PAX reports: Small steps towards peace in one of the most violent years in recent history

Image: G. de Graaf Bierbrauwer

May 29, 2015

2014 was one of most violent years in recent history. The shocking uprising of ISIS for example has only served to further intensify the war violence in Syria, while minorities in Iraq have become displaced en masse. These and other developments have required strategic agility and great creativity from PAX and its partners. PAX published its Annual Report 2014.

Fortunately, PAX was also able to report some positive developments in 2014. An arms trade treaty, advocated by PAX for many years, came into effect in December and has been signed by 66 countries, with a further 67 countries having indicated their intention to do so. We also presented international guidelines for an investment prohibition in cluster munitions, and such a statutory prohibition now already applies in the Netherlands.

PAX also contributed to a striking success in South Sudan. While the Civil War which broke out between the current president Salva Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar at the end of 2013 continues to take its toll, PAX facilitated the peace negotiations between the South Sudanese government and the rebels led by General David Yau Yau. This peace treaty concluded on 9 May 2014, after being initiated by three South Sudanese bishops, is still in place and has resulted in greater security in the Jonglei State.

Small steps
Sustainable peace, security and human rights are not the responsibility of states alone, but also of civilians and local communities. Civilians in war zones and in fragile states can make their own contribution in terms of changes in politics and society. PAX supports such initiatives, often appearing as small steps towards peace.

2014 was also the year that IKV Pax Christi became known under the name PAX. This new name clearly communicates our goal: peace. PAX has and will always have its roots in the Christian tradition. This is the basis for our core values: human dignity and solidarity.

Read more in PAX’s Annual Report 2014.

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