PEACE WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION CIVILITY REPORT 2014

In Civility Report 2014, Peace Worldwide Organization Founder Mehdi Alavi reviews all countries within the United Nations and provides human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores for 128 countries. We urge you to read Civility Report 2014 today.

PEACE WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION CIVILITY REPORT 2014

In Civility Report 2014, Peace Worldwide Organization Founder Mehdi Alavi reviews all countries within the United Nations and provides human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores for 128 countries. We urge you to read Civility Report 2014 today.

KEY AREA FOCUS: TUNISIA

Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. Africa covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With 1.0 billion people, it accounts for about 14.72% of the world's human population.

KEY AREA FOCUS: COSTA RICA

Americas are lands in the Western hemisphere of the world. In English, the plural form of the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions.

KEY AREA FOCUS: AFGHANISTAN

Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. With approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population.

KEY AREA FOCUS: ENGLAND

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Yet the borders of Europe, can incorporate cultural and political elements.

Civility Report 2014 Ready for Download

Civility Report 2014 is now available and ready for free download. The new features include providing performance scores for the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council. We greatly appreciate constructive feedback. Thank you for your interest and support.

Iran and Nuclear Agreement

"I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush toward conflict," President Obama said at the White House after the agreement with Iran was reached in Geneva on Sunday, November 24. As early as in 2008 in his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama offered to negotiate with Iran. In his first inaugural address to the nation in 2009, he offered to extend his hand to Iran if Iran would "unclench their fist." After the Iranian President Ahmadinejad ignored his gesture, he galvanized global support for sanctions to force Iran into negotiations.

In the 2013 Iranian presidential election, Iranians surprised the world by electing Mr. Rouhani, who campaigned to work for improved international relations and a better economy. That gave President Obama an opportunity to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to reach to Iran.

Iran and six world powers, following marathon negotiations in Geneva, reached an agreement for Iran to curb its nuclear program for the next six months in exchange for some sanctions relief and promise of no new sanctions while the agreement is in effect. Iran reaffirmed its long time position that it will not, under any circumstances, plan or develop any type of nuclear weapons.  

Like other peace initiatives, there are voices that prefer conflict to peaceful resolution in both countries. American extremists and foreign allies demand unachievable terms such as asking Iran for the complete shutdown of its uranium program. Iranian extremists persist that Iran has every right to pursue its nuclear program peacefully and develop sufficient grade of materials to support its scientific research, medical laboratories, and power plants. In light of such extremism, both President Obama and President Rouhani deserve support for their courage to opt for negotiation based on realistic goals.



Iran Calls for Elimination of Nuclear Arms

On October 26, 2013 at the United Nations (UN), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for global nuclear disarmament and elimination. "No nation should possess nuclear weapons, since there are no right hands for these wrong weapons," Mr. Rouhani told the UN General Assembly meeting on nuclear disarmament. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has long issued a religious edict that forbids making, storing, and using a nuclear weapon, for it indiscriminately kills people and destroys properties.
The world could also give some attention to commercial usage of the nuclear energy remembering the tragic experience from the Japan’s nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi power plant of 2011. Its contaminated remains are still surfacing on many coasts far away from Japan. The argument that nuclear power is safe can no longer hold since such an accident, infrequent as might be, impacts the whole world. The storage of waste product of the reactors remains problematic; the waste is highly radioactive with isotopes radiating for millions of years.
In fact, the mere threat of some nations having nuclear weapons compels other nations to attain such weapons to counter any nuclear attack. The devastating effect of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII still plays on our mind. That makes the attaining of such weapons immoral, hence, unacceptable. But, in a world where dictators dominate, it is unlikely that the democracies would readily drop their ultimate defensive weapons in hope for global peace.
However, the ultimate objective should be to free the world gradually from not only weapons of mass destruction (WMD) but also national militaries. That could be accomplished through the following stages:
First, focus could be on chemical weapons. Since these arms are poor state’s bombs, their elimination could be coupled with reduction of rich state’s nuclear weapons. International chemical and nuclear watchdogs could provide oversight for such tasks.
Second, arms transfer across national borders could be strictly prohibited. 
Third, any type support of authoritarian regimes, financial or otherwise, could be banned. Further, UN could effectively promote fair and free elections in all countries. If necessary, it could restrict privileges to the authoritarian regimes. Democracy would not surrender their ultimate WMD in a world ruled by despots.
Fourth, armed forces personnel reduction across the board could be reduced to reasonable levels, periodically determined through negotiation at the UN.
Fifth, UN Peacekeepers could be expanded to the necessary level to enforce international law. This may be achieved by a broader mandate given to the UN to deal more effectively with the threats to world peace and security. As UN Peacekeepers expand, all states, led by the United States, could proportionately reduce their forces and reinforce their trust in the UN.
Sixth, each state with nuclear arsenal could gradually transfer control and operation of their nuclear cache to the UN.
Seventh, the UN could survey and guarantee, except for those territories in dispute, the national boundaries of all nations. For those in dispute, the UN could form an unbiased committee, consisting of the disputing nations and the UN arbitrators, to resolve the dispute and secure agreement from the disputing parties before giving a guarantee.
Eighth, when the world is free and lives in peace, UN could take the necessary steps to eliminate all nuclear arms.

We hope that Mr. Rouhani’s call will not fall upon deaf ears and the world will move towards the elimination of nuclear arms and all other WMDs.

GIVE SYRIA A CHANCE FOR PEACE

Last weekend, I met a woman who along with her family had fled Syria after her house was bombed. She said she does not care who did it, all she wants now is peace.
The Obama Administration has embarked to arm so called “moderates” consisting of the insurgents and foreign fighters in Syria. Like in the Cold War, the United States is entering another proxy war. This time, on one side are the United States and her allies and on the other side are Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. What have been left out of the equation are the people of Syria, nearly 100,000 have been killed and over 1.5 million have been displaced. Arming more people in Syria would not resolve the issue at hand, but would further increase the degree of carnage and destruction. What is most needed in Syria is peace!
While the United States plans to arm the “moderate” factions in Syria through CIA covert operations, her allies Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting Islamist factions, such as the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, who are determined to turn Syria into another authoritarian state like Saudi Arabia. These states will ultimately be the losers. The experienced foreign fighters will eventually return home and become a serious threat to the authoritarian regimes in the region, particularly, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
This bloodbath must stop! In August 2011, Obama said that “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” This desire should not be accomplished by a bloody warfare that could eventually involve American forces on the ground like that in Vietnam. The United States could convene a peace conference that provides some incentives for the Assad regime to step aside in favor of a democratic political institution where the Alawis, Shias, Christians, Jews, and other minorities could enjoy equal rights.

A Way to Restore Peace in Egypt

The overthrow of the first ever democratically elected president, President Mursi, in Egypt has brought crowds on the Egyptian streets against the military coup. So far, the army has killed hundreds of the protesters. It is hoped that the United States did not have any role in the Egyptian military coup. The 1953 United States sponsored military coup in Iran that overthrew the first ever democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mossadegh still remains the main source of Iranian government mistrust of America.
As the Iranian experience has demonstrated, the coup involvement is not only inconsistent with American values, it will return to haunt America in the future, especially in Egypt where over two-thirds of the population is under 30 years of age.  
President Mursi, despite his inexperienced and narrow vision, was elected in a free and fair election. Democracies could withdraw all their support and aid from the Egyptian military as a gesture for the military to restore Mursi to his rightful position. President Obama’s announcement of the cancellation of the military exercises next month and the discontinuation of cooperation with Egypt are proper courses of action for the start.
Once restored, President Mursi could have learned from his months under arrest that his survival depends on his willingness to work with the secular political entities. He could recognize that the new Egyptian Constitution failed to guarantee equal rights for women, define individual rights, and balance the government’s powers. The constitution was devised and approved by a constituent assembly that was chiefly composed of Islamists at the dismay of liberal Muslims and Christians who walked out. He could initiate amending it to address women’s rights, minority rights, and other secular concerns.
In the interest of its Arab allies in the region, the United States could encourage the Arab states under America’s influence from interfering in the Egyptian internal affairs, allowing Mursi a chance to work out his differences with secular organizations in moving Egypt forward. Otherwise, the Egyptian crisis will likely worsen and gradually spread into the other Arab states.
Democracy demands patience! The young Egyptians can also realize that democracy will ultimately address inequities, but it moves in the desired direction slowly, a bit better at a time. They could focus on knowing that all will work out in time. 
Most of the region is already in turmoil. Syria is invaded by the al-Qaeda inspired foreign fighters, Lebanon on the verge of a civil war due to the conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are faced with insurgents financed by foreign states, Libya is run by militias, and Pakistan is becoming a lawless state. For those of us in love with freedom and peace, the least we can do is to value the freedom we take granted, live in peace, and wish them all freedom and peace! 

Peace Worldwide Organization Second Anniversary

We have many accomplishments since our inception on July 4, 2011. We have held two Peacegiving Luncheons, one to honor UNICEF (a United Nations’ organization dedicated to improvement of children’s lives) and A 2nd Cup (a coffee shop devoted to ending human-trafficking in Houston). This year, we held our first annual Peace Walk at University of Houston. Our Civility Report 2012 was downloaded by many. We started our first Peace Worldwide Chapter in Africa. Our Civility Report 2013 is in preparation and will be available for download soon.
We will continue promoting freedom and peace for ALL humanity by publishing our annual Civility Reports and establishing chapters throughout the world. Our Civility Reports will continue evaluating all countries within the United Nations for human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores. Our chapters will provide a friendly grassroots atmosphere to share our innermost thoughts and outwardly supporting projects promoting freedom and peace.  
On the behalf of Peace Worldwide Organization, we would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all those who strive for freedom and peace for ALL humanity, especially our dedicated volunteers, supporters, and contributors.
Dr. Mehdi Alavi, Founder and President
Peace Worldwide Organization

Give Syria a Chance for Peace

Last weekend, I met a woman who along with her family had fled Syria after her house was bombed. She said she does not care who did it, all she wants now is peace.
The Obama Administration has embarked to arm so called “moderates” consisting of the insurgents and foreign fighters in Syria. Like in the Cold War, the United States is entering another proxy war. This time, on one side are the United States and her allies and on the other side are Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. What have been left out of the equation are the people of Syria, nearly 100,000 have been killed and over 1.5 million have been displaced. Arming more people in Syria would not resolve the issue at hand, but would further increase the degree of carnage and destruction. What is most needed in Syria is peace!
While the United States plans to arm the “moderate” factions in Syria through CIA covert operations, her allies Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting Islamist factions, such as the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, who are determined to turn Syria into another authoritarian state like Saudi Arabia. These states will ultimately be the losers. The experienced foreign fighters will eventually return home and become a serious threat to the authoritarian regimes in the region, particularly, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  
This bloodbath must stop! In August 2011, Obama said that “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” This desire should not be accomplished by a bloody warfare that could eventually involve American forces on the ground like that in Vietnam. The United States could convene a peace conference that provides some incentives for the Assad regime to step aside in favor of a democratic political institution where the Alawis, Shias, Christians, Jews, and other minorities could enjoy equal rights. 

WOMEN'S RIGHTS

Losing my religion for equality…by Jimmy Carter


Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

OBSERVER

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.
http://www.womenspress-slo.org/?p=11440

Egypt and Democracy


President Mohamed Morsi, the new President of Egypt, was democratically elected in a fair election despite receiving a mere 51 percent of the vote. His opposition on the street is asking for his resignation because of his religious inclination, which was well known before the election that brought him to power. Unless he breaks his oath of office, he should be allowed to finish his term. Egyptians have every right to press their elected officials to refrain from abusing their power and demand that they enact law to provide equal rights for women and minorities.
The new constitution was devised and approved by a constituent assembly that was chiefly composed of Islamists at the dismay of liberal Muslims and Christians who walked out. President Morsi rushed to national vote for its ratification without allowing adequate time for national debate and deliberation. The constitution won voters’ approval by over 60 percent in the two rounds. However, only a third of the eligible voters participated. The low turnout is troubling in a country that is politically polarized. The next milestone is the parliamentary election in about two months.
President Morsi, backed by the Islamist supporters, faces the government institution of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak who despises Morsi’s authority. The liberals on the street want nothing short of his stepping down. The old regime accuses him of trying to use the law enforcement to serve his interests. While the liberal Muslims scorn the old regime and accuse him of trying to implement Islamic Law, Sharia.
According to Peace Worldwide Organization’s Civility Report 2012, Egypt discriminates against women and minorities. To address human rights issues and move forward, President Morsi must bring his supporters and opponents together. His Islamist supporters, led by Muslim Brotherhood Organization, could peacefully speak their mind and let others do the same!  His opponents could also refrain from reacting and remain peaceful.
The new Egyptian Constitution fails to guarantee equal rights for women, define individual rights, and balance the government’s powers. Egyptians could exert patience and give democracy a chance! They should allow President Morsi to finish his term. Meanwhile they could work together to amend their constitution for fairness, and elect honest legislators and judges who maintain balance of power, which could keep their government officials, including the President, in check. 

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