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Towards a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence

International Fellowship of Reconciliation AUSTRIA

Logo Internationaler Versöhnungsbund IFOR
Internationaler Versöhnungsbund -österreichischer Zweig

 

Who we are

Founded in 1919 in response to the horrors of war in Europe, IFOR has taken a consistent stance against war and its preparaon throughout its history. Perceiving the need for healing and reconciliation in the world, the founders of IFOR formulated a vision of the human community based upon the belief that love in acon has the power to transform unjust polical, social, and economic
structures.

IFOR has six Nobel Peace Prize Laureates among its former and present members: Jane Addams (1931), Emily Green Balch (1946), Chief Albert Luthuli (1960), Dr. Martin Luther King (1964), Mairead Corrigan-Maguire (1976), Adolfo P. Esquivel (1980).

Today IFOR has 85 branches, groups, and affiliates in 51 countries on all connents.

The Fellowship of Reconciliaon AUSTRIA was founded in 1921. Although organized on a naonal and regional basis, IFOR seeks to overcome the division of nation states which are oen the source of conflict and violence. Its membership includes adherents of all
the major spiritual traditions as well as those who have other spiritual sources for their commitment to nonviolence.

What we stand for

Members of the Internaonal Fellowship of Reconciliation share a vision of a world where conflicts are resolved through nonviolent means, where systems that foster fear and hatred are dismantled, and where justice is sought as a basis for peace. While coming from diverse religious and humanisc backgrounds, we have a common belief in the transforming power of nonviolence and reconciliation.

Hildegard Goss-Mayr

 

“Nonviolent, humane and respectful means are able to burst the spiral of violence, to overcome the injusce in people’s attitude – and in the consequence also in the structures. They create the possibility for more justice and even for reconciliation.”
Hildegard Goss-Mayr, Honorary President

 

 

Active Nonviolence means

  • to act from the base of the power of truth and the respect for life to resolve conflicts in a way where the needs of all parties are taken into consideration
  • to idenfy structures of injusce and oppression and to confront them
  • to realize one’s responsibility for existing structures of violence to develop construcve alternatives

 

What we do

We place an emphasis on connecting peace activism with peace policy and wish to offer participants the opportunity to learn theoretical, spiritual, and practical methods of active nonviolence. The following four areas of action outline our commitment to the initiatives upheld by our members.

PEACE CULTURE

Public discourse portrays violence as an essential element of conflict resolution. We, however, feel that non-violence is a concept which is stronger, more unifying, and much longer lasting than violent means. We wish to spread this idea to as many participants as possible, by supporting workshops, conferences, media campaigns, and through our own actions.

 

PEACEBUILDING AND DEMILITARIZATION

IFOR, in line with our non-violent agenda, advocates for a pacifist foreign and domestic policy in Austria, the European Union, and beyond. This policy should enact comprehensive disarmament, promote mediated conflict de-escalation, and finance peace related research.

  • Program: Priority for Civilian Means: We at IFOR support enacting the Civil Peace Services in Austria and the EU. The Civil Peace Service is carried out by civilians, organized and implemented by NGOs, and financed but the state. Under this program, participants would be trained in non-violent conflict resolution and deployed for a limited time to conflict-affected areas where they would work in tandem with local partner organizations.

 

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY AND COOPERATION

The FoR supports nonviolent initiatives through solidarity action, mutual visits, delegations, pilot projects of nonviolent conflict resolution, etc. Any action of the FoR is carried out at the request of local non-violent action groups in a non-patronizing, cooperative, and culturally sensitive manner.

  • Program: Peace Presence in Colombia: In cooperation with FOR Peace Presence we send representatives to Colombia to accompany human rights defenders and protect them against human rights violations. With their presence, the representatives are able to strengthen and publicize the actions taken by the people defending their right to life, land, and dignity.
  • Program: Peacebuilding in the Near and Middle East:  We support a campaign for just peace in Palestine and Israel, which is defined by both parties as:- Cooperation with non-violent movements in the region - Pilgrimages and Solidarity Missions - Protection of Palestinian farmers and their fields - Deployment of human rights observers to villages and towns within the West Bank and Jerusalem - The development of a Middle East Peace Team

     

  • Program: Reconciliation in the Western Balkans: IFOR works closely with the Centre for Nonviolent Action in Sarajevo and Belgrade. CAN promotes nonviolence and reconciliation in the Balkans, specifically though training, working with veterans, inter-ethnic activities, and public relations work.

     

ECONOMY FOR PEACE

We are striving for a greater understanding of the relationship between capitalism, war, and the destruction of the environment, specifically with political control and military-industrial complexes. We view these as a waste of intellectual and material resources for war and the preparations of war.

  • Program: Life Without Armaments: We promote a systematic collection and publication of data on the publication of arms and armaments exports, as well as the development of a support network and a series of non-violent campaigns. We support the effective and comprehensive implementation by signatory states “Arms Trade Treaty,” as well as the abolition of nuclear weapons.

 

 

Contact Information:
Lederergasse 23/3/27
A – 1080 VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Phone und Fax: +43 (0)1 408 53 32
Email: office@versoehnungsbund.at
www.versoehnungsbund.at

 

Internaonal Fellowship of Reconciliaon (IFOR international office): www.ifor.org
IFOR has observer and consultative status to the United Nations ECOSOC and UNESCO organizaons.