Thursday, June 28, 2007

MCC Peace Office Newsletter/ July–September 2007 11

Christians Talking with Iranians:
An American Muslim’s Perspective
by Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen

Imam Khomeini, 1902-1989

Menno Simons

Menno Simons, 1496-1561

In September 2006, Mennonite Central
Committee (MCC) was asked to arrange
for a meeting between the Iranian president
and some American religious leaders. In February
2007, MCC helped to lead a delegation
of American religious leaders to return
the visit to President Ahmadinejad in Iran.
Such meetings are controversial, both in the
United States and in Iran.

American opponents of such meetings argue
that they provide a kind of Christian religious
legitimization for a regime that has
been repeatedly condemned by the US government
for support of terrorism abroad
and violations of the human rights of those
it governs. It is also argued that Americans
who participate in such meetings are allowing
themselves to be used for propaganda
value by the Iranian government. Some
might also think that policy toward Iran is
most effective if backed by military threats,
and the resolve to carry out such threats is
weakened when American religious leaders
express a desire to talk things over.
Iranian opponents of the meetings complain
that there can be no meaningful dialogue
with those who do not publicly denounce
the anti-Islamic statements made by some
Christian leaders and the policies of the
US government directed against Iran. Some
think that the Christians who participate
in such delegations are only trying to use
the false image of Iran to their own benefit,
to display their own willingness to talk to
“the enemy” without challenging the manner
in which Iran is portrayed. Some might
also think that national unity in Iran is best
served by recognizing American enmity,
and talking with American religious leaders
undermines that clear recognition in the
Iranian populace.

On both sides, opposition to dialogue is
based on three claims: (1) the allegation that
dialogue is not right without beginning with
a condemnation of x, y, or z, and is not right
with those who do not renounce x, y, or z;
(2) the claim that dialogue has propaganda
value for the other side; and (3) the idea that
dialogue weakens the resolve to stand firm
against the other side.
To the contrary, I would argue that such
meetings can be beneficial, and that the
objections raised are irrelevant or mistaken.
First, dialogue can take place without any
question of either party providing any sort of
legitimization for the views of the other side
or the policies of the governments or religious
organizations of the other side. Dialogue
cannot take place in a fruitful way if made
conditional on the condemnation of positions
and policies that are a matter of dispute.
Second, I would hope that both sides would
get some public recognition and approval for
engaging in dialogue; but unfortunately, the
propaganda value for all concerned is rather
equivocal. Third, when we engage in dialogue,
there is no need to compromise our
disapproval of unjust policies or unfair statements
of those with whom we enter into
conversation or of their political or religious
leaders; and no such compromise was perceived
on the part of the Iranians or Americans
who met through the MCC-sponsored
visits. On the other hand, I believe that dialogue
can and should undermine efforts to
demonize our dialogue partners, and that dialogue
should encourage others to seek peaceful
resolutions to issues of controversy.
So much for the critics. What then of the benefits?
I would promote the idea that dialogue
is beneficial both for Americans and Iranians,
provided there is a sincere desire on both
sides to be honest and to seek truth. First,
misjudgments are often made regarding others
because of a lack of understanding. To a
certain extent, lack of understanding can be
overcome by research. However, some understanding
only can be gained by engaging in
the give and take of dialogue on a personal
basis. Through personal conversations one
comes to gain an appreciation of the sensibilities
of those with whom one engages. So, dialogue
between Iranian officials and American
religious leaders can help dispel American
misunderstandings about how people in the
Iranian government look at things, and Iranian
misunderstandings of how religious people
in America see the world.
Second, these sorts of meetings can serve as
an entry for further and deeper conversations.
For example, delegation members and Iranian
officials would be able to suggest and provide
introductions to institutions of higher education
that might be able to cooperate on
the development of programs of Iranian or
Islamic studies or Peace studies and religious
studies. As another example, dialogue partners
might find issues of common concern,
e.g., the environment, about which the means
for further cooperation could be sought.
Third, through the deeper conversations and
opportunities found for cooperation at the
level of people-to-people communication, the
political will might be fostered in our societies
to seek to change United States government
policies that Iranians find objectionable and
Iranian government policies that Americans
find objectionable.
Fourth, both sides might also discover with
whom cooperation is not beneficial, and how
to discern opportunities for fruitful cooperation
from prospects of wasted effort. Fifth,
through dialogue a shared understanding is
made possible through which moral reflection
with others can be conducted. Sixth,
when dialogue is strengthened and matures,
it is possible to get past posturing and stereotyping
that interfere with the efficient pursuit
of religious aims as well as other aims, commercial,
educational, cultural, etc.
Seventh, by opening the way to broader
people-to-people cooperation, dialogue
can help each side to find elements of
priceless value in the other that can inspire
efforts to improve ourselves. Theologically,
I believe that God enables us to encounter
others in which we may find signs to lead
us toward Him, as we are led to truth
through dialogue.
Needless to say, the benefits sketched are
highly idealistic. I certainly do not mean to
claim that meetings that have taken place
have come close to achieving them. The
obstacles to such achievement are enormous.
Still, such ideals may serve a regulative function.
As a committed Muslim with a profound
sense of gratitude for the friendship
and good will I have found among Mennonites
by His favor, I am also convinced that
it is religiously incumbent on both Christians
and Muslims to work at dialogue for
the sake of achieving peace through understanding,
and for keeping the course God
has set for us.
Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen is Associate
Professor of Philosophy at the Imam
Khomeini Education and Research Institute,
Qom, Iran.

The Peace Office Newsletter is published
quarterly by the Mennonite
Central Committee Overseas Peace
Office. Editor is Lawrence Rupley. Consulting
Editors are Bob Herr and Judy
Zimmerman Herr. Opinions expressed
in this newsletter reflect those of the
authors and not necessarily those of
Mennonite Central Committee.
Additional subscriptions welcome—
see address below. To keep paper and
energy waste at a minimum we ask
you to inform us if an address should be
changed or if a name should be dropped
from our mailing list. Telephone:
(717) 859-1151. Printed in the U.S.A.
To subscribe to the Peace Office Newsletter,
please send your address to MCC,
PO Box 500, Akron PA 17501-0500 or
e-mail Bev Martin at
Direct requests for additional copies
of the newsletter to Esther O’Hara at A donation of $10.00
per year per subscription is suggested.
Peace Office welcomes contributions to
its work.
The Peace Office Newsletter can also be
accessed on the MCC website:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Peace Brigades International

PBI logo

Peace Brigades International

Promoting nonviolence and protecting human rights since 1981

Peace Brigades International (PBI), founded in 1981, is a low-overhead, non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-governmental, international network of unpaid volunteers and a few paid staff. Inspired by Gandhi, PBI uses direct nonviolent action to help deter violence and expand space for human rights activism in areas of civil strife. PBI's major program areas are:

  • Protective international accompaniment.
  • Peace education.
  • Spreading information about human rights and nonviolent struggle for peace and social justice.

PBI is an NGO with associate status with the UN Department of Public Information.


The Founding of PBI
The idea to start Peace Brigades International came from people with practical experience of nonviolence. Especially relevant was the earlier work of the Shanti Sena peace army in India and the World Peace Brigades, both of which have been excellently described in a book by Mark Shephard, which is now available online.

The first steps towards PBI were taken by Narayan Desai, Piet Dijkstra, Raymond Magee, Radakrishna and Charles Walker. After a meeting in India, they proposed to convene a consultation on the matter to be held in Canada, where PBI was founded on September 4, 1981. A founding statement was adopted, and several ideas for potential projects were discussed. ( More details of the meeting and early years )

First Projects: Nicaragua and Guatemala
The first work PBI did was in Nicaragua. In September of 1983, ten PBI volunteers maintained a presence in Jalapa, close to the Honduras border, interposing themselves between Contras and Sandinista forces in order to deter hostilities. This had the desired effect in Jalapa, but in other border areas the conflict did escalate (more). The work was taken over and continued by Witness for Peace.

A Belgian volunteer accompanies an exhumation of a mass grave, Guatemala 1998 A Belgian volunteer accompanies an exhumation of a mass grave, Guatemala 1998

PBI's first major project began in 1983 in Guatemala and closed in 1999. It was in Guatemala under an extremely repressive regime that PBI developed its signature technique: unarmed international protective accompaniment. Also known as escorting, this singular approach emerged in response to the needs of the Mutual Support Group of relatives of the disappeared (GAM). After two GAM leaders had been assassinated, PBI began escorting other members 24 hours around the clock.

El Salvador

An Army brigade forcibly recruiting campesinos, San Miguel, El Salvador, 1989.
An Army brigade forcibly recruiting campesinos, San Miguel, El Salvador, 1989.
In 1987, upon invitation from Lutheran Bishop Medardo Gomez, PBI fielded a project in El Salvador similar to the one in Guatemala. Most of the work consisted of providing international protective accompaniment to threatened organizations in the popular movement, and regular visits to various villages of returned refugees. Groups with whom we worked included COMADRES (Committee of mothers and relatives of the disappeared), UNTS and FENASTRAS (unions), CRIPDES (Christian committee for internal refugees), and AMS (Women's organization).

The El Salvador project was closed in 1992, as there were no more requests for PBI's type of work after the signing of the peace accord between government and guerrillas. We continue to monitor the situation in the country, with occasional visits to the organizations that we used to provide accompaniment for, but we hope that there will never be a reason to go back there to resume our work.

Later Projects

PBI volunteer Peter Leblanc with Venerable G. Asami and two participants in the International Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace, Sri Lanka, 1996.
PBI volunteer Peter Leblanc with Venerable G. Asami and two participants in the International Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace, Sri Lanka, 1996.

In 1989 PBI began a project in Sri Lanka, which was closed in 1998. In 1991 another project opened in North America, working primarily with indigenous people. After a number of requests starting in 1991, the Colombia Project was launched in the fall of 1994. In December of 1995, a long term presence began in Haiti which followed a short term presence there in the fall of 1993 as part of the Cry for Justice coalition.

We also collaborated with other organizations in the Balkan Peace Team, which was active in Croatia and more recently in Belgrade and Kosovo. Another joint project in which PBI participates, is the International Service for Peace in Chiapas (SIPAZ).

In addition to this, PBI has also conducted small scale projects in Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, South Africa, and in connection with the 1993 World Tribunal in Salzburg, Austria. In 1988 there was also a second project in Nicaragua in collaboration with the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica, where workshops and discussions were held on the topic of nonviolence and social defense. All of these projects had a very limited mandate and time frame.

In 1998 PBI's General Assembly created the Mexico Project as a response to requests for international accompaniment by several Mexican NGOs in the face of the worsening human rights situation in several Mexican states.

In the year 2000, PBI opened its first team in South-East Asia, in West Timor, Indonesia to create the Indonesia Project. Recent and long-standing conflict in regions of Indonesia had led to invitations for a PBI presence by local humanitarian and non-governmental groups.

Organizational Structure

The foundations of Peace Brigades International are the Country Groups of members that work to support the various projects. They recruit and train volunteers, raise funds, publicize PBI's activities, and do political work to safeguard PBI volunteers on the teams and the people they accompany. The Emergency Response Network is an important part of this work.

For each Project there is a Project Committee and a Project Office. The latter is usually located outside the project country for security reasons, and is staffed by a Project Coordinator and local volunteers.

The highest decision making body of PBI is the General Assembly, which convenes once every three years, and to which the country groups and the projects send representatives. Assemblies have been held in Canada, Germany, India, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

The International Council implements policies and procedures determined by the General Assembly and makes decisions between General Assemblies.

There is an International Office in London, England, staffed by part-time workers who work on organizational development, internal communication, finances, and administration. The address is given below.

PBI Organization Chart

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ziviler Friedensdienst

The Forum Civil Peace Service (forumZFD) is an association of various German peace movement and non-profit organizations aimed at creating and strengthening the instruments of civilian conflict resolution by non-violent means. The forumZFD works with alternatives to violence, both in our ownprojects, in our trainings and through advocacy of the Civil Peace Service concept. It is a non-governmental organisation with around 40 memberassociations and 240 individual members. The Academy for Conflict Transformation, within the forumZFD, trains people to become qualified peaceconsultants. The forumZFD itself assigns peace consultants to conflict regions, in cooperation with member organizations from the German peace movement, and on the invitation of peace-willing local partner organizations.

Forum Civil Peace Service - forumZFD

Since 1998 approximately 180 Civil Peace Service projects have been coordinated throughout the world by member organisations of Consortium ZFD. 315 peace consultants were dispatched in order to implement these projects in more than 40 countries (figures from October 2006).

As a well-known advocate of the Civil Peace Service, forumZFD works in both of these conflict regions in cooperation with local employees and qualified international consultants.

The selection of our employees takes place according to the specific demands of each conflict situation and project. The usual method for selecting consultants is based on general criteria (education, work experience and experience of travelling and living abroad), social and personal skills (empathy, intercultural knowledge, ability to cope with stress, self-reflection) and specialist skills in the area of conflict resolution, language abilities and regional knowledge.

The coordination of the projects in the Middle East and the Former Yugoslavia, and lobbying and networking for the project intentions, and further development of ZFD’s profile is the responsibility of forumZFD’s Projects and Programmes department, which is based in Bonn, Germany.

The aim of and conviction behind our work is establishing the Civil Peace Service as a constructive, lasting and dignified method of conflict resolution, so that it can be increasingly used both in international security and peace policies, and in handling escalating conflicts within Germany.

forumZFD therefore sees its work as a part of worldwide efforts to develop a workable alternative to military conflict resolution. We therefore initiated the establishment of the European Network for Civil Peace Service, and we are a member of the global Nonviolent Peaceforce.

On a German level, forumZFD is a member of Consortium Civil Peace Service, the amalgamation of all supporters of Civil Peace Service in Germany. Other members of this group include the well-known development services German Development Service, Association for Development Co-operation (AGEH), Christian Service International (CFI), EIRENE, Church Development Service (EED), World Community Service (WFD) and Action Committee Service for Peace (AGDF).


forumZFD sends qualified peace consultants to the conflict regions of the Western Balkan and the Middle East (Palestine, Israel and Jordan), and in these areas it works in close cooperation with partner organisations from the peace movement in Germany. In total 13 peace consultants are currently in action in 12 projects.

The central idea in the conception and implementation af all forumZFD projects is to work in cooperation with local organisations to reduce and avoid violence, to promote agreement and to contribute to a fair and lasting peace.

forumZFD experts support peaceful methods for dealing with conflicts and potential conflicts, increase existing attempts at reconciliation and peace keeping and reinforce contributions towards the reconstruction of a working civil society. forumZFD employees are available as contacts for all social groups and initiatives in the project region concerned.

forumZFD’s work can currently be divided into the following categories:

  • Constructing structures for cooperation and discussion
  • Establishing refuges and ‘safe’ areas to support and advise all those involved in conflict
  • Strengthening information and communication structures on the topic of “Causes and effects of violent conflict”
  • Reintegration and rehabilitation of groups most seriously affected by violence (refugees and ex-fighters)
  • Advice and training on ideas behind and methods of alternative conflict resolution

Some facts...

Since 1998 approximately 180 Civil Peace Service projects have been coordinated throughout the world by member organisations of Consortium ZFD 315 peace consultants were dispatched in order to implement these projects in more than 40 countries (figures from October 2006).

As a well-known advocate of the Civil Peace Service, forumZFD works in the conflict regions of the Middle East and Western Balkan in cooperation with local employees and qualified international consultants.

The selection of our employees takes place according to the specific demands of each conflict situation and project. The usual method for selecting consultants is based on general criteria (education, work experience and experience of travelling and living abroad), social and personal skills (empathy, intercultural knowledge, ability to cope with stress, self-reflection) and specialist skills in the area of conflict resolution, language abilities and regional knowledge.

The preparation of consultants essentially consists of topics covered in the Academy for Conflict Transformation`s four-month qualifying course. In addition to this, before they leave they are prepared for their specific tasks and the demands posed by the country concerned in project-related preparation in conjunction with forumZFD’s Projects and Programmes department.

The coordination of the projects in the Middle East and the Former Yugoslavia, and lobbying and networking for the project intentions, and further development of ZFD’s profile is the responsibility of forumZFD’s Projects and Programmes department, which is based in Bonn, Germany.

Peace needs experts - we qualify them

The Academy for Conflict Transformation in the Forum Civil Peace Service (forumZFD) imparts knowledge and skills for sustainable peace work at home and abroad in courses, workshops and seminars. It offers facilities to learn about and discuss current issues of peace development, civil conflict transformation and the Civil Peace Service. For more information, see About Us.

Our offers at a glance

With our Advanced Programme, we offer Trainings on fundamental and specialised topics of conflict transformation in German and English. The Advanced Programme qualifies people to engage in professional work in the areas of conflict transformation, civil conflict resolution, Civil Peace Service and crisis prevention. It consists of 20 practice-oriented Trainings of one to three days each of which is offered in German and in English.

The 10-week Peace and Conflict Consultant Advanced Course is aimed at

professionals who already work in the field of civil conflict transformation in their home countries or abroad and who have relevant work and life experience.

Our four-month Peace and Conflict Consultant Qualification Course is a comprehensive, intensive qualification - the only one of its kind in Germany in this form - for people with life and work experience who want to work professionally in the field of civil conflict transformation.

In addition we offer seminars in co-operation with other organisations on specialist topics, a series of lecture, workshops and specialist events and Trainings for Peace. For a full overview of the seminars, courses and services offered by the Academy, please click here.

New Academy brochure

The new brochure of the Academy for Conflict Transformation gives you an overview on our complete programme of the second half of 2007 as well as an outlook for 2008.

We are happy to post a copy to you on request. You can also download the brochure as a PDF here:

Registration now possible online!

The new Advanced Programme as well as the new Advanced Course "Peace and Conflict Consultant" will start in July 2007. You can now register even more easily! Registration for individual trainings or whole modules is now possible using our online registration form here.

Please register as soon as possible for your preferred trainings, as there is a limited number of places available. If you need a visa to travel to Germany for the training please apply two months before the training starts to allow enough time to apply for the visa (information on visa requirements).

Feel free to contact us for advice on the best combination of trainings for your needs. Stephan Clauss is happy to advise you by e-mail (, telephone (++49 228 9814475) or Skype (akademie.stephan.clauss).

Selected Trainings from the new Advanced Programme

To give you an idea of the type of topics covered in the Advanced Programme, here is a selection of individual Trainings:

  • Conflict transformation – who, how, when, why?
    State and non-state intervention in civil and non-violent
    conflict resolution and peace-building
    Mon. 15.10. to Wed. 17.10.2007 (English)
  • Civil Peace Service (CPS) – an instrument of development co-operation
    Political framework, fields of action and project practice
    Thur. 18.10. to Fri. 19.10.2007 (English)
  • Intercultural challenge: understanding conflicts together
    Putting tools into context, participatory conflict analysis,
    transfer and cultural adaptation, ownership
    Thur. 25.10. to Fri. 26.10.2007 (English)
  • Intervening as a third party – how and with what aim?
    Conflict resolution methods at grassroot and middle societal levels
    Tue. 13.11. to Thur. 15.11.2007 (English)
  • Consulting in a conflict context
    Competences in consulting actors and structures on grassroot and middle societal levels; consultancy models and organisational development
    Mon. 19.11. to Wed. 21.11.2007 (English)
  • Conflicts about resources
    Land, water, natural resources as causes of war or conditions for peace,
    scope for action in conflict resolution
    Thur. 22.11. to Fri. 23.11.2007 (English)
  • Security Sector Reform (SSR)
    Concept, goals and significance for promoting peace;
    scope of action for external actors
    Tue. 27.11.2007 (English)
  • Peace and conflict-sensitive impact analysis
    Project monitoring in a peace and conflict-sensitive manner,
    “measuring” impact and social change
    Mon. 03.12. to Wed. 05.12.2007 (English)

The above Trainings will also be offered in German in September and October, see here for the dates.

You'll find the complete overview with details of all of the Trainings within the Advanced Programme here. For further information on our new offers, see Advanced Programme or Peace and Conflict Consultant Advanced Course.


If you live and work in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and fulfil certain requirements, you can apply for the NRW-Bildungssch€ck. This is a programme run by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia that provides financial support for vocational-orientated further training. More information at

Künstlerinnen und Künstler sowie Verantwortliche aus der deutschen Kulturszene setzten im September 2003 ein deutliches Zeichen für Frieden und gegen Krieg und Gewalt. Sie gründeten in Düsseldorf das Künstlerforum Ziviler Friedensdienst. Ziel des Künstlerforums ist es, Kunstschaffende aller Gattungen in den Zivilen Friedensdienst (ZFD) einzubinden, Kunst als Instrument des ZFD zu stärken und zur Stiftung und Erhaltung des Friedens in Krisenregionen beizutragen. Gründungsmitglieder sind unter anderem Dr. Peter Bach (Kunstsalon Köln), Ilse Brusis (MdL, Präsidentin der Kunststiftung NRW), Roberto Ciulli (Theater an der Ruhr), Prof. Dr. Max Fuchs (Deutscher Kulturrat), Rodrigo Hochfaerber (bildender Künstler) und Bertram Müller (Tanzhaus NRW).
"Der Zivile Friedensdienst", so Bertram Müller, "ist eine bisher kaum wahrgenommene Methode zur Gewalt- und Konflikttransformation. Gerade Kunst und Künstler als kreative Vermittler sind gefordert, sich zu engagieren." "Wir wollen Künstlerinnen und Künstler dazu einladen, sich stärker und konkreter für den Frieden zu engagieren", erklärte Gründungsmitglied Ilse Brusis. Das künstlerforumZFD will dabei die vielfältige Fachkenntnis von Kunstschaffenden bei der Suche nach neuen Lösungen in festgefahrenen Konflikten in die Waagschale werfen und die integrative Kraft der Kunst zur Überbrückung von Grenzen und Förderung von Kommunikation nutzen..

Politischer Kontext

Ein zentrales Ziel demokratischer Politik ist die Verhinderung, Deeskalierung und Beendigung gewaltsamer Konflikte. In diesem Rahmen ist es die Aufgabe der Entwicklungspolitik, in den betreffenden Partnerländern durch Verbesserung der wirtschaftlichen, sozialen, politischen, ökologischen und kulturellen Verhältnisse zum Abbau der Ursachen von Konflikten sowie zum Aufbau von Strukturen und Mechanismen gewaltfreier Konfliktbearbeitung beizutragen. In den vergangenen Jahren wurden internationale und nationale Konzepte für eine entsprechende Ausrichtung der Entwicklungspolitik verabschiedet. Die Verfolgung dieser Ziele stellt zusätzliche Anforderungen an die Instrumente der Entwicklungspolitik. Insbesondere bedarf die gesellschaftlich-kulturelle Dimension der Konfliktbewältigung einer Verstärkung. Denn bei einer großen Anzahl von letztlich gewaltsam ausgetragener Konflikte spielen kulturelle, religiöse und ideologische Differenzen häufig eine zentrale Rolle.

Aufgaben des künstlerforumZFD

Das künstlerforumZFD unterstützt und beteiligt sich an Projekte des ZFD weltweit:
- bei der Prävention von gewaltsamen Konflikten (Peace-Keeping),
- bei Interventionen während einer Gewaltphase (Peace-Making),
- in post-conflict-Situationen (Peace-Building).
Dazu gilt es, KünstlerInnen aller Gattungen in den ZFD einzubeziehen und Kunst als Instrument einer gewaltfreien Konfliktlösung zu stärken durch:
- Beratung bei der Entwicklung von künstlerischen Vorhaben mit ZFD-Charakter,
- Bildung eines Pools qualitativ geprüfter Kunstprojekte, die im Rahmen des ZFD umgesetzt werden können,
- Entwicklung von kunstbezogenen Strategien und Lösungskonzepten zur Verhinderung und Beendigung gewaltsamer Konflikte,
- Vermittlung und Empfehlung von geeigneten KünstlerInnen für die Mitarbeit im ZFD,
- Beratung und Mitwirkung bei der Ausbildung von Friedensfachkräften unter dem besonderen Aspekt des Einsatzes der Kunst im ZFD,
- Erarbeiten von Schlüsselkompetenzen für die Qualifizierung von Friedensfachkräften in den Bereichen Kunst, Kultur und Kommunikation,
- Schaffung von Öffentlichkeit für den ZFD und seine Projekte,
- Aufbau eines internationalen Netzwerkes von Kunst- und Kulturschaffenden auf der Grundlage einer Datenbank und eines Dokumentationsarchivs.

Ziele des künstlerforumZFD

Das künstlerforumZFD will die Partizipation von KünstlerInnen an Maßnahmen des Zivilen Friedensdienstes (ZFD) fördern. Dabei sollen die schöpferischen und friedenswirksamen Kräfte der Kunst im ZFD - sowohl im nationalen wie auch im internationalen Kontext - entwickelt und verstärkt werden. Das künstlerforumZFD lädt KünstlerInnen ein, künstlerische Projekte, die im Rahmen des ZFD umsetzbar sind, zu entwickeln und zu präsentieren.
Ein Engagement von Kunstschaffenden im künstlerforumZFD kann u.a. auf folgenden Wegen erfolgen:
- Zeitlich begrenzte künstlerische Aktivitäten im Rahmen von Projekten des ZFD,
- Qualifizierung von Kunstschaffenden zu Friedensfachkräften zum Einsatz in einer Krisenregion,
- Unterstützung der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit des ZFD durch Kunstaktionen.

Hier finden Sie einige interessante Links aus dem Bereich Ziviler Friedensdienst / zivile Konfliktbearbeitung.
Diese Liste erhebt keinen Anspruch auf Vollstنndigkeit, für Anregungen zurAufnahme weiterer Internetseiten kontaktieren Sie bitte Frau Cلit Kinsella.

Das Konsortium Ziviler Friedensdienst und seine Mitglieder
Konsortium Ziviler Friedensdienst »
Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienst für den Frieden e.V. (AGDF) »
Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Entwicklungshilfe e.V. (AGEH) »
Christliche Fachkrنfte International (CFI) »
Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst gGmbH (DED) »
Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst e.V. (EED) »
Weltfriedensdienst e.V. (WFD) »

auf nationaler Ebene:
Arbeitskreis Lernen und Helfen in ـbersee e.V. (AK LHـ) »
Gruppe Friedensentwicklung (FriEnt) »
Netzwerk Friedenskooperative »
Plattform Zivile Konfliktbearbeitung »
Verband Entwicklungspolitik deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen e.V. (VENRO) »
auf europنischer Ebene:
European Network for Civil Peace Services (ENCPS) »
European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) »
auf internationaler Ebene:
Global Peace Services USA »
International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) »
Nonviolent Peaceforce »

Staatliche Akteure
Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) »
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GTZ) »
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) »
Zentrum für Internationale Friedenseinsنtze (ZIF) »
Zivile Konfliktbearbeitung (zivik) »

Weitere Anbieter von Seminaren und Trainings
in Deutschland:
AKE-Bildungswerk e.V. »
Bund für Soziale Verteidigung (BSV) »
Europنisches Institut Conflict-Culture-Cooperation (EICCC) »
fairaend »
Institut für konstruktive Konfliktaustragung und Mediation (ikm) »
Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH (InWEnt) »
Internationaler Versِhnungsbund »
Kِlner Trainingskollektiv »
KURVE Wustrow – Bildungs- und Begegnungsstنtte für gewaltfreie Aktion e.V. »
ضkumenischer Dienst Schalomdiakonat (OeD) »
ORCA Institut für Konfliktmanagement und Training »
Qualifizierungsverbund der AGDF »
UMBRUCH – Bildungswerk für Friedenspolitik und gewaltfreie Verنnderung »
Werkstatt für Gewaltfreie Aktion Baden »
in anderen Lنndern:
Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), ضsterreich »
Conflict Research Consortium, USA »
European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU), ضsterreich »
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Council for a Livable World

About the CLW

Why The Council Exists

Council for a Livable World was founded in 1962 by eminent nuclear physicist Leo Szilard and other scientists who worked in the pioneer days of atomic weapons.

The goal of these men and women, who knew firsthand the nature of nuclear weapons, was to warn the public and Congress of the threat of nuclear war and lead the way to rational arms control and nuclear disarmament.

The mission of the Council has remained simple and pragmatic.

The Council provides Senators and Members of Congress with sophisticated technical and scientific information that helps them make intelligent decisions about weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, nuclear non-proliferation and other national security issues.

The Council was instrumental in passing the Chemical Weapons Convention and the 1992 nuclear testing moratorium, the Intermediate- Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, the START Treaties; banning biological weapons; terminating chemical weapons production and the Minuteman missile; negotiation the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; limiting MX and B-2 deployment; blocking deployment by the Clinton Administration of a National Missile Defense and eliminating funding for the nuclear bunker buster, a new generation of nuclear weapons.

Council for a Livable World will continue to advocate deep reductions and the eventual elimination of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. As we broaden our mission in the 21st century, we will focus on ending the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and finding non-military solutions to international conflict.

How It Works in Washington

The Council uses many tools to monitor and influence arms control legislation in the U.S. Congress.

Legislation. The Council helps initiate and draft national security legislation, monitors appropriate committees, arranges for expert witnesses for important hearings, and keeps accurate head counts before votes are taken.

Lobbying. Council national security experts work to shape pending legislation in Congress and the Administration. Many Council supporters have joined the Grassroots Network to lobby Members of Congress personally on key votes.

Seminars. Council board members and other knowledgeable authorities outside of government provide valuable technical, scientific, and tactical information to Members of Congress and their staffs.

Public Information. To inform the public, political figures, and news media, the Council publishes fact sheets on weapons of mass destruction, nuclear nonproliferation and other national security issues; distributes voting records of senators and representatives on national security issues; has extensive email lists to distribute articles, analyses and other information and maintains an extensive website:

Joint Actions. The Council works closely with other arms control and national security groups to track major legislation, build coalitions to work with Congress, and keep the public informed about key national sdcurity issues.

Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund

The Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund is the electoral arm of the arms control and national security community. Over the last 44 years the Council’s political efforts have helped elect 113 U.S. Senators and 150 Members of the House of Representatives.

Council for a Livable World sends to its members regular updates on the closest Senate and House elections. Unlike other candidate assistance groups, Council members themselves decide which Council endorsed candidates they prefer to support.

A Council member makes out a check to a candidate and sends it to the Council or contributes online, where the contributions are sent with hundreds of others to the candidate. This guarantees that the candidate knows the contributions are from advocates for sensible national security policies.

Council supporters provide more funds to opponents of the arms race than any other arms control organization in America – $1.5 million in 2006. Incumbents and challengers alike understand that Council members are very serious about eliminating weapons of mass destruction. The Council’s political program begins with exhaustive campaign intelligence gathered months, even years, before elections take place.

Candidates are required to answer rigorous questionnaires on issues and to defend their positions in interviews. The nonpartisan Council does not get involved in every race.

-It chooses races where the differences between candidates on arms control issues are clear-cut.
-It prefers to concentrate on smaller states and primary elections, where campaign dollars go farther.
-It recommends candidates in close races where Council dollars can be crucial and when candidates have true financial need.

The Council model is widely recognized as very effective. Over the past three election campaigns, the Republican Party has spent well over a $1 million on ad campaigns designed to portray Council-supported candidates as unpatriotic and un-American for their support of more sensible national security policies—a message that ultimately failed to resonate with voters. In 2006, the Council helped defeat arch conservatives Conrad Burns (R-MT), Rick Santorum (R-PA), and Mike DeWine (R-OH), and replace them with Jon Tester, Bob Casey, and Sherrod Brown, respectively.

For the 2008 elections, the Council will support candidates who advocate reductions in nuclear weapons, an end to the deployment of an ineffective missile defense system, and expansion of non-proliferation programs. Council welcomes suggestions from its members.

1949 Photo of Leo Szilard

In 1932, Szilárd had read about the fictional "atomic bombs" described in H. G. Wells's science fiction novel The World Set Free. This inspired him to be the first scientist to seriously examine the science behind the creation of nuclear weapons. As a scientist, he was the first person to conceive of a device that, using a nuclear chain reaction as fuel, could be used as a bomb.

"During 1943 and part of 1944 our greatest worry was the possibility that Germany would perfect an atomic bomb before the invasion of Europe...In 1945, when we ceased worrying about what the Germans might do to us, we began to worry about what the government of the United States might do to other countries."

-Leo Szilard(left), physicist

Thursday, June 21, 2007

International Peace Bureau

The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. We ar a Nobel Peace Laureate (1910) and over the years 13 of our officers have been receipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Our 265 member organisations in over 60 countries, and individual members, from a global network bringing together expertise and campaigning experience in a common cause. Our current main programme centres on Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development.

The IPB was founded in 1891-2, as a result of consultations at the Universal Peace Congresses, large gatherings held annually to bring together the national peace societies that had gradually developed, mainly in Europe and North America, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars onwards. The representatives of the Peace Societies felt that the movement needed a permanent office to coordinate the activities of the national associations and to organise the Universal Peace Congresses. Thus was born the ´Permanent International Peace Bureau´, as it was known (´Permanent´ was later dropped from the title).

The seat of the new organisation was Berne, the capital of neutral Switzerland. The first President of the IPB was the Dane Fredrik Bajer and its first Secretary-General the Swiss Elie Ducommun. Ducommun was later succeeded by another Swiss, Albert Gobat. Both of them, and Fredrik Bajer, won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Another Nobel laureate was the colourful Austrian countess Bertha von Suttner, who was a friend of Alfred Nobel and encouraged him to establish the Peace Prize. She was the author of the celebrated book (and film) Lay Down your Arms! It should be noted that between 1901 and 1982 thirteen of IPB´s officers individually received the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the Bureau itself in 1910.

During these early years the IPB was more or less the only peace international. It took positions, not only in favour of disarmament, but also on the various international conflicts of the day. Its basic ideological approach has been described as bourgeois pacifism, i.e. a heavy emphasis on the development of international law, disarmament and the peaceful settlement of conflicts. Von Suttner and others entered into dialogue with Tsar Nicholas II, urging him to establish an International Peace Conference, an idea that eventually came to fruition at the Hague in 1899 and 1907. IPB was active in promoting the idea of the establishment of a League of Nations and an International Court, although some individuals had doubts about the kind of peace that would result from what were basically inter-state institutions.

The IPB was of course unable to prevent the outbreak of World War 1, and in due course, World War 2. During both of these conflicts the peace movement was largely inactive (with certain notable exceptions such as the women´s gathering in 1915 that led to the creation of the Women´s International League for Peace and Freedom). Many peace activists were either swept up in the war fever, joined the armed forces, or were limited to providing aid to refugees and wounded combatants. Many IPB members shared the enthusiasm surrounding the birth of the League of Nations, and it was logical that the Bureau should move its office to Geneva in 1924 to be close to the international institutions there.

In the inter-war period IPB struggled to get its voice heard but was gradually drowned out in the rising tide of nationalism. Secretary-General since 1911, Henri Golay was able to keep the Bureau functioning until the outbreak of war in 1939. His death in 1950 marked the end of the old IPB, but a new one was in the process of being born. After many organisational complications the International Liaison Committee of Organisations for Peace (ILCOP), which had inherited the assets of the old IPB, was renamed IPB in 1964 and ILCOP became a small private foundation. IPB opened a new office at the current address, and began to rebuild a new membership.

Since the 1960s the IPB´s primary concerns have largely reflected those of the movement as a whole in Western countries. These include the struggle against the Vietnam war, the right to conscientious objection, the UN Special Sessions on Disarmament, the Freeze and Euromissile campaigns and the European Nuclear Disarmament movement, foreign military bases, the illegality (and abolition) of nuclear weapons (World Court Project, Abolition 2000 etc), the Gulf War, the arms trade, militarism and the environment, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, women and peace, and the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

IPB´s membership remained low in the 60s and 70s, but rose sharply after the merger with the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace in 1984. In 1963 there were 17 member organisations. There are now 170.

The first President of the new IPB was Ernst Wolf (1963-1974) who was the mastermind behind the merger and the establishment of the ILCOP foundation. He was succeeded in 1974 by Sean MacBride, who continued until 1985, giving way to Bruce Kent of British CND. Maj-Britt Theorin, a former Swedish Ambassador for Disarmament, was president from 1992-2000. The current President, Cora Weiss, a lifelong peace, human rights and women´s activist, was elected in 2000.

Various individuals have held the post of Secretary-General, among them Ulrich Herz (1967-71) and Rainer Santi (1986-1990) both of Sweden, and the current postholder Colin Archer (1990-) from the UK. Others who have devoted many years of work to the Secretariat include the late Arthur Booth (chairman 1968-80), and a long list of volunteers.

One of the IPB´s greatest recent highlights was the centenary year 1991-2, when various commemorative events were held, including a reception and evening of speeches in Berne, a centenary exhibition organised at the Palais des Nations by the League of Nations Archives Service, the presentation to the UN of the Lawyers´ Appeal against Nuclear Weapons published in 1987 by Sean MacBride, the international launch in Geneva of the World Court Project, and a multi-site centenary conference held in Helsinki, Stockholm and Tallinn.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

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There's a 12-story miracle in Flushing Meadow Park called Unisphere. It's the largest replica of the world ever built. And the symbol of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.
Before Unisphere was completed, it confronted U.S. Steel with unbelievable engineering and construction problems. Since it's an open sculpture, with virtually every part exposed, Unisphere had to be built to withstand the rain and ice. And the salt-laden gales that sweep across Long Island.
But all these problems were solved. Without sacrificing beauty for strength, or strength for beauty. And defying predictions that Unisphere was "impossible," it was completed a full five months ahead of schedule. And when the last section of the stainless-steel globe was put into place, all the pieces fit perfectly. They had to. There wasn't a replacement part on earth, because nothing like Unisphere had ever been attempted before.
Unisphere towers 140 feet over a reflecting pool. Has 500 separate parts. Weighs 900 thousand pounds. And has a diameter of 120 feet.
It will remain as a permanent reminder of man's aspirations for peace through understanding, and a symbol of his achievements in an expanding universe. Unisphere is truly the miracle in the meadow.

Source: United States Steel Advertisement


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All of the above is from:

International Participation in the New York World's Fair 1964-1965

<Title & Contents Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Footnotes Illustration Sources Bibliography>

Chapter Six

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Page One



Architectural model of the Pavilion of Sierra Leone*
Architectural model of the Sierra Leone Pavilion

Ancient wars, modern conflicts and American foreign policy all surfaced during the course of the New York World's Fair 1964-1965 and left their marks upon the make-up of the International Area. But there were still pavilions that did their part to bring Peace Through Understanding to the Fair. Perhaps the most impressive attendees in the International Area were a large number of new nations, recently liberated from colonialism in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The 1964 Fair was the first time many of these nations had a chance to exhibit themselves as a participant of the world of nations and not as a sideshow exhibit, as they had often been portrayed in fairs since the Victorian era. Without a major showing of Western European nations at this Fair because of the BIE regulations, developing nations captured the attention of the visitors to the International Area. For these nations, Peace Through Understanding was an ideal of the utmost importance - their very future depended upon it.

Nearly thirty African nations had exhibits at the Fair, twenty-three of which combined forces to create the African Village.... Amongst the Asian nations with colonial pasts were the Philippines, Malaysia and India. The future prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, led a special committee for the India Pavilion. She gave a speech on the opening day of the Fair outlining her country's interests in the theme of the Fair.

Our participation confirms our faith in the theme of this fair....Historically your theme is linked with its location, for we are in New York City, the home of the United Nations, the economic capital of a country which has through its programs…displayed a living and tangible belief in the human bonds which link its people with the people of the world. No country is entirely self-sufficient. No single economy can survive in isolation, or keep its dollars without taking and giving. It is therefore only with mutual help that we can preserve what we have and use it for the betterment of our lives. And it is only through interdependence that we can tread the path of peace, peace not in the passive sense - not the mere absence of war - but a dynamic, meaningful, and living peace that brings liberty, justice, and prosperity to all.146

The Philippines Pavilion was shaped like a salakot, a peaked sun hat. Filipino dancers performed traditional dances in an open-air theater, a far cry from an earlier presence of the Philippines at an American World's Fair in 1904. The St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 celebrated American expansionist dreams. The Philippines was a newly acquired American colonial property, and was represented in the amusement area with a giant Philippine reservation consisting of villages of four tribes of Filipinos going about their daily lives. Fair visitors could watch the Filipinos in their so-called natural environment and feel proud about the achievements of American imperialism. In addition, American schooling was provided to the tribesmen at the reservation.148 At the 1964 Fair, however, the Philippines was no longer an amusement; it was a participant nation in the "Olympics of Progress."

For African nations, Peace Through Understanding was invoked with the most vigor, although sadly, nation-making proved to be more difficult in the world at large. In an article he wrote for Newsday in 1966, Moses reflected on a problem during the Fair that summoned the painful reality of Africa's post-colonial situation. "The magnificent tall Watusi dancers we expected at the fair were a year late in arriving, in the course of which thousands were massacred by their newly emancipated neighbors. We were lucky to get 28 of the survivors."153

Watusi dancers

Watusi dancers at the Pavilion of Africa.*

Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly at all, the Fair's theme best surfaced in areas of the Fair that were unrelated to world politics and foreign policy. Parker Pen's exhibit aimed for "the launching of a million international friendships" by generating computerized pen pal matches from around the world for visitors to the Pavilion.154 One of the most popular attractions at the Fair was a ride in the Pepsi-Cola Pavilion in the Industrial Area called "It's a Small World - A Salute to UNICEF." Another major success was the Johnson's Wax Pavilion's film, To Be Alive. Johnson's Wax told the filmmakers, Francis Thompson and Alexander Hammid, to make a film having to do with Peace Through Understanding. Thompson reflected, "Should a film devoted to Peace Through Understanding try to approach head-on such obvious and painful stumbling-blocks as war, overpopulation and the rise of nationalism?"156 He decided against it, and instead chose to make a film celebrating the joy of living that went on to win the 1965 Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.... It was a film "of surpassing excellence about the universalities of human experience," wrote Time.158

Unisphere: The Fair's symbol of Peace Through Understanding, under construction in 1963.*
Unisphere under construction

In some exhibits, the Fair succeeded in putting forward the idea that war and strife were unwelcome features of the world when such a fantastic world of peace and brotherhood was possible. Such exhibits, however, were rarely those in the International Area. They were mostly exhibits of American corporations, suggesting that consumerism, more than cultural exchange, was the path to peace. What led to the failure of the International Area to bring about Peace Through Understanding? The Fair began with apolitical intentions, which, it was thought, would advance the theme. It was a non-governmental venture, and it remained that way as far as funding and leadership were concerned. But it was not immune to the influence of the American government, especially the International Area. At times it was instructed to act on behalf of the government. At times it was affected by the diplomatic actions of the government. Other times the Fair actually assumed the role of the government in its own dealings with foreign nations. Over the course of planning and negotiations, the Fair actually shared the intentions of American foreign policy. The IAE conducted its business with the agenda of the American way - the belief in democracy, free-enterprise and freedom. It was, inevitably, a political fair. Moses and his staff, tried as they might, had little power over the International Area. They could not control the events that took place, the exhibits that were built, the fights that ensued and the knowledge of the world that visitors took away with them when they left. Fair planners naively thought that a slogan could overcome the politics, the power and the economic problems of the world, but at the New York World's Fair of 1964-1965, there were limits on Peace Through Understanding.

© Copyright 2005 Sharyn Elise Jackson, All Rights Reserved.
The above is excerpted from:

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