President’s Comment – 26 Nov 17

Hi All,

The next meeting of our E-Club will be held on ZOOM on Wednesday 6th December at 7.30pm Eastern Daylight Time or 6.30pm Eastern Standard Time.

If you are not a member and wish to attend please notify – johnroberson@bigpond.com 

The article below is interesting and shows the work being done to protect indigenous rights round the world.

Protecting the rights of indigenous peoples

Athili Sapriina during the annual Rotary Peace Fellow seminar at the University of Queensland.

Athili Sapriina during the annual Rotary Peace Fellow seminar at the University of Queensland, Australia.

By Athili Sapriina, 2013-2014 Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia

I first became aware of Rotary Peace Fellowships during a trip to the Rotary Peace Center at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US, in 2008. I had previously attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City and over the years witnessed an increased involvement of Rotary with indigenous peoples issues. I am honored to be the first Naga to be awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship.

The three million Nagas are indigenous peoples of the mountainous frontier between India and Burma. Since the end of British colonialism, Nagas have fiercely defended their independence resulting in the death of thousands — Indians, Burmese and Nagas. 

The peace fellowship gives me a chance to build on current peace initiatives to resolve one of the longest running disputes in the world. Nagas seek the reunification of their homeland, which is divided between India and Burma. Within India, Nagas are further segregated into four states reducing them to minorities in their own land.

In 1994, I participated in the first World’s Indigenous Peoples Day held at the YMCA in New Delhi, India. Since then, globally there has been major advancements through the establishment of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, an Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Working toward peace necessitates continuous dialogue. I find it fascinating that indigenous leaders, support groups, and national governments continue to engage on these issues even where agreement is lacking on how the UN declarations apply. For example, some states do not acknowledge they have indigenous peoples within their territories, and therefore do not recognize a responsibility under the declaration. Achieving peace, understanding, and justice is a work in progress.

Still, in September, the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples is expected to reiterate the important and continuing role of the UN in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples.

As a print journalist, I plan to use my skills to work for peace, justice, and greater tolerance, while branching out into radio and current media platforms. My peace fellowship has increased my capacity to contribute meaningfully to this important issue.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is 9 August. Watch a live webcast of the commemoration at the UN on 8 August and learn more about how you can support the Rotary Peace Centers program.

President’s Comment – 19 Nov 17

MEETING THIS WEEK

Hi all,

We will hold a Social Meeting of our Club this next Wednesday, 22nd November at 7.00pm Eastern Summer Daylight Time (NSW) or 6.00pm Eastern Standard Time (QLD). We will discuss our KIVA loans and our badges, brochure, business cards and banner. 

Be prepared to tell us about you last couple of weeks and anything that inspired you.

If any non-member wishes to attend please contact me with your email address so that you get a link to our ZOOM meeting. – johnroberson@bigpond.com

Below is more about the Peace day in Geneva on 11th November.

‘Peace needs to be lived’

Rotary Day at the United Nations pushes peace from concept to reality

By Geoff Johnson Photos by Monika Lozinska

On the 99th anniversary of the end of World War I, more than 1,200 people gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for Rotary Day at the United Nations. 

Representing 87 countries, they convened on Saturday, 11 November, at the Palais des Nations, originally the home of the League of Nations, and dedicated themselves to the theme introduced by Rotary President Ian H. S. Riseley: “Peace: Making a Difference.”

View Slideshow
Rotary International honors six champions of peace at the United Nations on 11 November.

“The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace have always been among Rotary’s primary goals,” said Riseley. “It is past time for all of us to recognize the potential of all of our Rotary service to build peace, and approach that service with peacebuilding in mind.”

For the first time in its 13-year history, Rotary Day at the UN was held outside of New York.

Rotary Day concluded Geneva Peace Week, during which John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International, noted the “close and longstanding ties between Rotary and the UN in (their) mutual pursuit of peace and international understanding.”

Rotary members “can transform a concept like peace to a reality through service,” said Ed Futa, dean of the Rotary Representatives to the United Nations. “Peace needs to be lived rather than preached.”

During a Rotary Day highlight, Hewko introduced Rotary’s 2017 People of Action: Champions of Peace. He praised them as “an embodiment of the range and impact of our organization’s work,” and saluted them for providing “a roadmap for what more peaceful, resilient societies look like.”

Rotary honored six individuals, who each made brief remarks. They were:

  1. Alejandro Reyes Lozano, of the Rotary Club of Bogotá Capital, Cundinamarca, Colombia: As “part of the generation that grew up with uncertainty and fear,” as he put it, Reyes Lozano played a key role in negotiating an end to the 50-year conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Now he’s using a Rotary Foundation global grant to lead peacebuilding efforts among women from six Latin American countries.
  2. Jean Best, of the Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland: “Without peace within ourselves we will never advance global peace,” said Best, explaining The Peace Project, the program she created to help “the future leaders of peace” develop the skills they need to resolve the conflicts in their lives.
  3. Safina Rahman, of the Rotary Club of Dhaka Mahanagar, Bangladesh: “Education is a powerful and transformative vehicle for peace,” said Rahman, a passionate advocate for workers’ rights and workplace safety who also promotes and provides educational and vocational opportunities for girls.
    4.
     

    Ann Frisch, of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA: Frisch’s Civilian-Based Peace Process introduced the radical concept of “unarmed civilian protection” in war zones around the world. “Sustainable peace,” she said, “requires strong civilian engagement.”

    5.

Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow: As the president of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, USA, Sirah uses stories to foster peace, nurture empathy, and build a sense of community. “Stories matter—and I believe they matter a lot,” he said.
6.

Taylor Cass Talbot, Rotary Peace Fellow: Currently based in Portland, Oregon, USA, Cass Talbot partnered with SWaCH, a waste-picker cooperative in India to form Pushing for Peace, which promotes safety, sanitation, and dignity for waste pickers in Pune, India. Her advocacy displays an artistic flair: her Live Debris project creatively addresses issues of waste on a global scale.
Later, the six honorees participated in workshops devoted to sustainability and peace, as well as a workshop on education, science, and peace designed by and for young leaders in which Rotaract members from around the world played a prominent role. 

Dr. Michel Zaffran, the director of polio eradication at the World Health Organization, provided an update on efforts to eradicate polio. They noted the tremendous progress made by Rotary, WHO, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners in eliminating 99 percent of all global incidences of polio. 

Returning the focus to peace, Zaffran said: “This same international relationship (that’s eradicating polio),” he said, “can be used to achieve world peace.”

Zaffran was joined Her Excellency Mitsuko Shino, the deputy permanent representative of Japan to the international organizations in Geneva and co-chair of Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Polio Partners Group

In his keynote address, Riseley made a similar observation. “The work of polio eradication, has taught us . . . that when you have enough people working together, when you understand the problems and the processes, when you combine and leverage your resources, when you set a plan and set your targets — you can indeed move mountains,” he said. “And the need for action, and cooperation, is greater now than ever before.”

President’s Comment – 12 Nov 17

Hi All,

November is  Foundation Month and it is time for us all to consider our support for our own charity that does so much wonderful work around the world. The article below explains about the recognition of six champions of Peace who have been supported by the Rotary Foundation in various ways.

You will find details of how to make your donation below.

EFT Payments please make out to:

Account Name: The Rotary E-Club of District 9700 – Service/Projects,
Reference – Name plus ‘TRF’
BSB: 032769           Account: 697413

Cheque Payments by post make out to:    Rotary E-Club of District 9700-Serving Humanity

Reference – ‘TRF and your name’, and mail to:

Treasurer,
Rotary E-Club of District 9700-Serving Humanity, 
37 High St, YACKANDANDAH, VIC 3749

Rotary Day at the UN filled with peace champions and workshops

Rotary will honor six champions of peace at the United Nations on 11 November.

The Palais des Nations in Geneva, built as the headquarters for the League of Nations, remains an enduring emblem of humanity’s hope for global peace, making it an ideal setting for this year’s Rotary Day at the United Nations on 11 November.

Underscoring this year’s theme — Peace: Making a Difference — the event will include workshops devoted to sustainability and peace, as well as a workshop on education, science, and peace, designed by and for young leaders.

A variety of speakers will contribute to the discussion, including Rotary International President Ian H.S. Riseley; Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Paul A. Netzel; Walter B Gyger and Claudine Wyssa, the representatives of Rotary International to UN/Geneva; and Dr. Mohanned Arabiat, president of Generations for Peace.

Rotary General Secretary John Hewko will introduce each of the People of Action: Champions of Peace. They are:

  • Jean Best, Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright, Scotland
  • Taylor (Stevenson) Cass Talbott, Rotary Peace Fellow, Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Ann Frisch, Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA
  • Safina Rahman, Rotary Club of Dhaka Mahanagar, Bangladesh
  • Alejandro Reyes Lozano, Rotary Club of Bogotá Capital, Colombia
  • Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow, Tennessee, USA

Other highlights will include a polio-tulip-planting ceremony, updates on polio eradication, and closing remarks from Edwin Futa, dean of the Rotary Representative Network.

Peace partnership

Rotary Day at the UN culminates Geneva Peace Week. That event’s organizers include the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank that uses data-driven research to analyze peace and quantify its economic value.

  • Watch the Rotary Day at the United Nations on UN TV
  • See program details

This summer, the institute and Rotary announced a strategic partnership that will pair the two organizations’ individual strengths — empirical research and community connections — and focus them on resolving conflict and achieving peace.

On 8 November, as part of Geneva Peace Week, the institute will join the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in hosting a panel discussion, “Building the Evidence for Better Prevention.” Staged at the Maison de la Paix, it will systematically evaluate conflict prevention and peacebuilding methods in the context of a research framework.

 

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