A Question of Perspective: Examining the progress of a nuclear agreement from various global viewpoints

By Dani Douglas

The deadline for a final, comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program between the P5 + 1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany) and Iran is less than two weeks away. American and foreign diplomats, foreign ministers, and secretaries alike are scrambling to create a backup plan and alternative methods to foster a cooperative environment so that a permanent agreement can be reached prior to the July 20 deadline set by the Joint Plan of Action. The last round of talks began July 3 in Vienna and will last at least until July 15.

This final agreement not only concerns the great world powers, but also many other nations across the globe. Thus is the nature of international affairs: what happens in one country affects the next, a disagreement in one hemisphere will have consequences in the other. For a deal to be successful, both Iran and the United States need to understand and address the concerns not only of each other and the P5+1 nations, but also of other important partners. Each nation has its own agenda in mind, but must be conscious of the desires of others.

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Monthly Community Forum: Film Screening of “Fair Game”

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A Send Off for PANYS Executive Director Alicia Godsberg

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New Campaign Promoting Carbon-Free Energy!

By Dani Douglas

As the effects of climate change become increasingly apparent and are impacting individuals and communities around the globe, it is evident that the way in which we produce energy needs to change. Today, 82% of energy in America comes from fossil fuels (including petroleum, natural gas and coal). Fossil fuels release mass amounts of carbon dioxide into the air, and further exacerbate the greenhouse effect. It has been proven that environmental changes cause increased political conflict, as resources become scarce and citizens are not happy with policy. New legislation is being implemented and sources of energy are beginning to be used, but there is still much progress to be made.

Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County, New York is the second largest wind farm in the United States.

To learn more about the importance of alternative, carbon-free energy, visit the “Campaigns” tab or click here.

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New Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence!

By Salem Hoffman-Sadka

Whether it’s the physical abuse from an intimate partner or the systematic rape of thousands by a genocidal regime, the violent targeting of women and girls occurs everywhere. This oppression of women is arguably the most prevalent and enduring violation of human rights that the international community currently faces. The violence stands hand in hand with a world culture of gender-inequality; the violence fuels inequality as the inequality fuels the violence. Steps have been taken to break this cycle and some progress has been made, but this is only the beginning of an uphill climb to a gender-equal world free of gendered violence.

You can find the new page in the “Campaigns” tab, or by clicking here.

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New York Communities Gain Leverage Over Energy Companies After Court Ruling

By Dani Douglas

On June 30, the New York State Court of Appeals made a landmark decision for the environmental advocacy movement, ruling that any town in New York can prohibit fracking within its borders. This decision was added to the list of over 420 nationwide bans and 170 New York State bans that have been issued against the controversial and hazardous drilling process.

Residents of Dryden, N.Y. rally after the town prohibited fracking in 2011.

Various towns in the Northeast, including Dryden, N.Y. and Middlefield, N.Y., had outlawed fracking by amending zoning laws in their districts in 2011. Energy companies were thoroughly angered by this and filed suit, arguing that “that state oil and gas law pre-empted the town ordinances.

In an effort to reduce US reliance on expensive foreign oil and ecologically degrading coal, many energy corporations have turned to natural gas as the new solution to meet growing energy needs. Natural gas, located in shale bedrock located over 5,000 feet below the surface of the earth, is harvested through a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking:  horizontal drilling and high pressured, chemically treated water.

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SAVE THE DATE: William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Peacemaker Award Event

To download, click here.

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The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women

By Salem Hoffman-Sadka

CEDAW is a UN treaty that essentially serves as “an international bill of rights for women.” As its mouthful of a name suggests, CEDAW works to dismantle oppression against women everywhere. The UN put it into force in 1980 after receiving the necessary 20 instruments of ratification. Now CEDAW stands with a grand total of 187 ratifications. The US does not happen to be one of those 187; it holds this grand honor with 6 other countries that include Iran and Somalia.

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“Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas”: The Importance of Political Language

By Dani Douglas

On June 24, Peace Action New York State was invited by the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) to a meeting held at the Bahai’i Center near the United Nations for a briefing on the background and intended purpose of the phrase “use of explosive weapons in populated areas.”

Syrian civilians take cover as a bomb explodes in northern Syrian city of al-Bab.

Bombing in heavily populated areas inevitably results in high civilian mortality rates: around 30,000 civilians are killed each year and 90 percent of war casualties are civilian casualties. The briefing of INEW network members Ray Acheson of Reaching Critical Will, Thomas Nash of Article 36 , and Alex Hiniker of PAX sought to explain exactly how peace organizations are intending to use this wording and the impact that they hope it will have.

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Internal Armed Conflicts

The Internal Armed Conflict in Syria

By Salem Hoffman-Sadka

What are internal armed conflicts?

While large-scale international warfare has all but disappeared from the world, the world is still experiencing an unacceptable amount of violent conflict. Internal armed conflicts can largely take responsibility for this. In any case where the ruling government is engaging a non-state actor on its own soil, you can consider it an internal armed conflict. Whether it takes the form of a guerrilla insurgency or a more comprehensive civil war, these conflicts destroy countries and civilian lives.

This campaign page will provide you with a greater understanding of internal armed conflicts as a topic, as well as with a more specific knowledge of individual and ongoing crises. Perhaps most importantly, you can learn how you can make a difference in these remote and seemingly untouchable conflicts. For more in depth coverage of IAC’s, as well as specific IAC-related issues, check the bottom of this post for more PANYS materials!

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