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Many to Many
December 2003
Number 86

I. EDITORIAL  - Redeem


III. THE DEATH OF UN WORKERS IN IRAQ – Their lives an inspiration to us all




VII. THE GREAT INVOCATION  - English and Maori

December 2003

I. Editorial Redeem

To recover by expenditure of effort; make amends for; deliver from sin and damnation; save, rescue, reclaim; fulfill a promise – these are some of the definitions of the word "redeem".

More sincere and widespread efforts than ever before are being made to uncover and record the deficiencies and imbalances in our relationships, whether as peoples or as nations. Laws, international agreements and declarations have mapped out sets of mutually accepted codes of conduct, enabling injustices, anomalies and criminality everywhere to be dealt with accordingly. Through the United Nations governments have created a most comprehensive and wide-ranging system of legislation which could most certainly deliver us from the ‘sin and damnation’ of selfishness, greed and intolerance.

So why are these guidelines often ignored and the promises made so frequently unfulfilled?

Why are for instance 1 billion people out of a world population of 6 billion owning 80 per cent of the global wealth, while another 1 billion people must try to live on less than one dollar a day? Why is some $800 billion spent for defense budgets and only $56 billion on development assistance, while the resource transfer from the debt-ridden developing countries at the same time was as much as $200 billion?

Perhaps it is a law of nature that for a thought or an idea to be followed by action, it needs to sink into and take root in our hearts. That there is a gestation time before it becomes visible – a time for the thought to ‘become flesh’ as it were.  Maybe one should consider that it will take both time and commitment as well as patient and persistent practice to carry out the promises we make.

Every apprentice has to have the passion and the will to make the effort to acquire the skills needed for achievement. Through knowledge and through practice, experiencing both failure and success on the road to mastering the needed craftsmanship, nothing can stop humanity from building a new civilization, following the blueprint we created together. Nothing - but our own lack of will.

Perhaps therefore our first and foremost act of redemption needs to be that of summoning - by expenditure of our combined, most concerted, effort – the compassion and the will to fulfill the promises we made.

II. United Nations 2003 DPI/NGO Conference Report

     The 56th Annual Conference of NGOs, "Human Security and Dignity: Fulfilling the Promise of the United Nations" is the premier event for the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of the United Nations (UN).  The Conference, which took place at UN headquarters in New York from 8 to 10 September 2003, was dedicated to the memory of those lost in the Baghdad attack on the UN headquarters in Iraq just weeks before.

     Of the 3,500 registrants, the three-day Conference had drawn a record number of 2,000 representatives from over 100 countries; 800 of which had come from a total of 65 countries in developing regions. This record turnout despite financial and safety concerns, and increasing difficulties in obtaining visas demonstrated the remarkable solidarity of NGOs worldwide.  For them, the calls for human security and dignity were not mere words, but real flesh and blood aspirations held by people everywhere.

     Ranging from a high school principal in Louisiana to a businesswoman in Malawi; from a rights activist in India to a psychoanalyst in New York; and from a radio journalist in Morocco to a peace educator in Albania, the Conference brought together a broad spectrum of civil society’s voices, together with UN experts, parliamentarians, world leaders and others.  Their experiences reflected the front-line campaign to make human security a global reality and underscored the spirit of cooperation, which highlights the rapidly evolving closer relationship between the UN and civil society.

     Conference themes for the five panels of the plenary sessions sought to examine human security and dignity in their broader aspects, beyond national, military definitions to cover its psychological aspects; educational security in the future; oppression to empowerment; sustainable development in the context of globalization; and global trends and strategies.  In addition, over thirty related midday workshops were offered on related topics.  Plus, for the first time ever, the UN Department of Information (DPI) provided a live interactive webcast of the seven Conference plenary sessions through the UN homepage  Videoconferencing enabled NGO representatives unable to attend the Conference and the general public worldwide to follow and participate in the live proceedings.

     Despite the fact that States are primarily responsible for implementing a protective infrastructure to improve the security and dignity of their citizens, experts have recognized that people must be able to reach their full potential and fulfill their creative and spiritual needs in order to achieve real social stability and prosperity.  Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his message to the DPI/NGO Conference stated that this year’s Conference drew on this premise that "collective security is ultimately founded on the well-being of the individual".

     He emphasized that universal security is at the heart of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were embraced by all Member States as a blueprint for building a better world in the 21st century.  These eight Goals heralded a unique union of international political will, policies and resources that promised to deal with deep-rooted global problems, particularly extreme poverty.  It has become clear that achieving human security--and these Goals--requires a dynamic, innovative partnership among the UN, Governments and civil society, with increasingly reliance upon civil society in that equation.

     Acknowledging today’s crucial period in human affairs, the UN has perhaps never been more sorely needed.  The UN is the only legitimate forum to resolve transnational problems, which can not be solved by individual States, i.e., global warming, environmental degradation, the fight against diseases such as SARS and HIV/AIDS, drug-trafficking, humanitarian crises, transnational crime, terrorism and armed conflict.

     It is a known fact that meeting the MDGs is as important as dealing with any military danger.  In the short time Shashi Tharoor, the Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information, spoke in the opening session, he pointed out that over 100 children would have died from water-related diseases.  It was also pointed out that while 2,600 people died tragically on 9/11/01 at the World Trade Center in the terrorist attacks, 26,000 people around the world died of disease, hunger and starvation on that same day.

     "We do not have simply to hope that addressing those problems would build greater human security –we know it would,"
  Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said.  These issues are linked.  Deprivation and injustice often breed desperation and division.  Therefore, these Goals not only contribute to human development, but they are also an important contribution to conflict prevention.

     Currently, the UN and its development partners have had to divert already scarce resources meant for the MDGs to cope with humanitarian disasters, which are too often the result of man-made conflict.  Meeting the eight MDGs, the vision to which world leaders committed themselves three years ago as articulated in the Millennium Declaration, are the benchmarks for progress in that effort--and a mater of life and death for millions.

     The importance of NGOs in international affairs continues to grow.  To that end, earlier this year, the Secretary-General invited the former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, to chair a panel of twelve eminent persons on the UN relations with civil society and make recommendations for improvement.

     In his keynote address to the Conference, Former President Cardoso, Chair, High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on UN Civil Society Relations, said that recently, unilateralism has become a serious challenge, and the global debate has become polarized (North/South), with a strong protest movement taking to the streets.  He stated that civil society is a great promoter of multilateralism and stressed the immense value of respect—of listening to civil society, and the importance of attuning the UN to the needs and aspirations of ordinary people.  Civil society has helped to link the global with the local.  He added, "It’s hard to impossible to sustain a policy that is rejected by public opinion."

     As most crises produce new visions and opportunities, the same holds true of the present new one [regarding human security]. A breakdown of societal processes and institutions can cause enormous fear and loss of dignity.  Failure to assure human rights, adequate economic and social security and opportunities can be psychologically devastating.  The process of regaining dignity is very complex, as today people can be both victims and perpetrators.  Recovering dignity depends on "owning" all of one’s life and history, and that means acceptance of what one’s life has been, no matter how terrible or humiliating.  Moving forward requires reconciliation and a lack of blame.

     Brutal forms of violence still continue in South African society today, and trauma is passed on intergenerationaly, through silences, fear and psychological scars often left unacknowledged.  Those perpetrating the violence today are following a script that was imprinted in memory during the years of apartheid.  When trauma is experienced collectively, as in ongoing political conflict, the cycles of violence often repeat themselves.  It’s been found that the methods used to restore normality and to address the roots of violence need to transcend ordinary ones that rely mainly on improved policing and the criminal justice system.  Far more vital in the long run are effective strategies of dialogue about the past, and government initiatives to bring about real transformation in people’s lives.

     Children are no exception to trauma, and adults often fail to perceive them as independent individuals whose unique reactions to situations and unique feelings must be respected.  Food and water are not enough. Those children in post-conflict situations, who are forgotten by humanitarian agencies just because another conflict has started elsewhere, are especially vulnerable.  It was stressed that children should be considered first before, during and after disasters, in regard to needs assessment missions and in the implementation of projects.

     Humiliation and trauma do not belong to one country, culture or religion nor is it only confined to so-called underdeveloped countries.  Actions against human dignity, for example, occur on a daily basis in the United States.  Without human dignity for all, human security cannot be achieved.

     Education is the foundation for human dignity, and is the key to the new global economy.  Central to development, social progress and human freedom, knowledge proves to be the best defense against prejudice, poverty and oppression, and offers the greatest hope for lasting peace.  It was expressed that the global community focuses too much upon economic growth when talking about development, and instead, the focus should be on the barriers holding back individuals from development and quality of life.

     In most cultures, history is often equated with power, conquest and expansionism, while history’s heroes are often linked with military victories.  Concepts of "heritage", "national history" and "world history" often exclude or minimize the history of marginalized communities and women’s voices, and construct the past in a manner that suits the present.

     Teaching in conflict areas where there is an identifiable "other" tends to instill gender biases and sectarian views, particularly in the developing world.  Similarly, leaderships in liberal democratic States use terms like "us and them", "good and evil", or "civilized and barbaric", creating neat binaries and categories that are then repeated in thousands of languages by a globalized media, thus encouraging further separation.

     When people talk about poverty, people are really talking about sustainability of life. Fragmentation is one of several factors that contribute to the globalization and sustenance of poverty.  The world tends to look at poverty as if it is an issue unto itself, separate from the issues of health, education and the environment.  Hune Margulies, Executive Director of Community Development Partners for the Americas said that it is imperative that poverty be looked at in a more global context, and that more emphasis be placed on local and regional communities--toward re-establishing local cultures as a resource for development, not as a drawback.  The environment, as well, he said should be viewed as a resource that serves economic development best when it is preserved and protected.

     Jocelyn Dow, Executive Director of Liana Cane Interiors and Red Thread, Guyana said that there is another form of globalization.  It is a people’s globalization that refuses to allow governments to speak in their name for the oppression of other peoples.  She emphasized the need to increase civil society’s solidarity and global energy in order to stop the privatization of water and to prevent the Untied States and European companies from dividing up the world.  The poor need not only sustainable development, but also sustaining development, she added.

     Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, Senior Advisor of the Office of the Managing Director, World Bank, and the moderator of the panel on Sustainable Development, pointed out that material security is not the same as human security.  Material security is an illusion.  For even by arming a country to its teeth, there is no guarantee of security.

     Human security is a state of being that needs to be recognized as a result of human invincibility, and we--individually, or collectively--will never be truly secure until we pay attention to the need to make us all invincible.  This is related to the non-material dimension of our human existence in the form of values and responsibility.  The achievement of human security is a very elaborate process of self-realization as an individual, as a community, as nation, as a global community, which results from very specific ways of conducting our lives, economics, finance and every other aspect of human life.

     In the final session on global trends and strategies, Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals and Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University expressed concern about the unbelievable imbalance in the world, where the perspectives and views of one-sixth of the world’s people dominate 99% of the airways.  The global media has followed the traditions of the West and fed the notion that in order to be happy, one has to consume.  In order to counteract that message, it is necessary to build communities that have different value systems, to address school curricula and, most important, for the other five-sixths of the world to speak up.

     Echoing many speakers throughout the Conference, he emphasized the need to implement the MDGs.  One of the things that the rich countries had agreed to was to take concrete steps to achieve the target on 0.7% of their gross national product (GNP) for development assistance.  However, whereas the rich nations are very good at spending money on bombs and armies, they are not so good at addressing global poverty.

     The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria is $3 billion short this year for already-agreed programs.  We need to find ways to say, "Enough is enough!" and tell the governments how we want the money spent, he said.  These Goals are achievable but the door is closing fast.  It is not a matter of convenience; it is a matter of millions of people dying every year.

     In the closing session of the Conference, Sadako Ogata, Co-Chair of the Commission on Human Security, told participants, "Human security means protecting vital freedoms."  She emphasized the importance of a firmer application of human rights and humanitarian law. The Commissions’ report, released on 1 May 2003, proposes a new security framework that centers directly and specifically on people.  The idea of an independent Commission of Human Security (an initiative of the Government of Japan) grew out of the UN Millennium Summit, which focused on securing "freedom from fear" and "freedom from want".  The report, "Human Security Now: Protecting and Empowering People", and be accessed at

     As UN Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette reminds us: "The vision of the United Nations must be the security and dignity of each and every human being on our planet.  We must aim at nothing less than a world where every man, woman and child has clean water, enough food to eat, adequate shelter, good health care, a decent education, protection from the violence of man or nature and a government by popular consent under law."

     The UN has made a significant difference in many areas, but its promise to improve the lives of all has not yet been met for all.  Fulfilling the UN promise means making the Organization more effective and it also means that the promise is the responsibility of all people.  The quality of international order, good will and the responsibility of all nations, particularly the most powerful, are essential.

Iris Spellings, OPTU Representative to the UN NGO/DPI
(Note: Information from UN press releases was used in this article.)

III. The Death of UN Workers in Iraq –
Their lives an inspiration to us all

There are times when the death of people we have never known can have a profound affect on us, and can be a driving force for transformation in our lives. I wonder if others have been as affected as I have been, by the deaths of those killed in the bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad on August 19?  As I have discovered more about the individuals, such a remarkable group of human beings, I have found that my sense of the United Nations, and what it represents has been subtly changed. It is as if what Kofi Annan has called ‘the United Nations family’ has become a presence in the heart.

In a strange way, this tragedy has made me feel as if I too am a part of the United Nations family. It has helped me to see that all people of goodwill; all who find a measure of personal meaning and purpose in contributing, in however small a way, to the One Work of building cultures of peace and right relations, are brothers and sisters in a family of peoples and nations struggling to become United.

Kofi Annan gave expression to the quality of the fiery heart in his address at the Memorial Service in the General Assembly on September 19. If you use the web, I urge you go to and follow the links through from the ‘Situation in Iraq’. The most potent points for me were, and remain, Kofi Annan’s words at the memorial service (especially where he refers to the qualities of each of the individuals who lost their lives); and, the ‘In Memoriam’ section, with brief biographies and photographs of these relatively unknown heroes of the United Nations family. This led me to start searching for more information about these people – such beautiful servers as the 33 year-old Jean-Selim Kanaan (Jean-Selim, wherever you went, you waged your war against indifference with a powerful weapon: a determination to translate your ideas into action, to seek practical ways to help others); Nadia Younes (Nadia, your wit, irreverence and laughter kept our spirits high); the 35-year old Fiona Watson from a small fishing village in Scotland (you were guided by your exceptionally clear head, steadfast principles, and infallible instinct for the right way forward); the internationally respected UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello (Sergio, if you showed great confidence at all times, it was because you had so much to be confident about. Why did you never seem tired, even while working 18-hour days? Why did you never look crumpled, even after an 18-hour flight? Why were you never sick? Why were you never grumpy?). [Comments in italics by Kofi Annan]. All in all 22 were killed – 15 of whom were UN staffers. It is impossible in the limited space to tell even the barest details of their stories – Martha Teas, for example, Christopher Klein-Beekman, Reza Hosseini – and all the others. What follows is a few brief notes on just four of those who lost their lives.

Reham Al-Farra, at the age of 29, the youngest of those killed, was, by all accounts, a brilliant and committed journalist. The first female daily political columnist on a major newspaper in Amman, it was always her ambition to work for the UN. In 2002 she won a British Council scholarship to Bournemouth University allowing her to complete a post-graduate masters course in multi media journalism, and early this year she joined the UN in New York as head of the Arabic News Unit. Salim Lone, UN spokesman in Baghdad who miraculously survived the blast, spoke later of how he thinks constantly of Reham. "I knew how brilliant she was." Salim Lone insisted that she come to Iraq as his deputy. She arrived the day before the bombing:

Reham, you were so young, yet had already achieved so much. There would have been no limits to what you could have done with your life. You chose to work for the United Nations because you wanted to do something for others. You went to Iraq to make a contribution to the lives of your Arab brothers and sisters. It is their loss as much as ours that you were denied the chance to do that.
– Kofi Annan

Leen Asaad Al-Quadhi
was an Iraqi member of the UN team, a database operator in the UN Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC).
What a loss! From the moment we arrived as part of the flood of humanitarian workers, the HIC office was our center for assurance, support and practical resources! Leen always welcomed us into the HIC with her warm and caring ways. Her smile lit up each visit! She, along with all the HIC Iraq staff were outstanding and dedicated professionals. Some very special people died tragically that dark day--but their smiles of promise and hope for a peace-filled Iraq will live forever!
– Sharon Pittman, Adventist Development & Relief Agency, USA

I visited the HIC office, perhaps, more often than any other organisation during my stay in Baghdad. It was mainly for picking up their more-than-useful maps and general information esp. in the early days as there was no other organisation offering such an essential service. Having said that, I must admit I kept up with the 'tradition' of popping my head in just to say 'hello' to the wonderful, warm people in that fateful office. Leen was the more quiet but very understanding and dedicated lady. I shall never forget her genuine smile that exuded warmth and real interest in people's well-being.
– Fahim Mazhary, Islamic Relief Worldwide, UK
Sergio Vieira de Mello, 55, a Brazilian who joined the UN in 1969 was, in the words of Guardian writer Jonathan Steele "one of the still-rising stars of the UN system. He was a high flyer who had handled many of the hardest jobs with distinction and could have become secretary-general". He was also much loved by those who knew him. Kofi Annan: "you were the only top official in the UN system known to everyone by their first name. Even to those who didn't know you personally, you were always just ‘Sergio’".  

Steven Erlanger, of New York Times, knew Sergio well. He also knew Sergio’s deputy in Baghdad, Nadia Younes, and in a Lament for 2 UN Diplomats, he told something of their lives.

One, a Brazilian, looked like Hollywood's notion of a diplomat - slender, graying, elegant, with a touch of an accent in the many languages he spoke. One, an Egyptian, was a hard-living, hard-drinking, hard-smoking, hard-thinking specialist in managing chaos. …
I knew both for a long time. They served in some of the world's least salubrious places, where local need and geopolitics intersected. They worked to bring a modicum of peace and comfort to the afflicted, a measure of sense to the overlords, a dose of justice to the victims. But only a measure - they were realists, even cynics, about what could be done in the deep, dusty fissures of national struggle and ethnic conflict.
Writing on the fine UN Forum website ( Samir Sanbar, adds his own note on these two exceptional servers in We Lost the Very Best. Sergio and Nadia – We Miss You Already.
The dynamic Brazilian and the irreverent Egyptian -- both unique international civil servants -- made a perfect team beaming with hope, energy and sense of humour. They also shared a work ethic, an unflinching commitment to the objectives of the United Nations. They were workers, not mere networkers. But somehow their performance networked for them. They were among the best that the U.N. system could produce.
Email me for a copy of A World of Dignity – text of an inspiring address by Sergio Vieira de Mello on human rights and responsibilities:
Steve Nation, UN Days & Years Meditation Initiative, PO Box 58, Paekakariki, New Zealand.

IV. The 2003 Right Livelihood Awards

The Right Livelihood Awards Foundation was founded in1980 by Jakob von Uexkull. The Foundation has since then presented the Right Livelihood Awards, also called the "Alternative Nobel Prizes", each year at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament. At the 2003 ceremony, taking place in Stockholm 8th December, the Award will go to individuals and organizations from the Philippines, South Korea, Egypt and New Zealand.

 Walden Bello  (the Philippines)

Walden Bello was born in Manila in the Philippines in 1945. He was studying in Princeton for a sociology Ph..D in 1972 when Ferdinand Marcos took power, and over the next two decades he became  a key figure in the international movement to restore democracy in the Philippines, coordinating the Anti-Martial Law Coalition and establishing the Philippines Human Rights Lobby in Washington.

As a human rights and peace campaigner, academic, environmentalist and journalist Bello has made a major contribution to the international case against corporate-driven globalisation. While campaigning on human rights he saw how the World Bank and IMF loans and grants were supporting the Marcos regime in power, and in his book "Development Debacle", published in 1982), their role is exposed. This book became an ‘underground’ bestseller in the Philippines and contributes to strengthening the citizen’s movement which eventually deposed Marcos in 1986.

His recent work has been criticizing the financial subjugation of developing countries and promoting alternative models of development that would make countries less dependent on foreign capital. In 1995, he became co-founder (and later the executive director) of Focus on the Global South. Bello argues that "what developing countries and international civil society should aim at is not to reform the World Trade Organisation (WTO) but, through a combination of passive and active measures, to radically reduce its power and make it simply another international institution co-existing with and being checked by other international organizations, agreements and regional groupings"  It is, he insists, "in such a more fluid, less structured, more pluralistic world with multiple checks and balances that the nations and communities of the South will be able to carve out the space to develop, based on their values, their rhythms, and the strategies of their choice."

After September 11, 2001, he was a leading voice from the South urging the USA not to resort to military intervention – which he believed would exacerbate the problem – but to tackle the root causes of terrorism in poverty, inequality, injustice and oppression.
Walden Bello has written and co-written numerous books and articles and has been called "the most respected anti-globalisation thinker in Asia".

Contact:Walden Bello, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines,
Diliman Quezon City, Philippines.

Nicanor Perlas (the Philippines)

Nicanor Perlas was born in 1950, and graduated with highest honours in agriculture from Xavier University. He gave up his master’s degree after being drawn into the struggle against the Marcos-promoted Baataan nuclear plant in 1978 and had to leave the Philippines after organizing a conference to expose its dangers. After the fall of Marcos, Perlas was able to return to the Philippines and subsequently founded the Centre for Alternative Development Initiatives (CADI).  As a consultant to the Aquino Government on the troubled nuclear power plan he contributed to the decision to mothball it, despite it being very near completion, and having cost $2.1 billion.

During the same period Perlas founded the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, through which training and technical assistance was offered to the farming community throughout the Philippines. As a member of the government’s Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee he assisted in getting 32 of the most damaging pesticides banned. Through CADI the work continues to help farmers to shift away from chemical-intensive agriculture.

In his book "Shaping Globalisation: Cultural Power and Threefolding", published in 2000, Perlas explains the "tri-sector" concept which he evolved, saying "In the social threefolding the three global powers – government, representing political concerns, business, representing economic concerns, and civil society, representing cultural concerns, can come together, where appropriate and feasible, to join efforts in solving major world problems."

Perlas took the book to the State of the World Forum 2000, and has co-founded two networks to take the ideas forward globally: GlobalNet 3 and the Global Institute for Responsible Leadership, which seeks to promote innovative thinking and collaboration across traditional boundaries.

Contact: Nicanor Perlas, CADI, Unit 718 Cityland Megaplaza, Gernet rd cor. ADB Avenue,
Ortigas Center, Pasig City, 1605 Metro Manila, the Philippines. Website:

Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ) (South Korea)

Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ), founded in 1989, was Korea’s first fully-fledged citizens’ organization working for economic justice, environmental protection, democratic and social development and reunification of the divided Korean peninsula. The founding principles of CCEJ were that it should 1) be led by ordinary citizens, 2) use legal and non-violent methods, 3) seek workable alternatives, 4) speak for the interests of all people regardless of economic standing, and 5) work to overcome greed and egoism in order to build a sharing society.

Despite the broad scope of this citizens’ movement, it has been able to accomplish significant results in a relatively short time. Among other achievements it has:
It also works to educate the public for reunification of divided Korea, especially through the "Reconciliation Academy", a lecture series on North Korean realities and desirable reunification policies.

In 2001 CCEJ established the "Best Foreign Corporation Award: to be awarded to the trans-national corporation which scored highest on criteria of law observance, ethics and achievement.

Contact:Soh Kyung-suk, Pierson Bldg. 2nd Fl., 89-27, Shinmoonro 2-ga Jongro-gu,
Seoul 110-761, Korea Rep. Website:

SEKEM/Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish (Egypt)

Dr. Abouleish, born in Egypt 1937, studied chemistry and medicine at the University of Graz, Austria, and received his Ph.D in Pharmacology in 1969.

On his return to Egypt he became deeply concerned about its many problems, especially with regard to overpopulation, pollution and education. This led him to establish a comprehensive development initiative in 1977, which he called SEKEM (meaning "vitality of the Sun"). SEKEM was the first entity to develop biodynamic farming methods in Egypt. These methods are based on the premise that organic cultivation improves agro-biodiversity and does not produce any unusable waste. All products of the system can be either sold or re-used.

SEKEM is formed by three closely interrelated entities: The SEKEM Holding Company comprising 6 companies, each responsible for an aspect of SEKEM’s business value proposition, the Egyptian Society for Cultural Development (SCD), responsible for all cultural aspects, and the Cooperative of SEKEM Employees (CSE), responsible for human resource development. Working together, they have created a modern corporation based on innovative agricultural products and a responsibility towards society and environmental sustainability.

SEKEM has grown exponentially in the last decade to a nationally renowned enterprise and market leader of organic products and phyto-pharmaceuticals. It has export links with Europe as well as USA while 55 per cent of its sales are domestic – an essential element for SEKEM’s long-term sustainability.
Inn collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, SEKEM deployed a new system of plant protection in cotton, which led to a ban of crop dusting throughout Egypt. By 2000, according to UN and FAO reports, pesticide use in Egyptian cotton fields had fallen by over 90 per cent, while prior to the ban 35,000 tons of chemical pesticides were sprayed yearly. Nearly 80 per cent of Egyptian cotton was grown organically and the average annual yields were up by close to 30 per cent.

SEKEM offers its employees training in social awareness and creative arts in order to encourage creativity and help foster a sense of social responsibility. Its management of the value-adding chain, from the farmers to the consumers, is based on partnership and transparency, an approach SEKEM calls the "economics of love".

Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish’s son, Helmy Abouleish, born in 1961, is now the Managing Director  of  the SEKEM Group. Dr. Abouleish, who has always been a Muslim, is at pains to stress the consistency of SEKEM’s approach with Islam: "All the different aspects of the company, whether the cultural ones or the economic ones, have been developed out of Islam. We believe that it is possible to derive guiding principles for everything from pedagogic, to the arts, to economics from Islam."

Contact: SEKEM Initiative, Ibrahim Abouleish, 3, Belbeis Desert Road,
POB 2834 El Horreya, Cairo, Egypt. Web:

David Lange (New Zealand)

Rt. Hon. David Lange, former New Zealand Prime Minister, received the 2003 Honorary Award for "his steadfast work over many years for a world free of nuclear weapons".
In his book, "Nuclear Free: The New Zealand Way", published in 1990, David Lange tells his story and outlines the New Zealand nuclear free policy, which has been kept in place until today by succeeding governments.

Contact:Rt. Hon. David Lange, PO Box 59120,  Mangere Bridge, Auckland, New Zealand.

For more information on the Right Livelihood Award Foundation contact: Admininistrative Office, Kerstin Bennett, P.O. Box 15072, S -104 65 Stockholm, Sweden.

Let's expand our awareness horizon
to where the invisible becomes visible
in a world without fear
where we can feel at one
with all Creation

(motto of Life Expansion University -


V. The Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award

The Barbara Mandigo Kelly  Peace Poetry Awards were established in 1995 by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. These annual awards are offered in three categories: adults, youth between the age of 13 and 18, and children under 12.

The poetry awards are open to people worldwide and aim to encourage poets "to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit".

For further information and guidelines as to how to participate in the 2003 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award visit the Foundation’s website at:

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation , founded in 1982,  "initiates and supports worldwide efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, to strengthen international law and institutions, to use technology responsibly and sustainably, and to empower youth to create a more peaceful world."

The 2002 winner of the children’s category was nine years old  Sky McLeod from Thousand Oaks, Califorina, USA. Her poem was published in the Spring 2003 issue of the Foundation’s newsletter "Waging Peace", among the winners of the two other categories.  This is Sky’s poem:

World Peace

Peace is the strongest thing on Earth
But can’t even pick up a crumb.
It’s impossible for peace to be spread around the world
Like bread and butter.
Good couldn’t be judged.
Good would turn boring,
Boring isn’t peace,
Peace isn’t boring.
Peace is like water
On a drizzling day
But sometimes you wish it was pouring

Contact: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, PMB 121, 1187 Coast Village Rd., Suite 1, Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2794 USA
e-mail: website:

VI. Ministry for Peace & Commission for Peace

On the 14th October 2003 a bill was presented to the British Parliament by John McDonnell MP with a view to paving the way for the formation of a Ministry for Peace and also a Commission for Peace. The bill passed unopposed and a second reading is planned to take place on the 21st November.

Among the objectives of the Ministry for Peace are:

The Commission for Peace, outside Parliament, will aim to reflect the diversity of the United Kingdom population.

Among its objectives are to:

A Steering Group has been set up, and fortnightly meetings will take place to continue the work of promoting the Ministry for Peace project. The Group has adopted the process of working openly, democratically, transparently, co-operatively and creatively with "the emphasis on non-violent communication and a non-confrontational approach. The intent is that the means will reflect the ends."

E-mail: and website:

Inspired by this initiative Peace Through Unity has recently submitted a proposal to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, asking that the government consider the establishment of a Ministry for Peace or a Department for Peace within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

This submission, endorsed by the United Nations Association of New Zealand in a separate letter, asks, that "in order to help transform the present proliferation of a culture of conflict into a culture of peace" such a Ministry for Peace or Department for Peace be established which will:
ÿ identify root-causes of conflict, disharmony and hostility between nations and people;
ÿ actively promote the employment of conflict-resolution, mediation, negotiation and other peacemaking and peace-building skills, and encourage that these skills become common practice;
ÿ become a focal point for active and constructive co-operation between government (and its various departments) and civil society for the creation of a fairer, healthier, more prosperous and more enlightened local/global community.

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy."

Martin Luther King  Jr.


VII. The Great Invocation

Na te maramatanga kei te
Ngakau o Te Atua
Kia koha te maramatanga ki te
Ngakau o te tangata
Kia koha te maramatanga ki te ao

Na te aroha kei te ngakau
O Te Atua
Ki horapa te aroha ki te
Ngakau o te tangata
Kia hoki mai ano te Karaiti
Ki te ao

Na te mauri o Te Atua
Kia marama te haere a te tangata
I te huarahi o Te Atua

Na roto mai I te Tangata
Ma te maramatanga me te aroha
Tatau e arahi
A ma tenei e pa kuaha ki te Kino

Ma te Maramatanga,
Ma te Aroha,
Ma te Kaha e whakau
Te whakaaro nui te ao


From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men
May Christ return to Earth.

From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the plan on Earth.


Du  point de Lumiere dans la Pensee de Dieu
Que la lumiere afflue dans la pensee des hommes.
Que la lumiere descende sur la terre

Du point d’Amour dans le Coeur de Dieu
Que l’amour afflue dans le coeur des hommes.
Puisse le Christ revenir sur terre.

Du centre ou la Volonte de Dieu est connue
Que le dessein guide le faible vouloir des hommes,
Le dessein que les Maitres connaissent et servent.

Du centre que nous appelons la race des hommes
Que le Plan d’Amour et de Lumiere s’epanouisse,
Et puisse-t-il sceller la porte de  la demeure du mal.

Que Lumiere, Amour et Puissance restaurent le Plan sur la terre