Feb 10, 2024. Representatives from five countries in the Asia Pacific Region– India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Philippines, around forty participants – – had a virtual meeting to interchange and share the plans and activities being made to prepare for the 3rd World March for Peace and Nonviolence.

Some of the participants in the virtual meeting of Asia-Pacific humanists held on Feb. 10, 2024.

The meeting had Rafael de la Rubia, founder of World without Wars and without Violence and main promoter of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, with Antonio Carvallo on hand, as interpreter, to give an update and to interchange. The meeting also had friends from Europe, and North and South America. The participants very enthusiastically shared the plans and activities they had started to do in preparation for the 3rd WM which starts on October 2, 2024, and will travel across the world calling for an end to all wars and violence activities.

After the welcome remarks of Pradeepan from India, Rafael gave a chat, recounting the 3rd WM objectives, sharing some of the latest developments, and indicating the possible time and days allocated for the WM base team’s visit to Asia.

 Highlights of Rafael de La Rubia’s Update on the 3rd World March:

Virtual meetings like this were held in some countries in Europe and Spain and some live ones as well. One topic is economic independence. The WM will not get any help from powers that condition our message. The social axis revolves around peace and nonviolence as the fundamental aspect, valuing supremely the commitment to care for the human being and nature.

The 3rd WM starts in Costa Rica to travel for 96 days globally starting from San Jose, Costa Rica. It is the country that, after World War II, declared peace and dissolved the army in 1948, an act of great dignity that established peace as a value.

For the 3rd World March, one key objective is to call for eliminating the veto powers held by the big powers who immobilize the UN Security Council and work against peace. They have been working with the Permanent Secretariat of Peace Nobel Prizes in combination with the Costa Rica government and also a group of other universities to include them in the next summit that will take place in Costa Rica.

The image in broad strokes is:

> to empower the citizens to develop examples of demonstration effects that have the potential to be scaled up to the world level and,

> to establish as a common value that of being a pacifist and a non-violent person.

He shared some demonstration examples they are working with:

> At the moment, working with human symbols of peace, with over half a million students having participated since the start.

> Having established the ethical commitment, a statement oriented mainly to schools and universities to abstain from the use of the knowledge they have received to be applied against others, a commitment that can be taken to other citizens as well.

> Creating virtual drawings of peace and non-violence, looking to invite artists and drawers representative of each country.

> Aiming to have choirs for peace in events, like the thousands of choirs who came together and gathered in Europe concerning Ukraine.

> Organizing mega marathons with professional runners to move across different regions, having fairly advanced in this initiative, covering 14,000 kilometers with several universities supporting this initiative.

> Concerning ourselves in trainings on non-violence by establishing virtual workshops, and developing forums and gatherings for that purpose as well.

> Organizing marathons for students and children.

> Having a survey on a regional level of consultation to get firsthand info and feedback of what the citizens are feeling and their ideas which are ignored everywhere and which can be scaled up to a global level.

> Friends in Costa Rica have also organized a march in the highest mountains that are in the route of the WM.

Rafael de la Rubia advised that one can hold a World March without leaving the city you live in. Murals for peace have already been started in several cities, of long extension where people are adding parts to it. Concerts, competitions, and other events can be organized.

The idea is to give a free course to the imagination. To be free and then move towards action. What really works is to develop what everyone feels in the heart and to also create conditions to make it work.

We want to work with these ideas…The future opens up with the imagination.

The Interchange:

 After Rafael de la Rubia’s chat, a lively interchange of questions and sharing of plans being made ensued.

Some questions were asked:

What is the route plan?

The 3rd WM starts in Costa Rica and will travel to New York and Central America. (To Australia and Japan? Not sure yet.) The plan is 20 days per continent. Then to Europe, (also not sure whether Russia will be included due to the Ukraine conflict as well as the Middle East ). After the WM in Europe ends in Spain, the March goes to Africa, and from the south of Africa, it goes to Brazil and Argentina then up the continent following the Atlantic and Pacific corridor to Colombia and to reach Costa Rica again.

The axis of the route of the WM base team will be fixed in March and April. For now, there is a general leaflet that has the main ideas being explained.

When will the days be fixed?

The group wanted to plan the different activities before they came so they needed to know the dates beforehand and requested that the WM Base Team go to their other cities too.

Plans and activities were shared:

Nasrul Islam from Bangladesh shared that their WM core team has formed committees and has made three plans: before, during, and after the WM comes to his country. Before? Online writing and painting competitions in schools and universities on three levels. Awareness campaigns with leaflets and marches, a signature campaign in universities, and an archive. Once the base team arrives in Bangladesh, a non-violence campaign is being planned in three big universities in three cities with colorful rallies, and cultural activities like song and poetry,

After the WM Base Team leaves, the archive will be maintained and follow-up activities like workshops are envisioned.

In Mumbai and Kerala, India, many activities are being done in colleges and universities. They will synchronize activities at the beginning and end of the WM with other areas. Like the campaign of human symbols as fireworks to launch the WM in all the countries that Martine Sicard coordinates as they have peace ambassadors in Mumbai. (A more detailed plan and report will posted)

Tulsi Sigdel from Nepal shared that they had met with other humanists in Khandroli Park and exchanged ideas which she shared with Nepali friends, setting up a general calendar of activities: In February, invitation letters and brochures to 3 universities– Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University and Purbanchal University. March – rally and reels about 3WM with banners and brochures. April – invite more organizations to actively participate in the WM. In May, do workshops with organizations and students. By June, by getting the dates of the base team visit to Nepal, a calendar program will be detailed. They look forward to planning the main World March in Lumbini, a sacred serene place where the Buddha was born.

In Pakistan, plans for the WM in Lahore and Karachi are also currently being planned to welcome the WM team.

Rounding the discussion, the Humanist Party member in India who lifted the Humanist Party flag last December 20 in a 3 to 4-day bicycle run supported the 3rd WM too. So all the humanist organisms in India will work together effectively to support and welcome the 3rd WM in India.

Rafael invited everyone to Costa Rica. One person from each continent can and should form part of the team, a topic to be decided so that at least one from Asia could be there.

The book about the 2nd World March has also been published in 20 languages so the the books of 1st and 2nd World March can be a source of information.

The overall sentiment: “From all of us in Asia, we thank you for working relentlessly by joining you when you visit Asia.”

This report has been made possible with the help of our friends in the Asia Pacific meeting.

 In terms of participation, the Asian side included 3 from Nepal, 4 from Bengal, 1 from Pakistan, 2 from the Philippines, 8 from Europe, and 27 from India.

 For more information about the 3rd World March for Peace and Non-violence, visit https://en.theworldmarch.org/