Top News can also be Good News

    I am tired of only reading about bad news and want to share some good news stories if reported are quickly overshadowed by bad news. I am an optimist, I am a doer, and I like news that give me hope, that make me smile, that show me that, yes, our world has many challenges, BUT there are a lot of positive things happening that could well contribute to some improvement around our globe.

    Here are a few news stories which, in my opinion, contain worthy positive aspect and which can lead to a more peaceful future for individuals or even for our globe.

    1. Canada- They have a new government in Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau wants to build a peaceful future.

    2. Venezuela- They have a new president, who for the first time in many years wants to build a peaceful society in his country and reshape its future.

    3. Argentina- A new president is rejecting the antics of the past 20 years and wants to build a more peaceful society. 

    4. Colombia- After some 50 years of conflict the government of Colombia has negotiated a peace agreement with the FARC while meeting in Cuba and which will lead to a reduction of violence.

    5. Cuba- After 54 years of conflict, the United States and Cuba recently decided to resume diplomatic relations and opened an embassy in each country. Both sides are working on making progress to reestablish trade relations and citizen visits to both sides.  

    6. Japan-South Korea- The prime minister of Japan has formally apologized for "comfort women" issues, after decades of controversies. This step will dramatically reduce controversy between South Korea and Japan. 

    7. Australia- The new Prime Minister of Australia is building new peaceful relations with neighboring nations and reversing past political issues established by his predecessors. 

    8. Indonesia- The new Prime Minister of Indonesia is actively trying to resolve internal conflicts within his country and improve relations with his neighbors. 

    9. Taiwan - The Taiwan elections on January 16, 2016 are expected to bring back to power the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Ms. Tsai is in a strong position to become Taiwan’s first woman president, and there is a decent chance that the DPP will win a majority in the Legislative Yuan. China is worried, but for Taiwan it may be a step forward to achieve some of their goals regarding independence.

    10. India -Pakistan: The two Prime Ministers met informally in the home of the Pakistan Prime Minister on December 25, 2015 with the goal to reestablish their dialogue to strengthen more peaceful relations between the two countries. 

    11. Climate Change: 196 countries met in Paris in December, 2015 and negotiated an international agreement on the of climate change (the Paris Agreement). The agreement revisits the national goals to "update and enhance" them every 5 years beginning 2023, planning to halt devastating damage to our globe.

    12. United States - A renewed effort, this time made directly from the White House, was announced by President Obama on January 5, 2016, to try to reduce gun violence by Executive action and new gun control orders.

    These 12 example when taken together demonstrate a positive view of events that the world press seems to ignore since they always focus on violence.

    Please join me in projecting a more positive view of world events.

    Let's Keep the Peace Together!
    John W. McDonald 

    Congratulations to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet!

    We are so proud of the members of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015. In the wake of the Jasmine Revolution in 2011, leaders of four different organizations, part of civil society, established in the summer of 2013 a peaceful political process that saved the country from further social unrest and the outbreak of a civil war. These leaders formed the National Dialogue Quartet and worked for months relentlessly, to establish a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for all its citizens.

    This is exactly what IMTD believes in and how multi-track diplomacy should work - a groundbreaking systems approach to peacebuilding, adaptable in all regions of our globe that are challenged by violent conflicts and where the citizens want a sustainable peace.

    John W. McDonald, Ambassador, (ret).
    Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy

    IMTD’s continued cooperation with the Central Tibetan Administration and our Congratulations to Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay

     Sikyong Dr. Sangay with prestigious Presidents MedalOn Tuesday, October 13, 2015, John W. McDonald, Ambassador ret., Chairman and CEO of IMTD, attended the award           ceremony,      organized by IMTD’s President Dr. Brian Polkinghorn, at Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD, to honor the Sikyong  (Prime Minister) of the Central  Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, with Salisbury University’s prestigious President’s  Medal.  

     Dr. Sangay, the political leader of the Tibetan government-in exile, is only the second recipient in the University’s 90 year    history to receive this award. He was warmly welcomed by the President of the University, Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach in a large  auditorium filled with 700 people from Faculty, staff, students and people from this town on the Maryland Eastern Shore.

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    IMTD Salutes Senator Angus King (I-ME), Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, and Former Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns For Their Adroit Multi-Track Diplomacy Regarding the Iran Nuclear Deal

    By Adam Zemans, Programs Director & Legal Advisor

    IMTD is delighted that Congress approved the Iran Nuclear Deal. U.S. credibility as promoters of the deal and our ability to form a military coalition if necessary in the future, will depend on our follow through going forward. In the run up to passage, I had the good fortune to participate in a public forum regarding what is more officially known as the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” at the University of Southern Maine (USM) in Portland, Maine.

    IMTD supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and wants to particularly salute the multi-track diplomacy of Senator Angus King (I-ME), former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, and former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador (ret.) Nicholas Burns, for their adroit analysis and courageous stance on the issue. They exemplify the best in U.S. politics and diplomacy. We believe theirs is a robust example of how multi-track diplomacy can be used to bolster political capital in favor of international peace and rule of law.

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    Youth Leadership and Diplomacy Class at George Mason University Arlington Campus


    On September 23, 2015, Ambassador (ret.) John W. McDonald addressed 50 senior high school students from all over the country, brought to Washington, D.C. by the National Youth and Leadership Forum, to look at and learn about aspects of National Security,  Intelligence, Defense and Diplomacy. After hearing from Ambassador McDonald about life as a career diplomat, work in international organizations such as the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as the steadily growing influence of non-government agencies in the field of conflict resolution, the students had an opportunity to use the remaining time for a question and answer period which testified to their great interest in serving their country and their willingness to learn to utilize tools of critical thinking, analysis and reflection to achieve their individual goals. Several students stayed behind to ask further questions."

    IMTD and Sovereignty First presented a 5 day training on the INCA process from July 6 - 10, 2015

    UntitledIMTD and Sovereignty First presented a 5 day training on the INCA process from July 6 - 10, 2015.  Nine students finished a module, with 2 now ready for field placements.  The principles of Inclusive Nationalism and developmental scales were highlighted.  The week culminated in a presentation to the staff of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa about how INCA can be useful for the national development of Syria.  Presenters included Dr. Eric Wolterstorff, founder of Sovereignty First; former Congressman Michael P. Flanagan; Ambassador John Herbst, and Executive Director Karen Dickman (not pictured).   

    IMTD delivered a workshop for journalists in conflict sensitive journalism from June 2 – 6, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

    nepalDuring the summer of 2014, IMTD delivered a workshop for journalists in conflict sensitive journalism from June 2 – 6, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Institute for Conflict Management Peace and Development served as the local collaborators for recruiting the participants and organizing the venue. The workshop focused on promoting conflict sensitive journalism. The topics addressed broadly included Understanding Peace/Conflict, Conflict Analysis, Media Effects and Framing, Language and Under-representation and The Nepali Media Environment.

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