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Latest updates from the Pax Christi International Member Organisations. 

NEWSLETTER
Issue 255 | April 2015
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INTERNATIONAL
13 March 1945 – 13 March 2015: 70 Years for Peace and Reconciliation
 
Pax Christi was born on 13 March 1945. Pierre Marie Théas, bishop of Montauban in Southern France gave Marthe Dortel Claudot his full support to start a Christian movement for reconciliation and peace. On the evening of 13 March this movement was baptized as Pax Christi in a flat in Montauban. Read the story of the very beginning of Pax Christi here.  
 
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AFRICA
Pax Christi International supports project for the reintegration of ex-combatants

Pax Christi International is supporting a project for the reintegration of former combatants in Burundi and in the DR Congo. Thanks to the project, a group of ex-combatants have overcome their violent past by joining the labour market as blazer manufacturers in the urban regions of Kamenge and Kinama. In a recent interview for Le Renouveau journal, Claude Nkurunziza, the focal point of Pax Christi in Burundi, highlights the importance of social reintegration through team work and activities which will facilitate participants’ long-term sustainability.  Read more here.
More updates: 
  • EurAC demands coordinated EU vigilance on Burundi ahead of elections - Read more

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AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN
Pax Christi USA signs onto letter regarding Pentagon military spending

Pax Christi USA signed onto a letter addressed to the US Congress regarding military spending. The letter urges a gradual decrease towards a total phase-out of war-related funding in the Overseas Contingency Operations, as well as a reduction and better reallocation of the 2016 budget of the US Department of Defence. To read the letter in full length, click here
More updates: 
  • Antennes de paix / Pax Christi Montréal launches appeal for children caught up in conflicts - Read more
  • Colombian Pax Christi Member Organisation REDEPAZ co-hosts roundtable on peacebuilding - Read more
  • Haiti’s Episcopal Commission Justice & Peace in solidarity with religious community across the country - Read more

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ASIA-PACIFIC
Pax Christi Australia initiates online public forum on nuclear threats and the path to eliminating nuclear weapons
 
Professor Joseph Camilleri of Pax Christi Australia is the initiator of a new online forum which seeks to address findings and strategies emerging from the December 2014 Vienna Conference on nuclear threats, and discuss paths and proposals for eliminating nuclear weapons, particularly in the context of the upcoming May 2015 Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York. The forum brings together a number of international experts and advocates on nuclear disarmament. Click here to learn about this initiative. 
More updates:
  • Pax Christi International attends debate on human rights in West Papua - Read more
  • Pax Christi Philippines marks 'National Day of Healing for Unity and Peace' in the country - Read more
  • NCJP Pakistan calls for the protection of churches and religious minorities in the country - Read more
  • Human Rights Office Kandy marks 2015 International Women's Day - Read more

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EUROPE
Pax Christi Flanders calls on the Belgian Government to support the de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine
 
In a letter addressed to Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, Pax Christi Flanders calls on the Belgian government to support the de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Furthermore, the Flemish Pax Christi section recommends that as current chair of the Council of Europe, Belgium should steer this forum’s work so as to make a substantial contribution to the improvement of relations between Russia and Ukraine, and of the situation in Ukraine itself. Read the letter in full length here
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi Austria against conflict minerals - Read more

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MIDDLE EAST  
Pax Christi International on the violent conflict in Syria: ending the war and saving lives must be top priority

In a statement issued mid-March, on the 4th anniversary of the Syrian war, Pax Christi urges an end to weapons deliveries to all conflict parties, and reiterates its call for internationally-mediated negotiations to pursue a political transition to a free and democratic state. Guaranteeing freedom of religion and belief, protecting minorities, and supporting religious leaders who promote positive relationships among different religious groups, are some of the key policy lines put forward by Pax Christi International to shield victims of war persecution and bring to an end to violence in the country. Read more here.
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi International co-signs letter addressed to Barack Obama on Syria and Iraq - Read more
  • Pax Christi among human rights organisations to give UN Security Council a 'fail grade' on Syria - Read more
  • Pax Christi Flanders and Broederlijk Delen issue statement on the conflict in Syria - Read more
  • Pax Christi France statement in support of the Christians in the Middle East - Read more
  • Pax Christi Italy President Bishop Giovanni Ricchiuti visits Gaza - Read more

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DISARMAMENT
Disarmament for Sustainable Development – A Call to Faith-based Organisations
 
Pax Christi International and the International Peace Bureau invite faith-based organisations and religious communities worldwide to join the Disarmament for Sustainable Development Campaign. The aim of this initiative is to press for an end to the over-funding of military establishments and for the creation of new funds to tackle human insecurity and common threats to the planet. In addition, the campaign supports all efforts to limit or eliminate weapons that impact negatively on communities in conflict zones. To learn more about this campaign and its flagship initiative – The Global Day of Action on Military Spending, which will take place on 13 April, click here.
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi UK invites faith leaders across the UK to join statement against nuclear weapons - Read more
  • Pax Christi International to attend "Nuclear Weapons and the Moral Compass" debate - Read more
  • PAX welcomes Pentagon U-turn on use of depleted uranium in Iraq and Syria - Read more

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HUMAN RIGHTS
Pax Christi International co-signs statement on the right to peace

Pax Christi International co-signed a civil society statement on the right to peace submitted to the 28th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, which took place in Geneva from 2 to 27 March. Signatories appeal to the Human Rights Council to declare the Right to Peace, to strongly condemn war and the use of violence to solve disputes and conflicts, and to reiterate the inalienable right to live in a world where war and conflicts are progressively eliminated through mutual understanding, tolerance, respect of human rights and peaceful relationships. Read the statement here
More updates: 
  • Haiti National Episcopal Commission Justice and Peace issues report on violence and human rights violations in Port-au-Prince - Read more
  • Human Rights Center Frayba denounces forcible displacements in Mexico - Read more

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JUST WORLD

Pax Christi France holds colloquium on climate justice
 
The 2015 Pax Christi France colloquium on climate justice took place on 21 March at the Catholic Institute of Paris under the theme “If you want Peace, protect the Creation”. The event brought together the scientific community, the civil society and church representatives to reflect on challenges posed by climate change and concrete ways to tackle them. Read more here.  
 
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi USA demands more funding for poverty-focused international development and humanitarian assistance - Read more

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PEACE EDUCATION

Pax Christi UK on peacemakers of the First World War

On 15 March, Pax Christi UK Secretary General Pat Gaffney gave a talk entitled: “Learning from the peacemakers of the First World War and their lessons for today” at a conference organised by the Newman Association in Oxted, Surrey, UK. To learn more about this and other Pax Christi UK First World War Peace plans and resources, click here
 
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi München-Freising to hold young adult workshop on nonviolence - Read more
  • Pax Christie Wallonie-Bruxelles holds debate on racism - Read more
  • The Arab Educational Institute welcomes World Council of Churches delegation - Read more

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PEACE SPIRITUALITY 

Pax Christi International joins Ecumenical Peace Advocacy Network

Pax Christi International has joined the Ecumenical Peace Advocacy Network, a new initiative launched by the World Council of Churches to build just and sustainable peace, engaging churches, ecumenical organizations and civil society. To learn more, click here
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi International at Lenten Fast for Climate Justice March - Read more
  • Pax Christi UK supports ecumenical service to mark 35th anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero - Read more
  • Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand holds peace vigils in support of the Middle East peace processes - Read more

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ADVOCACY AND CAMPAIGNING 
Pax Christi International endorses Peace & Planet Mobilization for a nuclear-free world

Pax Christi International has endorsed the Peace & Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World, taking place on 24-26 April, ahead of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) meeting in New York. The aim is to build up a strong voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons to UN and NPT Review officials. To learn more about this initiative and to get involved, click here
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi International supports statement on migration to the 28th Human Rights Council - Read more
  • Pax Christi International attends UN Programme of Action on Small Arms expert meeting - Read more
  • Pax Christi Philippines takes part in Bangsamoro peace march - Read more
  • PAX attends Civil Society Forum on the UN Conference on Disarmament - Read more
  • Eighty-Three Percent of Syria's Lights Extinguished after Four Years of Crisis - Read more

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PAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL IN THE MEDIA 
"Fasting is ... breaking the spiral of violence." Fr. Paul Lansu of Pax Christi International speaks about the spirituality of active nonviolence in an interview for the Flemish news portal Kerknet.

Pax Christi International's Senior Policy Advisor Fr. Paul Lansu in interview with Vatican Radio - English Section on the importance of an 'Iran deal' for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East.

Pax Christi International statement on war in Syria – Independent Catholic News, March 2015. 
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RESOURCES

Check the 'Resources' section of our website to learn more about our member organisations’ work for disarmament and security, human rights, peace education, peace spirituality, reconciliation and non-violent conflict transformation. Click, download and share with anyone who may be interested!
Highlights:
  • A reflection for the Good Friday (3 April) prepared by Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis is available here
  • Pax Christi USA Reflection for Palm/Passion Sunday – Read more here.
  • “Leave Peace, teach Peace” is the title of a new book on peace education for hearts and minds by M.J. and Jerry Park, teachers of peace and members of Pax Christi USA – Read more here.
  • A reflection for the anniversary of the death of Archbishop Romero is available from Pax Christi USA – Read more here.
  • The March-April News Notes of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns can be found here.
  • A new analysis on Islam in Belgium “Paroles de musulmans: Vivre l’Islam en Belgique” is available from Pax Christi Wallonie-Bruxelles – Read more here.
  • The April edition of Pax Christi Germany’s news bulletin PAX ZEIT is available here.
  • A new issue of the E-Mirror issued by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of Pakistan is available here. It contains updates on various activities implemented under projects and programs of the Commission. 

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INTERNATIONAL CALENDAR

For updates on planned events in the Pax Christi network and beyond, click here

Is your organisation planning any peace-related activities? Do you know of any other upcoming peace event we might have missed? Let us know and we will add it to the calendar! 
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Click here for the latest updates from the Pax Christi Peace Stories Blog >>
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