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Organization: Österreichisches Netzwerk für Frieden und Gewaltfreiheit (Austrian Network for Peace and Nonviolence
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Postal address of organization/institution

A - 1080 Vienna, Lederergasse 23/3/27

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

+ 43 1 408 53 32

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

The Austrian Network for Peace and Nonviolence is member of the International Coalition for the International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. A representative of the Network participates in the administrative board meetings and the general assemblies. The Austrian Network supports the Campaign  on Children’s Right to Violence-free Education and to Peace and Non-violence Education, initiated by the International Coalition.
The Austrian Network is partner in the Grundtvig Learning Partnership for Lifelong Lerning EXPECT: Expansion and Exchange of Practices in Education for Conflict Transformation, in the framework of the EU program for Lifelong Learning. This project lasts from 2009 - 2011 and includes besides the Austrian Network organisations from Belgium, Germany, France (The International Coalition for the Decade and the Frensh Coordination for the Decade), Hungary and The Netherlands). The aim of the Learning Partnership is to implement and test a training course on nonviolence for adults, compiled in a previous Learning Partnership (2007 - 2009).
The Austrian Network for Peace and Nonviolence is a network with 33 Austrian member organisations working for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights.
Members of the Austrian Network participated in the International Salons for Peace Initiatives in Paris (2004, 2006 and 2008) presenting their work on information booths and in workshops.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

- Study day  in cooperation with the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria. Topics: “Lay down your arms. 100 years of Nobel Peace Prize for Bertha von Suttner” (2005), “Teachers educate for Peace” (2006), “On the way towards a gender sensitive society” (2007), “What can I do for Peace” (2008), “Children have got rights” (2009).
- International Peace Day: In Salzburg, this Day is celebrated with ceremonial acts with artistic performances in public places or schools. In Vienna, the Peace Day is celebrated with different creative events, for example a “Peace Mile” with information booths” (2006) or in cooperation with “The Art Miles Mural Project”, a workshop with Austrian children and children with migration background painting together canvases of their ideas about peace.
In 2005 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Bertha von Suttner different projects for children and adolescents were offered:
- “Without violence, but not without power” (International Fellowship of Reconciliation Austria) highlighted women’s peace work. A Power Point Presentation with 22 portraits of women peacemakers in Austria and around the world was compiled and supplemented with information on Peace Building, reconciliation work in conflict areas and the roles of women and men in war and peace. 15 schools took part in this project.
- Imagine Peace: was an international network-project from 2003 till 2006 in remembrance of Bertha von Suttner. The objective of our project was to bring about new images of peace in distinction to the general negative-definition of peace as the absence of war.
The results of this project and a discussion on the idea of conflicts as the potentialities for personal growth were presented in the festive hall of the Vienna Town Hall. Children and young people from 11 European countries participated producing creative work like paintings, music, dances and poetry, hence demonstrating peace as the result of dealing with tensions and conflict-experiences of all kind in an active and constructive way.
- A highlight of this year was a ceremonial act, initiated by the Austrian Peace Society Bertha von Suttner in the Austrian parliament with a speech of Hildegard Goss-Mayr, honorary president of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation.
2006/2007: A study research concerning the significance of peace education within the curricula of teacher training in Austria was accomplished. The Network launched the "Initiative for peace education - global learning - sustainable development". Members of the Network participated in several meetings and conferences on this topic and and tried to promote public awareness on the necessity to include peace building as an integral part of teacher and multiplier training.
2008/2009: The Network supported the project "Alpine Peace Crossing", a peace walk organized in order to commemorate the 5000-10000 Jewish refugees who were embarking on probably the most difficult and arduous path to freedom - over the peaks of the Krimmler Tauern. Two members of the Austrian Network participated in the peace walk with young refugees seeking political asylum in Austria. They are also engaged in establishing a peace advisory council in Krimml (province of Salzburg).
2009: The Network supported the Peace Festival Attersee (a lake in the province of Upper Austria) arranged by "New Peace". The festival's program included workshops, readings, artistic performances, exhibitions and chains of lights.
Peace Matters (Konfliktkultur): The project  aims to combine different fields of peace activities on the basic consideration that peace is not a condition of life that develops or disappears by itself, but the result of our ways of dealing with each other, dealing with ourselves, and realizing our needs and ideas. Peace Matters aims to contrast the expected media hype in 2014 on the occasion of the commemoration of the First World War with a European Network of actions for Peace Commemorations. Peace matters includes projects like a “Viennese Peace Path”, an alternative guide through the city of Vienna from the perspective of Peace, “Peace acts” aiming to establish a network promoting different theatre techniques and the development of plays about outstanding personalities engaged in peace work as well as a virtual peace forum and a Bertha von Suttner peace museum.

Training Course on nonviolence (Fellowship of Reconciliation Austria):  Annual training course on nonviolence for adults  with 10 – 20 participants each year. The course consists of five weekend-modules and one week in summer. The course provides practical training in dealing with conflicts and situations of violence and enables participants to pass the new experiences and knowledge to others. Based on the experiences of the participants in their daily life and their social and political environment, the scope of topics includes the theoretical base of nonviolence, dealing with personal conflicts, nonviolence in social and political areas, support of peace processes in a sustainable way, and nonviolence in the economy and working world.

Why war (Friedensbüro Salzburg): On the base of the motto “Who wants peace should speak of war”, the homepage WhyWar.at provides broad information, methods and links on the issue of war and peace and addresses pupils and teachers. The homepage also serves as a base for yearly school projects concerning war and the exchange of actions.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

The Austrian Network always tried to include in the project work mainly children, adolescents and young adults. Therefore we are convinced that the number of individuals who learned and reflected their own ideas about peace and nonviolence increased significantly. Also the number of young people involved in peace work increased definitly. We noticed an increased interest of governmental and public institutions in peace education and the number of training offers for teachers grew.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

There is hardly any support from governmental or public institutions for the Decade and it is very doubtful that local or federal politicians got knowledge about the Decade at all. There is also no public awareness for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence. A lot of people involved in education (teachers, NGOs) try to pass on the spirit and values of peace and nonviolence - truth, justice, compassion, human rights, democracy and reconciliation, while some politicians and some of the mass media are working on the segregation of society.
Most of the member organisations of the Network face a lack of financial and human resources. Therefore the time and energy they could allocate for the promotion of a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence was very limited. The demand for projects in the field of peace education is much bigger than the capacity of NGOs. During the last years it became more and more difficult to encourage member organisations to contribute to the common work.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

Members of the Network are planning in cooperation with other European countries (especially from Eastern Europe) a Peace Salon to celebrate the end of the Decade in Budapest in May 2011. Initiated by "Konfliktkultur" (member of the Network), a first step was taken by organizing an international workshop in November 2009. The realization of the project depends on financial resources.
Members of the Network applied in cooperation with organisations of other European organisations for a Grundtvig Learning Partnership (in the framework of the EU program for Lifelong Learning) to make a research about the effectiveness of the activities produced in the field of peace in Europe, based on the work and experiences of different European organizations during the Decade for a Culture of Peace.
In continuation of the unique cooperation of the Austrian Network with the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria there will be a common event in February 2011 in Vienna called the “Danube Peace Wave”, organized by the Protestant Churches in Württemberg, Bavaria, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. The event, based on the quotation of the bible “Let justice roll on like a river” (Amos 5:24), will “flow” like a wave from Württemberg to Romania.
The Austrian Network for Peace and Nonviolence will hold a reflection day on the Decade in September 2010. Depending on the results the members will decide in which way the work will continue.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

By civil society: increased networking and international cooperation.
By governments: Implementing the UN and UNESCO constitutions, conventions, declarations etc. and other relevant treaties related to peace, especially on disarmament, that have been signed in the past. Cut military expenditure and dedicate the released resources to peace (also to NGOs working in this field!)
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Organization: Österreichisches Netzwerk für Frieden und Gewaltfreiheit (Austrian Network for Peace and Nonviolence

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