Today, September 20, 2021, World BEYOND War announces as the recipient of the David Hartsough Lifetime Individual War Abolisher of 2021 Award: Mel Duncan.
An online presentation and acceptance event, with remarks from
representatives of all three 2021 award recipients will take place on
October 6, 2021, at 5 a.m. Pacific Time, 8 a.m. Eastern Time, 2 p.m.
Central European Time, and 9 p.m. Japan Standard Time. The event is open
to the public and will include presentations of three awards, a musical
performance by Ron Korb,
and three breakout rooms in which participants can meet and talk with
the award recipients. Participation is free. Register here for Zoom
World BEYOND War is a global nonviolent movement, founded in 2014, to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace. (See: https://worldbeyondwar.org ) In 2021 World BEYOND War is announcing its first-ever annual War Abolisher Awards.
The Lifetime Organizational War Abolisher Award of 2021 will be presented to Peace Boat.
The David Hartsough Lifetime Individual War Abolisher Award of 2021 will be presented to Mel Duncan.
The War Abolisher Award of 2021 will be announced on September 27.
The recipients of all three awards will take part in the presentations event on October 6.
Joining Mel Duncan for the event on October 6 will be Ms. Rosemary Kabaki, Nonviolent Peaceforce's Head of Mission for Myanmar.
The purpose of the awards is to honor and encourage support for those working to abolish the institution of war itself. With the Nobel Peace Prize and other nominally peace-focused institutions so frequently honoring other good causes or, in fact, wagers of war, World BEYOND War intends its award to go to educators or activists intentionally and effectively advancing the cause of war abolition, accomplishing reductions in war-making, war preparations, or war culture. Between June 1 and July 31, World BEYOND War received hundreds of impressive nominations. The World BEYOND War Board, with assistance from its Advisory Board, made the selections.
The awardees are honored for their body of work directly supporting one or more of the three segments of World BEYOND War's strategy for reducing and eliminating war as outlined in the book "A Global Security System, An Alternative to War." They are: Demilitarizing Security, Managing Conflict Without Violence, and Building a Culture of Peace.
Mel Duncan is a co-founder and Founding Director for Nonviolent Peaceforce (see https://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org ), a world leader in Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP). While the award is for Duncan, it is in recognition of the work of many people around the world who have developed through Nonviolent Peaceforce a powerful alternative to war. The Nonviolent Peaceforce was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Geneva.
Nonviolent Peaceforce builds teams of trained, unarmed, civilian protectors men and women who are invited into conflict areas all over the globe. They work with local groups on violence deterrence with great success, demonstrating a superior alternative to war and to armed peacekeeping achieving more effective and longer lasting results at far smaller expense. And they advocate for the wider adoption of these approaches by groups ranging from local civil society to the UN.
Members of Nonviolence Peaceforce, bringing to mind Mohandas Gandhi's idea of a peace army, are visibly nonpartisan and unarmed in uniforms and vehicles indicating their identity. Their teams are formed of people from all over the world including at least half from the host country and are not associated with any government. They pursue no agendas other than protection from harm and local violence prevention. They do not work as, for example, the Red Cross at Guantanamo in partnership with national or multi-national militaries. Their independence creates credibility. Their unarmed status creates no threat. This sometimes allows them to go where armed forces could not.
Nonviolent Peaceforce participants accompany civilians out of danger, and even stand in doorways protecting people from murder through their international, nonviolent status and prior communication with all armed groups. They accompany women to collect firewood in areas where rape is being used as a weapon of war. They facilitate the return of child soldiers. They support local groups to implement ceasefires. They create space for negotiations between warring parties. They help prevent violence during elections, including the 2020 U.S. elections. They also create a link between local peace workers and the international community.
Nonviolent Peaceforce has worked both to train and deploy more Unarmed Civilian Protectors and to educate government and institutions on the need to greatly scale-up the same approach. The choice to send people into danger without guns has demonstrated the extent to which the guns bring the danger with them.
Mel Duncan is an eloquent educator and organizer. He has represented Nonviolent Peaceforce at the United Nations where the group has been granted Consultative Status. Recent UN global reviews have cited and recommended Unarmed Civilian Protection. Although the UN continues to focus on armed "peace keeping," the Department of Peace Operations has recently funded NP's training, and the Security Council has included Unarmed Civilian Protection in five resolutions.
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