Natalie Sikorski, NP Advocacy intern, monitors the General Assembly deliberations on the resolution for the Culture of Peace.The UN General Assembly (UNGA) today (December 15) approved a Resolution on Follow-up to the Declaration of Programme of Action on the Culture of Peace, A/69/L.34, put forth by Bangladesh and co-sponsored by over 100 countries. Language noting unarmed civilian protection (UCP) was contained in the resolution, marking the first time UCP has been officially referenced in a UGA Resolution. The resolution notes:

"...the initiatives of civil society, in collaboration with governments, to strengthen civilian capacities to enhance the physical safety of vulnerable populations under threat of violence and to promote peaceful settlement of disputes..."

In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Abdul Momen, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN noted the urgency to build the Culture of Peace that is the aspiration of all humanity. “To move away from the chaos and violence, the Culture of Peace is the answer,” he urged.

Read more: UN General Assembly Approves Language Supporting Unarmed Civilian Protection

peace-286-rgb-3Three Nonviolent Peaceforce peacekeepers and one NP Chapter President were awarded Rotary Peace Fellowships this year. Three will be going to the Rotary Peace Center at the University of Queensland, Australia, for a two year Master’s Degree.  Two will be going to Chulalongkorn University Rotary Peace Center for the three-month peace and conflict studies certificate.   In addition, NP Minneapolis office Intern, last year’s fellowship winner will be heading for University of Queensland in January. These fellowships will contribute greatly to their personal leadership and management skills when returning to work in the field of peace and conflict.

Read more: Nonviolent Peaceforce gets Rotary Peace Fellowships

Miming the dynamics of an armed conflictJambville is a typical little French town located 50 kilometers to the north west of Paris. It contains a dozen old houses with stone facades and tiny well maintained gardens. There is no bakery, no grocery shop… and not even a pub! Everything is so quiet there, that one could think time had stopped for the 700 people living in the place. After passing a few corners on the main road, you start driving along a very old but impressive wall. This eventually leads to the entrance of a majestic park. Standing behind the metal gate, you finally glimpse it: Le Chateau de Jambville (Jambville Castle). The castle was built in the seventeenth century and is surrounded by nearly 52 hectares of gardens, half of which is meadow and half which is forest.

Read more: Under attack: simulation turns theory into reality

Board of DirectorsNP’s Board of Directors is responsible for NP’s policies, direction, and integrity as it carries out its mission to protect civilians. The Board monitors that NP complies with its stated purposes., as well as The Board appoints and supervises the CEO, and amends the Bylaws as needed. Board members are selected to bring a global perspective to NP’s work, as well as variety in terms of expertise, skills, and interests. Because the Board members live in many parts of the globe, most Board meetings are phone conferences.

In September 2014, NP welcomed three new members to the Board. They possess a diverse set of skills and experiences that support NP’s new governance design.  They are:

1. Mukesh Kapila
Mukesh Kapila has extensive experience in the policy and practice of international development, humanitarian affairs, human rights and diplomacy. His particular expertise lies in tackling crimes against humanity, disaster and conflict management, and in global public health.  He has held senior positions in government for United Nations multilateral agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and other civil society and non-governmental organizations. Currently, he is a professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Manchester in the UK. He is also the Special Representative of the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity, and Chair of Minority Groups International. Mukesh was awarded the prestigious Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his outstanding contribution to international development and humanitarian work. NP stands to benefit from his extensive experience with large international organizations devoted to humanitarian missions.

2. Michael Freedman, Certified Public Accountant
Michael Freedman is a founding partner of Gelman, Rosenberg, & Freedman, CPAs.  Formerly he was the Director for the firm’s auditing department. Michael, having worked more than forty years in public accounting, has extensive experience in the structuring of non-profit organizations and in best practices for nonprofit management.  He travels extensively in Africa, Asia, and Europe to visit field offices, audit accounts, review internal controls, and consult on procedures. His areas of experience include internal control evaluation, government compliance auditing, financial management consulting, and employee benefit plan auditing.  Michael will chair the finance committee of the Board.

3. Henry Thumann, Partner:
Henry C. Thumann is a partner at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, and a fellow at American College of Trial Lawyers. He was recognized in litigation by Euromoney’s Legal Media Group Expert Guide; in commercial litigation by Best Lawyers in America; in the field of antitrust by Chambers USA; and as a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine. This recognition as one of the best lawyers in the US reflects well on Henry’s legal and business expertise. These are skills much needed for NP’s Board of Directors.

The 2014 Full list of Board Members:

Outi Arajärvi, Secretary
Scientific Officer at the University of Leipzig

Eric Bachmann, Treasurer
Staff with Time Banks, USA and the International Nonviolence Training Fund of the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute

Rolf Carriere, Director
Adviser to Nonviolent Peaceforce, previously with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, UNICEF and World Bank

Adele Lennig, Chair
Business executive in the financial services industry for 30 years

Mike San Agustin McCrea, Vice Chair
Retired as European Commission’s Crisis Response Planner covering South and South East Asia

Lucy Nusseibeh, Director
East Jerusalem
Founding Director of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy

Oliver Rizzi Carlson, Director
Editor of the Global Campaign for Peace Education Newsletter

Alessandro Rossi, Director
Director, European Union Institutions

Doris Mariani, Director
Executive Director, Nonviolent Peaceforce

Michael Freedman, Director
United States
Founding partner of CPA firm specialized in auditing and accounting for nonprofit organizations

Mukesh Kapila, Director
United Kingdom
Professor, University of Manchester and previously Under Secretary General of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies and UN Special Advisor to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Henry Thumann, Director
United States
Partner in DC branch office of US law firm; member of the Antitrust and Competition Practice

Joan Bernstein and Jan Passion will be awarded for work with Nonviolent Peaceforce

Global Citizen AwardOn October 26th, Joan Bernstein and Jan Passion will receive the UNA – East Bay’s 9th annual “Global Citizens Award” for their work with Nonviolent Peaceforce. Both Joan and Jan contributed to advancing NP’s work in its earliest days and gave almost a decade of their lives each in its service.

Joan served many years as NP’s North America Regional Coordinator and the leading staff person in the creation of NP’s Long-Term Plan.

Jan served first as NP Strategic Liaison, laying the ground work for NP’s pilot project in Sri Lanka, and then served for 3 years as Deputy Director of that project. He also continued some years afterward as NP’s Program Officer.

Nonviolent Peaceforce congratulates both Joan & Jan on the reception of this well-deserved award. At this time the event is sold out.

More details on about this event can be found at:

(as of 10/21/14) 

Pacific Northwest

October 21 Tuesday

7:30am – 8:30 AM  Portland Pearl Rotary Club at 721 NW 9th Ave in Portland.  Contact Jim Bowman         

7:30 pm Olympia Friends Meetinghouse, 3201 Boston Harbor Road N.E., Olympia, WA


October 22 Wednesday

7pm University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St, Seattle, WA sponsored by University Bookstore, Eileen Harte 206-632-5167


October 23 Thursday

7pm Port Townsend, WA talk at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Avenue, PT, co-sponsored with local Quakers. 


October 24 Friday

1pm radio phone interview in Port Townsend

7pm Whidbey Island gathering with Tom Ewell – details to follow


October 26 Sunday

12:20pm Book signing at University Friends Meeting,

4001 9th Ave NE,  Seattle


November 17 - 24  Washington, D.C.   

November 18 Tuesday

11am-12:30pm Montgomery Community College in Rockville,MD   Contact AlonzoSmith 240-994-0115


November 24 - December 6  Philadelphia Area

November 25 Tuesday

7pm Medford Leas talk, 661 Medford Leas, Medford, NJ 08055

Toby Riley 609-654-3661 or 609-556-3207

November 26 Wednesday

1:30pm  Crosslands talk, William Penn Room at 16 Kendal Drive, Kennett Square, PA   Oranizers:  Clarkson Palmer and Jean Barker, 484-770-8184

4 pm Kendal talk, Kennett Square, PA  Organizers: Peggy Brick and Carlie Numi  610-388-1869 or cell 301-502-5349

November 30 Sunday

12:30 pm Central Philadelpia Quaker Meeting,15th and Cherry Streets, Phila  George Lakey 215-729-7458 or cell 610-95-6165


December 1 Monday

7 pm Talk at Pendle Hill, 338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA


December 2 Tuesday

2pm assembly at the theatre of Westtown School – Westtown, PA

December 4 Thursday

5pm book talk at Swarthmore (place to be announced) Lee Smithey


December 7-11 New York City


California Book Talks for Nov/Dec

Nov 2 Sunday  

San Francisco 1pm   SF Friends Meetinghouse, 65 9th Street

David Hartsough  415-751-0302


Nov 5 Wednesday

Chico  7pm  Chico State University & Chico Peace Center

Dan Eberhardt  214-476-5846


November 9 Sunday

Berkeley  7pm   Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship,  Cedar and Bonita, Berkeley   Cynthia Johnson  510-495-5132


December 16 Tuesday

Santa Rosa  7:15pm  Friends House, 684 Benicia Drive, Santa Rosa   Ann Scott, coordinator   707-573-4564


December 18 Thursday

Sacramento 7-9pm The Marxist school of Sacramento organized by PM Press – Sierra 2 Center, 2791 – 24th Street, Classroom 9 (between Castro Way and 4th Avenue)


For info or changes, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing.

-Edmund Burke, Chapter 6

Mukesh Kapila Mukesh Kapila understands unarmed civilian protection. It’s part of his family history. In his book, Against a Tide of Evil, he recounts an experience of his grandmother and young father. During the partitioning of India and Pakistan his Grandma Kapila boarded a train with Mukesh’s father, then a teenager, and nine other children to travel south to safety. En route they encountered a “ghost train” headed north loaded with slaughtered corpses. His grandmother anticipated mobs waiting for revenge at the next station. A young Swiss man from the Red Cross was accompanying the train. At each juncture where they were stopped,

“he stepped down to confront the wild crowds with guns and swords, with only the (Red Cross) flag to protect him. Somehow, that man’s extraordinary bravery kept the train and its occupants safe…if it were not for the Red Cross I would not be alive today.”

Over fifty years later, Mukesh found himself as the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Sudan. Soon after his arrival in Khartoum he began hearing rumblings of massacres in the western part of the country. With a combination of initiative and ingenuity, he deployed UN staff and others to document the unfolding genocide perpetrated by the Sudanese government in Darfur. As his ancestors experienced in the past, he noted that the presence of internationals could have a deterrent effect on the carnage.

He brought well-documented evidence of Khartoum’s “final solution” policy to London, New York and Washington only to be stone-walled and told not to rock the boat.

mukeshHe felt totally liberated when he realized that he “had an inalienable duty to do whatever it took to stop evil. That duty was not discharged simply by reporting to headquarters in New York.” Being true to himself he first sent copies of the Rwanda and Srebrenica reports to all the diplomatic missions in Khartoum. This was accompanied by a note about how international law might apply to Darfur. He escalated the number of aid workers he sent to Darfur. And, he sent an investigator deep inside, who reported that he has seen “an orchestrated, targeted military campaign of extermination.” Daily reports to New York remained ignored. Risking his life and career, Mukesh took the story to the BBC. And he blew the whistle. On the 21st century’s first genocide.

The UN Security Council met soon after BBC interview and soon authorized the first armed peacekeepers. The UN commissioned a formal inquiry whose report forced the Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This led the ICC indicting top Sudanese officials including President Al Bashir.

While the killings continue and Mr. Al Bashir still rules the country, the world could no longer feign ignorance. Pressure needs to continue from all us; we need to work with the understanding that our actions can make a difference as Mukesh demonstrated.

In addition to his continued advocacy to stop the genocide in Darfur, Mukesh has joined Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) to prevent the current onslaught from turning into genocide there. As a new board member he spent three weeks with our teams in South Sudan this summer. He observed, “the results are evident: we heard many examples of the practical effective services provided by the NP teams that have undoubtedly saved lives and contributed to making peace at the local level.”

NP will benefit not only from Mukesh’s experience but also his criticisms and challenges; as we grow and protect more people in more places.

Please come and meet Mukesh at one or more of the events on November 20th. Check out the details here.

-Mel Duncan, Co-Founder Nonviolent Peaceforce

PB-One Day-2DoveBarbedWire53 US religious leaders have urged President Obama to invest in and send unarmed civilian protectors to Iraq. In a letter to the President the leaders expressed their deep concern over the US military escalation. While recognizing the dire plight of civilians, the leaders clearly oppose US military action. Instead they list a variety of constructive actions that can be taken immediately including:

• Bring in and significantly invest in professionally trained unarmed civilian protection organizations to assist and offer some buffer for displaced persons and refugees, both for this conflict in collaboration with Iraqi’s and for future conflicts.

The leaders come from many different denominations and organizations including: the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, Women Religious, the Friends, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men and the Brethren.

They ask the President to “move beyond the ways of war and into the frontier of just peace responses to violent conflict.”