Peace requires courage and often a stubborn persistence in order to cut through the cynicism in our own environment. By participating in campaigns to appeal to politicians and government decisions, or to the ethical behaviour of companies for example.
PAX’ partners in conflict-affected areas in Africa, the Middle East and Columbia demonstrate personal courage on a daily basis, by continually working towards peace in their country. Sometimes even at the expense of their own life. Over 2013 we deeply regret the loss of two of our partners, one in Iraq and one in Columbia.
In contrast PAX can also look back on many successful projects in 2013. To highlight just a few:
- On 2 April, the United Nations adopted a global arms trade treaty, with an overwhelming majority of 154 votes, which must curb the international arms trade. PAX has lobbied and campaigned for this since 2006.
- PAX helped to bring about a cessation of hostilities and a peace agreement in South Sudan. Three South Sudanese bishops of different denominations, including Bishop Paride Taban, played a crucial role. The initiative began in February 2013 and a cessation of hostilities and finally a peace agreement between the rebels led by General David Yau Yau of the Murle tribe and the South Sudanese government were both signed in the first months of 2014. After the eruption of violence on 15 December, there is still a long way to go for peace in South Sudan.
- PAX supports peaceful activists in Syria via the campaign Adopt a Revolution in their strive for freedom, human dignity and an inclusive and democratic Syria, in extremely difficult circumstances and often while putting their own lives at risk. Adopt a Revolution is a crowd funding campaign, which enables the Dutch people to express their solidarity with these peace activists and to donate money for that purpose. Amongst others there was specific support for the multi-etnic and multi-religious Mustafa Qarman school for boys and girls in Aleppo.
- PAX is successful in advocacy, which focussed in 2013 on the protection of civilians in Sudan, South Sudan and Syria, Nuclear Disarmament and Extractive Industries and Conflict. At the EU level, PAX also actively promoted an inclusive and transparent peace process in Kosovo.