Latest updates from the Pax Christi International Member Organisations. 

Issue 267 | April 2016

Pax Christi International’s statement on Brussels attacks

Pax Christi International condemns the 22 March 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks and stands in deep solidarity with the victims and their families. Despite the tragedy, terror will not prevail; we must be guided by love and nonviolence, instead of fear and hatred, which are the seeds of terror and war. The statement further explains that Pax Christi International is determined to foster conditions for peace, and to nurture human community that embraces social justice, the rule of law, and human security. Read the statement in English, French, German, Dutch, and Italian.
More updates: 
  • Creating Signs of Hope for Syria - Read more
  • Pax Christi International attend International Women’s Day conference at the
    Holy See - Read more
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Congo: Petition to Belgian Foreign Minister

On 22 March 2016, Pax Christi Flanders, in conjunction with Broederlijk Delen, personally delivered the “Choose peace! Disarm eastern Congo” petition, the result of the Peace Campaign that began in September 2015, to Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. The petition, which received 3.750 signatures, calls on the European Union to make the disarmament of rebels and their reintegration into eastern Congo a priority of their political agenda. The petition also makes five recommendations to policy makers as how to improve the chances of implementing and maintaining lasting peace in eastern Congo. Read more here in Dutch.
More updates: 
  • Kenya: Reconciliation in Cheptais - Read more
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Honduras: Condemnation of the murders of human rights activists

Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia, activists and members of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH), were murdered in March 2016. Pax Christi International and Pax Christi USA signed an open letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry “to support the independent investigation into the murder of Berta Cáceres.” Moreover, Pax Christi member organisation Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) called on the Honduran government to ensure that the parties responsible for the killings are brought to justice and to uphold the rights of local indigenous communities. Read MOGC’s call here. Read Pax Christi International’s letter to COPINH here.
More updates: 
  • Romero Week 2016 - Read more
  • USA: Congress urged to eliminate immigrant bed quota - Read more
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Aotearoa / New Zealand: Peace in Jewish tradition

On 28 April 2016, Pax Christi Aotearoa / New Zealand invites everyone to attend a lecture on peace in the Jewish tradition. Rabbi Brent Gutmann will be a guest speaker at the lecture. He is rabbi of Beth Shalom Progressive Synagogue in Auckland and is on the Executive Board of the Auckland Interfaith Council. This talk is part of an ongoing series on how different faith traditions approach the concept of peace. Read more here.
More updates:
  • Australia: Statement calls to clarify human rights dimensions of fracking - Read more
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UK obituary: Louise Zanré Da Silva

On 15 February 2016, Louise Zanré Da Silva unexpectedly passed away at the age of 47. Louise worked with Pax Christi UK for seven years, from 1993 to 2000, during which she was dedicated to the campaign against the use, stockpiling, and production of landmines. In 2002, she became the director of the Jesuit Refugee Service UK. Louise was a passionate advocate for refugees and asylum seekers who “spoke out against the horrors of detention centres, cuts in legal aid, and much more.” Read Louise Zanré’s obituary here, written by Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi UK, and published by ‘The Tablet’ on 24 February, 2016.
More updates: 
  • Poland: KIK statement about the political situation - Read more
  • President of Pax Christi Italy opens night shelter for those in need - Read more
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Yemen: Human rights violations
Pax Christi International co-signed a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry, “urging the United States to support the immediate establishment of an independent mechanism to investigate the human rights situation in Yemen,” during the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council, between 29 February and 24 March 2016. Since the 30th session, in part due to the US’ opposition to an independent mechanism, there has been a lack of respect for human rights and an environment of impunity in Yemen. The 31st session presented an opportunity to establish the mechanism and to create real accountability in Yemen. Read more in English here.
More updates: 
  • Syria: Call for reconciliation - Read more
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Brussels: Campaign to objectify recruitment procedures

On 21 March 2016, Pax Christi Wallonie-Bruxelles, in conjunction with ORBIT and Centre of Brussels of Intercultural Action, launched a campaign on hiring immigrants, in an effort to improve immigrants’ chances of being hired. The campaign, which is subsidised by the Secretary of State for the Fight against Poverty, Elke Sleurs, is comprised of a promotional aspect to encourage employers to assess their recruitment strategy, followed by suggestions. In addition employers are offered a free day of consultancy to review and develop their recruitment procedures. Read more in French here.
More updates: 
  • European Council asked to clarify its migrant policy - Read more
  • EPLO: Gender imbalance in EU’s foreign affairs - Read more
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Failure of UN Declaration on the Right to Peace

Pax Christi International signed a statement which was delivered during the 31st session of the Human Rights Council on 11 March 2016. After the third Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Peace (OEIWG) session, which was unable to finalise a UN Declaration on the Right to Peace, the statement called on states at the next session to include, “the individual and collective dimensions of the human right to peace as well as the crucial importance of peace education.” It also called for “states to fulfil their role as advocates and enablers of the fulfilment of the needs of the world’s people, including the right to peace.” Read more in English here
More updates: 
  • Guatemala: Report on homicide statistics - Read more
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The Republic of the Marshall Islands lawsuit against nine nuclear capable states

Pax Christi International supports the lawsuit that the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) filed in the International Court of Justice to hold the nine nuclear-armed nations responsible for violations of international law. Only India and the UK attended in person the hearings, which were held from 7-16 March, 2016. The hearings coincided with India test-firing its nuclear capable K-4 ballistic missile, and the UK planning to spend billions of pounds to build a new nuclear weapon system. On 12 March, PAX Netherlands, a member organisation of Pax Christi International, also co-organised a discussion between the members of the RMI legal team. Read more here.
More updates: 
  • Austria: Research for Armament Atlas - Read more
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Nonviolence and Just Peace conference
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International will convene at an international conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence”, to be held in Rome, Italy, 11-13 April 2016. “The conference will facilitate a conversation about Catholic teaching on war and peace, including explicit rejection of ‘just war’ language in favor of an alternative ethical framework for engaging acute conflict and atrocities by developing the themes and practices of nonviolent conflict transformation and just peace.” Read more here.
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi Flanders: Day of prayer and fasting as a sign of hope for Syria - Read more
  • USA: Way of the Cross for Economic and Ecological Justice - Read more
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Pax Christi France on media and peace
Pax Christi France organised an international colloquium on 'Media and Peace' during the weekend of 5-6 March 2016, with contributions and analyses from journalists, professors and media actors. The colloquium addressed questions on whether media have the vocation to be actors of peace, looking at the realities and the challenges of the job. Special focus was put on the role of the media in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with participation from local journalists and witnesses on the ground. Read more in French here
More updates: 
  • PAX: Listen to the story of a refugee - Read more
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Pax Christi International calls for Syria peace talks,
independent catholic news, 15 March, 2016

A stitch in time,
Ames Tribune by Deborah Fink, 5 March, 2016
Brussels archbishop thanks Christians for support after attacks,
Catholic Herald by Catholic News Service, 23 March, 2016

WCC, Pax Christi International call for negotiations to end conflict in Syria,
World Council of Churches, 16 March, 2016

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