Sunday, May 29, 2005

UN Dialogue among Civilizations

This roundtable is a contribution to the UN Dialogue among Civilizations project that began in September 2000. At the first round table debate on Dialogue among Civilizations, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN stated that, cultural diversity - in his opinion - is not only the basis for the Dialogue among Civilizations, but also the reality that makes dialogue necessary, since the perception of diversity as a threat is the very seed of war. [The role of religion in creating a culture of peace and moving on from a culture of fear.]

Final invite program UN Dialogue

Final Program and invitation to the UN Dialogue among Civilizations (UNDAC) Roundtable Dialogue 2005

Co-operating to Create a Global Culture of Peace and Non-Violence and to Move On from a Culture of Fear

Leura, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia, June 4th to 5th 2005

9.00 Main speakers -
Stepan Kerkyasharian: Chairperson, Community Relations Commission
- Creating a culture of peace and moving on from a culture of fear
Wendy Sargent - Director of the UN Dialogue among Civilizations Forums Australia:
- Dialogue and DAC and how dialogue works
9.45 Dialogue One - Global Culture of Peace and Non-Violence and moving on from a culture of fear - identifying common interests and concerns

Saturday morning Discussion Stream One 11.45 - 1.00 in the tea room

The role of religion in creating a culture of peace and moving on from a culture of fear
Moderator: Robyn Horton

Dr Marie Clugston: NSW convenor of Amnesty International Religious Network
Sally Segal: Head of the Interfaith Activities in Sydney: Brahma Kumaris Australia
Ian Fry: Pax Christi: Honorary Secretary Jewish-Christian-Muslim Conference of Australia
How to move on from a global culture of fear

Saturday morning Discussion Stream Two 11.45 - 1.00 in the main hall

Moving on from a culture of fear and starting to dialogue between civilizations
Moderator: Ruth Thompson

NSW Council for Civil Liberties Representative
Natalie Doyle: Lecturer: Arts, Monash University: Civilizational Dialogue
John Mandalios: Lecturer: Griffith University

Saturday afternoon program 2.30 - 6.30

2.30 Interview with Dr Stella Cornelius OBE, Director Conflict Resolution Network by Ruth Thompson: Creating a Culture of Peace

3.00 Open Space - Moving on from a Culture of Fear - Identifying Issues - break off into issue groups
Feedback from issue groups: What are the issues?
3.30 - 4.30: Dialogue Two: Core Question: With all these common values and concerns :

Why isn't a global culture of peace happening? What are the obstacles to moving on from a culture of fear?

Saturday afternoon Discussion Stream One 5.00 - 6.30 in the tea room
Building a culture of peace in the community
Moderator: Sally Segal

Susan Biggs: Former Deputy Chair NSW Premier's Council for Women
Women's role in encouraging dialogue in the community
Tim B. Cox : Involvement Volunteers Association Inc
Doreen Wainer: Director of Oplus - Strategy and Innovation consultant. And completing PhD in Social Ethics at UTS

Saturday afternoon Discussion Stream Two 5.00 - 6.30 in the main hall Human rights and creating a global culture of peace and moving on from a culture of fear
Moderator: Ruth Thompson

Noel Winterburn: Director of Conversations for Futures
Melissa Conley Tyler: Senior Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne
Greens speaker c/- Lee Rhianon MLC: globalisation based on "sharing" resources


9.00 Main speakers: Global issues of culture of peace and culture of fear

Dr Richard Braddock: Director of APRIM Macquarie University
Dorothy Buckland Fuller: WILPF NSW
Different types of globalisation based on "sharing" resources.

10.20 - 11.30 Dialogue Three: Issue groups: Looking at solutions and strategies for the future

An Invitation

Knowing that in your activities you have peace building and community development as major concerns, it is our pleasure to invite you as a participant in the Fourth Dialogue among Civilizations Roundtable Dialogue.

The aim of this dialogue in 2005 will be examine contributions to furthering the development of a global culture of peace and non-violence and clarifying the methods that could prevent the further development of a culture of fear..

The inspiration is to create a firm foundation for the development of inter-communal and international co-operation.

This roundtable is a contribution to the UN Dialogue among Civilizations project that began in September 2000. At the first round table debate on Dialogue among Civilizations, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN stated that, cultural diversity - in his opinion - is not only the basis for the Dialogue among Civilizations, but also the reality that makes dialogue necessary, since the perception of diversity as a threat is the very seed of war.

The roundtable will explore the meanings and outcomes of diverse civilizational understandings with the aim to create a better foundation for co-operation and relationship on an international and national level. Also explored is the presently evolving new global civilization founded on fundamental principles of the celebration of cultural diversity, tolerance of dissent, and universal human rights.

The roundtable dialogue will look at the following themes:

* The meaning of a culture of peace and non-violence: Diverse understandings and practices in different civilizations.
* How to move on from a global culture of fear.
* Future commitments: making the culture of peace and non-violence an international and intercommunal priority.

Those invited to the UN roundtable 2005 are representatives of religious, cultural and political institutions and communities, academics, politicians, and national and international agencies located in Australia and abroad.

Dialogue participants will come with some expertise or influence in a relevant area or come with special concerns about these issues.

The program is a participative event consisting of a few keynote speakers with the majority of the process run as a dialogue. For exact details of location, transport and accommodation and bookings please visit our web site or contact us and we will fax or email further details.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Regards Wendy Sargent
(co-ordinator of UNDAC Roundtable Dialogue)

Other information

The Organizers

This forum is being organized by Brahma Kumaris Australia. We are supporting the 'Dialogue amongst Civilizations' as a year declared by the UN General Assembly presently run by UNESCO. Visit UNESCO web site: The Brahma Kumaris is a non-governmental organization with general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Brahma Kumaris Australia, 78 Alt St, Ashfield 2031, Sydney NSW, Australia

Ethics Permission

Research aims and methods of documentation of UNDAC 2005: ethics permission conducted in accordance with university human research ethics community guidelines.

The roundtables and presentations are taped. We request permission from the relevant organization or participants for any quotes used for relevant university research () or the UNDAC web site or media use, if associated with the name of the individual or the name of the organization. A permission form will be handed on registration for the event.


For enquiries about the forum: Overseas and Australia contact:
Wendy Sargent, Mobile: 0417-241450, Email:
ACT co-ordinator - Robin Horton - Ph: (02) 62315513
Bookings only: Ph: (02) 4784-2500, Email:

Web site for the event:

By Wendy Sargent posted 29 May 05


During 2004, at least 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries. At least 7,395 people were sentenced to death in 64 countries. These figures are only reported cases - the true figures were certainly much higher - many countries continue to execute people in secret.

Association for the Prevention of Torture
What needs to be done now? The Optional Protocol requires 20 ratifications to enter into force. All States Parties to the UN Convention against Torture should seriously consider ratifying the OPCAT as soon as possible. National Institutions and others promoting the human rights of people deprived of their liberty need to be informed of their potential role as national preventive mechanisms under the OPCAT.

Tuesday May 17, 2005, Brussels - Today, representatives of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) delivered a law summon and invitation letter addressed to President Bush at the US Embassy in Brussels.

Too many citizens have been cruelly touched by the flawed system of justice in our country - because 'justice' apparently no longer means truth and equality and basic human rights for all.

WHY IS THE HOWARD GOVERNMENT PLAYING 'DEATH' WITH AUSTRALIANS: There has been much controversy recently on whether the Australian Federal Police should have tipped-off the Indonesians over the arrest of the Bali Nine. Due to the fact that Indonesia executes convicted drug-traffickers, ACADP believes that any evidence collected by AFP should have been withheld from Indonesian authorities until they have a written guarantee not to pursue the death penalty for the Bali Nine.

We the members of the Aboriginal Nations and Peoples, do hereby give notice of invoking our claim to all the land of the territories of our ancestors. Accordingly, we invoke the Rule of International Law that we have never surrendered nor acquiesced in our claim to these lands and territories.

UK report shows Iraq war illegal: former defence chief
Ruling Class Lord Goldsmith said a final UN resolution may be needed, that hard evidence of Iraqi non-compliance may have been required, and the UK could face sanction by international courts.

Annan fingers US, UK over oil-for-food scandal
UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, whose son was involved in a scandal surrounding a UN oil-for-food program in Iraq, said the United States and Britain shared the blame.

CUBA: A letter to Amnesty USA
I write as an Australian prisoners' rights campaigner who has been watching Amnesty's interventions over the arrests and jailing of several dozen "dissidents" in Cuba over the past two years. I have also visited Cuba on two occasions.

Annan urges UN members to 'make poverty history'
World governments must embrace a broad strategy ranging from trade and debt forgiveness to handing out mosquito netting to "make poverty history", United Nations chief Kofi Annan says.

UN relief boss warns Sudanese rebels
The United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, has called on rebel groups in the Darfur region of Sudan to stop kidnapping aid workers and looting aid convoys.

Australia owes Habib nothing: Beazley?
Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says if Mamdouh Habib is entitled to any compensation for his detention and alleged torture it cannot come from the Australian Government.

Pressure remains on Australia as Kyoto takes effect
The Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will today come into force after a decade of deliberations.

In Queensland prison sentences have become step-by-step more lengthy over the last decade according to prisoner Mr David Minty who has been in jail for 20 years.

Children of Imprisoned Mothers
United Nations lobbying body reports on women in prison and their children. I thought that two recent publications from the Quaker group that lobbies the UN might be of interest to you.

Goulburn Jail breaches UN standards
NSW: Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on Justice Minister John Hatzistergos to bring Goulburn Jail's Maximum Security Wing into line with United Nations standards, after a prison inmate's covert survey of his fellow inmates revealed problems with rehabilitation programs and basic amenities.

E Timor threatens campaign against Aust over oil deal
East Timor's Foreign Minister is threatening to launch an international campaign to pressure Australia for a bigger share of their own oil and gas royalties from the Timor Sea.

UN panel proposes criteria for legitimate military action
With countries still bitterly divided over the war in Iraq, a high-level panel appointed by the United Nations has recommended a five-step guideline to determine when to use military action.

Afghan children lose High Court battle against detention
Lawyers have lost their constitutional challenge to the detention of four children at a South Australian immigration centre. Four siblings from Afghanistan, aged between seven and 15, have been in detention since they arrived in Australia in 2001.

War on terror should tackle child abuse says UN...
A United Nations official has told a Brisbane conference tackling child abuse must be part of the war on terror.

Kenya faces hunger crisis
The United Nations is appealing for help for up to 2 million people facing hunger in Kenya.

Drawing the line for trade
Once upon a "lifetime" there was a Prime Minister named John Howard. Dollar signs lit up in his eyes when he was told that if he got involved in the Iraq war and aligned the Australian Government with the Coalition of the Killing, US and the UK then the money he spent would be returned in a once in a lifetime Free Trade Agreement with the US.

World to fall short of child health targets
Fewer than one-in-five developing countries are on track to meet UN targets for sharply reducing child and maternal mortality by 2015, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank warn.

Mentally ill kept in padlocked, caged beds
Cental Europe: Patients are sometimes locked in cages like the ones above for months or years, says the Budapest based Mental Disability Advocacy Centre Credit: MDAC.

Solitary Confinement: Our very own Alcatraz
Solitary confinement only makes prisoners more violent and inhumane, writes convicted armed robber Bernie Matthews. Today it is the new-age gladiator schools of sensory deprivation in Maximum Security Units.

Solitary Confinement: Mental illness in prisons
It is well established that sensory deprivation can produce major psychological effects on humans including perceptual distortions, visual, auditory, and olfactory illusions, vivid fantasies often accompanied by striking hallucinations, derealization experiences, and hyper- responsivity to external stimuli.