The International Peace Bureau condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of Walden Bello. It came to us as a shock when we received the news about Walden’s arrest on Monday. Walden, an outstanding scholar and public intellectual has been a close colleague of IPB for years. Bello recently ran against the daughter of former President Duterte for Vice Presidency of the Philippines. On Tuesday, he posted his arrest on twitter, saying “Arrested late afternoon Monday on silly charge of cyberlibel posted by the camp of Sarah Duterte. These people are mistaken if they think they can silence me and suppress my exercise of free speech”
As a prolific scholar of extraordinary vision and integrity, a democracy advocate who was forced into exile by the previous Marcos dictatorship, a leader of the Philippines peace and independence movement, and the founder of the Focus on Global South NGO, Walden’s contribution have been enormous. Joseph Gerson, Vice President of IPB and close friend of Walden described his arrest as a clear “case of a state-sponsored persecution and repression of the right to free expression. That a highly respected and world-renowned scholar-intellectual and activist like Dr. Bello has been victimized by this highhanded police operation speaks volumes about the lack of democracy and freedom in the Philippines. The arrest of this Vice-Presidential candidate appears to be an act of retribution by Vice-President Duterte against her opponent in the recent election. It also appears to be designed to serve a chilling warning to democracy and human rights advocates at the time when the son of former dictator Marcos assumes power in the Philippines”.
While he is being released on bail, it still does not guarantee his freedom, as his trial awaits him.
Bello’s organization, Focus on the Global South, has listed the following ways to support Bello in this difficult time
3. There is also a press release highlighting the breadth of responses to Walden’s persecution, and to generate more international attention and responses: Press Release
4. Focus on the Global South will continue to post statements in support of Walden at this micro-site on the Focus website: https://focusweb.org/defending-rights/ Please share with us the different statements you come across, or that your organizations release.
5. Contributions to Walden’s legal defense are urgently needed. All contributions to Walden’s legal defense fund should go through the Laban ng Masa account that they have publicized in their twitter and social media. Below is the information.
Please use the following bank account details for your transfers (this time with the email and postal address of the recipient):
Postal address: 70 Encarnacion St BF Homes Barangay Holy Spirit Quezon City 1127 Philippines
6. Loud, aggressive and strong international attention must be generated that condemns the case against Walden, his arrest, and the increasing attacks on the rights to free speech and human rights defenders.
On 4 August 2022, The International Peace Bureau awarded the 2019 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to Elayne Whyte Gomez at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Despite winning the award in 2019, the current global health emergency – Covid-19 made it very challenging to award Elayne this deserving Prize at the time. The time however, is always right to do the right thing. Three years later, we are still happy to honor Elayne Whyte for her distinctive achievement and contribution to a nuclear free world.
Elayne was elected President of the United Nations Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination On 16 February 2017 . Her leadership at the UN conferences negotiating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from March to July 2017 was a background of the success of the Treaty. The negotiations were brought to a successful conclusion in July 2017 and opened for signatures in September 2017 at the United Nations Headquaters in New York. The treaty currently has 86 signatories and 66 state parties.
During her acceptance speech, Elayne described her experience at the TPNW conference as “a transformational experience” which taught her about “human resolve and conviction… just as much as the difficult legal procedural matters in negotiations and intercultural affairs”. She then concluded by challenging everyone to ask themselves what would become of the world in the year 2045 (the 100 anniversary of the start of nuclear era). “What would that day look like?” She asked. “Would we have survived as humanity? Would we continue being lucky that no new nuclear explosion has happened? Would we have used our human agency to control the technology we create and not to perish by it? Alexander Kmentt, Director of Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation also highlighted the state parties’ determination to fight “until the last warhead has been dismantled and destroyed”
The Keynote speakers were Reiner Braun – Executive Director of International Peace Bureau, Thomas Markram – Director and Deputy to the High Representative, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, Alicia Zakre-Sanders – Policy and Research Coordinator, ICAN, Kunihiko Sakuma – Chair of Hiroshima Hidankyo, Alexander Kmentt – Director of Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation, Austrian Foreign Ministry and Joseph Gerson – President of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, and Vice President of International Peace Bureau.
Last Saturday, August 6, 2022 – 77 years after the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima by the U.S. – Sean Conner, Deputy Executive Director of IPB, spoke at a Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration ceremony in Berlin. The ceremony was organized by the german association ‘Friedensglockengesellschaft’ and took place in Volkspark Friedrichshain at the world peace bell.
In remembrance of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he reminded the audience that the world has not become safer with nuclear weapons to date and the legal frameworks of disarmament, the NPT and the TPNW, are the only way to prevent further nuclear disasters. But it is not only the danger of a nuclear war which needs immediate action, but also the climate emergency which the world is facing. A faster push towards renewable energies and a significant cut in military spending are the necessary and long overdue actions the world has to take. In order to find long-term solutions to these challenges, security has to be rethought. The concept of Common Security, originally developed in the 1980s and revived this year, does that. It means that no state can achieve security at the expense of another state, which is what has led to the arms race in the first place.
No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis! No More Hibakusha! Abolish Nuclear Weapons!
The 2022 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (August 4th-9th) has adopted the “Hiroshima Declaration” on August 6, at the closing of the Hiroshima Day Rally, which was held in Hiroshima and online.
Aiming at a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world, it not only includes the demand that the nuclear weapon states reconfirm their NPT treaty obligations, but also the call for a diplomatic resolution of all international conflicts.
It further points out the importance of gender perspectives in the nuclear disarmament process, the need for a reduction of military expenditures as well as the dissolution of military alliances, and the extension of solidarity to many other movements, including the peace movement. Nonetheless, campaigns to make known the A-bomb damage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and other inhumane consequences of the use of nuclear weapons are still of utmost importance.
On the 25th of June, at the occasion for the Peace Summit Madrid 2022, the Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau, in collaboration with the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS), issued its 53th report under the name “NATO, Building Global Insecurity” (La OTAN, Construyendo Inseguridad Global” in the original) with the coordination of Gabriela Serra and contribution of many authors.
This report on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) presents an updated and detailed reading of military alliances, taking into account the global context of simultaneous crises and the increase of the tensions caused by the invasion of Ukraine at the beginning of 2022.
“NATO’s modus operandi is reflected in its Strategic Concepts, and from the last two approved we can draw some conclusions that help us understand the Alliance’s objectives: on the one hand, it attempts to promote a broad conception of defense, which it makes it possible to greatly expand its scope of action to deal with “new threats”, many of them non-military; There is also an attempt to make submission to the Charter of the United Nations more flexible, situating itself in what has been described as “legal deregulation of war”; Similarly, NATO expands its geographical scope of action beyond what is established by the North Atlantic Treaty, as happened in the case of Afghanistan; Lastly, the democratic deficit with which this strategy is decided, which breaks the most basic rules of parliamentarism, is notable. In June 2021, a new Strategic Concept will be approved in Madrid which, predictably, will focus on reinforcing deterrence and defense, which is equivalent to increasing all military capabilities, whether nuclear, conventional or cyber. It will also include an express reference to the relationship with China, which it considers a “systemic challenge.” In addition, it will state that it will not only respond to armed attacks, but that NATO could intervene militarily against any threat to its security (…)
Therefore, this publication defends the “No to war, no to NATO”, as an amendment to the whole, to a predatory militarism of lives and human resources, of habitats, of economies. peace is not only a hackneyed slogan, but a relationship policy that must be deployed at all levels, from the interpersonal to the interstate, now more than ever”
At the adjunct (annex), from pages 47 to 49, you can find the contribution of Reiner Braun – Executive Director of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) – addressing the Olof Palme Report “Common Security 2022: For our Shared Future”, focusing on how Common Security serves to avoid disasters regarding nuclear armament and militarization. The Common Security report aims to encourage that “in times of acute crisis, there must be those who look forward and give a vision of a better future”, complementing in many ways the words of Centre Delàs’ report.
Rarely has a world conference been prepared with so little hope and empathy as this year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference, which will begin in New York on August 1, 2022 for a period of four weeks.
Hopes for an outcome even remotely resembling an evaluation and implementation of the NPT are nil. Even an initiative for a ban on first use will not be successful, and there is no need to talk about arms control or even disarmament.
The conference will take place in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, which is contrary to international law, the recurring threat of a possible use of nuclear weapons, the comprehensive modernization of all nuclear weapons in all nuclear-weapon countries, the technological development of nuclear weapons into battlefield weapons (mini nukes) and, more generally, the aggressive geostrategic global confrontations.
Is it conceivable in the face of military and economic wars (both of which go far beyond the Ukraine conflict) that there will be serious negotiations on arms control, nuclear-weapon-free zones, and disarmament? Realistically, this is not the case.
The actors, especially from the Global South, who could push in the direction of negotiations, arms control and disarmament are unfortunately too politically weak, not coordinated enough, and also still without many of their own initiatives. First approaches, like participation within the context of the TPNW, are not yet a global, independently political role comparable to the role of the non-aligned states in the 60/70s. Only with this will for independence from the power centers and in connection with a world-wide civil society active for disarmament would a peace-oriented political alternative paragraph be at all conceivable.
Instead, we are confronted with the fact that the danger of nuclear war has never been so high and so threatening as it is now. The doomsday clock stands on 100 seconds to midnight and is only one pointed expression of the daily atomic madness – 100 seconds was before the Ukraine war!
The success of the nuclear weapons prohibition conference in Vienna in June, against the will of the nuclear weapon states and the nuclear sharing countries, shows only the beginnings for an alternative nuclear weapons disarmament policy. Yes, it is encouraging that the number of ratifying states is increasing, that the commitment of governments, parliaments and civil societies to the treaty is growing. The concretization of the treaty’s formulations and the emphasis on common ground for future action against the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons are certainly also worthy of mention. The political integration of the TPNW into the struggle for a policy of common security is certainly particularly gratifying.
All this, however, does not yet constitute a geopolitical course towards peace.
This strategic development of humanitarian engagement into an alternative political concept makes it clear that security today can only be achieved together. In this context, nuclear disarmament is a chain link for cooperative action. Only if the political confrontation between NATO and Russia or the U.S. and China is overcome will steps toward nuclear disarmament be possible again. Therefore, measures of dialogue and confidence building are also central to a policy whose long-term outcome is to be a world without nuclear weapons. This is even the officially declared goal of the NATO states. Cooperation is not only central to overcoming the dramatic threat of nuclear war, but is also an indispensable component if the climate catastrophe is still to be averted. At present we are heading with tremendous drama towards the double catastrophe – both nuclear and climatic.
To clarify these connections and to discuss the alternative of common security as a geostrategic alternative, peace groups like the international Peace and Planet network and the International Peace Bureau (IPB), in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s New York Office, are organizing the international conference on July 30th in New York on the theme of “geostrategic disorder”.
IPB is also represented at the NPT conference with two side events – one on nuclear weapons in Europe and the other on the technological challenges of a new arms race – to underline that the defense against the danger of nuclear war is a central challenge for the worldwide peace movement. This must be about more education and more action to stop the media and political course towards insane further high armament and war. A worldwide social and ecological as well as economic tsunami is the consequence if this policy – specifically, the nuclear armament policy of the P5 and other nuclear powers, including that of the NATO states – is not stopped.
The NPT conference can therefore perhaps help to put the much-needed global “coalition of reason” on the agenda.
– Reiner Braun, Executive Director of the IPB
Article written for Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – New York Office
In times of increasing armament and ever-growing insecurities, with current discussions that retrieve fears and traumas from the past century – mistakes that the global community should have overcome – we can still find hope in the actions of those committed to a world without war, with less militarization and more cooperation. For a deeply and widely spread message, only a movement of global reach could connect different voices of the world around the common and ubiquitous demand for peace.
To achieve that, The International Peace Bureau and World BEYOND War organized the very first 24 Hour Peace Wave in protest of excessive military spending and the expansion of NATO, which took place from the 25th to the 26th of June, as a counter-action to the NATO Summit in Madrid and the 48th G7 Summit in Munich, with both also taking place at the end of June. The event served to speak up for peace and cooperation, the scaling back and dismantling of military alliances, the disarmament of governments, and the democratization and strengthening of international institutions of nonviolent cooperation and the rule of law.
This was a one-of-a-kind global rally for Peace and cooperation around the clock, with twenty-four non-stop hours of protests, demonstrations, vigils, teach-ins, speakers, discussion rounds, music, and art from all around the world. To achieve maximum reach, the event was recorded and livestreamed simultaneously across four major social media channels (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), moving West around the globe from 2:00pm in the UK on June 25th to 4:00pm in Ukraine on June 26th. The participants had the opportunity to choose between various sessions to join, depending on which part of the world they were in at the time of the event. Divided in twelve different sections, the Peace Wave could be nothing short of a spectacular global appeal for Peace.
The first section started with live street demonstrations directly from city centre of London, United Kingdom – we had speeches, protests, banners and music being played to all of those passing by. We even had some contributions from a protest regarding Sudan. At the end of the session were displayed videos provided to us directly from Western Sahara, instructing the viewers and participants about their culture and current struggles. And to compliment that, more musical contributions.
The second section covered most of South America, bringing contributions from various voices of different countries: Chile, Argentina, Perú, Ecuador, and Brazil. We had the opportunity to learn more about the political structures and struggles of these people, their past, and the actions currently taken to promote peace by music, youth organizations and political engagement against increasing militarization and armament by governments.
The third section was established to cover the Atlantic side of the United States, starting with a great demonstration in Manhattan, at the centre of New York City – poetry, songs, theatre and speeches from many contributors. We also had a poetic participation from Ontario, Canada, beautiful banners, kites and music from Long Island, and a big rally in Asheville, North Carolina.
The fourth section took us back to Latin America, now addressing countries such as Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Colombia. In this section we followed an important round table of discussions, with many interesting contributions and points of view on Peace education, popular participation, and Human Rights in the face of the dangers of militarization.
The fifth section covered the Pacific side of the United States. We started in the state of Washington, with music, prayers, and a small discussion on military bases at the Pacific side. We had videos from a protesting flashmob, a theatrical piece, and discussions on military environmental impact. Beyond that, we had contributions from Vancouver and Victoria in Canada, and also from California.
The sixth section started in Hawaii, with a poetic contribution regarding a “world without RIMPAC”. We had recordings, poetry and documentaries about military presence on the islands, hearing from natives about how it all impacts their original land. From Guam, we also had a glimpse into the destructive presence of nuclear testing in the pacific and the militarization of the seas.
The seventh section brought us words from Australia and New Zealand. In the first half we had speeches, interviews, choir songs, presentations and protests from many parts of Australia regarding many themes around Peace. From New Zealand, we also had a series of talks, music, and outdoor events, including voices from native peoples and youth.
The eighth section, starting in Japan, presented us a live protest in the streets of Tokyo – a street campaign with speeches, testimonials, signs and music against war, militarization and the use of nuclear weapons. Next in the rally, we had contributions from South Korea talking about RIMPAC exercises, military presence at the peninsula. From the streets, a demonstration with protesting theatre, dance and signs against NATO.
The ninth sections, conducted by the Philippines, brought us multiple artistic contributions to delegitimize NATO, against all imperialism, proxy wars and general sanctions. We had a real-time panel being painted by artists. Poetry, dances, testimonials and different genres of music established the tone of protests here, with many young people participating and helping in this intensive rally.
The tenth section was made by an international participation of people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. We had poetry, prayers, paintings, messages, protests and even the presence of state figures. We heard about Positive Peace, media manipulation, economics of Peace, including voices of natives and refugees at our peace wave.
The eleventh section started with a German song and a welcome message from Berlin. Why “no to NATO” from Hungary, and a Livestream intervention from Sinjajevina, Montenegro. From Cameroon we heard about Disarmament for Development, and from Czech Republic words on nuclear disarmament. We had protests from Barcelona and live rallies from Rammstein and Madrid.
The twelfth section, concluded the peace wave with voices from Norway, Finland and Lebanon in an interesting panel discussion about Peace, collaboration, democratization, media and security challenges from peace activists. We also had major live statements from peace activists from Iran, Kenya and Ukraine addressing important topics and their experiences in the struggle for peace.
This peace wave gathered contributions from 39 different countries, not to include the different regions within a given country. From all these contributions, we had close to 200 people collaborating with messages and art from all over the world addressing one common demand: No to militarization, yes to cooperation. Peace was the leading word for those twenty-four hours of activities.
The event was open to the public, with hundreds of people joining from different parts of the world across major social media channels and an average of 50-60 participating directly via Zoom. Being the first-of-its-kind Peace action, our hope is to continue down this path in the years to follow. Many thanks to all who squeezed time out their busy schedule to ensure that this event was a success.
To sum up all the content that we had in this first peace wave we compiled a video with the highlights of the event:
This video serves as a brief highlight of the many activities we had, so you can be sure that much more can be found in the recordings. To have access to the recording of the 24 hours of our event, access this link:
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) and World BEYOND War would like to thank all the participants and viewers from all around the world who were present with us directly via Zoom or indirectly in the livestreams (Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram). A special message of appreciation to all the coordinators for each section, who accepted the challenge to organize the twelve different parts of two hours, dedicating much of their time and effort in the two months prior to the day of the event.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine shows how the existence of nuclear weapons promotes wars instead of preventing them, as the ideologies linked to the so-called nuclear deterrence claim. On the other hand, the present situation and Russia’s repeated threats to use nuclear weapons show how nuclear weapons allow the nuclear powers to disregard respect for international law and oppose the construction of a world of common security and peace.
In this framework, and in the context of its participation in the next World Conference against A and H bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki between August 4 and 10, 2022, the Peace Movement joins the appeal launched by the organizing committee of this conference, a committee animated in particular by the associations of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Hibakushas) and the victims of nuclear tests.
Le mouvement de la Paix is a non-governmental organization created in 1948 and approved as a “National Association for Youth and Popular Education”. A non-profit association under the 1901 law, the Mouvement de la Paix acts for disarmament, in particular nuclear, but also against the production and transfer of armaments, for the reduction of military budgets.
Even though the originally written in French, most of their last statements are available in English. You can find the the above excert in as a whole in the following link, together with other statements:
Held as a side event to the biennial meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons happening in June and July at the United Nations in New York, we came together with Control Arms Foundation India and Nonviolence International Southeast Asia to bring forth this insightful discussion. Should you have any questions or would like to get in touch with one of the panelists, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.