Friday, February 24, 2017

Bar-Ilan University, Israel, 2017 International Summer Program in Conflict Resolution


Dear Sir/Madame,

I write to you regarding an issue that might be of interest to your students.

The Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution, Management and Negotiation at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, is operating, among other things, the International Summer Program in Conflict Resolution, taught in English (that I am its Managing Director). 

We would like to disseminate the word about our Summer Program among peace and conflict studies as well as security studies students who might want to take our summer program as an enriching, high level and affordable Study Abroad option. These students can be advanced BA students or current MA students, as well as International Relations/Studies/Affairs practitioners.

Thus, I would appreciate if you could disseminate the word among the above mentioned students and professionals. For example, do you have an email list of relevant people and institutions that I can use, or a newsletter that you publish that can include details about our summer program? Below is a text that can be sent/uploaded and attached is a flyer that can be printed/sent.

Moreover, we would welcome if you explored the possibility o pre-approving our summer program as a study abroad program for your students. 

Thank you in advance,


Rafi Nets-Zehngut, PhD, LLB
Managing Director
International Summer Program:
Identity-Based Conflict Resolution
Bar-Ilan University, Israel 
Personal website: http://www.collective-memory.info/


Bar-Ilan University, Israel, 2017 International Summer Program in Conflict Resolution  

The successful 17-year Conflict Resolution, Management and Negotiation Graduate Program (in Hebrew) at Bar-Ilan University (Israel) is operating a one-month (July 6 – August 3, 2017) International Summer Program in Conflict Resolution. The program offers students the opportunity to earn 8 academic credits (4 courses: cooperation, religion, culture and narratives - all, conflicts-related) and get a certificate. Applications are open to holders of undergraduate/graduate degrees, current advanced undergraduate students and current graduate students worldwide, from all disciplines in the social sciences, the liberal arts and the humanities. 

For general information about this Summer Program please visit this Overview webpage and its three additional specific webpages: Curriculum and Courses of the program (4 courses), its Admissions (including its affordable tuition and available scholarship) and FAQ. 

There is information about the media coverage, testimonials of the program’s alumni students, and pictures of its activities in the previous years. You are also welcome to read about Bar-Ilan University in general and General non-Academic-Info about the Summer Program.


There is the link to the registration to the Summer Program – registration is open (the earlier that you apply the more chances you have to be accepted). 

For information contact us or email Dr. Rafi Nets at Email : summer.CRidentity@biu.ac.il.

We are sorry that the flyer could not be uploaded





Appointment of The National Chancellor of Mali



We would like to take this opportunity and introduce Prof. Amadou Tiéoulé DIARRA, a Professor of Law as the IAEWP National  Chancellor of  MALI, Western Africa.  

He is a fundamental human rights advocate with years of experience in the legal field. 

As follows are his decorated CV

Prof. Amadou Tiéoulé DIARRA, 
Professor of Law
National Chancellor of Mali,
Lawyer at the Bar
Bamako-Djélibougou.
Cell. (223) 66-72- 37-10 &  (223) 77- 64-00- 78
Email: atdiarra@yahoo.fr

Profession: Lawyer/ Lecturer at the Faculty of Law. 

DIPLOMAS OBTAINED: 

 Specialized Postgraduate degree in teaching private Law Faculty of Law, Dakar 1987; 
 General Postgraduate degree in History of Public Institutions Faculty of Law Dakar 1986 ; 
 Dissertation : Supervisor Professor Bernard Durand former Dean of Montpellier I
Title: The obligations originated from the contracts concluded between French and Indigenous populations from 1830 to 1946 (AOF) 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE : 

 Professor of Law at the Saint-Michel College in Dakar from 1983-1989:
Director of Studies at the SENE Massen Primary School (Dakar) and the I.P.E.P (Private Institute for Vocational Education); 
 Assistant to the Faculty of Law of Dakar: 1987 to 1993; 
 Lawyer-Counsel at the Office of Lawyer Aïssata TALL SALL, Lawyer at the Bar of Senegal (1987-1993) (FILM BAMAKO); 
(Return from Dakar to Mali in 1993) 
 1993-1998 Professor of Law at E.N.A, Mali; 
 Since 1997 Professor of History of Institutions and History of Private Law at the Faculty of Law of Mali 
 Lawyer registered with the Bar of Mali in 1995; 
 Lawyer registered with the German Embassy in Mali;
  Facilitator in the 42 Circles of Mali of the CEPAG 1993-1998 (Unit of Improvement in Administration and Management); 
 1st Legal Secretary of the A.M.D.H (1998-2001) 
 Former Director-Founder of the Institute of Human Rights Training of the A.M.D.H. (1999-2001); 
 Consultant of the Union of Journalists of West Africa (U.J.A.O.) for the drafting of a framework law on the decriminalization of press offenses; 
 Provision to the National Institute of Judicial Training of Human Rights Lawyers December 2003 (Eco-social, Political and Civil Rights); 
 Trainer at the Training Center for Magistrates of Senegal on the basis of the publication of a manual on international mechanisms for the protection of human rights June 2003; 
 FAO Consultant: The Right to Adequate Food as a Human Right March 2003; 
 Consultant UNESCO: Press Law in Mali: Defamation Case December 2002; 
 WILDAF Consultant (For print and published works on women's rights in Mali) 2002; 
 Consultant for the Maison de la Presse on behalf of Canada: State of the Media in Mali from 1992-2002: publication in 2004.
Consultant for the Mission of Reflection on the State of Democracy in Mali in 2008. 
 UNESCO Consultant on 'Indicators of Media Development in Mali UNESCO / IPDC Sept-Oct. 2011. 
 Advocate who defended Human Rights Trials in Burkina Faso and Paris. 
 Advocate of peasants of the Office du Niger (volunteer). 
 Advocate of Tiécoura TRAORE C / TRANSRAIL (volunteer). 
 Advocate of the Social Struggles: Morila C / SOMADEX workers (criminal section); 
 Advocate of the Malian Association of Expellees (A.M.E). 
 Advocate of UACADDDD-Mali. 
 Country Director of the American Bar Association in Mali since January 2011. 

SEMINARS-TRAINING-CONFERENCES: 

 Journalist training manual on legal and judicial news coverage for WAJA / ECOWAS (in preparation for May 2009); 
 Training Manual for the West African Journalist on Legal Terms and Procedures for WAJA / ECOWAS May 2009;
  Participant's notebook on Human Rights for Women commissioned by RECOFEM September 2008; 
 Participant in the FAO / FIAN Forum on the Right to Food in Rome September 2008; 
 Participant in the International Symposium on the Middle East organized by the A.I.J.D- Paris August 2006; 
 Lecturer on Agricultural Policies of Mali in Paris December 2006; 
 Lecturer on the case of the "5 Cubans of Miami" Paris (SENAT-Salle Médicis) 19 April 2008; 
 Speaker of the Coordination for the Africa of Tomorrow (CADE): Valframbert, ENA, Grand-Orient, Montreuil May 2008;
 Consultant for the Mission of Reflection on the State of Democracy in Mali in 2008. 
 Participant at the 16th Congress of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (A.I.J.D) Paris June 2005;
  Lecturer at the International Research Institute of AMSTERDAM on the cancellation of the debt of the Third World (October 2004); 
 2 stays in the Netherlands (University Office) 2000-2001. 
 Participant at the 35th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in Banjul May-June 2004; 
 Lecturer at the CAD-MALI Peoples Forum (KITA, FANA, SIKASSO); 
 Forum speaker for another Mali (FORAM) 1st Ceita and Melilla 2007 Anniversary; 
 Speaker of the Forum of Civil Society Organizations on Institutional Reforms April 2011; 
 Participant in the World Conference against Racism held in DURBAN (South Africa) from 31 August to 07 September 2001; 
 Participant at the 13th Workshop of the ICI and CADHP Kigali October-November 1999; 
 Participant in the International Symposium on Migration in Africa (OSIWA) Abuja- Nigeria March 2009. 
 Participant in the International Symposium on "Corruption in Africa" 'Abuja-June 2009. 
 Several Televised Conferences and Debates on Human Rights in Mali.

 ASSOCIATIVE ACTIVITIES 

 President of the League for Justice, Development and Human Rights (L.J.D.H) since December 2004; 
 Member of the National Office of the A.M.D.H. 
At the end of the 3rd Ordinary Congress in March 1998 and having held the position of 1st Secretary of Legal and Judicial Affairs; 
 Activist of the A.M.D.H. in 1993
Secretary General of SOMASE (Senegalese solidarity in Senegal) 1988-1993 (Group of intellectuals exiled in Senegal under the dictatorship); 
 Secretary General of the A.S.M.D (Association of Malian Schools in Senegal) 1980- 1981 and 1981-1983; 
 Former member participating in several reviews and clandestine Communist cells in Senegal. 
 Former Chairman of the Legal Council of the Coalition for the Cancellation of Debt and Development (CAD-MALI) 2005-2010. 
 Member of the Société d'Etudes robes pierristes / France. PUBLICATIONS Especially: 
 The legal and human dimensions of administrative action 1993-1994; 
 '' The guarantees of fundamental rights in the domestic legal order '' 2000; 
 '' The guarantees of fundamental rights in the international order '' 2001. 
 The applicability of international treaties in Mali in 1996; 
 For a society without violence against women 2002 (WILDAF); 
 Effectiveness of women's rights in the Republic of Mali 2002 (WILDAF); 
 Women's Rights in Mali 2007 (WILDAF); 
 Agricultural Guidance Act (L.O.A) A law of agrarian and fiscal reforms 2006-2007 (INTER de BKO); 
 The two tracks of agricultural development in Mali-A new stage in agriculture in March 2008; 
 Advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty in the Republic of Mali: Conference and debate-televised in August 2008; 
 Participant's Workbook on Women's Rights for RECOFEM from 25-29 August 2008
 Resource person for the adoption of the Proposed Draft Code of Persons and Family of Mali 2009. 
 Sub-regional Conference (Mauritania-Niger-Mali) on the practice of slavery June 2013- Hotel Colibris. 
 National Expert of Mali: National Symposium on the Transitional Justice of Bamako from 17 to 19 June 2013 at the C.I.C.B. MAJOR FACTS: 
 Established the '' Prize for the Right to be tried within a Reasonable Period '' (2 editions 2007-2008) 
 Winner of the 'Aoua KEÏTA' Prize for the Defense of Women's Rights - 2012; 
 Certificate of Recognition of the Embassy of Senegal for the Defense of Senegalese immigrants in Mali from 04/04/2013; 
 Senior Researcher-Family Law / ODHP and IDDH-2010-2014. 

ARTICLES SPECIFICALLY ON WOMEN: 

 November 1997: Awareness workshop on Women's Rights at the Jean Bosco Center in Sévaré; 
 November 1998: Awareness workshop on women's rights at the Gabriel CISSE Center in Ségou; 
 December 1998: Awareness-raising workshop on the Rights of Women at the Jean Bosco Center of SIKASSO; 
 In 1999: Awareness-raising workshop on the Preliminary Draft of the Additional Protocol to the Rights of Women at the Palais des Congrès; 
 November 2000: Extension of the Rights of Women Awareness of the importance of Civil Marriage: 
 The Problem of Religious Marriage. Successions: Tradition or Modernism? Trainer's Guide to Koulikoro; 
 15 July 2001: Women and Family Responsibilities '' in Islam ''; 
 09 September 2002: Training Module on Violence against Women;
2004: Advocacy for the Effectiveness of Women's Rights in Mali; 
 24 and 25 February 2004: Promoting Women in Political Parties: Challenges and Suggestions; 
 10 June 2006: The Role and Place of Women in the Breasts of Political Parties; 
 09 September 2006: Advocacy for a Society without Violence against Women; 
 22 September 2006: Woman and Electoral Process; 
 November 2007: The Law of Agricultural Guidance: A Statutory Revolution for the Malian Peasant Woman; 
 From 25 to 29 August 2008: RECOFEM, Women's Rights; 
 28 September 2008: Women’s Rights in the Organization of the State and in the Light of the Malian Positive Law; 
 From 09 to 11 October 2008: Training focused on CEDAW and the Maputo Protocol on the Judiciary (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
 Women); 
 11 May 2009: The Preliminary Draft Code of Persons and Family Persons; 
 14 May 2009: The Organization of the Family in the Preliminary Draft of the Code of Persons and the Family; 
 11 May 2009: Advocacy for the Adoption of the Preliminary Draft of the Code of Persons and the Family; 
 07 October 2009: A Look at Women's Rights in Mali as Specific Rights; 
 09 April 2010: Some Innovations of the Code of Persons and the Voted Family; 
 29 October 2010: Vulnerability Factors for Disabled Children, Women and Persons and their socio-economic and cultural reintegration in the UEMOA region; 
 18 December 2010: Some highlights of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families; 
 23 December 2010: The Organization of the Family in the Code of Persons and the Family voted
23 December 2010: Advocacy for the Adoption of the Code of Persons and the Family (Family Reform or Family Law Reform?); 
 18-19 October 2011 at the FSJP: National Symposium on the Rights of Persons and the Family in Mali: History, Evolution, Perspectives; 
 29 October 2011 at the FSJP: What legal remedies for the vulnerability of children, women and people with disabilities in the UEMOA area? 
 04 June 2012: Proposal of the Alliance of Women of Mali for a better management of the transitional period; 
 06 June 2012: Moderator "Validation Workshop on the Study on the Issue of Divorce in Mali"; 
 28 June 2012: Workshop on Capacity Building for Security Agents, Health, Judicial Officers, Magistrates and Prison Guards on Gender-based Violence (ADPF-UN- WOMEN);
Senior Researcher on the Law of Divorce in West Africa (IDDH-IDHP-ODHP); 
 The Judicial Practice of Divorce in Mali: Analysis of the causes of the rupture of the matrimonial bond (to be published), 

SPOKEN AND WRITTEN LANGUAGES: 

French: very good 
English: fairly good 
Bamanan: Very good

We would like to thank Dr. Ayo Ayoola Amara, the IAEWP Vice President for West Africa for the identification and appointment of this high caliber professional into IAEWP as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of IAEWP in 1967 at Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

Thank you for the opportunity to put this information on record.


Steve Varatharajan
Deputy Secretary General
IAEWP ( NGO ECOSOC - United Nations )








UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at World Government Summit



13 February 2017

Opening remarks at the World Government Summit

UN Secretary General António Guterres

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s an enormous pleasure and an enormous honor to be here. I am very grateful to your Highness [Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum] for your very kind invitation.
If one looks at today’s governance problems at the country level, between countries or at multilateral governance in the world, we face a terrible lack of trust. Lack of trust between peoples, between governments and political establishment. Lack of trust between countries and lack of trust in relation to governance in global multilateral institutions. 
Looking at country level, it is clear that globalization has been an enormous progress, complete with technological development, globalization brought a huge increase in wealth, a reduction in absolute poverty in our world, improved welfare in general, but globalization had its losers. We have the rust belts of this world. Lots of people who feel they were left behind and that the political establishments of their countries have not taken care of them. On the other hand, we see the inability to handle problems relating to the movements of people, to migration, refugees and then linkage that is made to terrorism, the feeling of insecurity and anxiety. Also, this sense that governments are not taking good care or being able to handle it properly.
We see youth, youth that is the potential of mankind. But, in many countries that have problems in relation to the capacity to find hope, to find jobs, even if they are educated, creating enormous frustrations. All this generates, in a context where also political systems have not been able to adapt to the new changes in the communication and information technologies, this has generated a gap between public opinion, societies, and governments. That is one of the factors, today, that undermines governance. And then, if we associate it, in certain societies, with corruption and other problems, we understand that we have a serious problem to handle. 
Now, it is clear that reform is needed to reconcile people with political establishments; political establishment need to adapt to these technologies in information and communication; need to empower citizens and empower young people. I am a strong believer in a German philosopher, [Jurgen] Habermas, who said: “the key element of democracy is the permanent intercommunication between the political society and the civil society and the fact that the civil society influences the decision making process in the political society."
Now, with technology, this has changed. Governments have not be able to adapt to the changes in technologies that force these interactions for participation to have a different nature and reform for creating conditions for a government to interact in a modern way for societies is, I think, a crucial area of reform that is needed and  bringing with it the empowerment of youth and the capacity of young people to have a say in the destiny of their own countries. 
Improving governance, and improving confidence between governments and people, is essential and it is a condition to improve the confidence in the relations between countries. We live today in a world that is no longer bipolar, no longer unipolar but it is not yet multipolar. It’s really chaotic. The relationships are unclear, bringing with it unpredictability and impunity that tends to proliferate everywhere. And in which there is a deep mistrust between countries and groups of countries that, of course, facilitates the multiplication of conflicts and the difficulty to solve them. We need a surge of diplomacy for peace. We need to be able to have honest brokers trying to bring together those countries that are essential for the solution of those conflicts we face in different parts of the world, and namely in this region. But we need to able to address the root causes of conflict and to have the international community organized to address the root causes of conflict. 
And that is where the other gap of confidence becomes extremely important. In a world in which everything is global, in which the problems are global – from climate change to the movement of people – there is no way countries can do it by themselves. We need global responses, and global responses need multilateral institutions able to play their role. 
For that, it is also important to have confidence in relation to global multilateral institutions and there, there is also a lack of confidence that is obvious. If you look at the UN for instance, there is a clear lack of confidence in the Security Council today and clear perception that the Security Council no longer corresponds to the logic of today’s world in relation to what the world was after the Second World War, when the Security Council was built. It is clear that many international organizations lack the efficiency, the capacity, to respond effectively to the problems they face. We saw the difficulties in ending the global financial crisis. There is a need also for deep reforms in global institutions. Reforms that have to do with power relations, namely in the case of the Security Council, or the way votes are distributed in international financial institutions. But also, reforms that we need introduce in all aspects of what we do. 
In relation to my own role in the Secretariat of the UN, I am deeply committed to three ways of reform that I consider essential. First, to adapt our peace and security strategies, operational set-ups, and the institutions within the UN, to be much more effective. We have today seventy to eighty percent of our budget in peacekeeping operations, most of them in areas where there is no peace to keep. If you want prevention and sustaining of peace to prevail, we need to link peace and security with sustainable and inclusive development. And to make sure that the two, together with the improvement of the human rights situation in the world, guarantee that the root causes of conflict are addressed, and for that, we need to reform our own way of doing business in the UN. 
Second, is management reform. We have rules and regulations that make the UN very difficult to act effectively. Sometimes I think that that they were conceived to paralyze the institution! We need to create a win-win confidence building capacity among different member states – Western Group, G77, all others – to make them understand that it is in the benefit of everybody to have a UN that is more nimble, more decentralized, with much more simplified procedures. 
Then, we need to make sure that we reform the UN development system. We have to recognize that we are still fragmented, that we are still unable to fully coordinate our action and, especially, that the accountability in the UN system needs much strengthened. To reform the UN development system, strengthen coordination and accountability, and making all organization work together to able to support governments in implementing the different crucial objectives that were approved – the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement – and different other aspects of international cooperation in relation to development, are areas in which the reform of the UN is crucial in order to better sustain these processes. 
Reform at country level, reform in way countries deal to each other and the way  international organizations operate, reform in our multilateral governance system development system are crucial to re-establishing trust. And without trust and I don’t think we will be able to address the very difficult challenges that we face today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Power of the New Spirituality

The first week of February has been designated by the United Nations as the “World Interfaith Harmony Week”. It is useful to look at the ways spiritual currents present ideas but also techniques of inner growth. Thus the review of the steps proposed by William Bloom



William Bloom
The Power of the New Spirituality
(Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 2012)

William Bloom who combines a long-standing interest in New Age approaches to spirituality with an identity focus in international relations (1), has written “We are in changing times. Our culture and technology are continually transforming, and the intellectual certainties of the last few hundred years are no longer secure…It is our need to find a new authenticity in our spiritual lives — to bring back fully into our consciousness — the sacred dimension of life, but we want to do this in a way that honours personal freedom and personal growth.  In essence, then, we are turning to the teachings and experiences of what is called the ageless wisdom, but we are doing so with completely new attitudes”.


A key element of our changing culture is that we are discarding old religious forms and re-creating our spiritual and sacred world.  Creative new attitudes, practices, and forms have been an emphasis of William Bloom.(2) As he writes “As a teacher and author I often feel conflicted: on the one hand, I want to inspire and encourage people about their innate goodness and the wonders of creation; on the other hand, I do not want to support naiveté about the human condition.  We are magnificent beings with cosmic consciousness, and yet at the same time we are also insecure and can do harm.

“Yet the current emergence and creation of a new culture is not always an easy process. It feels as if everything is being created anew.  At the same time, we know that we are working with dimensions which have always been and which always shall be.”

The basis of many New Age approaches is that we live in a vast field of energy. Vibrations and atmospheres can move like waves through this field to impact others.  Our thoughts, feelings and actions can cooperate with this vitality, energy and consciousness for our development and to benefit others.

We find this use of energy fields in many schools of spiritual healing such as reiki, in yoga and martial arts. (3)

William Bloom sets out a three-step process for deepening and expanding our awareness, developing our hearts, and building a just, creative and benevolent world.  He sets out some core skills.

The first is centering — a calm awareness, an integration of body, mind and spirit. This is best done through silent meditation, but some find music or ritual helpful.  “Whatever works for you” is basically his approach. This is an approach called “mindfulness” in some Buddhist traditions and can also be helped by breathing exercises and other techniques.

The second step is to focus the heart on compassion.  Visualization is one approach, such as visualizing ever wider circles of persons or places held within the field of compassion.  Focusing on the Sacred Heart of Jesus is used in certain Catholic traditions.

The third step is to direct the energy field so that it is of service to others.

When we are centered and heart-focused, with an encouraging psychological attitude, we create a vibration that is supportive for those around us and can be a positive influence in the wider world.

William Bloom has written a clear and helpful presentation for personal fulfilment and service to humanity.


Notes:

William Bloom Personal Identity, National Identity and International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)
William Bloom First Steps: An Introduction to Spiritual Practice (Forres, Scotland: Findhorn Press, 1993)
Barbara Ann Brennan Hands of Light: Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field (New York: Bantam, 1990)


Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens




     

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Special Thanks to the Staff and Management of UN Office at Geneva

We would like to place on record  a special thanks and appreciation to the staff and management team of UN Office at Geneva.

They are fast, super fast to respond to our enquiries although we are not located in their region of  coverage.

In the same breath, we would most humbly request other UN Offices at  many other location to update their email records regularly and respond to urgent NGO enquiries. We are deeply grieved by the lack of responses by many other UNO in most other locations. We forgive them for their lackadaisical approaches to NGO enquiries. 

We are much obliged to repeat our thanks to the UNO Geneva for going the extra mile in customer service excellence, professionalism  and superior work ethics, both in our planned digital peace journals and blog site.

We thank the DG of UNO at Geneva and the most enterprising staff there for jobs done to perfection. Your good deeds shall not go unnoticed. 


In appreciation,

Steve S.  Varatharajan 
Deputy Secretary General & Publisher
IAEWP ( NGO ECOSOC UN )
IAEWP is the Recipient of the 1987 Peace Messenger of the UN Award
Email : iaewp.org @ gmail.com




The Director-General


Biography



Michael Møller is the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. 

Mr. Møller has over 35 years of experience as an international civil servant in the United Nations.

He began his career in 1979 with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and worked with UNHCR in different capacities in New York, Iran, Mexico, Haiti and Geneva.

Between 1997 and 2001 he was the Head of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs at United Nations headquarters; between 2001 and 2006 he was the Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary-General, while serving concurrently as Deputy Chief of Staff for the last two years of that period.

Mr. Møller also served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus from 2006 to 2008 and was the Executive Director of the Kofi Annan Foundation from 2008 to 2011.

Born in 1952 in Copenhagen, Mr. Møller completed a Master’s course in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.



Mandate

The Director-General is responsible for all activities of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). He is appointed by and accountable to the Secretary-General. As the Secretary-General’s representative, the Director-General undertakes special political assignments and representation as requested by theSecretary-General. He represents the Secretary-General in relations with permanent missions and observer offices based in Geneva and deals with the Swiss authorities in matters relating to the relevant privileges and immunities of staff of the United Nations system in Switzerland.

The Director-General also represents the Secretary-General in relations with regional organizations and arrangements. He maintains cooperation with the specialized agencies and programmes based in Switzerland and Europe as well as with other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and established institutions, including research and academic institutions headquartered in Europe.


The Director-General also serves as Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and is the United Nations Secretary-General’s personal representative to the Conference on Disarmament. In this capacity, he provides the Secretary-General with advice and support on the work of the Conference on Disarmament.


Introducing Dr. Charles Mercieca, the Founding President of IAEWP


We are pleased to introduce Dr. Charles Mercieca, the founding President of IAEWP. The IAEWP would be celebrating its 50th anniversary and it has been the brainchild of this remarkable living saint of peace.

He is also the winner of the 2008 Prime Minister of Malaysia Peace Award which was conferred during the 18th IAEWP World Peace Congress  2008 in Malaysia.



Dr. Charles Mercieca spent most of his life doing academic work and traveling in an effort to help bring about world peace through education. In addition, he revealed great interest in problems of human and social concern. He has also advocated using human resources merely for positive and constructive purposes. He was born in the Island of Malta and studied in Italy and the USA where he has been living since 1961.

Academic Achievements

He secured his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1966 in Philosophy and Historical Foundations and taught at Alabama A&M University for 34 years. During this time he was also Visiting Professor, Kyung Hee University, South Korea, fall 2000; Tver State University, Russia, spring 1993; National University of Santa Ana, El Salvador, spring 1990; Visiting Scholar, Northeastern University, summer 1985; Associate in Education, Harvard University, spring 1985, and Hon. President, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich, 2001-11.

This professor is also founder and president of the International Association of Educators for World Peace, which is a non-governmental organization of the United Nations whose four major goals are peace education, environmental protection, human rights and disarmament. He has been enlisted in several “Who’s Who.” Besides, he also studied several languages including English, Maltese, Italian, Spanish, French, German Russian, Latin and Greek.

He published a few books and over 900 articles on a variety of topics related to education, political science, culture, religion and social problems of human concern. Some of his articles were translated into quite a few languages and put on quite a few websites, one of which was done not long time ago in Russia which carries several selected articles of his.

Some websites which carry his articles are:  http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=129 (in English) and http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=136(in Russian). Quite a few other websites, printed some of his articles in other languages especially in Spanish. In all of his writings he expresses concern for all people from every walk of life and from every religion and cultureHis main contribution is revealed in transcending all boundaries of division as to make all people feel like brothers and sisters.

Working for Peace as a Vocation

Also, he revealed interest in the revival of the matriarchal society sine he believes that women tend to rule from the heart, which is kind, loving and trusting. This led him to write several articles on the Blessed Virgin Mary whom he views as the ideal woman that ever existed. In fact, fairly recently he published a book entitled: Marian Spirituality: Key to Eternal Happiness. This may be secured from Sanbun Publishers, A-78 Naraina Indl. Area, Phase 1, New Delhi 110028, India. The e-mail is:sanbunpublishers@hotmail.com

By nature, Dr. Mercieca is altruistic. He concentrates on giving to others all that they may need to the best of his ability while, at the same time, he expects nothing in return. In all of his work he has demonstrated himself to be a genuine peace-maker. Over the past few decades, he has been invited to give talks in countries across every continent, which served as an inspiration to many who later decided to follow the route to peace as their career. He firmly believes that in a war everyone is a loser and no one is a winner.

He also shares the philosophy of former US President Dwight Eisenhower who said to the US Congress in his farewell address: “Remember that all people of all nations want peace, only their governments want war.” Besides, this US President also reminded the US Congress saying: “Keep in mind that every dollar you spend on weapons and wars is a theft from the hungry and the poor.” This type of philosophy explains why Dr. Mercieca decided to use all his time and energy to work for peace.

In this area, he always encourages everyone to do one’s best and then God will do the rest.  As some ascetical writers tell us, God wants to save the world through our efforts. This means we must, by all means, let God use us as effective instruments to help solve the manifold problems facing the world. The more we try to become involved in problems the world faces, the more we are likely to succeed. In the process, we should demonstrate faith, hope and love for all humans without exception.

Thank you for the blessed opportunity to put this information on record.


Steve Varatharajan
Deputy Secretary General 
IAEWP ( NGO Ecosoc UNITED NATIONS )


Islam and Peace




ISLAM AND PEACE

Dr.  Noor M Larik, IAEWP National Chancellor of Pakistan 
& IAEWP  International Vice President for Statistics

Peace means non-violence within a family, neighborhood, nation and the world at large.

Non-violence encourages us to be harmonious and make progress in all fields which bear fruit for the welfare of people and discourage them to work in destructive ways that harm society at national and international levels.

The main causes of violence are:

 i)      Injustice, 
ii)      Intolerance, 
iii)     Inequality in all aspects of life, 
iv)     Dishonesty 
v)      Falsehood  
vi)     Greed, 
vii)    Religious dissent and differences. 

ISLAM AND PEACE:

There are three main sources from which one can learn about peace in Islam. 

These are: 

i) The Holy Book of Quran, 
ii) Sayings of The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) i.e, Hadith, 
iii) History and life of the Prophet. 

Now first we will see what Quran says about peace.  

QURAN AND PEACE:

Quran teaches love, tolerance, justice, compassion, freedom of religion, brotherhood and equality in distribution of resources etc. There are few quotes from the Quran that support this view: 

   i) Peace is the cornerstone in Islam: the word ‘Islam’ means peace and teaches us how to live a peaceful life on the earth. The infinite compassion and mercy of God manifests itself on earth. God wants all the people to live by the moral values that God has set, so that compassion, peace and love can be experienced all over the world. 

   ii) No one should be forced to believe in Islam: "There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned."

   iii) Freedom of thought and religion is paramount: God does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you or driven you from your home, or being just towards them. God loves those who are just.

 iv) Compete with each other in doing good.

Muslims who share these values and believe in the need to act together with Christians and Jews are considered good Muslims. They should strive together to spread moral virtues and peace across the world. Had God willed, He would have made the world a single community, but he wanted to test people regarding their conduct and performance.

v) In Islam, killing of one person, is, in fact, equated with like killing of mankind.

vi) Tolerance: The root cause of violence is intolerance. The degree of tolerance, truthfulness, honesty to do justice, avoiding greed and inequality are virtues which have eternal value and need to be adopted. Today, tolerance is generally considered as a sign of weakness but in fact it is not. 

In January 1995, the UNO proclaimed 1995 as the Year of Tolerance. The ability to be tolerant of actions, beliefs and opinions of others is a major factor in promoting world peace. 

The secret of having peace in life and hereafter is tolerance and no disturbance of harmony and peace. Diversity of opinions is, in fact, a positive quality of life. If you behave nicely with those who have different views from you, then you display an excellent character. True Islam is a tolerant religion and desires peace to prevail in the world.

Few sayings of The Prophet in favour of nonviolence are:

1) God has no mercy for him who has no mercy for his fellows.

2) A man asked the Prophet, “How many times should I forgive a servant? The prophet replied forgive servant 70 times every day.”

 3) Someone asked, ‘What is Islam’ The Prophet said, “Purity of speech, and hospitality.” 

4) “Visit the sick, feed the hungry, and help to relieve people’s misery.”

5) Faith is to restrain oneself against all violence.

6) Honest difference of opinion among many people should be accounted as a blessing.

7) In his Farewell address, the Prophet said: “You are all brothers and are all equal. None of you can claim and privilege or any superiority over any other. 

An Arab is not to be preferred to a non-Arab nor is non-Arab to be preferred to any Arab; nor is a white man to be preferred to a coloured one, or an Arab with a non-Arab, except on the basis of righteousness.”

Efforts by the Prophet during his lifetime of creating a nonviolent society included by saying and demonstrating Islam emphasises to seek solution to matters of controversy through peaceful means; for instance, the first agreement made during the life of the Prophet was of Hudaibiya through which peace was established between Muslims and non-Muslims. The Holy Quran describes Sulhe Al-Hudaibiya, in the early period of Islam as a clear victory of peace between believers and non-believers.

In this regard, three times Prophet called a conference of learned people from three major religions i.e, Jews, Christians, and Muslims to discuss the issue of peace and harmony in the society.

This is the indication that if educated people come together and advocate the virtue of tolerance, then the whole world could achieve peace, which beside other religions, is the cardinal principle of Islam.

The modern technology and communications have greatly reduced distances physically, but the task of bringing peace and unity in the minds of human beings is yet to be accomplished.

All human beings appear to be different, though spiritually they are one.

As mentioned above, the Prophet of Islam in his last speech emphasised that there is no difference between Arabs and non-Arabs, white or blacks. They all are brothers.

The circumstances that confront man in this world lead to the veil of arrogance and jealousy which makes him see himself as separate and superior to others. The aim of Islam is to encourage the sense of spirituality. 

In fact, the main concern of all religions is to produce spiritual unity within and between all human beings. Without spiritual unity there is little hope of creating peace and harmony throughout the world and where there is no peace and harmony, the dream of progress, welfare and morality will remain elusive.

Unity of God, unity of nature, unity of mankind, suggest that all humans are brothers.

The Muslim Sufis embraced the values of Islam as love, peace and kindness and spread them all over the world. It is clear that the power of peace is stronger than the power of violence in all religions of the world. Quran calls the way of Islam as the path of peace.

In the end, I would like to mention that Islam is a religion of peace which by its very name “Islam” means peace. So is the basis of all world religions.

Let us all work to establish peace and harmony in the world which is the bedrock on which all human progress rests.

_______________

Reference: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1999) "Islam and Peace"