Heidi Andersson FOR Norway, Davorka Lovrekovic, IFOR President, Penny Heymans FOR Norway, Lucas Johnson International Coordinator

Heidi Andersson FOR Norway, Davorka Lovrekovic, IFOR President, Penny Heymans FOR Norway, Lucas Johnson International Coordinator

September 30 – October 3 more than a thousand people gathered at the Technishce Universität Berlin, Germany to discuss the most pressing challenges for peace in our time. The International Peace Bureau convened the "World Congress" in conjunction with its annual meeting. The Disarm! For a Climate of Peace gathering was supported by 50 international peace organizations including IFOR. Many IFOR members primarily from Europe and North America were in attendance. Topics of discussion included: opposition to NATO Expansion, Military Recourses and the Environment, the Impact of Climate Change on Peace and Security in Africa, the Nuclear-Climate Nexus and Sustainable Peace and many more.

 Left to right: Kimiaki Kawai, Davorka Lovrekovic, Susan Smith, Patrick Nickish, Jonathan Frerichs

Left to right: Kimiaki Kawai, Davorka Lovrekovic, Susan Smith, Patrick Nickish, Jonathan Frerichs

IFOR helped organize a Panel titled “Not in the Name of Religion.” The panel was designed to highlight the positive potential of religion in peace building. The panel featured Jonathan Frerichs of the World Council of Churches and Pax Christi International, Patrick Nickisch, of the Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust, Kimiaki Kawai, Director of Soka Gakkai International and Susan Smith, of the Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Centre, and the Muslim Peace Fellowship. The panel was moderated by IFOR President Davorka Lovrekovic. Among the questions posed to the panelists was the question "How do we build real security?" Jonathan Frerichs provided an answer that was also affirmed by the other panelists:

"National Security must answer to Human Security."
 "Not in the Name of Religion" Panelists after closing remarks

"Not in the Name of Religion" Panelists after closing remarks

IFOR’s Representative to the UN in Geneva, Michel Monod, held a workshop titled Circle of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution, in which he sought to explain methods of nonviolent conflict resolution that might be deployed to avoid other nonviolent actions.

Susan Smith, an active member the Muslim Peace Fellowship, an IFOR affiliate, held a workshop titled: Islamophobia, Refugees and the United States. the workshop examined the domestic and foreign policy effects of Islamophobia and what is necessary to reverse them.

One of the goals of the gathering was to create an Action Agenda and to build more collaboration within the peace movement. Workshops were framed in two categories: One providing an “analytical approach” to the challenges we are face and the second providing a “strategic approach.”

At the conclusion of the conference, the International Peace Bureau held it's Annual Membership Meeting, to craft it's agenda for the coming years. At that meeting, Jerômé Peraya, of Agir Pour La Paix in Belgium and a member of IFOR’s Representative Consultative Committee was elected to the council of IPB.

*corrected from original post which named Jerômé Peraya as elected to the board of IPB. He was elected to the council. 

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