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Posts Tagged ‘Poverty’

Responsible Sourcing of Conflict Minerals

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 29, 2013

The ‘conflict minerals’ issue, one of the factors fueling the violence of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, has received attention in the US, the OECD and now the European Union. Robin Marsh commented on the ‘responsible sourcing of conflict minerals’ legislation that will be proposed by the European Union Trade Commission by the end of the year. It is an issue that was highlighted in a European Parliament event organised by UPF on June 26th. UPF will hold another event on November 21st in Parliament to discuss ‘conflict mineral’ developments in the US legislation, proposed legislation in the EU and OECD guidelines for conflict minerals.
Some companies and mineral federations are making efforts to create protected supply lines that improve the income for miners and the level of state governance. Research results reported by several groups have highlighted problems and the scale of the current illicit trade.
These reports include the Enough Project, Striking Gold: How the M23 and its allies are infiltrating the Gold Trade, the Testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives Sub Committee Hearing on ‘The Unintended Consequences of Dodd-Frank’s Conflict Minerals Provision’ of Sophia Pickles of Global Witness, the South Africa Resource Watch’s Conflict Gold to Criminal Gold and the report for German Industry prepared by Oeko-Institute ‘Conflict minerals – An evaluation of the Dodd Frank Act and other resource related measures’ have illustrated many of the issues involved. Whatever proposals Mr Karel De Gucht, the EU Trade Commissioner, announces they will not be made without sufficient study and research of the issue being available. The possibility of a better partnership of the European Union with the people of the DRC that enhances Congolese security and prosperity while Europeans benefit from their resources could be brought much closer through this EU initiative.

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UN International Day Of Peace: Disarm Now Moeen Yaseen

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 18, 2009

UN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE: DISARM NOW

THE MILITARY INFLUENCE ON OUR GLOBAL ECONOMY AND THE NEED FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT

Moeen Yaseen Managing Director   Global Vision 2000

EMBARGOED

Monday 21 September 2009  6.30-8.30

Thanks to UPF for organisation of another event and the extension of the invitation to speak today. I wish to dedicate my contribution to the silent voices of millions of people who were sacrificed by the Warmongers. This contribution will not focus on the scientific, technical or legal dimensions but on the political economy of war and address the 800 pound gorilla in the room which we are in denial.  As General Smedley Butler stated there are only two things we should fight for one is the defence of our homes and a Bill of Rights : War for any other reason is a racket. Last year in April 2008 Global Vision 2000 held a conference on the Global Financial Meltdown, socioeconomic injustice and war: cause and remedy with speakers from Stop the War Coalition, International Peace Bureau and the 9/11 Truth Movement. Today I will address the underlying ideological glue cementing the event.I will focus upon AngloAmerican imperialism and AngloAmerican financial usurious capitalism given it’s pre-eminent role with the British empire in the 19th century and Pax Americana in the 20th century to date. Jonathan Swift identified the following factors in the evolution of the imperial system:- Doctrine of Permanent War;  War, Money power/Banking elite which benefits from the State’s indebtedness and Public debt as well as the Militarists and Military-Industrial-Political complex which President Eisenhower coined. This is the context we are dealing with namely a world where might is right and white is right and wherein the spirit of power prevails than the power of the spirit. The Global Financial architecture established in Bretton Woods by the financial oligarchy underwrites this dominant paradigm.

In the modern era the foundation of the Military Industrial Political Complex was established in 1939-45; in the postwar coldwar period the Trilateral Commission in 1968 established the National Security Apparatus and Military Keynesianism. Post 1989 with the collapse of the cold war with Bush wars we have seen the rise of the New World Order and Disaster Capitalism in which pre-emptive wars are built around deconstruction and reconstruction of societies by warprofiteers who plunder the Treasury/Currency. Economic policies are run to benefit the financial elites. Pre 9/11 we also have the Project for the New American Century to kick in the 21st American century which is ending up as an own goal.

Underpinning the Warfare economy exists the TRIAD of the Military Industrial Political complex interlocked to the concept of Permanent war entrenched since World War 2. In the postwar cold era Bush introduced the New World Order with seeds planted in the Middle East for future wars. This idea originated with the Trilateral Commission’s concept of the New International Economic Order wherein military might enforces foreign policy which is based on economic interests. It is an agenda of perpetual warfare and violence fuelling global domination via economic means. Also international organisations such as NATO devised for defence originally are being transformed into aggressive forces to enhance US economic and geopolitical interests with NATO in effect becoming a surrogate military-political force for globalisation and US world economic domination. As many people are asking what is NATO really doing in Afghanistan? What are British/European soldiers dying for?  It should be noted that Afghanistan is a symbolic rock in history where empires have been smashed.

This warfare economy is a parasite which manipulates fears and paranoia; it trashes economies by diverting resources from domestic investment into productive uses such as green technologies and subverts university research massively.  It reduces economic growth and employment. Indeed the 9/11 attacks on the US homeland were used as a Cassus Belli and for the establishment of a National Security State. The Global War on Terror manipulates fears; keeps us afraid and stops dissent. As far as 9/11 is concerned our thinktank rejects the official narrative as Alice in Wonderland mythology and supports the notion of the existence of  the phenomenon  of State sponsored false flag terrorism. But that is another story. The military economy operates outside a competitive market and erases the line between the State and the Corporation. Disguises it’s growth via the privitisation of war with the rise of mercenaries such as Blackwater- XE services which is in effect the largest private army in the world.

Insane expenditure on Department of Defence aka the Department of War has NO correlation to National Security- this has been hijacked by the Financial Oligarchs. see Chalmers Johnson. Melman has proven that the DoD budget is the largest single block of financial capital resources. The exact costs are difficult to verify as there is a cloud of secrecy over it. Melman argues that since 1944 the US Federal Government has spent more than 50% of it’s entire budget on past, current and future military operations and this underwrites the permanent war economy. The Mlitary budget is greater than all other nations at 623 Billion for 2008 not counting the supplemental budget nearing 3000 Billion for the wars(Stiglitz). N.B 30-40% of DoD budget is BLACK i.e. hidden for classified purposes The true size and cost for the US mil empire is 1100 billion for 2008.

The Official Pentagon inventory includes:-

865 facilities/bases in over 40 countries;

190.000 troops in 46 countries this does not cover privitisation of war via contracted security firms which are mercenary armies

2 Billion dollars spent every day

US budget deficit of 1.75 Trillion and National Debt of 10.6 Trillion

Military Keynesianism see Seymour Melman on Pentagon Capitalism focusses on the political economy of war .Massive trade deficits financed by borrowing and the National debt is 10 Trillion in 2009. Therefore Military expenditure is Military Keynesianism used to keep and maintain a Permanent war economy and military output is seen as ordinary economic product although it makes no contribution towards production and consumption.  Even with Obama in Congress who swept into power on change has backtracked as Congress is not willing or able to articulate a rejection of the War economy. The economy has become preoccupied with Death; namely the business of killing and being killed. The war economy thrives on aggressive war and a perverse realpolitik of national security. There is a tacit acceptance of much that threatens to destroy anything and everything.

Hollowing out of the US economy has occurred with the lack of modernisation and replacement of assets has almost evaporated the US manufacturing base. The US is now the world’s leading Debtor nation with it’s influence reliant on it’s Military Industrial Political Complex which I would argue underpins the IMPERIAL DOLLAR.

SOLUTION

QUID PRO QUO for the survival of the USA in a Multi-polar world of Creditor nations:-

1. To save the dollar and the nation it requires a NATIONAL VOLTE FACE to show humility and repentance

2. Repudiation of the Neocon goal to achieve US Global hegemony

3. Liquidation of the American military empire and its overseas bases

4. Cessation of DoD budget as a Keynesianism jobs program and investment into a socially productive economy

CONCLUSION

We need to really reflect on Michael Jackson’s song Man in the Mirror; we need to look at this problem in the eye and make that change.

We need to end glorification of violence and repent. This entire military enterprise is surplus to requirement, damaging to the National Interest/security, cause of war with other nations. It shows a Global Hegemon in economic decline engaged in imperial outreach, perpetual war and insolvency with a real danger of the collapse and fragmentation of the US State.

Moeen Yaseen

(Note: Universal Peace Federation seeks to promote debate and discussion. Not all the views of contributors reflect a UPF perspective but are  still welcome in the process of encouraging dialogue and seeking understanding.)

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Global Financial and Economic Meltdown

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 15, 2009

THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC MELTDOWN AND THE NEED FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT

Global Vision 2000 and the Universal Peace Federation jointly organised, on July 13th, an emergency seminar in a parliamentary Committee room to examine the underlying causes of the financial and economic crisis and the need for a fundamental paradigm shift to restore stability, prosperity, justice and peace.

Kelvin Hopkins MP

Kelvin Hopkins MP

Lord King of West Bromwich

Lord King of West Bromwich

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham


For More Photos Please Click Here

The seminar shed light on the terrifying nature of the death spiral of the global debt based financial and economic system and the ruinous path towards servitude and serfdom. There were parliamentary, interfaith, monetary and fiscal reform perspectives shared and brought to bear on terms of alternative radical holistic solutions offering suffering humanity hope and salvation. This event took place when Parliament is at it’s lowest ebb and it’s image has been tarnished. The event affirmed grassroot coalitions facing the urgent need for civic society to champion the values of public service and the common good and claim Westminster as the people’s shared political space.

Speakers gave clear evidence of the ‘grand canyon’ between officials who imagine green shoots of recovery and the common experiences in our communities.

The financial crisis has revealed an economic crisis now manifesting as a full blown political crisis. Participants agreed that the future is viewed with fear rather than hope and the hatred of the stranger stalks the land. We are now seeing the rise of political extremism which threatens the peace and unity of the country. We deplored the way mainstream media and political elite are taking remedial action but failing abjectly to address the underlying forces. There is a need to review and redesign a fairer, just and sustainable global economic system that empowers the world’s poorest billion to emerge from desperate poverty and facilitate global peace; helping both wealthy and poor to lead full and healthy lives.

In offering different proposals for change this seminar moved us all in the direction of a socially and ethically based mind-set , a new paradigm and the nature of the system that could implement it.

The seminar addressed the following issues:

Are we witnessing a ‘L shaped’ Great Depression rather than a ‘V shaped recession’? Do we need regulation, reform or revolution? How can monetary, fiscal and economic justice advocates connect with the people and political system? How can people power and national sovereignty be secured against the global financial oligarchy? How can the UK deliver on it’s commitments on MDG?  What does the City of London need to do to be the leader in global finance? Is Islamic finance a Trojan horse or Panacea?  What type of paradigm shift is required?

How do we overcome the difficult first task, that of receiving a hearing from public leaders in order to enter an inclusive dialogue. There is a need for a radical shift in awareness, through a clear, short message, that will give people confidence to say, “No. This is wrong, we will no longer accept it. That was the key point of the day; short, crisp pamphlets. Not heavy books.”

Speakers in order:-

Co-convenor  Robin Marsh        Secretary General,  Universal Peace Federation UK – welcomed us with a plea to bear in mind the intensity and ubiquity of suffering around the globe.

Co-convenor   Moeen Yaseen     Managing Director     Global Vision 2000 – – emphasised the challenge before us as outlined with such clarity in the press release summarised above.

Rev'd Canon Peter Challen

Rev'd Canon Peter Challen

Canon Peter Challen: Chairman, Christian Council for  Monetary Justice, – (text of speech below in Comment section) singled out key words EXPLOITATION and EXPONENTIAL GROWTH as lying behind our now evident mistakes; reminding us that they fed the process by which we had made commodities of LAND, PEOPLE AND MONEY, embedding the ill effects of doing so in centuries of legal protection for vested interests. All traditions of good faith cried out against this grave distortion of natural law. Speakers to follow will clarify means by which we must de-commoditise these three fundamental subjects

Lord King, as host for the seminar, reminded us of the detail of our distorted economies, nationally and globally, and pressed us to attend to the proposals to be offered to meet the challenge we face.

Lord Ahmed wished the seminar well and underlined the urgency of our getting the message of moneytary and fiscal reform across to Parliamentarians.

Kelvin Hopkins MP, spelt out the almost total loss of a vision of inclusive justice and the cost of not restoring a moral base to political economy.

Anne Belsey

Anne Belsey

Daud Pidcock

Daud Pidcock

David Trigg

David Trigg







Anne Belsey: Monetary Reform Party, took us to the grass roots task of communication, illustrating, from her own diligence in the work of the Money Reform Party, the fundamental issue of talking in our communities, with a clear, succinct message, of the need and the process for money reform, as a basic contribution to generating the critical mass we must build to seek effective change.

Daud Pidcock: Global Vision 2000 –brandishing ‘The Crash of 2008’ a revisiting today of a study of ‘people versus the banks’ by Swann, he spoke as a scholar long probing the history of the abuse of money [‘lethal tender’!] as a driver of the disintegration of society, presented evidence we cannot ignore of the need and difficulty of restoring state transparent responsibility for the money supply. ‘We’ve endured iron, stone and the lash, but the hardest to endure is debt’ We must restore the effect of the Jubilee practised for 2 1/2 thousand years 2500 BC in Babylonia; explode the myth of the Bank of England being a nationalised bank; expand the M0 supply for community ends.

David Triggs, Coalition for Economic Justice and Executive chair, Henry George Foundation, informed us eloquently and passionately of the need for genuine capture and distribution of the accumulated value of land springing from our co-operative activities over time. He stressed the need to rediscover the natural law that governs the prospects of all life on earth as the basis for our paradigm shift of ordinate significance and to translate this into the economic means of collecting the community’s value for the community, combating the erosion of justice by grossly distorted property rights.  Fight against nature and it will punish you. Work in harmony and it will reward. Water runs down hill!. Such a fact cannot be fought or legislated against; it just is. Economics, the production and distribution of wealth for all is intimately part of nature and thrives only by its rules.



hol130709 058 cropped Adrian Wriggley

Dr Adrian Wrigley

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed

Ian Parker-Joseph

Ian Parker-Joseph






Dr. Adrian Wrigley, Systemic Fiscal Reform Group, emphasised the systemic nature of economic disorder and the systemic response we need to make. He contrasted the countries where revenue was based in the collection and fair distribution of community value with those that taxed people’s productiveness, the former producing more just and stable societies. The old paradigm of ‘absolute resource ownership’ must give way to the new mindset that could be triggered by a’ debt for tax’ swop.  Land must be restored to the factors of economic productiveness and the great monopolies [land, water, intellectual property etc.] ended.  He explored the history of economic society through the ages and found we had known the solution for millennia. Tax and regulation are smokescreens. What matters is the funding source, that of the largest monopolies, land and money. Avoid this melancholy proof and expect inevitable meltdown. Scholars back to Confucious are unanimous on free access to nature’s gifts unless that access causes harm or exclusion through exploitation or exponential extraction, in which case the victim must be compensated. Civilisation flourishes under these conditions. The paradigm under which presently we suffer took over at the beginning of the 20th century when nature was cut out of the analysis. We don’t need a new paradigm, we need to re-instate the old one. Leaders need to read history and start thinking deeply and stop rebutting the well informed public. Free market capitalism is the best approach but of the Eastern not Western variety!

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed: Director, Institute for Policy Research and Development, Provided further scholarly evidence of the fundamental change of perception required if we are to replace exploitative structures with those creating inclusive justice. New structures founded on only productiveness, not speculation; on the ending of wage slavery, and the interest free funding sustainable growth must be designed.

Ian Parker-Joseph:   Leader, Libertarian Party, (click for full text) explored the creative tension to be found between a global consciousness of our interdependence and the nurture in freedom of the rich diversity of local  communities. He recommended the interplay of 1] £Sterling – debt free money for societal infrastructure-2]  £Sovereign as 100% backed trading currency, and 3] Free banking in competition.

Robin Marsh and Moeen Yaseen

Robin Marsh and Moeen Yaseen

Report by Rev’d Canon Peter Challen

Further details, and access to papers delivered, form……Email: myaseen@globalvision2000.com

www.globalvision2000.com Mobile                07818 082011

Global Vision 2000 is an independent international Islamic think tank committed to the evolution of global humanity.

For More Photos Please Click Here

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Universal Peace Federation – Peace Council

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 6, 2009

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – Peace Council

43 Lancaster Gate

July 4th, 2009

Link for Photos:

UPF Peace Council - July 4th 2009

UPF Peace Council - July 4th 2009

Greetings from Lord King of West Bromwich - UPF Patron

Greetings from Lord King of West Bromwich - UPF Patron

Ambassador for Peace Award Recipients

Ambassador for Peace Award Recipients

The UPF Peace Council was held last Saturday on July 4th in order to gather together branches and committees of UPF across the UK. It was useful to promote the work of committees to those activists in parts of the UK where is less activity. It was also useful to identify new areas in which there is interest to develop UPF activities.

Reports from UPF Committee Chairs or active representatives.

Gene Alcantara - Mindanao Peace Initiative

Gene Alcantara - Mindanao Peace Initiative-UK

Gene Alcantara spoke about the Mindanao Peace Initiative – UK that involves supporting youth service activities, a Hip Hop convention and a number of other initiatives to bring young and old from different communities together in this Philippine area of Christian-Mulsim conflict. (For more information please see comment below. Click links  MinPI Also the link to various activities. Further Explanation By Gene Alcantara)

Cllr. Margaret Ali, Saleha Jaffer and Cllr. Janet Baddeley: UPF Community Cohesion Group

Cllr. Margaret Ali, Saleha Jaffer and Cllr. Janet Baddeley: UPF Community Cohesion Group

The Community Cohesion Group announced events such as a Forgiveness and Reconciliation Festival on October 4th, an event to commemorate ‘Black History Month’ in September and a Holocaust Day event in late January 2010.

Marios Gerogiokas - Report from UPF Environment Chapter

Marios Gerogiokas - Report from UPF Environment Chapter

Dr Marios Gerogiokas announced a series of conferences and discussions with experts to consider the issues surrounding Climate Change negotiations culminating in Copenhagen in December 2009. These include a talk by Dr. Yacob Mulugetta from Surrey University on Understanding Food, Water and the Energy Crisis on July 16th and a talk by Lawrence Bloom on September 3rd evening both at 43 Lancaster Gate.

Marriage and Family Committee Report by Chair Eddie Hartley

Marriage and Family Committee Report by Chair Eddie Hartley

Marriage and Family Committee Chair, Eddie Hartley, highlighted the upcoming conference on the 18th of July,Commitment in Marriage: What the Faith Traditions Offer Modern-Day Britain held together with the Women’s Federation for World Peace.He also reported on the UN International Day of the Family event held on May 15th.

Dr David Earle reporting on UPF activities in Birmingham

Dr David Earle reporting on UPF activities in Birmingham

Birmingham UPF – Dr David Earle explained the progress being made in Birmingham with the local Council in partnership with Women’s Federation for World Peace run locally by his wife, Patricia.

Dr Satwant Multani - Interfaith Youth Hostel Project Inspired by Paul Currie's 1000 Mile Walk

Dr Satwant Multani - Interfaith Youth Hostel Project Inspired by Paul Currie's 1000 Mile Walk

Dr Satwant Multani, the Chair of Central Scotland Interfaith, spoke of the Interfaith Youth Hostel project and the inspiration he had received from Paul Curries 1000 mile walk. He had raised £1000 for the Interfaith Youth Hostel among the members of his Gurdwara. A quick collection from the audience raised a further £180 for the project.

Ambassador for Peace Awards

Ms. Hadia Saad

Ms. Hadia Saad

Mr Mohammed Khokhar

Mr Mohammed Khokhar: Community Liaison Officer / UK Funds Distribution Manager for International Charity Muslim Aid

Karen Szulakowska

Karen Szulakowska

Major(Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya

Major(Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya

Posted in Community Cohesion, Evironmental Awareness, Interfaith, Marriage and Family, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Mindanao Peace Initiative by Gene Alcantara

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 6, 2009

Mindanao Peace Initiative by Gene Alcantara

Dear Friends and Kababayans

Gene Alcantara

Gene Alcantara

You will know that the conflict in Mindanao continues to cause pain and suffering, dislocation and costs in terms of the economy, loss of human life, increased poverty and destruction of localities. As we have also seen recently the situation allows kidnap-for-ransom activities which create fear and deflect tourism and investment in the region.

I am writing to tell you that a Mindanao Peace Initiative was launched during the Global Peace Festival Mindanao in September 2008. The event was co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the Philippine Government at national and local levels, and non governmental organisations. Enclosed herewith please find the Declaration of the Inauguration of the Mindanao Peace Initiative (MinPI).

In our desire to get involved in the pursuit of peace in Mindanao and help our compatriots there, we have set up a UK Committee to support and seek funding for the MinPI. I hope you will be able to join us and contribute to the peace efforts.

A couple of projects we will be supporting this year are the Lanao Del Norte (LDN) Peace School Model, and the First Mindanao Hiphop Convention to be held in August 2009.

With Service For Peace we are also exploring the possibility of advocating volunteerism and service in LDN and Davao City, as well as implementing micro financing and soft loans for young entrepreneurs and women.

The MinPI UK Committee will be overseen by UPF and its partners, particularly in the Filipino community. Administration and handling of contributions/sponsorships will be provided by International Relief Friendship Foundation, Inc. (IRFF), a UK charity organization [http://www.irff.org/]. Execution on the ground in Mindanao will be the responsibility of Service For Peace [www.serviceforpeace.org] and partner Filipino NGOs.

I would be grateful if you could please forward this to friends and kababayans who might be interested in getting involved or to contribute financial and other help. If anybody wishes to provide any financial help, please go directly to http://www.irff.org/ to do so, specifying your contribution is for the Mindanao Peace Initiative UK.

Meantime if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

With best wishes

Gene Alcantara

Mindanao Peace Initiative,
UK Committee
43 Lancaster Gate,
London W2 3NA

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Eliminating World Poverty – DfID Consultation Ends May 27th

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 22, 2009

Please note this consultation is now closed:

Please find a copy of an invitation from the Department for International Development to contribute to their white paper on Eliminating World Poverty – Deadline May 27th

http://consultation.dfid.gov.

Topics:
1. Building our common future
2. Global economic growth
3. Climate change
4. Fragile and conflict-affected countries
5. International institutional reform

19 February 2009 (Original Announcement)
New UK White Paper on International Development
“The global community faces enormous challenges. The economic crisis, food Security, climate change, energy insecurity, conflict, rising population – these are the challenges of unprecedented magnitude which affects us all, and in particular the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. The nature of this interdependence means that it has never been so important to invest in our common future.”
Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development

Over the last decade, there have been massive gains in reducing global poverty yet there are some big threats as we leave a strong era of global economic growth.

The global financial crisis is bringing the most significant economic downturn for decades which could devastate the developing world as 90 million more people are forced into poverty at the end of the year. The effects of climate change are increasingly apparent and conflict as well as weak government is preventing progress for millions of people. The global economic crisis has also revealed a number of flaws in the international system.

Have your say
The Department for International Development will be producing a new White Paper this summer which will outline how the government can tackle global poverty in the context of these long term challenges.

1. Building our common future
2. Global economic growth
3. Climate change
4. Fragile and conflict-affected countries
5. International institutional reform


Eliminating World Poverty: Assuring our Common Future
A consultation document

Foreword
The UK Government believes that helping the poor is not only a moral imperative, but in our increasingly interdependent world, it is in our long-term interests. It is an essential element of our international policy that enables the UK to be a successful world leader and a strong force for good.

Later this year DFID will publish a new White Paper on International Development setting out how the UK Government aims to continue helping deliver better lives for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. A world shocked by recent global events and more connected than ever before means new approaches are required for the challenges we now face in pursuit of our mission.

Despite these adverse events of seismic proportion and consequence, we must acknowledge the remarkable progress in reducing world poverty over the last decade. In the UK, we can be proud of our collective contribution to this success, across Government, NGOs, faith groups, trade unions, private sector and many others. The three previous White Papers (1997, 2000 and 2006) have provided the UK with a clear focus on eliminating poverty, and have helped ensure that the UK plays a key role in lifting 3 million people out of poverty every year. Fighting global poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals will continue to be at the heart of our mission. We must continue our work on core areas such as getting more children to school, tackling HIV/AIDS and malaria, and continuing to put gender equality at the heart of our agenda. But we also need to recalibrate elements of our agenda to deal with the changed circumstances which now prevail.

This consultation document sets the current context and then outlines some preliminary ideas and poses a series of questions on four priority areas. I encourage all concerned to respond to these questions. We also welcome comments on how we can further refine our existing agenda, for example on supporting basic services such as health and education. The Government relies on your contributions of experience, knowledge and wisdom as key inputs to its policy formulation.

I very much look forward to your responses. Please send your comments by Wednesday 27th May 2009 to whitepaper@dfid.gov.uk or by post to White Paper Team, DFID, 1 Palace Street, London SW1E 5HE.
Rt. Hon Douglas Alexander MP,
Secretary of State for International Development, March 2009

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New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis: 2nd April 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 3, 2009

New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis: 2nd April 2009

House of Commons Committee Room 14

2:30 – 5:30pm Thursday 2nd April 2009

_dsc0890-reduced Nick Dearden Jubilee Debt Campaign

Nick Dearden: Jubilee Debt Campaign

While the G20 Summit was meeting in the Excel Centre and violent demonstrations were disturbing the City of London’s banking sector, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) was holding a conference with civil society and faith-based groups in the House of Parliament’s largest committee room, entitled, ‘New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis’. This contrasted the moral vision promoted by civil society and faith based groups with the pragmatic approach of the G20 Nations’ Summit. Many in the session echoed the ‘Put People First’ demonstration theme that this was a time for a new perspective and not just a return to ‘business as usual’. In the lead up to the G20 UPF had issued a Statement emphasising the need for ethical change:

‘If there is to be lasting change, the G-20 must acknowledge that the current financial crisis did not happen by accident, and it was by no means inevitable. The root cause of the problem has as much to do with moral, indeed spiritual failure, as governmental or financial mismanagement. For this reason, improved fiscal, economic and trade policies alone are not enough. The attitudes and behaviour of people, institutions and even entire nations must change.’

Ruth Tanner: War on Want

Ruth Tanner: War on Want

Lord King, a Patron of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK, warmly welcomed the conference to the Houses of Parliament. He acknowledged that there were two sections, the perception of faith groups and the analysis of the economic crisis by activist organisations.

Civil society groups representatives, such as Nick Dearden, the President of Jubilee Debt Campaign, saw this crisis as an opportunity to rethink the fairness of our economic system rather than going back to business as usual after the crisis is over. There is a $3 trillion debt owed by the poorest parts of the world to the richest parts of the world. For every £1 we give in aid, poor nations pay £5 in debt payments.

Ruth Tanner, the Campaign and Policy Officer for War on Want, saw the crisis as a result of the failure an economic system that has left 2.2 billion people live in poverty including 1.4 billion who live in extreme poverty. She added, ‘What inspires me is how people on the ground are standing up to the system and the local partners of War on Want are setting up unions for the workers to campaign for a living wage.’

Moeen Yaseen, the founding member of Global Vision 2000, said the he root of the problem is not money, but it is truth vs falsehood. We’re living in an age of global deceit. There needs to be a moral and cultural revolution. He saw the world economy ‘as a global casino economy where the house always wins’. He added ‘We need to clean out this city as Jesus cleaned out the Temple.’

Richard Dowden: Director, Royal African Society

Richard Dowden: Director, Royal African Society

Richard Dowden, the Director of the Royal African Society, said that Africa is a rich continent full of poor people because of bad governance. The West has been complicit in this, although the prime responsibility lies in Africa.

‘A lot of corruption money from Africa goes into British tax havens and then into the city of London. The city is committed to eradicating drug money, terror money and corruption money. A nation’s health budget stolen as corruption money kills more than drug money and terror money put together, but the city has failed to address corruption money.’

International Secretary General of UPF, Dr Thomas Walsh, presented an overview of UPF’s activities. He emphasised the role of character education rooted in the experience of a loving family to build a stable economy within one family of humankind under God.

Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, the International Co-Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation, reading from a prepared text, emphasised that there are many policies we need to follow to stabilise our economy or care for our environment but these will be best built upon the bedrock of loving families inspired by God. He called for a Global Service Corps of youth that could heal divisions while working to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals.

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, the Secretary General for the All India Imams and Mosques organisation, who represents 500,000 Imams in India, spoke on the failures of the G 20 agreements. Speaking as a representative of the largest democracy in the world, I do not see economic growth reaching to the grassroots level. Imam Ilyasi said he will launch ‘Faith in the 21st Century’ for interfaith action to solve common problems, later this year.

Frank Kantor, the Secretary for Church and Society for the United Reform Church, saw three significant roles for faith communities during this crisis: Firstly, a Prophetic role to present God’s view as we understand it to the world; Secondly, a Pastoral role to care for those who are suffering due to lack of money and jobs; and thirdly, to form partnerships with civil society.

Frank Kantor: United Reformed Church, Secretary for Church and Society

Frank Kantor: United Reformed Church, Secretary for Church and Society

Anil Bhanot, the General Secretary of the Hindu Council – UK, stated that there is nothing wrong with money itself but with business ethics. We need a 3-tier regulation system, covering both nation and international transactions, to prevent abuses.

Jonathan Fryer, the Chair of the Liberal International Group said that he wanted to see a ‘genuine new world order rather than a reshuffling of a pack of cards sharing wealth and decisions. Developing the G7 to G8 and G20 is a good thing in itself, but if we are just reshuffling the pack, 172 nations are still left on the sidelines. We need to work together with common moral principles and goals. Don’t just lobby your MP but blog, tweet and make sure your voices are heard.’

Inspired by our faith, armed with the experience of so many civil society groups and an unparalleled network of Ambassadors for Peace and Partner organisations the consensus seemed to be that this is a campaign worth working for and one crucial step towards one family of humanity under God.

Robin Marsh
Secretary General
Universal Peace Federation – UK www.uk.upf.org

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Daily Jang article on New Vision amid the Economic Crisis April 2nd 2009

Daily Jang article on New Vision amid the Economic Crisis April 2nd 2009

Daily Jang article part 2

Daily Jang article part 2

UPF Recommendations for the G-20

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 30, 2009

UPF Recommendations for the G-20 Summit April 2nd – London

When the leaders of the G-20 convened in Washington DC last November, they committed themselves to “lay the foundation for reform to help ensure that a global crisis…does not happen again.”

If there is to be lasting change, the G-20 must acknowledge that the current financial crisis did not happen by accident, and it was not inevitable. The root cause of the problem has as much to do with moral, indeed spiritual failure, as governmental or financial mismanagement. For this reason, improved fiscal, economic and trade policies alone are not enough. The attitudes and behaviour of people, institutions and even entire nations must change.

The social sphere that comprises business, trade, and finance is embedded in a wider culture and ethos that, during the best of times in human history, provide the moral and spiritual framework within which we, as human beings, live day to day. Thus, the G-20 must engage in deeper reflection on the moral and spiritual infrastructure that forms the foundation of life in the world. We take an enormous risk when we either ignore or de-value that reality.

Therefore, as the G-20 gathers in London, we offer the following recommendations:

Ethical Reform: In addition to consideration of critical factors such as energy, security and climate change, food security, the rule of law, and the fight against terrorism, poverty and disease, an even greater need is for ethical reform. This call for ethical reform should be accompanied by greater transparency and fairness whether in financial markets, trade or ‘tax havens’ or in standards of good governance both in developing and developed nations.

The Importance of Social Institutions: Wealth, prosperity and human security are dependent not only on the proper functioning of governments, banks and markets, but also the proper functioning of families, communities, schools, and faith-based institutions, where character is shaped and our core values are learned.

Sustainable Growth: We call on the G-20 to promote sustainable growth for developed and developing nations.

Marriage and Family: Strong, stable, loving families are profoundly relevant to the quality of economic life. The G-20 should give consideration to the relevance of family life to wider economic realities.

Character Education: Character education, not only in the family or faith-based institution, but also in our schools, will help assure a thriving moral culture that is necessary for a robust and stable economy. Hard work, thrift, honesty, responsibility, empathy are moral virtues that are essential to a good business and a good economy.

Unselfishness: At the heart of many of the world’s greatest religious and moral worldviews is an emphasis on the universal value of unselfishness, and the control of self-centeredness. While traditionally, free markets are guided by a profit incentive, that human inclination must be balanced by higher principles such as altruism and service to others. We call upon the G-20 nations to dedicate 0.7% of Gross National Income at least by 2013 (agreed upon by developed nations in 1970 by UN General Assembly Resolution and reaffirmed on several occasions since) to support overseas development assistance and the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals. We would encourage developed nations to forgive debts of the poorest nations of the world especially those accumulated by despotic regimes and that are now shackling succeeding democracies. This altruism demonstrates ‘living for the sake of others’ within the human family.

We are All Members of One Human Family: Humanity is one universal family. Despite the diversity of race, nationality, ethnicity and religion, we are all human and we all derive from a common source or origin, known by many as God, Allah, Jehovah, Brahman, the ultimate reality. We call for increased emphasis upon interfaith and intercultural dialogue between and beyond the nations of the G20 to promote understanding of our common root. Let us never forget that we are one family under God.

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Disarmament for Development: Will we make it for the next 100 years?

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 14, 2009

Disarmament for Development:

‘Will humankind survive more than 100 years?’ was the leading question posed by Dr. Tony Kempster at Lancaster Gate on Monday night. Dr. Kempster, Vice President of the International Peace Bureau, presented an intelligent case for pacifism both in words and song.

Dr Tony Kempster talking to Ambassadors for Peace in Lancaster Gate

Dr Tony Kempster talking to Ambassadors for Peace in Lancaster Gate

He defined himself as a ‘rational’ or ‘natural’ pacifist, a position that has been opposed by other pacifists. He explained that ‘absolute’ pacifists may not ever shoot anyone to defend themselves but may drive a car that pollutes the environment. He saw a link between the pacifism that opposed wars and the policies that encouraged keeping to two children per family.

The main fears he suggested are:

1) Global Warming leading to less land, less food and a movement of people making a future war more possible.

2) The marginalisation of the majority world leading to widespread dissatisfaction with birth rates falling in the north and growing in the south.

3) Resources running out in major areas in the next 50 years

4) Growing militarism especially between rival powers. An estimated $1.34 trillion was spent on weapons in 2007. That money could have been invested in relieving poverty or fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.

He expressed his disappointment at the wider peace movement that he did not see as successful except in those cases where there were limited and well-defined objectives such as the Campaign Against Landmines or the Campaign Against Arms Trade. He described the peace movement as too old, too left and too riven with internal conflicts.

Tony Kempster receiving an Ambassador for Peace award

Tony Kempster receiving an Ambassador for Peace award (From Left Prof Ian Hall, Dr Tony Kempster, Mr Mark Brann, Rev Dr Sumana Siri, Cllr Margaret Ali)

Dr Tony Kempster:

Vice President of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva

General Secretary of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship

Report by Robin Marsh

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