David McReynolds has left us

by Colin Archer

Older members of the IPB family will have vivid memories of David McReynolds, who died on Aug.17th in New York City at the age of 88. David was a committed pacifist and socialist, as well as an accomplished photographer. He was on the War Resisters League staff from 1960 to 1999 and was chair of the War Resisters’ International. He was also a long time member of the US Socialist Party, running for President of the USA in 1980 and 2000 — the first openly gay candidate for President — and for the U.S. Senate from New York in 2004 on the Green Party ticket. His very moving photos reveal (among much else) a lifelong engagement with campaigns against war and oppression; and in favour of disarmament and human rights. He traveled extensively, many times to war-torn countries, once getting arrested in Red Square during an anti-nuclear protest in 1978. David was appointed a consultant to the IPB in the 1990s, and was a reliable source of support in all kinds of ways over the years. Many colleagues have expressed great sadness at his passing. David was an outstanding activist who was both resolute and gentle, never afraid to take a bold stand. He was a radical political thinker and writer, a movement organiser, and especially in his later years, a global networker. His family and friends will be planning a memorial service in the weeks to come. See also New York Times obituary.

Nagasaki Commemoration Rally

by Corazon Fabros, speech at the Rally – Nagasaki Commemoration Day

Friends, I am deeply honored and grateful to speak at our Nagasaki Day Rally. I bring solidarity greetings from the Philippines and from the International Peace Bureau.  This year’s commemoration touched me deeply to hear the calls for unity despite our diversity, and the consolidation of our forces across movements, generations and peoples here in Japan.  And most specially the presence of many young people as we have seen during the Peace March and in this hall this morning. Continue reading “Nagasaki Commemoration Rally”

Internship Position

For our office in Berlin, we are looking for an intern starting from September 3th for 3 months.

We enjoy working with students and young graduates on our different projects and hope to contribute to their career by providing hands-on experience.

The IPB Secretariat is a small team, which allows interns to touch on many different topics and work on a range of tasks at the same time. We speak English and German in the office and also use other languages when communicating with our networks. A high level of written  English is important.

Our budget for supporting interns is very limited. However a small monthly contribution can be envisaged.

Main activities

  • Assisting organizing the international youth meeting in Berlin
  • Help organizing the Council Meeting and the MacBride Prize Ceremony
  • Develop flyers, presentations etc.
  • Conduct research in relevant fields such as disarmament, peace process, military spenidng, climate change etc.
  • Membership care
  • Newsletter and social media
  • Maintaining the website

Profile

  • Project management and time management
  • Skills in data analysis and interpretation of findings
  • Communication skills and creativity
  • Fluency in English; German is an advantage

Interested candidates matching the profile and requirements are requested to send their CV (max 2 pages) and motivation letter in English to info@ipb-office.berlin

Closing date for applications to this position is 15 August 2018.

Declaration of the International Meeting, 2018 World Conference against A and H Bombs

The atomic bombs used by the United States of America on August 6 and 9, 73 years ago brought on the unprecedented tragedies to Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the humans had ever experienced in history. The two cities were totally ruined in an instant, and the lives of some 210,000 people were lost by the end of the year. The Hibakusha who barely survived the moment have been tormented by the after-effects of the bombs, including radiation. The nuclear weapons, which cause catastrophic humanitarian consequences, should never be used again for any reason whatsoever. Assembled here in Hiroshima, we decry that nuclear weapons remain the greatest threat to the survival of the human race and therefore call for actions to completely eliminate them without any further delay.

Our friends in Hiroshima, who were hit by the recent record-breaking heavy rain, made determined and dedicated efforts to make this conference possible, while at the same time engaged in the relief and recovery work in the extreme heat. We express our deep appreciation and unlimited solidarity to them for these efforts.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) adopted by the UN conference on July 7, 2017 marked a historic step forward towards a world without nuclear weapons. During the year since then, civil society movements, including Hibakusha, joined forces with governments that support the treaty to make headway toward achieving the total abolition of nuclear weapons on the strength of the TPNW.

With the TPNW open for signature and ratification, conflicts between the countries that stand in favor and those that resist and oppose it are getting sharper.

Nuclear powers, claiming that the “nuclear deterrence” is essential to global security and denouncing the TPNW, are modernizing their nuclear arsenals and strengthening their policy to use them. The Trump Administration reinforced its readiness to use nuclear weapons in its new “Nuclear Posture Review” and is promoting the development of low-yield nuclear weapons. The Putin Government of Russia, too, is developing new nuclear weapons, as well as the doctrine of the first use of its tactical nuclear weapons. The rekindled nuclear arms race between the two is evidence that the “nuclear deterrence” endangers security, and does not ensure it. The “unequivocal undertaking” of the “complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals”, which nuclear weapon states accepted in 2000 in the framework of the NPT, and the “special effort to establish the framework” for it agreed in 2010 should be honored.

The trend for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, however, is steadily growing as a mainstream in the world. Nothing can prevent the TPNW from entering into force. The nuclear powers’ resistance is neither firmly grounded nor has it any prospect for the future. It is evident that the doctrine of “nuclear deterrence” based on the assumption to actually use nuclear weapons, cannot but cause irrevocable damage to humanity. As seen in the voting results of the relevant UN resolutions, those who support the argument to regard nuclear weapons as necessary for their security are limited to the nuclear powers themselves and their allies. The nuclear deterrence doctrine is not persuasive and is further losing ground.

The key to advancing to “a world without nuclear weapons” is the development of public support and movement. The world is now keen to listen to the appeal of the Hibakusha, and the role of civil society in the international arena is dramatically increasing. If we build further on such cooperation between civil society and governments that led to the adoption of the TPNW, we can make headway by overcoming various obstacles. Many recent polls show that the majority of the citizens want their governments to join the TPNW, and large numbers of local governments and assemblies also urge its signing and ratification. It is particularly important to build up the movements and the public pressure in the countries possessing nuclear weapons or staying under the “nuclear umbrella”.

With the ROK-DPRK Summit and the US-DPRK Summit, the historic move toward the denuclearization and the establishment of a peace regime in the Korean Peninsula has started. We heartily welcome this development. The World Conference against A and H Bombs has consistently called for the peaceful settlement of the crisis. The present development is supported by the opinion of the people around the world for peace and against nuclear weapons. The driving force to complete this process also lies in public opinion. We call on all the parties concerned to engage in negotiations in good faith to reach the declared goals and to implement the points agreed. If the hostility beginning with the Korean War is ended and the North East Asia turned to a base of dispatch of messages for peace and denuclearization, its positive impact on the development of the whole Asia and the rest of the world will be immeasurable.

The creation and the consolidation of nuclear weapon-free zones and achieving the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty remain important. Convening of an international conference for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, unanimously resolved by the 1995 NPT Review Conference and further agreed by the 2010 NPT Review Conference, as well as achieving denuclearization and peace in the region is an urgent task. Given that the US Trump Administration has violated the JCPOA, the agreement with Iran, we will hold fast to calling for the diplomatic solution of the problem. The peaceful settlement of regional disputes is crucial to moving forward to “a world without nuclear weapons”. We call for a solution to the Palestinian issue based on the right to self-determination and justice. We further call for an end to the use of force and military intervention in Syria and intensified diplomatic efforts to help achieve the settlement of the civil war through political dialogue.

We express our solidarity with the movement for a nuclear-free, peaceful Japan. Now more than ever Japan is urged to play the role befitting the only A-bombed country. The Government of Japan, however, is eliciting both disappointment and criticism by staunchly opposing the TPNW. It should sign and ratify the treaty immediately. The problem at the root of this attitude is its deep reliance on the so-called “nuclear umbrella”, the extended nuclear deterrence provided by the United States. As the country that knows the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan should firmly refuse the policy that assumes the use of nuclear weapons. The build-up of US bases in Japan, forced to proceed under the pretext of the “threat of North Korea” should stop immediately. We express our solidarity to the people of Okinawa and demand that the ongoing plan of constructing a new US base at Henoko, which infringes the dignity of the Okinawan people, should be scrapped immediately. Diplomacy based on and honoring Article 9 of the Constitution, which declares the renunciation of war and the possession of war potentials, is the right way to join the current for peace in Asia and the rest of the world.

To respond to the desire of the Hibakusha for seeing a world without nuclear weapons in their lifetime, and to actually move the world in that direction, building the public support and the movement is now all the more important. To defeat the “nuclear deterrence” doctrine, the key is to reveal the inhuman nature of nuclear weapons. It is crucial for the Hibakusha and civil society, together with younger generation, to urgently appeal for the achievement of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons while endeavoring to make the damage and aftereffects of the A-bombings widely known.

In addition to urging national governments to join the TPNW, we must expand our cooperation with various other movements as well as the efforts made on the governmental level, thus further developing cooperation between civil society movements and governments.

Now is the time to build a grand-scale movement to open a wide path to “a nuclear weapon-free world”, overcoming the resistance of pro-nuclear forces. While pressing for the earliest possible entry into force of the TPNW, in view of the 2020 NPT Review Conference, let us urge the five nuclear weapon states to implement all the agreements they have thus far accepted and fulfill their responsibility and obligations under Article 6 to conduct nuclear disarmament negotiations. Following Pyeongchang, the Olympic Games will take place in Asia in succession (Tokyo 2020 in summer and Beijing 2022 in winter). Let us use these opportunities to build a peace regime in North East Asia, as well as a nuclear weapon-free Korean Peninsula, to make this region a foundation for sending out messages for a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons.

We propose the following actions around the world:

– With the international campaign to collect hundreds of millions of signatures in support of the Hibakusha Appeal by 2020, the 75th year of the atomic bombing, as our core action, let us develop a variety of actions and international cooperation calling for a nuclear weapon- free world. Many more opportunities should be created to exhibit A-bomb photo panels and hear the testimonies of the Hibakusha, combining them with nuclear disarmament actions planned in each country. Let us plan international joint actions on such occasions as the disarmament deliberations of the 73rd Session of the UNGA (from September through December 2018) and the Third PrepCom (April-May 2019 in New York) of the 2020 NPT Review Conference.

– For the relief and solidarity with the Hibakusha, we support their demand for justice and the State compensation. We support the nuclear test victims in their demand for international relief. We call for relief to the victims of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi NPP accidents and for all other nuclear victims.  We will work in solidarity with the movement demanding ZERO nuclear power plants. Let us support the victims of the Agent Orange, depleted uranium, chemical weapons and other war victims.

– Let us call for the peaceful settlement of regional conflicts. Let us unfold actions for the drastic cut in military expenditures and for the reduction and dismantling of foreign military bases.

– Let us expand solidarity and cooperation with movements for environmental protection, to stop global warming, eradication of poverty and the social gap, improvement of the living standards and social welfare, an end to all forms of discrimination and realization of gender equality and social justice, and for the protection of human rights and democracy.

The adoption of the TPNW demonstrates that the world is moving from the superpower domination to a new era where all nations will decide on common issues facing the world on an equal footing. It will be the era where civil society will be able to contribute to the solution of internationally important problems by forming public opinion.  With deep conviction on such developments, let us move forward to achieving a world without nuclear weapons.

August 4, 2018
International Meeting, 2018 World Conference against
Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others

Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security

Many Americans remain deeply concerned about reports of Russian interference with the 2016 election. Meanwhile, relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest and most dangerous point in several decades. For the sake of democracy at home and true national security, we must reach common ground to safeguard common interests—taking steps to protect the nation’s elections and to prevent war between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. Continue reading “An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others”

In Memoriam: Horst Stasius

Many people like to talk of internationalism and solidarity. Horst Stasius, who has died aged 84, was someone who truly lived it.

Born in The Hague in the year Hitler came to power, Horst grew up in a German family who had gone abroad only to see their adopted country occupied. The family returned to Germany soon after, when his father, Otto, was called up. Continue reading “In Memoriam: Horst Stasius”

Declaration of the International Meeting Against Foreign Military Bases

June 29th, 2018, Kaiserslautern Germany

Attendees from Germany, Netherlands, France, UK, South Korea, Spain, Italy, USA, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Switzerland agree to the following

Whereas:

  • The EU/US/NATO plays a key role in the creation of unequal economic conditions, wars and armed conflicts, and environment destruction that cause people to flee from their homes, seeking safety and sanctuary in Europe;
  • Increasing levels of military spending are contributing to these conditions;
  • Security and defence interests focusing on the security of states, power elites, and cooperate interests comes at the expense of individuals’ personal security;
  • Over 30 000 people are estimated to have lost their lives attempting to find sanctuary in Europe over the last 25 years and countless thousands, possibly millions, have died in their own countries;
  • The EU has put measures in place for open borders for weapons and soldiers, but not for people.

We oppose:

  • The militarization of EU border security that serves the interests of the military and security industry and endangers the lives of people seeking sanctuary in Europe;
  • The aims and actions of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, tasked with border control of the Schengen Area, in coordination with national border and coast guard bodies;
  • All migrant detention and long-term processing centres inside and outside Europe’s borders.

And we call on the EU to:

  • Ensure safe and legal crossing of sea and land borders around and within Europe, thereby opening the borders for people fleeing from conflict and famine;
  • Reduce military spending and invest in fair, just and equitable conditions for development and trade;
  • End the sale and export of arms and weapons’ components.

Stop the wars and not the refugees!

 

Contact:
Aktionsbüro Stopp Airbase Ramstein
c/o IALANA
Marienstr. 19/20
10117 Berlin
Germany
info@ramstein-kampagne.eu

Photos from the week of actions can be seen here.

IPB Statement: Korea Summit In Singapore

The International Peace Bureau welcomes the commitment of President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jung-un to meet at the June 12 summit in Singapore. Even as many issues related to military, human and political rights, and regional tensions will not be addressed in the summit, it holds the promise of ending nearly 70 years of disastrous war and preparations for war that have disproportionally impacted North and South Korea.

This summit would not have been possible without President Moon Jae-in’s inspired “Olympic Diplomacy” which brought the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea back from the brink of President Trump’s threatened “Fire and Fury” war and Chairman Kim’s threat to reciprocate in kind. The Trump-Kim summit would not have been possible without the ground-breaking April 27 Kim-Moon summit at Panmunjom, during which the two Korean leaders declared that “there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun”, and resolved to begin the processes of Korean denuclearization and peaceful reunification.

The Korean people have long suffered colonization by Japan, military occupations by the United States and the Soviet Union, dictatorships, the devastation of the Korean War, repeated U.S. threats and preparations to initiate first strike attacks against North Korea, simulated U.S. nuclear attacks, and North Korea’s consequent development of its nuclear arsenal. We note as well that in the past South Korea had a nuclear weapons program, and that some in South Korea continue to call for either the return of U.S. nuclear weapons deployments in their country or the development of an independent South Korean nuclear arsenal.

The diplomatic process initiated by President Moon, which we trust will be advanced by Presidents Trump and Moon hold the promise of ending this tragic history.

After having raised expectations that the summit would quickly result in the immediate, verifiable and irreversible elimination of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, more realistic expectations for what has been described by some as a “get to know you” meeting now prevail.

The summitry has thankfully brought us back from the brink of what would have been a catastrophic, potentially nuclear, a “Fire and Fury” war.  The Singapore summit can now open the way for future diplomacy:

– Institutionalizing the functional “Freeze-for-Freeze” arrangement that has prevailed since the Seoul Olympics: halting North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile testing, curtailing provocative U.S. and allied military exercises which threaten North Korea, and the elimination of nuclear-related sanctions. Additional elements could include: removing the DPRK from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, unfreezing North Korean assets, and allowing for recovery of the remains of U.S. servicemen and for family reunifications.

– Negotiating a Peace Treaty to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement, formally ending the Korean War. In addition to ruling out future aggression, it would provide for normalization of relations. This was earlier described in the 2000 Joint Communique that the U.S. and DPRK in which the two countries reaffirmed “principles of respect for each other’s sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s affairs…” and “commit to make every effort in the future to build a new relationship free from past enmity”.

– South and North Korean pursuit of national self-determination on their own terms. The international community should support the development in North Korea economically. We call for an end of the international sanctions.

– We stress the need to end the U.S. travel ban and sanctions that seriously reduce the ability to deliver humanitarian assistance including addressing massive food insecurity, the need for life-saving medicines, etc. and noting that humanitarian assistance and encouraging family reunions can facilitate. We call for “people to people diplomacy” which can reinforce peaceful relations.

– Serious negotiations for the phased fulfilment of all of the commitments made in Singapore, including halting the military exercises and moving toward normalization of relations.

– Negotiations for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the creation of a Northeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. Foundations for such negotiations were created with the 1992 joint ‘declaration of South and North Korea on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the 1994 Agreed Framework between US and DPRK, the 2000 comprehensive agreement negotiated by U.S. Sec. Defense Perry and Kim Jung-il (and sabotaged by President G.W.Bush) and the 2005 Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six Party Talks. The April 27 North and South Korean Panmunjom Declaration, “confirmed the common goal of realizing, thorough complete denuclearization, a nuclear -free Korean Peninsula.

Nuclear disarmament negotiations will, of necessity, be prolonged and difficult and will require continuing international support. In addition to achieving the complete, verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the means to produce such weapons, of necessity it must also include the creation of a Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons Free Zone.

Finally, we decry the reality that nuclear apartheid threatens not only peace and survival in Northeast Asia, but of the world’s peoples. There can be no long-term guarantee of peace in Northeast Asia or human survival until the US and other nuclear weapons states eliminate their nuclear arsenals, as they are required to do by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. To support The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons is a most urgent first step.