An Appeal for Peace in Armenia

We Demand Peace!

We, a group of people who stand for peace, from the post-Soviet space
and its neighborhood exhausted by never-ending wars and growing
imperialist rivalry on our territories, are full of rage as we have
observed Azerbaijan’s recent large-scale attack on Armenia. This,
coupled with Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine and the renewed
military clashes in border areas between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,
raises heavy concerns regarding possible future escalations not only
in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict but all other conflicts in the
post-Soviet space.

The recent attack on Armenia has costed hundreds of lives within two
days from both sides of the conflict, caused serious destruction to
civil infrastructure in Armenia, displaced thousands, and further
widened the gap between the countries and their people. We raise our
persistent voices against the continuing warfare.

The second Karabakh war two years ago was a devastating experience,
from which the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies have not yet
recovered and remain deeply antagonized. Officials need to finally
understand that military means cannot solve the conflict but they only
deepen the divide between the two countries and cause more violence
and human suffering. We welcome the truce that halted the violence on
September 15 and demand for permanent return to the negotiation table
without any further escalations or violence.

The Azerbaijani side should realize that the “corridors” cannot be
opened, and a peace treaty cannot be achieved through military
aggression. Such prospects are unacceptable for people whose daily
lives would presumably be crossed over by these “corridors,” as they
will not let borderland populations on both sides cooperate with each
other. No one can be forced into peace. Officials in Armenia, in turn,
should recognize the damage their rigid negotiation position had done
for over 30 years, including the displacement of hundreds of thousands
of Azerbaijanis, and their refusal to compromise and settle the
conflict in a timely manner.

Negotiations “mediated” behind closed doors, that do not take into
consideration the livelihood and human needs of people affected, are
doomed to fail. The best mediators for interstate negotiations are
non-state peace-oriented/peacebuilding communities of both countries
who have a great experience of overcoming their own disputes and
facilitating dialogues between other people from their countries with
antagonistic positions.

We see the clear connection of the developments in
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and peace processes with the dynamics of
the war in Ukraine. The deadly war in Ukraine has caused great
turbulence and instabilities in the wider region, exposing the simple
truth that violence creates more violence. There is no military
solution to any conflict and human life is of absolute value. The only
priority should be nonmilitary diplomatic solutions that are always
possible regardless of whatever statesmen try to convince us. The
inability or unwillingness of states to solve the problems through
non-violent means and ensure human security can no longer be
tolerated.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we’ve lived through decades
of violence. We continue to suffer through regularly recurring warfare
on the territory of Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan,
and Kyrgyzstan. We are deeply concerned about overt attempts to reopen
the Moldovan/Transdniestrian, Georgian/Abkhaz and Georgian/Ossetian
conflicts. The confrontation between NATO and the Russian Federation
on the territory of Ukraine is playing out primarily at the expense of
lives of people in Ukraine and, increasingly, residents of Russian
regions adjacent to Ukraine. Moreover, hundreds of military men from
Ukraine and Russia are killed daily.

If we stay on the current trajectory, it is only a matter of time
until the ongoing and recurring warfare in different regions of
Eurasia will synergize with one another and with wars in other parts
of this world, turning into a bigger regional or global war and
sacrificing more and more people from numerous countries.

We cannot afford this! We do not call for peace – we demand peace! We
demand that governments commit to non-use of force, to engage in
genuine search for diplomatic solutions that prioritize human
security, and to stop interfering with, and better yet, support
people-to-people contacts and peacebuilding.

We demand that international actors involved in the official
negotiations ensure that the voices of people affected by conflict are
heard and that people-to-people negotiations and human security
considerations are at least on an equal footing with the official
negotiation process.

For more information: https://postsovietpeace.mailchimpsites.com/

To join the statement, send us your full name, country and profession
at postsovietpeace@gmail.com.




Chile: Who won? Those same as always

– by Pablo Ruiz (19/09/2022)

With 61.86% of the votes cast, the triumphal rejection to the proposal for a New Constitution in Chile, on the September 4th plebiscite, should invite us to a profound reflection on the exercise of democracy and its contradictions, such as the strong impact of the hegemonic media dominated by conservative sectors in Chile.

A truthful democratic country would never have a constitution whose origins and birth arise in a military dictatorship. Unfortunately, in the case of Chile, we have been governed for more than 32 years by the 1980s Constitution imposed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and tolerated, by the political elite, in this long transition to a true democracy.

The Constitution of 1980 has been the fundamental pillar through which the model of neoliberal and individualistic society has been maintained, in which economic, social, and cultural rights, among others, are not guaranteed to the majority of the population. According to a 2020 study by the World Inequality Database, with available information of 175 countries, Chile is the 8th country in the world with the highest concentration of wealth, where the 10% with the highest income gets 60.2 % of the country’s total income.

The Proposal for the New Constitution, which was rejected, stated that workers must have equitable, fair, and sufficient salaries. That all people have the right to health, education, housing, to care and to be cared for, to not suffer violence or torture, to fair trials. It recognized domestic work, the rights of our elders and children, of diversity, nature, native peoples, of the disabled. There are so many and, in a few words, it enshrined human rights so that people could live with full dignity.

It also stated that our nation “is committed to maintaining the region as a zone of peace” and that the Armed Forces and the police must “act with respect for international law and the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.” However, these proposals were rejected by a large majority of the Chilean population, incredible as it may seem.

The power of big media

The proposal for a New Constitution for Chile, which has been rejected, represented a major danger to the economic interests of the Chilean elite and the large corporations that control and concentrate the wealth generated in Chile. We can then understand why the US newspaper Financial Times was right when it noted in an editorial that “Chile’s decision to forcefully reject a utopian constitution” is “a remarkable example of civic maturity.”

Some say that it has been a punishment for the management of the new president Gabriel Boric, who is facing, as in many countries in the world, high economic inflation and that, logically, it affects broad social sectors. However, Gabriel Boric won the presidential elections with 55.87% of the votes in his favor – particularly, he obtained 4,620,890 votes. In his elections, voting was voluntary and 55% of the electorate with the right to vote chose to do it.

The option “I approve of the New Constitution Proposal” obtained 4,860,093 votes, even more votes than President Gabriel Boric when he won. However, in this plebiscite the vote was mandatory and the rejection option prevailed with 7,886,434 votes. Many factors can explain the Rejection of the New Constitution proposal. Some of them could be:

1 – During the last elections close to 50% of Chileans who have the right to vote did not vote and it is surely the first time they exercised this right. Why didn’t they vote voluntarily earlier? This sector of the population is very disinterested in the entire political system and in Chilean democracy, which is why they have not participated.

2 – The neoliberal system has strengthened the culture of individualism as a way of solving one’s own needs. A large portion of the population is not fully aware that human rights are an obligation of States.

3 – Perhaps the most important factor is that the Chilean elite, with the media support of the large Chilean and foreign Press Media, controlled by the large corporations, campaigned against deep and substantial changes in Chile from the beginning.

According to the newspaper La Tercera, the Rejection campaign had 200 times more funding than the Approval campaign. The big media and propaganda played a very important role in the results that we know based on a campaign of fear based on lies and distortion of the real content that was proposed in the New Constitution.

Although the Rejection option prevailed, the path is not entirely closed for Chile to have a new Constitution that governs its destiny in the future. In the coming weeks, Congress must determine a law for the creation of a new Constitutional Convention. The members who are elected must prepare a new Constitution proposal which will very possibly go to a plebiscite in 2023. The social movements must continue working to achieve true democracy and for the consecration of human rights in a new Constitution for Chile.

– Pablo Ruiz is part of the Observatory for the Closure of the School of the Americas in Chile, and a close contact of the International Peace Bureau in Latin America.

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.”

Gustavo Petro’s “total peace” plan and how it could shape the notion of security in Colombia.

– Article by Angelo Cardona

In his inaugural speech, Petro said, “peace is the meaning of my life, and it is the hope of Colombia” his words resonated in the ears and hearts of an entire nation striving to overcome the grief of war.       

The killing of social leaders, exacerbation of inequality due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and increasing distrust in governmental institutions led the Colombian people to set their faith in former guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro as the first leftist President of Colombia. Now, he joined a group of rising progressive leaders in Latin America.

Petro’s government will face an enormous challenge in rebuilding trust in the state institutions, which will require a paradigm change in how the Colombian people understand security. 

To this end, he seeks to achieve “total peace” in Colombia to prepare the ground to overcome the country’s six decades of armed conflict. The ambitious plan involves the significant advancement in the implementation of the peace agreementwith the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), resuming peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), establishing dialogues with Colombia’s drug-trafficking militia “Clan del Golfo,” criminal groups, and the FARC dissidents. 

The peace plan comes with substantial challenges that will require the cooperation of a broad range of actors that historically have opposed previous peace agreements, particularly conservative movements. In the face of this, the government is committed to building a “national accord” to find consensus. Despite Petro’s ambitious agenda’s challenges, he is stubbornly committed to it.      

This ambitious peace plan will require a shift in the notion of security that has permeated the country for decades of confrontation. Petro aims to hear those who have not been heard before so that no insurgent group would have to retake weapons to have a say in a country that has suffered the scourge of war for so long due to political, social, and economic exclusion.      

As a former member of Colombia’s extinct M-19 guerrilla group, Petro was in prison in 1985 for illegally possessing weapons. However, his ideology changed when he was released, and he realized that a military revolution wouldn’t lead to a meaningful structural change. After Petro was freed, the M-19 signed a peace treaty with the government in 1990. His experience in the militia, time in prison, and a subsequent peace agreement with the M-19 shaped his current notion of security. 

Before he was sworn into office, he prepared the ground for his “total peace” policy. Petro’s first step was appointing peace facilitator Alvaro Leyva as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Next, Leyva diligently engaged in conversations with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faria to reestablish diplomatic ties with Venezuela. After that, a delegation of Colombian government representatives — composed of Chancellor Leyva, Senator Ivan Cepeda, and Colombia’s Commissioner for peace, Danilo Rueda — flew to Havana to meet with National Liberation Army (ELN) representatives to restore peace talks with the rebel group. 

Petro also named Ivan Velasquez as Defense Minister. Lawyer and jurist Velasquez has played a prominent role against corruption in Colombia and Guatemala. He won notability for his investigations as a prosecutor against Pablo Escobar and uncovered the ties between politicians and paramilitary groups in the 90s. In 2007, he went to work for the Supreme Court of Justice and obtained the imprisonment of more than 50 members of congress for their ties with paramilitary groups.  

In 2013, Velasquez was appointed Commissioner of the United Nations International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). His investigations as head of the CICIG led to the resignation and imprisonment of the then-president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, for corruption charges.

Colombia’s security forces have a long history of corruption scandals and human rights abuses. The appointment of Velasquez aimed to rebuild the trust the Colombian people lost in the military establishment, and Petro sent a solid message with the designation — Colombia’s army wouldn’t engage in corruption and human rights abuses during his term.  

Petro’s approach to the military and security will be based on the notion of human security — which seeks to increase freedom from fear and human dignity — instead of getting body counts; success will be measured in reducing deaths and massacres. Petro pledged during his presidential campaign that soldiers and members of the police accused of human rights abuses would stand trial in regular courts rather than military ones.

He has already replaced his military and police commanders. The criteria for selecting them were based on “zero corruption, and zero violation of fundamental rights,” and their priorities will be “the reduction of violence, criminality, and the substantial increase in respect for human rights and civil liberties.” Petro said during a press conference.    

He has also promised to eliminate the riot police, remove compulsory military service, and invest in education for peace and reconciliation across many institutions. However, these significant reforms will require systemic changes that undoubtedly will be challenged by the opposition — represented predominantly by the right-wing Democratic Center Party of Colombia — whose political leaders have questioned Petro’s approach to national security. 

Numerous challenges plague Petro’s “total peace” agenda. Implementing such an ambitious plan will require a lot of practical actions and the commitment not only of his government but also one of his successors, as he’s promised not to seek reelection after his four-year-mandate.

However, his plan has begun to bear some fruit. Colombia’s drug-trafficking militia “Clan del Golfo” already announced a unilateral ceasefire in hopes of engaging in peace negotiations with Petro’s government, which could lead other criminal groups to follow.  

During Petro’s tenure, Colombia will see a different approach to national security. Respect for human rights and dignity will be the measuring criterion, and dialogue could be the primary weapon to deal with guerilla groups. A country that has been fueled with hate and violence for decades will now strive to build a different narrative — one that endures human security.

STOP THE WARS, STOP THE WAR IN UKRAINE, STOP THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS! – Le Mouvement de la Paix

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:

Click on the button to load the content from www.mvtpaix.org.

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International Peace & Planet network conference

Peace & Planet’s July 30 Conference has been designed to provide a forum for the world’s peace movements, in order to:

  • Share positions and observations on the dynamics of an increasingly dangerous world disorder, and;
  • Organize common strategies for peace, disarmament, and human survival.

The conference is structured with three panels and a breakout session (online and in-person).

➡️ Registration for the event: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd96F9d80mmQmM-WIWYL9wHnj5Vk1KcmP0IA32ERkuTk-foFA/viewform

The conference is organized by The international Peace & Planet Network

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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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 IPB Recognizes Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) with the Seán MacBride Peace Prize 2021

Since its founding in 2000, the Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has been a major advocate for the proper treatment and release of all political prisoners in Burma including researching and monitoring all ongoing trials, advocacy to international human rights mechanisms, and transitional justice research and training. Since 2013, it has also been providing reintegration and support programmes including counselling services to released prisoners and their families.

On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar people once again found themselves in the throes of another military coup, ending the country’s 10 year experiment with democracy. Beginning with arresting key figures of the democratically elected civilian government and stationing soldiers at major government buildings in Yangon and the capital, Nay Pyi Daw, the military leaders settled themselves in for what they hoped would be a smooth takeover. The Myanmar people on the other hand had no intention of quietly accepting this change and voiced their opposition to the dismantlement of their elected government with peaceful protests around the country. The military’s response to the protesters was not peaceful in kind with violent crackdowns erupting shortly after the protests began and which have continued at an alarming rate ever since.

With this massive turn in events, the AAPP immediately established a monitoring mechanism whereby it collects and documents information for each and every citizen killed as a result of coup related violence at the hands of the junta or has been arrested for exercising their right to protest against dictatorship. Indeed, Daw Thin Thin Aung, a Burmese activist and founder of Mizzima News Agency and Women League of Burma who appeared as a guest speaker at the IPB event “Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma and Ways Forward for Finding Peace and Democracy” held shortly after the coup, is among those arrested and imprisoned for peacefully speaking out against the junta. The courage with which AAPP has conducted itself in the face of threats and imminent danger as well as its diligence in ensuring that every life taken by military during the country’s struggle to return the power to the right hands is properly documented, is truly remarkable and showcases an unwavering dedication to peace and the Myanmar people. The International Peace Bureau is honoring AAPP’s work and commitment to human dignity by presenting them with the Seán MacBride Peace Prize for 2021.

Chair: Lisa Clark, IPB co-President

Welcome and history of MacBride Prize by Philip Jennings, IPB co-President

Honorary speech by H. E Aung Myo Min, Myanmar Minister for Human Rights

Presentation of medal by Reiner, IPB Executive Director, accepted on behalf of AAPP by Nyien Chan May of the German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy.

Acceptance speech by Mr. Bo Kyi, Joint Secretary of AAPP.

Virtual musical performance by Ko Mun Aung

Closing remarks by Binalakshmi Nepram, IPB board member and recipient of the MacBride medal in 2010.

The MacBride medal are bespoke creations donated by the local Berlin jewelry maker, Quiet Quiet. The IPB is grateful for their support and contribution in helping to honor MacBride awardees.

You can watch the whole ceremony in our Youtube Channel:

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Joint appeal for ceasefire and negotiations – 8/9 May 2022

The biggest global peace network, the IPB, and the 200-million strong ITUC have written personally to Presidents Putin and Zelensky urging them to mark Europe’s “day of liberation” – 8-9 May – by declaring a cease fire as a precursor to negotiations.

The ITUC and IPB urge Presidents Putin and Zelensky to meet immediately for peace negotiations in a neutral venue, such as Vienna or Geneva, with the involvement of the UN and its Secretary General to serve as the foundation for a new peace architecture in Europe in which Russia’s and Ukraine’s security interests are safeguarded and secured.

Reiner Braun, IPB Executive Director, said: “The only way out of the crises and to avoid a nuclear catastrophe is negotiations and to start a dialogue – even when it is very difficult.

The Day of Liberation marks the end of World War II in Europe, and the liberation of Europe from fascism. The end of the war was on 8 May in western Europe, but 9 May in the then Soviet Union because of time zones.

The joint appeal to the Presidents of Ukraine and the Russian Federation is available here: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/ipb_ituc_appeal.pdf