The IPB Recognizes Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) with the Seán MacBride Peace Prize 2021

Since its founding in 2000, the Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has been a major advocate for the proper treatment and release of all political prisoners in Burma including researching and monitoring all ongoing trials, advocacy to international human rights mechanisms, and transitional justice research and training. Since 2013, it has also been providing reintegration and support programmes including counselling services to released prisoners and their families.

On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar people once again found themselves in the throes of another military coup, ending the country’s 10 year experiment with democracy. Beginning with arresting key figures of the democratically elected civilian government and stationing soldiers at major government buildings in Yangon and the capital, Nay Pyi Daw, the military leaders settled themselves in for what they hoped would be a smooth takeover. The Myanmar people on the other hand had no intention of quietly accepting this change and voiced their opposition to the dismantlement of their elected government with peaceful protests around the country. The military’s response to the protesters was not peaceful in kind with violent crackdowns erupting shortly after the protests began and which have continued at an alarming rate ever since.

With this massive turn in events, the AAPP immediately established a monitoring mechanism whereby it collects and documents information for each and every citizen killed as a result of coup related violence at the hands of the junta or has been arrested for exercising their right to protest against dictatorship. Indeed, Daw Thin Thin Aung, a Burmese activist and founder of Mizzima News Agency and Women League of Burma who appeared as a guest speaker at the IPB event “Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma and Ways Forward for Finding Peace and Democracy” held shortly after the coup, is among those arrested and imprisoned for peacefully speaking out against the junta. The courage with which AAPP has conducted itself in the face of threats and imminent danger as well as its diligence in ensuring that every life taken by military during the country’s struggle to return the power to the right hands is properly documented, is truly remarkable and showcases an unwavering dedication to peace and the Myanmar people. The International Peace Bureau is honoring AAPP’s work and commitment to human dignity by presenting them with the Seán MacBride Peace Prize for 2021.

Chair: Lisa Clark, IPB co-President

Welcome and history of MacBride Prize by Philip Jennings, IPB co-President

Honorary speech by H. E Aung Myo Min, Myanmar Minister for Human Rights

Presentation of medal by Reiner, IPB Executive Director, accepted on behalf of AAPP by Nyien Chan May of the German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy.

Acceptance speech by Mr. Bo Kyi, Joint Secretary of AAPP.

Virtual musical performance by Ko Mun Aung

Closing remarks by Binalakshmi Nepram, IPB board member and recipient of the MacBride medal in 2010.

The MacBride medal are bespoke creations donated by the local Berlin jewelry maker, Quiet Quiet. The IPB is grateful for their support and contribution in helping to honor MacBride awardees.

You can watch the whole ceremony in our Youtube Channel:

Stephanie Verlaan – Coordinator

Stephanie holds a BA. Social Science from Swinburne University of Technology and a MA. Intercultural Conflict Management from the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences. Starting out in social work, Stephanie worked for the Australian government in a range of disability and child protection oriented roles before making the jump over to peace and disarmament and joining IPB. Inclusion continues to be one of her core areas of interest and which she actively seeks to strategically integrate into her projects.

Statement by Philip Jennings on the deployment of nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath, U.K.

“I am here to express the solidarity of the world’s peace movement with your action here today. I speak for the world’s oldest peace organization the IPB. Still mobilizing for peace for 130 years. We will make sure your action today will echo around the world.

Our message is clear we do not want these nuclear missiles in Lakenheath. We want a world free of nuclear weapons. No one officially can admit that these missiles are or will be here. They won’t confirm or deny. Well I can confirm that the IPB does not want these missiles here or anywhere else.

A brilliant American researcher spotted the details and rang the global alarm bell. His name Hans Christensen there is no relation to his Danish namesake HC Andersen. From fairy to nightmare tales. These missiles are ugly ducklings and will remain so, the emperor has the clothes of lethal killing machines CND and the people of Lakenheath you banished these weapons 14 years ago.

You mobilized. Changed minds. You did not remain silent.

As MLK said  `He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it`. You are called to protest this evil once again.

Today Lakenheath is the example of a global arms race out of control. Your brothers and sisters in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy are faced with this new wave of lethal militarization.

Budgets for war increasing military expenditure now over two trillion dollars, we ask where is the budget for peace? The budget for human needs and human security buckling under the strain of booming military budgets. I can assure you that they are mobilizing as they see these installations pushing the doomsday clock closer to midnight. The are awakening their public.

Let us applaud their action. The world is on edge.

A war in Ukraine. Climate devastation. Inequality.The rise of demagogues. Democracy and human rights in retreat. A global pandemic.

A world without a social contract. Fault lines everywhere. Poverty exploding in the UK and this failure of a UK government prefers to replenish and grow missile silos to ending foodbanks. That fits the definition of a morally bankrupt government.

Fault lines everywhere. Confrontation not cooperation. Superpower rivalry. This does not bring the world to a better place and today that toxic fault line runs through Lakenheath. We are staring into the abyss. Aggressive military doctrines menacing threats to use of nuclear weapons. Battle plans that include limited use of nuclear weapons. hey make them sound like childsplay they are not and are many times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.

As you all know and must shout out that we are an accident, miscalculation, mistake away from a civilization ending nuclear Armageddon. The nuclear powers have admitted a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought. Meanwhile they walk away from those treaties that try to prevent this from happening.

We want a different world. We must invest in peace. We demand a ceasefire in the Ukraine and peace negotiations. We demand a global ceasefire and want to see war abolished.

Billions of people live in nuclear free zones and it is time for one in Europe. We must build a new architecture for preace for without it we face breakdown not breakthrough. For disarmament.

The IPB just concluded the work of a Global Commission on Common Security For our Shared Future.In doing so we marked the 40 th anniversary of the original Olof Palme report on Common Security. The basic message rings true today and `International security must rest on a commitment to joint survival rather than the threat of mutual destruction`. Words written at a time when superpower relations were at rock bottom, the risk of nuclear war high and real. Alternatives were developed then and we have done the same with our report.

We changed reality on the ground. We are summoned to do so once again. We must ReImagine Peace.

The peace movement must not be found wanting. We are billions with new generations understanding what existential threats face this planet. It requires all strands of our movement to organize and mobilise. In one month all peace roads lead to Vienna and the first states parties UN Conference on the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. That treaty says there is no place for missiles in Lakenheath, Kleine Brugel, Buchel,Volkel,Aviano and Ghedi or anywhere else.

We together fought for this treaty and others. In 2025 it’s the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration.The world changed. New institutions, accords, understandings, dialogue for peace. The movement succeeded then. nWe must do so again.

In closing we will transmit your anger, your call to action to the conference and to the peace movement worldwide. From Hiroshima and Nagasaki to The Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific they will be inspired by your action and will power demonstrated here today. From your local voices we will ensure that new global horizons for peace will sing.

Thank you.”

The statement was given by Philip Jennings, Co-President of IPB, at RAF Lakenheath.

The Danish Referendum: Can Denmark Resist EU militarization? 

On June 1, Denmark will hold a referendum on the abolition of the defense opt-out, which is one of the country’s opt-outs from the European Union. Currently, Denmark is the only EU country with such an opt-out option. EU militarization has increased tremendously – European arms are sold all over the world with very few restrictions. Arms trade is a threat to peace, security and development, and the arms industry is a driving force behind increasing military exports and expenditure. 

Listen to a message from Lave K. Broche (Board member of the Danish People’s Movement  against the EU, active in the Danish UN Association and member of Danish social liberal party) on our Youtube channel:

 

From his perspective, three points are crucial:

1.       Denmark is already a NATO member and does not face an immediate threat due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. However, the pro-EU side uses the fear and the ongoing war in Ukraine to promote the opt-out.  

2.       Danish visions for peace negotiations – if Denmark keeps the power over their defense and security policy and votes no, the country will have more possibilities to be a negotiator for peace.

3.       Denmark should support international law, an area that is deeply rooted in society – this means no wars or out of area operations without an UN mandate. 

If you are interested in this topic and convinced that Denmark should say no to EU militarization on June 1 , please use your voice and support the Danish population on making their decision! Here is a link to their support page: https://www.folkebevaegelsen.dk/support-us/

Would like to read more? Here is an article about Thales that sold weapons to Russia and that gets money from the EU: https://stopwapenhandel.org/killed-by-thales-military-technology-in-bucha/

or an article by Lave K. Broch about the legal aspects: https://thepeoplesnews.home.blog/2022/05/20/the-danish-referendum-is-about-sovereignty-in-defense-policy-vote-no/

To learn more about the EU militarization, please visit the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT): http://enaat.org/

Joint appeal for ceasefire and negotiations – 8/9 May 2022

The biggest global peace network, the IPB, and the 200-million strong ITUC have written personally to Presidents Putin and Zelensky urging them to mark Europe’s “day of liberation” – 8-9 May – by declaring a cease fire as a precursor to negotiations.

The ITUC and IPB urge Presidents Putin and Zelensky to meet immediately for peace negotiations in a neutral venue, such as Vienna or Geneva, with the involvement of the UN and its Secretary General to serve as the foundation for a new peace architecture in Europe in which Russia’s and Ukraine’s security interests are safeguarded and secured.

Reiner Braun, IPB Executive Director, said: “The only way out of the crises and to avoid a nuclear catastrophe is negotiations and to start a dialogue – even when it is very difficult.

The Day of Liberation marks the end of World War II in Europe, and the liberation of Europe from fascism. The end of the war was on 8 May in western Europe, but 9 May in the then Soviet Union because of time zones.

The joint appeal to the Presidents of Ukraine and the Russian Federation is available here: /wp-content/uploads/2022/05/ipb_ituc_appeal.pdf

North American launch of the Common Security Report 2022

The new Common Security 2022 report was released on April 28 in North America!

The webinar was co-sponsored by Peace Action, PeaceQuest in Canada and the IPB. Speakers included:

Anna Sundstrom – Secretary General, Olaf Palme Foundation (Sweden) Reiner Braun – Executive Director, International Peace Bureau (Germany) Anuradha Chenoy –Jawaharlal Nehru University & Asia-Europe People’s Forum (India) Sergio Duarte – President Pugwash Conference (Brazil) Alexey Gromyko – Russian Academy of Science (Russia) Alexander Kmentt – Ambassador and Director, Dep’s for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation (Austria) Zhao Tong – Tsinghua University (China)

In case you missed the event, please watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MsgBxOtNes

Find more information on https://commonsecurity.org/

World Social Forum 2022 plenary No To War – Yes to Life!

The more than 200 armed conflicts, 26 active wars and the threats of nuclear weapons clearly demonstrate the danger the world faces. While over 900 million people go to bed with empty stomachs, global military spending keeps expanding by the day.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://www.bitlylinks.com/imV0-xRlo (zoom link)

Start time: 15:00 pm / UTC – 17:00pm / CEST

Participants:

  • Reiner Braun – executive director of the International Peace Bureau – Germany (zoom)
  • Noam Chomsky – Professor of Linguistics – USA (video)
  • Jeremy Corbyn – former Chair of the Labour Party, MP from UK (zoom)
  • Julieta Daza, Venezuela/Columbien Juventud Rebelde (zoom)
  • Aleida Guevara, Cuba (tbc)
  • Cindy Larissa Rodríguez, Deputy minister for international cooperation Honduras
  • Binalakshmi “Bina” Nepram – indigenous activist and Human Rights activist from India, board member IPB – India
  • Raul Vera, catholic bishop from Saltillo, Mexico

Organized by:

International Peace Bureau (IPB)

Prague Spring 2 Network against far right extremism and populism

Institute for Intercultural Research and Cooperation

visit this link for more information.https://wsf2022.org/

GCOMS Press Conference “SIPRI Statistics on global arms spending 2021”

Every year the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) publishes statistics on global arms spending. In 2022, SIPRI published the statistics for 2021 on April 25th and the IPB held a hybrid press conference in Berlin to adress the consequences of the increasement of global arms spending.

The following leaders in the field took part in the press conference:

Reiner Braun, Executive Director, International Peace Bureau

Michael Müller, Parliamentary Undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment a.D., Chair of Friends of Nature

Żaklin Nastić, Member of the German Bundestag, DIE LINKE

Watch the press conference here: https://youtu.be/1uhsgGv6X_w

Fore more information on the statistics of global arms spending 2021 please see: https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2022/world-military-expenditure-passes-2-trillion-first-time

If you are interested in the Global Campaign on Military Spending, please find further information here: https://demilitarize.org/

Interview with Philip Jennings and Sean Conner on the launch of the Common Security Report 2022

What are today’s global challenges? How can the concept of common security counteract with these? And most important, what can you do to engage in common security?

Find all of these questions answered in an interview with Philip Jennings (Co-President of IPB) and Sean Conner (Deputy Executive Director of IPB) on the launch of the Common Security Report 2022. The interview was conducted by Nina Engelbracht (Assistant Coordinator of IPB) on April 21, 2022 right after the official launch event of the Common Security Report 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Watch here: /wp-content/uploads/2022/04/GMT20220421-134441_Recording_640x360-1.mp4

You can also find the video our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/EhyEk6_J1No

Common Security Report 2022 – For Our Shared Future (EN/DE/FR)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Olof Palme’s Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. The Commission presented its report in 1982, at the height of the Cold War, and the Commission developed the concept of Common Security – the idea that nations and populations can only feel safe when their counterparts feel safe.

The new Common Security 2022 report comes at a time when the international order faces severe challenges. The world stands at a crossroads. It is faced with a choice between an existence based on confrontation and aggression or one to be rooted in a transformative peace agenda an common security. In 2022, humanity faces the existential threats of nuclear war, climate change and pandemics. This is compounded by a toxic mix of inequality, extremism, nationalism, gender violence, and shrinking democratic space. How humanity responds to these threats will decide our very survival.

The Common Security Report 2022 is published by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Olof Palme International Center. More information on https://commonsecurity.org/.

Find the full report in here:

English: /wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CommonSecurity_Report_2022_EN.pdf

Deutsch: /wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CommonSecurity_Report_2022_DE.pdf

Français: /wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Common-Security-Report-2022-FR-Rapport-Securite-Commune-2022_.pdf