The World March for Peace now ambassador throughout the world for Nobel Peace Laureates
The World March for Peace and Nonviolence has just accepted ambassadorship of the “Charter for a World without Violence” drafted by 19 Nobel Peace Prize winners. The Moriori people, the original inhabitants of the Chatham Islands and pioneers in peace building, are the first members of the World March to sign on to the charter.
Even before its official kickoff, the march campaign has already held numerous gatherings and achieved several objectives:
First, the Nobel Committee bestowed upon it the mission of spreading the “Charter for a World without Violence” around the world. The charter was drafted by 19 Nobel Peace Laureates including Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Frederik Willem De Klerk, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the International Peace Bureau, Muhammad Yunus, and Wangari Maathai.
This indigenous group, who are the first members of the World March for Peace to ratify this charter, are themselves descended from a pacifist society, the Moriori, who met the Base Team on the island of Rekohu. “Our support comes in the spirit of our ancestors, who gave their lives in order to choose peace”, remarked Maui Solomon, co-spokesperson for the Hokotehi Moriori foundation.
Second, the March is inspiring an array of sister marches around the world, the first of which arrived in Wellington two days ago. Six marchers, ranging in age from 19 to 59, traversed the 207 km on foot from Whanganui to the capital over a 9-day journey. “We’ve endured the cold, the wind, and the rain in order to be here with you. Many of the people whose paths we crossed took us for crazy, but at the same time they were touched by our commitment. We told them that each of us can make a difference doing a little bit at a time…” explained Carla Donson, whose open and sincere words struck a chord with those gathered.
Third, the marchers and a number of peace activists were officially welcomed at Wellington City Hall by the advisor to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. “After accompanying the participants in this March for a few days, I have seen how much the support for peace transcends languages and borders. As our marchers turn their attention to solutions rather than differences, this will mark an extraordinary step towards a non-violent society.” Rafael de la Rubia notes that it was “the first time in history that so many good causes could meet and come together around a global project.”
At the end of the day, several representatives from the World March for Peace participated in a roundtable discussion on the issue of disarmament attended by Robert Green, a veteran pilot in the RAF turned peace activist, Don McKay- ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Alyn Ware- New Zealand coordinator of the World March for Peace, and World March spokesperson Rafael de la Rubia.
Participants also visited a temporary exhibition on Gandhi organized by the New Zealand Foundation for Peace. Encouraged by the initial success of this global initiative, the participants received their ID armbands and a variety of banners which they will display over the next three months.
[Interview Kate Dewes - New Zealand](http://videoforum.theworldmarch.org/index.php?action=videos;sa=downfile;id=524)
[Interview Maui Solomon - New Zealand](http://videoforum.theworldmarch.org/index.php?action=videos;sa=downfile;id=525)
[Interview Robert Green - New Zealand](http://videoforum.theworldmarch.org/index.php?action=videos;sa=downfile;id=526)
[Interview Mayor of Wellington - New Zealand](http://videoforum.theworldmarch.org/index.php?action=videos;sa=downfile;id=527)
*(Translation provided by Patrick C. Yancey)*