Peace: a modern challenge!

Peace: a modern challenge!


Peace: a modern challenge!



From left to right: J-Y. Le Drian, S. Waslekar, H. Morin, M. El Baradei, F. Bedos et F-X. Priollaud


« Peace is a suspended dream. »

Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1938 – 2018


unnamed-2-150x150On June 4th and 5th, ahead of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy, the second edition of the « Normandy for Peace » World Forum took place in Caen. A total of 230 speakers – diplomats, intellectuals, researchers, activists from all over the world and NGO representatives – gathered there to exchange on the topic of « The Peacemakers ». A subject that is especially dear to the heart of Frédérique Bedos, member of the Forum’s Scientific and Strategic Committee.





 »Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. »

John Donne (1572-1631)


In continuance of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955 which, at the heart of the Cold War, challenged the world by asking the question: « Will we end the human race, or will humanity renounce war?”, the Forum’s Scientific Committee examined the relevance of drafting a new peace manifesto.

Never has the risk of extinction of all life on earth been so high. This finding is shared with various civil society figures committed to unnamed-232x300peace, such as the president of the Indian think tank, the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG), Sundeep Waslekar or the British philosopher, Anthony Grayling. With the help of the latter, the Committee was able to mobilize no less than four Nobel Peace Prizes: Jody Williams from the U.S.A. (1997 Nobel Peace Prize), who advocates for the prohibition of land-based anti-personnel mines, Mohamed El Baradei from Egypt (2005 Nobel Peace Prize), recognized for his efforts to promote nuclear non-proliferation around the world, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia (2011 Nobel Peace Prize), a Peace Activist in Africa, and Denis Mukwege (2018 Nobel Peace Prize 2018), Congolese surgeon and gynecologist who was awarded for his fight against sexual violence as a weapon of war.

All six put together their thoughts and their pens to draft the precious document on the day before the start of the Forum.

Emotions were running high when this call for a global awareness of the need for lasting peace on a global scale was presented to the public: the NORMANDY MANIFESTO FOR PEACE! Calling for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and increased commitments to Sustainable Development, this manifesto lays the groundwork for a new global contract. It is up to us, citizens of the world, to sign it in order to encourage leaders to change course. Because, as Frédérique Bedos tirelessly says: « It is up to us to commit ourselves and act to build a better world. Because the world is Us! »



From left to right: D. Mukwege, J. Williams, S. Waslekar, L. Gbowee, A. Grayling, F. Bedos, F-X. Priollaud

We invite you to discover and sign this manifesto. It’s up to you!

Read the manifesto

I’m signing the manifesto



This year, Frédérique Bedos had the honor of co-hosting, together with Francois-Xavier Priollaud, Vice-President of the Normandy Region, the three plenary sessions of the Forum, namely:

  • « Humanizing peace: which actors?”
  • « The Paths of Peace: Mistakes and Success »
  • « Building a sustainable peace »



For two days, leading international experts were able to exchange in front of a large audience (6000 people came to the Abbey aux Dames location during the 2 days of the Forum). The discussions were passionate and candid, enabling us to address the questions that really matter: « Where is the essence of humanity when 8 to 9 people own half of the world’s wealth?” « How effective is the United Nations today?” “How can women and young people, more than half the population, still be kept away from the negotiating tables”… And we can see how huge the gap is between « winning the war » and « building peace »! Over and above the triumph of strength, the key factors for pacifying the planet still are development, mediation and prevention. But without a drastic reduction in inequality, the dialogue will remain a dead letter. It is therefore high time for human communities to move from confrontation to cooperation.


Find out more about the plenary debates





In the 21st century, in the age of the Internet and global immediacy, false information can destabilize international relations, sometimes intentionally. Because there is an urgent need to reflect on the role of the media, the Forum specifically addressed the problem of « fake news » through a dialogue between Marie-Christine Zaragoza, CEO of the audiovisual Group France Media Monde and Frédérique Bedos on the topic of: « News and destabilization, what can the media do ».


In response to questions from our founder, Mrs. Zaragoza especially highlighted the key aspect, namely the independence of the media, and the importance of educating young people about images. These are considerations that are at the heart of the analysis within our independent information NGO, since it is only funded by donations and is particularly involved with young people, especially through its ‘Imagine Schools’ programmed. But above all, we are fully aware of the challenge of providing fair and honest information, the pillar of the democratic model, because a well-informed citizen is an enlightened citizen.




During the Forum, three films signed « Les Productions Imagine » were presented exclusively to the public. This series, entitled « A Testimony for Peace », highlights the importance of memory, resilience and ultimately reconciliation, and they were warmly applauded.

We invite you to discover these moving stories:

A Testimony for Peace: André Landesman

A Testimony for Peace: Alaa Hossam Edine

A Testimony for Peace: Yara Al Asbani



A University Chair for Peace


While there are prestigious « War Schools » in many countries, there really is no such thing as « Peace Schools ». Consequently, the Forum ended with the announcement that a « Normandy for Peace in the World » university chair would be established in collaboration with the French national Research Administration – CNRS, and the University of Caen, in order to contribute to academic research and training for top-level researchers in the field of peace studies.

Scheduled for 2019/2020, the chair will welcome internationally recognized academics in law, political and social science, history and economics. In a privileged setting, they will be able to carry out their work in the fields of peace, security and conflict resolution, while at the same time participating in training PhD students.

The current holder of the « Normandy for Peace in the World » Chair is from the Philippines. Antonio A. Oposa Jr., is the first lawyer in the world to have won a lawsuit on behalf of future generations, namely the class action before the Philippine Supreme Court of 43 children against deforestation. Master Oposa sent a moving message to the public in two stages: 1/ « We can enjoy peace on earth because we will be at peace with the earth » and 2/ « We must no longer emphasize the bad news, but rather the good news. »


A plan which Project Imagine fully supports since its inception in 2010!

Our Film About Jean Vanier: A Phenomenon


Our film about Jean Vanier:
a phenomenon!



In movie theaters for the 13th consecutive week, “Jean Vanier, the Sacrament of Tenderness”, has just topped 40 000 admissions and is currently second in Allociné’s list of the best films playing in theaters, according to the audience, just behind the multiple-Oscar-winning « Bohemian Rhapsody » and ahead of the fantastic « Green Book ». What a joy to see that the fabulous story of Jean Vanier, this Mother Teresa of our time, is touching our hearts and gaining an increasingly broad audience!

The film is still playing in theaters in France, Switzerland and Belgium.



Directed by Frédérique Bedos, this documentary pays homage to Jean Vanier, founder of l’Arche. This fervent humanist was once on the verge of a brilliant military career, when he chose instead to give his life over to serving the most vulnerable of us all: people suffering from mental impairment. Jean Vanier decided to live with them in a small house in the village of Trosly Breuil in the Oise. This was the beginning of the adventure. Learn more.

See the trailer.


Sur le même thème

In the service of peace

In the service of peace


Le Projet Imagine, an Information NGO in the Service of Peace!


Normandy World Peace Forum

As a member of the Scientific and Strategic Committee of the Normandy World Peace Forum, whose first edition was held on June 7 and 8 in the city of Caen, Frédérique Bedos was actively involved in the success of this great international event initiated by the region of Normandy. With more than 5 000 visitors in two days, the 4 plenary sessions and the 23 workshops/debates were full, thanks to the quality of the 160 speakers invited by the Committee, including diplomats, researchers, philosophers, politicians, great witnesses and prominent members of civil society, in France and abroad, who gathered to discuss the theme “Globalizing Peace, New Wars, New Peace”.
In a world entirely transformed, where conflicts are deterritorialized, where they affect civilians as much as – or more – than the military, and where the very notion of victory has lost all meaning, everyone agreed that there is a need to change the traditional view of Nation-states – with war as rationale in the game of international relations, and peace being just something that occurs between two wars. The aim should now be to work on building a true culture of peace.

In this context, Frédérique Bedos had the opportunity to have a private exchange with Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and his wife. The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, who hailed « a visionary project », said the following: “The world is changing and we are facing many challenges, as well as many opportunities to make it better. This requires sharing and unity, in order to develop partnerships between civil societies and governments. No-one can act alone, we must unite, and pool our knowledge in the service of mankind.”


“Terrorism and new forms of violence: How can we cope?”

In answer to this crucial question, Bertrand Badie, Professor of political science at Sciences Po, pointed out that, in our era of immediate and universal information, glaring inequalities are the basis of the new desocialization processes, which constitute the breeding ground for terrorism. He stressed the importance of building motivating imaginaries to combat the globalization of violence. This is a reflection of the very essence of our information NGO (namely to encourage the greatest possible number of people to commit to a world that is fair and sustainable, through films made with hope). Similarly, Jean Fabre, former Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), urged everyone to take on the challenge of brotherhood: “Poverty kills more than wars, and there is 15 times more risk of conflict in poor countries than in rich countries. Sharing is a necessary thing. »

This plenary session ended with an inspired exchange between Frédérique Bedos and Leal Baloch, the survivor of the Hyper Casher attack in January 2015, who had distinguished himself with exemplary conduct during the hostage situation. Both understated and moving, he answered our Founder’s questions, delivering a vibrant message of peace.


“Women’s rights: a key factor a for lasting peace”

This workshop was hosted by Frédérique Bedos, with Nicole Agarwal, former minister and expert at CEDAW, member of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, Céline Bardot, Co-Founder and President of the association « We are not weapons of War », and Guy Mamou-Mani, Co-Chair of the group OPEN, member of the High Gender Equality Council and Co-Chair of #JamaisSansElles.

Frédérique Bedos and her guests broached extremely serious topics, such as wartime sexual violence, and were able to convey a vision of hope. If indignation and compassion are real, they can be a starting point for Action!

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UN WOMEN NY Conference

Without missing a beat, our founder then flew to New York to give several talks on the same topic – women’s rights and the fight against terrorism – and to share her overall vision of the development of the Imagine Project with UN experts.

At UN Women, where she recalled the importance of gender equality for resolving the great challenges of the 21st century, her message was warmly welcomed by Mr. François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United Nations Security Council, and Mr. Yannick Glemarec, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Deputy Executive Director for UN Women, as well as their teams.

Contribution of Le Projet Imagine to issues relating to the fight against terrorism

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Ms. Michèle Coninsx, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Edward J. Flynn, senior human rights officer, JP Morange, senior legal officer.

At the invitation of the two UN committees specializing in the fight against terrorism and the prevention of radicalization, CTED and OCT, in a conference behind closed doors, Frédérique Bedos presented the NGO’s vision as well as the Imagine tools that foster social cohesion. These were two intense hours of exchange on the state of the world, the primary role of the media and the different ways of improving the social climate. This intervention, both realistic and humanistic, aroused real enthusiasm.

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International Peace Institute

Our Founder’s marathon continued at the International Peace Institute, where she presented the very special mission of our information NGO to the entire Senior management team. Present here were Adam Lupel, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Princess Nadia Al Saïd, Program Coordinator, Warren Hoge, External Relations Adviser, Marie Anne Feeney, Director of External Relations and Dr Youssef Mahmoud, Adviser to the IPI. Both in terms of the diagnosis and of possible actions, the Imagine Project and this prestigious Institute were obviously on the same wavelength. This presentation resulted in a determination to work hand in hand in the future.

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An Important Nomination

Alexandra Philippenko, our representative at the United Nations in Vienna, was unanimously elected to the position of Secretary of the NGO CSW Vienna. CSW, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, is the world’s leading intergovernmental body dedicated exclusively to the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. This functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was established by Council resolution 11 (II) dated 21 June 1946..

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16 000 Mercis pour nos 70 Athlètes en Or !!

Le 19 juin 2017

©Gil Roy

Au lendemain de cette belle journée de la Course des Héros, toute l’équipe du Projet Imagine et d’Action Froid vous remercie de tout cœur pour votre soutien.
Les sommes collectées nous donnent des ailes pour continuer nos actions d’information et les missions d’Action Froid auprès des sans-abris.
A l’image de notre colibri, vous avez montré que chacun peut faire sa part !

©Gil Roy

Voilà notre équipe de Héros !



Sur le même thème

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