60 Years of the Cuban Missile Crisis – A message by Noam Chomsky

Sixty years ago, the world experienced a direct and dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, when the two superpowers came closest to a nuclear conflict in the midst of the Cold War. The leaders from both countries engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores.

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Sixty years later, the world finds itself living a confrontation that flirts and mentions the threats of nuclear armament. These past months we came close to seeing how mistakes from the past still reverberate, and that on present days we need more than ever a look back to understand the seriousness of even considering the use of such weapons.

In this message, Noam Chomsky enlightens us with his experience tracing a parallel between present struggles and the Cuban Missile Crisis, highlighting different and common characteristics, and pointing out aspects that can guide us through the resolution of such conflicts in current times.

More info:

www.ipb.org

www.cpdcs.org

Peace Agenda for Ukraine and the World

Statement of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, adopted at the meeting of Ukrainian Pacifists on the 21st September 2022, International Day of Peace (video).

“We the Ukrainian pacifists demand and will strive to end the war by peaceful means and to protect human right to conscientious objection to military service.

Peace, not war, is the norm of human life. War is an organized mass murder. Our sacred duty is that we shall not kill. Today, when the moral compass is being lost everywhere and self-destructive support for war and the military is on the rise, it is especially important for us to maintain common sense, stay true to our non-violent way of life, build peace and support peace-loving people.

Condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine, the UN General Assembly called for an immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and emphasized that parties to the conflict must respect human rights and international humanitarian law. We share this position.

Current policies of war until absolute victory and contempt for criticism of human rights defenders is unacceptable and must be changed. What is needed is a ceasefire, peace talks and serious work to correct the tragic mistakes made on both sides of the conflict. Prolongation of the war has catastrophic, deadly consequences, and continues to destroy the welfare of society and environment not only in Ukraine, but throughout the world. Sooner or later, parties will sit at the negotiating table, if not after their reasonable decision, then under the pressure of unbearable suffering and weakening, the last better to be avoided by choosing the diplomatic path.

It is wrong to take the side of any of the warring armies, it is necessary to stand on the side of peace and justice. Self-defense can and should be carried out by non-violent and unarmed methods. Any brutal government is illegitimate, and nothing justifies the oppression of people and bloodshed for the illusory goals of total control or conquest of territories. No one can evade responsibility for his own misdoings by claiming to be a victim of misdoings of others. Wrong and even criminal behavior of any party cannot justify creation of a myth about an enemy with whom it is allegedly impossible to negotiate and who must be destroyed at any cost, including self-destruction. A desire for peace is a natural need of every person, and its expression cannot justify a false association with a mythical enemy.

Human right to conscientious objection to military service in Ukraine was not guaranteed according to international standards even in peacetime, not to mention the current conditions of martial law. The state shamefully avoided for decades and now continues to avoid any serious response to the relevant suggestions of the UN Human Rights Committee and public protests. Although the state cannot derogate this right even in time of war or other public emergency, as says the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the army in Ukraine refuses to respect the universally recognized right to conscientious objection to military service, denying even to replace coercive military service by mobilization with an alternative non-military service according to the direct prescription of the Constitution of Ukraine. Such scandalous disrespect to human rights should have no place under the rule of law.

The state and society must put an end to the despotism and legal nihilism of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, manifested in policies of harassment and criminal punishment for refusal to be engaged in war effort and the forced turn of civilians into soldiers, due to which civilians cannot move freely within the country nor go abroad, even if they have vital needs to rescue from danger, to obtain an education, to find means for living, professional and creative self-realization, etc.

Governments and civil societies of the world appeared to be helpless before the scourge of war, drawn into the funnel of conflict between Ukraine and Russia and wider enmity between NATO countries, Russia and China. Even the threat of destruction of all life on the planet by nuclear weapons had not put an end to the mad arms race, and the budget of the UN, the main institution of peace on Earth, is only 3 billion dollars, while global military expenditures are hundreds of times larger and have exceeded a wild amount of 2 trillion dollars. Due to their inclination to organize mass bloodshed and coerce people to kill, nation states have proven to be incapable of non-violent democratic governance and the performance of their basic functions of protecting life and freedom of people.

In our view, the escalation of armed conflicts in Ukraine and the world are caused by the fact that the existing economic, political and legal systems, education, culture, civil society, mass media, public figures, leaders, scientists, experts, professionals, parents, teachers, medics, thinkers, creative and religious actors are not fully perform their duties of strengthening the norms and values of a non-violent way of life, as envisages the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted by the UN General Assembly. Evidences of the neglected peace-building duties are the archaic and dangerous practices which must be ended: military patriotic upbringing, compulsory military service, lack of systematic public peace education, propaganda of war in the mass media, support of war by NGOs, reluctance of some human rights defenders to advocate consistently for the full realization of human rights to peace and to conscientious objection to military service. We remind stakeholders of their peace-building duties and will steadfastly insist on compliance with these duties.

We see as goals of our peace movement and all peace movements of the world to uphold human right to refuse to kill, to stop the war in Ukraine and all wars in the world, and to ensure sustainable peace and development for all the people of the planet. To achieve these goals, we will tell the truth about the evil and deception of war, learn and teach practical knowledge about peaceful life without violence or with its minimization, and we will help to the needy, especially those affected by wars and unjust coercion to support army or participation in war.

War is a crime against humanity, therefore, we are determined not to support any kind of war and to strive for the removal of all causes of war.”

Report “NATO, Building Global Insecurity” – English Version

(UPDATE): This report, which has been published last month, now has a official english version:

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 in Spanish as well, or visit Centre Delàs’ website.­­

24 Hour Peace Wave – Summary Report

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:

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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:

https://worldbeyondwar.org/videos-from-the-24-hour-peace-wave/

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.

Berlin, July 2022.

Thousands call for peace and defunding war as NATO summit begins in Madrid – People’s Dispatch

Thousands of people took to the streets in Madrid on Sunday, June 26, against the NATO summit which began in Madrid on June 28. Protesters called NATO a threat to global peace and demanded its dissolution. The organizers also held a two-day peace summit in Madrid on June 24-25, at the conclusion of which, a joint declaration was issued asserting that “NATO is a serious threat to world peace, having left a trail of destruction from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan”.

The video, provided by People’s Dispatch Youtube Channel, features Reiner Braun, Executive Director of the International Peace Bureau, who was present at the panels and demonstration in Madrid for the Peace Summit.

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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.­­