Le Mouvement de la Paix Calls for Action Against French Missile Launches

*Update on June 12

Firing of an M51 Missile on June 12

At 8:20 am, the Téméraire, a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SNLE) successfully fired an M51 strategic ballistic missile at the tip of Penmarc’h in Finistère. “This test demonstrates our technological excellence and our attachment to French sovereignty” declared Florence Parly, Minister of Defence. The government is therefore insisting on launching its new missile campaign in Brittany not only in violation of the NPT, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons signed by France, but also in defiance of the real financial requirements of the present time and still environmental requirements. Let us recall that a missile costs 120 million euros, a sum which represents the gross annual salary of 7500 nurses. This missile is designed to carry six atomic bombs, each of which can destroy a city like Paris in a few seconds. Indignation and protest among many citizens: the pandemic has revealed, if proof were needed, that the real priorities must be given to health, social and environmental emergencies and not to expensive tests for better performance of our works of death.

In compliance with health precautionary measures, demonstrations, at the initiative of the Peace Movement, which denounced these tests, took place in various cities and on the very premises of the operation’s command centre, where some sixty people gathered at the tip of Penmarc’h, near the semaphore and the vessel providing the fire command logistics.

The original text in French can be found below.

Together we reject the new tests of M 51 nuclear missile in Brittany

In the midst of a health crisis, the government insists on developing its new nuclear weapons programs to the detriment of health, social and environmental priorities.

This obstinacy is expressed through a new campaign of tests of the Nuclear Missile M51 (1) organized, from 9 June and over several weeks, from the point of Penmarc’h in Brittany.

These weapons of mass destruction, dangerous for the survival of humanity, are illegal under international law, immoral, useless for our security and costly.

To express their opposition to this campaign, the Brittany committees of Le Mouvement de la Paix decided to organize citizen initiatives in the form of pickets of protest, or protest circles, or picnics for peace, and this in compliance with the rules of health prudence, in different cities of Brittany (Nantes, Rennes, Lannion, Saint Malo, Penmarc’h, Morlaix, etc.)

Le Mouvement de la Paix at the national level supports these initiatives and calls everywhere in France its committees, citizens and all organizations that consider it necessary to reverse the priorities in favor of health and environmental emergencies, to amplify this movement through multiform local actions in the maximum number of cities.

In the respect of the measures of health precautions, protest gatherings with about ten people can be organized in the coming days and until the end of June in front of the town halls, privileged places of expression of the citizenship, or in front of the prefectures,  symbolic places of state power. The priorities in favour of health, social and ecological security of the population, in favour of an ambitious multiannual programme for public hospitals and homes for senior and dependent persons, and a plan for ecological security must be expressed forcefully.

At the same time must be expressed the requirement, shared by 78% of the French (2), of visible political acts in favor of nuclear disarmament by the French government, like the freezing of new nuclear weapons modernization programs and the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted at the United Nations in July 2017. Every citizen can also support this initiative by signing the petition so that France and all the states of the world ratify the Treaty.

Le Mouvement de la Paix – June 9, 2020

(1) Each M51 missile costs 120 million euros, which represents the annual gross salary of 7,500 nurses. Each M51 carries six atomic bombs, each of which can destroy a city like Paris in seconds. Each of the 4 French nuclear submarines carries 16 nuclear missiles. The replacement of these 4 nuclear submarines, which is at the heart of the military programming law passed by the government majority, constitutes a violation of Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

(2) Ifop survey/La Croix/ Le Mouvement de la Paix/ Planète Paix .


*mise à jour du 12 juin

Tir d’un Missile M51 le 12 juin

A 8h20, le Téméraire, sous-marin nucléaire lanceur d’engins (SNLE) a tiré avec succès un missile balistique stratégique M51 à la pointe de Penmarc’h dans le Finistère. « Cet essai démontre notre excellence technologique et notre attachement à la souveraineté française » a déclaré Florence Parly, Ministre de la Défense. Le gouvernement s’obstine donc à lancer sa nouvelle campagne de tirs de missiles en Bretagne non seulement en violant le TNP, traité de Non-Prolifération des Armes Nucléaires signé par la France mais aussi au mépris des vraies exigences financières actuelles et toujours environnementales. Rappelons qu’un missile coûte 120 millions d’euros, somme qui représente le salaire brut annuel de 7500 infirmières. Ce missile est conçu pour porter six bombes atomiques dont chacune peut détruire une ville comme Paris en quelques secondes. Indignation et protestation parmi de nombreux citoyens : la pandémie a révélé, s’il en était besoin, que les vraies priorités doivent être portées vers les urgences sanitaires, sociales et environnementales et non vers des essais coûteux pour de meilleures performances de nos œuvres de mort.

Dans le respect des mesures de précaution sanitaires, des manifestations, à l’initiative du Mouvement de la Paix qui dénonce ces essais, ont eu lieu dans différentes villes et sur les lieux même du centre de commandement de l’opération où une soixantaine de personnes se sont retrouvées à la pointe de Penmarc’h, à proximité du sémaphore et du bâtiment assurant la logistique de commandement du tir.

Ensemble refusons la nouvelle campagne de tirs du missile nucléaire M 51 depuis la pointe de la Bretagne

En pleine crise sanitaire, le gouvernement s’obstine à développer ses nouveaux programmes en faveur des armes nucléaires au détriment des priorités sanitaires, sociales et environnementales.

Cette obstination s’exprime à travers une nouvelle campagne de tirs d’essais du Missile Nucléaire M51 (1) organisée, à partir du 9 juin et sur plusieurs semaines, depuis la pointe de Penmarc’h en Bretagne.

Ces armes de destruction massive, dangereuses pour la survie de l’humanité, sont illégales au vu du droit international, immorales, inutiles pour notre sécurité et coûteuses.

Pour dire leur opposition à cette campagne, les comités de Bretagne du Mouvement de la Paix ont décidé d’organiser des initiatives citoyennes sous forme de piquets de protestation, ou cercles de protestation, ou pique-niques pour la Paix dans différentes communes de Bretagne et ce dans le respect des règles de prudence sanitaire (Nantes, Rennes, Lannion, Saint Malo, Penmarc’h, Morlaix…)

Le Mouvement de la Paix au plan national apporte son soutien à ces initiatives et appelle partout en France ses comités, les citoyennes et citoyens et toutes les organisations qui estiment nécessaires d’inverser les priorités en faveur des urgences sanitaires et environnementales, à amplifier ce mouvement à travers des actions locales multiformes dans le maximum de communes.

Dans le respect des mesures de précautions sanitaires, des cercles de protestation regroupant une dizaine de personnes peuvent être organisés dans les jours qui viennent et jusqu’à la fin du mois de juin devant les mairies lieux privilégiés d’expression de la citoyenneté ou les préfectures lieux symboliques du pouvoir de l’Etat.

Les priorités en faveur de la sécurité sanitaire, sociale et écologique des populations, en faveur d’un programme pluriannuel ambitieux pour les hôpitaux publics et les EHPAD, d’un plan pour la sécurité écologique doivent être exprimées avec force.

Dans le même temps doit s’exprimer l’exigence, partagée par 78 % des français (2), d’actes politiques visibles en faveur du désarmement nucléaire de la part du gouvernement de la France, comme le gel des nouveaux programmes de modernisation des armes nucléaires et la signature du Traité d’interdiction des armes nucléaires (TIAN) adopté à l’Onu en juillet 2017. Chaque citoyen peut aussi soutenir cette démarche en signant la pétition pour que la France et tous les Etats du monde ratifient le TIAN.

Le Mouvement de la Paix – 9 juin 2020

  1. Chaque missile M51 coûte 120 millions d’euros, somme qui représente le salaire brut annuel de 7500 infirmières. Chaque M51 porte six bombes atomiques dont chacune peut détruire une ville comme Paris en quelques secondes. Chacun des 4 sous-marins nucléaires français est porteur de 16 missiles nucléaires.Le remplacement de ces 4 sous-marins nucléaires, qui est au cœur de la loi de programmation militaire votée par la majorité gouvernementale, constitue une violation de l’article 6 du Traité de Non- Prolifération Nucléaire (TNP).
  2. Sondage Ifop/La Croix/Mouvement de la Paix/Planète Paix.

Down by the Riverside and the Urgency of Now

Philip Jennings, Co-President of the International Peace Bureau, writes that the global pandemic has brought with it a call for change in the world. That change must include a new era for peace. The postponement of the UN Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons may be a blessing – as the Covid-19 crisis brings with it the call to build back a better world, and that means one without nuclear weapons. Could there be a peace dividend emerging from this crisis? The time has come for a new Global Commission for our Common Human Security.

Continue reading “Down by the Riverside and the Urgency of Now”

Updates from Latin America: Everyday Wars in the Search for Peace

Written by Patricia Pérez, Executive Director of ILAPyC and IPB Board Member.

Starting in April 2020, we will begin providing regular updates and a platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions that strengthen our actions for peace and citizenship in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

In this part of the world, there are wars, silent conflagrations, on a daily basis; they are brutal, full of immense pain and fear. Many experience fear and inequality within their families – women, children, and many times the elderly, are cornered by cultural bindings, where the “man” has all the rights and the house and its inhabitants revolve around him, his whims, prejudices, and atavisms.

Everyday wars are fought in society, between violent groups that fight to kill or be killed over coveted territories for their illegal businesses trafficking drugs or people.

These types of wars have been dangerously normalized to the point of turning illicit work into a social status.

It is a matter of pride to own the most modern, latest-generation light arms, modern cars, and fashionable clothing that give one “prestige” and recognition with certain social segments that, without belonging to the criminal gangs, look upon these pathetic traits as an opportunity for social advancement.

It is in these vulnerable sectors of society in Latin America where we act everyday with our commitment and activism for peace and human rights, supporting values and principles to construct citizenship.

Peace and Citizenship are the Objectives for the Region

The Latin American Institute for Peace and Citizenship (ILAPyC) is a tool that seeks to provide education and training in every country in the region in order to provide civil society organizations with the best opportunities for success in their objectives.

Our central headquarters is in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and we have an office in Panama City. We also have representatives in New York that tend to our connections with the UN and ECOSOC and further representation in Miami, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Spain, and South Africa.

ILAPyC forms part of the extraordinary team of NGOs that develop actions and activism for peace in the extensive Latin American region, uniting forces under the IPB umbrella.

We are proud members of IPB

We feel intimately connected to the principles and objectives of IPB and express our recognition and gratitude for our colleagues who manage the passionate organization that we are proud to be part of.

We in the Latin America and Caribbean region pursue the idea that our founding fathers set in motion in 1891/92 during the Universal Peace Congress that gave form to IPB. The history of great and committed activists and leaders guides us, those such as Bajer, Ducommun, Gobat, and the 13 members of IPB that have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

We are inspired by the memory of Berta Von Suttner, the great Adolf Heilberg, and those that worked hard to bring IPB back to life like Wolf, MacBride, Herz, Santi Booth, McReynolds and the beloved Colin Archer who has worked hard for our region. We owe a special mention to our teacher and guide, Alicia Cabezudo, whose commitment has left a permanent mark on the course of our work every day.

In future updates, we will share stories about what we do, with whom, and what is happening in our area with respect to peace. This will include how we search for strategies for peace and how we use them.

Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic has spread uncertainty over the entire planet. Together, without rejection or discrimination against the infected, taking health precautions, let’s draw on the best of our history. There have been many times that there didn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and we found one.

I extend a hug to everyone, from the elbow and from the heart.

-Patricia Pérez

IPB Supports António Guterres’ Call for a #GlobalCeaseFireNow

On March 23, 2020, António Guterres addressed the world with a powerful message of unity against a common enemy: COVID-19. Now more than ever before, world leaders are seeing the need to use limited resources to protect their people; not by funding the military and ongoing conflicts, but by investing in healthcare and the well-being of all citizens. Continue reading “IPB Supports António Guterres’ Call for a #GlobalCeaseFireNow”

Agenda | World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist & Reverse Climate Change, For Social & Economic Justice (1/16/20 edition)

World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist & Reverse Climate Change, For Social & Economic Justice (1/16/20 edition)

April 24, 2020

5-6 p.m. Registration

6-9 Opening

Japanese choir and First Nation Welcome

Formal welcome & conference framing – Joseph Gerson – (CPDCS/USA –confirmed)

Official Greetings

Plenary

Setsuko Thurlow (Hibakusha of Hiroshima/Canada – confirmed)

Mayors Matsui and Taue (Hiroshima & Nagasaki/Japan – invited)

Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez (Costa Rica – invited)

Noam Chomsky (Video) (Renowned Scholar/USA – confirmed)

Michael Klare (Five College Peace & World Security Studies/USA – confirmed)

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Poet/Marshall Islands – confirmed)

Xiye Bastida – (Sunrise Movement/USA &Mexico – invited)

Phillip Jennings (International Trade Union Confederation & Int’l Peace Bureau/Britain – confirmed)

Rep. Barbara Lee – (U.S. Congress/USA – invited)

 

April 25, 2020

8-9 Registration

9:00

Plenary speeches – organized by panels (9:00 – noon)

Section 1 (reporting & analysis)

Hibakusha Panel: Hidankyo, Korean A-bomb survivors and Leona Morgan (Nuclear Issues Study Group, Navajo/ – confirmed)

Bill McKibben (350.Org/USA – invited)

Youth speaker – TBD

Rev. Barber or Rev. Theoharris – (Poor People’s Campaign/USA – invited)

Walden Bello – (Focus on the Global South/Philippines – confirmed)

Oleg Bodrov (Coalition for a Clean Baltic/Russia – confirmed)

Binalakshmi Nepram – (Control Arms Foundation /India – confirmed)

 

Section 2 Actions & Strategies

Emad Kiyaei (IGD Group/Iran – confirmed)

Sharon Dolev – (Israeli Disarmament Movement/Israel – confirmed)

Youngdae Ko – (SPARK/Korea – confirmed)

Arielle Denis – (International Peace Bureau/France –confirmed)

Tadatoshi Akiba – (Gensuikin/Japan- Confirmed)

Andrew Lichterman – (Western States Legal Foundation/USA – confirmed)

Sharan Burrow – (International Trade Union Confederation/Australia -Confirmed)

Sophia (Soda) Garcia – (Pax Christi/Philippines -confirmed)

 

Noon- 1 Lunch Break

1-2:30 Workshops/Forums Session

2:30 – 4 Second Workshop/Forums Session

 

4-5 Closing Plenary

Secretary General António Guterres (United Nations – invited)

Beatrice Finn – (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons/Sweden confirmed)

Gensuikyo speaker (Japan – confirmed)

Jackie Cabasso – (United for Peace & Justice and WSLF/USA – confirmed)

Reiner Braun (International Peace Bureau)

Reading & Distribution of conference organizers’ statement

Closing

 

*Order of speakers subject to change

World Conference – Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Resist and Reverse the Climate Crisis; For Social and Economic Justice

IPB Joins in Organizing World Conference & Rally on Eve of NPT Review in New York

As we confront the twin existential threats of nuclear weapons and climate change, IPB is pushing back in its role as a lead co-sponsor of an historic movement building World Conference and rally for nuclear weapons abolition, peace, the climate and justice. Continue reading “World Conference – Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Resist and Reverse the Climate Crisis; For Social and Economic Justice”

MacBride Award 2019 for Elayne Whyte Gómez

Elayne Whyte Gómez

“We wanted to change the world,” Ambassador Elayne Whyte Goméz said of herself and her classmates 24 years ago to an audience of students, staff and community members in a University. That aspiration continues to fuel her work. Ambassador Whyte is a career diplomat who is proudly serving as a Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office in Geneva. “Costa Rica which is a country that decided 70 years ago to have a different approach to peace and security by abolishing its armed forces. So that means for a country like us, that we have put all our trust in an international system, that through rules and institutions we can resolve the conflicts and problems of humanity” she explains.

This dedication to improving international law inspired this young diplomat to lead successfully the negotiations of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017, as an ultimate step of successful disarmament treaty negotiations.

Between 2014 and 2015, she was co-Chair of the 5th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). She is currently a member of the Committee on the Implementation of Article 5 of the Conference of the States parties to the Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC) and a Vice-president of the Conference of the States parties of the APLC. She was Vice-president of the Second Conference of the States Parties of Arms Trade Treaty.

Her leadership at the UN conferences negotiating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from March to July 2017 was a background of the success of the Treaty. The negotiations were brought to a successful conclusion in July 2017 and are ratified up to now by 26 countries and signed by 70. She developed during the conference a new style of work allowing the contribution of civil society and experts, together with diplomats. She is deeply connected to nuclear disarmament and a world free of nuclear weapons.

IPB is proud to award Mrs Gomez the Sean Mc Bride Prize, for her invaluable contribution to the completion of the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and salute the work and dedication of this young woman in a key disarmament process where too fewer women have the opportunity to lead.

MacBride Award 2019 for Bruce Kent

Bruce Kent

Bruce Kent is an internationally known peace activist and a “real peace hero” who, even in his 90th year, remains an active campaigner and organizer for peace and human rights. He was one of the main speakers at the big march and demonstration against nuclear weapons in London in 2016.

Bruce was ordained as a Catholic Priest in the Diocese of Westminster in London in 1958 and became a Chaplain to Pax Christi in from 1974-1977. He joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in 1960 and was elected chair from 1977-1979, becoming the General Secretary in 1979 for 6 years. He was elected CND Chair again from 1987-1990. He was also Chair of War on Want from 1974-1976 and was the British co-ordinator for the Hague Appeal for Peace in 1999. He is now a Vice-President of CND, Pax Christi and Movement for the Abolition of War (which he co-founded in 2001).

He was also one of the founders and main organizers of the European Nuclear Disarmament Campaign in the 1980s. He was also, in 1988, one of the main organizers of a 1000-mile peace walk from Warsaw to NATO HQ in Brussels to call for a united peaceful nuclear-free Europe.

Bruce was also IPB President from 1985 till 1992 and he has been an inspiration to so many people of all ages in the UK and elsewhere.

____________________________________________

On Saturday 19th of October 2019, Bruce Kent received the Seán MacBride Peace Prize Medal in London. Here you can see some photos from the ceremony and get an impression!

When Nobel Peace Laureates meet. The 17th Nobel Summit.

When Nobel Peace Laureates meet. The 17th Nobel Summit.

Make your mark for peace!

The first Nobel Summit was organized 20 years back, initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev with resources from the Nobel Peace Prize, which he earned in 1990. Nobel peace laureates have met almost every year since then, to strengthen their engagement for peace, to discuss topical questions of interest to world peace and make suggestions for action. Strong recommendations have been made, not least in relation to non-violence, nuclear disarmament and the relation between peace and the environment. See www.nobelpeacesummit.com. The high-level meeting also gives the participants the possibility to discuss their own on-going projects and create a deeper understanding, cooperation and networks.

The 17th Nobel Summit was organized in Mexico, 19. – 22. September this year with the theme Make your mark for peace. 30 laureates met 10 individuals and 20 organizations. I was invited to speak on peace education, which was a top theme this year, but ended up also representing IPB since Lisa Clark, who took over after me as co-president of IPB, last minute had to cancel her participation.

Since the meeting was in Merida on the Yucatan peninsula, it was natural that the situation of Indigenous Peoples and what the world can learn from them was high on the agenda. Some 60% of the inhabitants of Yucatan have Maya-Indian ancestors. With the climate and environmental crisis, perhaps we are ready to listen more carefully to old Maya Indian wisdom about the relationship between Mother Earth and us, and see the intimate relations and interdependences that we have allowed ourselves to ignore for far too long? Listening to Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Nobel peace laureate in 1992, speaking about the sacred land of the Maya people and seeing how she operates among her own people with deep respect, care, love, and encouragements, was among my strongest experiences during this summit. We were also taken to visit traditional Maya villages and see their wonderful pyramids, some up to 3000 years old. The Secretariat of the Nobel Summits reminded us of the Earth Charter, developed by the Club of Rome, not least by President Gorbachev, Maurice Strong and Federico Mayor from UNEP and UNESCO respectively. The Earth Charter presents fundamental principles for a just, sustainable and peaceful global society. It should continue to inspire us.

Mexico has been at the forefront of nuclear disarmament. The Mexican diplomat Alfonso Garcia Robles got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982 for his disarmament efforts together with Alva Myrdal. He was one of the initiators of the treaty of Tlateloco in 1967 that established Latin America and the Caribbean as a nuclear weapon-free zone. Mr. Robles was both thanked and honoured during the meeting. And how it felt good to be in a nuclear weapon-free zone! For our survival, the planet as such should urgently become nuclear weapons-free. Mexico also hosted the second of the big meetings on the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. The first meeting was in Oslo and the last in Vienna in December 2014, which led to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The struggle for nuclear disarmament remains central to the work of the Nobel Summits. A special statement was agreed and partly integrated into the final Merida statement. Nobel laureates urge governments to sign and ratify the UN Treaty.

The level of violence is lower in Yucatan than in the rest of the country, but still too high, in particular violence against women. Yucatan, like the country and the bigger region, is also struggling with poverty, inequality, joblessness and an insufficient health system. The governor of Yucatan, Mauricio Vila Dosal, made commitments to strengthen his peace efforts, seemingly with great engagement and enthusiasm. Also, the President of Mexico, Manuel Lopez Obrador, honoured the meeting with his presence. He was reminded of his commitment to establishing a commission to work on the prevention of violence. I had a fruitful meeting with the Minister of Education and the minister of Women’s Affairs of Yucatan and their staff together with Kailash Satyarthi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 together with Malala Yousafzai. We got a good insight into the challenges of the school system, not least in relation to sexualized violence and pregnancy among schoolgirls. They are all set to start with peace education at different levels of the school system. They were interested e.g. in the relevant normative instruments of UNESCO, in the UNESCO Associated Schools Project and the civil society project Global Campaign for Peace Education, developed out of the Hague Appeal for Peace.

Over the last years, it has been conceived as increasingly important to involve young people in dialogues with the Nobel Peace Laureates. This year some 1200 students and teachers participated, half of them from Mexico and the other half from different countries. The students were present in the plenary sessions and organized peace labs and workshops to further deepen their knowledge. I met the students in the two plenary panels I participated in on nuclear disarmament and on peace education, Love of power or power of love. And I contributed to a workshop on the nuclear danger, together with the Peace Boat. The students also developed their own Youth statement. Both students and Nobel laureates supported a Friday School strike for the environment – and a future. Based on preparatory work done by IPB, I had a ”strategic change impact meeting” on peace and technology convened by Scott Cunningham and Lisa Short. A mission statement was developed with the view to develop ”a social impact community stock exchange” to help amplify grass-root voices for peace, hopefully, to be presented at the next Nobel Summit.

On the last day of the Summit, several prizes were given. The Peace Summit Award went to the singer and well-doer Ricky Martin, who answered with a fierce show. This year’s publication on Nobel laureates, Being Nobel, developed by Livia Malcangio of the Permanent Secretariat of the Summit was given to everybody. The whole Secretariat, and not least the president, Ekaterina Zagladina, deserves a lot of credit for having organized yet another big and successful summit. I left with new knowledge and new inspiration to continue the work for peace, however hopeless it may feel from time to time. Hopefully, both the final declaration and the strong urge to build a culture of peace will be useful also for those who were not present in Merida.

 

Ingeborg Breines

Sigerfjord, Norway, October 2019