During November 2018 the quadrennial IFOR council took place, before council the Migration conference ‘On the Move’ was held. After this week a press release was released to the public mentioning the appointment of Lotta Sjöström Becker, from Sweden as the new president of IFOR. Followed by some important actions and visits made by IFOR delegates from all over the world that were attending council during this week.
Read on to find out more!
*Scroll down to find translations for the press release.
On November 4th -11th 2018 the International Fellowship of Reconciliation held its quadrennial global Council in Zafferana Etnea (Catania). About 70 delegates from 33 nations gathered together and Lotta Sjöström Becker, from Sweden, has been appointed as the new president of IFOR.
Prior to the Council, the Two-days International Conference “On the move” was held to report and discuss the issue of migration. The event was hosted by City of Catania at Palazzo della Cultura and involved representatives of different organisations and migrants, and refugees, took part in the conversation sharing their first-hand experience.
One of the main topic addressed at the IFOR Council was reconciliation among armed groups in Africa, and also the work of trauma healing and reintegration into society of war victims and child soldiers.
The 2018 IFOR Council endorsed the Right to Peace as adopted by the UN and asked all delegates to engage in an international campaign and to urge their own governments to implement it.
IFOR also restated the importance to ratify the UN treaty to abolish all nuclear weapons.
The Council delegates visited the Accoglienza Casmenea project Migrants Center in Comiso where 24 young refugees are hosted and provided with language class and learning opportunities to develop professional skills to better integrate into local society.
Following this visit, IFOR delegates held a nonviolent action standing in a circle of silence in Niscemi main square, together with local activists, to express solidarity to the local struggle against the militarization of the territory and in particular against the MUOS. An interesting exchange followed the public action and links were made regarding the relationship between the Japanese Constitution article 9 and the Italian Constitution article 11 which opposes and refuses war as an instrument to solve international conflicts.
IFOR has a history of over a hundred years of active non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution. The 2018 Council confirmed once again the strong will to deal nonviolently with conflicts from personal to global level.