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.

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

The Role of Parliamentarians, Commons Security and United Nations Program of Action to Combat Small Arms and Light Weapons Proliferation

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 info@ipb-office.berlin.

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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.­­

The Stockholm +50 Coalition – “Peoples Forum for Environment and Global Justice” (May 31-June 01)

The Stockholm +50 Coalition invites all for the “Peoples Forum for Environment and Global Justice” happening from May 31st to June 01st.

The purpose of this event is to connect the issues and movements in different ways, covering some gaps in the overall system change that is necessary. Both looking at past experience and towards the future, the event aims for the connection between simultanous struggles from local to global levels including both resistance and building alternatives locally and at multilateral level.

Speakers are a mix of people from larger international democratic movements and those specialized on specific issues. Represented are the working class, indigenous, peace, environmental, climate and global justice movements as organizations with ITUC members – among their core members, Via Campesina, International Peace Bureau and WILPF, Friends of the Earth, COP26 Coalition, global justice movements as anti debt networks, social networks as Habitat International and cooperation among very many movements and NGOs as CoNGO as well as a broad range of more specialized organizations. There is also a generational, gender and geographic range. 

The registration, together with the rest of the program, with more than 50 activities, can be found in the following link: https://stockholmplus50.se/en/start-english/.

This common program has six parts, the inauguration, four sessions parallell to other self organized actvities and the closing session. The four common sessions starts with discussions concerning what to learn from 50 years of struggle for system change, continues with the issue of disarmament for a just social and ecological transition against racism in the present concuncture, followed by the need for a just world order ending with the issue concerning what to do now towards the coming 50 years of struggle.


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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Common Security Report 2022 – For Our Shared Future (EN/DE/FR/ES/RU)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Olof Palme’s Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. The Commission presented its report in 1982, at the height of the Cold War, and the Commission developed the concept of Common Security – the idea that nations and populations can only feel safe when their counterparts feel safe.

The new Common Security 2022 report comes at a time when the international order faces severe challenges. The world stands at a crossroads. It is faced with a choice between an existence based on confrontation and aggression or one to be rooted in a transformative peace agenda an common security. In 2022, humanity faces the existential threats of nuclear war, climate change and pandemics. This is compounded by a toxic mix of inequality, extremism, nationalism, gender violence, and shrinking democratic space. How humanity responds to these threats will decide our very survival.

The Common Security Report 2022 is published by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Olof Palme International Center. More information on https://commonsecurity.org/.

Find the full report in here:

English: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CommonSecurity_Report_2022_EN.pdf

Deutsch: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Palme_Report_2022_CSDE.pdf

Français: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Palme_Report_2022_CSFR.pdf

Español: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Palme_Report_2022_CSES.pdf

Русский язык: https://www.ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Palme_Report_2022_CSRU.pdf

Russia invades Ukraine. War in Europe and what this could mean for Africa

On March 14, the IPB African working group hosted its first event of 2022, ‘Russia invades Ukraine. War in Europe and what this could mean for Africa’. Featuring three panel members of Joseph Gerson, Reiner Braun and Baroness Dayon Ako-Adounvo, the discussion took a deep dive into where the situation stands and what this will mean for African nations economies, trade relations, and food security situations in the coming weeks and months. Baroness Dayon Ako-Adounvo was able to expertly speak to these scenarios. Her full speech can be viewed below and the full event recording can also be viewed at the bottom of this page.

Contribution of Baroness Dayon Ako-Adounvo.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Donbass region, which transformed into a war on February 24 2022. This has resulted in global economic and security concerns with severe consequences on the African continent. In this regard, there are economic opportunities for some oil-exporting countries in the region, especially in terms of natural gas and raw material exports with the sanctions implemented by the United States and European countries against Russia. On the other hand, countries whose industries and agriculture are heavily dependent on oil exports have the potential to enter an economic bottleneck because of the increase in oil and natural gas prices. The same is true for grain trade. The fact that Russia and Ukraine provide 25% of the world’s grain supply may indirectly lead the African continent, as one of its largest customers, into food insecurity.

Russia and Ukraine have major ties with Africa in:

▪ Energy

▪ Agriculture

▪ Defence & Security

▪ Education

Energy

Experts warned sternly as Russian missiles hit Ukraine that the impact of the war will reverberate across the continent of Africa. Over the past weeks, fuel prices in Ghana and other African countries have drastically increased. As of March 7th 2022, the price of gasoline in Ghana was 8.62 Ghanaian cedis (GHS) per liter, a 25 percent increase since January 3rd. Economists have cautioned that the war in Ukraine could further push oil prices up and increase inflation in Africa. Professor Abdul-Ganiyu Garba of the department of Economics – Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria said “the last time we had a windfall from oil prices related to war was in 1991, during the Gulf War. There is no doubt that this crisis will directly impact the price of crude oil. Africa, like most continents, will need to prepare for higher inflation as the increase in crude oil prices will increase inflation globally and lead to expensive imports. Most African countries have not recovered from the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the rise of commodity prices due to the disrupted global supply chain. It has been extremely difficult and unbearable for most people living in Africa and in the world at large.

With the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, the U.S. and European countries imposed various sanctions against Russia, a country that supplies 40% of the European Union’s natural gas. Countries in the Middle East and Africa are emerging as strong alternatives for Europe as it attempts to diversify its natural gas supply and cut its dependency on Russia. At this point, among African countries, Algeria is a suitable alternative in terms of both its geopolitical position and its large reserves. Additionally, countries like Senegal (where 40 trillion cubic feet of Natural Gas was discovered between 2014 – 2017 with production expected to start later this year), Nigeria (an existing supplier Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to several European countries) and Tanzania seem to be at an advantage with their natural gas capacity. In this sense, Nigeria, Niger and Algeria, which are on the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline route, cooperated in order to increase their natural gas exports to European markets and signed an agreement on Feb. 16. The deal includes a cost of $13 billion to renew the pipelines. Apart from this line, a total of 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Algerian natural gas is transported to Europe via the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline and Trans-Mediterranean Natural Gas Pipeline.

However, the increase in natural gas and oil prices may result in additional cost for oil-importing African countries that depend on oil and natural gas in agricultural and industrial production.

Agriculture

The Russia-Ukraine War may negatively affect Africa in terms of agricultural production and food security, as both countries are important grain exporters to Africa. African countries imported about $4billion agricultural products from Russia, of which wheat accounted for 90% of these imports. Ukraine exported $2.9 billion worth of agricultural products to Africa in 2020, with wheat representing 48% of the products, and corn at 31%. Furthermore, these two countries have a total share of 26% (Russia 18%, Ukraine 8%) in world wheat exports. While Egypt ranks first in wheat imports, countries such as Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya and South Africa also import wheat from Russia and Ukraine to a large extent. Currently, with the Russian intervention in Ukraine, corn prices have increased by 21%, wheat by 35% and soybeans by 20%, respectively. Nonetheless, in the Sahel region and West Africa alone, 26 million people do not have access to enough food. Therefore, the prolongation of the war and the disruption of agricultural trade can cause prices to rise significantly. The increase in bread prices, especially in Kenya and Sudan, has led to anti-government protests. Undoubtedly, this situation brings food security concerns to the forefront for Africa, which has experienced many food crises in the past.

Defense & Security

The Russian mercenary Wagner Group operates in the Central African Republic, Libya, Mozambique and Mali. Apart from this, Russia has strong trade relations with African economies such as South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Sudan. In this context, Russia’s military and economic connections have limited member countries of the African Union from acting in unison against the Russia-Ukraine war. The union’s own legislation emphasizes the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity.

Education

Over 16000 African students studying in Ukraine and Russia were stranded as a result of the war. African countries have evacuated some of these students, many of them remain trapped with limited food, water, and no safe shelter. This has been heartbreaking for families.

Conclusion

The Russia-Ukraine war, which broke out after Russia’s one-sided intervention, is geographically far from the region but still closely concerns the African continent. Many different issues such as food security, agricultural production and the inclusion of countries with natural gas reserves into the geopolitical equation due to the sanctions on Russia, are directly related to Africa. In this context, prolonging the war and continuing to sanction Russia will increase the prices of agricultural products and raw materials, which could expose the African continent into a food security crisis.

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