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Index January 2007

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A global dream

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Linked with Pekka Himanen – Finland, and with ‘Global Dignity.org‘.

Speech by Pekka Himanen in Oslo, 11th December, 2005 on Global Dream, (go to this page and click on: Speech “A Global Dream”).

What is our current dream for the world? History has been changed by dreams. But if we ask what our current dream for the world is, it is already revealing that we have even replaced the very word ”dream” with the technical term ”vision.” We could go as far as to say that we don’t have any dreams that inspire us anymore. And if the vision that is actually directing our action should be verbalized, it is something as flat as that “our production will grow by 3% per year”! This is what we live for! How inspiring is that?

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Surge in Muslim youth who want Islamic rule

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By Macer Hall, Political Editor, Jan. 29, 2007.

2 excerpts: … SHOCKING evidence of the radicalisation of young British Muslims emerged last night after a poll showed more than one- third want Islamic law imposed in the UK.

Three-quarters of Muslims aged 16-24 believe women should be forced to wear veils or headscarves and a third believe heretics who give up the Islamic faith deserve to be put to death, research also reveals.

The survey also found more than one in eight young adult believers “admires” Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups …

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HRW’s World Report 2007, Events of 2006

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Human Rights Watch’s 556-page World Report 2007 contains survey information on human rights developments during 2006 in more than 75 countries. In addition to the introductory essay on the European Union, the volume contains essays on freedom of expression since 9/11, the plight of migrant domestic workers, and a human rights agenda for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

HRW Index No.: 1-58322-740-7, January 11, 2007.

Report: Download in PDF;
Purchase online;
Read Press Release.

Stop The Iran War Before It Starts

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Linked with Scott Ritter – USA.

By Scott Ritter, Published first on The Nation, re-published on Countercurrents.org on 27 December, 2007.

Excerpts: … If I were to be invited to go to Washington today and speak to the Democratic equivalent of the Republican Theme Team, I would spend very little time on the issue of Iraq. Right or wrong, the Iraq War was a product of domestic American politics, not any genuine threat to national security, and as such the solution for Iraq will be derived not from whatever happens inside Iraq, surge or no surge, but rather from what happens here in America. It will take two or more national election cycles for the American electorate to purge Congress of those elements, Republican and Democratic alike, who are responsible for the Iraqi quagmire.

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Season of Fear – IDPs in Burma

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Linked with Tecla Wanjala – Kenja, with The Japan International Cooperation Agency JICA, with PEACENET-Trust KENYA, and with The Coalition for Peace in Africa COPA.

Call for International Action (by WITNESS.org), Partner: Peace Way Foundation (Burma Issues, BI).

“In much of Asia a dry season could mean a break from monsoon rains and intermittent floods but for the Karen ethnic community, settled along Burma’s eastern borders, it means a season of death, destruction and flight.” (Marwaan Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service, Bangkok)

Season of Fear was filmed in October/November 2005 in communities of internally displaced people in northern Karen State, Burma who had fled the Burma military offensive that swept through the area.

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An Online Internet Guide – keyword: human rights

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developed by the Center for International Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, PO Box 413, Garland Hall 138, Milwaukee, WI 53201, write.

Universal Voices: Online Human Rights Internet Guide, According to Mrs. Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “…today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.” The UNHCHR web site provides current information concerning human rights issues including: the International Criminal Court, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Education, etc. Use the search engine to find information about specific topics and issues.

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Twishakira amahoro

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Linked with Léonie Barakomeza – Burundi, and with Search for common ground SFCG.

Published on UN.org, by Michael Fleshman, who copied from Africa Recovery, Vol.16 #4 (February 2003) page 1, (see also their Homepage).

The Hutu women of Busoro, near the Burundi capital, Bujumbura, are separated from their Tutsi neighbours in Musaga village by little more than a dirt road and the country’s bitter civil conflict. For years that was barrier enough as the fighting ebbed and flowed around them. Over time, the sound of gunfire echoing through the green hills became almost routine, and the absence of the men, off to war or gone in search of jobs, came to seem normal. It was the screaming of the wounded that was hardest to take – that and the fear that knotted the stomach even after the guns and the cries fell silent.

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Legal and Human Rights Centre-LHRC’s new book

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Linked with Neema Mgana – Tanzania.

Chronicles of a decade of struggle, by Pascal Shao, January 24, 2007, IPPmedia.

Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) launched a book outlining its history in Dar es Salaam yesterday. The book is a decade`s journey of the organisation since 1995.

Titled -Through a crucible of Human rights struggles in Tanzania: A decade of Legal and Human Rights the book records achievements and challenges the body encountered in the entire process of lying down the groundwork for democracy and good governance in the country.

Addressing journalists, LHRC board member and editor of the book Prof Palamagamba Kabudi said that when the centre was marking its 10th anniversary, a resolution was made to publish a book on its comprehensive profile.

“We marked the 10th anniversary with songs and drums but we also saw it important to keep the memories in writing,” he said.

Professor Kabudi said the book was published in English in order to share experiences with legal and human rights organization in Africa and the rest of the world.

He said that the Kiswahili version would be ready before December this year.

Professor Kabudi said as a human rights organization, LHCR is naturally concerned with the margins of life where violation of human rights occurs. (Full text at IPPmedia, Source: Guardian).

There is no war on terror in the UK, says DPP

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by Lucy Bannerman, January 24, 2007, Times online.co.uk.

‘July 7 bombers were not soldiers’, Blair challenged on fear-driven laws. – There is no “war on terror” on the streets of Britain, the country’s most senior criminal prosecutor said yesterday.

Those responsible for atrocities like the July 7 bombings in London were not “soldiers” in a war, but “deluded, narcissistic inadequates” who should be dealt with by the criminal justice system, Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, added.

He gave warning against allowing the threat of terrorism to trigger a “fear-driven and inappropriate” security response which damaged Britain’s traditions of freedom.

In what will be seen as a criticism of government measures such as control orders for terror suspects, Sir Ken called for a “culture of legislative restraint” in passing terror laws. Sir Ken’s comments to the Criminal Bar Association put him at odds with Tony Blair and the Home Secretary, John Reid, who have justified tighter security laws on the grounds of the threat posed to Britain by a new kind of terror.

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Australian expert praises Vietnam’s human rights achievements

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January 23, 2007, THANH NIEN news.com http://www.thanhniennews.com/politics/?catid=1&newsid=24545

Vietnam has recorded many important achievements in promoting human rights and actively participated in the world’s human rights system, an Australian expert said at a seminar in Hanoi Monday.
David Robinson from the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission noted that Vietnam’s constitution included important provisions of human rights protection, and the country had committed to abide by the international conventions on human rights through its signed documents.

At the seminar entitled “Vietnam and international conventions on human rights”, Assistant to Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh stressed that Vietnam had constantly exerted its efforts to improve its legal system and promote education on respecting human rights.

Vietnam’s efforts in implementing international human rights conventions were recognized and appreciated by different committees that supervise the implementation of convention on human rights, the official added.

Speaker Angela Davis highlights Civil Rights movement

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By THERESA HOGUEM, Gazette-Times reporter, January 20, 2007.

Former Black Panther rejects notion that equality campaign can be over

Civil rights activist and former Black Panther Party member Angela Davis drew a large and enthusiastic crowd at Oregon State University’s LaSells Stewart Center on Friday night.

Davis, now a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, gave the closing address at a three-day OSU conference titled “Your Voice, Your Conference: Awareness, Solidarity, Action.”

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‘The door we never opened …’

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By M K Bhadrakumar, Jan 6, 2007 on Asia Times

2 excerpts: … Robert Fisk, the great chronicler of the Middle East at The Independent, recently wrote that it occurred to him that the final score in this unique round of the Iraq war between the US and the “forces of evil” is a “draw”.

Yet one cannot be sure. Is that the final score? There may be “extra time” ahead, and if a conclusive win still eludes, a “penalty shootout” may ensue. The trouble is, no one knows the rules of the game anymore.

To be sure, the Iranian leadership has closed ranks – as it always does whenever the revolutionary heritage comes under US siege. Even for reasons of intellectual dilettantism, it becomes difficult to drive a sheet of paper between the various noisy factions and cliques and sub-cliques that usually inhabit the labyrinthine corridors of power in Tehran.

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Is The U.S. Planning A Horrific Global Nuclear War?

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Linked with Michel Chossudovsky – Canada.

By Michel Chossudovsky, re-published on countercurrent 19 January, 2007, first published on The Canadian / Copyright © 2005.

Excerpt: At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable, a nuclear holocaust which could potentially spread, in terms of radioactive fallout, over a large part of the Middle East.

All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort” have been scrapped. “Offensive” military actions using nuclear warheads are now described as acts of “self-defence”.

The distinction between tactical nuclear weapons and the conventional battlefield arsenal has been blurred. America’s new nuclear doctrine is based on “a mix of strike capabilities”. The latter, which specifically applies to the Pentagon’s planned aerial bombing of Iran, envisages the use of nukes in combination with conventional weapons.

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Gendering the WSF Nairobi 2007 Process

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A Contribution to a Debate, by Onyango Oloo, National Coordinator, Kenya Social Forum.

[This paper was first presented at a public forum on “Gendering the WSF Process”, held at Ufungamano House in Nairobi on Thursday, May 25, 2006 and financially supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation.]

1.0. Conceptual Underpinnings

First things first: In talking about gendering the World Social Forum process, it is crucial for my readers to grasp what I am NOT talking about. I am NOT talking about “women’s issues” nor am I trying to “solve” or “resolve” “The Woman Question”. Rather, I am trying to explore the problematics thrown up by the age-old power dynamics between men and women and contextualizing this within the history of planning and organizing for successive WSF events. And I have embarked on this task for reasons that are far from “academic”; I am not driven solely by theoretical and intellectual preoccupations about the subject of gender.

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The Pigeon-like Unease of My Inner Spirit

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Linked with Hrant Dink – Turkey (September 15, 1954 – January 19, 2007).

By Hrant Dink, (his latest editorial, in french in AGOS Newspaper 10 January 2007), translated in english by F.M. Gocek, published on collectifVan.org, January 20, 2007).

excerpt: … I was certain that a lawsuit would not be filed at the end of the investigation. I was sure of myself. But surprise! A lawsuit was filed.

But I still did not lose my optimism.

So much so that at a television show that I joined live, I even told the lawyer [Kemal] Kerincsiz who was accusing me “that he should not get his hopes too high, that I was not going to be smacked with any sentence from this lawsuit, and that I would leave this country if I received a sentence.” I was sure of myself because I truly had not had in my article any premeditation or intention – not even a single iota – to denigrate Turkishness. Those who read the entirety of my collection of articles would understand this very clearly.

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Violence, War, and Their Impact

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Linked with Johan Galtung – Norway, with Transcent, with The power of non-violence, with Kai Frithof Brand-Jacobsen – Romania & Canada & Norway, with The Transnational Foundation, and with TRANSCEND’s Advanced International Training Programme .

On Visible and Invisible Effects of Violence by Johan Galtung, by Johan Galtung, Norway. Pubished on Polylog.org, Forum for Intercultural Philosophy, 2004.

Some exerpts: … World: If we now define the world as a community of nations in addition to a community of states, in other words as an inter-nation system in addition to an inter-state system, then the effect of wars becomes even clearer. At the superficial level nations share religion and language. At the deeper level they share chosenness, glory and trauma; the CGT-complex. Wars are help define these kairos points. Contiguity around sacred places, and continuity to pay homage to sacred dates, project the nation into geography and history, as clearly seen by watching the names of metro stations and squares in a country referring to itself as la grande nation. Studies of national holidays and anthems, old conflict symbols, also bring out this clearly.

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The Power of Nonviolence

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Linked with Transcent, with Kai Frithof Brand-Jacobsen – Romania & Canada & Norway, with Johan Galtung – Norway, with Violence, War, and Their Impact, with The Transnational Foundation, and with TRANSCEND’s Advanced International Training Programme.

No Fist is Big Enough to Hide the Sky: The Power of Nonviolence:

by Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen, published on 15th of December 2005 on Transcent.

Some excerpts: The discussion – or more appropriately ‘debate’ – over whether movements and organizations should use violent or nonviolent means can often be dry and sterile. In it the living needs of communities involved in conflicts and struggle are often forgotten, and one of the core objectives or criteria is almost always lost: what methods/techniques will be effective for a movement, for those working for change, to achieve their goals? Or more broadly: what methods, tools, techniques, strategies and actions can be effective for those working to transform conflicts within their communities, to bring about a fundamental change, or to remove /abolish /overthrow a system, structure, or culture of violence, injustice and oppression?

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Cry Iraq

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or: Bagdad and the world, today and yesterday, by Mustapha Marrouchi, 13 January, 2007, on Countercurrents.org.

Excerpt: … Let’s first take on the antiquities of Mesopotamia, which reveal the constants of Middle Eastern politics. Endlessly fluctuating frontiers and proliferating religions mean endless wars. Here, in the sculptured reliefs, are the cities bombarded, the women and children abused and killed, the aggressive signs of military power displayed, the brutality of militaristic regimes paraded, the puppet rulers installed, deposed, and at times hanged. Baghdad fell in 2003, but Babylon falls everyday in the National Gallery. In Rembrandt’s Belshazzar’s Feast, painted in Amsterdam in the 1630s, a corrupt and doomed ruler is about to be deposed by foreign armies, all supposedly in the name of a God he had disparaged. The writing on the wall announces that Belshazzar has been found wanting and that his kingdom will be divided among foreign occupiers. In a few hours divine retribution will strike. It is the biblical story as depicted by the 17th century Dutch painter. And if the National Gallery shows the night before the debacle, the morning after the invasion is exhibited at the British Museum.

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La stratégie de la tension

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Le terrorisme non revendiqué de l’OTAN, par Silvia Cattori, journaliste Suisse – Daniele Ganser, professeur d’histoire contemporaine à l’université de Bâle et président de l’ASPO-Suisse, a publié un livre de référence sur « Les Armées secrètes de l’OTAN ». Selon lui, les États-Unis ont organisé en Europe de l’Ouest pendant 50 ans des attentats qu’ils ont faussement attribué à la gauche et à l’extrême gauche pour les discréditer aux yeux des électeurs. Cette stratégie perdure aujourd’hui pour susciter la peur de l’islam et justifier des guerres pour le pétrole.

Silvia Cattori : Votre ouvrage consacré aux armées secrètes de l’Otan [1], s’attache à expliquer ce que la stratégie de la tension [2] et les False flag terrorism [3] comportent de grands dangers. Il nous enseigne comment l’Otan, durant la Guerre froide -en coordination avec les services de renseignement des pays ouest-européens et le Pentagone- s’est servi d’armées secrètes, a recruté des espions dans les milieux d’extrême droite, et a organisé des actes terroristes que l’on attribuait à l’extrême gauche. En apprenant cela, on peut s’interroger sur ce qui peut se passer aujourd’hui à notre insu.

Daniele Ganser : C’est très important de comprendre ce que la stratégie de la tension représente réellement et comment elle a fonctionné durant cette période … (voir le reste sur Voltairenet.org).

The Dominican Republic Country Report

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Linked with Sonia Pierre – Dominican Republic, with the Movement for Dominican Women of Haitian Decent MUDHA, and with the International Women’s Rights Action Watch irwaw.

Published by the International Women’s Rights Action Watch iwraw.

Excerpts: … Tourism: Tourism has expanded considerably in recent years, bringing over two million visitors to the country’s coastal resorts in 1995 alone. Assessments vary, but tourism is said to generate as much money for the government as the Free Trade Zones and double the hard currency generated by other exports. It has also created a boom in sex tourism and has helped to increase the rate of AIDS infection, currently the country’s most serious health problem. Culturally, tourism has been yet another source of free-floating and spatially divided families. A tourism promotion fund run by the government and the National Hotel & Restaurants Association has recently been established. Since the State has officially launched itself into the tourism business, it can no longer remain disengaged from the human and ecological issues generated by this kind of development. For one, it cannot continue to ignore the boom in sex-tourism in the resort areas multiplying along the coasts. Non-governmental groups hope that the CESCR Committee will question the Dominican Government delegation concerning what precisely the State intends to do to discourage some of the negative effects of the country’s increasing dependence on tourism.

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Reports and Texts about DARFUR

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Linked with The Darfur Relief and Documentation Center DRDC.

SUDAN BACKS DEPLOYMENT OF HYBRID PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN DARFUR – UN Press Release – UN News Center, Jan 12 2007;

Clooneys in Darfur, a documentary, Jan. 15, 2007;

Darfur, a tragedy without end, January 14, 2007;

EU Envoy to Sudan Urges All Parties in Darfur to Join Peace Deal, By Noel King, Khartoum, 13 January 2007;

US Asks China to Press Sudan on Darfur Peacekeepers, By Daniel Schearf, Beijing, 12 January 2007;
Schearf report (Real Audio) – Download 186K
Listen to Schearf report (Real Audio)

Ban Reports on First 10 Days in Office as UN Secretary-General;

Transcript of press conference by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at United Nations headquarters, 11 January 2007;

Sudan: Unprecedented Activism Has Little Impact in Darfur, Jan. 10, 2007;

UN reports tribal clashes in Darfur, 7 killed and 30 wounded, January 5, 2007.

Getting the UN into Darfur, Africa Briefing N°43, 12 October 2006, Overview;
To ask for the full report, go to Crisis Group;

Resolution 1706, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5519th meeting, on 31 August 2006, 6 pdf-pages;

COVER STORY: Darfur Report, May 13, 2005, Episode no. 837;

Sudan: Darfur Report, AfricaFocus Bulletin, Feb 3, 2005 (050203);

The Darfur Report of Online Newshour;

Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General, Geneva, 25 January 2005, 176 pdf-pages;

Documenting Atrocities in Darfur, State Publication 11182, Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, September 2004;

And: UNICEF, for donations for Darfur-children.

Baghdad 2025, The Pentagon Solution to a Planet of Slums

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Received by mail from “Left Coast” on January 8, 2007, giving the link to this article on Tom Dispatch.com, by Nick Turse:Excerpts: … In our world, the Pentagon and the national security bureaucracy have largely taken possession of the future. In an exchange in 2002, journalist Ron Suskind reported a senior adviser to President Bush telling him, that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality… We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’ …

… Typical is the National Intelligence Council, a “center of strategic thinking within the U.S. Government, reporting to the Director of Central Intelligence.” In 2005, it was already expending much effort to create fictional scenarios for 2010, 2015, and 2020. Someone I know recently attended workshops the Council’s long-range assessment unit organized, trying to look at the “threats after next” – and this time they were deep into the 2020s.

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A World Between

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Linked with Jason Rezaian – Iran & USA, and with The Iran Media Service.

‘A World Between’ is a documentary film, completed by Jason Rezaian – Iran & USA, who is the film’s Writer/Narrator/Executive Producer.

It is the true story of a young Iranian American raised in the United States, who travels to Iran to discover his father’s homeland. Not burdened by the typical stereotypes held by Americans about Iran, he discovers a land in many ways different than expected, but one that has much more in common with us than one would think.

His encounters take him across the country, from the teeming capital of Tehran, to the center of Ancient Persia in Esfahan, and finally to the home of his ancestors Iran’s holiest city, Mashhad. In each place we meet his friends and relatives who help form a more representative view of Iranians than we often see in the West.

As the film progresses our narrator becomes more Iranian, both personally and practically, as he is forced to buy an exemption from the Iranian military to prolong his stay.
(For the rest go to the link above).

Contact.

TRANSCEND’s Advanced International Training Programme

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Linked with Kai Brand-Jacobsen – Romania & Canada & Norway, with Johan Galtung – Norway, with The Power of Non-Violence, with Violence, War, and Their Impact, with The Transnational Foundation, and with Transcent.

Some latest published programms:

1) Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Post-War Rebuilding, Reconciliation and Resolution (PCTR). The PCTR is the only five-days intensive training programme of its kind, exploring all three phases of violence and war – pre-violence, violence, post-violence – and what can be done: to transform unresolved conflicts, for war to peace transitions, to empower communities, organisations, and individuals for conflict transformation and peacebuilding, to design and implement effective cease-fire and peace processes, and to develop effective policy responses and programmes for conflict transformation and post-war reconstruction, rehabilitation, reconciliation, and healing.

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