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Published on January 30th, 2014 | by Wilbert van der Zeijden

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IKV Pax Christi becomes PAX

As of today, Wednesday 29 January 2014, peace movement IKV Pax Christi will continue under the name of PAX. The new name clearly indicates what the movement stands for and works for: peace.

With the slogan ‘Peace. Are you in?’ PAX challenges everyone to contribute to peace in their own way. “Peace is possible, and PAX connects the many people who believe in peace and who wish to dedicate themselves to this: worldwide, as well as close to home”, says Jan Gruiters, Director of PAX.

‘Peace. Are you in?’ emphasizes that peace is not impossible, but does often require courage and tenacity. Jan Gruiters: “Courage from our partners in conflict areas such as South Sudan, Colombia and Syria, who continue to work on peace in their countries, sometimes with a risk to their personal safety. Courage from politicians to let their choices be led by values of human dignity instead of short-sighted pesronal interests. And courage from the many people who are already committed to peace in their own environment and in their own way. These are often people who think laterally, who continue to hope and who dare to go against the trend of cynicism. For example, by setting up a local Peace Embassy, by addressing their bank about investments in controversial weapons, or by appealing to members of the Lower House. Small steps and larger steps which all contribute to peace. Everyone can play their part for peace!”

Critical role
Armed violence can often not be separated from the policy of governments and businesses. PAX will therefore strengthen its critical role in relation to governments and businesses in the near future. For example, by addressing the government about their contribution to protecting citizens of Mali: by appealing to banks to not invest in weapons such as cluster munitions; and by encouraging energy companies in the Netherlands to be transparent about the origin of their coal.

About PAX
PAX is a peace movement which has its roots in the Christian tradition. The core values of PAX – human dignity and solidarity – are understood and embraced by people all over the world. PAX is linked to six churches, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

Read more: Questions about PAX


About the Author

Wilbert van der Zeijden is the senior researcher of the Security and DIsarmament team of PAX. Wilbert currently focusses on getting US nuclear weapons out of Europe; WMD out of the Middle East and your savings out of nuclear weapons producing companies. He graduated at the Vrije University in Amsterdam and previously worked for about nine years for the think-tank Transnational Institute, as their Peace and Security Programme coordinator. Wilbert’s research interests include humanitarian disarmament, NATO and European security, toxic legacies of war and developments in international military infrastructure.



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