IRSS is pleased to present our updated and re-designed website. We owe this exciting new look to Toronto-based consultant Jeffrey Gingras. IRSS thanks Jeffrey for his creative work.
This report provides supporting information to a Call for Action that was prepared for the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace in their efforts to protect the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The report details information about the increasing risk of attack on nuclear power plants and their irradiated (spent) fuel, and the challenge it poses to our social institutions. In addition to basic information about nuclear plants, spent fuel storage, and NRC regulations, the document discusses the vulnerabilities of these facilities and suggests measures for protecting them. Finally, the report lists government efforts to obtain protection and policy initiatives that are still needed, concluding with a call for an independent technical capability to correct for bias in security assessments.
Dr. Paul Walker has been a member of the IRSS board of directors since our founding in 1984. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation (RLAF) announces that Paul will be one of four recipients of the 2013 Right Livelihood Award. RLAF states that Paul will receive the award “for working tirelessly to rid the world of chemical weapons”. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament on 2 December 2013. IRSS congratulates Paul on this richly deserved recognition. Further information can be obtained at: http://www.rightlivelihood.org/index.html
David Lowry is a UK-based IRSS senior research fellow. Gordon Thompson is executive director of IRSS. On 9 September, Asia Times Online publishes their opinion essay, “Diplomacy offers route out of chemical crisis”. The essay proposes, as an alternative to US air strikes, that diplomacy be used to remove chemical weapons from Syria. The essay further suggests that this diplomatic step could enhance prospects for controlling nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons across the mid-East region. Also on 9 September, the Russian government proposes that Syrian chemical weapons be placed under international control. The Syrian government immediately agrees, and begins the process of acceding to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Lowry/Thompson essay can be obtained at: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-02-090913.html
This article, published in Medicine, Conflict & Survival, builds on experience in the former Yugoslavia to describe a model for psychosocial Healing. Post-conflict reconstruction encompasses social, physical and political reconstruction. Social reconstruction entails rebuilding the human interactions that allow a society to function. This involves the healing of psychological and social wounds of individuals and society. Psychosocial healing is a process to promote psychological and social health of individuals, families and community groups. The Medical Network for Social Reconstruction in the Former Yugoslavia has pioneered a broad range of psychosocial healing programs including community-integration programs, development of volunteer action, and training of professional and lay people to take part in psychosocial healing. These programs have demonstrated that psychosocial healing can be an effective way to heal post-conflict societal trauma and rebuild a society with a vastly improved quality of life.
This report summarizes three assessment interviews with health-related NGOs conducted in Kabul, Afghanistan by IRSS. The purpose of the assessment was to gather information concerning the continuing health and security needs in the country, and how social reconstruction and peace building can be integrated with delivery of health care, as a contribution to meeting high-priority needs. This assessment followed up a paper produced by IRSS, making a recommendation for “Social Reconstruction in Afghanistan Through the Lens of Health and Human Security.”
This complete guide for practitioners describes the use of trauma healing and related psychological and social-support activities as contributors to the development of a stable, peaceful and functional society in a post-conflict environment. It provides the context for psychosocial healing in relation to stress and trauma, and describes in detail a variety of methods and tools for implementing psychosocial healing, including a community-based process and establishing a facilitated integrated-action Network.