Press Clip Source: Burma News International
Date: August 6, 2016
Reporting by: Saw Khar Suu Nyar for KIC News
Read original article: Here.

 

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Two civil society groups recently gave ceasefire monitoring training in Dawei in Tenasserim Region. Since last year, the Karen Development Network (KDN) and Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) have been cooperating in providing education campaigns on the peace process in southern Burma.

NP trainer Rosemary Kibaki told KIC News that the recent training in southern Burma focussed on ceasefire “monitoring and civilian protection”, including providing assistance to victims, collecting information and “connecting” with “authorities”.

Thirty-five people, hailing from fifteen villages in Yebyu, Palauk, and Thayetchaung townships, attended the latest training session that ran for three days ending on 3 August.

Naw Tha Lay Htoo from Yebyu Township said: “We talked about Nelson Mandela and his achievements and what the government and ethnic armed groups have been doing for the public regarding the NCA (nationwide ceasefire agreement).”

Similar training was provided in Dawei in March and in Thandaung Gyi, Karen State in February.

 

Press Clip Source: Conscious Magazine
Date: July 6, 2016
Written by: Kathryn Lundstrom, summer intern at NP USA
Read original article: Here.

 

I walked into Nonviolent Peaceforce at the end of May hoping for a break from the anger that I kept feeling in policy school. My first year at the LBJ School of Public Affairs had been spent in various states of frustration – some minor when I realized that I didn’t leave all the academic bureaucracy in undergrad, but some other, bigger frustrations with some of the underlying assumptions that my class discussions seemed to be built upon. Contrary to my expectations, it often felt as though most the other students and professors weren’t really there to think through what I saw as the policy issues of life and death – to consider the costs of our country’s actions and investments overseas, to really dig into whether the US has lived up to its goals of democracy and freedom (and to discuss what these words mean), and then to talk about how this could be improved and lives saved. Instead, the classroom discussions often felt like the place where professors expected me to get used to the reality of a “best bad option,” move on, and learn how to navigate strategically through the devastating truths that, well, policymakers’ hands are just tied most of the time and there just aren’t good options. We have to focus on what is best for Americans. Sometimes, bombs have to be dropped. Sometimes, drones are the only option. But, based on my news app alerts, it sure seemed to me like those “sometimes” were far too frequent.

Read more: Conflict Without Weapons

Press Clip Source: BUST Magazine
Date: June 2016
Written by: Madeline Raynor
Read original article: Here.

 

Give Peace a Chance

The nation of South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and has been entrenched in civil war since 2013. During this period of unrest, gender-based violence has exploded in the region, with issues like rape, domestic violence, girls being kept from school, and boys being recruited into armed groups tearing communities apart. In response to these concerns, a nonprofit organization called Nonviolent Peaceforce has been collaborating with local women to establish Women’s Peacekeeping Teams (WPTs)—coalitions of all-female mediators trained to address the turmoil on a grassroots level.

Read more: These Women Are Working To Bring Peace To South Sudan

Press Clip Source: Talk Nation Radio
Date: July 5, 2016
Interview by: David Swanson
Listen original interview: Here.

 

Mel Duncan is a co-founder and current Director of Advocacy and Outreach for Nonviolent Peaceforce, an international non-governmental organization that provides direct protection to civilians caught in violent conflict and works with local civil society groups on violence deterrence throughout the world. He has received numerous awards. The Utne Reader named Duncan one of “50 Visionaries Who are Changing Our World.” The American Friends Service Committee nominated Nonviolent Peaceforce for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Read more: Talk Nation Radio: Mel Duncan on why unarmed civilian protection is better than war

Press Clip Source: UN News Centre
Date: June 10, 2016

Read original article: Here.

 

Speaking at a Security Council debate on the protection of civilians, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed that the United Nations is determined to work collectively to support governments to protect their people, and to persuade parties to conflict to abide by their obligations.

“Protecting civilians is a United Nations system-wide responsibility. But the primary responsibility lies with parties to the conflict, non-belligerent States, and this Council,” Mr. Ban told the Security Council at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Governments and parties to conflict also have an obligation to provide for the basic needs of civilians in conflict. When they fail to do so, they should facilitate principled humanitarian assistance by humanitarian organizations,” he added.

Noting that many parties are failing to live up to these obligations, the Secretary-General said it is essential that the UN use all the means at its disposal to hold them accountable.

“The ultimate solution to protecting civilians in conflict is finding sustainable political solutions, based on the rule of law and human rights standards,” he insisted, urging the Security Council to exercise this, as it is its “core responsibility.”

In his last report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Mr. Ban underlined the urgent need for concrete measures and to make recommendations to that end.

Read more: UN determined to work collectively to ensure people worldwide are protected, says Ban

Press Clip Source: American Friends Service Committee
Date: May 11, 2016
Written by: Mel Duncan and David Hartsough
Read original article: Here.

 

Seventeen years ago this month, I grabbed a stranger by the arm at the Hague Appeal for Peace and said, “If you are serious about what you just said we have to go out in the hall and start organizing.” He had laid out a vision for a professional, international, large-scale nonviolent peaceforce. I had been on a spiritual sojourn for the previous couple of years learning about the deep connections between advocating for peace, justice and the environment and spirituality. One of my stops was at Plum Village where I meditated deeply on Thich Nhat Hanh’s message that we could no longer afford to take sides. The stakes had become too high for our planet. While riding a bus leaving Plum Village, I wrote a reflection piece on a nonviolent peaceforce.

A few months later, I went to The Hague conference toting 50 copies of a one-page, single spaced proposal for a peaceforce. Instead of the 5000 attendees that had been planned for, 9000 of us showed up at the conference that had been called to put an end to war in the 21st century. Every venue was jammed. After a day, I called my wife, Georgia, back in St. Paul and explained exasperatedly that it was too crowded to organize. “Well then, be quiet and listen,” she responded. The next day, I grabbed the stranger, David Hartsough. Little did I know that David had been working on nonviolent intervention strategies and developing larger scale nonviolent peace teams for over ten years.

Read more: Nonviolently Protecting Civilians

Press Clip Source: pcdn
Date: May 20, 2016
Written by: Evan Hoffman
Read original article: Here.

 

During a recent conversation with Milt Lauenstein and Jessica Berns, I became interested in the question of which peacebuilding tool might be the most cost-effective and how to answer this important question.

One idea I had was to assign an average cost to several peacebuilding tools and this step was actually fairly easy. For example, the cost of running a peace camp would obviously be much less than the costs of staffing a UN office in a conflict-prone country.

Next, I had to decide how these tools could be assessed in terms of their impact in order to reveal which one is most cost effective. I decided the best way to do that would be to measure impact in several different ways such as considering the ability to curb violence quickly, the potential to alter the perceptions between the parties and the potential to create policy changes.

My results are contained in the following chart and, surprisingly, using this methodology I found that the 3 most cost-effective peacebuilding activities are lobbying, unarmed civilian peacekeeping and conflict resolution training (in that order).

Read more: Which Peacebuilding Tool is the most Cost-Effective?