Cloughjordan conference: Force of Law or Law of Force? Saturday 8th September sees a conference entitled “Global Governance: The Force of Law or the Law of Force?” taking place in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary. It is organised jointly by the Irish Chapter of World Beyond War and Shannonwatch. Topics covered include Practical Protests and Legal Actions; The Role of Women in Peace; Transforming the Role of the Military from War to Peace; The Dangers of an EU Super-State, and need to dismantle the new Iron Curtain; Ireland's Role in International Affairs; Ireland, Europe and Neutrality; Shannon and the Law; and finally Law vs War. There will be workshops in the afternoon.
Speakers include David Swanson and Barry Sweeney (both World Beyond War), John Lannon and Ed Horgan (both Shannonwatch), Margaretta D'Arcy, Terry Crawford Browne, Riitta Wahlström, Patricia McKenna BL (former MEP), Roger Cole (Peace and Neutrality Alliance - PANA), and Karen Devine (DCU). It runs from 10 am – 5pm.
The event is free, although donations will be welcome. Lunch will be available for purchase: please indicate if you want a lunch. Places are limited so booking is essential. Participation is free but donations welcome: https://www.eventbrite.ie or queries to email@example.com The Shannonwatch website is at www.shannonwatch.org
Good Relations Week in Northern Ireland Good Relations Week (the renamed Community Relations Week) takes place from 17th – 23rd September. The programme is available at http://www.goodrelationsweek.com with a wide variety of over 170 events taking place in many locations around the North.
Consensus workshop: As part of Good Relations Week, Mediation Northern Ireland and INNATE are running a day workshop covering both small group and voting consensus. It runs from 10 am – 5pm on 20th September and takes place in MNI’s Belfast premises. Booking to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9043 8614
Also as part of the Week, an interactive event takes place on “Civil Rights – A Vision for our Future? What next?” on Tuesday 18th September from 10am to 1pm in Belfast; this is a joint event involving Community Dialogue, TIDES Training and 174 Trust. For more information and registration please contact Jim O’Neill email@example.com ph 075 40524186.
Practising for Peace "dojo" This takes place the weekend of 21st - 23rd September at St Columb's Park House, Derry/ Londonderry. It will use an 'Art of Hosting' approach which uses the wisdom of the group to 'co-create' conversations around complex and burning issues. Peace practitioners and 'Warriors of the Heart' from around Europe will gather to explore the calling question: “How do I strengthen my practice of peace to respond to uncertain and fragile times? On this land? On our island?” The weekend will bring together passionate individuals, conversations with a difference, and an approach that will use martial arts wisdom, embodiment, calligraphy and other ways into a new way of thinking and acting. The organisers ask participants to make a contribution that fits their own circumstances. Contact Charo firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register.
Norn Irony: Cartoon exhibition on the Troubles Community Dialogue has a new exhibition “Visual Voices of Norn Irony: Cartoons and the Conflict in Northern Ireland” which can be used to stimulate viewers' thoughts on what was involved and how things were dealt with at the time, as well as where things are going today. The exhibition consists of 60 panels. It was compiled for Community Dialogue by Rob Fairmichael in a personal capacity [the editor of Nonviolent News]. The exhibition will be launched at the Playhouse in Derry on 5th October at 1pm and will run over the following week, during which there will be a series of discussions and workshops. Community Dialogue is an organisation that uses dialogue to transform understanding and build trust amongst people who hold opposing political, social and religious views. For more information please contact Jim O’Neill email@example.com or Liam Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org Community Dialogue website is at http://www.communitydialogue.org
Men and violence The evening of Wednesday 12th September (6.00 – 9.30pm) there is a seminar in Belfast on men and violence organised by INNATE. It includes the Tough Guise 2 film analysing masculinity, Louise Kennedy from Women’s Aid on ‘domestic violence’, and (visa permitting) Hubert Masirika from Congo Men’s Network on their work. Booking essential to email@example.com from whom further details are available.
BrexitLawNI report launch Brexit has fundamental implications for human rights in Northern Ireland. BrexitLawNI will be launching project reports and findings in Belfast from 1pm to 4.45pm on Friday 14th September in the Canada Room, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, Belfast. Registration online [This item also appeared in the August news supplement]
MNI: Mediation Theory and Practice, Belfast The next Mediation Theory & Practice course starts on the 19th September. Full dates for the 9 day programme are:
19th, 26th September, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th October, 7th, 14th, 21st November. This course is accredited with the Open College Network (Level 3 with 9 Credits) and trainees will learn a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute or in constructive relationship building. More details at https://mediationnorthernireland.org/training
A wide variety of courses approved by the Mediators Institute of Ireland (MII) – taking place in Dublin and around the country.
AVP: Alternatives to Violence project AVP has numerous workshops coming up over the autumn including a training day for facilitators and workshops at different levels in Wheatfield, Mountjoy, Limerick, Midlands, Dochas, Cork and Castlerea. AVP is a training programme enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Workshops are non-residential, run by trained facilitators and experiential - not based on lectures. The AVP Ireland website is at http://avpireland.ie
ICCL: Guard our rights! The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is campaigning for human-rights based reform of policing, working to ensure that the outcome of anticipated Garda reform processes will secure a human rights compliant police service and the maximum effectiveness of police oversight bodies. ICCL commissioned Alyson Kilpatrick, former human rights advisor to the Northern Ireland Policing Board, to produce a report detailing how An Garda Síochána might undertake a root-and-branch reform, similar to that undertaken in Northern Ireland with the establishment of the PSNI, where human rights would become the guiding principle behind all of the force’s work. This report will be launched on 14 September and you can register to attend at https://guardourrights.eventbrite.ie
ICCL made four key groups of recommendations in its submission to the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland;
The creation of a comprehensive framework for embedding human rights in all aspects of policing,
An overhaul of the systems of State security and surveillance,
Strengthening of accountability to the public through greater transparency, legal accountability, and independent oversight, and
Fostering a culture of respect for human rights and equality.
Response to NIO legacy of the past proposals A joint team from Queen’s University Belfast, the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, and the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) have made a detailed (105 page) response to current Northern Ireland Office proposals for addressing the legacy of the past. The QUB/UU/CAJ team make more than 50 recommendations on how current proposals could be improved, with a particular focus on ensuring operational independence and adherence to international human rights standards. See https://caj.org.uk where there is further information and a link to the full report.
White poppies for peace The ‘Remembrance season’ in Britain and Ireland is getting close and, for those who wish, the opportunity to remember those who died in wars and make a statement for peace at the same time by wearing a white poppy. The Peace Pledge Union in Britain sells white poppies (profits support their work) at 5 for £5.00, 10 for £10.00 or 25 for £20.00, plus £3 post and packing for orders under £20 (UK postal area prices). You can also see http://www.ppu.org.uk where other resources on war and peace are available, including a “Remembering war – searching for peace” set of documents which looks critically at the whole area of remembrance. PPU, 1 Peace Passage, London N7 0BT, ph 020 7424 9444.
Ireland and sustainable development goals In July, Coalition 2030, an alliance of over 100 Irish civil society organisations and networks, expressed concern that Ireland is falling behind on its commitment to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Speaking in New York at the time of the first Irish progress report on the SDGs at the UN, Suzanne Keatinge, CEO of Dóchas, the Irish association of non-governmental development organisations said: "Much greater urgency and political leadership will be required if we are to ensure the transformative change that the SDGs envisage by 2030. The Government needs to develop a realistic costing and prioritise targets and outcomes, but also involve all stakeholders, particularly civil society, in that process. Only then will we meet the ambition of the SDGs which is to make sure that the needs of the poorest and most marginalised in society, at home and abroad, are met sustainably and for future generations." The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals, which reflect the totally intertwined economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Coalition 2030's report is available at www.ireland2030.org/report-2018
Communicate to Connect (NVC foundation)/ Empathy magic A variety of workshops on ‘Communicate to Connect’ (foundation training in Nonviolent Communication/NVC) and on ‘Empathy Magic - The Art of Effective Listening’ are taking place around the country facilitated by Donal Gannon. They take place in Dublin on 8th and 9th September (respectively), Galway on 15th and 16th September, Clare on 29th and 30th September, and Belfast (Carryduff) on 6th and 7th October. Donal Gannon is a Certified Trainer with the Centre for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) and he will be assisted by Selene Aswell. The trainings in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) offer skills, practical tools and insights to support a shift from conditioned reactions based on fear, separation and powerlessness to conscious responses based on love, connection and empowerment, to deepen and enrich our interactions and relationships, whether with loved ones, colleagues or ourselves. See https://www.facebook.com for further information and https://www.facebook.com about ‘Empathy Magic’. More advanced retreats and programmes are available on completion of these courses. Payment is by voluntary donation. Donal Gannon’s website is at http://www.donalgannon.com
CGE completes Global Learning Programme The Centre for Global Education managed Global Learning Programme ended on 31st July following a highly successful four years of delivery of high quality Continuing Professional Development to 535 primary, post-primary and special schools in the north of Ireland. The GLP delivered a total of 179 events that engaged 1,003 teachers in activities designed to enhance their global learning practice in the classroom. The menu of events offered by the GLP supported core learning areas of the curriculum including STEM, Eco-Schools, World Around Us, Local and Global Citizenship, critical literacy and human rights. The GLP successfully met its target of reaching 50 percent of local schools and, more importantly, elevated practice in global learning to new levels. This was evidenced by a longitudinal research study on the GLP carried out by Ulster University which showed that teachers acquired greater confidence, knowledge, skills and resources in the area of international development. A new programme jointly funded by the British Council and Department for International Development is starting in September 2018. Centre for Global Education, Belfast, https://www.centreforglobaleducation.com and Facebook
Pollinators; guidelines for schools, faith communities Pollinators, especially bees, make up an important part of Ireland’s biodiversity. Unfortunately, Irish pollinators are in decline, with one third of Ireland’s 99 bee species threatened with extinction. Without pollinators it would be impossible for farmers or gardeners to affordably produce many of the fruits and vegetables we need for a healthy diet. Pollinators are also vital for a healthy environment and landscape. In September 2015, Ireland joined a small number of countries who have developed a strategy to address pollinator decline and protect pollination services. More than 80 governmental and non-governmental organisations have come together to form a shared plan of action, to help pollinators and improve biodiversity across the island. Implementation of the Plan is coordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. It involves everyone from farmers, to councils, schools, gardeners, local communities and businesses doing their bit.
Museums for Peace office moving to Kyoto The office of the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP) is moving from Den Haag, Netherlands to Kyoto, Japan; contact details are on the INMP website at https://www.inmp.net To receive the quarterly INMP Newsletter e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, organisation and e-mail address.
Rooftop solar plan not such a ray of sunshine The Environmental Pillar has described the end of July announcement of a rooftop solar grant scheme as a step in the right direction, but also a missed opportunity to reward communities and farmers for playing their role in bringing down Ireland’s out of control emissions. The scheme will offer a grant as opposed to giving individuals a right to sell surplus electricity back to the grid at a fixed price. The grant will also only apply to owner-occupied dwellings, leaving out commercial enterprises and community buildings. This means that business owners, community centres and farmers with large warehouse, factory and shed rooftop space will miss out on the support on offer and will end up having to try and compete with developers through the new auction system announced (also in July) in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). https://environmentalpillar.ie
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