Peace-building and Conflict Resolution Centre at Maze Long Kesh
The granting of planning permission was announced in mid-April for the Daniel Libeskind-designed Peace building and Conflict Resolution Centre (PbCRC) at the Maze Long Kesh, near Lisburn. This Centre and preserved buildings on site will take up under 30 acres of the 347 acre site. The Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation (responsible for the overall development of the site) has unveiled its plans, with the theme ‘From peace to prosperity’, see the website. See also editorial on the PbCRC in this issue.
NI Peace Monitoring Report
The second bumper bundle of facts on which to judge peace and progress in Northern Ireland is now available in the shape of the ‘Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report’, Number Two, compiled by Paul Nolan and backed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and NI Community Relations Council. It weighs in at 180 pages, A4, virtually the same as the inaugural issue last year. Its panoramic view includes politics, economics, hate crime, domestic violence and sexual crime, paramilitaries, policing, social inequalities, cohesion and sharing (including housing, education and public space), and political progress. It begins with a summary in ‘Ten key points’ which states that “The underlying momentum of the peace process was strong in 2012” and that while “The flags dispute has presented a major challenge for the peace process, but it does not of itself negate the positive developments that have taken place in other parts of the society throughout the year.” Available as a PDF on the CRC website and click on Peace Monitoring Report.
Famine Walk 2013: Opening the Gates, Sowing New Seeds
The Afri Famine Walk takes place on Saturday 18th May from Louisburgh to Delphi Lodge, Co. Mayo. Registration from 12.45pm, walk beginning at 1.30pm. Walk Leaders: Gary White Deer, Salome Mbugua, Fergal Anderson, and music by Declan O’Rourke. For the first time since its inception in 1988, the Afri Famine Walk will complete the journey from Louisburgh to Delphi Lodge – the exact route of the original ‘journey of horror’ of March 30th/31st 1849. The names of those known to have died on the same route in 1849, as well as the names of people who have died in modern famines throughout the world, will be carried by participants. Walkers will be welcomed at Delphi Lodge where a tree will be planted and a moment’s silence observed in memory of those who died on the original Famine Walk in 1849. Each participant is asked to raise at least €20 in sponsorship to ensure Afri can continue its work. To download the brochure and full details go to Afri website Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, phone 01 882 7563/7581, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Relations Week
Community Relations Week in Northern Ireland is being held this year from Monday 20th May to Sunday 26th May. This year’s programme, on the theme Expressing Diversity, Addressing Division, contains over 170 events (some in the North West start from 13th May). A full listing appears on the CRC website here (scroll down to see events listed by council area).
Restorative justice course at Glencree
A new course on restorative justice in running at Glencree, Co Wicklow, in two three-day periods in May and June, starting on 17th May. Participants will explore, learn and practice a range of restorative practices such as Healing Circles, Victim Offender Mediation and Victim Offender Dialogue. There will be interactive learning and discussion and the background at all levels will be explored including the Irish experience. For full details click here. For venue, see http://www.www.glencree.ie
US military on holiday? Shannonwatch
Shannonwatch has reacted with incredulity to a statement by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore in late April that none of the 548 US military aircraft that landed at Shannon Airport in 2012 were carrying arms, ammunition or explosives. He also claimed there was no evidence to suggest they were involved in military exercises or operations. John Lannon of Shannonwatch, who monitor military traffic through the airport, said it is extremely unlikely that this is the case. Both retired US Army Colonel and former diplomat Ann Wright and Gerry Condon of the US organisation Veterans For Peace reiterated this view: "I have never heard of any such US military flights where there were not armed personnel, at least for securing the plane," said Col. Wright. For information on Shannonwatch see http://www.shannonwatch.org
Nobel women in Belfast
The Nobel Women’s Initiative will hold a conference 'Beyond militarism and war to a nonviolent world' in the Culloden Hotel, outside Belfast, from Tuesday 28th - 30th May, 2013. Six Nobel peace laureates, including Mairead Maguire, Peace People, and over 80 women from around the world, will come together to celebrate and share experiences in peacemaking in their own countries and to discuss ways to build cultures of peace and nonviolence. See http://www.peacepeople.com and http://www.nobelwomensinitiative.com. Phone 028 90 663463.
- On the evening of Monday 27th May the Peace People will host a public event in the City Hall, Belfast, entitled 'Celebrating Peace'. Six of the Nobel peace women will be in conversation with Moderator Rita Duffy; admission by invitation and ticket only.
Gigs and Gags @ Dromantine
Gigs and Gags – Peacebuilding through songs and humour is an event where Tommy Sands and Willie Drennan will reflect how to build peace through music and humour, taking place on Saturday 18th May from 10am to 1pm, supported by the Voices Together choir and followed by some light refreshments. The event is free, please register with reception at Dromantine Conference and Retreat Centre (Co Down, north of Newry) on 028 3082 1964 or email@example.com It is the annual reconciliation event of Edgehill Reconciliation Programme, Edgehill Theological College, 9 Lennoxvale, Belfast, BT9 5BY, ph. 028 9068 6933.
This OCN Level 3 Accredited Programme in Storytelling & Positive Encounter Dialogue takes place Friday 10th May, 17th May, 24th May, 7th June @ Farset Centre, Belfast & Residential: 31st May – 1st June. The aim of the programme is to enable participants to further develop their skills in facilitating storytelling and dialogue within the evolving context of peace-building. Places are free as funded by PEACE III. Tutors: Jude Cumiskey & Will Devas. For more information and/or to confirm attendance please contact: Aileen Nicholl on 028 71361942; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Jude Cumiskey ph 07510 356702e-Email: email@example.com
International peace conference in Derry
The Rotary Club of Londonderry’s International Peace Conference, hosted in association with the University of Ulster’s International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), is being held in Derry-Londonderry from 24th – 26th May. The Conference - From Peacemaking to Peacebuilding ~ Journeys towards Reconciliation - provides those interested in a more peaceful society the opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved in the 15 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The event will also explore work in South Africa, The Basque Country and the Democratic Republic of Congo to build and embed peace. Sunday includes a range of interactive workshops. Click here for details.
Irish CND Annual General Meeting
The Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s AGM takes place at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 on Monday 13th May at 7.30 p.m. with guest speaker Louise Sarsfield Collins, Irish Red Cross on "Tackling nuclear weapons: Humanitarian perspectives". Join at http://irishcnd.org/
Chernobyl Cycle Challenge
This fun cycle in West Cork takes place on Saturday 27th July and cyclists have a choice of a 50 km or 100 km route (Bishopstown, Dripsey, Macroom, Bandon on the 100 km). Registration 8.30am - 9.45am. This is one of Chernobyl Children International’s biggest annual fundraising events and funds raised will go towards the Medical Programme, including life saving child cardiac surgeries. A registration fee of €30 must be paid pre event and participants are asked to try to raise a minimum of €150 to participate in the cycle (€150 in total, €30 for registration and €120 to raise). For further details contact Michelle Duff on 086 828 9792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org See also http://www.chernobyl-international.com/
Group Mediation Skills
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) will run the Group Mediation Skills Course in May and June, subject to demand. The course is an opportunity for people engaged in mediation who have completed a first level training course in mediation (for example Foundation Training in Mediation, or Mediation Theory & Practice), to build on experience and insights in mediation practice. See the website.
Thou shalt not kill in Derry and Letterkenny
Thou Shalt Not Kill is the title of a body of new writing and performance work presented in the form of ‘living theatre’ installations to explore themes of conflict and trauma. Using the body as a site of performance, memory and emotion and centering on The Troubles, Thou Shalt Not Kill imagines the future through a remembrance of things past and explores themes of trauma, conflict, forgiveness and moving forward. Thou Shalt Not Kill runs for two performances only on Friday 17th May at the Danske Bank Studio, Millennium Forum, Derry/Londonderry, and on Saturday 18th May at the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Both performances start at 7.30 and are followed by a post-show discussion. On the Saturday during the day there is a symposium on Theatre of Conflict and Engaging the Emotions. For further enquiries telephone Smashing Times Theatre Company on (Republic) 01 8656613 or 087 2214245 or email email@example.com See also http://www.smashingtimes.ie
Rossport Solidarity Camp – Week of Action
This takes place from 21st – 30th of June at Aughoose, Pullathomas, Co. Mayo. This week has been called to coincide with one of Shell’s busiest work times and there are opportunities for different kinds of involvement. Details at http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org
Stop rape in conflict
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict is calling upon G8 Ministers to immediately start implementing commitments made during April’s summit to end sexual violence in conflict, and is urging other nations to show similar leadership as the G8 countries. During a meeting in London on April 11, Foreign Ministers of the eight wealthiest nations in the world signed a declaration outlining key commitments for action to prevent gender violence, provide justice mechanisms and health services to survivors, and prosecute perpetrators. The G8 announcement mirrors calls made by the United Nations Security Council regarding national obligations to end sexual violence in war. If implemented, the commitments would help to provide survivors of rape with much needed services by assisting conflict-impacted countries in establishing infrastructures for justice and protection. See the website.
There is an online blog reflecting conversations and thoughts about it being 15 years on from the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, with a planned event in the autumn. See http://15yearson.com/
Question mark over Faslane Peace camp continuing
Despite all its achievements, and coming up to thirty-one years of work, a question mark hangs over the continuation of Faslane Peace Camp, close to Faslane nuclear weapons base, north of Glasgow, Scotland. This is because of the need for new and additional residents and activists. See http://faslanepeacecamp.wordpress.com/
Peacebuilding & Intercultural Dialogue
The International Summer Academy of the Institute for Peace and Dialogue takes place in Vienna from 1st – 11th September. The main goal of the summer academy is to support institutional academic peace education and strengthen peacebuilding skills and intercultural dialogue in international society. Details at here.
Roger Cole, Chair of PANA, spoke in support of a protest against the EU Military Committee meeting at Dublin Castle on 30th April: "PANA calls for support for The People’s Movement protest against this meeting of the EU Military Committee. Last year Ireland participated in the German led EU Battle Group. In 2015 the Fine Gael/Labour government plans to ensure Irish Army participation in the Swedish led Nordic EU Battle Group. In an interview with Andrew Rettman of the EU Observer at the Globsec Conference in Bratislava (20/4/13) the Swedish Defence Minister Karin Enstrom who supports more EU militarisation said that if one of the EU Battle Groups "went into action" it would be "a real leap forward... it would give new energy to European defence co-operation."
The press release from PANA stated that “the EU Military Committee is composed of the Chiefs of Defence of the EU member states (including Ireland) that take part in the process of the militarisation of the EU. It excludes those EU states, such as Denmark, whose people rejected their countries involvement in the creation of a centralised, militarised, neo-liberal Superstate.” Roger Cole is Chair of the Peace & Neutrality Alliance. See http://www.pana./ie
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