About the Peace Council
Purpose and Commitments
Current Annual Report
How You Can Help
From the 2002 Annual Report:
Activities in 2002:
• A growing threat of war between the United States and Iraq meant that Peace Councilors, trustees, and staff responded to numerous requests for articles, interviews, public talks, and discussions. Some presentations addressed the threat of war directly; most aimed to increase understanding and dispel stereotypes about Islam.
• In October Peace Councilors released a strongly-worded public statement opposing United States plans for war with Iraq. It was one of very few declarations by the Councilors, who usually prefer to demonstrate interfaith cooperation though action rather than words.
• The International Committee for the Peace Council also supported efforts by moderate Palestinians to promote an alternative Palestinian agenda for a peaceful resolution to IsraeliPalestinian violence.
• In September the Peace Council grew to twenty members with the addition of Swami Agnivesh, 64, Hindu monk and member of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement dating back to the nineteenth century. Swami Agnivesh is well-known in India and elsewhere as an eloquent activist who has worked courageously against the abuses of indentured servitude in his country. He chairs the United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and is the founder and head of India’s Bonded Labour Liberation Front. Swami Agnivesh also serves as General-Secretary of a reformist political party, the Arya Sabha. In 1990 he received the Anti-Slavery International Award (London) and in 1994 the Freedom and Human Rights Award (Berne, Switzerland).
• In mid-year Sr. Laura Goedken, O.P. joined the board of trustees of the International Committee for the Peace Council. She is Director of Stewardship in the Diocese of Monterey, California and was formerly Director of Development for the Sinsinawa Dominicans.
• The Peace Council continued its efforts to encourage human rights and peace workers in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The Peace Council also supports Melel Xojobal, an organization that provides day-care and elementary schooling for Indian children whose families have migrated to the city of San Cristóbal (see photo). Grants-in-aid for these purposeswere administered by Fr. Gonzalo Ituarte O.P., head of the Dominican mission to the parish of Ocosingo.
• In Korea, the International Committee for the Peace Council participated in several meetings and conferences on Korean peninsular security. The purpose was to secure consensus on constructive policy recommendations to the South Korean and United States governments.
• The Peace Council lent its support to the Sudanese Women’s Voice for Peace in a project to rehabilitate former child-soldiers. This work, like the work in Mexico, will continue in 2003.
• In May, Peace Councilor Bishop Samuel Ruiz GarcÌa received the prestigious Niwano Peace Prize at a ceremony in Tokyo. At the same time, the International Committee for the Peace Council was asked to help the Niwano Peace Foundation create an international committee to oversee the prize in future years. The new committee will include several Peace Councilors.
• We continued to collaborate with other international interfaith organizations. The Peace Council was represented at the second meeting of the International Interfaith Network (Budapest, in August). We were represented at the Religious Order Partnership Meeting (New York, in April) and at the Franciscan Federation Conference (St. Louis, in August).
• Throughout the year, staff and trustees worked on arrangements for future activities of the Peace Council in Northern Ireland, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Home || About the Peace Council || Peace Councilors || Purpose and Commitments || 2002 Activities || Looking Ahead || News || Trustees || How You Can Help || Links || Contact || Current Annual Report ||
Page Published: 03/26/2003; Page Last Modified: