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Share International magazine.
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Men stand at a point of revelation, which soon will sweep away discordant voices and attitudes. They will know more keenly the meaning and purpose of their existence, and the means by which that knowledge is brought into their awareness. Soon, very soon now men will grow, overnight as it were.
This new knowledge will chasten and surprise many but inspire and enlighten them into a complete adjustment of their understanding. This will give a new value to what they call the meaning and purpose of life. A greater seriousness and a greater joy will permeate their beliefs and actions, and gradually involve them all together in a new dispensation. That time is not far off. The Great Lord is eager to appear and to grace the world by His open, recognized presence.
Have no fear. A new world is in the making, which will restore men’s faith and courage in equal order.
[This article from Share International magazine, June 2015 , is by a senior member of the Hierarchy of Masters of Wisdom. His name, well-known in esoteric circles, is not yet being revealed. Benjamin Creme, a principal spokesman about the emergence of Maitreya, is in constant telepathic contact with this Master who dictated his article to him.]
Q. Is Maitreya still being interviewed on Chinese television?
Q. How many interviews have there been since you published information about them in the May 2015 issue of Share International?
A. Three more in China. (The number of interviews in China so far is 22, and 157 in total.)
Q. We have read in recent issues of Share International that Maitreya has been working in some Middle Eastern countries.
A. He is still working there. So far He has not given any interviews there.
Q. Does Maitreya work directly or indirectly talking to environmental groups, or leaders in the ecology field, to advise about how to tackle the urgent climate change problem?
Q. How long do you think it will be before viewers in Europe will see Maitreya on television?
A. Not long.
Q. Is Maitreya’s appearance on Japanese television scheduled to take place within the next 12 months?
A. It is possible but is not scheduled.
Q. Is it your experience that people generally do not like change? Your Master’s recent three articles refer to the fact that change is coming, that everything is about to change and that while circumstances may become difficult for a time we will come to embrace the changes.
A. I agree. People like what they know, to feel safe.
Q. What’s the best and quickest way to allow the soul to dominate the personality?
A. Through meditation.
Q. Despite the painful effects of austerity measures the UK has voted to keep the Conservative Party in power. What does that tell us about people’s priorities?
A. That they are materialistic, that they like the status quo, that they do not like change. It also shows that the British public is very fragmented.
Q. Do you think the latest UK election results will gradually sharpen people’s perception and the need to choose for the common good?
A. Some are already making this choice.
Q. Do you and your Master think that the UK election results will hasten an economic collapse?
A. The UK is not so important in this regard.
Q. I would like to know, besides the discovery of the etheric planes of matter, what is the next great step that humanity must take in the technological sphere?
A. There is only one big step and that is to realize that we are all one, and only that consciousness will bring us to the right relationship to one another. There does not have to be a technological step before this; if you made the world one the rest would follow automatically.
Dear Editor, On 19 April 2015 at the end of the parade, which is part of the Earth Fair celebration in San Diego’s Balboa Park, there was a man dressed in green with wavy blonde hair. He had a sign that said on one side, “Maitreya is coming” (or to that effect) which caught our attention from our outreach booth. He then turned the sign around and the sign said “in January 2017”. After turning the sign around, he looked toward us and gave a grin which reminded me of the time in Los Angeles when, after receiving a greater than usual energetic stimulus when Benjamin Creme had looked directly at me during the overshadowing, I had seen two faces. Mr Creme’s real face was looking elsewhere and a shadow face had continued to look at me with a very similar grin.
Since we never run across anyone in San Diego other than our group providing information about Maitreya and since I do not remember ever seeing someone like this gentleman, was this someone other than a regular Earth Day participant?
J. McN., San Diego, CA, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was a spokesman for the Master Jesus.)
Dear Editor, At the Paris Conference on 28 March 2015, I was taking care of the sales of SOP Badges and stickers and “Sharing will save the world” stickers booth. There were a lot of people in front of me, picking and buying some materials. I was mostly focused on giving the correct money change. Then, a tall elegant lady was standing in front of me. Her arms were long and thin. All her gestures looked like she was dancing. She was also very quiet and calm. Rather than picking some materials, she began to ask me questions. Looking at the green paper, she asked if this was related to the SOP Badge. I said: “Yes, this is the article of the Master of Benjamin Creme” about SOP! based on SOS.
Then, she moved her eyes to the “Share the world” stickers. She said that she was confused about the two things being brought together and asked me very sincerely: “Please, I am lost, explain to me what is the relationship between the two?” I said that the plan for the acceptance of sharing has been so delayed that now we have to come up simultaneously with the need of Sharing to avoid WWIII and the disastrous state of the planet. She looked excited with that and added with a profound voice that she was deeply concerned by this situation and had in view the holding of the Climate conference in Paris at the end of this year. It looked like she was OK with my answer and while she was constantly looking at me straight in the eyes, she turned her head to show her profile and I was quite astonished that her nose had a strong shape of an eagle!
Would you please kindly tell me who was this woman?
P.C., Montivilliers, France.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was a spokesperson for the Master Jesus.)
Dear Editor, On 27 February 2015 at about 9pm on the way home from work, my friend and I saw an unusually large bright object low in the western sky as we looked towards Auckland. I was surprised that no one else was looking and pointing as I’d never seen anything as large and bright in the sky before.
When we got home a few minutes later we looked at the star-like object through a telescope and it seemed to pulsate slightly. We were able to watch it for about 25 minutes altogether before it sank quite quickly below the distant hills to the west.
My first thought was that it was Maitreya’s ‘star’, but this object did not look like the star pictures on YouTube and in Share International, so we would love to know what it was.
With thanks for all the work of Share International over the decades.
D.V., Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the bright object was a spaceship from Mars.)
I have only today found your website though I first found out about beloved Maitreya in May 2007. I read a leaflet that was from the Mind, Body and Spirit venue and found it interesting and inspiring and really enjoyed reading the newsletter and looking for signs of the ‘star’ etc.
Not long after that, whilst meditating by my dressing-table mirror, I had my eyes closed but ‘felt and was told’ to open my eyes and look in the mirror, which I did and there, clear as day was Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ and He said to me: “Maitreya, I AM here”. I was SO overwhelmed inside with such joy and gratitude beyond words, yet felt saddened with regret that my emotions stunned me from thanking Him personally there and then. I have always meant to enquire and write to you and ask you to please enquire what was His message for me?
I am so thankful that I have again come in touch and found your website, such a wondrous read, and thank you for all the work and effort that goes into it.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that Maitreya was letting her know that “I am here”.)
Dear Editor, On 15 February 2015 we gave a lecture at the spiritual centre ‘de Roos’, in Amsterdam. Attendance can vary greatly but it was really surprising when only one man came. “I’m sure a few more will come, we must leave the door open”, I thought to myself. Instead of giving a lecture, we decided to focus on answering the many questions of the man, a Croatian living in Amsterdam, who had already heard about Maitreya and the Masters of Wisdom.
About halfway, we were discussing how Maitreya could suddenly appear here in the room at will, if it served a purpose. A short while later the door opened and an Indonesian woman quietly came in. She was in her fifties and was smartly dressed with dyed hair in a ginger hue. She had a cheerful, kind face with a beautiful smile. She sat down next to Nancy and listened for bit before she started asking questions. She was particularly interested to know what the relationship is between Maitreya and the Master Jesus, according to our information.
She told us that her father was Jewish and her mother Catholic. She commented that religions had too much power in the world today. The more she heard, the more eager she became as she asked more questions about who the Messiah had really been when Jesus came to Palestine, two thousand years ago. The door opened for a second time and a short Jewish man entered. He had a serious expression and wore round glasses. The Indonesian lady introduced him as her partner from London and shared how wonderful it had been that he had come into her life, after having lost her husband to a serious illness.
She was well aware of everything that was being shared during our discussion. She added some comments of her own, such as her expectation that the new Greek prime minister would express new political views to bring about change and that debt relief is important as it has to do with sharing.
She said: “As soon as politicians gain power, they change. It is their duty to protect the people but when people stand up for their rights, politicians deal with them harshly. However, the voice of the people is growing stronger. We all should receive basic income so everyone can live normally. Education and healthcare should be provided for free”. Nancy recalls a special atmosphere from the moment she came in, as if we were being blessed, and that she often touched Nancy’s arm, which felt very familiar, as if they’d known each other for years.
We finished our discussion by reading an article about ‘Brotherhood’ by Benjamin Creme’s Master and Maitreya’s Message No.4. As we sat quietly for a bit, she politely asked if she could ask another question. With a mischievous look in her eyes, she asked: “So Maitreya was overshadowed by Jesus?” as if she hadn’t understood anything. She proceeded by mentioning that her partner and she had attended a Transmission Meditation workshop at the [Amsterdam] Information Centre and started reciting the Prayer for the New Age, which she clearly knew by heart. As we stood by the table with leaflets and books, she suddenly started reciting the Great Invocation, which she knew equally well by heart.
She then asked about the relationship between Sai Baba and Maitreya and immediately started telling how she’d found fresh £10 notes under a mattress after she had asked Sai Baba for help, while she was taking care of her dying husband. She had known instantly where to look for the money and that Sai Baba had materialized it for her. Finally, she mentioned Benjamin Creme’s latest book Unity in Diversity while pointing to my bag, in which there was indeed a copy of the translation in Dutch. All the while the energies, the blessings became more and more intense, especially after she shared her experience about Sai Baba.
What was really remarkable in hindsight is that in this way she touched upon important topics which hadn’t been mentioned during our discussion before, such as Transmission Meditation, the art of Self-realization, the presence of Maitreya and Sai Baba as planetary and cosmic Embodiments of Love respectively, and Unity in Diversity.
Who was this remarkable woman and her partner?
A.D.D., N. de G., the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that both the ‘Indonesian woman’ and her partner were spokespeople for the Master Jesus.)
Dear Editor, I’m very interested in Maitreya but wonder how so many sceptical people in this world that we live in will be able to accept the statements made by Benjamin Creme of Maitreya’s existence.
If ever there was a time for somebody to give the world hope it would be now, with what is going on in places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. I am ex-Army and have seen poverty, hardship and the cruelty that man can do to each other and just hope that Maitreya makes his presence known soon!
D.B., Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
During the huge eruption of the Calbuco volcano in Chile, in April 2015, a heavy plume of dark grey smoke and ashes took the shape of a gigantic human being. Some media outlets also reported a group of UFOs photographed flying close to the erupting volcano. (Source: inquisitr.com; express.co.uk)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the Master Jesus manifested the gigantic human figure. The UFOs were spaceships from Mars.)
Photographs of a bright object changing colour were taken by M.Z. on 19 April 2015 above Amsterdam, looking in the direction of the Great Bear (the Plough).
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the object was Maitreya’s ‘star’.)
Photograph sent by T.W., who explains: “This extremely bright object hangs like a lamp in the sky and cannot possibly be located far out in space. This video using a teleconverter lens 2.6x was taken on 2 May 2015, at 9pm, in Samnanger, Norway.”
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the object was Maitreya’s ‘star’.)
San Diego, USA – Video footage taken on Tuesday 28 April by an NBC7 crew in San Ysidro, captured a UFO that kept flashing and changing colours from red, blue, and green. A viewer, Larry Fox, sent several photos capturing a string of multicolored lights in the sky above San Diego. “It looked like a strobe light,” he said. Fox was out in his backyard when he saw the lights southwest of the Coronado Bridge. He didn’t think it was a plane or even a drone because it was stationary. “It was a series of flashing lights,” he said. “If it was a plane, it would have moved.” An NBC7 reporter and photographer also spotted the same lights from San Ysidro while they were covering an unrelated story on Tuesday night. (Source: nbcsandiego.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the UFO was a spaceship from Mars.)
San Antonio, USA – A silent, glowing UFO that continually changed shape and colour was filmed over San Antonio, Texas, on 1 May 2015. According to the witness: “When zooming in, an energy UFO can be seen. You can see how it was expanding and contracting as if it was sliding high above.... Something was moving at the bottom.... You can clearly see a UFO slowly travelling overhead changing colours.... Analyzing video captures you can see how it is emitting a glow around it. Like an Energy Field around it.” (Source: ufosightingsdaily.com; YouTube: SAUFOTX)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the UFO was a spaceship from Mars.)
In a devotee’s room at Sai Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi, India, a large photograph of Sai Baba has an outpouring of vibhuti. Taken and sent by P.L., UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this miracle is manifested by Sai Baba.)
Compilation - an extract
We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘Harmlessness’ taken from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ and Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks and Share International), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
As I emerge, I shall place before the world the necessity for change.
These changes, My friends, are God-given.
Man requires, as he moves towards God, to demonstrate that divinity.
All man’s structures must shine with the Divine Light.
All man’s ways of thought must reveal the God within.
This truth, My friends, is at the basis of change.
When you see this, you will gladly accept this need. (Maitreya, from Message No.96)
The awakening, the new light, is a sign that men are beginning to understand the Great Law: harmlessness, alone, brings men into correct relation with the Law of Cause and Effect, the fundamental Law of our lives. This is a spiritual truism but one that the race of men has found difficult to understand or accept. Such an understanding and acceptance would change for ever, and at a stroke, much unnecessary pain and suffering in our world.
The Aquarian Energies, gathering potency with every day that passes, will make it easier for men to see the need for harmlessness. These benign forces work towards fusion and synthesis and so lessen the desire for competition and assertive individualism. The signs are beginning to show that man is on his way. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘A new light in humanity’)
There comes a time when the soul is manifesting so powerfully through its reflection, the man or woman in incarnation, that he or she ceases to make too much karma of a negative nature, and becomes more and more harmless. We can see, therefore, the need for harmlessness in all human relationships. By being destructive we create negative karma, which means we have to work it off. We come in with this karma, and all the misfortune of our life, the pain, the suffering, is put down to bad luck. It is not bad luck but the direct result of our karma…. When you know that every thought and every action creates a reaction which impinges on other people, and of course on yourself, then you see the need for harmlessness. When we really understand this basic law of existence it will transform our world. (Benjamin Creme, The Ageless Wisdom Teaching)
[Maitreya’s] teaching will be released in phases, each phase being relevant to the needs of humanity at each stage over the next 2,350 years or so. In the first place, we will find that He will lay the emphasis on the oneness of humanity, on the fact of the human soul, and on the need for sharing and right relationships. He will teach, again, the Law of Cause and Effect and its relation to the Law of Rebirth, showing the need for harmlessness in all relationships. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol 1)
My Presence, already, is effecting changes in men’s thinking, in men’s hearts, and causing them to wonder.
My efforts are proving effective despite all appearances.
Men are turning again to the truth, to the Laws which are God.
Allow Me to show you the way into the New Time; to outline for you the glories, which, if you will, can be yours.
Man is made to serve both God and man, and only through that correct service can the path to God be trodden.
Make it your task to take upon yourselves the task of reorientation, reconstruction and change. (Maitreya, from Message No.13)
[Maitreya] will affirm the slow, gradual evolution of man through the process of reincarnation (the Law of Rebirth), and through our understanding of this Law and its relation to the Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma) will come the sure basis for the establishment of right human relations. We will come to understand that our thoughts and actions from moment to moment set in motion causes whose effects make our lives what they are, for good or ill. So we will see the need for harmlessness in relation to others, a harmlessness based on the ‘will to good’, expressing itself as goodwill. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol 1)
Harmlessness is the key to the new beauty in relationship which will emerge. A new sense of responsibility for actions and thoughts will guide each one in every situation; an understanding of the Law of Cause and Effect will transform men’s approach to each other. A new and more harmonious interaction between men and nations will supplant the present competition and distrust. Gradually, mankind will learn the art of living, bringing to each moment the experience of the new. No longer will men live in fear of the future and of each other. No longer will millions starve or carry the burden of labour for their brothers. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The art of living’)
We have to learn the art of living. It is an art form, and can only be learned as we go. It is not something that you can teach, but you can teach the rudiments, the laws. Teach the laws and the rules which stem from them – the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Rebirth, the Law of Harmlessness and the Law of Sacrifice – and you have taught the basics of life. Life proceeds under these Laws, and the sooner we make them instinctive parts of our life the sooner we will have a reasonably co-ordinated and harmonic life and world. It is a world filled today with anxiety and fear. The nature of life should be the very opposite. One day, with the help of Maitreya and the Masters, it will be so. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Living)
My Law will be accepted by men.
My Love will blossom in their hearts, and through this Law of Love, mankind will know God. My Teaching will show you the way to God, the simple path of Justice and Love. My Masters will teach you the ancient Laws and Lore, and bring you before Me. (Maitreya, from Message No.40)
Harmlessness proceeds stage by stage as detachment proceeds. Through the evolutionary process, we develop detachment. That is what evolution of consciousness is about. As we detach from the results of the physical, emotional, and mental experience, the soul can express its harmless nature through the personality. The more detached, the more harmless. The less detached, the more harmful, inevitably. Attachment is an overdeveloped sense of the separate personality, the ego. The more you detach yourself from the experience of the personality, which is really the experience of the soul in incarnation, and detach from identifying with the vehicles, and more and more identify with the soul and its purpose, the more harmless you become. It is the soul in form which incarnates. It is the soul expression which produces harmlessness. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol 3)
I see around you your aspiration and love, your hope and desire for a better world. Believe Me, My friends, all these will be fulfilled.
That New World is now in the making, is formed in thought and desire, and slowly descends. Therefore, My brothers, know no fear.
I am among you in many ways.
I present Myself to the world in many facets.
I galvanize all forms to change.
I stimulate all souls to growth.
I am with you and in you. I am the Heart of your life. I seek to place before you the Laws which are God. I aim to evoke from you the love of your heart. (Maitreya, from Message No.100)
[Maitreya’s] Instruction, already begun, will illuminate the workings of the Laws which govern all life and elucidate for men the purpose of their presence here on Earth. He will show how action begets reaction and thus how men create, themselves, the circumstances of their lives. In this way will men come to understand the need for harmlessness in every situation and relationship. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The teaching of Maitreya’)
We have to see the utter necessity for harmlessness. As soon as we understand that Law in the deepest sense, as soon as we really become aware of it as a revelation in our hearts, in our minds, and not simply as an intellectual idea of which we can see the justice, as soon as it is a definite experiential reality in our lives, we cease to create disorder, we cease to create that imbalance wrought by destructive action. The nearest we can come to it en masse is an expression of goodwill…. Right human relations is a priority of humanity, and Maitreya will make that one of His major concerns. The Laws of Love mean right relationship. The Laws of Life mean right thinking, right acting. When you get a combination of right acting, right thinking, and goodwill, you have the kind of free, tolerant, harmless society to which we should be aiming. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol 3)
A true human being, I suggest, is someone who realizes that he is not alone, that he is one of a large family (I do not mean his immediate family members), and it behoves him, therefore, to live his life in such a way that he does not harm them. Harmlessness is the basic relation and has a very practical function; it is not simply a nice idea. It is imperative to be harmless, otherwise you will harm yourself…. what we have to do is build the right kind of relationships, and it is about correct human relationships that Maitreya is here to teach. Correct human relationships mean that we live together without harming each other, allowing the Being of each individual to grow, flower, demonstrate in its own way, in its own time, without interference from us or anyone else. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol 2)
My Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom, will lead you forward into the light of that Wisdom which is Theirs, will unfold for you the panorama of man’s past, will teach you the ancient Laws and guide your feet into the future. Look to Them as to an Elder Brother and, trusting, let Them show you the Lighted Way. (Maitreya, from Message No.49)
Like everything [harmlessness] requires discipline. To be harmless in every single situation – think of the control that one needs. Control can be made easier by meditation and by the positive, definite function of the will to be harmless in as many situations as we recognize. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Living)
Many times have you heard that man is a potential God; these are not empty words but the very truth of man’s nature and Being. It is a matter of time only until that truth is verified and expressed for all to see.
The Masters will give of Their Bounty of harmlessness, wisdom and love, and steer man’s ship safely to the harbour of achievement. Thus will it be. In time, men will take their due places and work together with the Masters for the benefit of all. Thus will men learn the Laws of Life and Love and fashion a future of unparalleled beauty. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Man’s emerging divinity’)
The process of becoming divine is a simple one, a natural one, open freely to all men. It is the process of releasing that God Who, from the beginning, has dwelt within you. My Promise is this: if you will follow Me into the New Time, I shall release for you your divine nature. (Maitreya, from Message No.28)
The world is going to be changed, above all, by the countless millions of people, men and women everywhere, of goodwill. It is precisely the people of goodwill who, in the first place, will respond to Maitreya. He will potentize that goodwill. He will confirm in them their attitude to life and will so potentize it that He will build a world public opinion against which no government on Earth can stand.
In this way, through an educated, correctly led, potentized goodwill of the masses, the changes in the world will take place. That will eventually lead, when we have correct political, economic, social, and religious structures, to the manifestation of harmlessness. When people become more attuned to their own Being, their Self, their own soul, they will inevitably become more harmless. The nature of the soul is harmlessness. When Maitreya speaks and shows the need for harmlessness in all human relations, you can see how that will quickly catch on and excite the imagination of more and more people. They will see the need for harmlessness. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol 3)
Throughout the planet, old and young, poor and rich, make ready for [Maitreya’s] Announcement, His Declaration of Mission and Purpose, His tryst with mankind. As the old century and era wind to their close, men’s minds are quickening to the new energies which will fashion the forms of the new civilization and impose their qualities on the consciousness of men. These qualities – of synthesis and fusion, tolerance and goodwill, harmlessness and brotherly love – will, in time, bring the race of men to the manifestation of its destined glory. Thus shall it be, and thus shall men enter again into their age-old Covenant with the Divine.
Little though they may know it, men are on the threshold of a reawakening to the very meaning and purpose of their existence. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Laws and Rules of Life’)
Soon will you see Me in full fact.
My Presence will become known to you, and, if your response is as I hope, we shall meet and work together as friends.
My intention is to place before you the answers to man’s dilemma, to show you that the future holds for all men unbelievable promise.
With My Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom, I shall show you the way to release your divinity and receive your inheritance.
My plan is to awaken mankind to its true worth, its true capacity, and show it that within all men lives a divine son of God. (Maitreya, from Message No.24)
Ahead of the Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015, momentum is building from groups representing the world’s major cities: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), with support from UN-Habitat (UN Human Settlements Programme). Launched at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, the Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change.
Through the Compact of Mayors, cities are:
* Increasing their visibility as leaders responding to climate change
* Demonstrating their commitment to an ambitious global climate solution, particularly as nations convene around a new climate agreement in Paris in December 2015
* Encouraging direct public and private sector investments in cities by meeting transparent standards that are similar to those followed by national governments
* Accelerating more ambitious, collaborative, and sustainable local climate action.
On 27 March 2015, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mayors from Latin American cities convened at the C40 Latin American Mayors Forum, and announced the ‘C40 City Clean Bus Declaration of Intent’ and a ‘Latin American Cities Declaration on the Compact of Mayors’. C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, said: “By taking these decisive steps here today, Latin American cities are leading the way in driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens. Mayors, through networks such as the C40, are learning from each other, exchanging ideas and thereby accelerating local action on the ground. Today’s event is testament to this promising trend.”
Latin American cities have enormous potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. C40 research indicates that taken together they could cut emissions by 2,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030, or the equivalent of taking 526 million cars off the road.
In another C40 gathering on 10 April 2015 in Seoul, South Korea, 36 Mayors from around the world announced their compliance with the Compact of Mayors. Coming from cities in South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, USA, Sweden, France, Germany, Turkey, UK, South Africa, Senegal, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Costa Rica, the Mayors planned new action and shared successful projects.
* Seoul is reducing the city’s energy demand by the equivalent output of one nuclear power plant, through energy conservation and the use of renewable-energy sources.
* By 2020, San Francisco will be diverting 100 per cent of its garbage away from landfill, avoiding enormous amounts of greenhouse gases.
* Since 2012, Sydney has been replacing streetlights with new LED bulbs (an idea borrowed from Los Angeles), which has cut street lighting emissions by more than 46 per cent.
The Compact of Mayors provides the evidence to prove that cities are true climate leaders, and that what happens at the local level can ultimately change the world.
(Source: compactofmayors.org; huffingtonpost.com)
In many countries around the world people are being faced with a false choice which, to many impoverished people, is no choice at all. If they choose for jobs, a livelihood and feeding their children they have to accept the destruction of the environment.
And a case in point is what is happening in Nicaragua – a giant canal project that is being cut right through their country connecting the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and offering an alternative passage to the Panama Canal. The $50 billion plan which entails digging a 90-foot-deep, up to 1,706-foot-wide, 178-mile-long trench will impact rainforests, pristine indigenous vegetation and cut through Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater reservoir in the region.
The Grand Canal project will join oceans but it divides the population: some welcome the promises of jobs for people in a very poor country, while others fear the inevitable and irreparable destruction of the environment and the siphoning off of profits to foreign developers and employment to foreign workers. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
With scant or no public consultation and an apparent refusal to heed the warnings of a chorus of scientific and indigenous complaints and protests, the diggers have already moved in. The Grand Canal project was allegedly authorized without prior consultation with affected indigenous communities.
A January 2015 statement by the Territorial Rama and Kriol Government said: “Along with growing scientific concerns regarding the canal are lawsuits filed by the indigenous communities of Mískitu of Tasbapouni, Kriol, Monkey Point and of the Black Indigenous Creole communities of Bluefields of the Autonomous Region of the Southern Caribbean (ARSC). The indigenous and Afro Nicaraguan peoples who live in the region first filed suit in 2013 in Nicaragua’s Supreme Court to contest Law 840, which allowed the government to award the canal contract to Chinese billionaire Wang Jing’s HKND (HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd) Group based in Hong Kong, without consulting the affected communities or issuing environmental impact studies that normally are required for any construction project in Nicaragua. In December 2013 the court ruled the law to be constitutional. The indigenous communities then took their fight to the Inter American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR). In November 2014 the IACHR agreed to consider the affected communities’ petition for protective measures.”
Opposition to the giant construction scheme has even united old enemies with former Contra militants joining Sandinistas to stop the project. Indigenous peoples, including farmers and fishermen, are joined by numerous scientists in their concern over possible environmental and cultural impacts. Many scientists question the wisdom of cutting a canal through Lake Nicaragua, given that its 50-foot-deep bed will be dredged to accommodate the 90-foot depth needed for the canal, which would basically bisect the 56-mile-wide body of water. In December 2014, scientists Jorge Huete-Perez, president of Nicaragua’s Academy of Science, and Axel Meyer, a professor of zoology and evolutionary biology in Germany, wrote about potential effects on the lake from the canal project. “The extensive dredging required would dump millions of tons of sludge either into other parts of the lake or onto nearby land,” the scientists stated. “Either way, the sludge will probably end up as damaging sedimentation.”
The project also involves constructing dams “in an area of frequent seismic activity, which would increase the risk of local water shortages and flooding,” Perez and Meyer wrote. “The lake would probably suffer from salt infiltration in the lock zones, as in locks of the Panama Canal. This would transform a free-flowing freshwater ecosystem into an artificial slack-water reservoir combined with salt water. Declining populations of native aquatic fauna … could also suffer.” The result would be probable environmental catastrophe, they warned.”In our view, this canal could create an environmental disaster in Nicaragua and beyond,” the scientists wrote, citing the destruction of 400,000 hectares of rainforests and wetlands. “The accompanying development could imperil surrounding ecosystems.” For instance, a mere 150 miles north of the most likely route of the canal lies the 7,722-square-mile Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, “tropical forest that is the last refuge of many disappearing species”.
Perez and Meyer were also part of a team of 21 scholars from the US and Latin America who co-authored an article explaining potentially negative consequences of the canal.
“The biggest environmental challenge is to build and operate the canal without catastrophic impacts to this sensitive ecosystem,” said environmental engineer Pedro Alvarez of Rice University in Texas, adding that even with the best of intentions, it would be hard to avoid wide-scale environmental destruction. “Significant impacts to the lake could result from incidental or accidental spills from 5,100 ships passing through every year; invasive species brought by transoceanic ships, which could threaten the extinction of aquatic plants and fish, such as the cichlids that have been evolving since the lake’s formation; and frequent dredging, impacting aquatic life through alterations in turbidity and hypoxia, triggered by re-suspension of nutrients and organic matter that exert a relatively high biochemical oxygen demand.”
Scientists worldwide also have expressed doubts about the project. For example, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) wrote that the canal will affect “some 4,000 square kilometers of forest, coast and wetlands,” which include the system of wetlands of San Miguelito ; the Cerro Silva Natural Reserve; the Río San Juan Biosphere Reserve, which contains seven protected areas, including the Los Guatuzos Wildlife Reserve, the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve and the Solentiname Archipelago.
According to ATBC’s statement, this network of reserves “is the habitat of at least 22 species that are vulnerable and in danger of extinction, according to the Red List of [Threatened Species issued by] the IUCN [International Union for Conservation of Nature], including tapirs, jaguars, turtles, marine life, corals and other species; some of the rarest and untouched surviving mangroves, coral reefs, dry forests, rainforests and lakeside habitats that still exist in Central America”. The statement also said: “The Mesoamerican Biological corridor, designed by governments in the region, would be split in half, and the canal and its infrastructure would create a huge barrier to the movement of plants and animals.” The international body warned the time has come to “suspend all activity related to the construction of the canal and its subprojects until the conclusion of independent studies and all concerns are adequately addressed.” (Source: newamericamedia.org; Scientific American, USA; The Guardian, UK; smithsonianmag.com)
The Church of England recently announced its disinvestment from two of the most polluting fossil fuels on moral grounds. On 30 April, the church’s board divested £12 million from tar sands oil and thermal coal because of climate change. This follows a global movement spear-headed by the campaign organization 350.org. Edward Mason, head of investment for the Church Commissioners, said: “This is a really comprehensive policy, which aspires to put the church at the forefront of institutional investors, highlighting the urgency of the transition to a low-carbon economy and playing our part as investors in that.”
The church has not divested from all fossil fuels because their financial relationship with some oil companies such as BP has led to the adoption of a church-led resolution on climate change at BP’s annual meeting. It has about £101 million invested in Shell and £91 million in BP. Reverend Canon Professor Richard Burridge, deputy chair of the ethical investment advisory group: “The church has a moral responsibility to speak and act on both environmental stewardship and justice for the world’s poor who are the most vulnerable to climate change.” (Source: www.theguardian.com)
Open letter from former US President Jimmy Carter, a member of the distinguished group of elder statesmen and women – The Elders
Gro Harlem Brundtland [former Prime Minister of Norway] and I have just returned from Jerusalem, where we undertook our fourth Elders’ mission to Israel and Palestine since 2009 [29 April-2 May 2015].
Our focus on this trip was on peace and reconciliation – not just between Israel and the Palestinians, but also between Fatah and Hamas to secure viable and lasting Palestinian unity. We also wanted to draw attention to the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza eight months after the devastating war of summer 2014.
We deeply regretted not being able to visit Gaza to see the situation at first hand, but what we heard from independent experts and UN officials confirmed our worst expectations. What we saw and heard only strengthened our determination to work for peace and the lifting of the blockade.
The situation in Gaza is intolerable. Eight months after a devastating war, not one destroyed house has been rebuilt and people cannot live with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Gaza’s 1.8 million people are besieged, isolated and desperate. They cannot enjoy any of the aspects of normal life, from trade and travel to health and education, that people in my country – and indeed in Israel – take for granted.
We were told repeatedly by people from all sides of the political divide that, without any meaningful and rapid change in their circumstances, another war was inevitable. In fact, one Israeli mother we met at a kibbutz which borders Gaza summed it up perfectly when she told us: “If they [the Gazans] have nothing to live for, then they will find something to die for.”
Another war would be disastrous not just for the people of Gaza but for all Palestinians and all Israelis as well. Everyone who lives in the Holy Land has suffered under the shadow of conflict for long enough. Both Gro Harlem Brundtland and I have spent decades working for peace in this region. We believe the two-state solution is the only viable solution and remain convinced that a just and lasting deal is possible if all leaders show the necessary political will.
In our meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, we were encouraged by his commitment to convene the Interim Leadership Framework that would include the Executive Committee of the PLO and representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. President Abbas also asked us as Elders to secure from Hamas a written request for the convening of elections, and he committed to hold Presidential and Palestinian Legislative Council elections upon receipt of this communication.
These steps might seem merely procedural but they are vital to reconnecting Gaza and the West Bank politically, economically and socially.
I know that many people in Israel and abroad find it hard to accept the idea of talking to Hamas. The Elders utterly condemn any terrorist acts that harm innocent people. But if you’re serious about peace-making, you have to sit down and talk to your enemies. It’s what the British did in Northern Ireland, it’s what the French did in Algeria, and it’s what the Israelis themselves did with Yasser Arafat – someone once branded a terrorist who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize together with Yitzhak Rabin.
The Elders left Jerusalem with a mixture of some hope and much anxiety. Rest assured that we will continue to do our utmost to promote peace, justice, human rights and security for all in the region in the months and years ahead.
(Source: theguardian.co.uk; theelders.org)
P.S. The Vatican has just announced that it will sign a treaty that includes recognition of the “state of Palestine,” lending weight to an intensifying Palestinian push for international support for sovereignty that bypasses the paralyzed negotiations with Israel. (Source: nytimes.com)
When Pope Francis met with 7,000 children from Rome’s primary schools in the Nervi Audience Hall in the Vatican on 11 May 2015, he said: “There can be no peace without justice,” and asked the children to repeat those words out loud three times. The children’s audience with the Pope was organized by the Fabbrica della Pace (Peace Factory Foundation).
Pope Francis expounded on what he called the “industry of death”, the arms industry behind all war, according to the Italian AGI news agency.
“Many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off war,” he told the children. “This is serious. Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms and sell them to one country for them to use against another country.” The arms trade is “the industry of death, the greed that harms us all, the desire to have more money.”
“The economic system orbits around money and not men, women…. So war is waged in order to defend money. This is why some people don’t want peace: they make more money from war, although wars make money but lose lives, health, education.”
“Peace must be built day by day and even if, one day in the future we can say that there will finally be no more wars, then too peace will be built day by day because peace is not an industrial product, it is artisanal: it is built day by day through our mutual love, our closeness. And in this craftsmanship, the respect for people is always at the top of the list. Peace, above all, is the absence of war but also joy, which day by day leads to justice, till there might be no diseased and ailing children: to do all this is to make peace; it is an action; it does not mean keeping still. It means working towards providing everybody with the solution to their problems. This is how peace is handicrafted. And religion helps in this because it makes us walk in the presence of God; it helps us through the Commandments, the Beatitudes, and especially the commandment common to all faiths: love thy neighbour as thyself. This is what helps us all to make peace.” (Source: agi.it; rt.com)
The conservative Popular Party government approved the highly controversial security legislation referred to as ‘Gag Law,’ despite international criticisms and domestic protests.
On 10 April 2015, a group called No Somos Delito or We Are Not a Crime, projected a hologram of protesting marchers filing in front of the Parliament building in Madrid. For the time being, virtual protests in the form of holograms are not illegal in Spain. Incredibly, however, almost every other kind of peaceful protest soon will be if a new law goes into effect as scheduled on 1 July.
The approval of this legislation sparked protests as thousands of Spaniards took to the streets to demonstrate against what they consider as a major strike against democracy and human rights. The protesters included Greenpeace activists who gathered at the Spanish parliament.
The law prohibits citizens from recording or taking pictures of the police, and citizens are obligated to show their identification card if requested by officials. Any demonstration that takes place outside parliament, or other buildings which provide “basic public services,” will be considered illegal, regardless of their nature.
Furthermore, it grants authorities the right to perform immediate deportations and to legally disband peaceful demonstrations.
The law will also enable the authorities to punish any citizen that resists eviction – eviction resistance is a common practice in Spain, after it became widespread when the economic crisis broke out in 2008.
The law also implements new fines of up to €600,000 (over US$650,000) if a demonstration is considered by authorities to be unlawful. Any action considered a “lack of respect” toward authorities can also be sanctioned under the new legislation, including with prison sentences.
The law’s main purpose, it appears, is to help the ruling party maintain its hold on power by discouraging the anti-austerity protests that have snowballed into widespread support for the populist Podemos party. Podemos looks set to make major gains in elections this year.
International human rights organizations, including the United Nations, have criticized the law due to the excess of power that it gives police and the lack of accountability mechanisms to prevent abuses.
Maina Kiai, the special rapporteur at the United Nations on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, has urged Spanish lawmakers to reject the measure, arguing: “The rights to peaceful protest and to collectively express an opinion are fundamental to the existence of a free and democratic society.” Spain’s new gag law disturbingly harkens back to the dark days of the Franco regime. It is argued that it has no place in a democratic nation, where Spaniards, as citizens of the European Union, have more than a virtual right to peaceful, collective protest. (Source: El Huffington Post, El País, Spain; The Guardian, UK; The New York Times, USA; Telesur)
On 16 April 2015, close to 100,000 Chilean students marched on the capital protesting rampant political corruption and its effects on national education.
Under the slogan ‘Let Chileans decide their education’, this was the first government authorized march of 2015. High school, college students, and teachers said they were fed up with the growing frequency of political scandals, and politicians refusing to make quality reforms that educators and students have requested for years.
Student leaders argued that they should be included in the drafting of reforms that the government will send to Congress this year, instead of corrupt officials. ‘Get them all out of here’, one student’s poster read.
“If reforms are stalled in La Moneda (Chilean Presidential House), we will fight for them through social movements,” deputy Gabriel Boric, former leader of the Autonomous Leftist Student Movement, said in support of the march.
The march focused on pressuring President Michelle Bachelet to fulfill her campaign promise of education reform. Students now say they are fed up waiting for changes and are disgusted by a series of corruption scandals involving politicians and the business elite.
“We need to protest against this caste of corrupt politicians and businessmen who are involved and who are not ruling for a majority, and instead they’re cooking up the reforms behind four walls,” said Aurora Isidora Rozas, a spokeswoman for the co-ordinating assembly of high school students.
Students waved banners demanding changes in an education system characterized by poor public schools, expensive private universities and unprepared teachers. (Source: Uchile.ci, Chile; El País, España; U-T San Diego, USA; BBC, UK; AP)