IPB has a long history of work on nuclear disarmament, dating back to the early years of the movement in the 1950s. In particular IPB has been involved with:
- The World Court Project
- Abolition 2000
- The Middle Powers Initiative
- The NGO Committee for Disarmament (Geneva)
IPB’s expertise and capacity can especially be found inside its member organizations. In our network we have several of the world’s largest anti-nuclear membership movements. (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Gensuikyo, Mouvement de la paix, Peace Action)
a. to pursue the issue of the costs of atomic armament. This is integrated especially into the campaign “Disarmament for Development” which includes the Global Campaign on Military Spending. We have published a book on the costs of nuclear weapons.
b. to demonstrate the civil-military ambivalence of nuclear technologies. This goes beyond the activities of most of the anti-nuclear weapons coalitions and requires a soundly-formulated criticism of §4 and other articles relating to nuclear power in the NPT, as well as of the role of the IAEA. IPB itself opposes nuclear power and will continue to express this standpoint in the debate.
c. to elaborate (together with INES and other scientific groups) questions related to the technological and scientific challenges; both in relation to conversion and the dismantlement of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste; and to promote alternative uses for the ‘brainpower’ it represents. We participate also in debates on “socially-useful employment” and the critique of wasteful and dangerous jobs (e.g. in the war industry).
d. to campaign against NATO’s nuclear doctrines, and to work to get rid of the US nuclear weapons in Europe.
e. to support the campaign on the humanitarian effects of nuclear arms, which has brought some new life and hope to the movement of abolishing nuclear arms.. In our view this initiative must be closely linked with the process of outlawing nuclear weapons.
f. to continue to work for general disarmament, non-violence, peaceful resolution of conflicts and international understanding and cooperation; these act as confidence-building measures that contribute to lessening the argument that nuclear weapons provide effective deterrence against potential enemies.
IPB’s plans for 2015 include:
1. NPT: While there are different views about the role and importance of the NPT, IPB propose in preparation for the NPT Review Conference in 2015 to organize events in key cities – together with member organizations including Nihon Hidankyo. The framework is the connection between the consequences of the atomic bombings (70th centenary in August ‘15) and the current challenges of modernization of nuclear arms.
2. HIBAKUSHA TOUR: IPB further proposes to coordinate with Gensuikyo a European speaking tour of Japanese anti-nuclear activists in the early summer of 2015. Our aim is to contribute to the ongoing debates in Europe regarding both the future of nuclear power and the prospects for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The team will be composed of Hibakusha and victims of the Fukushima disaster.
3. STRATEGY DISCUSSIONS: IPB with its long history of work to make nuclear weapons illegal, and close relations to the main NGO players, is particularly sensitive to the ongoing debate on different strategies to ban nuclear weapons. IPB therefore proposes to offer a forum for strategic discussions among civil society actors on different approaches and timetables: realistic/visionary; ban/convention; step by step/full process, non-nuclear state partners/all state parties … etc.
4. LEGAL CASES: Given IPB’s historic role in the World Court Project, a world-wide campaign that resulted in an historic opinion from the International Court of Justice, we are keen to support those who take up this avenue to advance the cause of nuclear abolition. This year saw the launch of the campaign by Nuclear Zero, in support of the case being brought by the Government of the Marshall Islands against the 9 nuclear weapons possessing states. In December, at a ceremony in Vienna, IPB will award the annual Sean MacBride Peace Prize to the people and government of the Marshall Islands.
5. HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI 70TH: In 2015, as part of the 70th anniversary events, the IPB will commemorate the victims with our own ceremony in the Peace Park in Hiroshima.
The International Peace Bureau, founded in 1891, is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. Our current main programme centres on Disarmament for Sustainable Development and within this, our focus is mainly on the reallocation of military expenditure.We believe that by reducing funding for the military sector, significant amounts of money could be released for social projects, domestically or abroad, which could lead to the fulfillment of real human needs and the protection of the environment. At the same time, we support a range of disarmament campaigns and supply data on the economic dimensions of weapons and conflicts. Our campaigning work on nuclear disarmament began already in the 1980s.
Our 300 member organisations in 70 countries, together with individual members, form a global network, bringing together knowledge and campaigning experience in a common cause. We link experts and advocates working on similar issues in order to build strong civil society movements. Our photo-exhibition Making Peace has been shown in many cities in Europe and beyond, reaching many thousands of people. IPB has had Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council since 1977. We also have associate status with the Department of Public Information.
IPB plays a central role in the Geneva-based NGO Committee for Disarmament, a committee of CONGO, the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC. There are sister committees in New York and Vienna. Together we follow various disarmament negotiations, within and outside the UN. We are a Nobel Peace Laureate (1910); over the years, 13 of our officers have been recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. We participate in the annual Summits of the Nobel Peace Laureates.
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