Among the most important inspirations for the Global Campaign on Military Spending is Ruth Sivard’s annual report World Military and Social Expenditures, the first publicly available comparison of military and social spending by governments. Mrs. Sivard had been a high-ranking economist for the US State Department and the Arms Control and Disarmament Administration, though later resigned. She was able to find reliable sources for the detailed statistical information she published. Her work was internationally recognized by scholars and activists alike.
Public participation is a central issue for those of us engaged in trying to 'move the money', or in other terms, to shift the priorities of public spending away from the military and towards social and environmental need.
As one of the architects of politics and reconciliation in Europe, he died at the age of 93 after a heart attack on August 20th, 2015. The policy of détente in the 70s, the reconciliation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Soviet Union/Russia in particular, international initiatives for disarmament, and continuous efforts to reduce the danger of nuclear arms and even to abolish them – all of the above are inextricably linked with his name and his life's work. The steady commitment to understanding the Other, the potential enemy, and to developing a policy of understanding and common security constitutes his “lessons learned” from the Cold War. Thus he repeatedly raised his voice in recent months against the perils of a new confrontation with Russia and warned of demonizing the country and its political leadership. Like all his life, he got hateful protest from many for doing so. Yet he firmly adhered to his peace positions. He also expressed these positions in an April 2015 video produced for a joint event of IPB and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Moscow – stressing the dangers of a European confrontation which could easily escalate into a
Geneva, August 24, 2015. The IPB is delighted to announce its decision to award the annual Sean MacBride Peace Prize to two island communities who, in different circumstances, show proof of a profound commitment to peace and social justice. Lampedusa has responded to the dramatic circumstances of thousands of refugees over the last few years; over a similar period Gangjeon Village has resisted the construction of a naval base which will destroy the local environment and the traditional way of life of the people. FULL TEXT
On the 70th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter
Many are the paths to peace. But peace is not only the destination, it is also the path itself. Great thinkers and spiritual leaders have taught us important lessons over the centuries about these matters, and their reflections are just as valid today. In 2015 we are confronted with multiple global challenges, which are often visible as conflicts and dramas at the national or local level. How to feed the hungry, tackle climate change, stem the tide of militarisation? Can we make peace in the Middle East, find a place in our societies for refugees, abolish nuclear weapons? SEE BROCHURE
The 2015 Intersessional Meeting for the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention took place in Geneva on 25-26 June 2015. It was the first meeting of the treaty following the Maputo Review Conference (2014) when States Parties put together the five year Maputo Action Plan and issued a strong political declaration aiming to complying their obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty by 2025, in particular mine clearance. During this event, the Treaty Committees shared their observations on progress made in implementation of the Maputo commitments.
When we see the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki coming around, we call on you to take actions on and around the Hiroshima Day (August 6) and the Nagasaki Day (Auguest 9) to commemorate the tragedies and build up public opinion and movements for achieving a world without nuclear weapons. In Japan, we will carry out nationwide actions on these two days, incluidng signature collection campaigns, A-bomb photo exhibitions and Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) testimonies.
The Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, the Europe Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the IPB organized a two-day conference in Moscow on the theme: How to live in Europe?, 40 years after the signing in Helsinki of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The initiative came out of a discussion between IPB co-President Reiner Braun and the Moscow office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
The Vatican’s latest encyclical ‘Care for Our Common Home’ has triggered much rejoicing from the environmental movement, and justifiably so, coming as it does in the run up to the latest round of climate change negotiations.
Blog article on the occasion of the World Refugee Day by Rev. Paul Lansu (Senior Policy Advisor of Pax Christi International and Vice President of the International Peace Bureau).
The United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on 20 June each year. This event honours the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
The outcome of the annual G7 Summit has garnered mixed reviews from the international community. The Group's response to tackling climate change - a commitment to phase out all fossil fuel use by 2100 - caused some to applaud and others to scorn.
Here is the Global Day of Action on Military Spending’s final report, highlighting the main actions that took place all over the world. Our partners organised 127 events in 20 countries including various campaigns on social media, a kite-flying event, a street meditation, a night light action, a blockade of military establishments, writing a poem, a video clip and others. This year’s Day of Action came at a time of increasing tensions in several regions, and signs of political pressure to spend more from the public purse on the military and to sell yet more weapons. At the same time governments and the UN are urging greater financial commitments both to the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and to efforts to tackle the climate change crisis. The Day of Action was an opportunity to take stock of the facts and to explore what can be done at various levels.
On May 22, a peace flag from 1897 was raised in Oslo in front of the House of the Artists to draw attention to women’s initiatives for peace and disarmament, not least the peace march between north and south Korea where 30 engaged, creative, courageous and high-profiled women participated, e.g. two Nobel peace laureates, Mairead Maquire and Leymah Gbowee and the feminist Gloria Steinem. From IPB, Janis Alton (Board member and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace) participated and from WILPF, Kozue Kay Nagata.
It's time to save the planet! From Nov 30th to Dec 11th 2015, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) will convene in Paris. Join more than 80 organizations in the Coalition Climat 21 and call for real change at COP21. The coalition is organizing events leading up to, during and following the conference, to pressure leaders to take a strong stance on climate justice. Click here for more information and to participate and visit our Facebook pageand Twitter account.
Japan Council against A and H Bombs, Gensuikyo (IPB member organisation) submitted 6,336,205 signatures to the 2015 NPT Review Conference."Thank you for your cooperation for our signature drive in support of the Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons".
26 May 2015. IPB is delighted to publish the following message from the former Director-General of UNESCO:
Dear admired friends,
Many thanks for your message concerning the new Global Campaign on Military Spending. I repeat every day - because it is a crucial issue for my behaviour and personal commitment - that it is intolerable that nearly $1800 billion are invested annually in military expenditure and armament for the “security” of less than 20% of humanity, while (according to the World Food Program) more than 3 million children under five die of hunger. This is really unacceptable.
For antimilitarists, disrupting war profiteering means knocking out the economic pillars that make war inevitable. It goes far beyond the arms trade (although that is an important part of it), and includes all those who fund and profit from war and militarisation.
21 May 2015. Following his participation in the WILPF centenary conference, IPB Secretary-General Colin Archer was invited to join a wide-ranging audio discussion (35 mins) organised by the Guardian newspaper on conflict, the role of women, military spending and the SDGs.
Hugh Muir and Clár Ní Chonghaile present this edition of the Global development podcast, which examines the factors that drive conflict, assesses the role women and the UN can play in peacebuilding, and asks what the sustainable development goals will do to help tackle the issue.
See texts, photos, videos from around the world at: http://demilitarize.org/gdams-2015-events-photos/. Scroll down to find the actions in your region: In Korea, outside the parliament (photo) - In Dublin, meditating in the street - In Manila, flying kites - In Nairobi, remembering terrorist victims - In UK, protesting Trident...and many more.
A general report is in production now. Meanwhile follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
The UN General Assembly will approve the Post 2015 Development Agenda (with the Sustainable Development Goals) in Sept. The big issue is how to pay for it, and to that end the UN is organising an important conference on Finance for Development(FFD) in Addis Ababa in July. Here is our input to that meeting,published jointly by IPB and the World Future Council.
On the occasion of your Global Assembly, to be held in Bethlehem from May 13-17, the leaders of the International Peace Bureau network wish to convey our congratulations and deep admiration for the work you have carried out over seven decades, and continue to do today, for a world of peace and justice.
The city of Ypres/Ieper (Belgium) is famous for 2 tragic events: its complete destruction in WWI (and its astonishing reconstruction) and the first use of gas in warfare, which occurred on 22 April 1915. Exactly 100 years later the city organised an important programme of events, to which IPB was invited to contribute.
These included speeches in the brand new conference centre and ceremonies led by King Philippe at some of the many cemeteries in the area. This was followed by a 2-day conference, co-organised by Mayors for Peace, on the theme: ‘A Century of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Enough!’
Our mobilization in New York and around the world was a great success.
The press has reported, "Peace and Planet showed the commitment of international civil society to peace and disarmament, as thousands of people from around the world gathered in New York on the eve of the NPT RevConf".
The waves were part of a global mobilisation of civil society organisations calling on governments to use the opportunity of the 2015 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to abolish nuclear weapons and redirect the $100 billion annual nuclear weapons budget to addressing climate change, support renewable energies and meet global human needs in health, education and welfare.
This year’s Day of Action comes at a time of increasing tensions in several regions, and signs of political pressure to spend more from the public purse on the military and to sell yet more weapons both at home and abroad. At the same time governments and the UN are urging greater financial commitments both to the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and to efforts to tackle the climate change crisis. The meeting is an opportunity to take stock of the facts and to explore what can be done at various levels. It is co-organised by IPB and UNIDIR.
THE 2015 CITIZENS’ CAMPAIGN FOR A GLOBAL CLIMATE AGREEMENT - INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE
Join The Campaign—REGISTER BY 24 April 2015
To join our campaign please complete the online registration form and provide a US$20 registration fee. Citizens who register to become part of this campaign will receive (a) monthly updates on what countries around the world are proposing to pledge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in advance of the 2015 Paris Agreement meeting; (b) advocacy messages and materials that citizen groups can use to hold their countries accountable for making meaningful greenhouse gas reduction commitments at the Paris meeting; and, (c) notifications of important policy/program issues related to the Paris meeting and the issue of reaching a global climate agreement.
Some 250 persons from 60 countries and 37 permanent missions to UNESCO formed a very dynamic and engaged interactive public discussing in plenary and smaller groups how to make education for global citizenship a worldwide effort to counter fundamentalism and build peaceful societies and sustainable environments. The forum was part of the celebration of the 70 years of UNESCO and an input to the UN Post 2015 Development Agenda and to the upcoming third World Education Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea, 19. – 27. May (the first was in Jomtien in 1990 and the second in Dakar in 2000).
We will soon commemorate the 70th summer of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. In these past years, the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) have appealed for No More Hibakusha and a steadfast call for a total ban on nuclear weapons. Their average age has now exceeded 80. In the summer of 2015, in the same spirit with the Hibakusha, we will convene the 2015 World Conference against A and H Bombs from August 2 to 9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the theme: 'For a N Weapon-Free, Peaceful and Just World'. We sincerely call on all of you that wish for a nuclear weapon-free world to take part in and/or send your representatives to the Conference. We also ask you to send your support to, and take actions in solidarity with, the World Conference
More than 500 people attended the opening of Making Peace at the Östergötlands Museum, and the Swedish Air Force Museum, Linköping, Sweden on 15 February, where they listened to a musical performance as well as speeches from former IPB Co-President Tomas Magnusson and Making Peace Curator and Organiser Ashley Woods. This is the first time that Making Peace is being shared by two museums in the same city at once, and also the first time that the show is presented in a national military museum.
Two additional nominations were made last week for the 2015 Prize. Co-President Ingeborg Breines nominated the Culture of Peace initiative, represented by UNESCO and its former Director General, Federico Mayor, for piloting the project, representing all those who tirelessly work for the transition from a culture of imposition and war to a culture of dialogue, alliance and peace. Full text
A total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons was the task set out by the very first resolution of the first General Assembly of the UN, a task that remains unfulfilled. Yet, as seen in the success of the international conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, held in Oslo in 2013 and in Nayarit and Vienna in 2014, momentum is building up once more, and promises to turn this 70th anniversary of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki into a milestone on the path to a world free of nuclear weapons. For this reason IPB once again nominates for the Nobel Peace Prize the Hibakusha, those who personally suffered from the atomic bombings of the two cities.
January 20, 2015. Paul Lansu writes: In the past six years, Gaza has suffered three consecutive wars, thousands of people have been killed, hundreds of thousands are wounded, and the people live in an aftermath of destruction and despair. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are left to sink deeper and deeper into poverty and misery. The destruction of that small piece of land is complete. The Palestinian expression “Go to Gaza” means “Go to hell!”...Read More
Geneva, January 13, 2015. IPB shares the worldwide outrage at the hideous murders of journalists and artists working at Charlie Hebdo, and the other victims of last week’s violence. We mourn with their families, friends, colleagues and French society as a whole, as well as with individuals and organisations everywhere who reject the idea of killing in the name of a religion or indeed any other ideology or cause. Equally, we extend our solidarity to those in Nigeria who have lost up to 2000 civilians during these same days, massacred by Boko Haram.
12 Jan. 2015. Amb. Alexander Kmentt, Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament was chosen among several worthy candidates the 'Arms Control Person of the Year 2014' in an online poll organised by the Arms Control Association, USA. The award was given for Kmentt's role in organizing the 3rd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, held on Dec. 8-9, 2014 in Vienna; and for Austria's pledge "... to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders ... in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks."
IPB was represented at this year's Summit by Secretary-General Colin Archer and Board member Lisa Clark. Mr Archer spoke to a packed Auditorium on the 4th panel, entitled Living Peace, Reconciling Communities. His announcement that the Global Campaign On Military Spending (GCOMS) had been launched on Human Rights Day Dec. 10 was warmly applauded. The two IPB reps also ran a workshop for some 50 students from a range of countries. See the Final Statement of the Summit
10 December 2014. After many months of preparations and consultations, the IPB is delighted to announce the launch of the all-year-round Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS). Since today is Human Rights Day, we feel the timing is very appropriate! Today's launch sees the unveiling of our new Campaign website - at the same address as the GDAMS one: www.demilitarize.org. The launch announcement will be made today at the Future of Human Rights Forum held at the UN in Geneva. The event is entitled 'Divest from War: Invest in Our Future'.
On Friday, December 5, the IPB presented the government and people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with the 2014 Sean MacBride Peace Prize, for its leadership in global efforts to highlight the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and to abolish them. It is also in recognition of the legal case submitted by the RMI to the International Court of Justice, against all 9 states with nuclear weapons, for failure to honour their disarmament commitments. The prize was accepted by Foreign Minister Tony de Brum at a ceremony in Vienna. FULL REPORT
Many members of the IPB network took part last weekend in the civil society forum organised by ICAN, just preceding the big conference of governments on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, arranged by the Austrian Foreign Ministry. The 600 campaigners came from over 70 countries, representing 100+ different organisations. On the margins, IPB also arranged a prize ceremony, a strategy discussion and a Board meeting. Several of our Board members are also attending the inter-governmental conference. See big photo-gallery!
No to war and German involvement in military interventions – yes to disarmament, civil conflict resolution and humanitarianism are core demands for the campaign “Winter of Peace 2014/2015”.
At an action conference at the DGB House in Hannover on 11th October over 100 participants discussed the need for broad and publicly visible actions for peace. Participants came from different social movements, political parties, churches, trade unions, and persons of the “Monday vigils”.
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 13 2014 (IPS) - Jayantha Dhanapala, a former U.N. under-secretary-general for disarmament affairs (1998-2003) and a relentless advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons, will be the recipient of the 2014 International Achievement Award for Nuclear Disarmament sponsored by Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.
During his speach he refers to Jean Monnet the European Union’s architect and visionary that: “Nothing is possible without men, but nothing lasts without institutions."
As the U.S. debates the President’s plan for new military engagement, hundreds of thousands converged on New York to urge the world’s nations to take stronger action against the threat of climate change. A new report connects these two issues, and finds that the gap between U.S. spending on traditional instruments of military force and on averting climate catastrophe has narrowed slightly.
This report complements the working paper put out by the IPB in September 2014:
On 28 October, IPB circulated the following 2 announcements relating to important events on the eve of the ICAN conference (Dec 6-7) in Vienna:
(1)Public Forum: The Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, organised by IALANA, to be held in the afternoon of Dec 5. (2 – 5:30 pm)
(2)Sean MacBride Prize Ceremony: organised by IPB and Austrian partners, to be held in the evening of Dec 5. (7 - 9pm). All are welcome! For background, see the original MacBride prize announcement from 6 August, HERE.
Tackling the challenge represented by ISIS (Islamic State or ISIL) is a tough assignment, both for governments and for civil society. Their barbaric killings and rapidly expanding control of territory have resulted in precisely the reaction intended: military intervention by the US and its allies. Despite the failures of the recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere, those with hammers in their toolboxes once again see every problem as a nail.
23 Sept 2014. Our 2013 editionis now out! It summarises IPB's work in several project areas: Disarmament for Development - Military Spending - Nuclear Abolition - Stockholm Triennial Conf - Making Peace Exhibition - Nobel Peace Prize activities, and more. Hard copies are available on request from IPB Secretariat.
IPB Co-President Reiner Braun reports on the NATO Counter-Summit in Newport, Wales, 4-5 Sept 2014: "Disbanding NATO would be the alternative. In the normally peaceful little Welsh city of Newport, the latest NATO Summit took place, more than two years after the last summit in Chicago in May 2012. The “No to War – No to NATO” network will continue these activities in 2015, including two events on the role of NATO in northern Europe and in the Balkans".
10 Sept. 2014, Geneva. It was an unusual event in the life of the United Nations. The Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Prof. Alfred de Zayas, chose to devote the bulk of his annual report to the Human Rights Council to the issue of military spending, highlighting the many ways in which it aggravates the challenge of ensuring respect for human rights, by increasing the militarisation of conflicts and diverting vital resources away from human needs.
Hiroshima, 5th August, 2014. The city prepares for the commemoration of the victims: the Peace Park is ready for the great ceremony, the schools are festively decorated and the temples are preparing for the different services. A couple of minutes of silence in memory of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the first nuclear bomb during a wet but impressive event. But also, we hear more precise words than in the past, among others during the short speech of the conservative Mayor of Hiroshima, Mr Kazumi Matsui.
Also, more precise words addressed to the nuclear weapons states in the greeting offered by the UN Secretary-General. They illustrate the growing impatience of the majority of the international community with the lack of progress towards a world without nuclear weapons.
Djerba, 01 Sep 2014. Today, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the security forces' attack on Lina Ben Mhenni- a Tunisian journalist and human rights blogger, winner of the IPB's Sean MacBride Peace Prize in 2012. On August 30, some security personnel at a security zone in Djerba assaulted her and her bodyguard by beating, insulting and kicking them, while they were in her car near the security zone. Since Lina receives deaths threats for her work, a guard accompanies her wherever she goes. At the time of the attack, Lina and her guard were heading towards the security zone on an urgent matter. In addition, the security personnel beat and insulted her parents, who found her later and headed to Houmt Souk police station, where the police took note of the incident and opened an enquiry.
IPB has released anew study on military spending in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. One of the most disturbing aspects of the crisis in Ukraine is the increasing pressure on all governments in the region to increase their military spending. This pressure comes both from below (fears of the 'other side') and from outside (NATO's 2% spending target, Russia's re-assertion of its influence on former satellites). In IPB’s view, militarism is the wrong solution. The current arms build-up on all sides will only lead to increased polarisation between Russia and the West, and aggravates the potential for a dangerous armed conflict.
13 August 2014. Tomas Magnusson writes: "Tomorrow we will have a small double-century celebration in Göteborg, with Ingeborg Breines (IPB Co-President) as guest speaker, as well as the former Defence Minister Thage G Peterson. Here is an article I wrote about the long peace between our two countries". See Englishand Swedish versions.
Speech given by Dr. Joseph Gerson (IPB Board member) and the International Conference against A & H Bombs, Hiroshima, August 3, 2014
Gerson addresses the tensions in East Asia, the recent unconstitutional and undemocratic reinterpretation/revision of the Japanese constitution, and the importance of mobilizing peace movements around both the NPT Review and the humanitarian consequences conferences. Full text of the speech available here.
Aug. 6, 2014. The International Peace Bureau announced today that it will award its annual Sean MacBride Peace Prize for 2014 to the people and government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, RMI, for courageously taking the nine nuclear weapons-possessing countries to the International Court of Justice to enforce compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and international customary law. Read the press release in Englishor in
The intensive international debate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda continues as the UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group (OWG) has recently finalised the drafting of the outcome document with a proposed list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IPB's new Discussion Paperhighlights the urgent need for the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on peace and for targets on worldwide disarmament and the reduction of excessive military spending.
The International Peace Bureau calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza and the resumption of peace talks.
"IPB is deeply saddened and gravely concerned by the continued escalation of military operations in Gaza, the physical devastation, and the high number of Palestinian civilian casualties, including whole families. The entire Palestinian population in Gaza is again being subjected to collective punishment. As each day passes, more innocent civilians are being killed. We call for an immediate ceasefire. Israel has also lost people and the population is living in fear. The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel must also stop. (...)".
Fundacio per la Pau is an IPB member organisation based in Barcelona. See their latest announcement:
"We would like to share with you apress releasewe have launched today showing which countries have won the World Cup for Disarmament 2014. We have classified the countries participating in Brazil 2014, depending on their position concerning the more relevant disarmament and control arms treaties. The winners are Costa Rica and Mexico."
1 July 2014. The very first event of the commemorative programme in Sarajevo on the anniversary day of the famous incident triggering the start of World War I on 28 June 1914 was...our Making Peace exhibition! Thanks to excellent cooperation with local and international partners, we were able to use a prime site along the banks of the River Milacka, right in front of the beautiful Art Academy...seeEuronews interview with Colin Archer.
Over 2500 participants at the international Peace Event Sarajevo 2014, 6-9 June.
We have to counter the threat of war in the world more intensely and commonly and we have to interfere in the mankind question about “war and peace” with much more energy and more international actions. This was the unique vote of all participants of the largest Peace Event in 2014, which took place on Pentecost with more than 190 workshops and many cultural events as well as a large youth camp in Sarajevo....
The Peace Event Sarajevo was an intense experience for all the IPB participants. Apart from a wealth of valuable informal networking, we organised or participated in several sessions, notably on the issue of Military Spending and Disarmament for Development. These included:
June 23, 2014. This weekend was the occasion for a rather special ceremony in the Swiss Jura village of Tramelan, the birthplace of Albert Gobat. Gobat was the second of IPB's Secretaries-General and shared the 1902 Nobel Peace Prize with our first S-G, Elie Ducommun, also Swiss.
On 15th May 2014, IPB was invited to participate in an important consultation convened by the UN's Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas. The organisation was represented by Secretary-General Colin Archer and Disarmament for Development campaigner Tamara Lorincz (Voice of Women for Peace, Canada). Prof. de Zayas has issued a very strong statement, which we hope will help open a new debate within the UN and beyond on this crucial issue.
The pressure for change is rising…that was the conclusion drawn at the end of the fourth edition of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), held on 14-15 April 2014. This year’s programme featured around 135 actions in 25 countries, including an extraordinary range of imaginative events: from rallies and distribution of flyers, to petitions, to 'penny polls' and other variations, to selfies and twitter campaigns, to tree-planting, sea actions, infographics, and much more.
On May 3rd, a well-attended conference took place in New York on the centenary of World War I. It brought together academics and activists to reexamine the history of WWI and its aftermath, and to consider what we might learn that is useful in peace and disarmament work, including similarities and differences between the forces that led to catastrophic great power war a century ago and those that threaten extinction today. The conference was sponsored by several organisations including IPB.FULL REPORT. Also: Speech by Andy Lichterman
IPB congratulates the Swiss campaigners who have achieved a historic victory, the first ever 'no' in a referendum on a military issue. On May 18, 2014, voters rejected the proposal to buy 22 JAS-Gripen fighter jets from Swedish arms company Saab. See joint Swiss-Swedish media release.
5 May, 2014. Our photo-exhibition 'Making Peace' opened on Saturday in Strasbourg in fine style. Despite the bitter cold, curator Ashley Woods and Secretary-General Colin Archer joined a large group of officials and specially invited guests (including the Bosnian Ambassador and a representative of the German Consulate) from the international institutions for the opening ceremonies of the Lieu d'Europe, a handsome, newly extended Alsatian villa intended to provide a space for gatherings to 'bridge the gap' between the European institutions and the general public.
On April 14, Global Day of Action on Military Spending, the International Peace Bureau organised a seminar in Geneva which attracted the participation of many NGO representatives and others. The goal was to draw attention to the latest statistics and to discuss ways to take action in order to favour the reallocation of military expenditures to social and environmental programmes.
Geneva, 10 April 2014. Next Monday, 14 April, well over 100 organisations all over the world will (for the 4th time) come together in support of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). This coordinated global effort constitutes a growing civil society movement to #movethemoney.
IPB member organisation the Centre Delas writes: We are proud to invite you to our next “Trobada de Barcelona: A century of war and peace in the world”, which will take place in Barcelona on the evenings of 8th and 9th May.
On April 14th 2014 the International Peace Bureau invites everybody to join it's seminar on “MILITARY EXPENDITURE AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE PURPOSES OF THE UNITED NATIONS“ in Geneva.
The seminar will present the latest figures and trends (SIPRI data for 2013 to be published on April 14) and will consider the funds allocated to the military, not only as a disarmament issue, but also as a potential contributor to social and environmental protection. The speakers will also address the place of such concerns within the debates on the UN's Post-2015 Development Agenda and in relation to issues of transparency and democracy.
Once again NGOs are gearing up for the PrepComm of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. IPB is working with our member organisations IALANA (lawyers) and INES (scientists and engineers), and others, to put together a series of important side-meetings, to be held in the first week of the PrepComm. See this flyer for all details. Topics covered include nuclear weapons in Europe; nuclear weapons and automatization; strategies to reach a world without nuclear weapons; and the nuclear weapons-nuclear energy linkage. There will also be a day conference on Facing the Danger of a 21st Century Great Power War: A Conference on the Centenary of World War I.
Ukraine Conflict: Dialogue and East-West Cooperation are the key.
"March 11, 2014. The events of the last few days and weeks only serve to confirm what the IPB and others in the disarmament wing of the international peace movement have been asserting for years: that in times of political tension, military force solves nothing. It provokes only more military force from the other side, and risks pushing both parties up and around an infernal spiral of violence. This is an especially dangerous course when there are nuclear weapons in the background. (...)"
Challenging militarized security: Delegitimization of war' and includes a vigorous critique of military spending, calling for a 50% reduction.
Janis Alton (VoW, IPB Board member) writes: "This strong petition will be part of our work at this year’s CSW. Something we undertook last year, too, getting many NGO (largely individual) signatures from many countries. Once again, we’ll collect signatures on site and present them to the Bureau Chief of the Commission on the Status of Women and give a hard copy to the Canadian Mission’s Deputy Ambassador on Mar. 18th."
Now the registration to the event is open, spread the word and advocate peace, non-violence, and justice. Become an active part of the big peace event âÂÂÂÂ from June 6-9 in Sarajevo. Registering is the first step. The sooner you do it the more you help us to organize the event. Thus please register now. Register at: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.peaceeventsarajevo2014.eu/registration.html
IPB's Co-President Reiner Braun made a presentation at the recent conference in the European Parliament marking 100 years since the outbreak of World War I. Thisvery interesting powerpointalso covers current technical developments in warfare, esp. automatisation and killer robots.
Faith-based organisations are invited to join the Disarmament for Sustainable Development Campaign. The main aim of this initiative is to press for an end to the over-funding of military establishments and for the creation of new funds to tackle human insecurity and common threats to the planet. Fr. Paul Lansu has written a background documentwhich can be used for further action within the religious communities.
IPB's Co-President Ingeborg Breines reports on her efforts to ensure that the recent meeting in New York on the UN's Post 2015 Development Agenda took into account the importance of issues related to peace, disarmament and military spending. You can also read the statement we made to lobby for peace as a stand-alone goal and for a 10% reduction in military costs, in order to finance the new sustainable development goals, the SDGs.
IN MEMORIAM Sheila Oakes
IPB Secretariat is sad to report the death of one of our former Vice-Presidents, Sheila Oakes (UK).
Sheila was from a military family background but made a remarkable transition to becoming one of Britain's most prominent peace advocates, fulfilling the role of Secretary of the National Peace Council for many years. She was also active at the Geneva level as a member of the NGO Committee for Disarmament.
As violence continuously intensifies in Syria, sectarian tensions and violence are deepening. The death toll has increased by 36 % (from 100.000 to a conservative estimate of 136.000, including 11.000 children). Responding to the ongoing violence in Syria and the great suffering of the Syrian people, full humanitarian access in the country should be guaranteed and strong international support for renewed negotiations be given. The human catastrophe must come to an end. How much longer have the Syrians to suffer?
Nobel Peace Prize 2014 - IPB nominates National Priorities Project, USA
Geneva, January 25, 2014.
IPB today submitted its official nomination for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
"IPB believes that Alfred Nobel was dedicated to supporting those who seek alternatives to the system of warmaking. In our view, the essential fuel for this system is money, especially public money derived largely from taxpayers. Within the world’s largest-spending state in terms of military budgets, ie the USA, few have devoted as much energy to studying the budget process as the National Priorities Project. And few have brought to the task such a clear and steadfast commitment to re-allocating the enormous sums devoted to the military, in order to instead address vital issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, health and the need to build a green economy. "
For more information about the National Priorities Project please check their website.
The nomination has been featured online at Open Media Boston. You can read the full text at this link, and below an excerpt.
In a phone interview, Executive Director of NPP Jo Comerford told Open Media Boston, “This is National Priorities Project's first nomination. We were of course honored to hear that the International Peace Bureau, that body of 13 former Nobel Laureates, felt us a worthy candidate for such an honor and we certainly will be emboldened moving forward to work to really live up to the high, high esteem in which IPB is clearly holding NPP’s work.”
Founded in 1983, NPP attempts to break down the complexity of the federal budget, and present it to the public in a transparent and accessible way; seeing itself as a kind of “people’s guide to the federal budget,” says Comerford.
According to the IPB’s nomination announcement, it sees public money in the US – the country with the largest military expenditure – as an “essential fuel” for war-making that could otherwise be used in addressing “vital issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, health and the need to build a green economy.”
The International Peace Bureau, IPB, appeals to the UN, to governments and regional and local bodies to implement decisions on the importance of women's full participation in peace building as it has been expressed in a number of contexts e.g. in the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995, and in Security Council resolutions 2122 and 1325.
The Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust invited IPB to India to receive a prize that they have been giving out each year since five years. As Co-president of IPB, Ingeborg Breines travelled to Hyderabad for the ceremony on January 4th. Here is a short report after the event:
"I was the guest of honour in a ceremony, set in grand style, with some 400 people, in the context of the extended birthday celebrations of the founder of the Mission Trust, the Hindu spiritual leader, scientist and teacher, Prof. S.A.R.P.V Chaturvedi. In my votes of thanks I made a short presentation of the International Peace Bureau and put emphasis on the importance of disarmament for development. Disarmament was also the focus of the presentation of the Swami, professor Chaturvedi. A long-term consultant of the Sri Ramanuja Trust Fund, the Australian interfaith expert, Dr. Ian Fry, also made a presentation on the occasion. I also had meetings with different prominent members of the Mission Trust to discuss future cooperation between the IPB and the Mission Trust. The Mission Trust and some of its partners are seeking membership with the IPB. Several concrete suggestions for joint ventures were discussed and will be presented to the respective governing bodies. I also used the occasion to meet with IPB member organizations, both in Kerala and in Hyderabad. In Hyderabad they had organized meetings with a group of intellectuals (lawyers, politicians, teachers and NGOs); students at a Muslim college in a poor part of the old town as well as a meeting with Christian minorities and politicians in the state Library of Andhra Pradesh.".
You can now read the speech clicking here: hyderabad.
IPB Message for 24 Hours for World Peace
On January 1, the 24 Hours for World Peace initiative offered people from every race, nationality, and religion, an opportunity and practical way to stimulate their thinking, to nourish their hope, and to take action for peace. Organizations and individual participants shared their wishes, resolutions and messages of peace. The International Peace Bureau sent its message as well:
We urge political leaders worldwide to decide to seriously invest in peace-building and reconciliation initiatives by reducing the military budget to a real minimum and transferring the resources.
Fr. Paul Lansu
Vice President, International Peace Bureau
You can read the whole message here. For more information about 24 Hours for World Peace you can visit the website.
IPB shortlisted for Irish Peace Prize!
The shortlist of nominees for the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award has been announced by Tipperary Peace Convention today.
The 2012 recipient Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who travelled with her father Ziauddin to receive the award in Tipperary last August.
Just five nominees are included in the short list for the 2013 prize, including Pope Francis and the IPB!
The 13th annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, held in Warsaw from October 21-23, 2013, was an enormous success from every point of view: organisation, participation, media coverage, hospitality, and (not least) quality of the presentations. Compared to the very early Summits (the first was in 1999) this was a highly developed programme, choreographed on a minute by minute basis. Those who were able to take a little extra time to visit the city of Warsaw, or other places in Poland, were not disappointed.
The IPB today joined the international chorus of tributes to Nelson Mandela following the announcement. He was perhaps the world's most renowned political figure, and the greatest of Africa's sons. "He inspired the best in us all," commented IPB Co-President Ingeborg Breines, "and he became a model of wisdom and of forgiveness and reconciliation. His courage inspired the dream of ordinary people for their statesmen and stateswomen to be like him. In an age of worldwide cynicism about politicians, his is an outstanding example to follow." The IPB Secretariat will be writing a special message to the South African Mission in Geneva for their Book of Condolences.
The International Peace Bureau is pleased to announce that the date of the 4th edition of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending has now been fixed: 14 APRIL 2014
It coincides, once again, with the release by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) of their annual statistics on global military spending. In the USA, Tax Day actions will be held on April 15 and some groups will combine the GDAMS actions with those. In other places, activists may prefer to do an action on the weekend, ie April 12-13. This could be followed by an extra activity on the Monday, and/ or the release of an action-report to the media on that day, together with the latest SIPRI figures.
- The misuse of the world’s resources, both financial and human, for military purposes. - The nuclear arms – nuclear energy nexus - Secrecy, old-fashioned masculinity and lack of transparency in the security discourse and the need for whistle-blowers - The language of war – the language of peace, hypocrisy and double speech.
The 13th annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, held in Warsaw from October 21-23, 2013, was an enormous success from every point of view: organisation, participation, media coverage, hospitality, and (not least) quality of the presentations. Compared to the very early Summits (the first was in 1999) this was a highly developed programme, choreographed on a minute by minute basis. Those who were able to take a little extra time to visit the city of Warsaw, or other places in Poland, were not disappointed.
We have a new project! IPB has launched an outreach programme to engage different sectors of civil society in the efforts to challenge military spending and to promote Disarmament for Development. Over the next 12 months, thanks to support from the Japanese Buddhist organisation Rissho-Kosei Kai, we are able to devote some time to making contact with faith-based communities. In particular, we wish to encourage work on military spending and the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda, and to offer support on parallel initiatives such as the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Please refer to the brochure for more details. If interested, please contact the IPB Secretariat.
On Oct. 9 we found out via a US journalist that a story has been published in the UK Guardian, which quotes your letter of October 7 expressing 'shock and frustration' about the award of the Sean MacBride Peace Prize to yourself. First of all, let us state, on behalf of the International Peace Bureau, that we greatly regret any misunderstanding caused by this award and any distress it may have caused you. We acted in good faith that we were helping your cause but we were very aware that, given the problems of communication, it was not a perfect process.
Efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction undoubtedly fall within the scope of the will of Alfred Nobel, whose commitment to disarmament is well established. Nobel was himself a chemist and before embracing the peace cause, held the view that his dynamite would become so powerful that states would no longer resort to war. He was of course quite wrong in that regard, and for that reason alone we have no doubt that the later Nobel would have approved of an international machinery to eliminate chemical weapons.
Unilateral Disarmament: A Survey by the International Peace Bureau of national efforts by governments to promote general and complete disarmament outside multi-lateral frameworks. Oct. 2013
Unilateral Disarmament is the result of a questionnaire which was sent by the IPB in mid-2012 to 172 UN member states at their Geneva missions, seeking to determine what actions they are taking on their own initiative. It sought in particular to determine what actions were being taken regarding a national program of Disarmament Education; in what ways national authorities were working to reduce their military expenditures, and how those expenditures could be transferred to human development needs; and to determine where the decisions regarding disarmament were made in the responding state. Only a small number of states responded and the survey details and analyses their responses.
The United Nations Security Council adopted the Resolution 2117 (2013) at its 7036th meeting on 26 September 2013, focusing on the need to ensure international coordination, cooperation, assistance and further commitment to eradicate illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW).
Those who attended the Triennial gathering mid-Sept (and also those who did not!) may enjoy the two Photo Galleries: General and Portraits(in pdfs). See also the Notes on conference presentations, put together with the help of the students at the Peace Academy.
The conference was held just at the critical moment when the balance in the Syrian chemical weapons drama shifted from possible US-led military strikes to a super-power deal to eliminate the Assad regime’s arsenal....The gathering as a whole provided opportunities for IPB members and others to meet in several different contexts over the 3 days: at the Nobel Museum, at the ABF Labour House, and at the Immanuels Church. FULL TEXT
New IPB Co-President : Reiner Braun, Germany
17 Sept 2013. Berlin /Geneva. The German peace activist Reiner Braun is the new IPB Co-President. The managing director of the German section of Lawyers Against Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons (IALANA), he was elected at the IPB's Triennial Assembly last week in Stockholm.
At the recent IPB Assembly held in Stockholm, a number of our members - notably Tomas Magnusson, outgoing Co-President - were thanked for their service over the last 3 years, as they made way for the newly-elected new Board and Council. The Board (18 persons from 15 countries) and the Council (13 persons from 9 regions, plus the Board members) will serve for the next 3 years. Their contact details are available from the IPB Secretariat.
Stockholm, Sept 15, 2013. "There was a new hope expressed at the IPB Triennial Conference, welcoming the agreement between Russia and the USA on chemical weapons in Syria. The forming of international coalitions for military intervention is now much more difficult as public opinion against war has become so strong. People are weary of war and the deceit and rhetoric that go with it. They are suspicious of double speak and are tired of ‘humanitarian’ statements which end with actions that simply generate more human suffering....'' FULL TEXT
The year 2012 was another intense period for the International Peace Bureau. We organised the second edition of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, presented the 'Bread-Tank' at the Rio+20 Summit, published a Position Paper on the UN's Post 2015 Development Agenda, continued our various activities to promote nuclear disarmament, worked hard to obtain showings of our photo-exhibition Making Peace, and much more...
The IPB today vigorously denounced the ominous threats by Western powers to ‘punish’ the Syrian regime for its so far unproven use of chemical weapons.
To discuss the alternatives to military intervention, IPB is holding a major international conference in Stockholm on Sept 13-15. Speakers include Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Maguire (recently returned from Syria) and Jody Williams. Together with Nobel nominee Terumi Tanaka (A & H Bomb Sufferers Organisation, Japan), they will address a distinguished audience at the Nobel Museum on the evening of Sept 13.
Every three years IPB holds a special gathering to bring together our members and supporters and to discuss the challenges facing us as peace movements in an unstable and over-militarized world. This year we will explore the issues of military intervention (and the alternatives) and the economy of war. Among the venues will be the Nobel Museum, where IPB's photo exhibition Making Peace is being shown. The main conference is to be held at the ABF House, a well known centre for labour movement education and related fields.A map of venues can be found at: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zUt1z8UBLY7M.kRhWHgogQ1Os
IPB`s award of the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to U.S. whistleblower Bradley Manning has attracted considerable press coverage and favourable comments. One commentator summed it up: "Thank you for giving Bradley Manning the award. Our own President should have given him a pardon." Meanwhile, just as his trial is just winding down, Manning was given a second peace prize last week, and the petition to urge that he be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize has almost reached 100 000 signatures.
A short version of this article will appear in a special newspaper publicising the peace programme to be organized in Sarajevo next June, to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of WWI.
Why did it go so wrong? What could have been done differently? What can we learn from history? Can alliances, normally seen as a strength to smaller countries, become a dangerous factor in times of tension? Where are we today? Can we, 100 years after the outbreak of the First World War, turn power away from a militaristic thinking of force and dominance to one of sharing, dialogue and cooperation?
The International Peace Bureau is delighted to announce that this year’s Sean MacBride Peace Prize is to be awarded to Bradley Manning, the US whistleblower whose case has attracted worldwide attention, for his courageous actions in revealing information about US war crimes. His trial is likely to be concluded in the coming days.
Manning was arrested in May 2010 after allegedly leaking more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, 400,000 U.S. Army reports about Iraq and another 90,000 about Afghanistan, as well as the material used in the “Collateral Murder” video produced by WikiLeaks: videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Garani airstrike in Afghanistan. At the time, it constituted the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public. Much of it was published by WikiLeaks or its media partners between April and November 2010.
IPB would like to express its sincere condolences at the death of Senji Yamaguchi, Hibakusha of Nagasaki.
A strong voice for peace and decency is now silent. A huge loss for his closest and for the anti-nuclear movement. But the memory of the suffering of the Hibakusha and the strong determination that there be no more Hiroshima, no more Nagasaki and no more war will live on.
The year 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, which was triggered by the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914. This is a symbolic date for a century of a “Culture of War and Violence” with two world wars and numerous regional wars - among them the one in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, when Sarajevo itself was under siege. Now peace movements (among them IPB) are planning a major programme of peace events in the city, as the best way to commemorate these events.
More than 100 houses in Joseph Colony, a Christian enclave in Lahore, Pakistan, were demolished in a religious confrontation in February. Some of the IPB`s member organizations in Pakistan wanted to assist the homeless people, and IPB managed to find a Norwegian sponsor, Stefanusalliansen, which has contributed some resources to five organizations. These IPB member organizations will encourage inter-religious dialogue and provide educational opportunities for children, vocational training for young women, support for a lawyer to assist a young man imprisoned for blasphemy, and sports and cultural activities for young people of both Christian and Muslim faith.
"Allowing life or death decisions to be made by machines crosses a fundamental moral line. Autonomous robots would lack human judgment and the ability to understand context. These qualities are necessary to make complex ethical choices on a dynamic battlefield, to distinguish adequately between soldiers and civilians, and to evaluate the proportionality of an attack. As a result fully autonomous weapons would not meet the requirements of the laws of war."
IPB is happy to announce it has joined forces with the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an organization of 33 NGOs that seeks to ban fully autonomous weapons. If you would like to find out more information about this campaign, pleaseclick here. Please consider getting involved in this very important cause.
Peace groups are gearing up for a major series of activities to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Please find here the Calendar of WWI Commemoration Events, compiled by the Network for Peace UK. This list is heavily UK-centric, but we hope that future editions will have a broader international spread. Please send details of your events to the IPB secretariat.
Every year the Leeds City Council organises, together with the Leeds Metropolitan University and Peace Links Group, the Olof Palme Peace Lecture. This year it was given by IPB`s Secretary-General, Colin Archer. The lecture, held on May 7th at the Leeds Civic Hall in the presence of the Lord Mayor, was first established in 1987. It commemorates Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, a peace campaigner and outspoken opponent of apartheid, who briefly studied at Leeds in the 1950s. Colin Archer delivered an illustrated lecture entitled, "Development and Military Spending in a Time of Austerity"
Dubbed 'a huge success' by IPB representatives and museum staff, IPB's photo-exhibition 'Making Peace' opened at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm on June 14, with over 6000 participants. Speeches by IPB President Tomas Magnusson and exhibition curator Ashley Woods were followed by a range of performances: singers, jazzers, acrobats, even knitters for peace! The show is open to the public until 17 November. The Nobel Museum will feature an ambitious lecture and event programme in conjunction with the exhibition -- details to be announced shortly.
"We landed in a city of war. Moving freely is not possible, let alone sightseeing. The city has been destroyed by war and is governed by terror. Cars have become the most important means of transport and also form the basis of an ambivalent security; our driver's circumspection was the most important "guarantee of safety" we had. A very careful and well-supervised excursion out of Kabul to nearby Paghman completed the picture of general insecurity."
What a great day it was! A brilliant sunny day, a big space in front of the UN building, and a wide range of activists from several countries. The NGO Committee for Disarmament erected a big banner on the Broken Chair and collected responses for an opinion poll; a theatre group mimed the effects of the Chernobyl disaster; Mr Punch (the puppet) drove away the evil atom bombs; Japanese activists collected signatures for a petition; many people made speeches and took photos, and we explained it all to groups of passing tourists.
Academics and activists from a range of countries gathered in Mons, Belgium in late May for an unusual gathering combining contemporary war and peace issues with the history of the peace movement. Entitled "Between Secrecy and Transparency: War, Peace and Democracy", the symposium was a partnership between the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the University of Mons (UMONS), the Henri La Fontaine Foundation and the Mundaneum Archives Centre. It is one of a number of events being held in the course of 2013 in honour of Henri La Fontaine (IPB President 1907-43) and the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him exactly 100 years ago.
On April 15th, 2013, 24 countries participated in 155 actions in support of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). Coordinated by IPB, the final report has now been released.
GDAMS attracted extensive media coverage all over the world as well as the internet. For more information about any of the actions in the 124 cities and towns on every continent (save for Antarctica!), see our comprehensive report.
Bob Edgar made a presentation at IPB's seminar on military spending held in 2009 in Washington DC, just after our annual conference. Hewas an American politician and administrator from Pennsylvania, and a member of the Democratic Party. He served as a member of the House of Representatives (1975-87). He served as President and CEO of Common Cause, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization, from May 2007 until his death. Edgar died suddenly on April 23, 2013, following a heart attack.
IPB is sad to announce the death on 15 April 2013 of Dr. ADE ADENEKAN, who was Executive Director of the Pan African Reconciliation Centre (PARC), an IPB Council member (from 2000 onwards), and also an IPB Consultant. Ade was active in the Hague Appeal for Peace congress of 1999, and in many peace education/youth programmes.
Making Peace was successfully opened in Utrecht, NL on the 5th of May by IPB Secretary-General Colin Archer and Ashley Woods, Making Peace Curator and Project Manager. This followed an initial ceremony in front of Utrecht Cathedral, at which the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Mayor of Utrecht Aleid Wolfson, and other dignitaries were asked to put their name to Making Peace. See the photo gallery for some excellent pictures, or watch the video.
The International Network on Emergency Education, INEE, organized together with the UNESCO Institute of Educational Planning, IIEP, a high level symposium at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, on 8. April. Some 230 persons participated: ministers of education from several countries in conflict or post-conflict situations, ambassadors or representatives of Permanent Delegations to UNESCO, researchers and civil society organizations. MORE.
Mikis Peristerakis was an IPB Vice-President and a courageous leader of the Greek Independent Peace Movement AKE. He died in2011. Tony Simpson,Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation (UK) attendedhis memorial meeting, which was combined with an event commemorating the first Marathon Peace March and Grigoris Lambrakis,
IPB is excited to announce an International Day of Action on TUESDAY APRIL 23, 2013, the second day of the NPT PrepComm. It is organised by several groups working together. These activities are (almost all) outside the Palais des Nations and at the Maison des Associations. We encourage anyone who is available that day to join us, to make a strong and visible case for the abolition of nuclear weapons. For other civil society events taking place during the week, see the NPT-NGO room Calendar.
Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) addressed a letter to the 5 nuclear weapon states in the hope that the P5 will take initiatives to achieve an agreement for a total ban on nuclear weapons at the forthcoming Second NPT PrepCom or at the sessions of the UNGA and of the UN Security Council. They visited the embassies of the P5 in Tokyo on April 5, 8 and 9 and handed it over to them.
Betty Reardon and Bina Nepram, both recent winners of IPB's Sean MacBride Peace Prize, met at the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Status of Women in New York (4-15 March 2013). Bina is campaigning for the removal of the Armed Forces Powers Act (martial law) imposed by the government of India on the north-eastern state of Manipur. Betty continues her lifelong work to promote peace education.
Every three years IPB holds a special gathering to bring together our members and supporters and to discuss the challenges facing us as peace movements in an unstable and over-militarized world. This year we will explore the inter-relationships between military interventions and the economy of war, and will examine these topics in a unique historical context, since we are about to begin a rather special year with several significant anniversaries. FULL TEXT.
IPB works very often in coalition with others and for this year's Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) PrepCommwe are working with IALANA (lawyers) and INES (scientists and engineers) to present 4 side meetings and 5 independent events, a record number in recent years! These sessions cover issues such as nuclear weapons in Europe, modernization, depleted uranium, role of IAEA and abolition strategy. See full brochure. For more information contact IPB Secretariat. Note: for side meetings held inside the Palais des Nations you will need a UN badge.
The U.S.-led war in Iraq claimed 190,000 lives and will cost the U.S. government at least $2.2 trillion, according to the findings of a project at Brown University released Thursday. The Costs of War report, released ahead of the 10th anniversary of the war on March 20, said that the financial calculation included "substantial" costs to care for wounded U.S. veterans. The total estimate far outstrips the initial projection by President George W. Bush's government that the war would cost $50 billion to $60 billion. FULL TEXT.
IPB Co-President Ingeborg Breines writes: The conference in Oslo on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (4 - 5 March 2013) gathered some 500 persons representing 129 countries (2 of the 9 nuclear states: Pakistan and India, not the P5, not Israel, not North Korea), several UN agencies, ICRC/Red Cross and civil society (50 persons as chosen by ICAN). The same number of participants attended the Civil Society Forum organized by ICAN just prior to the official conference.... FULL TEXT.
Violence Against Women Is Integral to War and Armed Conflict: The Urgent Necessity of Universal Implementation of UNSCR 1325
Violence against women (VAW) under the present system of militarized state security is not an aberration that can be stemmed by specific denunciations and prohibitions. VAW is and always has been integral to war and all armed conflict. It pervades all forms of militarism. It is likely to endure so long as the institution of war is a legally sanctioned instrument of state, so long as arms are the means to political, economic or ideological ends. http://www.wunrn.com. For Info & To Endorse, Contact Betty Reardon (IPB MacBride Peace Prize winner): email@example.com
Among the most important inspirations and sources of information for IPB's Disarmament for Development programme is Ruth Sivard's World Military and Social Expenditures, the first publicly available comparison of military and social spending by world governments. Mrs. Sivard had been a high-ranking economist for the US State Department and the Arms Control and Disarmament Administration. She was able to find reliable sources for the detailed statistical information she published. Her work was internationally recognized by scholars and sponsored in part by The Rockefeller Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, Union of Concerned Scientists, SANE/FREEZE and UNESCO. IPB Secretary-General Colin Archer recently wrote to Ms Sivard to thank her for her pioneering work. The material below is taken from http://www.ruthsivard.com
The IPB has today nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2013 the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). WILPF is the oldest international women’s peace organisation, with a record dating back to 1915. IPB's Secretary-General writes: "Given the breadth and depth of WILPF’s engagement with all the key peacemaking issues of the past century, and today’s challenges also, WILPF must undoubtedly be considered a ‘Champion of Peace’, fully meriting the award of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.”
IPB Secretariat is pleased to announce the publication today of a new 30pp IPB study entitled Rough Seas Ahead? A study of resource conflict in the South China Sea and its relationship to the rising military budgets in Asia-Pacific. Written by Pranati Mehtha, this is the latest in our series of studies looking at the geo-political context of military expenditure.
The NGO conference entitled The Middle East without Weapons of Mass Destruction - the Way Forward. Civil Society Input was held on December 14-16 in Helsinki, Finland. It was hosted by the Peace Union of Finland. Yayoi Tsuchida, assistant general secretary of the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) took part in it on behalf of the IPB.
Not many people outside Belgium know the name Henri La Fontaine. Yet he was one of the great peace leaders of the 20th century, and a very important figure in IPB's own history, since he was President of this organisation from 1907 to his death in 1943 - a major contribution to the growth, and indeed survival, of the international peace movement. But his legacy embraces many other fields: as a Socialist Senator, lawyer, author, bibliographer, fundraiser, Freemason, mountaineer...in short, a man of extraordinary energy and great international vision.
Leaders of the European Union (EU) will gather in Oslo this Monday to receive an increasingly controversial Nobel Peace Prize. Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor and industrialist, established the five prizes by his will in 1895 and there is a growing international awareness that his prize “for the champions of peace” does not go to the recipients Nobel had in mind.
The IPB launched its most recent position paper during a lunchtime event at the UN today. The paper Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN Development Agenda makes the case for the importance of the inclusion of security and peace related issues in the post-2015 UN development framework that will replace the Millennium Development Goals.
On November 16-17 2012, the IPB held its first-ever annual Council meeting in Ireland, in conjunction with the Afri ‘Hedge School’ in Dublin. The Sean MacBride Peace Prize ceremony, as well as the panels on Activism, Disarmament and Peace Education Initiatives and Climate Change at the Hedge School attracted many participants and gave rise to fruitful discussions and exchanges of experiences.
2. investigate into the unlawful reinterpretation of Nobel’s will
The International Peace Bureau has today requested the Swedish Foundation Authority to stop the payment of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, and urgently investigate the unlawful reinterpretation of Alfred Nobel's will and testament that has taken place over the last few years.
The International Peace Bureau is delighted to announce its decision to award the 2012 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to two Arab women: Lina Ben Mhenni from Tunisia and Nawal El-Sadaawi from Egypt. They have both shown great courage and made substantial contributions to what is known as the Arab Spring.
“For a peacemaking bloc, this is a highly militarized one”
Geneva, 12 October 2012. The IPB finds the award of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union surprising in that it awards a prize not to a head of state but to an entire bloc of states, thus making it difficult to identify the real recipient. Is the EU really a 'champion of peace’, as Nobel conceived it? Or is it a club of states with many contradictory impulses and interests?
The arguments given by the Norwegian Nobel Committee are not entirely false. The EU has played the historical role that it describes. All forms of cooperation contain some elements of peacefulness, and there is indeed a strong case for regional approaches to peacemaking between states and peoples, and in this the EU has been a pioneer. But what is worrying are the many aspects the Committee leaves out, making it a highly selective accolade.
While we have been mourning for our brothers and sisters who were killed by shells thrown from Syria in the Akçakale district of Urfa province, all of a sudden we found ourselves in the screams of warmongers. Turkey answered by hitting Syria, and the Turkish government demanded authorization of cross border military operations from the parliament. The demand was voted in a secret session in the parliament and it passed with the votes of AKP (Justice and Development Party – government party) and MHP (Nationalist Action Party – fascist party).
The IPB, together with its Irish member organization Action from Ireland, is organizing its annual conference and Council Meeting in Dublin between November 16 and 19.
At the same occasion, the Sean Mac Bride Peace Prize will be presented to two women activists from the Arab Spring. We are especially pleased that the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins (the first winner of this Prize in 1992) has agreed to present it to this year's winners.
The Swiss current affairs programme 'Geopolitis' tackles one contemporary issue per edition. In the latest programme the theme is the Arms Trade. IPB Secretary-General Colin Archer is the guest interviewee. The interview starts approx. 7 minutes into the film (15 min). The programme is networked around the world via TV5. There are also useful on-line resources, such as video clips, weblinks, diagrams etc.
Last month, competing interests prevented agreement on a much needed treaty that would have reduced the appalling human cost of the poorly regulated international arms trade. Meanwhile, nuclear disarmament efforts remain stalled, despite strong and growing global popular sentiment in support of this cause.
The failure of these negotiations and this month's anniversaries of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide a good opportunity to explore what has gone wrong, why disarmament and arms control have proven so difficult to achieve, and how the world community can get back on track towards these vitally important goals.
IPB is very sad to announce the sudden death of Gerd Greune (15 March 1949 - 24 August 2012), former Executive Board member and Secretary General (1979-1981) of the IPB. Gerd graduated as a teacher but discovered politics very early. The right to conscientious objection was his first political issue, developing into a general involvement in the German and international peace movement and campaigning against the stationing of nuclear weapons in Europe and nuclear arms in general. For many years he played a leading role in the German peace movement (DFG-VK).
As a part of the International Peace Bureau’s effort to foster disarmament for development around the planet, we are inviting you to take part in an historic effort. Now until September 20th, people from Egypt, Serbia, Vietnam, Brazil, Uganda, France and more than 86 countries are answering four questions that will help each of us define our visions for a better world. We will then set off a global renaissance of art and music based on where all of our visions connect.
We want the voices of disarmament activists to be heard! Find out what the four questions are, and how you can help us move the world by clicking here or going to www.abigproject.org.Check out the video!
IPB annnounces with great sadness the death of Dr Carlos Vargas Pizarro, IPB Board member. We will remember his passionate advocacy of nuclear disarmament, his enthusiastic participation in the World Court Project, his dedication and commitment to advancing human rights within the UN system, and his warm and charming personality. See the official message from the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Condolences can be sent to to his colleague Roberto Zamora: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our work on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending resulted in an enlarged community of activists on military spending. At the NPT PrepComm we organised side meetings which helped maintain the visibility of the Disarmament for Ddevelopment perspective within the disarmament community. At the Rio+20 conference, our bread tank activities, side events and the Rio Appeal received a lot of attention and support from the public, the media and civil society. IPB plans to build on all this work in the coming months, especially in the debate around the UN's development agenda post-2015.
On August 6 and 9 our thoughts turn once again to the tragic destruction of the two Japanese cities in 1945, and in particular to the victims of this first, and hopefully last, use of nuclear weapons in warfare. As the years go by, there are fewer and fewer of the hibakusha left alive to witness to the horror they experienced at a young age.
With the help of its many partner organizations, IPB was able to bring the disarmament perspective to Rio+20. Through our side events on 'disarmament for development' and 'the linkages between food security and armed conflicts', we were able to discuss with other stakeholders the importance of disarmament and to encourage them to join our call. The main attraction of the week, however, was our tank made of bread.
20 years ago, during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the international community connected environmental and development challenges. This connection, now known as sustainable development, was accepted as the challenge of the decade. But peace and disarmament issues were excluded. With the up-coming Rio+20 Summit in June, it's time to include both issues into the discussion!
In June this year, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development will take place in Rio de Janeiro. The main goals of this conference are the establishment of a green economy in the context of sustainable development, poverty eradication, and the creation of an institutional framework for sustainable development. Unfortunately, disarmament is not on the official agenda despite the fact that it is a condition to achieve sustainable development.
The largest NATO summit in the organization's history was held in Chicago on May 20-21. Among the issues discussed were Afghanistan, the missile defence system, and relations with Allies and partners. Outside, civil society held a large demonstration, a Counter-Summit and several other events. IPB was represented by various member organisations and Board member Reiner Braun (Germany) who made several speeches and interviews.
IPB Co-President Ingeborg Breines and Judith LeBlanc from our US member organisation Peace Action participated in the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. The Summit was a great success, with the participation of 21 laureates,6,000 attendees and an estimated 130,000 – 150,000 viewing via live streaming. During the Summit, Nobel Peace Laureates have encouraged youth to get involved in their communities, and have addressed a variety of topics including climate change, nuclear weapons, and women's issues.
IPB is pleased to have collaborated with several UN bodies in the organisation of this important session, held in the chamber of the Conference on Disarmament. Diplomats and NGOs participated. Panel: Kassym-Jomaert Tokayev, Director-General, UNOG; Theresa Hitchens, UNIDIR; Amb. Minelik Alemu Getahun (Ethiopia), President of the CD; Helen Wilandh, SIPRI researcher; Jarmo Sareva, Deputy Director ODA, and Colin Archer, IPB.
With the Group for Switzerland without an Army, we organised a street event to mark GDAMS 2.0. The main aim of the action was to raise awareness among the general public about military spending. Passers-by received information about this issue, but not only: they expressed their priorities on a board (cf. picture) and could then explain their reasons during short interviews. The action attracted a lot of passers-by who then took part in the ‘role play’. A visual installation was realised with 150 black balloons, reprensenting world military spending, and 30 coloured balloons, representing human needs. Watch the video of the action here.
The top United Nations official on disarmament affairs today encouraged world leaders to reassess their countries’ defence needs, explore confidence-building measures for global security, and consider shifting priorities and resources to international social, economic and human development. In her message to mark the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, highlighted the vast hidden human cost of excessive military spending
Through four months of fruitful outreach, fortifying and expanding the network of civil society groups that make up the Global Day on Military Spending (GDAMS) coalition, the second Global Day last Tuesday, 17 April, was a tremendous success worldwide. The IPB and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) were able to convince SIPRI to release their data on the same day of the global action in order to send a stronger message on the outrageous level of military spending which according to the SIPRI report, for the year 2011 totalled $1.74 trillion
IPB has drawn up an important Call For Action on military spending which we are distributing very widely. We hope it will resonate with many people s worries about the current financial crisis and the on going mis-appropriation of huge amounts of money. This will be a process. The first round of organisational endorsements will be sent to the upcoming UN conference on Financing for Development. We will then do further outreach in order to reach wide communities around the world, and to stimulate actions at many levels. Please send organisational endorsements to IPB Secretariat. English version French version German
A new booklet on the arms trade is now available from the International Peace Bureau.
The booklet provides general information on how the arms trade works, how it undermines development, and efforts by the international community to get it under control. It also provides a detailed listing of organizations working on the arms trade.
Our Peace and Law section is intended to serve as an introduction to various concepts related to peace and how domestic and international law may be used to implement measures to realize all of the components of peace. Some of these elements include education, tolerance, equality, security, disarmament and development, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Following the short introduction below, you will find a list of definitions; sub-sections on Peace and Law at the international level, including the role of the United Nations and the issue of peace building, and the national domestic level; and links to more information as well as different national and international civil society campaigns for peace. Edited by Kate Johnson.
Geneva, June 9, 2009. The International Peace Bureau expresses profound concern at the announcement yesterday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute at the launch of its annual Yearbook (www.sipri.org) that world military expenditures in 2008 reached yet another new high. The figure given is $1,464 billion. The US share of this is $607 billion – which is the budget for its basic military operations alone (i.e. not counting the actual costs of its wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq). This represents an increase of 4% in real terms compared to 2007, and of 45% since 1999. All regions have seen substantial increases since 1999, except for Western and Central Europe.
It is with much enthusiasm that the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress endorses this Global Call for Action on Military and Social Spending. We agree strongly that the needs of the world’s poor and developing countries are not being met by developed countries and that excessive spending to purchase and stockpile weapons while the most basic human needs of so many in the world go unmet is an injustice that cannot be allowed to continue. We also support you in calling for action to reduce such spending and directing 10% of those funds to meet the UN´s Millennium Development goals by 2015. It is time that the nations of the world act on the many promises that have been
As a special media experiment, IPB has decided to promote its Disarmament for Development campaign in a new way. The short clip entitled 'How would you spend millions? was aired as a repeated big-screen advertisement in front of a huge crowd on New Year's Eve (Silvesterzauber) in Zürich. The event itself was carried on New Year's news reports and TV footage carried around the world in locations such as Berlin, London, Sydney, Paris etc.
Letter sent to IPB members, Feb. 26. In recent communications we have mentioned the importance of this significant year in IPB’s history. Back in 1910, the IPB was the umbrella group for the national ‘peace societies’ that existed in Europe and beyond. The Nobel Prize was awarded in 1910 to the Bureau as a way of making a tribute – and an encouragement – to the organised peace movement of the day.
25 June 2010, Geneva. The IPB is delighted to announce that Binalakshmi Nepram, founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and Secretary-General of Control Arms Foundation of India, is to be awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize2010, in recognition of her extraordinary efforts to promote disarmament and an end to gun violence in India. Her pioneering work has demonstrated deep determination and commitment - in particular to the linkage between disarmament and development. Her achievements offer an inspiring model for activists in other parts of the world. The Prize, a silver medal contributed annually by Irish CND, will be awarded on 23rd Sept. in Oslo, at a ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the IPB in 1910. The ceremony also serves as the opening session of the IPB’s Triennial Conference, entitled
At a gathering held in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, on Sept 23, 2010, IPB Secretary-General Colin Archer made a speech, outlining the different ideological and other currents that have flowed into the 'big river' of the peace movement during the 19th and 20th centuries. IPB-at-FLORENCE-Peace-Makers-over-100yrs-Oct2010 highlights in particular the contributions made by three of the IPB's leaders over the last century or so, each one a Nobel Peace Laureate: Bertha von Suttner, Henri La Fontaine, and Sean MacBride. The meeting was organised by Italian IPB member organisation the Association Kipling. More material on peace movement history at: http://ipb.org/i/about-ipb/about-ipb-generic/II-B-generic-history.html
Iara Lee writes: Our latest post on my blog at the Huffington Post features the Cultures of Resistance 4 min. video A LOOK AT GLOBAL MILITARIZATION. Please post your comments and help us promote demilitarization! In 2009, the United States government spent some $650 billion on its military. This is more than the next 46 highest-spending countries combined. Much of this treasure ended up in the hands of profit-driven weapons manufacturers. In the following short film, Cultures of Resistance takes a brief look at the current state of what President Eisenhower famously called the “military industrial complex.” With the U.S. waging two wars overseas at the same time that millions of people are out of work at home, those pushing to reel in government spending and balance the budget would be wise to look carefully at bloated and unchecked military spending. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iara-lee/a-look-at-global-militari_b_777534.html
IPB is delighted to announce that a legacy has been received from the estate of Prof. Kingsley Price, who died last year at the age of 92. Prof. Price was Professor of Philosophy at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. His is a remarkable story: although blind from the age of four, he managed to reach a high level in the academic world nevertheless. His support for IPB came as a result of his friendship with Bruce Kent (former IPB President). Prof. Forest Hansen has written a most interesting:
On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, people in more than 35 countries will participate in the first-ever Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Actions will include a protest in front of the White House, actions at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, a march in Kampala, a demonstration in Dhaka, a forum in Seoul, and much more. The Global Day is co-organized by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC and IPB in Geneva. It has been endorsed by more than 100 organizations, including Religions for Peace, Scientists for Global Responsibility, the American Friends Service Committee, and Fellowship of Reconciliation. This global action coincides with the annual release of the figures for global military expenditures by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
IPB is delighted to report that the UN High Representative on Disarmament, Ambassador Sergio Duarte, has published a very encouraging statement on the occasion of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending: "At this Global Day of Action on Military Spending, I call on governments to consider the full possibilities of creating security through non-military means....The discussion on military expenditures will intensify in the coming years. The Global Day of Action on Military Spending should serve as a catalyst for shifting global and national priorities from massive military spending to creating human security and safety for all."
On April 12, 2011, the Institute for Policy Studies and the International Peace Bureau hosted the first ever Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). Events were organized by some 100 organizations in 35 countries around the world. Actions included a protests in front of the White House in Washington D.C. (US), the Treasury in London (UK), the Ministry of Defense in Bangkok (Thailand) and in the forecourt of the Department of Defence buildings in Canberra (Australia); actions at the United Nations in New York and Geneva; a march in Kampala (Uganda)... See also photos from Geneva & Paris in Planete Paix (Mouvement de la paix magazine) May 2011, p.2: http://www.mvtpaix.org/outils/planete-paix/planete-paix.php
By Douglas Roche, IPB Former Vice- President and IPB's nominee for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize June 22, 2011 – “A three-week global speaking tour has convinced me that the world is moving into a new stage in the long quest to eliminate nuclear weapons” says Mr Roche. “Weakened government ideology in support of nuclear weapons is now colliding with chronic deficits and other economic realities that make them unaffordable. In the discussions surrounding my lectures to university students, think tanks and civil society groups, it became clear to me that the intellectual case for nuclear deterrence is crumbling....Full-Text here and French translation. Dougs new book is entitled How We Stopped Loving the Bomb
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) are pleased to announce that they have established a collaboration designed to lead to a new on-line course focussing on the IPB’s main area of work: Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development (‘D for D’). The course is due to open on 6th March 2012. It will be open to adult students (university level) from any part of the world. Language: English.
We are gathered at this international conference convened each year by the Japan Council against A and H bombs, the Gensuikyo, to commemorate the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 66 years ago, to take stock of the world situation regarding nuclear weapons and to strategize for our common goal: a nuclear-weapon-free world...."
The IPB is delighted to add its voice to the congratulations pouring in from around the globe for this year’s Nobel peace laureates: Leymah Gbowee, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman. IPB sees the prize not only as an accolade for these three individuals, but also for the thousands of women who over the years and the decades and in all parts of the world have courageously raised their voices for peace, for human rights and for democratic processes...
The Fellowship of Reconciliation (USA) announces Militarism Watch, a new project to increase the capacity in social change movements and academia for research that serves activism and campaigns against US militarization at home and abroad. Militarism Watch brings together resources to help increase research skills, with digital versions and links to these tools posted on the Militarism Watch web page.
Iraqis celebrated the International Day of Peace on September 21st by organizing the Baghdad Peace Festival in the centre of the city. It was an impressive feat, bringing together Iraqis and especially Iraqi youth to celebrate peace in this war-torn country. The Festival was organized by the Iraqi Alamal Association (IAA), whose secretary Hanaa Edwar will be awarded IPB's Sean MacBride Peace Prize for 2011 (along with German anti-nuclear lawyer Peter Becker). The ceremony will take place in Potsdam, Germany, on October 29th, during the IPB's annual Council meeting.
The IPB Council meeting in Potsdam on 29-30 Oct. 2011, calls on the UN Secretary General to use all the non-violent tools of the UN to protect civilians in Syria, and in other places where people are striving for democracy and decent human conditions. IPB appeals to him to involve international expertise in peace-building and peaceful handling of conflicts, as well as the regional bodies, notably the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, in facilitating negotiations between the Syrian Government and those protesting against undemocratic and violent behaviour. IPB urges Ban Ki-moon to exert his influence on member states in order to avoid that the Security Council adopts a militaristic interpretation of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, as we saw in Libya.
The IPB awarded the annual Sean MacBride Peace Prize this year to Hanaa Edwar (Iraqi women’s rights and democracy activist) and Peter Becker (German anti-nuclear lawyer), two individuals who have contributed in quite different ways to the advancement of democracy and human rights. The prize was awarded at the annual IPB Council meeting in Potsdam on Oct. 29th. We were delighted to welcome friends and supporters from many countries, including a large group of Iraqis. See photogallery and press cuttings (in German),Hanaa-press-story-women-in-Iraq, and speech presenting Otto-Jackel-In-praise-of-Peter-Becker-Sean.
One of the main projects IPB undertook last year to commemorate our 1910 Nobel Peace Prize was a major outdoor photographic exhibition: 'Making Peace'.
The full exhibit is now available on a special new website: http://makingpeace.org - which describes the content and explains how it can be used with the general public, schools etc. If you would like this exceptional exhibition to come to your town/city, then work with us to make it happen.