The Center for Peace Education (CPE), current Secretariat of Pax Christi-Pilipinas (PCP), participated in Pax Christi International’s (PCI) Annual General Assembly in Arras, France on April 19-22.
The meeting was a venue to learn how PCI members throughout the world are working on peace in their own contexts. Pax Christi is composed of people of faith all over the world who struggle to make peace in the midst of war and injustice, violence and repression.
CPE Executive Director, Jasmin Nario-Galace, shared the initiatives of Pax Christi-Pilipinas that included awareness-raising initiatives on security issues, the role of youth in peacebuilding, peace education, and the women, peace and security agenda. She also shared PCP’s campaigns against gun violence and the proliferation of small arms as well as its campaign for the ratification of the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons; engagement in the peace process particularly its work for the adoption of the Bangsamoro Basic Law; its work against extra-judicial killings and its efforts to stand up with and for victims of violence including the Marawi siege victims; initiatives to build interfaith harmony; and work to promote the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, an appeal to the Catholic Church to recommit to the centrality of Gospel Nonviolence. Pax Christi-Miriam College (PC-MC), composed of MC HEU students, is one of the most active sections of Pax Christi-Pilipinas.
CPE also participated in the meeting of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in Geneva, Switzerland on 20 April. The meeting brought together over 80 members of ICAN throughout the world. ICAN discussed strategies to universalize the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. CPE, and other ICAN members also attended the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee meeting in UN Geneva in the days that followed where they dialogued with UN member-states on the need to urgently sign, ratify and promote the TPNW.
Miriam College faculty, administrators, and students have helped CPE and Pax Christi-MC wage campaigns and organize lobby missions to urge the Philippine government and the general public to support the nuclear ban treaty as the risk of nuclear weapons use is increasing and because humanitarian and environmental consequences of any use would be catastrophic.