When it comes to peace, how would you describe yourself?
I am a born activist
What do you believe are the 'burning issues' today?
War, Hunger, Poverty, Education, Our Planet, Violence, Human Rights, Our Shrinking Freedom, Other
So what is it?
What must we overcome to achieve peace?
lost in translation...much of what is said is lost in translation between languages...something like..." The answer is thrown down your mouth with our fist" when it actually means "We answered your question wholeheartedly and offer our hand". In the cold war, there were translations like this that made it look like the other country was shaking their sabers! It still happens today because people of different cultures do not FULLY understand each other. Ironically, 99% of the population of the world want peace. The 1% are leaders that want money and power as well as a fatter belly! Those leaders are not just presidents and prime ministers, but also the corporate ceo's and presidents that pay millions to these political leaders for favors that will make them richer!
War is profitable, peace is not. We want to change this...
Can we change the world?
More about me
I'm the founder of Peace Full Sail EuroRock, our mission is to show the world that we can all get along...we put people together from different countries, religions, colors, musical tastes to show the world we can and will get along...I am also on the board of directors for the SWISS organization and Musicians for Peace
Promise to respect others and refrain from spamming?
Louis...on this great cruise ship called Earth...moving one million miles each day...it is such a great thing to know that you are a passenger..just hanging out on a different part of the ship...and you care just like me about all the ones throwing their trash on the decks and trying to destroy the ship..and try everyday to stop them.....Johnnie
I’ve been gone for the last couple of weeks spreading light and love through lecturing, the radio show and the video-editing studio.
Just wanted to re-connect and say hi! Although I’ve been gone and not communicating, that in no way diminishes my appreciation of who you are and what you are doing to promote and sustain peace amongst all of us here and everyone within your world.
As with all my friends here, each day I go through my friends list pictures and send each of them, including you, all the love and light I can muster from here. I will continue to do so for as long as it takes for all humankind to experience the Peace we all cherish.
So with that said, I hope you have a wonderful day.
I am pleased to send you an article on the need for reconciliation bridge-builders in areas of tensions and conflicts as in eastern Congo. Just as world citizens had pushed in the 1950s for the creation of UN Forces with soldiers specially prepared for peace-keeping service, so now we are again pushing for a new type of world civil servant. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have all contributed actively to military-peacekeeping forces. Perhaps these same countries can take a lead in forming reconciliation teams. Your support and advice would be most appreciated. With best wishes, Rene Wadlow
East Congo — Need for Reconciliation Bridge-Builders
On bridges are stated the limits in tons
of the loads they can bear.
But I’ve never yet found one that can bear more
than we do.
Although we are not made of roman freestone,
nor of steel, nor of concrete.
From “Bridges” – Ondra Lysohorsky
Translated from the Lachian by Davis Gill.
Violence is growing in the eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, basically the administrative provinces of North and South Kivu. The violence could spread to the rest of the country as Angolan troops may come to the aid of the Central Government as they have in the past while Rwandan and Ugandan troops are said to be helping the opposing militia led by Laurent Nkunda. While Nkunda and his Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) say that they are only protecting the ethnic Tutsi living in Congo, Nkunda could emerge as a national opposition figure to President Joseph Kabila, who has little progress to show from his years in power.
There is high-level recognition that violence in Congo could spread, having a destabilizing impact on the whole region. UN diplomats, led by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, have stressed that a political solution — not a military one — is the only way to end the violence, and they are urging the presidents of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania to work together to restore stability. The instability, along with Congo’s vast mineral and timber riches have drawn in neighboring armies who have joined local insurgencies as well as local commanders of the national army to exploit the mines and to keep mine workers in near-slavery conditions.
The United Nations has some 17,000 peacemakers in Congo (MONUC), the UN’s largest peacekeeping mission, but their capacity is stretched to the limit. Recently, the General in command of the UN forces, Lieutenant General Vicent Diaz de Villegas of Spain resigned his post after seven weeks — an impossible task. Their mission is to protect civilians, some 250,000 of which have been driven from their homes since the fighting intensified in late August 2008. The camps where displaced persons have been living have been attacked both by government and rebel forces — looting, raping, and burning. UN under-secretary general for peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, is asking for an additional 3,000 soldiers, but it is not clear which states may propose troops for a very difficult mission. While MONUC has proven effective at securing peace in the Ituri district in north-eastern Congo, it has been much less successful in the two Kivu provinces.
The eastern area of Congo is the scene of fighting at least since 1998 — in part as a result of the genocide in neighboring Rwanda in 1994. In mid-1994, more than one million Rwandan Hutu refugees poured into the Kivus, fleeing the advance of the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, now become the government of Rwanda. Many of these Hutu were still armed, among them, the “genocidaire” who a couple of months before had led the killings of some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda. They continued to kill Tutsi living in the Congo, many of whom had migrated there in the 18th century.
The people in eastern Congo have lived together for many centuries and had developed techniques of conflict resolution, especially between the two chief agricultural lifestyles: that of agriculture and cattle herding. However, the influx of a large number of Hutu, local political considerations, a desire to control the wealth of the area — rich in gold, tin and tropical timber — all these factors have overburdened the local techniques of conflict resolution and have opened the door to new, negative forces interested only in making money and gaining political power.
UN peace-keeping troops are effective when there is peace to keep. What is required today in eastern Congo is not so much more soldiers under UN command, than reconciliation bridge-builders, persons who are able to restore relations among the ethnic groups of the area. The United Nations, national governments, and non-governmental organizations need to develop bridge-building teams who can help to strengthen local efforts at conflict resolution and re-establishing community relations. In the Kivus, many of the problems arise from land tenure issues. With the large number of people displaced and villages destroyed, it may be possible to review completely land tenure and land use issues.
World citizens were among those in the early 1950s who stressed the need to create UN peace-keeping forces with soldiers especially trained for such a task. Today, a new type of world civil servant is needed — those who in areas of tension and conflict can undertake the slow but important task of restoring confidence among peoples in conflict, establishing contacts and looking for ways to build upon common interests.
Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens
Thanks Louis and WorldPeaceTV ! So Happy to see you on iPeace and to be friends :-) I love your work on currentTV, however I much prefer the Peaceful Loving people on here. I do watch and read your posts on current,but I stopped leaving comments. Always give you Vote-Up :-)
Greetings WorldPeace TV! I went to your myspace page, peacefullsail... very cool! How are you a part of this? Haven't seen your videos yet as my computer is too slow, but will when I get the chance. Got lost on myspace for a couple of hours after seeing your page. Decided to get mine up and running. Keep up all the good work for peace!
Dear Colleague, As the representative of an NGO to the United Nations, I am pushing for simultaneous membership in the UN of the Phantom Republics. But the OSCE has also been involved with these conflicts so OSCE membership would also be useful. I thought you could share this text with friends. Best wishes, Rene
Coming in From the Cold: UN Membership Needed for the Phantom Republics
Written by Rene Wadlow
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Kosovo Declares Independence, Feb. 2008"The Phantom Republics" has been the name given to the states demanding the status of independence after the break up of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union: Abkhazia, Chechenya, Kosovo, Nagrono-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transnistra. The current conflict between Russia and Georgia has put the Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts at center stage of world politics.
The independence of Kosovo has been recognized by a good number of countries, but there is also strong opposition, and Kosovo has not been granted membership in the United Nations. Chechenya has been ‘pacified’ by Russian troops, and it is unlikely that the Russian Government is willing to reopen the issue. However, if the Phantom Republics supported by Russia — Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistra — were granted UN membership, it might be possible that Chechnyan independence would be a counter-weight and a sign of good will on the part of the Russian Federation.
Security should start with a ‘package deal’ of membership for all the Phantom Republics in the United Nations as soon as possible. The UN General Assembly begins in late September, and membership should be a high priority. With UN membership, the danger of changing their status by force is lessened. Membership in the UN raises for some the spectre of ‘fragmentation’ or ‘Balkanization’ of the world into a multitude of tiny units to the disadvantage of world security. However, in this case, the recognition of independence is a necessary first step for security and a lessening of tensions. Once UN membership has been universally accepted for the Phantom Republics, new forms of regional cooperation can be undertaken in a calmer and clearer atmosphere. Once recognized through UN membership, it will be up to each of the Phantom Republics to create economic, social and political ties with its neighbors.
There are obviously oppositions to recognizing each of these states as independent, in particular opposition from the states of which they were once a part. Serbia has run a long campaign against the independence of Kosovo citing history, the human rights of minorities, and territorial integrity. At one stage, I had thought that it might be possible to create a pan-Albanian cultural union with official links among the Albanians in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia while keeping a political status of autonomy within Serbia. However, governments like simple solutions — you are in or out, independent or not. Just as it is difficult to be partly pregnant, so it is difficult to be partly independent.
Thus, after long and bitter negotiations, Kosovo is an independent state which will have to create links with Albania and Macedonia but which cannot escape relations with Serbia which remains the economic motor of the region. Each of the Phantom Republics is in a difficult position, and with good will and creative political imagination, other forms than independence guaranteed by UN membership might have been found. Alas, good will and creative political imagination have been in short supply.
In the case of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, at least since 1993, there have been mediators from the UN and the Organizations for Security and Cooperation in Europe. There have been ‘track two’ — non-governmental meetings to discuss the issues. There have been detailed proposals set out, one by a colleague from the University of Geneva, Prof Giorgio Malinverni, who proposed a form of asymmetrical federalism for Georgia — a Swiss Ambassador, Edward Brunner, being the UN mediator at the time. While the plan was discussed, nothing seems to have come of it. Today, the issues in Georgia have resulted in tensions between the USA, Europe and Russia not seen since the end of the Cold War in 1990.
My proposal is a ‘package deal’ in which all the Phantom Republics become UN members at the same time. Such a package deal resembles earlier package deals for membership when countries had been blocked by Cold War tensions. UN membership grants recognition of being part of the ‘international community’. It guarantees existing frontiers and is a wall against aggression. UN membership will also provide an elegant way for Russia to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and first from the ‘security zones’ which are clearly in Georgian territory.
During the period of international control of Kosovo, prior to its independence, a shorthand term for policy was ‘standards before status’. In Kosovo, there should be at least minimum respect for the standards of the rule of law, safeguard of minorities, and a return of refugees, prior to discussions on its status of independence or autonomy within Serbia. One can discuss if these standards were in fact met prior to independence. However, in the case of the other Phantom Republics, the reverse policy is needed: status before standards. There needs to be universal recognition of the status of independence by UN membership before there can be any serious effort of establishing the rule of law and human rights. As long as a clear status is not established, the republics will remain politically and economically unstable. Without UN membership, there will always be excuses for the presence of Russian military forces.
Following the Kosovo precedent, the most stable outcome of the conflict in Georgia is independence for Abkhazia and South Ossetia with rapid membership within the United Nations. UN membership should be a sufficient guarantee against attack. There is probably no need for peacekeeping forces, especially not Russian peacekeeping forces. The United Nations should provide human rights monitors as well as providing help for economic planning with a regional focus. Independence with UN membership can provide a new and stable political-economic framework so that people may try to pull their lives together which they have not been able to do since 1992 when armed violence and refugee flows broke out in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. UN membership for Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistra will help prevent these ‘frozen conflicts’ from melting into new violence as well.
Thus, the Phantom Republics will join the UN to sit along with such small UN members as Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, and San Marino — states born with the restructuring of feudal Europe. It may take some time to turn Abkhazia into a Black Sea Monaco, but inevitably, for economic and social reasons, neighboring states learn to cooperate if they are not able to destroy one or the other by war.
Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens and editor of the on-line journal of world politics and culture: www.transnational-perspectives.org