On June 12, the rescue ship Aquarius was prevented from docking in Italy after it had rescued migrants who were trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The Aquarius is one of the ships operated by of SOS Mediterranee and is actively supported by IFOR and by our local branch MIR Italia. On June 25th, IFOR's Representatives in Geneva delivered the statement below about the humanitarian crisis during the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council.
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EUFOR – European Fellowship of Reconciliation
Wednesday 06.04.16 12:00AM
At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, 25 representatives of the European branches of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) call for a “renewed vision of Europe” based on Culture of Peace; not military might.
A new way of working in Europe is needed based on unity, solidarity and humanity to tackle 21st Century challenges.
The following areas in need of urgent and collective attention are:
- Recognize Refugees and Migrants as Citizens
- Disarmament and Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Arms Trade
- Promote Peace Education, Inter-faith Dialogue and Social Empowerment
The European Branches made the following statements:
“The European civil society has experienced on many occasions the power to transform conflicts through a firm stand for human rights, non-violence and human security. We want to build on this heritage of positive values.
Refugees and migrants are making a statement with their feet on failed policy. Europe's efforts and resources should be spent tackling the root causes of their migration as well as accepting refugees and migrants as citizens.
Europe is in a larger value crisis and it must act and shift resources away from arms expenditure, nuclear weapons, and military strategy.
There is a further need to prioritize non-violent intervention in order to foster and create a Europe of solidarity.
EUFOR calls on the people of Europe to exercise their cooperative responsibility on forming a Europe of hope not fear, and neighbors not strangers. Together we can change our communities and governments.”
- EUFOR brings together groups committed to faith-based non-violence.
- The Fellowships started in 1914 with people who conscientiously objected to taking part in war because of their religious beliefs
- EUFOR continues to work for non-violence, peace and reconciliation
- EUFOR meeting (01.04.16) consisted of representatives from Wales, England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Austria and Belgium.
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 The German Branch of IFOR sent the following appeal in response to the refugee situation confronting Germany and other European countries to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German President Joachim Gauck, the group chairmen of the Bundestag as well as the prime ministers of the federal states and the Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration: