World Conference Youth Assembly Report

Prepared By: Emily Rubino, Director of Policy and Outreach at Peace Action New York State, Co-chair of the Youth Assembly Planning Committee.

On May 2, 2020, one week after the Online World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist and Reverse Climate Change, For Social and Economic Justice, the first World Conference Youth Assembly event took place from 9am-11am EST (1:00-3 pm GMT, 10:00-12 pm JST). The event took place with over 370 Zoom participants from 50+ countries around the world, including the United States, Japan, Nepal, the United Kingdom, Kenya, and Germany. It was also live-streamed on Youtube, though there were some technical difficulties that prevented the livestream from starting at the very beginning of the conference. ​A full recording of the Youth Assembly can be found here​. Continue reading “World Conference Youth Assembly Report”

GCOMS/ENAAT Press Release: Fund Peace, Not Arms Dealers

On Europe Day, the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) and the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) call the EU to fund peace, not arms dealers.

The way out from the COVID-19 crisis: will the EU work for peace or prepare for war?

8 May 2020, Brussels, Barcelona

The EU High Representative Mr Borrell stated on April 24 that the world will look very different after the COVID-19 crisis and will depend on the choices made today.  On the eve of Europe Day celebrating peace and unity, the EU bears a large responsibility for how this future will look like, and has a key choice to make: work for sustainable peace by seriously tackling the root causes of conflicts, or continue the path to militarism and prepare for war. Continue reading “GCOMS/ENAAT Press Release: Fund Peace, Not Arms Dealers”

75 Years Since Victory in Europe: Reflections by IPB Director Reiner Braun

Reiner Braun is Executive Director of the International Peace Bureau, a Peace Nobel Price winner as organization, and one of the main speakers of the peace movement in German. He lead the German chapter of The International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), the Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler (VDW) — the German Pugwash group, Scientists for Peace and Sustainability and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES). In 1982 he begun working in the office of the “Krefelder Appeal” against new nuclear weapons in Europe. Reiner Braun is a speaker on the subjects of NATO, militarization of Europe, military spending, responsibility of scientists. He is author of several books, including “Einstein and Peace” and a biography of the Peace Nobel Laureate Joseph Rotblat. He studied German Literature, History and Journalism.

Continue reading “75 Years Since Victory in Europe: Reflections by IPB Director Reiner Braun”

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”

40 Years Since the END Appeal – An Interview with Tair Tairov

The Peace Union of Finland, member of IPB, has published an extensive report on the 40th anniversary of the European Nuclear Disarmament Appeal (END Appeal) that includes the account of Tair Tairov, a former Vice-President of IPB. The appeal, which brought together peace activists from both sides of the Iron Curtain sought to create a nuclear-free and united Europe in the midst of Cold War tensions.

Tairov’s work spans decades. He was not only a member of the END Liaison Committee, but organized peace marches in Europe in support of the INF Treaty, founded the Foundation for Social Innovations and Civic Peace Coalition, and represented the Soviet Peace Committee in the World Peace Council. In the interview, he recalls conversations with Soviet leaders, being arrested for participating in a meeting on human rights, and meeting with international peace leaders around the world. Folke Sundman, a Finnish peace activist  who represented the Peace Union at the END Liason Committee, provides further insights into the significance of the 40th anniversary of the END Appeal in the modern context.

Read the complete publication here.

GDAMS Workshops April 2020

During the Global Days of Action on Military Spending 2020, IPB ran two online webinars.

The first, entitled “The Opportunity Costs of Military Spending: How and Why it’s Time to Rethink our Priorities” was directed toward students and young professionals and organized as an active discussion and brainstorming session. Details on military spending in 12 countries were presented to participants who were then tasked with thinking up solutions that could be taken by individuals and groups to combat the continued growth of military spending at the cost of social budgets. Continue reading “GDAMS Workshops April 2020”

Report: Online World Conference 2020

On April 25, 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, over one thousand activists across the peace, climate, and social movements gathered online to take part in the first ever virtual World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons | Resist and Reverse Climate Change | For Social and Economic Justice. Continue reading “Report: Online World Conference 2020”

IPB Statement: Reaction to the Newest SIPRI Figures

Military Spending on the Rise while Health Budgets Remain Insufficient in Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the release of SIPRI’s newest report, showing global military spending in 2019 at a new high of US$1,917 billion, the International Peace Bureau (IPB) is calling for an end to the military spending pandemic, starting with an annual reduction of military expenditure of 10% and a complete ban on nuclear weapons.

Military expenditure has increased by 3.6% from 2018 and represents $252 for every person on the planet. The increase is evidence that the world is in a global arms race that benefits few and raises the likelihood of a global catastrophe. It sheds light on the effectiveness of military industries’ lobbying, particularly in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. NATO’s military budget alone totals $1,035 billion and accounts for 54% of total global military spending.

The release of these figures comes during IPB’s Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) which highlight the need to reallocate military expenditure to confront COVID-19 and the urgent social and environmental crises.

Militaries and arms cannot and will not save us from this pandemic. Nearly $2 trillion on destructive weapons and soldiers will not save the 250 million people facing starvation or provide jobs to the hundreds of millions currently unemployed. Just $35 billion could provide social protection to the 28 poorest countries. We must imagine how much progress could be made if we instead committed these resources to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The COVID-19 crisis has made clearer than ever the flaws in our system, one that prioritizes military spending and global instability over the well-being of our people. Indeed, global priorities are wrong; it is time for a new era of peace, a global ceasefire as called for by the UN and people around the globe. Let us demilitarize the world and invest in global peace and diplomacy.

Download the statement here.

Join GDAMS 2020!

GDAMS 2020, April 10 – May 9 – HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has shown the world where humanity’s priorities should lie. This major attack on people’s security across the world shames and discredits global military expenditures and prove them an outrageous waste and loss of opportunities. What the world needs now is to focus all means on vital security threats: healthy living conditions for everyone, which necessarily entails more just, green, peaceful societies. The Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) 2020 bring attention to the vast opportunity costs of the current levels of military spending, 1’82 trillion US$ a year, almost $5 billion per day, $239 per person. When a minority of the global population decides to finance war preparations, we all lose the opportunity to fund policies that tackle our real security threats. Continue reading “Join GDAMS 2020!”