ICAN New Report Exposes Concerning Statistics on Nuclear Weapons Spending

A new report, “Surge: 2023 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending”, has been released by ICAN detailing the world’s total expenditure on nuclear weapons. However in this context, “the world” just refers to the nine states which possess and illegally develop nuclear arms.

The findings are shocking, revealing that these nine governments spent $91 billion dollars on revamping their nuclear arsenal in 2023, marking a $10.8 billion increase from the year prior. Unsurprisingly, at the top of the list of spenders is the United States, which financed the creation and maintenance of these weapons of mass destruction with $51.5 billion. Not only did the U.S. outspend all other nuclear states alone, however its spending this year also constituted 80% of the increase of expenditure on nukes.

Manufacturers remain to be a major driver of nuclear arms development. ICAN’s report shows that in just 2023, these companies earned at least $31 billion from their work in the industry. Understanding that they have more to gain, manufacturers have concomitantly spent $118 million lobbying in just France and the U.S. to continue operations. Further influence on political decision making is exerted by meeting with public officials, which companies such as Roll Royce, Airbus, and BAE systems have done with UK politicians over 40 times. Other companies, such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and RTX, are active in lobbying for their interests as well, despite deep concerns being raised at stakeholder meetings over violations of human rights and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The report demonstrates how fragile peace is in the 21st century, as the only explanation for this drastic spending on nuclear weapons is that they will eventually be used. Undoubtedly, the continued production of these arms is a conscious decision made by politicians and CEOs which will jeopardize humanity’s future.

Attached here is ICAN’s report in full.

Global Peace Index 2024 Released

The Institute of Economics and Peace has just released the 18th edition of its Global Peace Index (GPI). The GPI evaluates the current status of peace according to three metrics: social safety & security; presence of domestic & international conflict; and degree of militarization. The results from the report confirm the unfortunate reality that democracy and peacebuilding are currently on a historic backslide.

In a statistic which captures the essence of the findings, the GPI reports that there are 56 active conflicts in the world today, which is the most since the second World War. In fact, 97 countries have experienced a decline in peacefulness in 2024, which marks a record for any given year since the beginning of the index. Accompanying this increase in violence are larger ratios of military expenditure to size of GDP for 86 countries, indicating a frightening willingness to take up arms.

As expected, the effects of armed conflicts are devastating. For instance, more than 95 million people have been displaced from their homes thanks to prolonged violence. Over the last three decades, battle deaths peaked in 2022, with the Russo-Ukranian war contributing to this figure without doubt, producing 2000 casualties for nearly every month that it has been waged. The economic effects of these situations are crippling too: armed conflicts wrought an estimated total of $907.5 billion dollars of damages in 2023. In contrast, peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts were only allocated $49.6 billion last year, meaning that for every dollar countries lose from violence, they are only willing to spend six cents to solve the problem. Obviously, the return on investment in this transaction will continue, then, to be minimal.

The conclusions of the GPI should draw attention to the global crisis that the world is in the midst of. To compound on present worries, the reports leave out analysis on the impact of conflict and militarization on climate change, which simply cannot be ignored. If bold and drastic action is not taken by heads of state and intergovernmental organizations immediately, future generations will come to the rue the idleness of the present. The International Peace Bureau provides recommendations on how to alleviate current tensions through the Global Campaign on Military Spending and its Common Security Report 2022. For further information on how to militarization intersects with climate issues, see the report issued by the Conflict and Environment Observatory.

The full Global Peace Index 2024 report is here.

Pacific Peace Conference and Australian Speaking Tour of Pacific Peace Network activists

Australia – From July 28th to the 4th August 2023, a delegation of Pacific Peace activists participated in a one-day conference in Brisbane then went on to speak at events in Sydney Canberra and Darwin. The peace delegation visit coincided with the largest ever US led Talisman Sabre exercise in Australia with over 30 thousand troops participating. The so-called exercise is held in the Central Queensland Shoalwater Bay designated military training precinct.

This is not the first time that activists from around the Pacific have campaigned against Talisman Sabre. In 2007, for example, a Peace Convergence that actually travelled to the Shoalwater Bay area was convened when people from a range of Pacific States gathered to witness US and Australian troops training for war. As with the 2023 Speaking Tour, participants were able also to share their own experiences of war and the presence of US bases in their countries. Some of the issues tackled are as follows:

  1. the loss of sovereignty, autonomy and self-determination;
  2. the appropriation and destruction of indigenous ancestral land;
  3. the siphoning of resources away from urgent local needs, including to improve local welfare, to address climate change and to respond to increasingly severe and numerous typhoons and other corollaries of climate change.
  4. the aggravation of climate change through the military’s use of fossil fuels; and
  5. other direct impacts of the large military presence.

Read more the full report:

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN #protection4olga

PROTECTION AND ASYLUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER OLGA KARATCH

#protection4olga

German, French and Italian below

August 23nd 2023

Following the denial of political asylum by the Lithuanian authorities for the Belarusian peace builder and human rights defender Olga Karatch (Volha Karach), the international campaign #protection4olga has just been launched to demand protection and asylum for the director of the organisation ‘Our House‘. She has been fighting for human rights in Belarus for years, including the right to conscientious objection to military service, and is therefore persecuted and faces capital punishment in her country of origin, where she has been labelled a ‘terrorist’ by the regime.

On 18 August 2023, Lithuania denied her political asylum, calling Olga Karatch a ‘person who represents a threat to the national security of the Republic of Lithuania’. She was however granted a one-year temporary residence in the country, probably due to international letters of concerns that some politicians and heads of foundations had written to the authorities and to Lithuanian Ambassadors in different countries. But this status does not give her any safety regarding her status – authorities could at any time renege this decision and decide to deport her.

For that reason, we have started an International Campaign for the immediate protection of the human rights defender and peacebuilder Olga Karatch.

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted in 1998 acknowledges ‘the valuable work of individuals, groups and associations in contributing to the effective elimination of all violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples and individuals’.

Olga Karatch, through the organisation she leads, ‘Our House’, has numerous activities to her credit in monitoring and defending human rights in Belarus and Belarusian citizens who have fled to other countries – such as Lithuania – and for this reason her organization was also chosen by the International Peace Bureau to be nominated for the 2024 Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Russian Movement of Conscientious Objectors and the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement.

States have an obligation to protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens, and, especially for human rights defenders who ‘frequently face threats and harassment and suffer insecurity’ ‘to take all measures necessary to ensure the protection of human rights defenders, at both the local and the national levels, including in times of armed conflict and peacebuilding’, as stated in UN General Assembly resolution 66/164.

We express our deep concern that ‘in some instances, national security and counter-terrorism legislation and other measures, such as laws regulating civil society organizations, have been misused to target human rights defenders or have hindered their work and endangered their safety in a manner contrary to international law’, as stated in UN Human Rights Council Resolution 22/6 of 2013 on the protection of human rights defenders, which commits all states to protect and not criminalise those who work to defend human rights.

  • Therefore, we appeal to the highest Lithuanian authorities, the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to respect international standards and provide protection and asylum for the Belarussian human rights defender Olga Karatch, who has taken refuge in Lithuania.
  • Lithuania is also a member of the European Union. We therefore also appeal to the European institutions, EU Missions (Embassies and Consulates of EU Member States and European Commission Delegations) which, as stated in the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, should support and protect human rights defenders.
  • We also call on our national governments to take action to ensure that the protection of human rights defenders is guaranteed always and everywhere.
  • We call upon all civil society, from individual citizens to journalists and institutional representatives across Europe to take action in defence of human rights and those who defend them.

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE #PROTECTION4OLGA CAMPAIGN

There are numerous ways we can support Olga:

  1. You can begin by simply sharing our posts!

Spread the word with #protection4olga and #ObjectWarCampaign across all your social media platforms!

Feel free to repost our posts:

  1. Send a letter to the Lithuanian authorities urging asylum for Olga Karatch. We have prepared a sample letter, which you can find and download here. We kindly request that you include Our House in the CC field (info@nash-dom.info) when sending an email. Translations are available below, but we recommend sending the English version of the letter. Thank you!
  1. Reach out to institutions, parliamentarians, journalists all over Europe and the world to support action for Olga Karatch’s protection.
  1. Support ongoing legal expenses for Olga Karatch by making a donation directly to Our House:
    • Bank: Siauliu Bankas AB
    • IBAN: LT567180300008700065
    • SWIFT (BIC): CBSBLT26
    • Reference: protecion4olga
    • Bank Address: Tilzes g.149 76348 Siauliu Lithuania
    • Organization Name: VšĮ Tarptautinis pilietinių iniciatyvų centras “Mūsų namai” [Our House/Nash Dom]
    • Organization Address: Vilniaus r. sav., Zujūnų sen., Buivydiškių k., Pamedės g. 6
    • Registration Number: 303223926
    • Contacts: tel. +370 (5) 215 7190 finance@nash-dom.info

For more information you can contact us.

This statement, along with the sample letter, is being translated into various languages: English statement and sample letter, German statement and sample letter, Italian statement, French statement and sample letter.

If you’re seeking information in other languages, you might also find our organizational partners’ websites helpful: BUND FÜR SOZIALE VERTEIDIGUNG (German), MIR Italia (Italian).

Campaign for a Global Ban on Weaponized Drones

International organizations are uniting their efforts to advocate for a Campaign for a Global Ban on Weaponized Drones, and the International Peace Bureau stands as one of the endorsing organizations.

Unveiled in June during our International Summit for Peace in Ukraine held in Vienna, and simultaneously at the War Resisters International Conference in London, the Campaign’s momentum remains unwavering.

Our objective stands at securing the endorsement of 300 supporters, paving the path to present a collective appeal to the UN General Assembly for the enforcement of a treaty prohibiting lethal drones.

You can still become a part of this movement by endorsing this campaign. Feel free to send us an email to show your support!

➡️ for@forusa.org

The utilization of drones for warfare, both by state and nonstate entities, has engendered the unlawful killing, physical harm, and displacement of millions worldwide, primarily in the Global South. Moreover, the looming specter of autonomous drones being equipped with depleted uranium and directed towards nuclear power plants and critical installations poses catastrophic prospects. To halt this imminent threat, the United Nations must render this alarming tool of fatality and devastation illegal.

The following statement sets forth the demand by organizations in many countries, including international organizations and organizations of faith and conscience, for the United Nations to adopt a Treaty on the Prohibition of Weaponized Drones.

Thank you!

Michelle L. Clemente – Assistant Coordinator

Michelle Clemente joined our team in May 2023.

Michelle is a peace and development worker with a decade of experience. Her expertise encompasses peace education, community-driven development, and capacity building in both conflict and non-conflict zones, as well as indigenous communities. She has authored peace education books and spearheaded national projects in the Philippines. Michelle holds dual master’s degrees in Peace Education and Political Science, focusing on global politics. Her life mission is to cultivate intergenerational peacebuilders for more peaceful hearts, homes, and communities.

Continue reading “Michelle L. Clemente – Assistant Coordinator”

Emily Molinari – Deputy Executive Director

Emily Molinari joined our team in May 2023 as Assistant Coordinator, and since 2024, she has been serving as IPB’s Deputy Executive Director. Among other campaigns and tasks, she focuses on the IPB Latin America Network and the Common Security Working Group.

Emily Molinari, from Italy, holds a Bachelor’s double degree in International Studies from the Università degli Studi di Trento (Italy) and the Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany). Currently, she is finalizing a binational Master’s degree in Conflict, Memory and Peace from the KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá (Colombia).

Continue reading “Emily Molinari – Deputy Executive Director”

2023 Nationwide Peace March in Japan

We are honored to share that IPB Executive Director Sean Conner joined the 2023 Nationwide Peace March in Japan, standing in solidarity with the Hibakusha. This march is an integral part of the 2023 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. From August 1 to August 4, together, we march for peace and nuclear disarmament, cherishing the memories of those affected by the tragic consequences of these weapons. Let’s continue striving for a world without nuclear threats.

#PeaceMarch #NoMoreNukes #Solidarity #GlobalPeace #Hibakusha #HistoryInAction #WorldConferenceForPeace

Free Boris Kagarlitsky!

IPB strongly protests against the arrest of Boris Kagarlitsky in Russia, a worldwide renown sociologist and peace activist. We see the charge against him of “justifying terrorism,” as undermining common efforts for world peace. We call on the Russian authorities to drop their charges and release Boris Kagarlitsky! A call “Free Boris Kagarlitsky!” has been made which we endorse. You find the petition here: https://chng.it/BWHFLtLZWV 

Among the initiators were Reiner Braun, former Executive Director of IPB, Ingeborg Breines former chair of IPB and Tord Björk, member of the council of IPB. Others who have signed this appeal are Erkki Tuomija, former minister of Foreign Affairs in Finland; Rosa Elva Zúñiga from CEEAL and the World Social Forum movement in Mexico; Sergio Bassoli from the Italian trade union CGIL; Patrick Bond, climate justice activist from South Africa; Leo Gabriel, Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum; Joseph Gerson; President, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security; Ulla Klötzer; Women for Peace, Finland; Laura Lodenius; Director, Peace Union of Finland; Francine Mestrum, Global Social Justice, Belgium; Mirek Prokeš, Alliance for Labour and Solidarity, Czechia, Prague Spring 2 – European network against right-wing extremism and populism; Håkan Svenneling, Member of Parliament and Foreign Policy spokesperson for the Left Party, Sweden; and Hilary Wainwright, Co- editor Red Pepper magazine.

The European Left Party and Transnational Institutet (TNI) have also made a statement to support Kagarlitsky. You find the European left #freekagarlitsky statement here: https://www.european-left.org/criminal-case-initiated-against-russian-left-wing-scientist-and-activist-boris-kagarlitsky. The call for  solidarity with Dr Kagarlitsky, as well as all others being oppressed for advocating peace and defending democratic rights in Russia made by TNI can also be signed here: https://www.tni.org/en/article/we-condemn-the-arrest-of-russian-intellectual-boris-kagarlitsky. It has been supported among others by Naomi Klein, Yanis Varoufakis, Medea Benjamin, CodePink, David Adler, Progressive International, Walden Bello, Focus on the Global South, Pablo Solon, Edgardo Lander, Universidad de Venezuela, Caracas, Anthony Barnett, Co-founder, openDemocracy and Maude Barlow, co-founder of Council of Canadians. 

For more information, please contact Tord Björk via email: tord.bjork@gmail.com, skype: tordbjork, tel: +46 (0)722 15 16 90

address: Kyrkängsbacken 8, 14135 Huddinge, Sweden

Peace Wave 2023

On July 8-9, 2023, the International Peace Bureau and World BEYOND War organized the second edition of the 24-hour Peace Wave, a global event conducted via Zoom. This unique initiative involved live peace actions taking place in various streets and squares worldwide, synchronized with the movement of the sun.

The timing of the Peace Wave coincided with the annual NATO meeting, providing an opportunity for participants to express their opposition to all military alliances. Emphasizing the essence of our mission, the slogan

No to militarization, yes to Cooperation!

captured our commitment to promoting peaceful collaboration.

Significantly, July 9 marked the anniversary of a pivotal event in history. In 1955, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and seven other scientists issued a warning, emphasizing the crucial choice humanity faces between war and human survival.

Throughout the 24-hour period, the Peace Wave traversed numerous locations across the globe, facilitating a diverse range of activities. These included rallies, concerts, artwork creation, blood drives, the installation of peace poles, dances, speeches, and various public demonstrations. The breadth of events underscored the multiple interpretations of the meaning of “Peace” in different regions worldwide.

The Peace Wave served as an extraordinary source of inspiration, reminding individuals of the collective efforts aimed at fostering a safer, improved, and more peaceful world. It brought together like-minded individuals dedicated to this cause, fostering unity and cooperation on a global scale.

A big thank you to all the Regional Coordinatoros, Participants and Supporters who have helped us organizing this incredible Peace Wave!

If you missed the event, don´t worry: you can find the program for each part here and the playlist with all the videos on our Yotube channel (also on World BEYOND War Youtube – World BEYOND War Facebook – World BEYOND War Twitter – International Peace Bureau Facebook – International Peace Bureau Twitter).

Enjoy watching the recordings!

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