Press Clip Source: Nonviolence International 
Date: March 25, 2016
Written by: Nonviolence International - NY
Read original article: Here

The first day of the NGO CSW Parallel Events (held in buildings around the U.N. headquarters in New York and organized to give civil society the opportunity to engage with worldwide issues of women and gender) saw a talk entitled “Women Peacekeeping Teams Use Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) Methods in South Sudan” promote a noteworthy strategy in the field of civilian protection and peacekeeping. The timing could not have been more relevant or critical. Only three days previously had the UN released a report on South Sudan detailing systematic attacks on civilians, including horrific levels of sexual violence against women and girls. With armed conflict growing deadlier globally in the last few years, surely the conversation about alternative methods of civilian protection and peacebuilding needs to come to the fore.

Led by the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), the talk aimed to highlight how women could prove key actors in protection and peacebuilding, rather than being constantly reduced to roles as victims of conflict. Equally unconventional was the presentation’s premise that these gender-equal peace-forces could operate completely unarmed.

Read more: Without Weapons and With Women: A Civilian Protection and Peacekeeping Model

Press Clip Source: Inquirer 
Date: March 15, 2016
Written by: Nestor Corrales
Read original article: Here

A delegation of ambassadors from the European Union (EU) has visited Mindanao to renew their commitment to support the peace process and development in the region.
“Our visit to Cotabato City highlights the EU and its member states’ continuing support for the Mindanao peace process and development in the region,” EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said in statement on Tuesday.
“Our hopes remain high that the positive gains achieved in the peace process will be sustained despite some challenges, especially as the parties remained engaged and committed to continue their journey to peace,” he added.

Aside from Jessen, other members of the EU who visited Mindanao on March 14 to 15 were Ambassadors Marion Derckx (Netherlands), Thomas Ossowski (Germany), Chargés d’Affaires Mihai Sion (Romania), Nigel Boud (United Kingdom), Deputy Ambassadors Fabio Schina (Italy), Xavier Leblanc (Belgium), Gabrielle Zobl-Kratschmann (Austria), Maria del Carmen Barcia-Bustelo (Spain), Laurent Legodec (France), Attachés Riccardo Dell’Aquila (Italy), Diego Sanchez (EU Delegation), Program Manager Edoardo Manfredini (EU Delegation).
Jessen said the EU would continue to support the efforts of the parties that recently met again in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the peace process in Mindanao.

“We are looking forward to supporting the agenda for peace of the next [administration] as we carry on our collaborative efforts with all the concerned stakeholders for peace,” he said.

The group met with Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Representatives, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad and MILF Central Committee, the Mindanao Humanitarian Team, non-government and civil society organizations involved in peace and development initiatives in Mindanao and the business community.
The EU said it has adapted its funding programs to the changing needs of the peace process.
“Last December 2015, the European Union Delegation to the Philippines has launched a new program in support of the peace process and is providing P275 million to allow for a smooth transition and to create conditions for the establishment of the autonomous region of the Bangsamoro and the election of its government,” the EU said.
EU said the “program contributes to peace building and conflict mitigation, support the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro and strengthen local institutions and political processes.”
“The grants are being channelled through Conciliation Resources; non-government organizations (NGOs) such as the Non Violent Peace Forces, Fondation Suisse de Deminage, Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung; United Nations Development Programme and Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,” it said. RAM

 

Press Clip Source: The Real News 
Date: March 13, 2016
Read original article and listen to the original interview: Here

Mel Duncan of Nonviolent Peace Force says gender-based violence and rape is used as a direct weapon against women by both government and paramilitary forces.

TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW:

SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: It's the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore.
On Friday, March 11, the United Nations released another report documenting human rights abuses in South Sudan (click here to read it). Critics of the report, however, feel that the United Nations has not done enough to address the humanitarian crisis there, but they have over 12,000 U.N. peacekeeping forces in South Sudan. The coordinator of the United Nations Human Rights Assessment mission in South Sudan, David Marshall, addressed what is in the report. Let's have a look.
DAVID MARSHALL: So the key findings are that crimes against humanity and war crimes have continued into 2015, and they have predominantly been perpetrated by the government. There are instances of opposition violations, as well, but the violations identified in 2013, '14, and '15 are the same, which is killing of civilians, displacement, pillaging, abductions, rape, and general--generally terrorizing the civilian population.
PERIES: On to discuss this story more is Mel Duncan. He's the founding director of Nonviolent Peace Force, and he's been to Sudan and has been working there. Mel, thank you so much for joining us today.
MEL DUNCAN: Thank you for having me, Sharmini.
PERIES: So, let's just begin by giving us some context as to what you were doing in Sudan and what your organization's presence is there.
DUNCAN: Nonviolent Peaceforce was invited by local grassroots groups to what was then Southern Sudan in 2010 in the run-up to a referendum for national independence. And that referendum took place in 2011, and over 95 percent of the people voted in favor of independence. So South Sudan became the newest country in the world, and arguably one of the three or four poorest countries in the world.
So for the next couple of years they moved along until there was a re-ignition of a political rivalry at the end of 2013 that pitted the former vice president against the current president. And since that time there has been a steady escalation of war that's been heaped upon the civilians, and as today's report by the UN chronicles in brutal detail, that the brunt of this war has been taken out on civilians, and especially women and children.

Read more: U.N. Report Finds Women and Children Targeted by Government Forces in South Sudan

Press Clip Source: PIA - Philippine Information Agency 
Date: March 10, 2016
Read original article: Here

 

Peace advocates and civil society organization leaders are giving major recognition to the important role that women play in transforming conflict-affected areas back into productive communities and in sustaining the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process to ensure its continuation in the next Administration despite the 16th Congress’ failure to enact the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“To hold the peace together requires great effort, work, and coordination. I must stress that it takes a community working together to achieve that,” Xarifa Lao-Sanguila, National Civilian Protection Monitor of Nonviolent Peaceforce, said in a forum on women’s role in the peace process held at Miriam College Monday, March 7.

Read more: Women play key roles in preserving Bangsamoro peace gains

Press Clip Source: Star Tribune
Date: March 1, 2016
Written by: Jean Hopfensperger
Read original article: Here

star tribuneA Minnesota-based nonprofit that sends civilian peacekeepers to global hot spots, has been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Nonviolent Peaceforce was nominated by the American Friends Service Committee, which said unarmed civilian protection is an important method for reducing violence in war-torn areas and for protecting citizens — especially women and children.

“Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Nonviolent Peaceforce would highlight and strengthen their work and the work of other similar organizations, at a time when worldwide tensions seem to be at a boiling point, and their work is vital and relevant,” the committee wrote in its nominating letter.

The Peace Prize won’t be awarded until October, and several hundred nominations likely were received by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. But Peaceforce leaders say they are thrilled that their “courageous peacekeepers” and everyone supporting them have a moment in the spotlight.

Read more: Nonviolent Peaceforce nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Press Clip Source: Midland Daily News 
Date: February 29, 2016
Written by: Matthew Woods 
Read original article: Here

“I expect many of you have never heard about the Nonviolent Peaceforce until you received your invitation,” Paula Liveris said to the packed room at the Midland Country Club this week.

A large group of people from Midland and points beyond gathered for tea, and to hear about what the organization that is doing its best to bring resolution to conflicts around the world — without weapons or violence.

The event, entitled “Transforming the World’s Response to Conflict,” was hosted by Jeanne Schaller, chair of the Midland Chapter, and Paula Liveris. The event featured a special visit by Marna Anderson, the group’s director of development and communication. The Midland chapter meets four times a year.

The group is unique in the world of other conflict resolution organizations as its focus is to train its field members to resolve conflicts in war and civil war zones, all without the use of weapons or the proliferation of more violence. The organization has been in operation since 2002, first working in India. It also holds a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Read more: Nonviolent Peaceforce seeks to transform world's response to conflict

Press Clip Source: The Peace Building Podcast 
Date: February 23, 2016
Interviewer: Susan Coleman
Listen original podcast: Here

Episode Summary

In this episode, Susan interviews Mel Duncan, the Founding Director and Director of Advocacy and Outreach of Nonviolent Peace Force (NP) which provides unarmed civilian protection in the world’s most deadliest of conflicts. In this moving account of the power of “the third side”, Mel talks about those who put themselves in harms way, both nationals and internationals, in conflicts in S. Sudan, Colombia, the Philippines and elsewhere. Mel also talks about how 90% of current victims of current warfare are women and children. Rape, for instance, has become a central strategy of most violent conflict today and NP has tremendous success in stopping further atrocities as Mel describes. He reflects on the origins of NP, as well as his own life path to begin this work when first challenged by a Sufi teacher to “enter the heart of his enemy and work from a place of unity”. He was then further inspired to continue by his stay with Thich Nat Hahn at Plum Village in Southern France.

Listen to the podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/user-thepeacebuildingpodcast/episode-011-mel-duncan-third-side-interventions-into-the-heart-of-deadly-conflict