IPB Joins International Peace & Common Security Advocates Opposing QUAD and AUKUS Alliances

Peace and Common Security Advocates from Around the World Oppose QUAD (Japan, India, US, Australia), & AUKUS (Australia, UK, US) Militarism & Urge Common Security Collaborations to Address Existential Nuclear, Climate & Pandemic Threats.

Meeting on the eve of the QUAD alliance summit, peace, justice and common security advocates from the QUAD and AUKUS member countries, and Australia, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, India, Britain, Germany, and the U.S. met to analyze and build opposition to the dangerous and increased militarism of the QUAD and AUKUS alliances.

The incipient coalition decries the QUAD and AUKUS alliances which dangerously intensify geostrategic military tensions with China. In addition to increasing the dangers that accidents or miscalculations to trigger escalation to catastrophic wars, this increased military competition seriously undermines the possibility of U.S.-Chinese and broader international cooperation to reverse the existential threats of nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics.  The strategic competition between the great powers includes the danger of a great power war which will destroy the planet.

Opposing the recently announced U.S.-Australian-British alliance, Australian peace organizations are demanding that Australia not become a staging point for the U.S. military, that Australian sovereignty not be abrogated to the U.S. and their government must not encourage the nuclear proliferation and risk environmental catastrophe inherent in the agreement to purchase submarines powered by highly enriched uranium.

President Biden has spoken of an inflection point. Negotiation and announcement of the AUKUS alliance indeed marks a dangerous turning point in geostrategic situation.  Among them:

  • Instead of increasing stability and security, the QUAD and AUKUS alliances fuel dangerously spiraling cold war-like arms races that must be reversed with common security diplomacy.
  • The transfer of highly enriched uranium and related technologies to Australia, violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and encourages nuclear weapons proliferation.  It provides Australia with resources needed to become a nuclear power, and significant political and military figures in India, South Korea and Japan ask why they have been denied these capabilities.
  • Announcement of the AUKUS alliance has disastrous global strategic ramifications. Coming on the heels of the precipitous NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden Administration has again acted without consulting its NATO allies. This fuels calls from European and E.U. leaders to create an independent European military superpower. The new military alliance strengthens worldwide the arms race
  • The AUKUS alliance increases pressure on ASEAN and other nations to choose between sides in a way that compromises their independence.

Forty years ago, the adoption of common security diplomacy played major roles in the negotiation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and the end of the Cold War. The new international peace coalition is committed to building international pressure for Indo-Pacific demilitarization and common security diplomacy to address and reverse the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics.

No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars. Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate.

Signatories

International Peace Bureau

Asia Europe Peoples Forum – Peace and Security cluster

Independent and Peaceful Australia Network

Australian Anti Bases Campaign Coalition

Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security

Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice

I Hagan Famalao’an Guahan, Inc. (Guam)

Le Mouvement de la Paix (France)

Peace Women Partners, Philippines

Action for Sovereign Philippines

KILUSAN (Movement for National Democracy) Philippines

KAISAKA (Unity of Women for Liberation) Philippines

Annette Brownlie  (IPAN, Australia); Hannah Middleton (AABCC, Australia); Denis Doherty (AABCC, Australia) ; Ross Wynther (IPAN, Australia); Joseph Gerson (Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, US); Dave Webb (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK); Reiner Braun (IPB, Germany); Anuradha Chenoy (AEPF, India); Tina Ebro (AEPF, Philippines); Dong Huy Cuong (AEPF, Vietnam); Francis Daehoon Lee (Peace MOMO, Korea); Merci Angeles (Peace Women Partners, Philippines); Lisa Natividad (Guahan); Corazon Valdez-Fabros (International Peace Bureau and Asia Europe Peoples Forum, Philippines); Alain ROUY (Le Mouvement de la Paix, France); Kevin Martin (Peace Action, US) ; Jim Anderson (Peace Action, National Office, USA); Emily Rubino (New York Peace Action and the CPDCS, US); Cole Harrison (Massachusetts Peace Action, US).

Announcement: 2021 MacBride Peace Prize recipients

Announcement: 2021 MacBride Peace Prize recipients

  • Alexander Kmentt, Ambassador and Director of the Department of Disarmament, Arms-Control and Non-proliferation, Austria
  • Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), Myanmar/Burma

About the Sean MacBride Peace Prize

Every year the IPB awards a special prize to a person or organization that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights. These were the principal concerns of Sean MacBride, the distinguished Irish statesman who was Chairman of IPB from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride began his career as a fighter against British colonial rule, studied law and rose to high office in the independent Irish Republic. He was a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1974)

The award is decided by the IPB Steering Committee. IPB members are welcome to make suggestions and provide background documentation on potential candidates.

The Prize is a non-monetary one.

Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), Burma

Established in 2000, AAPP is a human rights organization that advocates for the release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners within Burma/Myanmar. The organization is headquartered in Mae Sot, Thailand, close to the Burman border as many of AAPP’s staff members are former political prisoners exiled from the country. The organization accurately states that “As long as political prisoners exist inside Burma, Burma will not be free”. Since the military coup d’état staged by the Burman military on February 1 2021, the AAPP have continued to tirelessly and diligently documented each and every death caused by the Junta. Their work makes them targets of the Junta, but this is a sacrifice they willingly embrace, placing the future and wellbeing of their country before themselves. In recognition of their bravery and commitment to securing the freedom and democratic rule of Burma, the IPB decided to award AAPP the Sean MacBride Peace Prize for 2021. The AAPP has graciously accepted this award which will be officially given during a ceremony in 2022.

Alexander Kmentt, Ambassador and Director of the Department of Disarmament, Arms-Control and Non-proliferation, Austria

Mr Alexander Kmentt is the President-designate for the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a role he fulfils alongside his Directorship of the Department of Disarmament. Arms-Control and Non-proliferation within the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Kmentt has a long career behind him of advocating for a reduction in arms production, sale and use, especially nuclear weapons, bringing these issues to the highest levels of government and imploring decision makers to take notice and take action. Mr Kmentt was one of the key architects to the TPNW. In 2014 he organized the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons which culminated in the Humanitarian Pledge which was endorsed by 135 States and played a significant role in the TPNDW’s fruition. For these reasons, among others, the IPB board decided to award Mr Kmentt the Sean MacBride Peace Prize for 2021. Mr Kmentt has humbly accepted this award, which will also be given during a ceremony in 2022.

To download the press note as a pdf, please click here.

 

Webinar Report: Religion, Peace and Sanctuary

On August 25th, Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) organized a Webinar with seven radical visionaries and activists for peace, who have been inspired by their faith traditions to use their power, privilege and trust in God in the struggle to end war, open borders, and provide sanctuary honoring the dignity and human rights of all people.

The webinar was coordinated as a pre-event for the IPB World Peace Congress to be held from the 15th October until the 17th October.

If you want to watch the webinar, please click here.

 

CND Campaign: Report the UK to the UN for breaking international law

CND is reporting the UK government to the United Nations for breaking international law.

he UK government has announced it will increase the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal for the first time since the Cold War. A legal opinion commissioned by CND has confirmed this is a breach of international law.

As a signatory to the UN’s nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the UK has committed to working towards disarmament. Instead, it is going the other way and getting more nuclear weapons, and during a pandemic no less!

CND is reporting the UK to the President-designate of the upcoming NPT Review Conference – a significant international summit to monitor progress, or lack thereof, of the treaty.

If you want to take action, join the initiative and sign here.

Nuke Free Europe: Human chain against nuclear arms in Büchel (Germany)

On Sunday 5 September, the European month of action against nuclear weapons in Europe was kicked off in Büchel, Germany. 800 peace activists formed a human chain to protest against the US nuclear bombs at the Fliegerhorst air base as part of NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangements.

The action took place just weeks before the September 26 federal elections to call on Germany to join the UN nuclear weapons ban (TPNW), which has been in force since January 22, 2021. The peace movement has been campaigning against nuclear arms at the air base for 25 years. The human chain was organized by the campaign “Büchel is everywhere! Nuclear Weapon Free Now”. Continue reading “Nuke Free Europe: Human chain against nuclear arms in Büchel (Germany)”

IPB Brochure: Move The Money From Military To Social Purposes

Based on different reports (e.g. ICAN’s 2021 report, SIPRI Yearbook 2021, the research of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, etc.), the IPB launched the brochure “Move The Money From Military To Social Purposes” in order to provide an overview of the use of nuclear weapons by the World Nuclear Forces. Although the brochure is intended to be informative, the data is used to emphasize the need of reallocating economic resources spent on nuclear weapons development and military to invest them in social
purposes.

To download the brochure click here.

Impacts of Nuclear Colonialism in Micronesia

Article written by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad on the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. 

Empowered by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), we celebrate the victory of this work to make the world a safer place and embrace our global humanity. We on Guahan stand in solidarity as we vision and create a peaceful world with genuine security, where people not only have the basic necessities to survive, but everything we need to thrive on this planet. We strive for the protection of our environment, the use of diplomacy for global tensions, and the value of human life so that nuclear weapons will no longer be part of the vocabulary of our children.  We stand in solidarity with nuclear survivors, who have suffered from the destruction of nuclear weapons and support their call for a safe and peaceful world.  We will continue in our work holding states accountable to the TPNW.

Our communities in Micronesia struggle with environmental contamination and health problems, as well as the loss of our ancestral lands for the development of military bases.  We live with the loss of self-determination to make decisions about our communities because the political structures do not take into account our concerns and input about the dangers of living near military bases. We have little access to our traditional fishing grounds and medicines that are behind military fences.

Guahan (Guam) is a territory of the United States located in the Mariana Island chain of Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean.  Across Micronesia, the Marshall Islands was the location of nuclear testing in the 1950’s.  In the historical period of the Cold War, the United States was involved in the nuclear arms race with the USSR. Nuclear testing entailed the removal of whole islands of people to neighboring locations while the islands of Enewetak, Bikini, Rongelap, and Utrik were bombed to ascertain the destructive force of bombs, as in the case of the H-bomb.  Severe physical ailments resulted amongst the Marshallese population, which has resulted in the United States including a provision in the Republic of Marshall Islands Compact of Free Association, Section 177, stating, “The government of the United States accepts responsibility for compensation owing… for loss or damage to property and person of the citizens of the Marshall Islands… resulting from the nuclear testing program…”

An inquiry into the matter as it relates specifically to Guahan resulted in the development of the Blue Ribbon Panel Committee Report on Radioactive Contamination in Guam between 1946 and 1958.  In the report, Santos and Forbes stated:

What was perpetrated against this region was the largest ecological disaster in human history.  This disaster was no less than the detonation of over 108,000 kilotons of nuclear explosive directly up jet stream of Guam.  The amount of contamination was 42 times the approximately 150 million curies released as a result of the testing in the United States of America.  The AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) ejected between 6.3 billion and 17 billion and other surrounding regions with various radioactive contamination over a twelve year period, this inundated the region and other surrounding regions with various radioactive isotopes such as Cerium-140, Iodinne-131, Xenon-131, Strontium-90, Yittrium-90, Cesium-137, Barium-137, Potassium-40, Argon-40, Magnesium-24, Hydrogen-3, and Helium-3, all of these products of nuclear tests with a half-life of from four days to thirty years, enough time to reach Guam according to the data provided by and collected in this report.

The findings of the Blue Ribbon Panel Committee Action Report was further confirmed by testimony from Charles Bert Schreiber in 2001, a retired United States Naval lieutenant stationed on Guahan in 1952 in the capacity of Atomic, Biological, and Chemical Warfare Defense Officer.  He was primarily responsible for maintaining Geiger counters, which detected and measured alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays, which are all know to cause cellular damage to the human body by ionization of radiation.  He further shared that readings on his Geiger counter on about November 3, 1952 were extremely elevated with very large amounts of radiation.  He shared reporting his findings to his superiors to be told, “that I was to ignore the radioactivity and keep my mouth shut PERIOD.  I started to protest, but he told me to leave. I then knew something was very, very wrong.  The ‘cover up’ had started.”

Schreiber further reported that the radiation levels in the ecological elements of the island were contaminated.  He shared that the rainwater contained high levels, which was the primary source of drinking water for the people of the island. These findings are significant in that rainwater goes on to water the plants, which were consumed by natives.  Likewise, ocean water was also contaminated and fish, which was a staple in the indigenous diet, was also exposed to radiation.  Earlier this year, Lt. Charles Bert Schreiber returned to the island as the keynote speaker of a prayer vigil in memory of Pacific Islander victims of atomic bomb testing.  In an apology to the people of Guahan, he was quoted as saying, “You were not informed of simple precautions that should’ve been taken, resulting in formidable pain and suffering that was intentionally imposed on you.”

US military declassified documents confirmed high levels of radiation (strontium, in particular) recorded on the island in the 1950s.  Robert Celestial, President of the Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors (PARS), reported that this millennium is the age of the half-life of such isotopes and the incidences of cancer and other diseases are at greatest risk today.  As a result of exposure to nuclear testing fallout, residents of Guahan and others throughout Micronesia are at higher risk for cancer and other diseases.  Cancers of the lung, thyroid, breast, esophagus, stomach, and pharynx are examples of the types of cancer that are related to radiation exposure as determined in empirical studies.

We are reminded that peace and justice is central in light of the ongoing issue of nuclear colonialism in Micronesia.  Particular emphasis is made on keeping our lands safe and sustainable for our children and generations to come.  We are all deeply committed to ensuring the survival of our people in the midst of nuclear colonization. We are very concerned about the safety of our communities and look forward to the realization of global peace free of nuclear weapons and all things nuclear in Micronesia and the whole world!

Neighbours as friends, not enemies

Speech given by Ingeborg Breines, Sigerfjord 21.08.21,  during the Triennial Congress of WILPF, USA.

Dear friends.

Thank you for the invitation to briefly present some ongoing efforts to strengthen Nordic- Russian civil society relations and to reflect on whether the time now is ripe to try friendship with Russia, instead of animosity.

I am online with you from some beautiful islands in the north of Norway, way north of the Polar circle, made rather comfortable for living by the touch of the warm Gulf Stream. Norway, as you may now, has a common border with Russian in the extreme north and a negotiated dividing line in the Barents Sea/North Sea, regulating the rich fisheries, especially cod, as well as oil, gas and mineral drilling. This is especially important in a period when interest in the Arctic is growing as climate change opens for more exploitation of natural resources and for transport and traffic in the now partly ice-free North-East Passage. Continue reading “Neighbours as friends, not enemies”

NATO Weapons in the Hands of the Taliban – How the Islamists Were Able to Become the Best-Armed Terror Group in the World

By Jürgen Grässlin for the  GLOBAL NET – STOP THE ARMS TRADE (GN-STAT) and ZivilCourage of the  DFG-VK

It really could not have been worse: With the seizure of power in Afghanistan, the Taliban have come into possession of a huge arsenal of state-of-the-art NATO weapons. From now on, they will be able to target these weapons at dissidents as well as people with different faiths or beliefs and use them to secure their rule. Continue reading “NATO Weapons in the Hands of the Taliban – How the Islamists Were Able to Become the Best-Armed Terror Group in the World”