Round tables

Friday 30 May

02:00 – 04:00 p.m.
Is extreme poverty the main cause of violence? Can we fight poverty? With whom can we fight?
The deep injustice in the wealth distribution at the national level and at the world level is a source of great violence. Too many people in France and in the world are harshly confronted with misery and precariousness. This roundtable will give the word to field actors who fight against poverty by restoring the word and the dignity of the most deprived. It will also question the consequences of a liberal world economy, and point out how the choice of voluntary simplicity can be an answer both to the current ecological problems and to the ethical standard of a more equitable distribution of resources.



  • Mr. Pierre Cibambo, Congolese priest, in charge of the Africa Desk at Caritas Internationalis (Rome), DRC
  • Mr. Jacques Généreux, economist, professor at the Paris Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po), chronicler for France-Culture and Alternatives économiques, author of the Manifesto for a human economy, France
  • Mme May Moufarrej Bounader, member of the executive bureau of the Lebanese Social Movement, Lebanon – to be confirmed
  • Mrs. Huguette Redegeld, vice-president of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, France
  • Antoine de Ravignan, Alternatives internationales

    04:30 – 06:30 p.m.
    What headways and legislative perspectives in Europe in favour of education for non-violence and peace and violence-free education?
    Since 1979, many European countries have passed legislation prohibiting corporal punishment within family education and upholding positive parenting, as proposed by the Council of Europe. Several countries have also officially introduced peace and non-violence education in their educational systems, in the framework of the UN Decade (2001-2010). This roundtable will allow these legislative breakthroughs in Europe and the perspectives for the acknowledgement of children’s right to violence-free education and to peace and non-violence education to be reviewed.


  • Mrs. Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Director general for Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport, Council of Europe (Strasbourg), Italy
  • Mrs. María José Brioso Valcárcel, Department Studies and Research, Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, Spain
  • Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, President of the Fundación Cultura de Paz, Spain
  • Mr. André Roberfroid, President of the Association Montessori Internationale (Amsterdam) and former deputy executive director of UNICEF, Belgium
  • A representative of UNESCO
  • Christelle Huré, in charge of Education at the French Coalition for the Decade, and a journalist

    Saturday 31 May

    02:30 – 04:30 p.m.
    Responsibility to protect, civil peace intervention: what is the role of the international community?
    The peace volunteers who intervene as unarmed third parties in conflict zones to observe, protect, interpose themselves and train to non-violent resolution of conflicts were undoubtedly “invented” by the International Peace Brigades in the 80s in Guatemala. For 25 years, several other NGOs have developed this way of intervention; various initiatives, still rare, have also been taken by governmental or intergovernmental organisations. This roundtable will discuss the experience gained. As for humanitarian action, the foreseeable development of civil peace intervention challenges the International Community: it raises notably the dilemma between the duty of solidarity with the victims of the conflicts and the inherent risk of interference in all “intervention” of a third party, even civil and non-violent. Couldn’t it be, on the contrary, an efficient means to remedy the deficiencies of the International Community in terms of peacekeeping in the world, so often denounced?


  • Mrs. Cécile Dubernet, doctor in political science, Peace Brigades International – France and IRNC, France
  • Mr. Alain Richard, member of Franciscans International, vice-president of the International Coalition for the Decade, France
  • Mr. Alessandro Rossi, European coordinator, Nonviolent Peaceforce (Brussels), Italy
  • Mohamed Sahnoun, diplomat, president of Initiatives of Change International (Caux, Switzerland), former special representative of the United Nations and the African Union for the Great Lakes region, Algeria

    05:00 – 07:00 p.m.
    How to teach peace and non-violence at school?
    In resolution A/53/25 of 10 November 1998, the General Assembly of the United Nations invites Member States “to take the necessary steps to ensure that the practice of peace and non-violence is taught at all levels in their respective societies, including in educational institutions”. This roundtable will present different European initiatives undertaken in diverse countries in order to promote peace and non-violence education. The points are to see how to introduce peace and non-violence education within the educational system and academic programmes, to think about the necessity of a pluridisciplinarian and specific teaching and about the particular eduational approach required.


  • Mr. Marco Allenbach, educational psychologist and trainer for adults, High Educational School of Vaud, committee member of the CENAC, Centre d’Action Non-Violente (Lausanne), Switzerland
  • Mrs. Mireille Critié, responsible for the school-based programme of education for citizenship at the CERAP, Centre of Research and Action for Peace, Ivory Coast
  • Mrs. Elisabeth Maheu-Vaillant, IUFM of Rouen, trainer in conflict regulation, IFMAN, Franfile:///Applications/
  • Mr. Daniele Novara, director of the Centro Psicopedagogico per la Pace e la gestione dei conflitti, Italy
  • Christian Renoux, president of the French Coalition for the Decade, and a journalist at La Vie

    Sunday 1st June

    01:15 – 03:15 p.m.
    What is the non-violence engagement of a citizen in society?
    Today, more and more citizens in France and in the world make the choice of non-violence to denounce the injustices and to have their rights respected. This roundtable will gather several actors engaged in social life at its different levels (militant, elected representative, member of an international organisation…) and will highlight the basis of non-violent strategy, which puts in adequacy the objective to be reached and the means implemented.


  • Mr. Jean-Baptiste Eyraud, president of ‘Droit Au Logement’ ie ‘Right To Housing’, France
  • Mr. Jean-Baptiste Libouban, companion of the Ark of Lanza del Vasto, initiator of the ‘Voluntary reapers’ movement, France
  • Mr. Jacques Muller, Green Senator of the Haut-Rhin, member of the MAN, France – to be confirmed
  • Mrs. Claudette Werleigh, Secretary-general of Pax Christi International (Brussels), former Prime minister of Haiti and former director of the Conflict resolution programme at the Life & Peace Institute, Haïti
  • Yvette Bailly, vice-president of the French Coalition for the Decade, and Philippe Clanché, journalist at Témoignage chrétien

    03:45 – 05:45
    What heritage of Gandhi and Martin Luther King for today?
    The year 2008 marks at the same time the sixtieth anniversary of the assassination of the Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the fortieth anniversary of that of the Afro-American minister Martin Luther King, Jr. These two emblematic figures of modern non-violence have marked each in their way their time, and numerous contemporary actors claim their heritage. The speakers of this roundtable will share their vision of these two experiences, will show in what sense they are considered as founding ones, and how non-violent action is possible today in this ligneage.


  • Mr. Richard Deats, former editor of Fellowship, magazine of the FOR US, author of biographies of M. K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., trainer in non-violence in Burma in 2007 (United States)
  • Mr. Chuck Fager, former companion of Martin Luther King, Jr., director of Fayetteville’s Quaker House, United States
  • Mr. Ramesh Sharma, advocacy coordinator of the march of the landless – Janadesh 2007, directing member of Ekta Parishad, India
  • Christian Mellon, member of the Centre de recherche et d’action sociale (CERAS) and of the Honorary Board of the French Coalition for the Decade, and Anne-Catherine Bisot, Board member of Non-Violence Actualité and treasurer of the French Coalition for the Decade