Action for UN Renewal exists to promote an effective United Nations, with the authority and resources required to realise the aims of its founders - international peace, environmental protection, respect for human rights, economic and social justice, and the rule of law.
Inquiry on the Iraq War: Who is Accountable? Tuesday 18th August 2009
Friends House, 173 Euston Road
opposite Euston Station, NW1 2BJ London, 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Chair - Rita PayneChair Commonwealth Journalists Association
General Sir Hugh Beach Why the UK went to war in Iraq in 2003?
Robert Fox Role of Media in Iraq War
Defence correspondent Evening Standard
Nick Grief Legality and Conduct of Iraq War Prof. International Law, Bournemouth University
Nicholas Jones Hidden Agendas in the Buildup to the Iraq War
Former BBC Political Correspondent and Author
Vijay Mehta UN and Iraq War
Chair, Action for UN Renewal
With the announcement by the UK government to hold an inquiry on the war on Iraq, it would be timely to have a public meeting in which we can explore the, issues of:
For what reasons did the UK go to war?
The legality and conduct of war without a UN mandate to go to war
How does the government justify spending over £7 billion on the war to date when pensioners and hospitals in Britain are in need of funds?
What is the effect on people’s trust in democracy and willingness to participate in the democratic process when the government ignores the voices of two million people who demonstrated to express their opposition to the war as well as the wishes of the majority of British people?
How many civilian casualties and military casualties – on both sides – have been lost as a direct result of the war in Iraq and use of Depleted Uranium ?
What reparations will Britain make to the people of Iraq?
What principles can we follow that future disputes can be settled peacefully without recourse to violence?
For registration and further information please contact: Vijay Mehta (firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 377 2111)
Public meeting free. Donations welcome.
Please make cheques payable to ‘Action for UN Renewal.’ And post it to Treasurer,
97 Commercial Road, London E1 1RD
(Forimmediaterelease.net) As the violence, bombings, and deaths continue in Iraq, Action for UN Renewal is holding an inquiry on establishing the truth about the Iraq War. Distinguished speakers, including General Sir Hugh Beach, Robert Fox (Evening Standard), Nick Grief (international lawyer), Nicholas Jones (former BBC correspondent), and Vijay Mehta (chair, Action for UN Renewal) will be exploring various issues; it will establish the reasons, legality, and hidden agendas to the build-up to the war, including the role of the media and the United Nations from 2001-09. It will also explore principles we can follow so that future disputes can be settled without recourse to violence.
The meeting will not only bring together the facts, evidence, and testimonies but also send recommendations to the Iraq Inquiry set up by the UK government under the chairmanship of Sir John Chilcot.
It is being held on Tuesday, August 18, 6:30 pm at Friends House (Euston Road), London.
The meeting will be chaired by Rita Payne, former Asia Editor of BBC World TV and chair of the Commonwealth Journalists Association.
Nationalist gripes and recession 'threat' to peace
DAN KEENAN, Northern News Editor
NATIONALIST UNHAPPINESS with the status quo at Stormont, recession and the threat of dissident republican violence have been cited as dangers to the stability of the peace process, a commission has heard in Belfast.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland, meeting at the weekend, heard submissions from a range of people representing diverse standpoints on the peace process.
Vijay Mehta, from the Wales-based International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, told the commission he believed nationalists were harbouring “an increasing degree of dissatisfaction with the current status quo”. He added: “There is a perception among nationalist supporters that Sinn Féin and its leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have become too wedded to the peace process and have become too embedded in the powersharing structures with the unionists at Stormont.
“To the nationalist punter in the street, Irish unity has not come closer since the Good Friday agreement was signed in 1998.”
He further suggested that the peace process remains particularly vulnerable to dissident violence and that what he called “the uneasy live and let live attitude which has developed among Northern Irish people over the last 10 years” could be endangered by serious dissident violence.
Although noting the loyalist response to the murders of two British soldiers and a PSNI officer last March, Mr Mehta suggested that sudden violent acts with perhaps a number of victims “would prove to be a substantial test for the continuation of the peace process”.
The recession and its impact could also create the conditions for what he called “increasing dissatisfaction among young men in particular and a drift back into the use of violence” He noted that the early years of the peace process was accompanied by a rising economic prosperity and near full employment.
The “lessons of Ulster”, he added, were now being applied “by prime ministers, presidents, diplomats and intelligence agencies to numerous area of violent conflict” across the globe.
But he also suggested that the emerging peace needed to be underscored by new realisations and concerted work at peace building.
Calling for the training and appointment of “a large number of peacekeepers” he urged a grassroots campaign to stabilise communities. “We should have a large number of peacekeepers who can help build trust in communities, weed out the seeds of terrorism and give hope to vulnerable minorities,” he said.
“The fact is that a substantial majority of people wish to live in peace and a small minority should not be allowed to perpetrate violence which brings disastrous results.”
The commission discussions were chaired by Dr Thomas Daffern, a governor of the Saor Ollscoil na hÉireann in Dublin and Director of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy.
This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
To prevent future conflicts, we are holding a Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC) like the one in South Africa, Peru, East Timor and Morocco. The tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia are other examples These bring into open grievances of the warring tribes, nations and religions about the misgivings of different communities. It brings home the fact that inside all of us, we are essentially the same – human beings pursuing the same goals of peace and...read the full speech here
In a joint effort before its formal amalgamation, Action for UN Renewal, and World Disarmament Campaign hosted this event based on nuclear disarmament at the House of Parliament, chaired by Lord Peter Archer. With the close arrival of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NTP) summit, talks to assign security measures against NPT non-signatories India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea is fundamental if Obama is to lead his commitments for nuclear abolition.
Vijay Mehta, Chair Action for UN Renewal, and Renu Mehta, Founder of Fortune Forum, attended the meeting at 10 Downing Street in Honour of Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The speakers at 10 Downing Street included the host Sarah Brown, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Anne Aslett of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Dillon Woods of the Donald Woods Foundation (DWF) who each explained why they support the comprehensive services provided by DWF, all created with shared ownership by the residents in the Mbashe area of South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Renu shared with them her experience and work she has accomplished in her charitable organisation, Fortune Forum.
After the dinner, hosted by Barbara Follett, UK Minister of Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism we continued our dialogue on how to mobilize resources on behalf of true and lasting positive change.
I had a chat with Desmond Tutu and told him that I am going to Belfast to speak at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland (TRCBI). He suggested to me to see the BBC documentary called ‘Facing the Truth’ which is also on the same theme. He also praised what we are doing and said ‘it is our duty to help people trapped in evil regimes to free them from oppression.’
While talking about his experiences in South Africa, Tutu said ‘that words are often worth more than money’. You would have thought that most of the people who came to Truth and Reconciliation Commission were hoping for material gains. It was nothing of the sort — people wanted to tell their story. A young guy who had been involved in police action which left him blind came to the Commission and told his story and when he had finished he was still blind but a broad smile broke over his face and he said, ‘You have given me back my eyes’.
We had a great opportunity of hearing first-hand the latest situation in South Africa and many other anecdotes from one of the most famous advocate for peace, truth and reconciliation.
15 July 2009
64th UNA-UK Annual Conference
Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh University, 5-7 June 2009
This three day conference, set in the heart of Edinburgh, consisted of the themes of humanitarian affairs, climate change and UN policy-reforms. Chairman Vijay Mehta, and Campaigns Officer Talyn Rahman attended as Action for UN Renewal’s (ACTUN) representative, where they had the opportunity to contribute to the structure of the United Nations Association (UNA) policy-making.
NATO at 60 Disbanding is the only option – not expanding or rebranding
NATO was formed in 1949 to defend Europe against the growing power of the Soviet Union. The original members were Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, the U.S., Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.
The first secretary-general of the alliance, the British General Hastings Ismay, joked that the purpose of the organization was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."
Proponents of disbanding the alliance say that purpose was fulfilled in 1991, with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the alliance of the former Soviet Union and its satellite states. From then onwards NATO has been trying for the past 20 years to re-purpose itself for some other mission. It is called NATO yet it is called for military incursions in places like
Afghanistan serving mainly US interests....Read full article here
Renu Mehta, founder of Fortune Forum, Shanti and Vijay Mehta attended the Fortune Forum Summit 2009 along with other luminaries CNN founder Ted Turner, Nobel laureate Sir James Mirrless, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Author and UN Messenger of Peace Paulo Coelho and singer Joss Stone, The Marchioness of Worcester, Amir Dossal of Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP)
for pictures and full report go to http://www.fortuneforum.org/the-event.html
for more pictures of the event click here
Lymington Community Centre, New Street,
Lymington, Hants. SO41 9BQ.
Saturday, 28th February 2009
Shanti and Vijay Mehta went to give a talk on Building Better Human Rights in Lymington Branch, UNA. It wasa excellent meeting, a good turnout with Lady Mayor of Lymington. The meeting was chaired by Patricia Mowbray (former UN Civil Servant). For full details of Vijay Mehta's speech you can click here.
“Saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war” Building a non-killing, non-violent culture for the human family
Erskine Childer’s memory is revisited annually by Action for UN Renewal. Erskine was an UN diplomat and the son of the 4th President of Ireland in 1993. This lecture had a great turn-out of around 120 attendees. Our chairman Vijay Mehta was one of the speakers, with guest speakers Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, welcome visit by Erskine Childer’s family, partner Marjolijn Snipe and son David Childers. Former BBC World’s Asian Editor and Chair of Commonwealth Journalist Association Rita Payne was chairing the talk.
Speeches made by Vijay Mehta and Mairead Corrigan Maguire for this event can be found by clicking here.