When it comes to peace, how would you describe yourself?
I feel the pain in the world
What do you believe are the 'burning issues' today?
War, Hunger, Poverty, Education, Our Planet, Violence, Inflation, Human Rights, Our Shrinking Freedom, Other
So what is it?
What must we overcome to achieve peace?
Fear drives people to attack, in personal life and as Nations, States, Communities and Family's. Deliberation and "diplomacy" allows people to find common ground, understand each other. Greed also contributes, but is counterproductive as greed prohibits others from contributing.
Can we change the world?
More about me
I am retired, live in Wisconsin, USA. government at all levels has become oppressive, does not allow interaction. Wisconsin is run by bureaucracy.
Promise to respect others and refrain from spamming?
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The meeting in London on 2 April of Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev is placed under the sign of needed cooperation to deal with the world-wide financial and economic crisis. There is also a need to deal with a number of on-going tension areas such as the Russia-Georgia-Abkhazia-South Ossetia conflict where negotiations in Geneva are making slow progress. However, it is in the nuclear-weapon field where quick bilateral agreements can be reached. An agreement to reduce nuclear arsenals on both sides and to take weapons off hair-trigger alert would signify to the world that major agreements can be reached to provide common security.
There have always been at least two major aspects of nuclear issues — one is to prevent the proliferation to new states such as Iran or North Korea, the other is to reduce the number of warheads among existing nuclear-weapon states. The reduction of the number of warheads seems to be on the table for new USA-Russia negotiations. The number of 1000 each seems to be a common goal. Speedy negotiations can be encouraged by the Obama-Medvedev discussions.
The USA and Russia have reduced strategic nuclear weapons by more than two-thirds since the 1991 end of the Cold War, but neither country has begun planning for the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. Much strategic thinking in both countries remains bound to the Cold War past and is at best vague on what use nuclear weapons have in the new world society. While strategic frameworks have historical, cultural and economic roots, they must also evolve to meet new realities.
A new willingness to strengthen cooperative political relationships between the USA and Russia is an essential requirement for creating an atmosphere of political confidence that will draw other nuclear-weapon states into the process of weapon reduction. There is a world-wide danger of continued reliance on nuclear weapons with outdated strategic thinking. The USA and Russia can show the way to eliminate those sources of instability that are driving other states to develop nuclear weapons. A common US-Russian commitment to work for a Nuclear-weapon Free Zone in the Middle East would be a sign of a renewed willingness to deal seriously with the security issues of the Middle East.
An easily-achieved mutual confidence-building measure would be to lower the operational status of nuclear arsenals, basically to take nuclear weapons off ‘hair trigger’ alert. Such a measure would enhance confidence and transparency. The lowering of operational readiness of nuclear-weapon systems has been urged by United Nations General Assembly resolutions starting in 2007. Such a change of status by the USA and Russia would be an important mark of respect for world opinion in the lead up to the 2010 review conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The last few years have been years of drift in US-Russian relations. A quick agreement on nuclear issues would be a sure sign of a willingness to put relations back on track.
* Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens
I would like to welcome everyone to the Spiritual Fasting Group starting on 11th of January 2009 for at least 21 days or more. However, need support let me know because our group will provide any knowledge. Fasting is very powerful to bring forth things in your life that are positive and remove anything that is negative. Fasting purifies the spirit and enhance the mind and body to a healthier and peaceful life. See below:
Know that all human hearts are welcome here, regardless of one's color, creed, condition or philosophy, because everyone is just like you and me--wanting happiness, and disliking suffering. In other words, seeking joy and freedom from suffering is the birthright of all living beings.
The word 'spiritual' has many connotations, but all of us who've done prolonged, skillful fasting know our mind is clearer, sharper and more efficient--a greater clarity of consciousness. By using this fasting-enhanced clarity, our journey into the human interior can reward us with many essential correctives to the extreme materialism of our external culture and its dominant sciences. Also, just as our own inner-mind becomes clearer, our own extrasensory instinct becomes keener. Thus, we find ourselves more in tune with the gentle voice of Nature and its Natural Laws. And so, the increase in energy prolonged fasting confers is our own reward for getting back in touch with these so-called Laws of Nature.
World Peace and World Love
1. Wars and rumors of wars (Palestinians and Jews), 2. Ecology (Planet is dying), 3. Suicide, 4. Earthquakes, 5. Killings. The devastation must stop at all cost! We will all become extinct.
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