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(E) Demining Croatia - swords to plowshares
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/12/2002 | Charity | Unrated
(E) Demining Croatia - swords to plowshares
 
UN Global Compact 

Roots of Peace 
United Nations Event 
New York City, New York 
May 7, 2002 
 
BACKGROUND—Not since the death of Princess Diana Spencer has the media devoted such significant coverage to the issue of landmines. As the public is now learning about the scourge of landmines in Afghanistan, they are also recognizing that landmines are a global problem, where an estimated 80 million landmines are in 80 countries. 
 
Because Roots of Peace works on the full circle of demining, replanting and rebuilding sustainable communities, the organization’s mission will resonate with a public eager to offer a modern “Marshall” plan to countries like Afghanistan. Therefore, Roots of Peace has embarked upon a Demining Campaign to raise one million dollars for the demining of the once rich agricultural lands of the Shomali Valley, 30 minutes north of Kabul. 
 
Roots of Peace has successfully demined over 200 acres of agricultural land in Croatia—returning “Mines to Vines” by replacing the scourge of landmines with the nectar of grapes—turning killing fields into productive vineyards symbolizing “blood to wine”. 
Now, Roots of Peace aims to expand our program to the vineyards of Afghanistan, where the grapes will not be fermented with respect to the Muslim culture. Proud Afghan farmers claim there were once 26 varietals of delicious grapes, which created economic viability for local communities as they exported their product to Pakistan and India. 
 
Roots of Peace was selected by the UN Global Compact as a model project for creating “Public-Private Partnerships in Zones of Conflict”. Our case study will be presented at the United Nations in April 2002 featuring the grapes, olive trees, marichino cherries, and other agricultural fruits of the earth which now grow on former minefields. These demonstrated efforts truly embody the words etched in stone on Isaiah’s Wall at the United Nations converting “swords to plowshare” by turning “mines to vines”. Ultimately, Roots of Peace will plant rice in Cambodia, coffee in Angola, cashews in Mozambique and productively treat the mine-affected lands around the world. 
 
Roots of Peace has joined the US Department of State on two missions to Croatia in January 2000 and May 2000 to see the devastation caused by an estimated 1.2 million landmines silently poised in 14 out of 21 counties in this scenic Adriatic country. Through the support of the California wine industry, Silicon Valley, Digitas, Ruder Finn, 
Rotary Clubs, and other public-private partnerships, we have successfully demined four Croatian villages through matching funds from the International Trust Fund in Slovenia. 
 
 
“Mines to Vines” EVENT 
May 7, 2002 
 
11 o’clock --ROOTS OF PEACE GARDEN DEDICATION—ISAIAH’S WALL 
 
The New York City Parks Commissioner of Manhattan, Mr. William Castro, will join UN officials, US government officials, Ambassadors from Mine Affected countries, corporate leaders, NGO’s and international media for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the Roots of Peace Garden symbolizing our global effort to remove the deadly “seeds of destruction” caused by landmines and replace them with the “seeds of hope”. 
This UN motto calling upon the world to convert “swords to plowshares” is proudly placed beneath an unmaintained, vacant parcel of soil with dead, unwatered plants. 
 
This is a wall of opportunity, and Roots of Peace is proud to be actively working with the Office of the Secretary-General and the NYC Parks Commissioner/Manhattan to create a viable garden of hope featuring the American Beauty rose, Peace rose, English rose (in honor of the late Princess Diana and her efforts to remove landmines), black Iris of Jordan (in honor of Her Majesty Queen Noor and her leadership in landmine removal), jasmine (Afghanistan), lavendar (Croatia), and, of course, vineyards inspired by our Mines to Vines initiative. This garden is poised to inspire the world to plant the roots of peace, by returning demined land to productive agricultural use—swords to plowshares. 
From the productive soil of New York City, we hope this Roots of Peace garden will inspire global citizens to remove the deadly seeds of terror from our planet. 
 
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will feature red tape from a minefield surrounding the Roots of Peace Garden, and our partner HALO Trust will provide “Landmine Warning” signs featuring various languages around the world—Spanish, Croatian, Arabic, Asian, Russian, English, African, etc. Rather than a traditional velvet ribbon cutting ceremony, the red landmine tape will visually symbolize our efforts to convert swords to plowshares by replacing the seeds of destruction cause by landmines with the seeds of hope. 
 
An ecumenical blessing of the Roots of Peace Garden will be arranged, along with inspiring words from the mayor and other distinguished guests (to be determined). 
 
Ruder Finn will coordinate international media “pro bono” for Roots of Peace, in collaboration with our partners with the UN Global Compact & US Department of State. 
High level media visibility is expected showcasing “public-private partnerships”. 
 
United Nations ushers will guide all dignitaries and guests WILL PASSES & PHOTO ID only across the street to the 1st Street Entrance through VIP security up to the 4th Floor. 
 
12:00 NOON---“MINES TO VINES” RECEPTION 
 
The UN Delegate’s Dining room will have a special area designated for a “Mines to Vines” reception, where owners/vintners from Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and New York wineries will feature a wine tasting describing the art-form of cultivating grapes. 
This will be a unique opportunity for guests to meet the “names behind the labels” and become familiar with leading wine makers as we toast “from coast to coast” to global peace. Of course, grape juice and sparkling water will be served to honor international guests whose cultures prohibit fermented grapes—respecting the various choices intertwined through the vine. 
 
The “Mines to Vines” theme will be carried forth into this venue, where HALO Trust, UN Mine Action groups, and US Government Mine Action supporters will prepare an official demonstration of inert landmines for display. Again, red-tape from minefields will surround the room, to bring in the serious tone of the landmine awareness raising event, as guests enjoy the fruits of the earth—symbolizing swords to plowshares. 
Hand-crafted art will also be on display from Afghanistan and Croatia, to show the opportunity lost when innocent limbs are viciously removed by landmine explosions. 
 
12:45 LUNCHEON—UN Delegate’s Dining Room 
 
UN ushers will guide the guests into the UN Delegate’s Dining Room on the same floor. 
Hermes of Paris has graciously offered to provide all the fine porcelain china from France to decorate each table in a different pattern, symbolizing the global diversity and excellence that comes from the earth when nurtured and cultivated. All flowers and linens will also be donated by Hermes of Paris to create a feeling of elegance and bounty. The capacity for the room is 270 guests, and the US Department of State has offered to sponsor the private luncheon. 
 
Keynote speakers will deliver inspirational words, and a song of peace will be performed. 
 
Op-ed 
Please be aware of this event and SUPPORT Roots of Peace organization. 
Nenad Bach 
 
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