Pope Francis on nonviolence
Pope Francis issued an important statement on nonviolence for the Fiftieth World Day of Peace on 1st January, “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace”. It includes statements like “make active nonviolence our way of life” and “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.” While mainly emphasising the positives of nonviolence he also says “Violence is not the cure for our broken world. Countering violence with violence leads at best to forced migrations and enormous suffering.....At worst, it can lead to the death, physical and spiritual, of many people, if not of all.” See here
Afri: Féile Bríde
This will take place on Saturday 4th February, 11am - 5pm, at Solas Bhríde Centre, Kildare Town. Among the issues to be explored at this year’s conference will be forced migration – the inevitable consequence of war and climate change. Féile Bríde happens annually in Kildare around the start of Spring in February. It is a time for celebration and reflection in the spirit of Brigid’s message of justice, peace and hope which is as relevant as ever today. Speakers will include distinguished peace activist and author Kathy Kelly and Scottish writer and campaigner Alastair McIntosh. Book tickets online. The Afri website is at http://www.afri.ie/
Mediation Theory & Practice – 9 Day Accredited Training Course
Mediation Northern Ireland’s Mediation Theory and Practice course begins on 17th January and runs on Tuesdays from 9.30 am to not later than 4.30 pm for 9 weeks. The course introduces a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute or in constructive relationship building. It is accredited with Open College Network Northern Ireland as a Level 3 course earning 9 credit points (80% attendance required and based on in course worksheets). This equates to an NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Diploma. Further details on the MNI website https://mediationnorthernireland.org/ (go to ‘Disputes’ and then ‘Training’) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon: Aiding and abetting US military
Shannonwatch has called on the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross to explain why a plane operating on behalf of the US military was permitted to fly from Shannon Airport to Incirlik Air Base in Southern Turkey and back on Friday December 30th. The air base which is close to the Syrian border is used by the US to launch air and drone strikes and to store part of its nuclear arsenal. Any involvement in the delivery of military cargo or passengers to Incirlik is therefore a breach of Irish neutrality. The plane, a Miami Air International Boeing 737, arrived at Shannon on Friday at 1pm, and took off less than 2 hours later. It spent a similar length of time at the military airbase in Turkey before returning to Shannon at 4am the following morning. It would also seem there was special Garda protection for the plane at Shannon and the Gardaí continue to ignore Shannonwatch requests for particular planes to be investigated for carrying weapons. Over two and a half million US troops and their weapons have passed through Shannon Airport in the past 15 years on chartered and military aircraft. Most of these now travel on Omni Air International planes. In addition, there are regular US Air Force and Navy aircraft landings at the airport. http://www.shannonwatch.org/
Chernobyl: 26th April remembrance day, children visit Ireland
On 8th December the United Nations resolved to have the 26th April each year designated as ‘International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day’. On April 26th 2016 – the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident – Adi Roche (Voluntary CEO of Chernobyl Children International), at the invitation of the Government of Belarus, addressed a special session of the UN General Assembly and made the suggestion that, as part of a campaign to raise global awareness of the consequences of the explosion, April 26th should be designated as Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day. She also appealed to the international community to provide more financial assistance to help the thousands of “Liquidators” – the soldiers, helicopter pilots,scientists, engineers and firemen who were drafted in to try to contain the spread of deadly radioactivity across Europe. The proposal was supported by the Belarusian Government and was formally accepted by the UN General Assembly.
A group of 39 children with special needs, many of whom have come from turbulent backgrounds, were flown from the Chernobyl region of Belarus to Ireland for the Christmas holidays and hosted by families in Cork, Kerry, Galway, Kilkenny, Dublin, Mayo, Limerick, Louth and Meath. The children, some orphaned, some abandoned by parents who were unable to cope with their illnesses and disabilities, live in a remote region of Belarus that is heavily affected by the fallout of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. http://www.chernobyl-international.com/
Church and Peace: Gen Sec post, conference
Church and Peace is looking for a new General Secretary following Davorka Lovreković’s departure at the end of December 2016. The person appointed will lead the Church and Peace International Office (in Schöffengrund,
Germany) and give guidance to the network's Europe-wide activities. Closing date is 15th January. More information and details on applying can be found in the vacancy notice online.
Church and Peace is a European ecumenical peace church network made up of communities, training centres, peace organisations and peace service agencies. It participates in the ecumenical dialogue of the conciliar process for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation and is a catalyst for common initiatives and projects.
The Church and Peace international conference in 2018 will take place from 7th -10th June at the High Leigh Conference Centre in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.
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