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(Issues 58-107)
(Issues 1 to 57)
Dawn Train

Number 254 November 2017

Mediators' Institute of Ireland (MII) celebrates 25 years
The Mediators' Institute of Ireland recently celebrated 25 years of work at its annual conference in Athlone on 13th October – and the new Mediation Act. "We are in celebratory mode today, 25 years of the MII and at last we have a Mediation Act," stated President of the MII Sabine Walsh. "The signing of the Mediation Bill by President Higgins last week has come at a great time to help transform the dispute resolution culture in Ireland. The Act will promote mediation as a viable, effective and efficient adjunct to court proceedings and should divert many family, civil, commercial and community disputes from our courts." 170 people attended the annual conference. Sabine Walsh continued: "It was great .... to have had contributions from all the past presidents of MII, Geoffrey Corry, Karen Erwin, Polly Phillimore and Gerry Rooney, and with the election of our next President Elect Margaret Considine, I know the Institute will be in great hands for the first few years of our next 25 years." See the MII website at which includes details of upcoming training, and a link to photos from the conference on its Facebook page.

The full Mediation Act text can be downloaded as a PDF.

Afri Hedge School: The Right to Food and Shelter
This takes place on Tuesday 7th November, 9.45am - 3.30pm in Room A47, I.T. Blanchardstown (directions to ITB) The 2017 Hedge School will look at some of the causes of hunger, homelessness and displacement.  Organised in partnership with third year students from the Community and Youth Development course in I.T. Blanchardstown. Free entry to all - donations welcome to cover costs.  Lunch, and tea/coffee is provided. You can book via the website.

Mediation Theory and Practice, Belfast
The next Mediation Theory and Practice course run by Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) starts on 8th November and takes place over the following 9 days: 8th, 15th, 22nd , 29th November, 6th, 13th December and 10th , 17th , 24th January. Aimed at those looking to train as a mediator, it is accredited with the Open College Network (Level 3 with 9 Credits). During the course trainees will learn a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute or in constructive relationship building. This course is run three or four times a year on an open access basis: you can find out more information about the course online or enquire about future dates. and phone 028 9043 8614.

Textile language of conflicts, Derry
The Textile Language of Conflicts exhibition is comprised of 23 arpilleras (textiles) - some never shown before - and aims to stimulate awareness, conversations, social responsibility and peace building, in relation to human rights violations in war-torn and post conflict societies. It is on at the Minor Hall (MD106), Main Building, Magee Campus, Ulster University, Northland Rd, Derry/Londonderry. BT48 7JL from 6th November 2017 - 10th November and links with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science. Partners to this initiative are CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) at Ulster University, and Conflict Textiles. See here for full information.

AVP/Alternatives to Violence Project
With a Basic workshop having just taken place in Mountjoy prison, upcoming workshops include:  3rd-5th November, 2nd level workshop in Portlaoise prison: 10th-12th November, Male awareness in Wheatfield Prison; 10th-12th November,  Basic workshop in Cloverhill prison; 1st-3rd December, 2nd level workshop in Shelton Abbey (TBC); 1st-3rd December, 2nd level workshop in Loughan House (TBC); 1st-3rd December, Basic workshop in Limerick prison (TBC). Those wishing to participate in workshops should contact the coordinator and apply for prison clearance - at the moment the process can take up to three months.  

The AVP International Gathering will take place on 5th-11th November in Kathmandu, Nepal. The theme this year is community - nurturing local community and building global community.  AVP Ireland are thrilled to be able to send three delegates in Nepal - John, Chris and James - who will share news about local work and bring back reflections and useful information from other AVP'ers around the world.  The last International Gathering took place in Maynooth in 2014 attended by 154 delegates from 43 countries: a short report is available, a film made at the conference about AVP at and a report in Nonviolent News.

AVP is a training programme enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Workshops are non-residential, run by our trained facilitators and experiential (not based on lectures). See here for more information.

Healing Through Remembering
Healing Through Remembering (HTR) have moved and are now at Unit 2.2, 28 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7FE.  All other contacts (email, phone etc) remain the same. healingthroughremembering and phone 028 9023 8844.

Galway talk on Climate Change in the ECHR
On Monday 6th of November, 1-2pm, in the Seminar Room, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway there will be a talk by Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn and Gerry Liston of the Global Legal Action Network on Climate Change in the European Court of Human Rights. Citizens are increasingly turning to courts to force governments into taking the necessary action on climate change which is recognised as one of, if not the greatest threats to human rights. Legal action has so far proven itself to be a tool with potential. In 2015, the Urgenda Foundation and over 800 Dutch citizens succeeded in securing a court order requiring the Netherlands to significantly cut its greenhouse gas. In the U.S. 21 youth recently defeated an attempt by the Trump administration to have their federal court climate change case struck out, with the judge concluding that she had "no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society". 

Against the backdrop of these successes, the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) has begun preparing a case on behalf of seven Portuguese youth against up to 47 European countries to the European Court of Human Rights; they intend to bring their case directly to the Strasbourg Court to seek a decision that States must adopt reasonable measures to cut their emissions and thereby protect the human rights of the Portuguese applicants. Their case will be the first climate change legal action in which multiple states are sued at the one time. See and go to 'News'. All welcome.

Kildare Council hope not to be foiled on soil
Kildare County Council passed a motion on 23rd October calling on the Government to put pressure on the European Union to protect the soil. The motion put forward by Councillor Sorcha O'Neill requested that Kildare County Council writes to Minister Naughten asking him to push the EU to introduce a Soils Directive to "safeguard Irish soils". Soil degradation now affects about one-third of global land area with widespread consequences including soil erosion, desertification, nutrient loss and pollution. Despite this, soil has scarce protection under EU law.  The Environmental Protection Agency has said that without a Soils Directive it will be extremely challenging to "ensure a consistent approach to protecting and managing our limited soil resource". Environmental Pillar

News from International Network of Museums for Peace
The International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP), which held its international conference in Belfast in April, produces a quarterly newsletter with news and updates from around the world. They are available online at and you can also subscribe by contacting The timeline of developments in INMP, available on the website, includes photos of the Belfast conference.

Arms and the EU
A new report "Securing Profits - How the arms lobby is hijacking Europe's defence policy", written by Bram Vranken is available at "In 2016 the European Union took the unprecedented step of setting up a military research programme worth 90 million euros, the so-called Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). This is only a first step. For the coming ten years, the European Commission proposes the establishment of a European Defence Fund which would allocate more than 40 billion euros to the research, development and procurement of weapons. These steps signify a fundamental change of the European project. Although arms companies have received EU funding before, this has always happened through the 'back door' through a security research programme. The establishment of an EU military research programme points towards an unprecedented acceleration in the militarization of the EU. During the last couple of years, the defence industry geared up its lobbying activities to push for a European military research programme....." Read more at or the full report above.

International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth
This takes place from 20th – 26th November: see for details and further information, "Breaking the cycle of teaching violence to young people".

Post-Conflict Justice films: UNresolved and Manifesto
Two short documentary films by Anthony Haughey, with him as a guest speaker, are being shown on Monday 13th November from 6.00 – 8.00 p.m. in Neill Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub, Dublin. As places are limited please register before 10 November 2017 to Prof. Jude Lal Fernando, email: Organised by Trinity Centre for Post-Conflict Justice and others

16 Days on Gender-Based Violence,
19 days on Abuse and Violence against Youth

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates November 25 - International Day Against Violence Against Women - and December 10 - International Human Rights Day- in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. See
19 days for the prevention of abuse and violence agai

nst children and youth is a project of WWSF Women's World Summit Foundation based in Switzerland. It runs from 1st – 19th November. Information and pack available at

Useful thoughts on UNSCR 1325, "Are we there yet?", can be found on the Women Peacemakers Project website

PCI on extractives in Latin America
A short position paper from Pax Christi International on extractives in Latin America can be found at

Disappointment at Irish budget
The Environmental Pillar has expressed extreme disappointment at the exclusion of any measures to equalise the cost of diesel and petrol in Ireland in Budget 2018. Diesel fuel exhaust is one of the leading emitters of automotive greenhouse gases and particulates, with the World Health Organization clear that diesel exhaust fumes can cause cancer and emit ten times more health-damaging pollutants than petrol cars.  Diesel is charged at 11c less per litre than petrol and as a result, Ireland has one of the highest percentage sales of diesel cars in Europe. The OECD has recommended equalising the rate, while the European Commission has called Ireland's policy of taxing diesel less than petrol "environmentally unjustified". While the Pillar welcomed the inclusion of some incentives for the use of electric vehicles it feels it will take a long time to make a difference and is essentially meaningless in the short term if nothing is done to curb use of diesel vehicles now. 
Despite support from several opposition parties, the Pillar's two other proposals for a levy on all single-use non-compostable items and an aggregates levy were also not taken on in Budget 2018. These three key proposals would have protected our environment, brought in over €200m in revenue for the state and bolstered an ailing Environment Fund which supports many of Ireland's environmental activities, from EPA's waste prevention office to limited funding for the environmental NGO community.

Peace Trails in Ireland
The first issue of a short newsletter about peace trails in Ireland is being sent to recipients of this issue of Nonviolent News – as a paper copy for mail recipients and as a PDF here.


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