Triple lock removal: No surprise but underhand
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Defence, Micheál Martin announced in the Dáil on 22nd November his intention to remove the ‘triple lock’ (one strand of which includes the go ahead of the UN Security Council) on the deployment of (more than a dozen) Irish troops overseas on ‘active service’. https://www.thejournal.ie/triple-lock-changes-micheal-martin-6229725-Nov2023/ He said that this was the first opportunity he had had to speak to the Dáil in detail on the issue since the ‘Consultative Forum on International Security Policy’ in June. What Martin did not say was that he had long been gunning (sic) to remove it, had chosen the Forum format and the speakers there to get the answer he wanted, and, as Catherine Connolly TD stated in response, had depicted the Forum as the start of a conversation on neutrality but he had now ended it. Martin proposes alternative ratification which would be meaningless, such as EU approval – which could be the EU approving Irish involvement in the actions of an EU army!
What was also not covered is that the discussion on the triple lock at the Forum was wholly inadequate and inconclusive – see the StoP report available at https://www.swordstoploughshares-ireland.com/ and in particular page 23 plus. The thoroughness of this StoP report can also be contrasted with the flimsiness of the official report by the chair of the Forum, available at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/36bd1-consultative-forum-chairs-report/
ICCL launches Enforce unit re human rights on tech
In mid-November ICCL/Irish Council for Civil Liberties launched a new unit, Enforce, to investigate, advocate, and litigate to protect human rights globally in relation to technology, industry practice, and markets. Liam Herrick, Executive Director of ICCL, said “…Ireland’s unique position in the international digital realm means we’re uniquely positioned to undertake this work”. It is an area where ICCL has been working for some time; they are currently litigating in Germany, Belgium, Ireland, and Luxembourg. They state “We will push technology back towards democratic value. Our mission to protect human rights also helps protect journalistic media, enact smart law, and curb online hate and hysteria.” https://www.iccl.ie/enforce/
MNI courses….and work with private sector
Upcoming courses over the next number of months organised by Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) can be found on their website at https://mediationni.org/training/#upcoming including a one day course on Dealing with difficult conversations, a three day programme on Immersive conflict resolution practice, a one day Workplace conflict resolution skills course, and an 8-day Mediation theory and practice course in April and May 2024. Meanwhile MNI has gained major Lottery funding which will enable it offer new training programmes and wrap around services for businesses and statutory organisations across Northern Ireland to get better at dealing with conflict – they quote that “Recent research from the Labour Relations Agency found that workplace conflicts cost the Northern Irish economy over £850 million every year.” https://mediationni.org/lottery-grant/
CAJ: NI Troubles Act, counterterrorism and human rights
CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice have issued a compendium of submissions and critiques it made regarding the controversial Northern Ireland Troubles (Reconciliation and Legacy) Act 2023 which became law in September 2023, despite criticism both from within Northern Ireland and internationally. This detailed and authoritative 146 page compendium is available at https://caj.org.uk/publications/reports/compendium-of-caj-legacy-bill-submissions/
l The annual CAJ lecture has Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin speaking at 3.30pm on Tuesday 12th December in central Belfast on ‘Reflections from the UN Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights 2017-2023’; see https://caj.org.uk/latest/caj-annual-lecture-2023-featuring-professor-fionnuala-ni-aolain/
Pax Christi Peace Award to Parents Circle – Families Forum
The 2023 Pax Christi International Peace Award is going to the Parents Circle – Families Forum which is a collaborative Israeli-Palestinian organisation comprising more than 700 families, all of whom have lost a close family member due to the continuing conflict; the PCFF firmly believes that the process of reconciliation between the two nations is an essential precondition for attaining a lasting peace. https://paxchristi.net/2023/11/08/the-parents-circle-families-forum-receives-2023-pax-christi-international-peace-award/ and https://www.theparentscircle.org/en/pcff-home-page-en/
Corrymeela: Shine a light for peace
Corrymeela has a ‘Shine a Light for peace’ Christmas fundraising campaign with a variety of options to support their work including individual donations, doing it collectively with named tags for donors, or organising an event. Further info at https://www.corrymeela.org/donate/shine-a-light-for-peace
Mairead Maguire on ending current wars & Ed Horgan interview
A November podcast of Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire in discussion with David Swanson of World Beyond War on ending current wars – running time 29 mins – can be found at https://davidswanson.org/talk-world-radio-mairead-maguire-on-ending-the-current-wars/ An interview with Ed Horgan, in the same slot, on Why Genocide/War Continues is at https://worldbeyondwar.org/talk-world-radio-ed-horgan-on-why-genocide-war-continues/
Chernobyl Children Int’l: Support needed, archives to UCC
Chernobyl Children International need support for their ongoing work. CCI has been working within the Chernobyl Region (Ukraine and Belarus) for over 36 years and are striving to get humanitarian aid, which includes food, water, and medicines, to children and their families who are in desperate need, as well as performing life-saving operations for children with ‘Chernobyl heart’ and helping provide supported living.
l Meanwhile the CCI archives, founded 1991, and those of its founder Adi Roche – including previous peace work as a CND activist – have been deposited at UCC.
Housmans Peace Diary 2024 with World Peace Directory
Paper diaries are not as ubiquitous as they once were but for the peace/social justice/environmental activist a Housmans Peace Diary is an important resource at your fingertips for building a peaceful world. 2024 sees the 71st edition of the diary, with a feature on 50 years of the Campaign Against Arms Trade, a significant organisation in the British peace movement – and internationally – plus a listing of over 1400 national and international peace, environmental and human rights organisations. The format is two pages to a week with anniversaries noted, quotes, a forward planner etc. Order online from www.housmans.com/peace-diary/ It is priced at UK£9.95, with a £2 discount per copy for 10 or more in the UK; postage is £2 flat rate in UK postal area or £6 outside it, irrespective of the number of copies ordered. Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, ph +44 20 7837 4473.
– A more extensive version of the World Peace Directory in the Diary is available online at http://www.housmans.info/wpd/ It is worth reading the background information on the web in the site home page to get the best use out of it. And as their blurb says “It’s the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of its kind” – don’t be caught out without a contact when heading to Ulaanbaatar……
Everyday Peacebuilding https://everydaypeacebuilding.com/ is a very useful website where you can see a growing compilation of resources on peacebuilding. Taylor O’Connor wanted to build a global community of peacebuilders who could share learnings and resources and support each other. The idea was to connect and share creative ways to build peace and justice and taking care of peacebuilders’ wellbeing too. People can sign up and each week they will receive in their inbox a selection of resources on building peace from around the world.
These are the values at the base of Everyday Peacebuilding: “Simplicity. Content and products will be user friendly and accessible. Creativity. Content and products present creative approaches to peacebuilding.
Exploration. Content and products support community members on their personal peacebuilding journeys.
Diversity. Representing the ideas and perspectives of diverse peacebuilders from around the world is important in our content and products. Our community is intentionally global. Collaboration. We’re building a global community of peacebuilders and in doing so create spaces for community members to connect, share ideas, take collaborative action and support one another.”
Resources go from definitions of violence and peacebuilding to analysis tools for conflict transformation, from quotes for peace to blog pieces that tackle current global issues under the peacebuilding lens. In the newsletter the topics usually vary, there is a diversity of topics (gender, education, anti militarisation, art and peacebuilding…) and links to articles or resources from different places around the world. There are private facebook chats as well on the different topics, for people to communicate, share ideas, links and events worldwide. It is very accessible and inviting for people who are new to peacebuilding but also for who want to know more and get connected.
“Our mission as active nonviolence”
A useful and perceptive short statement on nonviolence, made in late October, by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, can be found in different places including https://paxchristi.net/2023/10/26/cardinal-bo-our-mission-as-active-nonviolence/
Friends of the Earth NI has a few tickets left for this panel discussion from 1-5pm, on Friday 15th December 2023, at the MAC in Belfast, with Bernadette McAliskey, Prof Mark Emerson, Bróna MacNeill, Sam McBride, Shauna Corr and Tommy Greene, and chaired by John Manley. It will include breakout sessions where people will be invited to share their ideas on a recovery plan for the Lough. Book at https://friendsoftheearth.uk/about/events-northern-ireland
FOE on COP28, and opportunity for Christmas support
Friends of the Earth in the Republic has been busy campaigning on COP28 and are involved in the Christmas gift card market whereby for each €20 you donate “for the protection of our planet and all its inhabitants” they will post you a specially designed gift card that you can give to your friend – this will include your friend’s name, the amount donated in their name and your name. https://www.friendsoftheearth.ie/
Eco Congregation newsletter now monthly
Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI), the Christian church green network, is now issuing its newsletter monthly; you can sign up to receive it at firstname.lastname@example.org ECI recently welcomed Anna Byrne as the new Catholic representative. https://www.ecocongregationireland.com/