Honoring Alfredo Lubang: A Pillar of Peace and Disarmament and Marking 50 Years of First UN Committee on Disarmament

June 20, 2024 – New York – The International Peace Bureau (IPB) had the privilege of honoring Alfredo Lubang, a prominent advocate for peace and disarmament from the Philippines, with the Seán MacBride Peace Award. Fred is also the first recipient of this award from the Philippines. This award was given in recognition of his unwavering work and commitment toward peace, disarmament, common security, and non-violence, especially in the face of ongoing wars. Without him, the Philippines would not be the only country that has ratified nearly all humanitarian disarmament treaties today.

Earlier in the awarding ceremony, we hosted an intergenerational panel discussion on the Current State of Disarmament and Civil Society, Visions, and Aspirations. This discussion featured Alfredo Lubang; Binalakshmi Nepram, IPB Board Member and Founder of the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples, Gender Justice, and Peace; and Gene Gesite Jr., Youth Vision Moderator. The panel highlighted the efforts and commitments of civil society in advocating for disarmament. Fred emphasized the urgent need for more advocates and elaborated on both regional and international efforts to strengthen and spread this critical work. He also called on the younger generation to utilize their skills and talents to take part in promoting disarmament, peace, and common security.

This award celebrates all the people who have struggled and become voices of the suffering they have experienced. I am fortunate to have reached the age of disarmament conference which is half of century. This is not just a project; we need more people willing to dedicate their lives to disarmament. It’s about living that experience. I still vividly remember the first death I witnessed during military and armed group conflicts, and the cries of my classmates when it happened. These lived experiences, shared by me and my colleagues, should guide us, as we understand how to solve these problems simply.

The issues we would like to bring in and strategies we put in could be actually successful. But the way global civil society and advcote framed as a new way of again taking advantage of other..But when you look the capacities and look at the people who would like to offer their lives for disarmament, they should be given an opportunity to lead Global Campaigns.. It’s really now about the people who live in conflict areas and excluded groups should be leading the way. We may have left the wars or left your communities but if you lived in conflic areas, the wars would never leave you. To solve this conflict we should have that eyes of lived experience.

For humanitarian disarmament to succeed, we must move beyond a human-centric perspective and embrace a decolonial approach. We must stop exploiting the vulnerabilities of others, whether due to lack of funds or being a small NGO not speaking English like others. There are many ways to achieve our goals, and now is our opportunity to show the world that there are alternatives. I encourage the younger generation to take up this challenge. I will continue to be here for many more years. Thank you. Shukran. I am humbled in this opportunity. Again, this is not about me but having the opportunity that my voice is also someone’s voice.

Alfredo Lubang, 2022 Seán MacBride Peace Prize Awardee

During the ceremony, Sean Conner, IPB Executive Director, provided an overview of Seán MacBride’s legacy, emphasizing his lifelong dedication to peace and disarmament. He highlighted MacBride’s impactful work with the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and how it relates to Alfredo’s work. This was followed by a congratulatory message from Tak Mashiko, Programme Officer at the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, who has been a long-time friend and collaborator of Fred in disarmament. Tak highlighted Fred’s hard work and dedication in promoting disarmament both in the Philippines and globally.

Binalakshmi also emphasized Alfredo’s inspiring legacy and lifelong commitment to peace and disarmament. She expressed gratitude to Alfredo and his wife Mitzi Austero, who is also a Program Manager, Nonviolence International Southeast Asia, for their tireless efforts to advance policies and agreements related to disarmament. The event concluded with remarks and appreciations from Emily Rubino, IPB Board Member, and Joseph Gerson, former IPB Vice-President and current President of Campaign for Peace, Disarmament, and Common Security. They acknowledged all the participants who attended and celebrated Fred’s legacy in disarmament, peace, and common security.

Together with Alfredo Lubang and all other peace and disarmament advocates, we continue to reimagine a world without wars.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York, especially Ms. Mariana Fernandez, RLS-NY Project Manager, for providing the space and making this event possible. We also appreciate the unwavering efforts of the Manipur Gun Survivor Women for their gift to Fred and No War Factory as our patron sponsor. The entire event would not have been possible without the overall coordination and nomination by Bina, our IPB Board Member, and the behind-the-scenes assistance of Gene, Ate Mitsky, and Emily Rubino. Thank you to everyone who participated in this event, including SCRAP Weapon partners, esteemed experts in disarmament, and all those who celebrated with us at this momentous event. Thank you very much.

The whole event can be watched on our IPB YouTube channel

The whole event can be watched on our IPB YouTube channel:


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