On Saturday, 2 December from 7-9 pm, the International Peace Bureau awarded Alexander Kmentt with the Seán MacBride Peace Prize. The ceremony was held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria. Kmentt officially received the award in 2021, but the pandemic delayed the ceremony. We were happy to honor Alexander Kmentt in person for his dedication to disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Alexander Kmentt is the Ambassador and Director of the Department of Disarmament, Arms-Control and Non-Proliferation Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry. In his acceptance speech, Kmentt discussed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the passionate activists and diplomats who made such a treaty possible, as well as the international role that Austria can play in terms of disarmament. Kmentt noted that “the risks of nuclear conflict [are] higher than in decades… [we] must realize with urgency that the nuclear weapons issue is back as an existential threat to the survival of humanity.”
Featured speakers included Angela Kane (Former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs), Emil Brix (Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Rosa Logar (WILPF Austria – Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), Elayne Whyte Gómez, (Costa Rican diplomat and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva [2014-2020]), Beatrice Fihn (Executive Director of ICAN), Sean Conner (Executive Director of IPB) and Reiner Braun (outgoing Executive Director of IPB). Nadja Stiegler and Maria Kasznia from DuoArte enchanted the room with several musical numbers.
IPB supports the statement below, which was issued on 15 November 2022 from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is deeply concerned by reports of a missile explosion in Poland and is appalled that lives have been lost. These most recent developments demand clarity and restraint. This latest tragic episode in the ongoing catastrophic war in Ukraine should not, and must not, result in an escalated military response. This is especially important given the heightened nuclear threat. We call on the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to clarify the facts of what took place, and we reiterate our calls for an urgent and peaceful resolution to this conflict.
Mikhail Gorbachev is best known as the final leader of the Soviet Union, a position that inevitably comes with a lot of presuppositions. In commemorating Gorbachev posthumously, IPB remembers Gorbachev’s role as a supporter of peace and common security.
The failure of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference to adopt a final conference statement adopting specific goals and deadlines for further disarmament weakens humanity’s ability to defend itself against the existential and increased danger of nuclear war. (The conference was held at the United Nations in New York, August 2-26)
IPB has lost one of our greatest friends and colleagues.
We have to say goodbye to one of our strongest friends and most intensive fighters for a world without war.
Bruce Kent is no longer with us.
We lost not only a friend, but a leader of the international peace movement for many years, an activist who convinced thousands of young people over decades to fight with him for peace and disarmament. It is impossible to count the number of stages where Bruce has spoken up for peace, nor the number of campaigns he led during his more than 10 year leadership with IPB, where he made significant strides toward creating the international peace network we know today.
We will never forget him and will strive to honor his legacy and continue to work for peace – in the spirit of Bruce Kent.
We miss you.
A more precise statement about life and work of Bruce Kent will follow.
The International Peace Bureau stands in solidarity with those who are actively speaking out against the actions of the Russian government in Ukraine and the victims of the aggression. We welcome the peace protests in Moscow and many other cities of Russia.
The IPB condemns Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The bombardments must be stopped immediately. What is needed is a comprehensive ceasefire, the withdrawal of all troops and a return to the negotiating table.
There is no military solution, only a political solution based on the principles of common security.
Are you ready to #ReImagineOurWorld again? Under the title “(Re)imagine the world. Action for peace and justice”, more than 2,500 people took part in the Second IPB #WorldPeaceCongress. Watch our highlight video with some of the best moments and get inspired to engage actively in #peace!