The Rigoberta Menchu Tum Foundation

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Rigoberta Menchú Tum visits in Maribor, Slovenia

During a meeting with the press, the three Nobel Peace Laureates, accompanied by local Slovenian scholar Dr Lucka Kajfez Bogataj prize-winning as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the UN, and moderator Dr Rudi Rizman, took their seats on the stage for a panel discussion on the theme, “Dialogue, Solidarity and Reconciliation.

The guatemalan Rigoberta Menchú, said: that the economic crisis will result in a change in the world and that the 'solidarity' will replace the current model 'antisocial, inhuman and selfish'.

Prof Muhammed Junus opened with the suggestion that the very system of capitalism, of which European countries are prime exponents, is fundamentally flawed and profoundly needs changing.

On the Mayan prophecies about the end of the world in 2012, Dr. Menchú claimed that 'it is not literally' this, 'but the beginning of a new era'. She also explained Mayans’ views about global crisis such as, we are seeing now are a sign of decay. Not a decay that can be repaired, but one which prompts us to start again; she remarked: “Humanity is becoming too decadent, too materialistic. Mayans are striving for full life, not only good life. ..Dialogue must become essential culture of human beings. Monopole systems are anti-social. They don’t like humans who are able to think. All humanity is on the test…” She remarked, “We need the greater equality that will ensue once the present selfish system comes to an end”.

The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama stands out that the “first step towards peace is inner peace” and “Cause and effect are important understanding”. Change comes only through positive actions, not only through intellectual knowing. Pessimism is the cause of failure. Aim must be to be good- for this one needs diligence and self-confidence. …Selfish leaders in 20 century were causing great suffering for people. World needs compassionate people who don’t feel regret when they die… Actions are mental, verbal and physical. All actions depend on motivation: it must be altruistic. “

According to the Slovenian Climate Expert, Dr. Lučka-Kajfež Bogataj, the global crisis has to be answered also globally, “Which must be heard the voice of all, not just the big players”. She also said: “There is need for change of United nations and for change of the institutions of democracy. There is need to change educational institutions. More than 50% of people nowadays live in the cities which are not so open for new ideas. More than 50% humanity are women who did not have the same rights in last 2000 years (audience applause). Creative individuals must connect and join their forces. Young people have great challenges for these changes.”

At the end of the panel discussion Dr. Rigoberta Menchú gave her conclusion about the question: What is alternative civilization for next centuries?

She said: “There were different civilizations on this planet, not only one civilization (i.e. western civilization)... For dignity of human being one need individual awareness and spirituality. …Positive change must be aim of every individual. All people must become more aware and humanistic. ..Mental health must be practiced in daily life. Only mentally healthy people can help others…We must take care for natural resources which are common good. “

In conclusion, the four panelists agreed that each person has to make its contribution to change and that much of the world's problems are due to a 'spiritual crisis'.

"All strive to solve the financial crisis, unemployment and other crisis individuals; No one considers the overall and widely situation”, argued Professor and Bangladeshi Nobel Prize Yunus, who declared that “there is no reason that anyone in the world should become unemployed, being poor or go hungry', and said the root of the problem lies in the very foundations of the current economic system.



Press Release

The National Union of Guatemalan Women supports the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict

The National Union of Guatemalan Women (UNAMG) salute and is honored to be a founding member in Guatemala of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, led by Nobel Women´s Initiative.

We have joined this campaign because it is a vigoruous effort aimed at bringing the international attention and demand that the States and the international institutions put in practice bold actions to prevent sexual violence against women in conflicts, provide protection and guarantee access to justice for women survivors of these human rigths violations.

We express our solidarity toward women in the Democratic Republic of Congo,  Colombia, Burma and Kenya, four countries that are the main target of the Campaign, as an effort to put an end to the grave acts of sexual violence in these countries.

In Guatemala, during the armed conflict that lasted thirty years, sexual violence against women, overwhelmingly indigenous, was used as a weapon of war, in a massive and sistematic way, by the Army and other governmental institutions. Women survivors of sexual violence now claim truth, justice and reparations. The total impunity for those crimes is one of the sources of the current trend of climbing levels of femicide and sexual violence against women during the present stage.

As part of this International Campaign of the Nobel Women´s Initiative, in Guatemala we will carry out artistic activities, as well as a Forum on Sexual Violence and Femicide during the armed conflict. This last event will have the participation of Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Laureate. Both activities will take place on June, coinciding with the comemoration of the Day of Victims of the armed conflict.
Guatemala, May 2012

Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas (UNAMG)



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