The current crisis in The Gambia has a simple story. On 1 December 2016 presidential elections were held in the country with the incumbent Yahya Jammeh and the opposition leader Mr Adama Barrow as frontrunners. The following day, the Independent Electoral Commission of the Gambia announced a surprising result, Jammeh lost the election by 39.6 […]
In this posting, we present a voice from the African American community, from a slightly later period, but which we think speaks strongly to today. Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) was an American author of poetry, plays, novels, short stories and essay—one of the brilliant writers to emerge as part of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1936, he published “Let America Be America Again,” a poem that articulates a vision of a country that excluded his own community of African-Americans among others–the Native population and the poor–and that transforms an illusion of past greatness into a call to action to forge the country we would yet want to see.
Those who are interested in the outlawry of war are not interested in it as a panacea, but as a supplement to all other means of obtaining peaceful settlement of disputes, and we all know that there is going to be no one way out, but we must put war outside the sanction of law. We have built up this human institution and we can tear it down much more quickly than we have built it up. By the nation saying that we have come to the conclusion that this human institution is futile and stupid, and therefore we will not sanction it legally, then we can proceed unhampered toward organization to take care of the problems that confront us as a nation in our international relations.Continue Reading →
As we near the end of 2016, we turn to voices from the past who inspire us in our work. As a toast for the new year, we are launching a short series of excerpts from writing authored by those who worked for peace and social justice in the early twentieth century, broadly around the time of the founding of the World Peace Foundation (1910). Their work is not necessarily a blueprint for ours today, not only in how the problems were defined but also in its membership and the articulation of solutions. For instance, the movement was dominated by voices of people of European descent, whether resident in Europe or North America, a limitation in the imagination and scope of the movement. Nonetheless, their eloquence, even as they struggled for a cause that at times seemed hopeless, remind us that we are part of larger community historically and today committed to building more just and less violent world.Continue Reading →
Preventing extremism and terrorism is a complex and multifaceted endeavor, but it can include working with governments to encourage them not to abuse and terrorize their own citizens, which can generate more extremism. On the other hand, providing good quality health services, education and security, and enabling meaningful participation in decisions that affect their lives, can enhance citizens’ enjoyment of their human rights and offset the allure of extremism. Demonizing these states, and thereby increasing their fragility, can only make things worse for everyone.
We all need to find common ground between the Trump administration’s foreign policy goals and existing efforts to address the problems of fragile states and the displacement that ensues. In addition, we need to find better ways, perhaps involving the private sector, or through civil society effort, to work with other countries and humanitarian organizations to promote leadership and provide financial support for humanitarian and development response. We cannot leave it up to the next administration to address the needs of the millions of people being driven from their homes by war, persecution and natural disasters.Continue Reading →
Below are excerpts from Alex de Waal’s “Garrison America and the Threat of Global War,” published by The Boston Review on December 5, 2016. The text version is available on their website.
Donald Trump was elected as the mouthpiece for a populist insurgency that humbled the biggest political machine in the United States. But […]Continue Reading →
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