« Resistances! The Peace of Peoples »

Thursday, September 21, 2023

« Dear friends,

For our team, September 21, International Day of Peace, triggers the countdown towards the World Forum “Normandy for Peace”.

Over time, this forum has become an essential meeting place for those who wish to better understand the major challenges facing our time, particularly in terms of conflict.

The scientific committee of the Forum, to which I have the honor to belong, offers you for this 6th edition, a powerful and very current theme:

« Resistances! The Peace of Peoples ». 

In human history, war is a Continuum. But the persistence of this horrible archaism does not mean that progress is non-existent.

Until the 1920s, war was considered a normal activity to resolve disputes between sovereign states.

After the massacres of the First World War, a reversal of values took place. Since then, the postulate of normality has been the state of peace. Anyone who dares to violate the Peace by launching a war of aggression is considered and treated as a pariah by a large part of the international community.

Because this is not enough to reverse the trend, we see new expressions flourishing: we speak of “Just Wars” or even “Civilized Wars”.

From now on, even authoritarian regimes must take care to put in place a narrative capable of legitimizing their wars and galvanizing their populations.

This new type of propaganda includes the control of information spaces and the manipulation of their tools.

To justify its Crimes against Peace, the main victims of which are still civilians, we must reassure: we are on the “good” side, we are in the “good” camps and we are waging a “good” war. Morality therefore remains at the heart of war logic.

In front of such bad faith, what can people do?

They organize themselves and their Resistance is expressed in many ways, whether individual or collective, whether they belong to the public sphere or the private sphere.

Civil actions take the form of street demonstrations, strikes, protest movements, sabotage, disobedience, etc. Antimilitarism and pacifist movements constantly reinvent themselves.

In the name of Freedom, women and men do not hesitate to take enormous personal risks: dissidents, conscientious objectors, activists, face the daily violence of intimidation, arbitrary arrests and trials, torture or even assassinations and disappearances.

When the means of resistance are reduced to the strict minimum, some go as far as sacrifice: hunger strikes, public immolations… We remember how started the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring in 2010-2011.

This year, even more than in previous years, the program of our forum promises great moments of emotion.

Our witnesses will arrive from the four corners of the globe, from Ukraine, Iran, Hong Kong, Palestine…

They will be the Faces and the Voices of this Humanity which refuses to fall into the trap of revenge, which stands up and speaks out to express its faith in a better world, which endures suffering and humiliation in the name of Dignity of every human life.

Respect ! »

                                                               Frédérique Bedos

World Forum “Normandy for Peace” - 6th edition

September 28 and 29, 2023

For two days, the headquarters of the Normandy Region, Abbaye-aux-Dames, is transformed into a “Village for Peace” and welcomes a large audience (there were 7,000 people on the site last year) who come there to listen and exchange with experts from all over the world, political and institutional decision-makers, but also Nobel Peace Prize laureates, social activists, NGOs representatives and so on…
These forum meetings are completely free and open to all, upon prior registration on the website normandiepourlapaix.fr.
This theme of people’s resistance will be treated during the two plenary sessions co-hosted, as every year, by Frédérique Bedos and François-Xavier Priollaud:

• Thursday September 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

This first morning in plenary aims to analyze and put into perspective the different situations and typologies of resistance in the world.

• Friday September 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

This second plenary will attempt to explain why certain peace agreements have failed and how to reconcile people with peace.
Exceptionally this year, on the occasion of the release of the book by Indian researcher Sundeep Waslekar, “Between War and Peace – History and Politics of Conflicts in the World”, published by CNRS, a third plenary session will be organized.

  3rd PLENARY: “A world without war:  
  building a peaceful future for the planet”  
• Thursday September 28 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. • 

This highlight, organized in partnership with the think tank “The Strategic Foresight Group”, will address the existential risks that humanity faces, from the frantic race for arms of definitive destruction to the diffusion of killer robots through the non- respect for non-proliferation treaties, and possible solutions to build lasting peace.

Every afternoon, a wide choice of topics is offered to the public. Here are some examples:
– Who can resist Vladimir Putin?
– Nuclear deterrence: obstacle or lever for lasting peace?
– Xi Jinping: what will to power?
– India: new world superpower?
– Resist interference
– At the heart of the conflict: those committed to peace in Africa
– For the planet and people, committed youth

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