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Ploughshares community groups

In May, Ploughshares Calgary organized a seminar on Ending Terrorism: What Can 68 Countries Do? as part of the Canadian government's series of forums related to the G8 Kananaskis summit In October Ploughshares Calgary celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Congratulations to the group for this inspiring demonstration of commitment to the cause of peace! Ploughshares Calgary continues to be active in many areas including partnering with the Calgary Interfaith organization in a September 11 remembrance service featuring six hours of prayer, meditation, music, and dance. They have also been working with the United Nations Association--Canada on its Blue Ribbon Campaign to promote the UN's founding values of peace, cooperation, and tolerance.

Ploughshares Niagara, together with the City of St. Catharines, the Peace and Disarmament Committee of Canadian Auto Workers Local 199, and several area arts organizations, organized an Enku Festival of Peace for October 5. Parnering with Japanese peace groups, Ploughshares Niagara brought over a group of Japanese woodcarvers to make a gift of six peace sculptures to St. Catharines. These carvers celebrate the style of carving adopted by a 17th-century Buddhist monk, Enku, who travelled throughout Japan with a message of peace. Grant Birks welcomed the Japanese delegation on behalf of Project Ploughshares.

Two public meetings opened Ploughshares Ottawa's fall program. In September, Peggy Mason, former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, was the speaker while in October, Ploughshares co-founder Murray Thomson addressed the group.

Ploughshares Hamilton held their annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki observance service at Hamilton City Hall.

Staff activities

In April, Sarah Estabrooks attended an Ottawa meeting of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and later in the month she took part in the DFAIT Consultations with Civil Society on Nuclear Issues. Grant Birks attended a meeting on the Youth International Internship Program with DFAIT officials and other implementing organizations from the Toronto area. Lynne Griffiths-Fulton discussed issues related to small arms and light weapons on a panel at the Annual Peacebuilding and Human Security Consultations of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee in Ottawa. Ernie Regehr and Larissa Fast also attended. Ernie presented a lecture on Canadian defence policy at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He also participated in a consultation in Ottawa with DFAIT related to the 2002 Preparatory Committee meetings on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and was an NGO Advisor to the Government of Canada delegation to the Preparatory Committee meetings held at UN headquarters in New York. Ernie also participated in a Consultation on Arms Control and Disarmament with DFAIT in Ottawa.

In May, both Sarah and Ernie participated in a Ploughshares-sponsored Ottawa briefing on nuclear terrorism. Sarah and Grant presented a workshop on Weapons-a Barrier to Peacebuilding to a large group of grade 7 and 8 students from the Waterloo region who were attending a two-day event on global issues held annually at Conrad Grebel University College. Ernie spoke on small arms and terrorism in Calgary at the seminar organized by Ploughshares Calgary. He made a presentation at the Canadian Council of Churches roundtable held in Toronto on developments in Canadian and international security environments. As well, Ernie presented a paper on International Commissions and International Security at a conference on International Commissions at the University of Waterloo and spoke to an adult education class at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Kitchener.

In June, Ernie participated in meetings of the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches and International Affairs in Geneva. He chaired a panel on small arms at the G6B alternative conference held in Calgary in parallel with the Kananaskis G8 Summit, and participated in the Ploughshares roundtable in Toronto on the ethical dimensions of military intervention for humanitarian purposes.

Ernie has been appointed to an experts advisory group convened by DFAIT on Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament (NACD) to produce recommendations on future directions for Canadian NACD policy. This group had its first meeting in July.

In August, Larissa Fast was awarded a PhD from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The title of her dissertation is Context Matters: Identifying Micro- and Macro-Level Factors Contributing to NGO Insecurity. Congratulations, Larissa!

In August, Ernie participated in a World Council of Churches conference in Washington on the post-September 11 international security environment. Later in the month he travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to assist in preparations for a South Asia conference on small arms. The conference is jointly sponsored by Canada and the UK and is organized by South Asia Partnership groups in Canada and Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh Institute for Security Studies. In Ottawa Ernie participated in a roundtable with the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff on the current "defence update."

In September, Ernie and Larissa participated in a Ploughshares roundtable held in Waterloo, in cooperation with the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, on the operational dimensions of the Report of the Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. At the end of the month Ernie also participated in a conference organized by the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa entitled "What Kind of Peace Are We Building?" Sarah presented a lecture on nuclear weapons to a Peace and Conflict Studies class at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo. Grant joined a community peace group from the Hanover-Durham region of Ontario to reflect on the impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Lynne travelled to Mombasa, Kenya to participate in the second annual conference held by the International Resource Group on Disarmament and Security in the Horn of Africa, a Ploughshares partner based in Nairobi. This year's topic was "Governance and the Rule of Law in the Horn of Africa." The conferenc e was attended by a wide variety of civil society groups and government officials from the Horn of Africa, Europe, and North America. A full conference report will be available on our website soon.
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Publication:Ploughshares Monitor
Date:Sep 22, 2002
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