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2004-2005 Annual Report  > Making Peace  > 2001 Activities  > 2002 Activities  > 2003 Annual ReportLooking Ahead: 2006-7  > Accomplishments - 1995 - 2006  > 2002-2007 financial statements

2004 – 2005 Annual Report

The Peace Councilors meet annually to review progress and set programs for the next year. Meeting together also gives them a place and time to deepen friendships and inspire each other. (Above: in New York City, September, 2005, with the trustees and advisors of the International Committee for the Peace Council)

(Click here for Current Financial Statements)

Activities in 2004-2005:

• From February 29 to March 5, 2004, the Peace Council and the Center for Health and Social Policy sponsored a meeting of religious leaders and leaders of international women’s non-governmental organizations in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The forty-one participants unanimously endorsed a far-ranging statement, the Chiang Mai Declaration, affirming that religions could and should play a more active role in advancing women’s lives and human rights. The declaration has since been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, and other languages, and has been a focus of discussion and publications in many countries and contexts. (More information on the Chiang Mai meeting.)

• The Peace Council supported the training and development of grass-roots women’s leaders in northern Thailand's Mai Rim area, a borderland that receives refugees from Laos and Myanmar. It also continued to support Peace Councilor Ven. Dhammananda Bhikkhuni’s efforts to advance the full equality of women in Thai Buddhism. The Home of Peace and Love, a shelter for victims of prostitution and rape near Bangkok that was established with a Peace Council grant in 1996, is now self-supporting.

• Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Peace Council grants to non-governmental organizations in Thailand and Cambodia funded: AIDS awareness programs, and training for HIV/AIDS workers in Cambodia; landmine risk education in ‘liberated zones’ of the Karen State of Myanmar; a seminar for leaders of warring factions in Myanmar on strategies for implementing ceasefire agreements; literacy and English education projects in Cambodian prisons; and grass-roots non-violence training for Cambodian youth.

• The Peace Council continued to support human rights monitoring and peace workers in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, an area afflicted by conflict between Mayan communities and wealthy landowners backed by paramilitary squads and government soldiers.

• From September 25 to 30, 2005, the Peace Council met at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, hosted by Peace Councilor Dr. Chung Hyun-Kyung, to consider the increasing political and cultural influence of religious extremists. The meeting included discussions with theologians and scholars on the relationships between Christian evangelicals and the U.S. administration. For more information on the meeting, and a link to the thoughtful overview of "The Religious Situation in America," that was presented by Union Theological Seminary president Dr. Joseph Hough, click here: New York Meeting.

Other topics included ways to advance the work on women’s issues begun at Chiang Mai, and a review of current and future Peace Council programs. Councilors decided to meet with European Muslim leaders in 2006. The Peace Council welcomed two new members, Dr. Hizkias Assefa and Rev. Gonzalo Ituarte, OP.

The Councilors also met with students and faculty of Union Theological Seminary, and with about two-dozen grass-roots peaceworkers from around the world, recipients of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding’s Peacemakers in Action award.

The week began with the Peace Council's public interfaith service on September 26. The service attracted more than 2,000 persons to New York's famous Riverside Church. "Peace is Possible" was the theme. Peace Councilors Dr. Chung Hyun-Kyung, Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman, H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, Ven Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, Rev. Gonzalo Ituarte, OP, Swami Agnivesh, Rev. Thomas Keating, OCSO, and Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, addressed the gathering. The photos at right show the Dalai Lama offering prayers at the Riverside Church service, and Kim Harris (Union Theological Seminary) leading the congregation in singing at the close of the service.

• Associate Director Peter Brinkman represented the Peace Council at the International Interfaith Network in Oxford, England. The network promotes collaboration among the most prominent international interfaith organizations. The Peace Council was co-convenor of the Korea Peace Forum in Seoul, October 21–23, 2004, where Brinkman met with diplomats, scholars, parliamentarians, and religious leaders discussing Korean peninsular security. The purpose was to secure consensus on constructive policy recommendations to the South Korean and United States governments. In July, 2005 Brinkman also represented the Council at the International Conference of Christians and Jews.

• The work of the Peace Council was featured in programs produced by Wisconsin Public Television and by television station WISC-TV and in several newspaper stories. A striking trio of public service advertisements produced pro-bono by Spot Filmworks and SERVE (an advertising agency) promoted the Peace Council on national television networks. The campaign won first-place Addy and Telly awards.

• A 10-year capital campaign, launched in June, 2005, got off to a good start. More than a third of the $800,000 goal was reached in the first three months. At a launch on June 26 invited guests and friends heard Peace Councilor Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, speak on "Women, Violence, and Religion." She also spoke on "The Ministry of Money." Peace Council Advisor Rev. Steve Minnema's Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, hosted the event.

• Click here to view 2002–2007 financial statements.

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Page Published: 07/20/2004; Page Last Modified: Wednesday, May 28, 2008
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