TO THE CITY NETWORK PARTNER - JOHN STEWART (NOVASCA, ZIMBABWE), SELECTED
TO BE ON NON-VIOLENCE PEACEFORCE
INTERNATIONAL GOVERNING COUNCIL
by Nick Mele, director of Communication, Nonviolent Peaceforce
In a long day of business sessions the delegates to the Nonviolent Peaceforce Convening Event chose Sri Lanka as the site of the new organisation's first project. The group also elected its first International Governing Council for a three-year term.
Sri Lanka was one of three conflict areas visited by Nonviolent Peaceforce teams to collect data for a set of criteria used to evaluate the invitations from local groups. The other sites were Guatemala and Israel/Palestine. Each of the three projects met the evaluation criteria differently but each attracted strong report. Consensus on Sri Lanka was reached after hours of impassioned discussion and at times profound deliberation. Donna Howard, who led the Sri Lanka team, commented, "The people who invited us (the Nonviolent Peaceforce) are facing serious dangers with land issues and spoilers of the peace process. I believe the Nonviolent Peaceforce can help them over the next few years. I can't wait to tell them!"
The new International Governing Council replaces the Interim Steering Committee that has guided the development of the Nonviolent Peaceforce since its origins in May 1999 at The Hague Appeal for Peace Conference. The members of the new governing body were selected through a consensus process that reflected the geographic and gender diversity of the international community.
The members of the International Governing Council are:
JOHN STEWART, Zimbabwe
Three additional Council members will be chosen, one each by international organizations such as the International Fellowship of Reconciliation; Serpaj- Latin America; and Israeli organisations who are members of the Nonviolent Peaceforce.
The Council meets tomorrow to elect a chair and other officers and begin considering a lengthy work agenda assigned by the delegates at the close of the business session.
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