Tour - Greece

Pope Francis’s trip to Lesbos, Greece on Saturday comes at a frightening and critical time for tens of thousands of refugees and migrants waiting and wondering where they will end up, according to members of Catholic aid agencies.
Maristella Tsamatropoulou, spokesman for Caritas Hellas, the Catholic charity in Greece, said when rumours started swirling that Pope Francis would join Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople on a visit to refugees, “we believed it immediately because our Pope is spontaneous; he’s a force of nature.”
Last October, when several thousand refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries were passing through Greece on their way to other parts of Europe, Caritas Hellas had five paid employees. Now the number of refugees and migrants has grown and the borders with other European countries have been closed to them. In response, the paid staff at the Caritas central office in Athens has grown to 15 people and there are 40 other employees around the country, including in Lesbos. Among the migrants and refugees, Tsamatropoulou said: “The terror is immense.”
The northern border with Macedonia closed in February, and the European Union and Turkey signed an agreement to forcibly return to Turkey those not applying for asylum in Greece. The agreement went into effect on March 20. What was a transit centre in Idomeni, on the border with Macedonia, has become a muddy encampment of more than 11,000 people hoping and praying the border will open. The Caritas spokesman said the Greek government keeps saying it will close the Idomeni camp, “and we fear it won’t be peaceful.” Already impatient refugees, stuck on a field never meant to serve as a camp, occasionally try to force guards on both sides to let them pass into Macedonia. They are pushed back, including by the use of water cannons or tear gas. Tsamatropoulou said staff from Caritas and the other aid agencies continue trying to convince the people at Idomeni to go to one of the smaller, organised refugee centres set up by the Greek government. Conditions are better there, she said; at least there are hot meals. But the migrants and refugees at Idomeni can see the border and are certain that it will open eventually. They want to be the first ones across.
The scene in Lesbos had changed dramatically as well, she said. Prior to March 20, when the Turkey-EU agreement went into effect, the migrants and refugees were more or less free to come and go. Now, many of them are in what amounts to detention centres. Jesuit Refugee Service, which also operates in Lesbos and other parts of Greece, issued a statement on April 12 saying Pope Francis’s visit “could not come at a more critical time.” JRS believes the Turkey-EU agreement “violates the international law and the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ or not pushing back people in need of protection.”
More than 150,000 refugees and migrants have arrived to Greece so far in 2016, JRS said, and more than half of them reached the country by arriving in Lesbos. In addition, “the UN refugee agency has announced more than 22,000 unaccompanied minors are stuck in Greece and facing an uncertain future of possible violence and exploitation,” the statement added. “During a time when pushbacks are seemingly the solution being put forward by the EU, we hope the Pope’s visit is not just a symbol of hope for refugees, but a concrete push for the Greek government and other European states to actualize those hopes,” said Jesuit Fr Thomas H Smolich, JRS international director.


South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Catholic Herald, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day, Greece, Tour
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Greece

Truth

Reconciliation

Justice

Creating trust and understanding between former enemies is a supremely difficult challenge. It is, however, an essential one to address in the process of building a lasting peace. Examining the painful past, acknowledging it and understanding it, and above all transcending it together, is the best way to guarantee that it does not – and cannot – happen again.

The ending of overt violence via a peace agreement or military victory does not mean the achievement of peace. Rather, the ending of violence or a so-called ‘post-conflict’ situation provides “a new set of opportunities that can be grasped or thrown away”. The international community can play a significant role in either nurturing or undermining this fragile peace building process. The United Nations, individual states and international nongovernment organisations (INGOs), have become increasingly involved in trying to rebuild peaceful societies in the aftermath of violent conflict. The dilemmas currently being faced across Europe are only the latest in a line of learning experiences in this complex task of post-conflict peace building. In Namibia and Cambodia, for the first time, the UN launched expanded peacekeeping operations which included not only military security but the coordination of elections. In East Timor, the UN mandate broadened even further to include the establishment of a functioning government and society through comprehensive development, law and order, security and governance objectives. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, extensive reconstruction activities have also been pursued, including an emphasis on establishing security, democracy and good governance. None of these things can become a reality without Truth, Justice and Awareness of Reconciliation.

Nonviolence is a philosophy, an existing theory and a practice, a lifestyle, and a means of social, political and economic struggle as old as history itself. From ancient times to the present times, people have renounced violence as a means of resolving disputes. They have opted instead for negotiation, mediation and reconciliation, thereby resisting violence with a militant and uncompromising nonviolence and respect for the integrity of all human beings, friends and enemies alike. Nonviolence provides us with tools, the positive means to oppose and stop wars and preparations for war, to resist violence, to struggle against racial, sexual and economic oppression and discrimination and to seek social justice and genuine democracy for people throughout the world. In a very real sense, nonviolence is the leaven for the bread that is a new society freed from oppression and bloodshed, a world in which persons can fulfill their individual potentials to the fullest.

Lets all come together to help reconciailation become more of a reality in all our lifes, through social and financial inclusion, in the everlasting pursuit of truth with justice for all. Everyday they are people that need help to reconcile with there past, with family and friends. Countries that need support with helping out there citizens during the war of the middle east and countries worldwide. These are all things that can be prevented and helped through reconciliation with truth and justice.