Cluster bombs – banned!
The Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions adopted on 30th May 2008 is a historic new treaty banning the use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention and transfer of cluster munitions which cause unacceptable harm to civilians. The treaty is particularly strong in its provisions on victim assistance, on clearance of cluster munition remnants, and on international cooperation and assistance. Some weak or grey areas, however, remain as regards certain exclusions in the definition of cluster munitions, and with certain specific provisions dealing with military cooperation and operations with states not parties to the treaty, especially the U.S.
The adoption of the treaty, including the last-minute turn-arounds of the U.K. and Japan, would not have come to pass through the Oslo Process since February 2006 were it not for the persistent pushing of the global non-governmental Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) on behalf of and together with cluster munition victims. The Dublin conference started with strict limited access to NGOs led by CMC but this soon changed, as the NGO and victim voices could no longer be denied access. This was eased with the help of the Core Group countries of Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Austria, Peru, Mexico and Zambia. - Sol Santos, Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL)
- See article on the treaty and conference by Afri’s representative, Barbara Raftery, later in this issue.
Raytheon 9 trial: Going well, adjourned
Generally the trial has been going well for the defendants and the fact that Raytheon supplied the 'bunker-busting' missiles used by Israel on civilians in Lebanon in July/August 2006 has been heard by the jury.
The charge of 'affray' has already been dropped. There has been welcome support for the 6 defendants who travel the 70 miles from Derry each day. 27th May saw a large public demonstration at the front of the courthouse and the public gallery was packed on 2nd June when Eamonn McCann took the witness stand. Justice Not Terror Coalition and INNATE had a stall at the courthouse on 5th June linking support for the Raytheon 9 with the Stop the Arms Trade week called by Campaign Against the Arms Trade. The public service union NIPSA was also represented. The trial is currently adjourned for legal reasons. See also http://www.raytheon9.org Eamonn McCann’s booklet “The Raytheon 9 – Resisting war crimes is not a crime”, published by the Derry Anti-War Coalition (52 pages, A5 £2/€3, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) gives some of the background. See also previous NN’s.
Euro mediation conference
“Building Relationships and Getting Results” was the title of the European Mediation Conference, 10th to 12th April. More than 400 delegates from 35 countries gathered in Belfast to attend workshops, take part in trainings and listen to speakers out of the international peacebuilding and mediation field. President Martti Ahtissari, Chairman of the Crisis Management Initiative, and Jan Egeland, UN Special Envoy for Conflict Prevention, talked about their experience in international peacebuilding. Pat Colgan, Special European Programmes Body, explained the contribution of the European Union funded projects to the mediation process in Northern Ireland. Antonia Potter addressed the gender issues in peacemaking and Machteld Pel, Director of the Netherlands Court-Annexed Mediation Agency presented the idea of mediation instead of litigation. Dermot Ahern T.D., Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs outlined the Irish government strategy on supporting international conflict resolution. The Chairman of the European Mediation Network Initiative, Gøsta Thommesen, introduced the young organisation and mentioned that the next conference is likely to take place in Paris in 2010. EMNI will be part of the organisation and information shall be available at http://www.mediationeurope.net. Information on the conference including video of the speakers’ contributions and workshop/training materials are available at http://www.mediationconference.eu/downloads.htm
INNATE is organising a residential training in ‘Eco-nonviolence – nonviolent campaigning on environmental issues’ –– at Kilcranny House in Coleraine from 4pm on Friday 3rd October to 5pm the following day, Saturday 4th October. The workshop will be led by Joanne Sheehan from the USA; Joanne Sheehan has been an organizer and nonviolence trainer for 35 years and emphasises strategy development. She is presently on the staff of War Resisters League's New England Regional Office and is the past Chair of War Resisters International. The cost is UK£35 waged and £25 unwaged. While anyone interested in looking at nonviolence in action is welcome, the workshop will concentrate on green/ecological/environmental campaigning. Places are limited and booking forms are available from INNATE.
Peace Building in Ireland: Sharing the Learning
An Teach Bán’s Sixth Annual Conference takes place at Downings Bay Hotel on Thursday and Friday 12th and 13th June (all day on 12th and until lunchtime on 13th). It will look at issues of identity, the implications of cross-border cooperation, and the challenge of cross-border cooperation, with a wide range of local and international speakers. The reservation fee is £20 or €25. An Teach Bán, Downings, Co Donegal, ph 074 – 9154892, e-mail email@example.com and web http://www.peacecentre.ie
Hearing the voices “Hearing the voices, sharing perspectives in the victims/survivors sector” is a recent Research Report produced by Sara Templer and Katy Radford. It was produced under the Community Relations Council, Community Relations Awards Scheme 2006/2007. It was conducted with a view to its recommendations being used to feed into the work of the CRC as it responds to further policy developments in the sector including the work of the Victims’ Commissioners. It aims at collecting the views and experiences of the groups and individuals funded by the Councils’ Victims Programs. It asked groups to consider the opportunities and challenges the sector faces in the context of developing shared working in terms of policy and practice.
The 66 pages report makes recommendations on pages 49 to 52 which are worthwhile reading. It makes specific recommendations to government in aspects such as Education, Media, Arts and Culture, Funding, Social Welfare, Health, Development of Sites of Significance, Recommendations for the Victim’ Commissioners and lastly for Community Based Sectoral Groups. The complete report can be downloaded on http://www.nicrc.org.uk/services/publications/
A Day of Private Reflection: 21st June
For the second year, Healing Through Remembering is promoting a ‘Day of Private Reflection’– this year Saturday 21st June - “a day for personal and private reflection on the conflict in and about Northern Ireland; a day to acknowledge the deep hurt and pain caused by the conflict, to reflect on our own attitudes……and to make a personal commitment that such loss should never be allowed to happen again.” See http://www.dayofreflection.com which includes suggestions and resources. For Healing Through Remembering, see contacts under next item.
- For the Day of Private Reflection (21st June), Corrymeela Ballycastle are hosting the display of Linen Memorial to Lives Lost by Belfast-born artist Lycia Trouton which consists of white linen handkerchiefs on which the names of every man, woman and child killed in the conflict are embroidered, and a reading of the names of those killed.
Artefacts Audit – Healing Through Remembering
While it may not initially excite your mind, Healing Through Remembering’s latest report (92 pages, A4) entitled “Artefacts Audit – a report on the material culture of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland” is, in context, an important one, researched and written by Kris Brown. While some might initially feel that preserving a dustbin lid (used early in the Troubles for communication and protest) is taking things too far, this kind of preservation does at least two things; it helps people to connect with the past and understand it, and respects what people have done and gone through. The report itself is multi-faceted and it, along with the Artefacts Database, will be of considerable use to anyone researching aspects of the Troubles in Northern Ireland (many of the artefacts are documents). While organisations and individuals are mentioned along with the kind of collection they hold, it is beyond the scope of the publication to directly link the 424,395 (!) artefacts listed to them. The report is available in paper and web formats (the latter on the HTR website, available soon). The Artefacts Database is available on the CAIN website at http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/htr/index.html Healing Through Remembering, Alexander House, 17a Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HD, ph 028 – 9023 8844, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and web http://www.healingthroughremembering.org
New Ireland Group: Political Circle on Stormont decision making
A debate, under Chatham House rules, and chaired by Jim Fitzpatrick, on “Power-sharing and/or opposition” will take place on Tuesday 10th June at 4.30 – 7 pm in Stormont. The decision as to which methods of decision-making are most appropriate for the NI Assembly, in the long term, has yet to be made and this session will include looking at “Must the basis of the decision-making processes used in the Assembly and its committees be win-or-lose, or could it be win-win? Is power-sharing an ideal? Or merely a temporary stop-gap? Is the concept of ‘a loyal opposition’ a pre-requisite of democracy, without which everything descends into a form of one-party state?” Contact email@example.com a s a p to get a place. For New Ireland Group: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrymeela Summer Festival 28th June
A reminder that Corrymeela’s Summer Festival is on from 10 – 10 (am to pm) on Saturday 28th June with a major speaker and wide variety of events (we carried details in NN 158). See http://wwww.corrymeela.org for full details.
Feasta: Cap and Share - A fair way to cut greenhouse emissions
Feasta has produced a 32 page booklet explains how Cap and Share could be used to halt climate change at a global level. Hardcopies will be available for €5, post paid, or it is on the website as a PDF at Feasta, The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, 14 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, e-mail email@example.com
Kilcranny House, Coleraine, has in the past year undergone significant changes of staff and volunteers. Our mission remains in ‘healing the divisions between people and between people and the earth’. Kilcranny has been working for this goal throughout the North Coast area for over 20 years, offering space for difficult encounters and conversations, schools and community-based training, awareness-raising events, environmental education and myth-busting sessions.
We have sadly said goodbye to Lyn Moffet, who after five years of leading the team as Coordinator here at Kilcranny, has moved on to a new role leading the team at Ballymoney Resource Centre. Lyn has made a significant and profound contribution to our vision and our work, and has enabled us to view the challenges that lie ahead with optimism and confidence. We now welcome Conn Mulvenna as coordinator. Conn has moved to us from his previous role as Peace Education Manager at Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation and has himself extensive experience in the sector in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
We now have 5 members of staff, including our Administrator, Siobhan Atkins; Volunteer Coordinator, Pauline Nellis; Community Relations Worker, Rachel Rafferty; and Minority Ethnic Support worker, Jenni Robinson. Our work is supported by a range of long-term and short term volunteers and we are particularly grateful to Florian and Beth our international volunteers for all their hard work and support.
Kilcranny offer a beautiful setting for smaller residential groups and also for meetings and seminars. We can accommodate up to 22 people for overnight residentials and can also provide support for your programme work. If you would like to find out more information for your group, contact us at +44 28 7032 1816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are now in the process of reviewing our website and will relaunch a new look in September 2008, but feel free to visit us online at http://www.kilcrannyhouse.org in the meantime.
Global Peacebuilders’ Conference report
Peacebuilders from across the world came to Belfast to share their perspectives, practice and experience of the challenges of peacebuilding at the Springboard-managed "Global Peacebuilders Conference," over the 6th and 7th of May. View the full programme of activities, as well as read about the various speakers, workshop facilitators and other contributors that took part.
Debt and Development Coalition Ireland moves
Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI) has moved at the start of June to Unit F5, Spade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, Dublin 7, ph. 01 – 6174835, general e-mail email@example.com and web http://www.debtireland.org Among other projects at the moment, DDCI is promoting the signing of a Parliamentarians’ Declaration for Shared Responsibility in Sovereign Lending (e.g. working to give greater legal force to the concept of illegitimacy in international sovereign lending, and shared responsibility); see http://www.debtdeclaration.org for further details (signed copies for the Republic are returned to DDCI).
Plays in a Peace Process
Dave Duggan has become well known for his involving and evoking plays exploring aspects of the Troubles and emerging from the Troubles – particular but also universal themes which challenge our thinking. A number of his works from 1996-2007 are being published together as’ Plays in a Peace Process’ by Guildhall Press, ISBN 978-1-906-271-13-8, 208pp softback, price £8.95, and will appeal to a variety of people including those interested in peace and conflict as well as the theatre and ‘life’. It is being launched in Derry on 19th June and can be ordered from http://www.ghpress.com
Chernobyl Children’s Project International’s heart for Ukraine
Adi Roche, Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI) and world-renowned cardiac surgeon Dr Bill Novick, officially launched a new Cardiac Programme for children in Ukraine. Over $300,000 will be invested in a joint collaboration between the US, Ukraine and Ireland, with cardiac surgeries undertaken in partnership with hospitals in four major cities in Ukraine where over 6,000 children are on a waiting list for surgery. Without the intervention of the CCPI Cardiac Programme many of these children would die within 3 to 5 years. These surgeries are practically routine in Ireland and the US but not in Ukraine. When CCPI first began the cardiac programme in Belarus in 2003 there were over 7,000 children on a waiting list for critical heart surgery. At the time the list was growing by an estimated 800 to 1000 children born annually with the congenital heart defect ‘Chernobyl Heart’. In the past 5 years, this waiting list has been reduced down to under 2,500 children. Chernobyl Children's Project International, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork. ph 021 - 431 2999, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and web http://www.chernobyl-international.com
ARAN: Animal experiments in Ireland
ARAN (Animal Rights Action Network) has compiled a list of Irish universities and hospitals who have used animals in laboratory experiments, e.g. kittens deliberately blinded by exposure to the effects of too much oxygen; see the ARAN website at http://www.aran.ie and click on the appropriate section. World Animal Week is celebrated during October 1st to the 7th and on Sunday 5th October ARAN will be organising a demonstration in Dublin, meeting at 2pm at the Garden of Remembrance) with the theme ‘Cruelty to Animals Must Stop. FULL STOP’. Contact:
ARAN National Events Organizer: John Carmody, e-mail email@example.com ph 087-6275579.
INNATE networking group meets next on Wednesday 11th June in 16 Ravensdene Park, Belfast. – contact for details.
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