June 2000

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Peacework Magazine

Patrica Watson, Editor

Sara Burke, Assistant Editor

Pat Farren, Founding Editor

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Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.

Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.

AFSC Nominates Denis Halliday and Kathy Kelly for Nobel Peace Prize

The American Friends Service Committee has nominated Denis Halliday and Kathy Kelly for a joint 2000 Nobel Peace Prize. The commitment and courage of these nominees illustrate the far-reaching impact of the actions of individuals in the cause of peace.

In the nomination letter to the Nobel Committee, AFSC Interim General Secretary Don Reeves stated: "Taken together, the work of Kathleen Kelly and Denis Halliday represents a comprehensive approach to the problem of economic sanctions against Iraq and the devastation wrought on the population of that country, particularly the children."

On the cusp of ten years of the most comprehensive sanctions in modern time, the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, sadly neglected for many years, has already taken the lives of more than one million Iraqis. During those ten years the AFSC has repeatedly expressed its deep concerns over the increase in infant and child mortality, decline in health and education standards, and overall rise in death rates from preventable and treatable illnesses--all resulting from the effects of the economic sanctions on the people of Iraq.

Kelly is a cofounder of Voices in the Wilderness, the first US grassroots organization to bring activists into Iraq to witness the effect of sanctions, to bring food and medicine to the people of Iraq, and to educate the public upon their return.

Halliday, an Irish Quaker, is a former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, who resigned his position in 1998 after some 34 years of UN service to protest the humanitarian impact of the economic sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq. He continues to call for reform within the UN Security Council, and questions the legality of imposing economic sanctions over long periods of time. He has spoken widely since his resignation, and has been a powerful advocate for lifting the economic sanctions against Iraq.

The unique combination of grassroots activism in Kelly's work and Halliday's authority has helped to push the crisis in Iraq to the forefront of concerns in the world. We are now engaged in a new dialogue, with growing international support for the concept of de-linking economic and military sanctions.

"We nominate them as an expression of the importance of the individuals who transform a personal commitment to peace into visible and effective action," stated Reeves in the nomination letter. The resignations in February 2000 of Hans von Sponeck, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator who replaced Denis Halliday, and Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Program in Iraq, served to further highlight the humanitarian crisis.

--AFSC, Philadelphia, May 2000

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