There is a lot of bad news this month as people suffer from the spread of the pandemic, unemployment, famine, and even the threat of civil war. However, we can also find some good news.
In the U.S:The U.S. Conference of Mayors has announced its 2020 Vision for America: a call to action. Among the 12 priorities are protecting and promoting human and civil rights and “fixing our immigration system” as well as “tackling climate change by accelerating the use of clean energy”.
The Progressive Caucus of the United States Congress announced its opposition to the Pentagon’s “wasteful and bloated” budget proposal. They have proposed an amendment that would reduce the proposed Pentagon budget by 10% and redirect savings toward health care, housing and education in poor communities.
In France :The recent results of local elections in France are celebrated as an “Incredible Green Wave” and a “mandate to act for climate and social justice.” According to one observer, “Much of the important work done by the Greens is at the municipal level. This is where they demonstrate that they can rule. And this in turn shapes the national landscape. ”
Subsequent to the their electoral victory, mayors and ecologists on the French Left met in the city of Tours to develop a national network for sharing ideas and building common projects. Ecology was widely discussed during this meeting, with the issues of 5G, clean transport, the development of bicycle networks, ecological transition and waste treatment. Beyond the environmental issue, elected officials also worked on the city’s policies in terms of youth and precarious employment, integration of working-class communities, reception of refugees, housing and a social and solidarity economy.
In Latin America :The city government of Guadalajara, Mexico has established an online diploma in Culture of Peace, to address to build peace in the neighborhoods and within the civil society.”
Colombia hosted the 2nd Latin American Congress of Restorative Justice. According to one of the speakers, “The culture of peace presupposes profound changes in two spheres , in the sphere of justice where it is necessary to guarantee rights, and in the political sphere where it is also necessary to transform the pattern of power domination.”
The International Folklore Festival will take place virtually, hosted by the association Abrasoffa in Brazil, on 22 and 23 August under the slogan “Folklore unites us and the world – dance for peace.”
‘HipHop Week’ was celebrted virtually in Cali, Colombia. The theme is “to make Hip Hop visible as a culture of peace, a culture with a political stance and in turn that can unite us as hiphoppers and as elements of culture, because we converge djs, graffiti artists, rappers and others.”
At the United Nations :
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed addressed “Women Rise for All,” a virtual gathering of influential women from across different regions, sectors and generations, to examine how their leadership is shaping pandemic response and recovery that benefits all people. “Even in the midst of this devastating crisis, there is an opportunity to build a better world that works for all. That will only be possible when we recognize the value of women front and centre, together leading the way and rising for all.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a major address for Nelson Mandela International Day, calling for a New Social Contract for a New Era. “We stand together, or we fall apart. Today, in demonstrations for racial equality… in campaigns against hate speech… in the struggles of people claiming their rights and standing up for future generations… we see the beginnings of a new movement. This movement rejects inequality and division, and unites young people, civil society, the private sector, cities, regions and others behind policies for peace, our planet, justice and human rights for all. It is already making a difference. . . . We are at breaking point. But we know which side of history we are on.”