International Day of Peace 2020 – Shaping Peace Together

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together”. Celebrate the day and stand together with the UN against attempts to use the COVID-19 pandemic to promote discrimination or hatred. Join one of the following events to help shape peace together.

Refer to details of the Sydney celebration and the Melbourne online event below.

SYDNEY CELEBRATION – 20 September, 2pm to 4pm

Raising Peace Event
When: Sunday 20 September, 2pm to 4pm
Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Where: 107 Project, 107 Redfern St, Redfern 2016

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UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – only 6 ratifications to go!

A total of 44 states are now parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (also known as the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty) which was adopted by the United Nations on July 7, 2017. This landmark treaty prohibits nuclear weapons and establishes a legal framework for their elimination. It will enter into force after 50 states have signed and ratified the treaty.

The latest endorsements of the treaty coincided with the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 in 1945. To mark Hiroshima Day, Ireland, Nigeria and Niue ratified the treaty on August 6, while the Caribbean state of Saint Kitts and Nevis has moved to do the same this Nagasaki Day. Continue reading UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – only 6 ratifications to go!

Does the government now attach greater significance to preparations for war than it does to seeking peaceful co-existence?

Photo: The Canberra Times – Australian FA-18F Super Hornet. Click to enlarge.

That is the question MPG has put to the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, in a letter.

MPG’s letter points to the fact that Australia has ignored the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire, by announcing an additional $270 billion expenditure on defence. Meanwhile it also ignores the risk of Covid-19 infection by hosting US marines in Darwin and by joining the RIMPAC naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii.

All of these points support the contention that the Australian government is more intent on preparing for war, than it is on maintaining peace. It is a sorry state of affairs. The full text of the letter can be read here.

Anzac Day and the coronavirus

Marrickville Peace Park

Due to the coronavirus, no public gatherings to commemorate Anzac Day will be held around the country this year. This has also resulted in the cancellation of the alternative Anzac Day Reflection which was scheduled to take place at the Marrickville Peace Park in Sydney.

This circumstance, however, opens up an opportunity for the Australian community to move away from Anzac Day ceremonies that have become so commercialised and politicised in recent decades.

In particular, it offers the opportunity for people, young and old, to critically reflect upon the Anzac legend and the historical distortions that this myth entails.

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Aboriginal sovereignty and peaceful co-existence

Photo: Crikey. Click to enlarge.

Anzac Day Reflections organised by the Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign and actively supported by the Marrickville Peace Group in past years have always recognised the Frontier Wars and Indigenous people’s call for constitutional reforms to help them take their rightful place in society.

In keeping with this tradition, Peter Griffin has written a paper exploring the character of Indigenous sovereignty and the obstacles to its realisation. Below is a synopsis of his paper. The full paper can be read here.

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Inner West Council flies Morning Star Flag in support of West Papuan independence

Morning Star Flag flying at Leichhardt Town Hall. Photo: Australia West Papua Association. (Click to enlarge).

Saturday December 1, 2019 marked the 58th anniversary of the first raising of West Papua’s symbol of independence, the Morning Star Flag.

The annual Global Flag Raising for West Papua is an international event where supporters around the world hold solidarity rallies and, on December 1, raise the Morning Star in support of the West Papua people and their right to self-determination.

This legitimate aspiration for self-determination was thwarted when an ‘Act of Free Choice’, popularly known as the ‘Act of NO Choice’, took place on August 2, 1969. This fraudulent vote involved a handpicked group of 1,025 West Papuans who were coerced, under the threat of violence, into voting for integration with Indonesia. Continue reading Inner West Council flies Morning Star Flag in support of West Papuan independence