Between July 2 and 27, the world’s nation-states met at the UN headquarters in New York to negotiate an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to regulate the multibillion dollar international trade in conventional arms. Throughout the month most parties supported a new treaty to cover all conventional arms including ammunition, but in the final hours of negotiations, consensus was procedurally blocked by countries that asked for more time - including the U.S., Russia, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The following article was published in the September-October 2012 NewsNotes.
Alternatives to violence
The Challenge of Peacemaking
with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Pax Christi USA’s founding bishop-president, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace and the 1991 Teacher of Peace
Join the annual vigil to close the School of the Americas/Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, Nov. 16-18, 2012, in Columbus GA at the gates of Ft. Benning.
Learn more about workshops and other events that weekend at the SOA Watch website.
In the past six years, Mexico's "war on drugs" has led to as many as 60,000 deaths and 10,000 disappearances, and has displaced 160,000 people. Characterized by an intense militarization, including the deployment of over 50,000 troops and federal police, this strategy has undermined the country's social fabric and security even more deeply, but has done little to address the painful iniquities of drug trafficking in Mexico. Some victims are saying enough, and demand an alternative to militarization and the war on drugs. Their message is not only directed at the government and people of Mexico: This summer they will bring their message to the U.S. to raise awareness around the U.S. connection to Mexico's war on drugs. The following piece was written by Brennan Baker and published in the July-August 2012 NewsNotes.
In late June, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined with other colleagues in signing the letter below to the U.S. Senate; it asks the Senate to reconsider the increasingly militarized relationship the U.S. has been fostering with African nations. In the next few weeks we might learn more about the recent resignation of Scott Gration from his position as U.S. ambassador to Kenya; initial analysis points to Gration's preference for a more conciliatory tone led to disagreements with the administration's larger plan for the region.
On June 19, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights held the first-ever Congressional hearing to reassess the use of solitary confinement. Attendance was so high the hearing room filled and an overflow room contained over 100 more spectators. Following the hearing, Kathy McNeely, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC), spoke at an interfaith press conference held by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). The following article was written by Ainsley Rossitto, an intern with the MOGC, for the July-August 2012 issue of NewsNotes.
The scripture reflection for July 22 is written by Sr. Rebecca Macugay, who writes of her native Philippines and her mission home in Namibia: "How do we shepherd each other in the paths of justice, in our communities and in our home, planet earth?"
This week's reflection is written by Sr. Euphrasia Nyaki, who lives and works in João Pessoa, Brazil.