What we do this year and have achieved the previous years
What follows is an account of what is done at the TFF HQ in Lund with Board members and Associates. It does not tell you what all the TFF Associates around the world are doing on their own.
If you were to add it all up, you would see that TFF's network represents a uniquely broad and productive community for peace-making.
2014 - the 28th year
Vicky Rossi wishes to resign from the TFF Board due to her extremely heavy workload at the World Peace Academy (swisspeace) but of course remains a friend.
TFF is established on Google+ which reaches another audience than Facebook and Twitter. Facebook increasingly forces organizations with pages to pay more and more and we have to think of every penny we spend, Google+ being free. We now make use of "Hootsuite" through which the same message can be sent to a series of social media in one go, thus simplifying our outreach work to some extent.
Preliminary calculation of 2013 donations: USD 19,360 - almost exactly the same amount as last year and clearly disappointing too.
The Board confirmed its membership as of January 1, 2014 as follows:
Jan Oberg, chairman, Sweden (Danish citizen); Gunnar Westberg, legal expertise, Sweden; Vicky Samantha Rossi, Switzerland; Annette Schiffmann, Germany (link to peace movements), Joelle Rizk, Lebanon, and Farhang Jahanpour, Oxford.
2013 - the 27th year
On TFF's Vimeo Channel, we launch the small video (1:46 min) "The Story and the Page You Need" which presents various TFF activity areas and appeals to people to make donations."
TFF PressInfo "The West must change its Iran policies and attitudes now" goes out to the usual 13.000 recipients around the world on December 20.
Farhang Jahanpour, Oxford who has been a TFF Associate for a long time becomes new member of the Board.
A 77-page report in Swedish "Som Broar Ăver MĂ¶rka Vatten" is published, written by Christina, TFF Associate Vibeke Bing and project team members and layouted by Jan. A blog with the main materials will follow.
TFF now has 4000+ "likes" on Facebook.
On December 7, TFF as such and its founders, are awarded the "People's Nobel Peace Prize" established by the Peace Movement at Orust, Sweden. It came in the shape of a beautful black granite stone engraved with a picture of Gandhi and "Peace is the Road" in Swedish together with the mention of TFF and its founders.
Jan Oberg spends three weeks in Iran (9th to 28th), accompanied by Saeed Alaei, a friend and "fixer" during the trip. This peace mission includes meetings in the Ministry of Foreign Affaris and leading research institutes as well as giving three lectures at Tehran's University and with two civil society organizations. They also makes trip to Tabriz and Orumieh Lake, Shiraz, Esfahan and Garmeh in the desert.
The establishment of an expanding network in Iran leads to a lot of follow-up work upon Jan's return.
This month, as well as the preceding one is filled with intensive activities in our project with you Afghan boys, heading for the finalization in November.
Board member Gunnar Westerberg is engaged in an IPPNW task force in Germany to bring medicine and other necessities into Iran. The Guardian has written about it.
We are contacted about a possible interest in Somaliland for setting up peace studies, particularly the University of Burao.
Jan Oberg works on a longer article about Danish pacifist Aage Bertelsen who was headmaster of Aarhus Cathedral school until 1969 but was also in the leadership of the rescue operation of 7,000 Danish jews from Denmark to Sweden in October 1943 (70th anniversary this month) - with a contribution from Johan Galtung.
This is also the month when TFF creates debate about the Nobel Peace Prize. Jan Oberg gives a series of interviews in the media (while this year's choice was clearly better than preceding years).
TFF PressInfo "Any attack on Syria will be counterproductive and illegal, a result of failed conflict management" is dispatched on the 2nd. It reflects the foundation focus these months in the catastrophic situation in Syria - not on knowledge from inside Syria but as yet another case of the West's failed conflict-management.
Mira Fey, very talented student of peace and conflict, from Germany joins us as TFF Associate.
August 24-29, Annette Schiffman of the Board visits Lund, Gunnars Westberg joins for a good day of talking about the future of TFF and what goes on in the world.
TFF PressInfo "Egypt, perspectives and useful links" goes out to assist media and others in understanding what is happening there. After a short argument, it lists a series of TFF Associates' writing on Egypt.
On August 9 we send out a TFF PressInfo on "Obama's diplomatic blunder, the cowardice of Western democracies and what Sweden should do", related to, among other things, President Obama's decision to drop a meeting in Moscow because of the Snowden/NSA affair and go to Stockholm instead.
Board member Joelle Rizk is engaged in the Libanon Peace Center and we explore options for co-operation.
During these weeks TFF posts a lot of stuff about Egypt and Syria and Iran on various social media.
In this month, the foundation is, for all practical purposes, closed. However, we spend time to investigate various new funding options, including crowd-funding such as kickstarter.com. Traditional fund-raising seems increasingly difficult and everybody seemingly believe that everything on the Internet is - and shall be - free of charge (or costs nothing to produce).
Majken Jul SĂžrensen, Danish peace researcher, living in Sweden and studying in Australia, joins us as TFF Associate. She is writing a PhD on peace, non-violence and humour, her first book just out in Danish.
TFF PressInfo # 2 is published on May 8 - "The Iran threat delusion". It's focus is on why Iran cannot seriously be considered a threat to the region or the world. We send it out till 13,000 media, NGO, government, research, INGO recipients, etc.
Co-founder Christina SpĂ€nnar and Associate Vibeke Bing with team members hold a conference for all involved parties in the project on Sweden and Integration (May 6-9).
Jan teaches a course on Social Science Methodology for Peace Professionals at the MAS level at the World Peace Academy (WPA) in Basel, April 8 to 12. He participates in a seminar in Copenhagen as keynote speaker on the sanctions against Iran.
Concerning the Imagine A Better World community site, a Facebook group does not provide enough opportunities. Instead we settle for a standard model of Ning.com and begin to develop it to fit our special needs.
We have to recognize that extremely little progress has taken place in our partner organization, Initiatives and Actions for Peace and Development (IAP) in Burundi. Further, its founder Armand Giramahoro has failed to follow-up on the court procedure concerning the theft of funds from the old Amahoro Youth Club (AYC) and also have not lived up to his minimum obligations as founder and leader of the new IAP. No element of the Action Plan developed during Jan Oberg's last mission has been moving forward. Finally, a couple of irregular and non-democratic decisions have been taken, among them to exclude a member with no opportunity to offer that member a fair hearing.
The TFF Board therefore decides to cancel all further co-operation and requires the IAP to take down all links and other indications of TFF_IAP co-operations in its public materials.
Thereby ends, for the time being at least, TFF's peace work in Burundi since 1999.
TFF PressInfo # 1 goes out with a focus on Iran. The argument is that what the West does at the moment is likely to increase the risk of a war, whether so intended or not.
Later two videos about Iran
with TFF Associate, Dr. Farhang Jahanpour, are produced and uploaded to TFF's Video Channel on Vimeo.
This and related activities are disseminated vigorously on Facebook and Twitter and we reach more people than ever before there.
Jan is in discussion with the Iranian Embassy in Copenhagen about a visit during spring 2013, this time to conduct interviews/conversations with Iranian academics and officials.
Over time, the foundation has asked some ten young people to be "content providers" at our Facebook page, i.e. posting interesting articles within the themes that are central to TFF. Some are Associates, some not.
TFF Associates, together with others, engage strongly in the debate about the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded the European Union. We manage to have a considerable impact on the debate in Scandinavia about this issue.
Annual meeting with updates on all formalities - membership, economic report etc - is held on January 7.
Preliminary calculation of 2012 donations: USD 19,310 - clearly disappointing.
The Board confirmed its membership as of January 1, 2013 as follows: Jan Oberg, chairman, Sweden (Danish citizen); Gunnar Westberg, legal expertise, Sweden; Vicky Samantha Rossi, Switzerland; Annette Schiffmann, Germany, link to peace movements, and Joelle Rizk, Lebanon/Belgium and Anette Carlsson, Sweden.
With a few exceptions, Board meeting were held over Skype every first Monday of every month.
2012 - the 26th year
Heela Najibullah, Afghanistan-born scholar of peace and international affairs, joins the foundation as new Associate.
It is decided to give up constructing a unique Imagine A Better World community site. It is too technically difficult and Jan and web designer Aniara Perzon are constantly running into technical difficulties although based on the BuddyPress platform. We decided to see whether starting out instead with a Facebook Group will be a possibility.
In one of our monthly Board meetings over Skype it is stated that "The TFF economy is a very big problem. If the situation does not improve we might well have to close TFF in one or two years time."
Jan Oberg returns from Iran (visit from October 25 to November 8). He was able to achieve a lot per day thanks to traveling with an Iranian student friend from Lund who could assist him with all practical things related to his trip around Iran. They visited Tehran, Arak, Esfahan, Yazd and Shiraz.
Thanks to the extreme openness among the Iranian people, he is able to talk with various citizens, being invited home, acquainting himself 10 hours a day with history, culture and social affairs. (But having no formal conversations with scholars or government officials in Tehran). He also takes about 3,000 photos that can be utilized in the future work and publications, online and otherwise.
The Board decides to make Iran a priority issue until further. This decision is taken on the basis of Gunnar and Jan's visit. They both relate closely to the Tehran Peace Museum.
We discuss how to shape a new format for the TFF Newsletter - shorter and more pointed. It should come out 2-3 times per year in 2013 too.
It is decided to revive the TFF PressInfo that was discontinued years ago. We find a need to focus on special issue, in a short form and with the media being the main target. This, like the Newsletter, will reach about 13,000 people on our e-mail lists.
Jan teaches at the World Peace Academy (WPA), a course on Media, Peace Journalism and a Culture of Peace, from November 12 to 15.
TFF Newsletter 2-2013 goes out to about 13,000 e-mail recipients plus via Facebook, Twitter and the foundation's homepage.
TFF's presence on social media are developed. It's a huge, long-term plan and takes more time than people outside may perceive. But it does yield visible results such as more likes, reaching more and more people and having more "Friends" on Facebook and Twitter.
Jan is preparing for the Iran mission.
Board member Gunnaar Westberg visits Iran and, upon return, writes an article about the relations between th U.S., Israel and Iran and how they would all benefit from finding a negotiated solution instead of a war-based non-solution.
Diminished amounts of donations keep worrying us. Various attempts is done to raise funds via Facebook where there are excellent tools for that - in the best of cases, donations coming in from that equals what it costs to campaign there. However, this line will be pursued.
Jan has to engage in mediating in a conflict at the World Peace Academy (WPA) where he teaches. This is time consuming too.
The mission to Burundi yielded very many good results, including contact with several good NGOs around the Great Lakes. The IAP is still weak in its pioneering stage, but promising.
We are happy to announce a new TFF Associate, Sharmine Narwani as a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs. Work continues on the "Imagine A Better World" community site designed by TFF itself.
Jan leaves for Burundi on Sunday 9 September for two weeks. He will complete an assignment with UNOY in which young people from the Great Lakes region will be trained in conflict resolution and management. The purpose of this training is to enable these young people to build a peace project together.
Armand Giramahoro and his new organisation IAP (Initiatives and Actions for Peace and Development) is the local organiser for this UNOY training. The second week is devoted to working with IAP and develop the organization as well as produce an action plan for the next 6-12 months.
Concerning the Swedish Integration Project the exhibition about how the Afghan youth who have traveled alone the whole way from their native country is circulating with more and more people and organisations. There are good developments also i.e. Christina SpĂ€nnar, the project director, has now started working also with Afghan women who will do some activities (sewing, drawing, learning to bicyle, etc.) and through that learn some Swedish language skills, most are illiterate. They will interact also with the Afghan youth already involved in the project.
We mark Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day both on the website and on Facebook and Twitter, the angle being nuclear abolition and focus on all the countries that have decided to not possess nuclear weapons.
Concerning the planned Iran trip: Jan has been granted a visa. Due to this fact, the trip can - for various reasons - not take place before October. Time is spent on reading up on Iran and closely monitoring the developments in the conflict between Iran and the West.
TFF co-founder Christina SpĂ€nnar and her project co-director Vibeke Bing are informed by the National Heritage Fund that they have, for a third time, been granted funds to develop further the project on integration of young men from Afghanistan who have come alone to Sweden i.e. without any of their family. This means another 12 months of intensive work on one of the foundation's most successful projects ever. We are very happy with that!
It goes without saying that the ever-worsening situation in Syria these days, weeks and months constitute a major focus on what TFF tries to do on social media, Facebook in particular.
On the last day of this month, we re-open the blog that had been hacked. Some 25 articles produced in June and July are posted immediately, so the blog appears like it would appear had no hacking taken place.
Johan Galtung and Jan Oberg participates in the annual conference of the Nordic Peace Academy in Jondal, Norway. Jan is asked to become a member of its Advisory Council.
Jan teaches at an MAs course at the World Peace Academy in Basel, Switzerland - as does other TFF Associates such as JĂžrgen Johansen, Dietrich Fischer, Johan Galtung.
In principle, but - as usual - not in reality, TFF is closed for the summer.
We keep on developing our presence on social media, on writing and maintaining the foundation. Thus, TFF passed 2.000 "Likes" on Facebook and each article posted there achieves 200-700 "people who saw this post" and an increasing number also share throughout the media. It takes quite some effort throughout 2012 and beyond - but we think it is worth it since we are mainly seeking public outreach and public opinion change these years.
Repeated fund-raising appeals do not seem to have much of an effect. It's a pity that we have to spend time on this, but all NGOs at least in the field of peace seem to experience a downward trend in donations.
Our new blog with about 125 articles is hacked. There is a serious but failed attempt also to hack TFF's new main website. Given this co-ordinated assault, we believe it is political, but of course cannot prove it. The blog is closed down until the end of July to be sure that hacking spiders have given up and the blog is "fortified" in various ways to withstand - hopefully - attacks in the future. This accident took a considerable amount of energy and hours from what we were otherwise doing at this moment.
This month, TFF Associate and leading peace researcher Johan Galtung is accused in a number of Nordic media of being an anti-semite. Jan assists in getting Galtung's views presented in Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish daily whose cultural editor had launched a totally unjustified attack based on secondary and tertiary sources.
We are happy that TFF Board member, Vicky Samantha Rossi, takes up the position of course director at the World Peace Academy in Basel, Switzerland.
Design and development on our forthcoming "Imagine A Better World" community site continues but it takes more time and resources than we had ever thought. Our apologies!
Jan Oberg is invited as a keynote speaker at a conference about Syria arranged by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) to which also several members of the Syrian political opposition are invited. This leads to a longer feature article later in the Danish daily, Jyllands-Posten.
This comes as a result of the Open Letter on Facebook to the Danish foreign minister (see March).
This month sees the publication of Jan Oberg's 19 proposals on how to avoid war with Iran and build peace instead. It is published first by the International Press Service 19 proposals
. As expected, this constructive perspective yields only very few reactions in the media.
TFF Associates Erni o Ola Friholt at Orust on the West coast of Sweden celebrate their combined 150th birthday. TFF people participate in the party and celebrations.
TFF decides that Jan Oberg shall make a trip to Iran and experience coulture, history and people there rather than seek to do political interviews with high-level people.
Jan Oberg takes the initiative - on Facebook - to establish a page called "Danmark for Fred Med Fredelige Midler"
(Denmark For Peace With Peaceful Means). Like with TFF, it is an endeavour to not only critize Danish foreign and security policies but to come up with constructive, alternative proposals.
A group of Danes established there formulates an Open Letter to the Danish foreign minister with a series of proposals concerning how to handle the conflict in and around Syria. One of them is to hold a conference in Copenhagen with Danish area experts, conflict-resolution expertise and, if possible, people from Syria.
Quite quickly the Danish "friends" increase to about 350. It's an interesting experiment in social media activism and quite successful at the time. (And it took a lot of time for Jan to develop it and get support).
Continued work with technical details on website and blog. Newsletter 1-2012 goes out on February 9.
The founders of the World Peace Academy, Catherine and Pierre Brunner, visit TFF's founder, Christina and Jan and discuss further co-operation among other things about a possible summer course to be launched in 2013 or 2014 at the WPA.
The design work continues on the Imagine community site and other social media-related tasks.
The new website with blog goes 'live' on January 25. It signals in more than one way what New
TFF is about - pro-peace, constructive solution-oriented focus, another image of the foundation, positive stories, new minimalistic design, logo, integration with social media, etc.
Life on social media includes also the stimulation of debates and the obligation to respond.
The Foundation sets up TFF Video Channel on Vimeo
- a more serious and "artsy" place to be than YouTube. This signals TFF's increasing emphasis on videos for education and debate purposes.
Co-founder Christina SpĂ€nnar and Associate Vibeke Bing continue to develop the project "Like Bridges Over Dark Waters"
with a group of young Afghan boys who have traveled for months and years to get from their native country to Sweden where they have no relatives. Among this project's results is a traveling exhibition created by the boys that describe their identity, the almost inhuman hardships they encountered and how they now live in Sweden. Since May last year it has been shown at many places in southern Sweden and at the Museum of World Cultures in Gothenburg.
2011 - the 25th year
Summary of 2012
2011 has been devoted to lay the foundation for new
TFF beyond its 25th anniversary: more pro-peace, constructive, solution-oriented and future-oriented. Still Diagnosis and Prognosis but more emphasis than before on Therapy/Treatment. The new website and blog - and the future Imagine A Better World Community site embodies the new thinking of the Foundation's Board.
In addition, a heavy emphasis on establishing the Foundation on social media and thereby reaching at least 2 million people a year with research-based articles as well as public education materials and debates.
Donations clearly fell from US$ 32,000 to 25,000 - not because TFF has been less active or visible. Rather, the economic crisis seems to imply to many that donations for long-term peace work can be cut down. We regret that and must be more "aggressive" in 2012.
The Foundation's Board held board meetings once per month, 11 meetings over Skype and one at the Headquarters in Lund.
Newsletter 3-2011 goes out. Fund-raising intensifies but the results are meager. Jan Oberg works with the blog on Yugoslavia and we move forward with the new comprehensive website and blog; on the latter articles are posted both at the old site and the new blog to have something to present when it goes public.
In December, Isabel Bramsen
becomes a new TFF Associate.
On November 12, Jan Oberg lectures for the Social Democratic party on the Olof Palme Memorial Day. His theme is the EU as a potential actor for peace and he takes the opportunity to remind the audience of the changes that have characterized Swedish foreign and security policies since Palme's tragic death.
On the 17th of November, he gives a guest lecture at Lund University for the students' Foreign Policy Association on ways of thinking about what peace is.
We also devote time and energy on expanding our presence on Facebook and Twitter.
These monthly reports may give the impression that we only post links on social media and our old website and work on the design of a new website. However, these are activities that come on top of writing articles, researching issues, discussing future projects, lecturing etc.
Board and Associates follow closely the build up of tension in Syria and against Iran and publishes almost daily on various dimensions of this emerging catastrophe.
Jan Oberg teaches for a week at the MAS program of the World Peace Academy in Basel, Switzerland.
This is also the month when he returns to the huge work of putting twenty years of writings (2500+ pages) by Galtung, Wiberg and himself into a blog - and later a book - titled "Yugoslavia - What Should Have Been Done?"
Our social media strategy continues to develop. Board member Gunnar Westberg visits both the US, North Korea and Brussels - all related to his work for nuclear abolition.
The Libya focus continues, and Associates also discuss this year's Nobel Peace Prize in various media.
Jan Oberg publishes a comprehensive 3-part analysis - "Libya - What Should Have Been Done?"
The founders take a 10-day holiday.
These month we do an extra effort to post materials on TFF Facebook and Twitter services to promote not only TFF's message of peace but also our new orientation and the later launching of the new comprehensive Internet presence.
TFF Associates Galtung, Zunes, Falk, Power, Oberg and others continue to be heavily engaged in the war in and on Libya.
TFF's Board meets over two days and takes stock of the 25 years we have existed. And makes the detailed planning for the launch of the 3 new websites being developed "manually" these months.
The exhibition with text and images by Afghani refugee youth mentioned below under May has become a travelling exhibition in Southern Sweden and requires a lot of work by Christina SpĂ€nnar and her team.
On July 14, the exhibition "Between War and Peace" opens at Jan Oberg's photo gallery, Oberg PhotoGraphics. TFF Associate Soren Sommelius, cultural editor, author and cultural blogger displays 62 photos from around the world, including pictures from the war-torn Yugoslavia in the early 1990s when he joined the TFF conflict-mitigation team. About 75 people comes for the opening. The show is on the end of August.
Jan Oberg teaches an MA course at the World Peace Academy for a week in mid-July.
The work on the three new websites - this one, the TFF Associate blog and the Imagine A Better World community site - occupy us a lot. It turns out that the Imagine A Better World site is more difficult to spark off than we had thought. Obviously people find it difficult to contribute to the planning of a website rather than to the (future) comprehensive community site in the future. The TFF Board will deliberate on this at its August meeting.
The National Heritance Fund decides, for a fourth time, to fund co-founder Christina SpĂ€nnar's project on integration with a focus on young people coming unaccompanied to Sweden from war zones.
The project grant, lasting for about one yea, amounts to the equivalent of, 152.000.
In principle, the foundation is closed for anumber of week during summer. However, there is no reduction in activities, including the dispatch of the new TFF Newsletter and the posting of numerous articles on the main homtepage, on Facebook and Twitter.
Christina SpĂ€nnar's and Vibeke Bing's project - "Som Broar Ăver MĂ¶rka Vatten" (Like Bridges over Dark Waters) with young Afghans who have come unaccompanied to Sweden - continues as planned. On May 14 an exhibition opens with their texts and images at the art gallery "Gate 38" in MalmĂ¶.
In April and May we are working on 3 new websites - the new main website, a blog and a community for Imagine A Better World.
Libya continues to occupy our Associates as does the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The focus on Libya continues. TFF Associates write and many are used in various media. For instance, Jan Oberg is used by Danish Television and radio, and by large radio networks in the US with up to 40 million listeners.
Our first new TFF Newsletter is dispatched early April but has required a very time-consuming manual re-organisation of the foundation's 13.000+ address registers, the type of work people outside do not see or know about.
The discussion site "Imagine A Better World" develops nicely and we make PR for it on our main site, on our Facebook page, Twitter etc.
It is possible that Gunnar Westberg and Jan Oberg will be in Iran over the summer.
This is the month when the crisis in Libya breaks out in full with NATO commencing bombings. Again, TFF Associates posts a series of articles on those events, criticising across the board the hurried military intervention without trying other, civilian means first - about 65 articles.
On March 15, we launch a discussion and planning site, Imagine A Better World. Jan Oberg who has established and designed it, also serves as its moderator. Step-by-step we will involve TFF friends, Associates, supporters, students and others in it and within a few weeks we can count about 100 members.
This marks the first real step in the foundation's direction of a new pro-peace emphasis in all we do.
Anette Carlsson, Gothenburg joins our Board for a second time. We are also happy to have Mariam Abuhaideri who has Iranian-Indian background to come visiting the foundation and accepting our invitation to become TFF Associate. In that capacity she will be writing on her blog from Egypt where she is heading after Lund.
The work on our new main homepage continues. We have selected Studio Aniara in Lund as our webdesigner and will produce a series of new platforms - a new main site, a blogging system for TFF Associates, a new community for pro-peace themes and, finally, a new modern Newsletter that builds also on a more artistic, aesthetically pleasing design than we have hitherto done.
Since those who emptied the bank account of the Amahoro Youth Club in Burundi (see July 2010) continue to refuse to explain themselves, keep on trying to manipulate other members and have not brought back the stolen money, the case is handed over to the police and, later, the local court.
These months, of course, TFF Associates are deeply involved in the basically non-violent revolutions in Tunesia and Egypt. Literally, dozens of articles are posted by Associates such as Jonathan Power, Farhang Jahanpour, Stephen Zunes, Johan Galtung, Jan Oberg and Richard Falk, to mention a few.
Christina SpĂ€nnar's project with Afghani youth who have come to Sweden without parents progresses with various activities that aim at assisting the young people in processing their experiences while on the road for up to 3 years to get from their war-torn society to Sweden and how best to support them in their present sitution here.
TFF's Board continue the deliberations on editorial policies and other matters related to the forthcoming site on "Imagine A Better World."
The Board deliberates over two reports from Rikard Edbertsson to the Board - on internet platform technology and on social media potentials. It's all new, exciting and quite complex. We are now ready to contact web designers and see how much of our vision can be realized within the means we can set off.
We decide to only mention our 25th Anniversary on January 1 on our various sites and pages. There is no time to make a festivity or invite guests; in addition the TFF Friends who support TFF expects us to spend their donations on peace rather than on celebrating ourselves. The new Internet pro-peace platform, Imagine A Better World, will serve as a forward-looking celebration instead!
On the 13th, co-founder Jan turns 60.
Board member Joelle Rizk takes up a position at the East-West Institute in Brussels and is sent to Afghanistan and Pakistan on mission.
2010 - the 24th year
Oberg's book in Swedish finally appears from Cogito, "En Fredspolitik fĂ¶r EU" (A Peace Policy for th EU) and can be downloaded here.
Jan continues the work with the HĂ„kan Wiberg research library. Half of the library is dispatched to the Department of Peace and Security Studies at Skopje University, Macedonia; the other half to the World Peace Academy in Basel.
Rikard Edbertsson continues his work on the "netnography" of the Peace 2.0 future options and conducts a series of interviews over Skype around the world with people who have up-to-date knowledge about it. We anticipate his two reports - on the technology of platforms and on social media management in January.
Jan has been an adviser on and now grades four MA theses by students at EPU, The European Peace University, EPU, in Schlaining.
TFF's outreach continues to expand. It now has more than 1500 "friends" on Facebook, over 150 "followers" on Twitter and somewhere between 1200 and 1600 individual visitors to the main site every day. In addition thousands of YouTube views on our TFF VideoChannel there. Many of the articles we post on Facebook have from 500 to 1500 "impressions", i.e. times they have been seen on our pages or on the feed that everybody can see.
Various TFF Associates utilize the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on December 10 to highligh the problems with the Nobel Committee's systematic ignorance/violation of Nobel's will - as we have done since 2007 in collaboration with Norwegian lawyer and activist, Fredrik Heffermehl.
We make an extra effort at fund-raising with reference to our Anniversary and to the new pro-peace Internet platform we are working on. However, the results are disappointing at the end of the year. Donations amounted to exactly the same as in 2009 which was a low year compared with earlier years - US $ 32.000. We can only hope that 2011 will show an upward trend when people see our new interactive, multi-dimension, multi-media pro-peace site.
Due to strict financial management we have been able, with the same donation level as last year to increase the foundation's assets by 15% to about US $ 40.000 at the end of 2010, the reason being that we have cut costs her and there.
In this month TFF's Board members are working with a number of Associates on how to make the pro-peace idea as precise and clear to a larger audience as possible - and how to set up the necessary, quite rigorous guidelines and criteria for what we want and do not want on this new platform.
Our new Board member, Joelle, who has worked in Afghanistan with the UNDP, has also found time to co-write a book about Afghanistan's problems and how to move in the direction of a better future. It will be presented early next year in Kabul. She has also produced a series of photographs that we hope to be able to highlight in different ways next year.
The initiative with Al Burke in Stockholm in shaping a citizen's commission on the furtive association of Sweden to NATO has to be given up. Simply, enough people have not come forward in Sweden to produce it. The website remains online for as long as it has a fair number of visitors.
At the end of the month, Jan teaches a one-week course in peace journalism at the World Peace Academy in Basel - brilliant students.
Ina Curic want to leave the Board of TFF. After very tough assignments over several years to Burundi, the Dominican Republic and in Sudan, she needs a break/sabbatical and to settle again in her native Romania. Fortunately, she remains an Associate.
Christina, Jan and Johan Galtung participate in a conference at the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, November 6-10. Several potentially useful contacts are established with young students in particular.
On November 2, co-founder Christina turned 65.
On UN Day, the 24th, Johan Galtung turns 80. TFF Associate JĂžrgen Johansen and John Y. Jones have edited the book, Experiments With Peace. Celebrating Peace on Johan Galtung's 80th Birthday. TFF Associates Falk, Paige, Johansen, Krieger, Lynch, Satha-Anand and Oberg are among the numerous contributors.
On October 23, Jan opens the photo exhibition "Natural Beauties of Burundi" in his gallery at Vegagatan, the TFF HQ. Lots of people turn up at the opening and during the next couple of months there is a nice sales of which the 8 young women portrayed receive 50%.
Jan participates in the World Forum of Spiritual Culture in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. While the conference was old-fashioned and chaotic, it gave him an opportunity to learn about how Kazakhstan decided to not be a nuclear weapons state.
From October 15 till mid-January Rikard Edbertsson works with us on his research that will also benefit TFF's 2011 pro-peace project, now also called "Imagine A BetterWorld."
Gunnar Westberg writes on the history of the Swedish nuclear bomb project and points out also that Switzerland had an advanced project before also terminating it.
Jan continues the work with the HĂ„kan Wiberg's book collection.
The project led by Christina on young unaccompanied refugees starts up.
Jan participates in the parallel conference in Brussels to the governmental Asean-European Summit, called the Asian-European People's Forum (AEPF) where he is a keynote speaker on the EU as a potential peace actor in the world community, based on his recent analysis.
Board member Annette Schiffmann launches her photo exhibition in Heidelberg on "Half of Heaven - 99 Women and YOU..." with women who have experienced various types of violence and have been tape-recorded and photographed.
On Sepember 12, it is 25 years since TFF's first Board established itself and the foundation became a reality. It started operations on January 1, 1986.
Armand Giramahoro from Burundi who is the leader/legal representative of the Amahoro Youth Club pays a 10-days visit to the founders and TFF. A lot of problem-solving, planning and fund-raising is done and he gets an opportunity to meet people in Lund, including various university institutes and places of culture of history in the vicinity.
This month and the next, Jan spends considerable time on the book collection of friend and colleague HĂ„kan Wiberg who died in July. He is responsible for categorising it, moving it to Sweden and find places where these 4.000 books can come to the best use for peace studies. Fund-raising among friends and colleagues had to be done for this.
Also, the academic and other production of Wiberg has been secured with a view to publish some kind of book about his academic life in Sweden, Denmark and internationally in the service of peace research and peace eucation.
Gunnar Westberg works on a paper that will illustrate the idea of pro-peace, his example being Iran.
Jan finishes revision of manuscript on a book of about 65 pages about the European Union as a (possible) actor for peace. It is written for the Cogito Foundation in Stockholm and in Swedish.
Two new young people got involved with TFF, Rikard Ebertsson who will work later with "netnography" and, as part of his education at Lund University, explore Peace 2.0, the potentials of new social media - with a view to the Pro-Peace Platform, PPP, that we plan to upload in 2011.
Follow-up to our Board decisions, the new project in particular.
The other is Anna BjĂ¶rling, a Lund-based student of human rights, who will predominantly work with Christina on the new youth refugee project. Anna and Rikard participated in parts of the Board meeting in Lund and gave a lot of creative ideas about pro-peace thinking and how to communicate with youth in particular. Via skype the Board meeting could also listen to Joelle Rizk in Lebanon and Vicky Samantha Rossi in Jerusalem who contributd their views. As did Associate and former Board member Annette Carlsson during her stay during that weekend with us.
We welcome Joelle Rizk as new member of our Board.
At the end of the month, TFF's Board meets in Lund for 3 days - annual summer meeting. Three themes are up for discussion: Our 25th Anniversary at New Year, organizational maintenance and the main new project we are working on for TFF's longterm future beyond 25.
Two members of the Amahoro Youth Club in Burundi see it fit to empty the bank account of the Club at the same time as there is an attempt to ouster the present legal representative, Armand Giramahoro. There is no information as to what has happened to the money - TFF donations and parts of a grant from the Peace Direct organization in the U.K. It is not clear at this point what consequences this will have for the Club. The sum is in the order of US $ 2500 but given the fact that the average annual income per capita in Burundi is US $ 150, this is a considerable sum locally.
Jan taught one-week course at the World Peace Academy in Basel, Switzerland - a new and very promising place for peace studies, that offers an MA.
HĂ„kan Wiberg, who has been with TFF since 1985, dies at the age of 68. It is a great loss to the founders; Christina knew him since 1962 and Jan, for whom he was a mentor, met him in 1972.
Johan Galtung and Jan Oberg decide immediately that their book on Yugoslavia shall be finished and published in memoriam Hakan Wiberg, our dear friend.
As if this was not enough, other TFF Associates died this summer: Ken Coates and Svetzar Stojanovic. (In addition, peace research lost John Burton and David Singer.)
We mourn them all and express our gratitude for their life commitment to producing knowledge and further debate on how to create a better world.
In principle, the foundation is closed. But, as usual, we work on projects, dissemination of information and - above all - the new project that will be future TFF
Elise Boulding, a dear friend for decades and the "Mother" of peace research, dies at the age of 89. We mourn her but think with joy of all she did for peace research and gender equality.
Board member Gunnar Westberg goes to the EU Commission, to Iran and later to the NPT Review Conference in New York, all having to do with his commitment to nuclear disarmament/abolition. His various report and videos are posted on our homepage, on Facebook and Twitter.
The work in Burundi continues. Afterwards, catching up with the homepage, TFF's Facebook page, Twitter and blogs.
The Board's preliminary thoughts on a project for reconciliation in Iraq has, so far, met with no response from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Oslo to whom it was sent. It was sent in December 2009(!)
Good news is that founder Christina SpĂ€nnar and Associate Vibeke Bing is get funding for the new TFF-hosted project continuing the Sweden - Integration project, this time on young refugees who have come to Sweden with parents or relatives. The sum is about US$ 140.000 and the project shall start in autumn.
The founders and the Board continue their deliberations on the new project to be launched in 2011, marking the 25th anniversary of the foundation.
Jan Oberg begins a 3-weeks mission in Burundi, working with the Amahoro Youth Club, into May.
All kinds of routines, project-preparations and uploading of articles. Jan Oberg becomes an adviser to the Ara Pacis initiative in Rome; however, because of the ash cloud over Europe he cannot go to the inauguration.
TFF Associates Hakan Wiberg, Johan Galtung and Jan Oberg meet for a week to re-direct the book project on "Former Yugoslavia. What Should Have Been Done?" It will be a major undertaking during 2010-11, especially for Jan Oberg who will be the main editor.
The Board deliberates further on how to re-shape TFF to avoid closing down this or the next year due to lack of funding. Rather than just cutting down on activities, thoughts go in the direction of starting a new constructive activity.
Hans von Sponeck decides to leave the Board due to a longterm far too heavy work burden. Fortunately he continues as TFF Associates and will continue to contribute ideas and articles to TFF.
The Board of the foundation concentrates on two things - reflecting over the significant decrease in donations and its implications for the future; secondly, grapples with how to start a new program in Iraq.
We continue to develop our presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter - "TFF WorldAffairs" - and are pleased to see the growth in the number of people who use TFF's resources, make comments and become friends.
Jan Oberg returns from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto to the HQ in Lund, Sweden on the 27th.
It starts out with very serious, repeated and targetted funding appeal letters and by mid-January we have reached 14.000 US $ in donations of the 20.000 needed to reach the 2008 level of donations. The economic crisis and people's feeling of powerlessness in the face of global developments probably explain a lot. But we are not deterred.
The European Peace University, EPU, is facing a possible close-down due to the Bologna principles. It would be a shame for the EU if this centre is lost. Jan Oberg works with Paul D. Scott and some of the students on an article about the situation that shall be published in a major European newspaper, if need be.
2009 - the 23th year
Summary of the year and what we are proud of:
Way more than 1 million people have been in contact with TFF this year through the homepage, various communities, YouTube and via e-mails and through teaching and public lecturing all over the world by Associates.
The year saw a steady activity in spite of decreasing donations and no remarkable improvement in the global situation.
What are we proud of?
We are particularly proud of what TFF does to influence issues such as UN reform, peace in Iraq and the wider Middle East, peace educational efforts in general, having taken the international lead in criticising the Nobel Committee for the Peace Prize, helping the young best and brightest in Burundi building the Amahoro Youth Club and aiming at setting up a peace education and peace culture centre.
We are proud of what we do for public education about the dangers of nuclear weapons, hopelessly misguided, unwinnable wars, and our work to produce alternatives and promote peace education in general and conflict-understanding in particular.
We are proud of achieving so much with so little money and remain, in our 24th year remaining alive, productive, pro-peace, and totally independent of governments and corporation, i.e. people-financed and financed by all of us not receiving a dime for what we do over the year.
We are proud of our presence on the Internet and the hundreds of thousands we reach thanks to investing early in these new technological possibilities and we still have one of the finest networks of experts around the world, committed, experienced and with civil courage and remarkable energy.
We got two new Associates, Stephen Zunes and Joelle Rizk.
This year the TFF Board - unchanged composition - has meet over Skype every first Tuesday of every month i.e. 12 times.
Joelle Rizk, a 22 year young woman from Lebanon, working in Afghanistan, with an MA from the European Peace University, EPU joins TFF as Associate - our youngest.
This is the month in which can conclude that TFF has received about 60% less donations in 2009 than in 2008. We therefore have - much to our regret and stealing time from work of substance - to spend a lot of time on a fund-raising campaign - "The US $ 20.000 New Year Campaign". Into mid January it has yielded almost 14.000 - but still far from what is needed.
On December 6, we publish Jan Oberg's analysis of the increasing impossibility of conducting independent research, as seen in a 20 years perspective - however planned long before we had to start that campaign.
Writing, lecturing, teaching, giving public speeches, posting articles, etc - a quite "normal" month without any specific highlights. Oberg teaches at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.
Stephen Zunes, eminent scholarly expert on the Middle East in particular and peace research in general join us as Associate.
We resume work on the project to help create peace inside an with Iraq by approaching the Norwegian Foreign Minister asking for funds for a follow effort to our 2007 peace plan.
We devote considerable time to develop our presence on Facebook and Twitter, the former approaching 500 "Fans" this month. Sarah Molaiepour, our new communications coodinator, is in charge of that page and does a wonderful job.
Gunnar Westberg, HĂ„kan Wiberg and Jan Oberg and others co-operate intensely with Al Burke on the project in Sweden Stop the Furtive Accession to NATO - Stoppa Smyganslutningen till NATO - that now counts several TFF advisers and was originally an inititaive taken by Jan and Al.
TFF Associates publish more than usually, and on UN Day we re-focus on the scandalous, secret UN-NATO co-operation agreement as we have done since late last year: No mainstream media interest whatsoever!
We continue to develop TFF's presence on online communities. TFF World Affairs on Twitter grows rapidly, full of background and non-mainstream perspectives. About 350 are friends on Facebook, and one result is that the number of individual visitors to our main homepage alone has gone up 25%, to about 2.000 per day.
TFF went out with a statement about the Nobel Peace Prize - not so much critical of Obama but of the Nobel Committee's consistent twisting of the words and spirit of the will of Alfred Nobel. We made two constructive proposals for the future.
We mark Gandhi's 140th birthday on October 2 on transnational.org, on Facebook and on Twitter.
YouTube has been re-designed, much better. We are working on updating all our playlists on TFF VideoChannel to make this an even better resource for public education. We've had more than 10.000 channel viewers - which means many more times video watchers.
TFF Associates publish more than usually, not the least on nuclear issues. So, much activity and PR 1 - peace research and PR 2 - public relation thanks to Sarah Molaiepour, our communications coordinator. But, alas, donations keep on being much lower than last year. We urge you, please!
The month is spent with increasing the outreach capacity. Thanks to Sarah Molaiepour's work TFF gets established on Facebook with its own page as well as on Twitter. Over the summer we are pleased to see that the number of visitors to our main site increases by about 25% and that we rapidly get followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook.
Jan departs for Kyoto, Japan on September 25. He shall be visiting professor at the College of International Studies at Ritsumeikan University until the end of January 2010.
Among other things, we publish a larger analysis by Hans von Sponeck on the "AfPak" - the troubles around Afghanistan and Pakistan and Richard Falk's comments on the Goldstone report on Israel's Gaza war.
Sarah Molaiepour takes up work as volunteer with TFF. She is from California, has Iranian roots and studies peace and international politics at Lund University.
Jan Oberg spends a little more than hlf the month in Burundi, working with the Amahoro Youth Club as usual - practical organizational issues, 2 training courses and developing a six-months Action Plan and and income-generation plan. He also takes pictures as part of his new gallery gallery activity.
Board member Annette Schiffmann visits the foundation the last week of the month and as usual, the Board meets over Skype to coordinate activities.
We continue to be worried that the donations to TFF are falling - mainly due, we suppose to the economic crisis many feel on their own pocket.
In principle, the foundation is closed - meaning all Board members try to catch up as well as prepare autumn's work. Oberg spends this month and August co-writing with Galtung and Wiberg a book on former Yugoslavia and preparing his four months as visiting professor in Kyoto, Japan from end of September.
Vicky Samantha Rossi resigns from the Board for personal reasons but stays on as TFF Associate. We thank her for all the wonderful work she has done for TFF and for peace, particularly in the Middle East.
In Stockholm, Jan Oberg runs a three-day training seminar in peace journalism (June 29-July 1) for leading Turk-Cypriot journalists and editors who have come to Sweden as part of a larger program on Europeanising the media.
As the Iran crisis unfolds, the Board focuses for a period on this, bringing important materials on its website, including original analyses by Associate Farhang Jahanpour.
The work of the Amahoro Youth Club moves ahead, building the organisation. Jan is in constant contact with the members via e-mails, phones and Skype and will be there for 2-3 weeks in August.
Also, we continue working on the revision of the TFF Iraq Peace Plan and Annette Schiffman is engaged in peace work related to Iran but also in saving the life of Troy Davis on death row.
June 4-10, Jan Oberg gives a series of lectures in Belgrade, the first visit in almost 5 years. At the Political Science Faculty at Belgrade University he speaks at the new Department for Peace Studies (on Iraq, Yugoslavia and on peace research). He also gives a well-attended speech at the Centre for Political Excellence. Further, he meets with TFF Associates Radmila Nakarada and Svetozar Stojanovic and has consultations with former President Vojeslav Kostunica. The main foci is the role of the European Union, the international pressure Serbia is under to join NATO before allowed into the Union. Finally, Jan gives interviews to leading media, participates in a two-hour talk show on radio and is special guest at the Serbian Television prime time feature program.
The month sees a slight increase in the visits on our website.
Hans von Sponeck devotes his time and energy to the Kant Foundation which this year gives its prize to Jeff Halperin. TFF Associate Richard Falk is the main speaker at the event.
Towards the end of the month, TFF's Board engages in the North Korea/Nuclear weapons issues. In particular, Gunnar Westberg publishes several articles based on his keen knowledge and prior visits to North Korea.
On May 16, TFF Associate Jan HjĂ€rpe, former Swedish bishop K.G. Hammar and the Indian Jesuit priest, Ignatius Jesudasan, from Chennai are key participants in a one-day seminar on the religious roots of violence. This is arranged at Orust at the Western coast of Sweden by two other TFF Associates, Erni and Ola Friholt with Jan Oberg as moderator.
May 2-3 sees the formal opening of the mentioned photo studio, actually co-located with TFF at Vegagatan in Lund, Sweden. The photographic prints and the studio can be visited at Oberg PhotoGraphics. As is evident, the photos are related to Jan's work in various countries over the years.
As usual TFF's Board meets over Skype the first Tuesday of every month to manage the various projects amnd activities.
Board member Ina Curic moves from a UN assignment in the Domincan Republic to work in Sudan.
The foundation engages in the the preparations and follow-up to the invitation to the Amahoro Youth Club in Burundi by the United Nations' Alliance of Civilizations' Forum in Istanbul, April 6-7. Armand Giramahoro the Club's legal representative participates as representative of the AYC and - together with many other youth - presents the goals and purposes of the Club's work at the so-called Marketplace of Ideas. Here is the Club together with other youth organisations. This important event is a very impotant recognition of the AYC and the first-ever contact with a high-level international audience.
TFF continues with it various activities - former Yugoslavia, Burundi, Iraq in various ways, sometimes reflected on the foundation's homepage. Numerous articles are published there and elsewhere by Associates, among them Johan Galtung's and Jan's debate articles about the G20 meeting in London.
The foundatin likewise focuses on nuclear weapons, NATO and the UN in its work, because of the NATO Summit.
Co-founder Jan Oberg reduces his work with the foundation a little these months to enable him to open a studio for art photography in early May.
The foundation moves on with the themes and issues, including Yugoslavia, that have occupied it during the period December-February. Given the crisis times we live in, we increasingly find that it is not enough - if it ever were - to produce analyses and arguments; we must devote more time to spreading them, repeating them and build coalitions to move them - not the least because the general coverage of the issues that TFF work with has seen a reduction relative to entertainment and purely national news.
TFF Associate Daisaku Ikeda, leader of the world's largest peace movement, publish his annual peace proposal and we post a longer interview with him, now at 81.
Oberg teaches 40 students for one week at EPU, the European Peace University in Stadschlaining in Austria. While there a video is produced about the collision of two nuclear submarines in the Atlantic - that raised little international attention.
He also prepares syllabi for his 4-month assignment as visiting professor from September this year at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.
Jan Oberg spends three weeks in Burundi with the Amahoro Youth Club - advising, teaching and training, shooting videos and taking pictures. Among other things this results in the video about the Club.
Hans von Sponeck publishes a major article on the UN in the wake of the discussion about the secret UN-NATO agreement - The United Nations and NATO: Which security and for whom?
Jan starts a debate about the Danish Broadcasting's coverage, or rather non-coverage, of international affairs on his blog (in Danish).
Work on a variety of issue such as the promotion of TFF's evolving Plan for Peace In and With Iraq,
We publish a lot of materials about the war on Gaza, not the least the various media appearances of our Associate Richard Falk.
We also promote the idea of a UN special rapporteur for human rights in Iraq.
Three TFF Associates are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
We mourn the death of Danish Associate Lotte Christy.
We continue to spread awareness about the secret UN-NATO co-operation agreement.
Jan Oberg devotes quite a lot of time on the initiative aiming to create public debate about the "stealth" association of Sweden to NATO - and then he goes to Burundi.
Oberg publishes a follow-up to his articles about the rampant nationalism in Croatia - a longer interview with Croatian Serb leader Veljko Dzakula.
January is otherwise a month of reporting, economic status, fund-raising and planning period.
2008 - the 22th year
On December 15, TFF Associate Richard Falk, UN Human Rights Rapporteur, is expelled from Israel upon his arrival.
On December 11, a new video is launched by the Transcend Media Service with Jan Oberg in which he explains why nuclear possession is the real problem - rather than nuclear proliferation - and shows by a mini-lecture at the white board how the Ballistic Missile Defence is anything but defensive. (10 minutes).
On December 3, TFF's Board publishes the secret UN-NATO Co-Operation Agreement signed by the respective Secretaries-General on September 23. We state our concerns and ask 9 questions about its compatibility with the UN Charter and possible future consequences. Roaring silence in the mainstream media across the world.
On the first day of the month, the initiative by Al Burke and Jan Oberg to launch a proposal, signed by over 60 Swedish personalities, concerning the "Stealth Association of Sweden to NATO" is launched in Svenska Dagbladet. It argues for the establishment of a Citizens Commission to investigate the "tyranny of small steps" that have led to Sweden almost being a full member without much public debate. We also launch a special homepage for it "Stoppa smyganslutningen till NATO" - in the first week the newspaper article yields more than 250 comments and the website more than 6.000 visit. A good beginning...but how to make it a permanent debate?
Like all the other months, TFF's Board members coordinate, discuss and make decisions over Skype, every first Tuesday or Wednesday of every month.
TFF Associate Richard Falk's pathbreaking analysis of human righs in Palestine is published and we feature it prominently.
Like in the preceding months, TFF continues to help build the Amahoro Youth Club, AYC, in Burundi. There is more information on that on AYC's blog. We are also looking for funds.
Around the election of Barack Obama, TFF Associates publish a series of analyses and views as well as advice on the future presidency.
International networking with similar initiatives about TFF's Plan for Peace in and With Iraq continues. We are hopeful that an international meeting can take place in 2009.
On October 15, founder Christina SpĂ€nnar with co-project director Vibeke Bing arrange a conference as part of the endning of their project, Frozen Feet, about integration of immigrants into the municipalities of EslĂ¶v and MalmĂ¶. The conference attracted 80 participants with backgrounds in many countries as well as officers in charge from the mentioned municipalities. Here are the photos from that conference. The Frozen Feet project shall be terminated by October 31.
TFF Assocites write a series of articles about the global financial crisis.
On October 10 when it was announced that Mr. Martti Ahtisaari was awarded Nobel's Peace Prize, we published a strong criticism within a good hour after the announcement, having also established a section in support of Fredrik Heffermehl's book about Nobel's will.
Gunnar Westberg who has been an Associate over several years, joins TFF's Board.
Johan Galtung and Jan Oberg publish their respective views on the very serious economic crisis, on "Black Bailout Monday", September 29.
Production of three videos for TFF Video Channel with Johan Galtung.
TFF engages in a Swedish initiative to promote debate about the relationship between Sweden and NATO. (More about that when the project has been launched).
Articles about Crotia and Bosnia emerge, the first two about Croatia's still rampant nationalism.
Board member Ina Curic moves to the Dominican Republic to work with INSTRAW.
TFF Associate Vibeke VindelĂ¶v and Jan Oberg participate in the huge conference in Aarhus, Denmark on "Understanding Conflicts"; Oberg is a plenary speaker and they both particopate in a panel on Danish politics and the lessons learned about the Mohammed charicatures.
TFF Associates participate in the international debate about the war in Georgia/South Ossetia with a series of articles (see Treasures/Associates Write section).
As a preparation for the writing of the Galtung-Oberg-Wiberg book on "Yugoslavia: What Should Have Been Done?", Jan Oberg travels around Croatia and Bosnia between August 5 and 17, visiting the historic places and people in the TFF network since 1991.
While many are on holiday we continue to put important articles on the homepage - albeit also enjoying the extremely hot summer in Sweden. Over its 22 years, TFF has never been closed.
New videos with TFF Associates Jake Lynch and David Krieger appear on TFF Video Channel.
The Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict of which Lester Kurtz is the main editor and Oberg one of the Associate editors and in which several TFF Associate have contributed is published. We are proud to be associated with this flagship of theory and knowledge in our profession.
Oberg is in Burundi the first half of the month; board member Ina Curic ends her mission as project coordinator in Burundi on July 1, having served for 15 months there. See their diary notes on the Burundi section here.
Hans von Sponeck is again in the United States to coordinate work on peace plans for and with Iraq.
Oberg works in Burundi from June 18 to July 17, all kinds of activities to help build the Amahoro Youth Club with 20+ young people, more about the project here. Our major grant proposal for the next 18 month is turned down by the Bernadotte Academy in Sweden.
We support our TFF Associate Ashis Nandy as a criminal case is filed against him by a local government in India in order to silence this leading scholar's criticism of policies.
Oberg teaches at the European Peace University, EPU, in Schlaining - Austria.
Hans von Sponeck continues work to join forces with individuals and institutions that work with long-term peace plans for Iraq.
Work on more videos from Burundi and three videos with Johan Galtung - and more. Intensive planning of Jan Oberg's month long stay in Burundi June-July. TFF signs a memorandum of understanding with the Amahoro (peace) Youth Club in Burundi that will regulate our future co-operation.
The foundation engaged in the huge international Iraq Compact conference in Stockholm on May 29 which emerges as a PR conference for "the new Iraq" where everything is soon fine. TFF's Board publishes an Open Letter to Iraq's and Sweden's prime ministers, to UNSG Ban Ki-moon and to Sweden's Foreign Minister in which we state our concerns about the format and purpose of the conference. We receive no answers from any of them.
Further, TFF's Yusra Moshtat and Jan Oberg write articles in leading Swedish newspapers - Aftonbladet, GĂ¶teborgs-Posten and Sydsvenska Dagbladet - criticizing the conference and presenting the TFF 10-Point Plan for peace in and with Iraq. Oberg is interviewed twice by Radio Netherlands.
Oberg participates in various panel discussion in Sweden about the emerging security political agenda: Sweden's outdated defence, economic so-called crisis and future membership of NATO.
Various TFF Associates develop their presence on the online community Peace and Collaborative Development.
The Board of the foundation continues its efforts to network and gain support for its 10-Point Peace Plan for Peace in and with Iraq. TFF Associate Aleksandar Mitic produces a DVD on the Kosovo Compromise.
Three videos are published at the TFF Video Channel on YouTube, interviews with Burundi's foreign minister, Mme Antoinette Batumubwira; one about foreign policy and the peace process, one about the role of women and one about media and how difficult it is to get a good story out of Africa.
Submitting a comprehensive grant proposal to the Bernadotte Academy in Sweden concerning future activities in Burundi with basically two partners: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Amahoro Youth Club, AYC.
We support our Associate professor emeritus, Richard Falk, who - as an envoy for the United Nations, is denied visa to Israel becaue of particularly one article published by TFF here.
Mission to Burundi from March 15 to April 1. Journalist Gunilla Ivarsson and Jan Oberg give a training seminar on how to create an International Communication Strategy for the country; participants are from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Presidency and Parliament. They develop a draft strategy which is submitted to the Minister, Antoinette Batumubwira.
Ina Curic and Jan Oberg train 13 founding members of the new Amahoro Youth Club, AYC, to develop a mission statement and secure common understanding of the future work and organization. The AYC later develop a project proposal, for inclusion in TFF's larger grant proposal to the Bernadotte Academy, to be submitted in April.
Furthermore, we shoot several hours of video material for a series on TFF Video Channel - Burundi's beautfiul nature, citizens, interviews with lots of very different people from different parts of the country.
Ina Curic joins the Board of TFF. Since May 2007 she has served as our project coordinator in Burundi with remarkable results, including the creation of the Amahoro Youth Club. She has been an Associate since 2006.
TFF gets a presence on the English Wikipedia as well as the Danish Wikipedia.
From the 7th to the 9th Board members Annette Schiffmann and Hans von Sponeck are involved in an important international conference on Iraq's future in Berlin. Schiffmann has been a co-convenor, von Sponeck is main speaker. TFF is happy to be a sponsor and supporter of this constructive, ahrad-looking conference.
Again a higher-than-usual number of analyses and debate articles are posted - including a special section on the conflict-management capacity of the European Union vs-a-vis its decision to take on Kosovo with the new status. Amon the published works is an MA thesis by Francsco Marelli, whose supervisor has been TFF's Biljana Vankovska and Jan Oberg, on the possible establishment of a peace commissariat in the EU.
Board member Annabel McGoldrick decides to resign from TFF's Board because of too many very demanding tasks and commitments in her new life in Australia. Annabel remains a TFF Associate, of course.
Preparations for mission to Burundi in March - for a course at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for shooting a video for TFF Video Channel and for training and consultations with the newly built Amahoro Youth Club - spun off from the the old Coalition that discontinued its work last year.
On February 17, Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia. This sparks off a series of articles, analyses and media work for various TFF Associates. All of it can be found at the TFF Home Ex-Yugoslavia section.
Of special important is Aleksandar Mitic's Kosovo Compromise homepage with a new online CD.
On the 26th, a new TFF Video is posted on TFF Video Channel - Jan Oberg's presentation of the foundation's 10 Point Iraq Peace Plan in Tokyo.
Two days later we publish a revised version of that plan on TFF's homepage.
January sees the expansion of playlists on TFF Video Channel on YouTube.
We also launch TFF on the Peace and Collaborative Networking homepage which is an online community for students, researchers and activists with special interests in peace and development in a broad sense.
This is also the month with annual economic reporting, Annual activity report-making and other organizational maintenance.
END - See earlier reports in the right-hand column here.