Corée du Sud. Le mur coréen peut-il être retiré? Il y a une lueur d’espoir dans les actions autour des Jeux Olympiques en Corée, où le top organisateur a déclaré dans son message à la cérémonie de clôture: “La graine de paix que vous avez planté ici à PyeongChang va grandir comme un grand arbre. . . une pierre angulaire de l’unification de la péninsule coréenne.”

Les Jeux Olympiques peuvent être considérés comme un avant-goût d’un monde sans murs. Comme l’a déclaré le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, «L’esprit olympique permet aux gens d’être ensemble, de partout dans le monde, de se respecter, d’affirmer les valeurs de tolérance, de compréhension mutuelle qui sont les éléments de base de la paix possible.” La vision de milliers d’athlètes qui marchent et se mêlent à l’ouverture et à la fermeture des jeux coréens de cette année a donné aux spectateurs une image concrète de cet esprit !

En Afrique, les actions pour une culture de la paix soutenues par l’UNESCO visent non seulement à promouvoir une paix durable et un développement endogène, mais aussi le panafricanisme, autrement dit une Afrique sans murs, comme l’ont revé il y a un siècle des militants comme W.E.B. Dubois.

La nouvelle génération peut être considérée comme une force pour un monde sans murs. Les lauréats du Fonds de solidarité des jeunes de l’Alliance des civilisations des Nations Unies sont des jeunes qui agissent en solidarité à la fois à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des frontières nationales. Ils proviennent d’une génération qui voyage et échange des idées plus que jamais auparavant dans l’histoire, une génération qui résiste aux visas et qui traverse les frontières.

La construction des murs, la défense des frontières et la demande de visas sont parmi les très peu de fonctions étatiques qui pouraient être facilement réalisées par les autorités locales, ou par les organisations régionales et une Organisation des Nations Unies reformée. Les murs, les frontières et les visas sont liés aux fonctions les plus intense de l’Etat, à savoir la guerre et ces préparatifs, ainsi que la fiscalité qui les soutient. A part cela, nous pourrions bien vivre sans Etat. La gestion de la justice, de l’agriculture, du commerce, de l’éducation, de l’énergie, du travail, des soins de santé, des transports et de la communication peut déjà être gérée par les différentes agences des Nations Unies et par les organisations régionales telles que Union Européene, Union africaine, etc.

Bien sûr, pour un monde sans murs, nous avons besoin d’un monde sans les injustices de la guerre et de l’exploitation qui produisent les terribles vagues de migration du sud vers le nord.

Dans cette optique, nous pouvons considérer que ceux qui travaillent pour un monde sans murs travaillent en même temps pour une transition d’une culture de guerre à une culture de paix.

PS (ajouté le 5 mars): En énumérant les fonctions de l’Etat, j’ai négligé de mentionner l’établissement et l’application des tarifs du Commerce. Cela a pris une importance particulière ces derniers jours, après l’annonce par le président Trump de l’imposition de tarifs sur les métaux importés. L’annonce a été accueillie très froidememt par les médias d’affaires qui disent que ces actions risquent de déclencher des «guerres commerciales». Notons la relation avec le monopole de l’Etat sur la culture de la guerre ! En fait, selon le sociologue classique Max Weber, l’Etat peut être défini comme l’organisation qui a «le monopole de l’usage légitime de la force physique sur un territoire donné».

The struggle to eliminate violence against women is essential to the culture of peace

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The advance this year of the struggle to eilmininate violence against women is an important step forward for the global movement for a culture of peace. Here’s why.

First of all, violence against women has always been an intrinsic component of war. This goes back to prehistory when women were excluded from war due to the fact the practice of patrilocal exogamous marriage (husband remains in his native village and marries a wife from outside) ensured that wars were conducted between the husband of a woman on one side and her father and brothers on the other side. As a result, since warriors were exclusively men, they were free to capture and rape the women they found when vanquishing another community.

The male domination of the culture of war has characterized all human societies since the beginning of history. The male rulers of the first empires were not only the military commanders but also the heads of the state religion. Female heads of state and religion were so rare that they are considered to be curiosities of history: for example the pharaoh Hatshepsut in ancient Egypt, and the (mythical?) female Catholic Pope in the Middle Ages.

The male domination of the culture of war has come down to our present world system transformed by previous changes in economic systems, from slavery to colonialism to neo-colonialism, but all of these systems remain essentially sexist.

Huge economic industries, part of the culture of war, are essentially sexist. Of course, female prostitution goes back to the beginning of recorded history. But what about modern advertising the use of scarcely clad female models to sell automobilies, beauty products, etc. etc.? In capitalist economies, women are often considered as a commodity to be bought and sold. Seen in this context, rape can be considered in many cases as the forceful theft of the female commodity.

Apart from physical violence the exploitation of women in the modern economy is a form of structural violence. Women are not paid for their essential work in the bearing and raising of children. And in the workplace they continue to be paid substantially less than men in the equivalent occupation.

Political leaders often echo the sexism. The current US President is an example as reported on many occasions (for a list see the this article in The Guardian). Fortunately, we find more political leaders speaking out against sexism, such as the Presidents of France, Turkey and Canada as described in this month’s CPNN bulletin.

Second, violence against women diminishes their capacity to play their essential role as leaders in the transition to a culture of peace. Their role is essential as a result of their exclusion and suffering from war and the culture of war which gives them special reason to take action. In fact, we find women in leadership wherever there are campaigns for a culture of peace, but it would be even greater if all women were free from the threat of violence.

Third, the struggle for any one of the eight program areas of the culture of peace is a struggle for the others as well, because the movement for a culture of peace is an integral and synergistic struggle. For example, the rights of women are an important component of human rights in general. Similarly, sustainable and equitable economic development and democratic participation require the economic and political equality of women. Education for peace requires that girls have the same access to education as boys. In fact, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said, unless the international community tackles the problem of violence against women, the world will not eradicate poverty or reach any of its other goals.

In general, we should not make the mistake of thinking that the struggle to eliminate violence against women is just a struggle of the women themselves. It has to be the struggle of everyone, men as well as women, if we are to advance towards a culture of peace.

Here’s the question. Where’s the answer?

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At the end of this month’s CPNN bulletin, having remarked that youth and children took the lead in this year’s global celebration of the International Day of Peace, we concluded that “Thanks to the new generation, yes, there is a global movement for a culture of peace.”

That leads to a question. Can this global movement continue to grow to the point that it can promote the transition from our current culture of war to a new culture, a culture of peace? And if so, how?

I don’t have the answer to this question.

As I look for an answer, I recall three global peace movements in which I have participated over the years, and I wonder if we can take lessons from the history of those examples.

1) The global movements against the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s, for a nuclear freeze in the 1989’s and against the war in Iraq in 2003.
2) The peace movement associated with communist parties, both East and West, during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
3) The Manifesto 2000 associated with the United Nations International Year for the Culture of Peace in the year 2000.

Trying to understand the accomplishments, failures and potentials of the movements of the 60’s and 80’s I wrote The American Peace Movements in 1985. Both movements showed the potential for spontaneous, rapid and massive mobilizations when the historical conditions are ripe. But like the movement in 2003 against the war in Iraq, they ended just as quickly because they were reactions against a particular threat and disappeared once the threat subsided.

Lesson 1: We need a global peace movement that is stable and growing over time.

At that point in the 1980’s I turned to the communist peace movements since they seemed (at the time) to be more stable and able to grow over the long term. I still have a copy of the book from the remarkable “International Meeting of Communist and Worker’s Parties” that took place in Moscow in 1969 with representatives speaking from 75 countries. Of course, they supported the Vietnamese, but they called for peace; they did not advocate war against the United States.

At that time I often went to the Soviet Union and even worked there as a scientist at a few points. But in the end I was disappointed. Later on, after analyzing the History ot the Culture of War, I came to realize that like all states and empires, they were a culture of war, which led inexorably to their collapse (like what I see now happening to the American empire).

Despite the collapse of its dreams of state power, the communist peace movement left important traces for peace. Last week, we saw this in the school mobilizations for the International Day of Peace in the ex-Soviet republics and in the extensive mobilization of celebrations throughout France by the Mouvement de la Paix and the French Communist Party.

Lesson 2: The movement must be independent of the state because the state is intrinsically the culture of war. This is where I disagree with the communists, as they persist in seeking state power.

Finally, there was my experience as director of the United Nations International Year for the Culture of Peace when we mobilized 75 million people to sign the Manifesto 2000, promising to promote a culture of peace in their daily life, family, work, community, country and region. Its strength came from the fact that it was a well-coordinated campaign, involving all the organizations of the UN, the UNESCO Commissions in the Member States, and the major international NGOs. We even sent letters of invitations to thousands of universities and mayors. And the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration and Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace that we sent from Paris to New York which called for “a global movement for a culture of peace.”

But the UN coordination was also its weakness, because the coordination was in one place (UNESCO, Paris) and its head was cut off by the United States and its allies who control the UN, and who halted the UNESCO culture of peace program in 2001.

Again the same lesson: The movement must be independent of the state because the state is intrinsically the culture of war.

I still believe in the potential of the United Nations to promote a global movement for a culture of peace, if it could be made independent of the state by passing its control to regional parliaments or regional organizations of mayors. But progress towards that goal is painfully slow.

As I said in the beginning, I don’t have an answer to the question: Can this global movement continue to grow to the point that it can promote the transition from our current culture of war to a new culture, a culture of peace? And if so, how?

But, as always, history does not allow us to formulate an answer until after we have clearly formulated the question. And so, posing the question is a step forward. And who knows? Perhaps you readers, especially those of you from the new generation, can take us further and begin to provide an answer.

Trump and Le Pen: Symptoms of the empire’s collapse

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What is the appeal of Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen? Why have they able to get so many votes?

A superficial response is easy: Voters are angry and fed up with the present political system and they will vote for whoever best shares their anger and damns the present political system. The more the media attacks Trump, the more his US supporters are confirmed that he represents their own rejection of the system. And the more the other political parties and political elite attack Le Pen, the more the French voters are confirmed that she is allied with them against the present political system.

But a more profound response requires that we analyze why voters are angry and fed up. One cause is their economic hardships. The average wages of a worker continue to decrease year after year. More and more families are forced to work two or three jobs just to survive. And they understand, to some extent, that the problem is due to government policies that support capitalist exploitation, enabling the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. On the other hand, many are confused, misled by populists like Trump and Le Pen, who tell them that the problem is caused by imigrants who take their jobs and receive government welfare.

There is a classic term to describe the anger and frustration related to economic hardship that is blamed on the government and other institutions of the society. It is called “alienation.” The young Karl Marx devoted his doctoral thesis to this topic, describing how industrial workers, unlike handicraft workers in previous centuries, no longer had control over the products that they created. Instead, the capitlalist controlled production and took the profits from it. The more the worker toiled, the more the capitalist got richer and could exploit him even more.

Ironically, when I worked in the 70’s and 80’s in the old Soviet Union, I found that my so-called communist friends had never heard the Russian word for alienation (отчуждение), even though their economic conditions were deteriorating as their country’s economy declined under the burden of the arms race. However, they knew that the government was lying to them about the economic situation. They would say “You can find the truth anywhere except in Pravda and the news anywhere except in Izvestia.” These were the two leading state-run news media in the Soviet Union and their names are the Russian words for Truth and News.

Nowadays, Trump and Le Pen make short-term gains by criticiizing the news media. In the short-term, they gain support of many voters who have come to mistrust pronouncements by the government and the capitalist class that are repeated by the media. The voters think that Trump and Le Pen are “on their side.”

But in the long run, they are playing with fire.

In fact, it is true that the media are lying and that the government is directly or indirectly responsible for the lies. If you read Rolling Stone magazine back in the 1970’s, you would have know from Carl Bernstein’s article that all the major media were infiltrated by the CIA during the Vietnam War in order to ensure support by the American people for the war. Although the Bernstein article was simply the account of the US Senate hearings, headed by Senator Frank Church, he could not publish it anywhere except in Rolling Stone. Why? Of course, because the other media were controlled by the CIA!

The Bernstein story is not an exception. It is more and more the rule. In fact, as I conclude in The History of the Culture of War, the control of the media through secrets and lies has become the most important weapon of the culture of war.

We all know now about the big lie of weapons of mass destruction used to justify the war in Iraq. How many remember the falsified Gulf of Tonkin incident that was used to justify the war in Vietnam? Few know the reason for the war against Ghadafi in Libya: it was because he was using Libya’s oil money to strengthen the African Union to the point that the Africans began to resist exploitation by the Americans and Europeans. And unless you dig deep in the foreign media you will not know that the media reports of a poison gas attack by the Syrian government used to justify American intervention, was based on what appears to be faked videos by the White Helmets, an organization established and funded by the US and UK governments as part of their campaign in the Syrian war.

In fact, control of the media, including secrets and lies, is necessary to the culture of war if is to survive. This is due to two other general historical trends: the increase in democracy throughout the world, and the increasing anti-war sentiment throughout the world. People don’t want their country to make war. A few years ago, a political scientist at Yale got a lot of press by arguing that democracies do not make war against other democracies. When I looked at his data, I came to a different intepretation: in order to conduct a war, a democracy has to convince its people that the enemy is not a democracy or else they have to make war secretly, because otherwise the people will not support it. For example, the American wars against Cuba and Nicaragua, as well as the Cold War against Russia, were possible because they could convince the American voter that these were totalitarian countries rather than democracies. And in order to make war against Chile they had to conduct it secretly. The same process is evident today as the government (and the media) condemn Libya and Syria as totalitarian, while supporting even more authoritatian allies, especially Saudi Arabia. The new form of American warfare, the drone attacks that were greatly increased by Obama, enable the US to engage in secret wars throughout the world.

But in the end, the political and economic system of the American empire will pay a heavy price for the manipulation of the news. As it becomes more blatant and more universal and more evident, it increases the alienation of the people from their government and their media. In the short run, it opens the door to demagogues like Trump and Le Pen and perhaps even worse yet to come.

But the heaviest price will come when the economic system collapses. The people of America and Euorope may do what the Soviet people did when their economic system collapsed. The Soviets stayed in their homes and the troops stayed in their barracks, saying “good riddance!” to the Gorbachev government and the Communist Party in Russia. The system collapsed with a whimper rather than a bang!

It’s a vicious cycle. The alienation of voters makes possible the electoral victories of demagogues and fascists. In turn, these demagogues and facists increase government priorities for military spending which, eventually, will push the American empire over the same cliff as the Russian empire before it, unless of course they stumble into a world war which would be and even worse outcome.

Fortunately, since our species is resilient and our history is dialectical, there are positive reactions against the election of demagogues. As we continue to cover in CPNN, there is a strong positive fightback against the Trump administration which this month concentrated on saving the planet from his disastrous denial of climate change.

And there is also a positive fightback against the secrets and lies of the government and the mass media in the form of independent media. Thanks to modern technology, internet news systems like CPNN globally as well as many local independent news websites and low-cost local radio stations have been made possible by technological progress. And more and more people are relying on the independent media for their news.

I got a taste of this last month when I was invited to participate in a panel discussion in Oregon with other independent media operators on the topic “Cultivating a Culture of Peace in an Era of Trump: What’s the Media’s Role?” It was good to see that CPNN is not the only independent media out there, but there are many good local media in Oregon as well. And thanks to modern technology I was able to take part in the discussion by means of Skype.

To quote the National Coordinator for the Peoples Climate Movement, “Today’s actions are not for one day or one week or one year. We are a movement that is getting stronger everyday for our families, our communities and our planet. To change everything, we need everyone.”