Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration ceremony – Berlin

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.

Please find the full speech in German and English language here: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Speech_Friedensglocke_Sean_Conner.pdf

Hiroshima Declaration by the 2022 World Conference against A&H Bombs

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.

Please find the full statement here: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Hiroshima-Declaration-Aug6.pdf

If interested in the full program of the 2022 World Conference against A&H Bombs, please visit: http://www.antiatom.org/english/world_conference/2022index.html

Publication of the report “NATO, Building Global Insecurity”

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.

Click in this link to have access to the full report or visit Centre Delàs’ website.­­

Ulaanbaatar Statement on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

Nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) scholars and experts have met on 9-10 June 2022 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and discussed the importance, challenges and prospects of NWFZ development in this period of the post-cold war era.

The participants expressed their conviction that the most effective way to prevent nuclear weapons threats is their total elimination.

Today two parallel developments are unfolding in international relations. On the one hand, nuclear weapons of the cold-war era of the then two superpowers have been substantially reduced by mutual agreement. A number of NWFZs have been established bringing thus their number to five zones with 116 states that have committed to ban the manufacture, deployment and transit of nuclear weapons through their territories preventing thus proliferation of nuclear weapons in those concrete regions. South Africa has ended and dismantled its nuclear weapons program and became part of a NWFZ, while some others in Europe and Asia have agreed to remove their weapons in exchange for security assurances and become parties to the NPT. The participants called for further strengthening of the TPNW through its broader signing and ratifying as well as for concrete results for arms control and nuclear disarmament at the 10th NPT Review conference.

Currently the idea of establishing of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is being under consideration. Informal exchanges of views and ideas to establish a Northeast Asian NWFZ and a zone in the Arctic are being discussed. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has entered into force and provides a legal framework to delegitimize further nuclear weapons and strengthen the global norms to abolish such weapons. 

On the other hand, in parallel with the above positive changes troubling developments are also underway. Thus the number of states possessing nuclear weapons have increased, new generations of such weapons and even mini-nukes are being introduced in national arsenals lowering thus the decades of nuclear weapons use taboo. There is a dangerous trend to assign broader roles to such weapons in nuclear doctrines and rationalization of their use. Time and space are becoming dominant military and geopolitical factors with all the ensuing consequences.

The established NWFZs are working to coordinate closer their activities so as to contribute to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. To make NWFZs more credible and effective, all five de jure nuclear weapon states need to sign or ratify without delay the protocols to NWFZ treaties and withdraw reservations or unilateral interpretative statements that affect the statuses of the NWFZs. The states that have assumed international responsibility over dependent territories need to make sure that their responsibilities do not affect the NWFZs or the legitimate interests of the peoples of those territories. 

The international community needs to continue promoting the creation of NWFZs throughout the world as an effective and practical means for gradually achieving the cherished goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Hence to be more effective the very concept of NWFZs needs to be made inclusive. This horizontal expansion of NWFZs should not be limited to groups of states only. Establishment of single-State zones is not anymore an academic issue but has far reaching practical implications.  Individual states due to their geographical location or for some credible political or legal reasons cannot be part of the traditional regional zones and thus be left out. Cumulatively they and their territories far exceed Central Asia and Southeast Asian NWFZ states or their sovereign territories. Ignoring this would result in political vacuums and create loopholes in international law. As is known, the nuclear-weapon-free world that we are all trying to establish would be as strong as its weakest link(s). Therefore second comprehensive study on NWFZs needs to be undertaken to address this and other issues connected with NWFZs and their increasing role in the world.

The participants have underlined that it was time to make practical steps to start the process to establish a Northeast Asian NWFZ. Mindful of the events in Europe, it was pointed out that it was time to think to extend NWFZs to the Northern hemisphere

Disarmament and non-proliferation education constitute important measures that will contribute to the common cherished goal. Therefore states and civil society organizations need to promote programs aimed at instilling the values of one common world as well as of peace and disarmament as the means to ensure such a world in their educational programs and academic works.  

The participants have congratulated Mongolia on the 30th year of its unprecedented initiative to establish a single-State NWFZ and ensure that no state or territory is left out of the common effort to establish a nuclear-weapon-free world.

                                                                                                          Ulaanbaatar, 10 June 2022

The Fierce Urgency Of Now- International Peace & Planet Network Call on the eve of the 2022 NPT Review Conference

The Ukraine war and competition among the great powers have dangerously increased the dangers of a third, potentially nuclear, world war, and have underscored what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over half a century ago described as “THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW”.  

Like the period leading to the First World War, our era is marked by tensions between rising and declining powers, complex alliance structures, intense nationalism, territorial disputes, arms races with new technologies, economic integration – and competition, and wild card actors. In the best of circumstances, the end of the war in Ukraine will leave humanity confronted with intensified and dangerous geostrategic competitions, deterioration of strategic stability arrangements among the great powers, and intensified nuclear and advanced technological arms races.

The United Nations Charter and the rule of international law are increasingly being violated.  With the limited exception of the New START Treaty, no meaningful arms control agreements remain in force. Cooperation among nations that is essential to contain and reverse the climate crisis and to stanch and prevent pandemics has been undermined and is almost entirely absent.  With Finland’s pending accession to NATO, hopes that a 2025 Helsinki OSCE conference could have provided the foundation for negotiation of a new European security architecture have been dashed.

Obstacles to the export of grain and fertilizers from Russia and Ukraine leave the Global South facing increased food insecurity and widespread famine. The fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine is also upending global energy markets, with major implications for the global climate agenda. As U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres has explained,“Countries could become so consumed by the immediate fossil fuel supply gap that they neglect or knee-cap policies to cut fossil fuel use. This is madness. Addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction.” Food and fuel insecurity will inevitably stoke conflict and violence that could lead to more wars.

The world’s nations are being consolidated into three opposing blocs: With Russia increasingly dependent on China, and with China seeking to offset pressure from the U.S. “Pivot to Asia” and its Indo-Pacific doctrine, these two powers have entered a tacit alliance.  European hopes for increasing interdependence and path leading away from U.S. hegemony have been sidelined as European nations find themselves increasingly dependent on the United States and under the thrall of still expanding NATO. And many of the world’s nations are understandably again opting for non-alignment despite pressures from the great powers to ally or collaborate with their blocs. Across the United States, Europe, Russia, China and much of the Global South, these dynamics are reenforced by rising authoritarianism in which the governments are not accountable to their people.

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its nuclear threats, expectations for the 10th Nuclear Nonproliferation Review Conference (“NPT RevCon”) were low. Now, with a brutal and illegal war raging in Ukraine, and with all the nuclear-armed states committed to spending trillions of dollars in new nuclear and high-tech arms races, there is little expectation that the RevCon will even agree on a final consensus document. Faced with the further weakening of the NPT regime, the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and winning additional signatories and ratifications for the TPNW are even more important.

In past years, the Peace and Planet international network has mobilized nuclear abolitionists from around the world to press the NPT RevCons to demand progress by the nuclear-armed states in fulfilling their Article VI obligation to engage in good faith negotiations for “cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date,” and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Our peace movements must prioritize deepening our collaborations and raising our voices to prevent a catastrophic world war and win the abolition of potentially omnicidal nuclear weapons. The 10th NPT RevCon provides a crucial opportunity for civil society organizations to meet, strategize, and generate maximum pressure on the world’s governments to make peace with each other, and to make a plan to realize the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

In these circumstances, the Peace and Planet International Network celebrates courageous actions being taken around the world to end the Ukraine War, to replace great power confrontations with Common Security diplomacy, and to eliminate the existential dangers posed by nuclear weapons and climate chaos.

As we look to the 10th NPT Review Conference, we urgently call for:

  1. An immediate Ukraine ceasefire, negotiations that ensure the security of a neutral Ukrainian state, withdrawal of Russian and all foreign troops from Ukraine, and improved Russia-Ukrainian relations that can serve as the foundation for a new European security architecture;
  2. Mobilization of world public opinion to manifest the popular will for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons;
  3. Nuclear-armed states and nuclear sharing states to halt the threat of use and deployment of nuclear weapons and to adopt a policy of non-use of nuclear weapons;
  4. Popular mobilizations and actions by governments to support the TPNW with additional signatures and ratifications of the Treaty;
  5. Renewed respect for the United Nations Charter and the rule of international law.

At the 10th NPT Review Conference itself we call for:

  1. The nuclear-armed states and nuclear sharing states to commit to implement their NPT disarmament obligations and previous NPT RevCon commitments without further delay;
  2. The nuclear-armed states and nuclear sharing states to commit to a timeframe of no later than 2030 for the adoption of a framework, package of agreements or comprehensive nuclear weapons convention¹, and no later than 2045 for full implementation, in order to fulfil the NPT Article VI and customary law obligation to achieve the global elimination of nuclear weapons no later than the 100th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons, the 75th anniversary of the NPT and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
  3. Organization of a hybrid conference on the eve of the NPT RevCon to provide a vehicle for the world’s peace movements to share their understandings of the dynamics of the increasingly dangerous world disorder and to develop common strategies for peace, disarmament and human survival.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. starkly pointed out in his last words, “For years now, we have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can we just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence.”

¹ Modalities and approaches to achieve and maintain a nuclear-weapon-free world include: negotiation of a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements; negotiation of a framework agreement which includes the legal commitment to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, identifies the measures and pathways required in general terms, and provides a process for agreeing on details over time; negotiation of protocols to the TPNW or related instruments which nuclear armed and allied states would sign as part of a process for them to join the TPNW and build the nuclear destruction, elimination, verification and compliance process through the TPNW, particularly its Article 4. See WPAbolition2000WG.pdf

Statement by Philip Jennings on the deployment of nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath, U.K.

“I am here to express the solidarity of the world’s peace movement with your action here today. I speak for the world’s oldest peace organization the IPB. Still mobilizing for peace for 130 years. We will make sure your action today will echo around the world.

Our message is clear we do not want these nuclear missiles in Lakenheath. We want a world free of nuclear weapons. No one officially can admit that these missiles are or will be here. They won’t confirm or deny. Well I can confirm that the IPB does not want these missiles here or anywhere else.

A brilliant American researcher spotted the details and rang the global alarm bell. His name Hans Christensen there is no relation to his Danish namesake HC Andersen. From fairy to nightmare tales. These missiles are ugly ducklings and will remain so, the emperor has the clothes of lethal killing machines CND and the people of Lakenheath you banished these weapons 14 years ago.

You mobilized. Changed minds. You did not remain silent.

As MLK said  `He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it`. You are called to protest this evil once again.

Today Lakenheath is the example of a global arms race out of control. Your brothers and sisters in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy are faced with this new wave of lethal militarization.

Budgets for war increasing military expenditure now over two trillion dollars, we ask where is the budget for peace? The budget for human needs and human security buckling under the strain of booming military budgets. I can assure you that they are mobilizing as they see these installations pushing the doomsday clock closer to midnight. The are awakening their public.

Let us applaud their action. The world is on edge.

A war in Ukraine. Climate devastation. Inequality.The rise of demagogues. Democracy and human rights in retreat. A global pandemic.

A world without a social contract. Fault lines everywhere. Poverty exploding in the UK and this failure of a UK government prefers to replenish and grow missile silos to ending foodbanks. That fits the definition of a morally bankrupt government.

Fault lines everywhere. Confrontation not cooperation. Superpower rivalry. This does not bring the world to a better place and today that toxic fault line runs through Lakenheath. We are staring into the abyss. Aggressive military doctrines menacing threats to use of nuclear weapons. Battle plans that include limited use of nuclear weapons. hey make them sound like childsplay they are not and are many times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.

As you all know and must shout out that we are an accident, miscalculation, mistake away from a civilization ending nuclear Armageddon. The nuclear powers have admitted a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought. Meanwhile they walk away from those treaties that try to prevent this from happening.

We want a different world. We must invest in peace. We demand a ceasefire in the Ukraine and peace negotiations. We demand a global ceasefire and want to see war abolished.

Billions of people live in nuclear free zones and it is time for one in Europe. We must build a new architecture for preace for without it we face breakdown not breakthrough. For disarmament.

The IPB just concluded the work of a Global Commission on Common Security For our Shared Future.In doing so we marked the 40 th anniversary of the original Olof Palme report on Common Security. The basic message rings true today and `International security must rest on a commitment to joint survival rather than the threat of mutual destruction`. Words written at a time when superpower relations were at rock bottom, the risk of nuclear war high and real. Alternatives were developed then and we have done the same with our report.

We changed reality on the ground. We are summoned to do so once again. We must ReImagine Peace.

The peace movement must not be found wanting. We are billions with new generations understanding what existential threats face this planet. It requires all strands of our movement to organize and mobilise. In one month all peace roads lead to Vienna and the first states parties UN Conference on the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. That treaty says there is no place for missiles in Lakenheath, Kleine Brugel, Buchel,Volkel,Aviano and Ghedi or anywhere else.

We together fought for this treaty and others. In 2025 it’s the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration.The world changed. New institutions, accords, understandings, dialogue for peace. The movement succeeded then. nWe must do so again.

In closing we will transmit your anger, your call to action to the conference and to the peace movement worldwide. From Hiroshima and Nagasaki to The Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific they will be inspired by your action and will power demonstrated here today. From your local voices we will ensure that new global horizons for peace will sing.

Thank you.”

The statement was given by Philip Jennings, Co-President of IPB, at RAF Lakenheath.

Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the TPNW

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On Friday, January 22nd, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) officially entered into force, roughly three years after its adoption by the UN Conference tasked with negotiating a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. For the IPB, this day is a landmark win in the struggle to rid the world of the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. Thanks to the efforts of numerous civil society organizations, experts, and peace advocates around the globe, and the tremendous coordination efforts of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the world has just gotten one step closer to a nuke-free future.

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Denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula

Denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula and Establishing a Northeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

(Presentation of Dr. J. Enkhsaikhan, Chairman of Blue Banner NGO at the 6th Forum of Northeast Asian Peace and Development, held on 24 November 2019 in Shanghai)

Continue reading “Denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula”

Sergio Duarte on the UN negotiations for a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons leading to their total elimination

At an IPB side event on “How to find common ground for the ban treaty and how can civil society and peace movements contribute” at the UN negotiations for a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, former UN High Level Representative for Disarmament, Sergio Duarte presented the following speech:

I am grateful to IPB for this opportunity to participate in this discussion on the current negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. I was asked to present a global view on the process and compare it with other disarmament processes. Given the constraints of time, let me make some quick comments on the results so far of the current negotiation process. There seems to be considerable convergence of views on many aspects of the future instrument.

I think it is fair to say that overall the conduct of business by President Elayne Whyte-Gómez has been quite satisfactory. The debate over the past week has been intense and constructive. The resulting second draft circulated yesterday seems to reflect accurately most of the proposals and observations made. I would make the following general remarks on the new draft:

  • The change of the order of the first few paragraphs of the Preamble gave prominence to the “elimination” of nuclear weapons and to the risks and consequences resulting from their existence and use. In mentioning the ethical imperative of nuclear disarmament, it quotes former UNSG Ban Ki-Moon about the “global public good” and adequately related it to “national and collective security interests”. All States are entitled to security, not just those that possess or are protected by nuclear weapons.
  • Stress was given to the suffering and harm resulting from the use and to the impact of tests (nuclear activities) on indigenous peoples;
  • The need to comply with the principles and rules of IHL is reaffirmed;
  • Mentions the principles of Charter of the UN regarding relations among States and recalls Resolution no. 1 of 1946;
  • Expresses concern about the slow pace of nuclear disarmament and the importance of a legally binding prohibition, as well as the need to achieve GCD;
  • Reaffirms the ICJ 1996 decision on the obligation to pursue negotiations;
  • Reaffirms the vital role of implementation of the NTP, recognizes the vital importance of the CTBT and the contribution of NWFZs;
  • Emphasizes the inalienable right of Parties to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes;
  • Recognizes the need to strengthen participation of women in nuclear disarmament;
  • Finally stresses the role of public conscience and the efforts of the Red Cross, international organizations, NGOs in furthering the principles of humanity evidenced in the call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

There were constructive changes, but some of the operative paragraphs need further discussion.

  • Core prohibitions are very clear and unchanged from the previous daft;
  • The procedure for declarations by Parties are now clearer. The same can be said of the measures to eliminate nuclear weapons. Need to clarify some points, for example what “programmes” mean in this context);
  • There is more flexibility in the provisions regarding verification. (Perhaps greater clarity about the “competent international authority” is required);
  • Order of the articles on implementation and victim assistance reversed, without change;
  • No change in provisions on cooperation;
  • Article on meetings of States parties now list the matters that can be considered;
  • Several changes on articles on amendments; participation of civil society and their proposals are now included;
  • The article on relations with other agreements is better formulated now.

This brings me to the comparison with other disarmament processes. It must be stressed that no previous international agreement on nuclear weapons ever established a clear, legally binding obligation to disarm. Since the start of the nuclear age, all agreements have aimed at preventing proliferation. Progress was made in that direction, particularly with the NPT, the CTBT and the NWFZs.  Nuclear weapon States have been trying to interpret such agreements as legitimizing their exclusive possession of nuclear weapons. 71 years after the adoption of Resolution No. 1, the current negotiation, however, is the first serious attempt to establish a legally binding, irreversible and verified obligation to take effective measures to eliminate nuclear weapons. The NPT and customary international law require all nations – not just those that possess nuclear weapons – to negotiate for nuclear disarmament. The ban treaty will provide a solid foundation for future multilateral action.

I am sure that in the coming week there will be important comments and proposals and that different States and opinion groups will try to have their views reflected in the final product. In my view this final product must respond to the criteria needed for its effectiveness: it must be clear, simple, and provide for wide inclusiveness.

Regardless of the opposition and diffidence of the nuclear-armed nations, and although, as I said, further discussion is needed on some points, I have no doubt that we will adopt a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons by consensus on July 7.  We are perfectly aware that this Treaty will not immediately halt nuclear weapons development or diminish the threat that current nuclear weapon arsenals pose to all humanity but it is an important step in the right direction. It inscribes into positive international law a repudiation of nuclear weapons and establishes a clear path toward their elimination.

Once adopted, the impact and effectiveness of this Treaty will depend essentially from its wide acceptance by States and the continuing and active support of civil society, particularly in those States that possess nuclear weapons and their allies. This will take time and considerable effort. In any case, the Treaty is a powerful statement of the will of the majority international community and public opinion worldwide to outlaw the most cruel and indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction ever devised. We are all committed to its success and its universalization.

Download the speech here: IPB – Side event 28-06-2017_Sergio Duarte