A Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East: Toward Regional Cooperation and Peace

A Night of Insightful Discussions at IPB HQ, Berlin

On Friday, June 7, from 6 to 8 pm CEST, the International Peace Bureau (IPB) headquarters in Berlin buzzed excitedly as it hosted a pivotal event in collaboration with the Middle East Treaty Organization (METO) and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Attendees, both in-person at Marienstr. 19-20 and virtually via Zoom, gathered for a stimulating evening centered on METO’s work and their visionary future plans.

METO’s Vision for a Peaceful Middle East

METO, a coalition of civil society activists and practitioners, is dedicated to creating a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. Their overarching goal is to foster a region characterized by peace, integration, and prosperity, grounded in human and environmental security. The organization advances its mission through a combination of policy advocacy and educational programs aimed at promoting regional security and peace.

Distinguished Speakers and Engaging Discussions

The event featured prominent speakers who shed light on METO’s impactful initiatives:

  • Sharon Dolev, Founder and Executive Director of METO and Council Member of IPB, shared insights into the organization’s foundational work and strategic direction.
  • Emad Kiyaei, Director of METO, discussed the critical role of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in METO’s efforts and the broader vision for regional stability.
  • Asmaa Guedira, from Women’s Environment Leadership, emphasized the importance of integrating gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and the empowerment of women during times of conflict. She highlighted the need for raising awareness and fostering a climate of unity and equality in the Middle East.

The event was moderated by Sean Conner, IPB Executive Director, who guided the discussion and facilitated a Q&A session, allowing attendees to engage directly with the speakers.

Reflections on Past Efforts and Future Aspirations

Speakers reflected on previous peace efforts in the region, such as the significant meetings and decisions made by the Arab League. They reiterated their unwavering commitment to promoting global peace, with a special focus on the Middle East. Asmaa Guedira’s presentation underscored the vital role of gender diversity and the protection of women in conflict zones, urging for a more inclusive approach to peacebuilding.

During the event, speakers presented and discussed their work to promote and build off of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which is a historic document that offered a formula for ending not only the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but also the wider, lingering Arab–Israeli conflict, and to achieve a collective peace and security.

The event concluded with a small reception, providing an opportunity for attendees to network and discuss the topics further. The blend of in-person and virtual attendance ensured that the message reached a broad and diverse audience, all united by a shared goal of a peaceful and secure Middle East.

Looking Forward

As the evening drew to a close, the sense of optimism and determination was palpable. The participants left with a deeper understanding of METO’s mission and the collective efforts required to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East. The event served as a testament to the power of collaboration and the relentless pursuit of a world free from the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

You may find the full event video below:

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C7 Policy Recommendations: Peace, Common Security and Nuclear Disarmament

By: International Peace Bureau and Italian Network for Peace and Disarmament

CONTEXT: CHALLENGES TO ADDRESS

On May 19, 2023, following G7 leaders’ Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament proclaimed a “commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all.” As anxieties over global crises continue to grow, the pursuit of undiminished common or collective security has never been so necessary.

Continue reading “C7 Policy Recommendations: Peace, Common Security and Nuclear Disarmament”

IPB Speech at Civil 7 on Fostering Peacebuilding

15 May 2024 | Rome, Italy | Executive Director Sean Conner

“We are now at an inflection point. The post-cold war period is over. A transition is under way to a new global order. While its contours remain to be defined, leaders around the world have referred to multipolarity as one of its defining traits. In this moment of transition, power dynamics have become increasingly fragmented as new poles of influence emerge, new economic blocs form and axes of contestation are redefined. There is greater competition among major powers and a loss of trust between the global North and South. A number of States increasingly seek to enhance their strategic independence, while trying to manoeuvre across existing dividing lines.”

– Antonio Guterres in the New Agenda for Peace

  • After the second war in particular, there was a change in understanding that issues of peace and security around the world are inextricably linked – that threats in any part of the world can have global repercussions. In the post-cold war era of globalization, aided by new technologies, integrated global markets, and ease of travel and communication, this has become increasingly true.
Continue reading “IPB Speech at Civil 7 on Fostering Peacebuilding”

Common Security – Bridging divides and restoring trust

[Original post dated 31st October 2023]

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) are thrilled to announce their collaboration on a special 15-minute video for the 2023 Geneva Peace Week (GPW), unfolding this week. This video, themed Common Security: Bridging Divides and Restoring Trust,” aspires to unite civil society, institutional members, government officials, MPs, and all peace advocates. The focus is on the applicability of the Common Security approach in decision-making for fostering peaceful societies.


This video marks the second part of a series aimed at fortifying the tools at the disposal of decision-makers, particularly parliamentarians, to effectively address peace, security, and conflict prevention. It follows our GPW 2022 video “Perspectives on global and local applications of Common Security and Human Security”.

About the Video
Offering a thorough exploration of the Common Security concept, the video delves into its historical, philosophical, and political underpinnings, spotlighting its practical applications. Interviews with experts, parliamentarians, and seasoned peace practitioners clarify how Common Security principles tackle today’s global challenges, particularly in regions marred by conflict or tension.

The video is structured into two segments: “What Makes it Successful” and “Potential Stumbling Blocks.” The first section accentuates the positive aspects and success factors of Common Security in rebuilding trust. Conversely, the second section presents a balanced perspective by recognizing potential obstacles in peace processes rooted in Common Security, underscoring the need for humility, compromise, and checks and balances.

Case studies showcasing successful Common Security applications further illustrate its capacity to foster trust among nations and build lasting peace agreements. The video ultimately seeks to encourage an informed dialogue among policymakers, scholars, and the public, emphasizing citizen outreach as key to the approach’s sustainability.

Featured Speakers:

  • Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union;
  • H.E. Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Federal National Council of the UAE, President of the IPU Task Force for the peaceful resolution of the war in Ukraine;
  • Mr. Daniel Carden, MP of the United Kingdom, President of the IPU’s Forum of Young Parliamentarians;
  • Ms. Dr. Anuradha Chenoy, Adjunct Professor at Jindal Global University, Member of the IPB Common Security working group;
  • Mr. Reiner Braun, historian and peace activist, former Executive Director of IPB;
  • Ms. Anna Sundström, Secretary General of the Olof Palme International Center;
  • Ms. A-Young Moon, Founder of PEACEMOMO, Council Member of IPB.

We extend our deepest gratitude to our incredible speakers and our esteemed colleagues from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). We invite you to watch, reflect, and engage with the ideas presented in the video. Good vision!

 Military Spending in 2022 Shows the Precarity of the Shifting Geopolitical Landscape and the Flawed Logic of Militarism 

Press Release – April 24th, 2023

 The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) newest military expenditure data for 2022 shows yet another year of increase in global military spending, up 3.7 percent from 2021 to another all-time high of US$ 2240 billion. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, increases in military spending in Europe and the Western world were certainly expected; however, with the release of this data an important question must be addressed: does the outbreak of war drive increases in military spending, or rather do the incessant, yearly increases in military spending drive conflict and work? 

While there is certainly no direct or decisive answer to that question, we have to take this year’s SIPRI data in the context of the geopolitical landscape of the past decades. What is crystal clear from this perspective is that constant increases in military spending have not fostered peace or peace processes in ongoing wars and have not prevented the outbreak of new, larger, and increasingly concerning conflicts such as the war in Ukraine. Likewise, increases in military spending are completely unable to address the various security concerns at the forefront of our societies – from the effects of climate change and environmental degradation to protection from future pandemics and growing inequality and food insecurity in many parts of the world. And of course, the threat posed by countries upgrading their nuclear arsenals combined with increased rhetoric around the threat of the use of nuclear weapons and further expansion of illegal nuclear sharing to Belarus (already present in Western Europe under the US nuclear umbrella) puts our entire planet at risk. 

In many other cases, from Saudi Arabia and Iran to Sudan and Burundi, and Japan and China, military expenditure increases have not helped to reduce growing tensions and violence. The United States and the NATO alliance, who together continue to account for the majority of global spending, have in particular been a source of growing global tensions. In the face of recent geopolitical developments, there needs to be an alternative to constant growths in military budgets; there needs to be a resurgence of funding for diplomatic efforts, for the reduction of global tensions, complemented by funding for peace advocacy, peacebuilding, just resolution, and just reconstruction of conflict zones. The current global military expenditure is more than enough to fund not only peace work, but also to address the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), including climate change, poverty, and hunger. 

The world cannot continue on the path we are on. The International Peace Bureau, Global Campaign for Military Spending, and our global network of partners reject the logic of global leaders that preparing for war creates peace, we reject the role of the military-industrial complex in fuelling this continued growth, and we reject the view that there is no alternative. We urge the UN General Assembly to organize a special session on disarmament. We will use the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) from 13 April until 9 May to make our message heard and promote peaceful alternatives to militarism and war. 


You can download a PDF version of this text here:

Your organization can endorse it through this form on Action Network.

Don’t forget to engage with the campaign on Social Media – follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

OBJECT WAR CAMPAIGN: Petition to support Conscientious Objectors and Deserters from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine

Press Release posted on 21st September, 2022

➡️ Original post here: INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, 21st September, Connection e.V., the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the European Office for Conscientious Objection, and War Resisters’ International are calling for a signature campaign for deserters and conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. The #ObjectWarCampaign calls on all citizens from everywhere to join the global effort to ensure protection and asylum for conscientious objectors and deserters from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine involved in the current war in the region. They are our hope to refuse war and let peace prevail!

On April 6, 2022, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, had called on Russian soldiers to desert and promised them protection under refugee law. So far, this promise has not been fulfilled. 

Within the scope of #ObjectWarCampaign, a petition has been prepared for everyone to sign in. The petition is addressed to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Council Charles Michel, and the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola. The petition emphasizes the need to uphold the right to asylum for conscientious objectors and deserters from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine by hosting states. The petition launched on the WeMove.eu website can now be signed in German, English, French, Italian and Greek.

There are an estimated 100,000 Russian military draftees and deserters refusing the war of aggression. An estimated 22,000 Belarusian military draftees have left their country because they don’t want to participate in the war in Ukraine. Everyone who has refused service risks several years of prosecution because of their stand against the war. They are hoping for protection in various countries.

Ukraine suspended the right to conscientious objection and closed the border for men between 18 and 60. Over 100,000 men have evaded war involvement in Ukraine and fled abroad. Currently, Ukrainian citizens have temporary residence in the European Union. The #ObjectWarCampaign petition demands that the right to conscientious objection to military service is fully guaranteed in Ukraine.

The petition signatures are a crucial sign of support for conscientious objectors and deserters. This campaign highlights the importance of opening borders to those who oppose the war at great personal risk in their countries and calls on everyone around the world to support those who refuse to fight and kill.

Every recruit can be a conscientious objector, every soldier a deserter. Let’s support those who refuse to kill and end war together! 

#ObjectWarCampaign
#StandWithObjectors

The launch of the petition has been anticipated by an appeal sent in June 2022, to the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe -supported by 60 organizations from 20 countries – detailing why protection and support for deserters and conscientious objectors on all sides of the Ukrainian war is necessary and moreover that it is a human right. There have already been discussions about this in the European Parliament. 

More information: 
The appeal to the European institutions can be found here.
Background information can be found here.

Contact and interview requests:
Zaira Zafarana, International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), zaira.zafarana@ifor.org, www.ifor.org (English, Italian)
Rudi Friedrich, Connection e.V., +496982375534, office@Connection-eV.org, www.Connection-eV.org (German, English)
Semih Sapmaz, War Resisters’ International (WRI), semih@wri-irg.org, www.wri-irg.org (English,Turkish)
Sam Biesemans, European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), +32477268893, ebco.brussels@skynet.be, www.ebco-beoc.org (French, Dutch, Italian, English)

📌 Share more on social media at https://www.facebook.com/InternationalFellowshipofReconciliation/photos/a.1751009778444220/3294203917458124/

📌 SIGN IT! https://you.wemove.eu/campaigns/russia-belarus-ukraine-protection-and-asylum-for-deserters-and-conscientious-objectors-to-military-service


The INTERNATIONAL PEACE BUREAU supports this campaign, as those who refuse to kill and refuse to take part in violent means of conflict resolution are also contributing to peace.

Настоятельная необходимость деэскалации для предотвращения ядерной катастрофы

– 27 февраля 2023 года –

Приостановка Россией действия договора СНВ-3 (the New START Treaty) знаменует собой последнюю опасную и безответственную эскалацию ядерных угроз после вторжения на Украину год назад. Быстрое ухудшение дипломатических отношений между Россией и Западом, наряду с усилением военных действий в Украине и прежними ядерными угрозами со стороны России, должно послужить тревожным сигналом для всего мира: мы ближе, чем когда-либо, к ядерному уничтожению.

Незадолго до российского вторжения, в январе 2022 года, лидеры пяти ядерных держав подтвердили то, что мы все знаем как истину: ядерную войну нельзя вести и ее нельзя выиграть. Вместо того чтобы принять это сообщение близко к сердцу, Россия и Запад продолжают полагаться на ядерное сдерживание как на фундаментальную стратегию своей внешней политики, в том числе в качестве щита для своих империалистических авантюр. Обе стороны виновны в подрыве режима контроля над ядерными вооружениями, установленного во время холодной войны — посещение ядерных объектов США в рамках СНВ-3 также было ограничено санкциями против России. Угроза применения ядерного оружия сейчас выше, чем когда-либо в истории со времен кубинского ракетного кризиса.

Международное бюро мира вновь призывает к немедленному прекращению огня в Украине и к участию всех вовлеченных сторон в переговорах, чтобы положить конец насилию и кровопролитию. Мы требуем, чтобы переговоры включали вопросы безопасности украинцев, россиян и западных правительств, чтобы они основывались на общей безопасности и немедленно возобновили действие договора СНВ-3, а также работали над восстановлением дальнейших договоров по контролю над ядерными вооружениями и об установлении доверия, на основе принципов общей безопасности.

Кроме того, Международное бюро мира призывает положить конец дорогостоящей модернизации ядерного оружия — многомиллиардному проекту, который ничего не делает для обеспечения безопасности, — и ко всем странам поддержать Договор о запрещении ядерного оружия (ДЗЯО) во имя безопасного и безъядерного будущего.

Мариенштрассе, 19-20

10117 Берлин, Германия

Press Release: Iraq War Protests +20 – Lessons from past peace movements. Actions towards a peaceful future

– 07th February 2023

Twenty years ago, on February 15th, 2003, activists from across the globe gathered in what many social movement researchers would come to describe as “the largest protest event in human history.”[1] In more than 600 cities worldwide, coordinated protests filled the streets with people expressing their opposition to the imminent United States-led invasion of the Republic of Iraq[2]. This was part of a series of protests and political events that had begun in 2002 and continued as the invasion, the war, and the occupation took place. 

Twenty years later, on February 15th and 16th, 2023, the International Peace Bureau (IPB), together with partners and supporters, organized an event to remember and discuss the preparation, organization, and consequences of these large anti-war rallies. We aim to highlight the lessons learned by the international and national peace movements and discuss further steps toward the future of peace when dealing with the current challenges of our times.

Named “Iraq War Protests +20”, the event will have three interconnected parts ­– parts 01 and 02 on February 15th (04:00 PM – 08:00 PM Central European Time) and part 03 on February 16th (07:00 AM – 09:00 AM CET), with the aim to address all parts of the world.

At the event we will have the participation of a variety of speakers in round tables, interviews, and other actions in different sections:

👉 COMPLETE AND UPDATED PROGRAM HERE 👈

Part 01: A glance at the past – the causes and consequences of the Iraq War

  • Video opening with footage and comments of the documentary “We Are Many” (2014), directed by Amir Amirani. Also, footage of the documentary “The Days Before – a journey through time for peace in Iraq”, a contribution from Leo Gabriel.
  • Video remarks from the organizers and participators of the activities in 2003;
  • Interview with Ismaeel Dawood, an Iraqi Human rights defender;
  • Round Table on the Impact of the war on the anti-war movement;

Part 02: A glance at the present – the current state of the peace movement

  • Participation of Noam Chomsky about the reasons behind the war, the lessons learned, and the war’s impact on global developments;
  • Round Table on the current challenges the Peace Movement Faces;

Part 03: A glance at the future – where peace will take us?

  • Summary and Highlights of the previous day;
  • Round Table on how to build the future of the peace movement;
  • Musical and Artistic Intervention;

👉 COMPLETE AND UPDATED PROGRAM HERE 👈


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_February_2003_anti-war_protests

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_invasion_of_Iraq

[3] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1929449/


You can register for our event here or click on the links below:

Registration link for Parts 01 & 02 (15th of February, 04 PM – 08 PM CET):

➡️ Click here to register to parts 01 & 02!

Registration link for Parts 03 (16th of February, 07 AM – 09 AM CET):

➡️Click here to register to part 03!

More details on the program are going to be uploaded on the page for the event.


You can download the PDF version of this press release here:

➡️ Interact with us on social media especially to learn about our latest actions and activities: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Youtube.

➡️ Our office is open to reply to any doubts regarding the documents that were above presented. To get in touch with us, e-mail us at info@ipb-office.berlin.

IPB Call to Action – On the First Anniversary of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Let’s Show That There Are Peaceful Alternatives to War

The International Peace Bureau calls on our members worldwide to take action during 24-26 February 2023 in support of peace in Ukraine. The war, which will mark its first anniversary on 24.02.2023, has already cost more than two hundred thousand lives[1] – by conservative estimates – forced millions to flee their homes[2], caused widespread destruction of Ukrainian cities, and strained already fragile supply chains that have made life more difficult for people the world over.

We know that this war is unsustainable – and, worse still, risks escalation that threatens the life and livelihood of people around the world. The nuclear rhetoric of Russia in particular is irresponsible and demonstrates the fragility of this moment. Moreover, the war’s direct and indirect impact on the climate impedes the urgent need for a green transition[3].

There is no easy solution to the war in Ukraine, but the current track we are on is unsustainable. Through global demonstrations for peace, we seek to pressure the two sides to establish a ceasefire and to take steps toward negotiations for long-term peace.

Our calls for peace are not limited to Ukraine – for all conflicts in the world, we implore governments to refuse the logic of confrontation and war, to oppose the nuclear peril, and to commit themselves to disarmament by signing the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. We demand that governments and states act in favor of diplomacy, negotiation, conflict prevention, and the establishment of common security systems[4].

We call for your support and your voices for peace. Please consider joining an existing event during this weekend of action, or planning your own. Together we are stronger, and can show the world that there are alternatives to war and militarization. 

Further resources:


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/10/us-estimates-200000-military-casualties-all-sides-ukraine-war

[2] https://cream-migration.org/ukraine-detail.htm?article=3573#:~:text=The%20UNHCR%20records%207%2C977%2C980%20refugees,for%20temporary%20protection%20in%20Europe

[3] https://www.sgr.org.uk/publications/estimating-military-s-global-greenhouse-gas-emissions

[4] https://commonsecurity.org/


You can download the PDF version of this official statement here:

➡️ Click here to read the appeal in French.

➡️ Interact with us on social media especially to learn about our latest actions and activities: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Youtube.

➡️ Our office is open to reply to any doubts regarding the documents that were above presented. To get in touch with us, e-mail us at info@ipb-office.berlin.

Militarized Japan and the Biden-Kishida Summit Signal Moment in the New Cold War

Article by Joseph Gerson – 11/01/2023

➡️ Read the original article in commondreams.org

Across the Indo-Pacific, as well as in the escalating Ukraine War, humanity stands an accident or miscalculation away from the calamity of nuclear war.

Japan in December adopted a set of three security and defense strategy documents that break from its exclusively self-defense-only stance. Under the new strategies, Japan vows to build up its counterstrike capability with long-range cruise missiles that can reach potential targets in China, double its defense budget within five years, and bolster development of advanced weapons.” —Asahi Shimbun

“U.S. officials have welcomed Japan’s willingness to take on more offensive role, while experts say it could also help widen cooperation with Australia, their main regional defense partner.” —Asahi Shimbun

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida comes to Washington on Friday, January 13. Unlike Japan, his summit with President Joe Biden will not garner much press attention here in the United States, but it marks a signal moment in Japan’s rise in military power and in the implementation of the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy. The Strategy, which prioritizes Chinese and Russian challenges to the so-called “rules-based order”, a euphemism for U.S. primacy which is rife with contradictions, prioritizes the centrality of alliances to U.S. global power, stating that “our alliances and partnerships around the world are our most important strategic asset.”

The revitalized 70-year-old U.S.-Japan alliance has renewed importance in enforcing U.S. defense of Taiwan and resisting the expansion of Chinese influence across the South China/West Philippine Sea. This Sea is the geopolitically critical expanse of ocean across which 40% of world trade—including Middle East oil which fuels East Asian economies—flows. Similarly, further integration of the Japanese and U.S. economies and technological resources are encompassed by the alliance and seen as essential to the power and wealth of both nations.

Prime Minister Kishida has stated that the summit will be a “very important” opportunity to “demonstrate at home and abroad the further strengthening of the Japan-U.S. alliance.” The alliance is not a new development. In 1952 the Mutual Security Treaty (AMPO in Japanese) was secretly imposed on Japan as a condition for ending the postwar military occupation. Since then, contrary to Japan’s “peace constitution,” the island nation has served as the center of the United States’ hub and spokes Asia-Pacific alliance structure. It reinforced the Cold War containment doctrine in Asia, and in the 21st century it plays a critical role in containing and managing China’s rise and its challenge to U.S. regional hegemony.

➡️ Read the original article in commondreams.org


Continue reading “Militarized Japan and the Biden-Kishida Summit Signal Moment in the New Cold War”