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!
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
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.
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.
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.