5451152608 20de0c3411 oOn March 15, 2016 we would like to invite you to join a conference on “The future of interventions in war zones” organized by the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale (AFEDS-IHEDN) and PBI France in Paris.

Andres Gutierrez, Team Leader for Nonviolent Peaceforce in South Sudan and the Philippines will be speaking along with Cécile Dubernet (Executive Director of the Comité français pour une Intervention Civile de Paix and vice-Dean at the Institut Catholique de Paris) and Colonel (ER) Yves Durieux who worked at the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations for nearly 10 years.

Read more: French conference on “The future of interventions in war zones"

More people are displaced by war and violence and for longer periods than any time since WWII. The sum total of all multi-lateral, governmental, and nongovernmental efforts — both armed and unarmed — to protect civilians does not come close to meeting the need today.

Fifteen hundred people from throughout the world will gather in Washington DC next week to grapple with how we can work toward the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals in a world wracked by violence. The Fragility, Conflict and Violence Forum will be hosted by the World Bank.

Tiffany Easthom, NP’s Middle East Program Director, and Mukesh Kapila, NP’s Board Chair, will be on the panel, "More than the Sum of Its Parts: The Security, Humanitarian, Development Nexus." Joining them will be Jordan Ryan, Vice President, The Carter Center, Joelle Jenny of the EU, Oliver Ulich of the UN Department of Peacekeeping, and Marine Buissonnière from Doctors without Borders’ Beyond Kunduz Initiative.

Read more: More than the Sum of Its Parts

After 50 years, nonviolent peacekeeping or unarmed civilian protection has finally become a priority at the United Nations. When we started talking about unarmed civilian protection at the UN over a decade ago, we often found ourselves handing leaflets to the volunteers in the UNICEF shop. The blue obelisk. When we were granted an audience, our presentations were typically brief and at times met with patronizing comments about naiveté.

Today, more people are affected by conflict and disaster more frequently, and for longer periods of time than in previous decades. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection has nearly doubled in the past decade, from an average of 30 to 40 million people per year to an average of 50 to 70 million people per year.

Throughout the UN, diplomats, military attachés, policy makers, advocates and academics grappled with this escalating need. But the total of all approaches does not come close to meeting the still-burgeoning need.

Read more: From Recognition to Implementation at the United Nations

martin luther king jr displays pictures murdered civil rights workers 1964Hundreds of people, most of them young and committed to nonviolence, went to the US South to organize and register black voters in the early 1960's. Among them were Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan in 1964.

The musical group of Peter, Paul and Mary were also there. Last month, Peter Yarrow performed at a benefit for Nonviolent Peaceforce in Provincetown, Massachusetts where he compared the courage of Nonviolent Peaceforce's unarmed civilian protectors to that of the civil rights workers in the 1960's:

"Those courageous people who are just like those people in Mississippi - Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner - the courage that they had is recapitulated with Nonviolent Peaceforce. If we understand that they are doing it one human being by one human being... they are creating the conditions for peace."

Read more: Nonviolent Peaceforce and Martin Luther King Jr. Day

stephanie1

On September 21st, on the international day of peace, the Peace Manifesto: “Let the Children Play: Invest in Peace” was presented in The Hague, Netherlands. The organizer of the manifesto and the following event was EIRENE NL, an organization that starts with nonviolence to “work globally towards the realization of peace and justice.” The next day, September 22nd, it was presented to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch parliament and accepted by Fred Teeven, former State Secretary for Security and Justice.

The Peace Manifesto emphasizes the need to use nonviolent means to prevent, intervene and resolve conflict and war worldwide. It offers insights on diplomacy and Unarmed Civilian Peacework (UCP), which is already implemented by a number of Dutch peace organizations. These organizations emphasize that they can be more powerful and effective with government support. The manifesto is by no means a blueprint, but rather the start of a constructive discussion on creating lasting peace. The Dutch public and politicians are made familiar with UCP through interesting stories of UCP-workers from all over the world.

Read more: The Hague Peace Symposium

Don't miss out! On Mon, Dec 21st from 9-10 am CST, KFAI's TruthtoTell will focus on Syria and the refugee crisis. Mel Duncan, Co-Founder of Nonviolent Peaceforce and Director of Advocacy and Outreach will be on the show.

Join the discussion with Tom O'Connell and Tweet @peaceforce @kfaiFMradio during the show or call in at 612-341-0980. You can also share this page to further the conversation and donate during the show to support Nonviolent Peaceforce.

Listen via livestream at http://www.kfai.org/. Or if you are in the Twin Cities you can tune in at 90.3 FM for Minneapolis and at 106.7FM in SaintPaul.

Michelle Garnett McKenzie from The Advocates for Human Rights will also be joining!

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Today, on Human Rights day, I would like to reflect on our mission and diligence in our work in the field. From holding trainings on humanitarian law in the Philippines, to preventing gender-based violence in South Sudan, Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) fights for human rights every day in our mission to:


1.) Protect civilians in violent conflicts through unarmed strategies,
2.) Build peace side-by-side with local communities, and
3.) Advocate for the wider adoption of these approaches to safeguard human lives and dignity.

Read more: Human Rights Day 2015

In principle, the German opposition party “Die Linke” objects to military operations in foreign policy. However, the question of how to respond to civil war remains to be answered. Recently, it has been found that many projects have shown what could be possible if German foreign policy prioritized more than just military solutions as a response to crises and conflicts worldwide. Kathrin Vogler and Jan van Aden (‘Die Linke’ Parliamentarians), invited Brigitte Hinteregger and Stephanie Buljugic, two civil conflict resolution practitioners, for a discussion of this issue. “When talking about Civil Conflict Resolution the term often stays unwieldy and unclear,” said Kathrin Vogler. “In reality this work is very fascinating, challenging and, even if this is not well known, very successful.”

Brigitte Hinteregger, a trainer for Conflict and Crisis Management, shared her experience about her work in traumain civil conflict resolution projects in Liberia and South Sudan. In Liberia, for example, approximately 250,000 of its four million citizens lost their lives during the 14 years of civil war.

Read more: A Technical Discussion about “Conflict Resolution in Practice”

The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) held their bi-annual General Assembly meetings in April and October of this year. The independent civil society platform is composed of European non-governmental organizations (NGOs), networks of NGOs and think tanks committed to peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict. Nonviolent Peaceforce has been EPLO member for years and is actively participating in EPLO working groups.

EPLO aims to influence the European Union (EU) so that it promotes and implements measures which lead to sustainable peace between states and within states and peoples, and which transform and resolve conflicts non-violently. EPLO wants the EU to recognize the crucial connection between peacebuilding, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development worldwide, and the crucial role NGOs play in sustainable EU efforts for peacebuilding, conflict prevention and crisis management. EPLO’s strategy advances the interests of its 32 member organizations from 13 European countries through common policy positions and advocating for those common positions.

Read more: General Assembly at The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office