Early January the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs decides to discontinue the organisational support grant to TFF that we have received since 1991. We shall have to live on a small sum carried over from the budget of 1999, Friends' donations and the annual Soka Gakkai grant of US$ 10.000.
Board meeting 48 (emergency) was held on January 25. It is decided that the foundation shall not be closed down because of any outside pressures or the absence of government support. Goal: to further increase, over time, the financial independence of the foundation. The website is given high priority this year, as it is the cheapest and most effective means to maintain a national and an international presence.
We spend considerable time interviewing decision-makers and obtaining a letter of explanation from the Ministry. It states that four criteria have been applied to applications this year but that TFF is welcome to apply next year and to seek project support. The Ministry turns down a request for a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which grants were decided.
From a later analysis of the decision, "Analys av UD:s beslut om att slopa organisationsbidrag till TFF för år 2000. Bakgrundsorientering för den nya Beredningsgruppen" it is quite evident that the four criteria can not explain why Women for Peace and TFF were cut off while other organisations continued to receive support. There are all reasons to believe that TFF was cut off for political reasons, presumably because of some of its associates analyses and media presentations concerning last year's bombing of Yugoslavia.
Selected members of all parties in the Swedish parliament and the foreign affairs committee are informed in writing about the foundation in general and about the decision of the ministry. They are also contacted by phone during spring -- with a view to get the issue raised in parliament.
We start an international Support Appeal Campaign. By the end of the year 1475 have signed the appeal and/or written personal letters stating how important they think TFF is and that the Ministry's decision is incompatible with the image they have of Sweden. The support comes from 63 countries. Interestingly enough, more than one-third are from visitors to our website who never received TFF PressInfos. In other words, the foundation got a lot of new friends around the world due to the Ministry's decision. A collection of statements from these statements is featured on our site.
We also learn that, of these particularly active supporters, 28 per cent are students and others from the academic community; 43 per cent are citizens of all walks of life (probably quite a few NGO-related), 4 per cent are government and UN and other international organisational staff, 19 per cent are NGO-related (explicitly stating that), 4 per cent are from the media. Much more is available on the site, see Who Are TFF's Constituencies? Reflections on a Support Campaign in the year 2000.
CNN invites TFF to write a background article on Kosovo for CNN's site. The article is on from January 26.
Jonathan Power writes his international column about TFF in January.
Attempts to raise funds for a fact-finding mission to Georgia this year lead to nothing.
During the year we have two hard desk crashes but restore everything and update software and back-up routines. Having no staff, this took a lot of the founder's time too.
TFF's website is streamlined and updated in January and February, ready for a new more intense development. Of particular importance is that images from the digital camera we invested in last year now make the pages more attractive. Webmaster Gunnar Jonson and Jan Oberg co-operate on this. We also introduce Highlights, which, among other things, feature articles and works by TFF associates (about 20 at a time).
A series of TFF WIRE are featured on the website, but this idea is discontinued after the introduction of TNN, the TFF New Navigator.
25 PressInfos (# 84 to # 109) are published during the year, emailed and featured on TFF's site. They reach 8.750 recipients directly towards the end of the year, i.e. at least twice as many by being forwarded on other list serves, discussion groups and friends' circulation. In addition they are now regularly featured on the websites of OneWorld, Global Policy Forum, News Insider, Global Issues and the Euobserver. This means they may be read by tens of thousands.
During the last week of February Jan Oberg is on TFF's 38th mission to the Balkans, this time to Kosovo. We have been asked to participate in a KFOR/UN/IOM training of the Kosovo Protection Corps, KPC. This is for the top-50 leadership. He then does fact-finding by interviewing, among others, the KPC leader Agim Ceku and people in the main international missions. Kerstin Schultz and Peter Jarman follow on a longer training mission for middle-range KPCs in March. Very successful. Johan Galtung trains Kosovo leaders in October, too.
Jan Oberg is invited together with other TFF associates to a UNDP workshop in New York in March about conflict-resolution and related matters that UNDP is to engage more in. In co-operation with Dylan Scudder, director of the Peace and Development Center in Geneva, we submit a training course proposal to UNDP around Easter &endash; to which we received no answer.
In March Oberg also runs a one-week training course at the European Peace University in Stadtschlaining, Austria.
Mission 39 to Montenegro begins on March 18 (Soren Sommelius and Jan Oberg), fact-finding leading to PressInfos and a series of articles on the website and in the Swedish Helsingborg Dagblad and Danish newspapers.
They then proceed to Belgrade for a conference arranged to commemorate the bombing one year ago and arranged by the Institute for International Politics and Economics in which also Hakan Wiberg participates. TFF contributes an article to a book/conference proceedings. After that Sommelius and Oberg do fact-finding on the humanitarian situation and visit a series of refugee reception centres and soup kitchens. On March 31, Oberg visits our project associates in Vukovar and check-up on how the projects we started are carrying on.
The TFF anthology, The UN Agenda for Peace Revisited, is published; contributions by associates such as Richard Falk, Radmila Nakarada and Christian Hårleman.
In early April, Oberg teaches a week at the Geneva-based Peace & Development Centre headed by TFF antenna Dylan Scudder who visits the founders in Lund over Easter. Pia Chaudhari, new Peace Antenna, also visits TFF; from now on she also does language check and editing of our PressInfos.
Our revised site is launched on April 26. Over the year we can see the result in number of visitors and links from other sites on Internet. It is now the second biggest in Sweden (after SIPRI) on these two indicators. 255 visitors per day in 718 days makes 183.100. This means a major presence on Internet.
In May Oberg is a keynote speaker at the European student organisation's AEGEE's conference in Ohrid, Macedonia. In the same month, we launch a section on the site on TFF as a training organisation and the partners we have.
Board meeting 49 is held in Haverdal on May 29.
Early June, lecture at a conference in Dubrovnik arranged by Pathways to Peace. From there to Montenegro, both Herceg Novi and Podgorica (Mission 40). This is the week of the local elections; fact-finding by interviewing a series of politicians and analysts in both places.
Over the summer we develop TNN &endash; the TFF News Navigator which is launched in mid-October (see PressInfo 101). It's a page with almost 350 links to mainstream and alternatives news, comments, analyses, bureaux as well as journals and magazines.
In mid-July the New Nordic Institute for Peace Research, NIFF, is established by Johan Galtung, Jorgen Johansen, Fumiko Nishimura, and Kai Frithjof Brand Jakobsen at the wonderful peace house of Ola and Erni Friholt at Orust in Sweden. TFF is happy to be associated with this (see PressInfo # 97)
The major research activity this year was to develop a comprehensive new three-year research project "Supporting Reconciliation and Forgiveness. A Study of Processes and Policies and the Feasibility of Developing Action Research Networks in Conflict Regions." The budget is 860.000 US$ and the foundation aims to submit the project to the Nordic ministries of foreign affairs and to American, European as well as Japanese grant-makers towards the end of this and early next year. This project signals the major thrust of TFF for the years to come. Its steering group in Nordic and consists of Evelin Lindner, Christian Hårleman, Else Hammerich and Jan Oberg. It is submitted to the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in mid-September.
In August the work on TFF Store and Donations commences. This is TFF's new online site (http://www.tff-store-and-donations.org) which permits customers anywhere to buy our publications online and also make donations using their credit cards. It is a major step in the direction of a) serving our customers better and b) becoming more people-financed in the future. This project took about 1000 working hours for the webmaster and the founder. It began by identifying partners to provide the most advanced software and secure merchant accounts technology. Then registering a new domain and find a hosting company for the site. Then comes the building (online) of the site. The first co-ordinating firm went out of business. When the site was ready to be launched in November, it crashed and several files were corrupted. NetNation, our hosting company, had to be replaced because of what we experienced as extremely deficient performance. However, after having entered a new contract with DesignExtend and upgraded to Miva 3.0 the site could be launched at New Year.
In October, Haakan Wiberg and Jan Oberg participate in a conference on security and stability in the Balkans in Macedonia, arranged by TFF associate Biljana Vankovska.
Early November, Wiberg and Oberg also attend Johan Galtung's 70th birthday seminar in Iserlohn, Germany.
Board meeting 50 is held on October 20.
Public speaking, articles in the Nordic press and PressInfos focused, particularly during autumn, on themes such as the independent Kosovo Commission Report, the EU militarisation and the overall changes in Sweden's policy of neutrality and non-alignment. TFF associates Gudrun Schyman, Per Gahrton, Kerstin Schultz, Maj Britt Theorin, Soren Sommelius, Christian Hårleman and Jan Oberg contributed to these issues being raised in leading Swedish, Norwegian and Danish media (e.g. Aktuelt, Aftonbladet, Helsingborg Dagblad, Göteborgs-Posten, Politiken, Information, Klassekam-pen, the Danish Broadcasting, available at http://www.transnational.org).
Over the year, the Ministry's decision to cut off TFF from funding was featured in interviews and articles in e.g. Arbetet, Avisen, Aftonbladet, Sydsvenska Dagbladet and it was taken up in the Swedish parliament on December 13 and wired by the National News Agency, TT.
At the end of the year, TFF's network consist of 2 founders, 6 board members, 34 international advisers, 14 Swedish advisers, 9 conflict-mitigation experts and 11 Peace Antennas (71 in 22 different countries). The changes: Pertti Joenniemi left the board; Tetty Uli, Carolina Schwarz, Pia Chaudhari, Tamara Tsikhistavi, Vasko Karangeleski, Natalia Springer joined as new young Peace Antennas. Carolina Schwarz, a political scientist living in Lund, also helped us with practical matters, the library and printing of reports.
In December appears Metta Spencer's (ed.) "The Lessons of Yugoslavia," (JAI-Elsevier) with contribution by, among others, TFF associates Michel Chossudovsky and Jan Oberg.
Finally, in November-December we began planning two of the most exciting tasks in 2001; first, Jan Oberg will participate in the Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution's training of Tibetan Buddhist trainers in the exile government of Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. He will then initiate the foundation's increased concentration on nonviolence and travel in the foot steps of Gandhi, including walking parts of the Salt March &endash; to reflect on the relevance of nonviolence in general and Gandhi's legacy and contemporary relevance. The Dharamsala training takes place in the first week of February 2001.
December 31, 2000
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