Conflict Transformation and Social Justice
Launched in August 2012, the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University, Belfast offers an inclusive space for dialogue between academic researchers, practitioners, policy makers and political activists on issues relating to peacebuilding and social justice. Making a difference locally, nationally and globally through engagement with wider society is a key goal of the Institute. Since its launch the Institute has hosted a variety of conferences, workshops and seminars on, for example, the challenges of commemoration in Ireland/Northern Ireland; the contribution of art, performance and the media to conflict transformation; social justice in divided cities; borders, mobility and ethics; cities as conflict ‘memoryscapes’; and lawyers, conflict and transition. Most recently it hosted a workshop on the concept of ‘Peace journalism’. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and see the website
Shannonwatch: More on US Shannon use
Shannonwatch have commented further on recent controversy about USA use of Shannon Airport. “The Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter has claimed that the Garda Síochána has no role in relation to the inspection of foreign State or military aircraft at Shannon or other airports because they enjoy sovereign immunity. In effect this means that the government allows the US military to take whatever or whoever they want through Ireland, regardless of the human rights, security and other consequences....According to Minister Shatter the Garda Síochána has statutory powers of search and entry available to it under various legislative provisions, and these apply to aircraft as much as to any other type of private property. He was talking here about civilian as opposed to military aircraft.”
However Shannonwatch go on to mention failure to investigate 10 out of 17 complaints regarding alleged rendition flights to/from Shannon Airport: “On 30th Oct 2007 a request was made to inspect suspect CIA rendition aircraft registration N475LC at Shannon Airport. Once again the Gardai refused to do so. ‘Quite worryingly, on that occasion a member of An Garda Síochána stated that they had an instruction not to search such planes’ ” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. See the website
HTR’s Voyager Project & report on ‘Dealing with the Past’
Healing Through Remembering (HTR) have launched their ‘Voyager’ project building on HTR's previous project 'Whatever You Say, Say Something' offers opportunities for conversations considering a wide range of issues around dealing with the past. HTR's trained facilitators will work with groups to identify needs and interests and tailor workshops around those needs. The workshops are not prescriptive but seek to meet a group is at in order to consider the divisions of the past and help contribute to shaping a more peaceful future.
Meanwhile HTR have published “Dealing with the Past? An Overview of Legal and Political Approaches Relating to the Conflict in and about Northern Ireland”, an important publication written for HTR by Kieran McEvoy. Available at their website. This “focuses largely upon the ‘top-down’ approaches to dealing with the past relating to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland” as the introduction states but is a valuable look at approaches taken to this area. Healing Through Remembering, 17a Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, BT2 8HD, phone 028 9023 8844, Website
Prominent nuclear disarmament campaigner for Dublin
On Saturday 7th December, Irish CND in conjunction with PANA, will host a talk by Jana JedliÄová, Central Europe Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). She is also Chair of the Prague Vision Institute for Sustainable Security, and during 2013 coordinated the Abolition 2000 Task Force on the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. This is an opportunity to hear one of Europe's most dynamic nuclear disarmament campaigners. For more details click here or here
‘Mapping the rollback’ on human rights in NI
CAJ, Committee on the Administration of Justice, in collaboration with the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster and the Human Rights Centre at Queens University Belfast are launching the conference report ‘Mapping the Rollback: Human Rights Provisions of the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement 15 Years On’ at 11 am on Monday 9th December 2013 in the boardroom, University of Ulster in Belfast City Centre (Art College). RSVP by contacting email@example.com or ph 028 9031 6000.
CAJ’s Annual report for 2012/13 is now available on the website, showing the detailed work done on a wide variety of issues; it includes a brief tribute to Les Allamby who has retired from the Executive after 12 years. Current office holders are: Chair, Kieran McEvoy; Vice-chair, Louise Mallinder, membership, Rory O’Connell; Minutes, Sheryl Lawther; Parliamentary Liaison, Patricia Lundy; Just News editor, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin. CAJ website
NI Human Rights Festival
The second Human Rights Festival in Northern Ireland, organised by the Human Rights Consortium, takes place from 9th – 14th December and the programme, with a variety of different kinds of events in Belfast and Derry, is available at http://www.humanrightsfestivalni.com/ For Human Rights Consortium see www.billofrightsni.org
Mediation Theory & Practicein Belfast
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) are running an 8-day accredited training course on Mediation Theory and Practice in Belfast on Wednesdays beginning on 15th January 2014 and ending on 5th March. The course is accredited by the Open College Network as a Level 3 course earning 9 credit points. The course introduces a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute or in constructive relationship building.Prices are structured differently for multiple bookings, community & voluntary organisations, and individuals. Please contact Rob Colwell ph 028 9043 8614 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further. Further information is on the MNI website
Zero Waste North West
Zero Waste North West has been busy recently with a variety of events in November to create public awareness about recycling and zero waste alternatives to landfill and incineration, in particular concerning the proposed ‘gasification’ plant at Campsie, Derry and the risks involved. You can sign a petition to Derry City Council and see further information at www.derryair.eu
Boycott farmed salmon this Christmas
Opponents of plans to expand open salmon rearing cages along the west coast demonstrated at the annual conference of Good Food Ireland in Dublin in November during the launch of their campaign to get people to boycott farmed salmon. 12 organisations from Bantry Bay to Lough Swilly are involved. See www.wildfish.ie (including a list of chemicals used in the production of farmed salmon).
Prisoners for Peace
Each year War Resisters’ International (WRI) produces a Prisoners for Peace list for people to send greetings and solidarity, this year there are nine countries on the list. See here. Meanwhile WRI is making its annual financial appeal and donations can be made via this website
PCI Award goes to International Memorial Society, Russia
The 2013 Pax Christi International Peace Award has been granted to the International Memorial Society for its outstanding work in keeping alive the memory of the victims of political repression in Russia’s recent history and for its deep commitment to human rights in the country. Since its inception in the late 1980s the International Memorial Society has been committed to preserving the historical truth about the crimes of totalitarianism and the resistance to it, to perpetuating the memory of the victims, and to offering social support to the survivors. By doing this, International Memorial helps support transitional justice efforts and reconciliation processes, as well as the construction of a re-imagined political community, paving the way for future generations and the prevention of future violence.
Messages of Peace for Bethlehem
Pax Christi international invites people to write a message of hope and encouragement to our friends in Bethlehem. The expectation of a just peace in Israel – Palestine is still alive, locally and globally. Please e-mail your Christmas peace prayers and wishes before 25th December 2013 (Western Christmas) and/or7th January 2014 (Eastern Christmas) to the Arab Educational Institute at the following address: email@example.com You can read all messages at here. Further info at www.paxchristi.net
Cultivate in their current newsletter suggest the novel idea of giving a permaculture taster course (coming up in Dublin in January) for Christmas......certainly a gift that grows. It also has news of WeCreate workspace at Cloughjordan eco-village, and other events and projects. See www.cultivate.ie
Death of WRI Chair, Howard Clark
We regret to record the death of long time peace activist Howard Clark, suddenly at home in Spain. Howard was well known and loved globally through having been a long-time staff person for War Resisters’ International (WRI) in London and, more recently, chair of WRI since 2006. A book of memories and condolences is on the WRI website and photos at here . We hope to carry a fuller tribute in the next NN (e-mail and web editions).
WPP: Taking UNSCR 1325 to the next level
Women Peacemakers Program (WPP), the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and Conciliation Resources organized a panel discussion on gender, peace and security in New York at the end of October. The event aimed at taking discussions on implementation of UNSCR 1325 to the next level, highlighting the need for a gender perspective, including attention for masculinities and the role of men in gender, peace and security. See this document and the WPP website also has their monthly newsletter, ‘Cross the Lines’.
Petition to end British recruitment of 16 year olds
A network of twenty education, peace and human rights groups in Britain, secular and religious, launched a petitionin November callingon the Ministry of Defence to end recruitment of 16 year olds into the UK armed forces. See this website. At present 15 year olds can apply and 16 and 17 years olds can be recruited into the Armed Forces. The UK is the only country in Europe - and the only country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council - to recruit 16 year olds into its armed forces.
Recent reports by Forces Watch and Child Soldier International highlight the vulnerability of young people who are recruited. Younger recruits are significantly more likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to drink at levels harmful to health, and to behave violently on their return from war. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds are at greatest risk. See also “Last Ambush: Aspects of Mental Health in British Armed Forces”, October 2013 here and Child Soldier International website.
Dublin visit for Chelsea Manning family
some material is available arising from a visit to Dublin by members of Chelsea Manning’s family, and a public meeting in TCD at the end of November sponsored by Afri and the Irish School of Ecumenics:
1) An interview with Jonathan Healy of Newstalk Radio's Lunchtime show
2) An interview with Michelle Hennessy of online news service The Journal
3) An informal interview with Ruairí McKiernan who posted his report on facebook
4) An interview with Peter Murtagh of the Irish Times
5) In The Indo,
[Thanks to Genny and Ciaron for info]
Pax Christi international on Syria
Responding to the ongoing violence in Syria and the great suffering of the Syrian people, Pax Christi International have issued an appeal for full humanitarian access in the country and pleading for strong international support for Geneva 2 negotiations based on a framework that ensures justice.
24 hours for world peace
On the occasion of World Day of Peace, 1st January 2014, receive appeals for peace by e-mail, every couple of hours, for 24 hours, from various recognised organisations as well as information on the world’s great humanitarian causes. Meet peacemakers from here and elsewhere, send resolutions and messages of peace and interact with other participants. Send contributionsbefore 15th December 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive information and details, register your e-mail address now on the website. [Info from Pax Christi International]
Sporting challenges from Co-operation Ireland
Co-operation Ireland have a number of sporting challenges on during 2014 as fundraisers for the charity, both at home and abroad, including the renowned Maracycle which they are examining as a possible one-day event on 28th June in the Mournes and Cooleys area – for this keep an eye in the new year on theirwebsite. In general check out the Calendar of Events.
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