90 Seconds to Midnight: A Wake-Up Call for Peace? 

Official Statement – 25/01/2023

On 24 January 2023, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists officially announced that the Doomsday Clock moved to 90 seconds to midnight – the closest the count has been to global apocalypse in its 78 years of existence, underlining the grim state of the world in 2023. 

This report is a wake-up call to the world; we cannot continue on the path that we have been going. The International Peace Bureau and our global network once again call on all parties involved in the war in Ukraine – including those indirectly involved through weapons transfers and other support – to push for an immediate ceasefire and take good-faith efforts to return to the negotiating table, in order to avoid the unprecedented threats that the war poses for the future of all life on our planet.

The Bulletin references the dangers of escalation in the war in Ukraine – where both parties are entrenched in their positions and Russia has threatened the use of nuclear weapons – alongside the weaponization of nuclear plants, the lack of cooperation on climate change, and the erosion of international norms.

While the war in Ukraine may be the most immediate existential threat we face, the end of the war itself is not enough to push us back from the brink. We urgently need Common Security, including a new peace architecture in Europe to avoid future conflicts.  Furthermore, we need global cooperation to eliminate nuclear weapons through the framework of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). New agreements between nuclear weapons states on reductions of such weapons, an end to their modernization and the nuclear sharing between the US and European countries, and the expansion of Nuclear Weapons Free Zones (NWFZ) could be a starting point toward their elimination.

Importantly, the “Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States” just over a year ago emphasized that a nuclear war can never be won.

Finally, we need urgent global cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy; we need to cease the alarming use of new militarized like drones and artificial intelligence; and we need global justice, standing together against colonialism, militarism, inequality, and exploitation, to avoid the conflicts of tomorrow. A negation of militarism and a reduction of military spending – which globally amounts to more than 2 trillion US dollars –  in favour of social spending can ensure that we avoid moving any closer to global catastrophe.

The International Peace Bureau will continue to work with our network and partners to push us back from the brink and create a brighter, peaceful future.


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➡️ 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”

dED appeal to UK Universities – End your Partnerships with the Global Arms Trade and Instead Champion Peace!

Demilitarize Education is working to end the militarization of universities and is building the world’s biggest database of UK universities’ investments and partnerships with the global arms trade. Together in solidarity, we can work to see a world where universities champion peace, not war.

So far, dED has uncovered £619,686,663.57 worth of investments, research funding, and consultancy between arms trade companies and universities – and we’re just getting started! 

We’re reaching out to you to ask for help in signing and sharing our petition, as we build on the national movement to demilitarize our education.

These arms companies – including the likes of BAE Systems, Raytheon, Rolls Royce, and MBDA – involve themselves in universities for research and development, recruitment, and PR purposes. The universities then turn a profit from arms-trade research and investment income. 

But all the while these companies’ activities contribute to enormous carbon emissions, destabilize global relations, and facilitate war crimes by morally bankrupt regimes. That’s why we’re calling on universities to sever their ties to the global war machine, and invest in peace – not war! 

If you are interested in giving your voice to this campaign to demilitarize education, please support dED with the following: 

➡️ Check out their petitions: https://actionstorm.org/petitions/demilitarise-education/

➡️ Visit their website: https://ded1.co/

You can also follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter!

The Dismal State of Nuclear Disarmament

Viewpoint by Jacqueline Cabasso

The writer is the Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation.

OAKLAND, California (IDN) — The year 2022 has been a nightmare for nuclear disarmament. The year started out with a mildly reassuring Joint Statement by the five original nuclear-armed states, issued on January 3, 2022, declaring:

“The People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as our foremost responsibilities. We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

But less than two months later Russia launched a brutal war of aggression on Ukraine, accompanied by a series of veiled and no-so-veiled nuclear threats, raising concerns about the dangers of nuclear war to their highest level since the darkest days of the Cold War. And prospects for progress on nuclear disarmament went down from there.

The January 3 Joint Statement also avowed: “We remain committed to our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, including our Article VI obligation ‘to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament…’.”

However, more than 50 years after the NPT entered into force, their behavior points in the opposite direction. All of the nuclear-armed states, including the four outside the NPT (India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea) are engaged in costly programs to qualitatively upgrade and in some cases quantitatively increase their nuclear arsenals.

The 10th NPT Review Conference, which took place in August, was an abject failure, not because it couldn’t agree on a final outcome document, but because the nuclear-armed states haven’t made good on their fundamental nuclear disarmament obligation under Article VI of the Treaty, nor on the promises and commitments to action items that would lead to nuclear disarmament they agreed to in connection with the indefinite extension of the Treaty in 1995 and in the 2000 and 2010 final documents.

Despite the reassuring-sounding words in the Joint Statement, “We intend to continue seeking bilateral and multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence, and prevent an arms race that would benefit none and endanger all,” the reality is that a new nuclear arms race is already underway—compounded by offensive cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, developing hypersonic capacities, a return to intermediate-range delivery systems, and the production of delivery systems capable of carrying either conventional or nuclear payloads.

In September and October, while our attention was focused on the U.S. midterm election results and Russia’s continuing nuclear threats in Ukraine, alarming developments were taking place on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea conducted a flurry of missile tests.

According to North Korea’s state news agency, these tests simulated showering South Korea with tactical nuclear weapons, as a warning in response to large-scale navy drills by South Korean and U.S. forces.

As the year wore on, negotiations on reviving the Iran nuclear deal stalled. And as Iran increased its uranium enrichment, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia declared, “If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets are off.”

Against this volatile backdrop, ten months into the Russian war in Ukraine, the Biden administration released the unclassified version of its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which doubles down on the centrality of nuclear deterrence—the threatened use of nuclear weapons—in U.S. national security policy.

The NPR could be read as pouring gas on the fire, naming Russia and China as strategic competitors and potential adversaries, and identifying North Korea and Iran as lesser potential threats. While giving lip service to “a renewed emphasis on arms control”, it declares, “For the foreseeable future, nuclear weapons will continue to provide unique deterrence effects that no other element of U.S. military power can replace. …” To this end, “The United States is committed to modernizing its nuclear forces, nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) system, and production and support infrastructure. …”

This commitment is fully funded in the obscene $858 Billion National Defense Authorization Act passed by the Senate on December 15, which includes $50 Billion for nuclear weapons – more than was requested in the NPR.

The current state of nuclear disarmament affairs might be exemplified by the public unveiling of the B-21 Raider on December 3, with great fanfare, at contractor Northrup Grumman’s California headquarters. The B-21, a “sixth generation” aircraft, is the first new strategic bomber in more than three decades, designed to deliver both nuclear and conventional munitions.

It deploys the latest stealth technology and has global reach. Earlier plans included an unmanned option. The B-21 will replace the B-1B and B-2A bombers, and the number of strategic bomber bases in the U.S. that can store nuclear weapons will be increased from two at present to five by the mid-2030s. And so, it goes.

The Doomsday clock is ticking. By doubling down on the concept of national security through military might, at any cost, the governments of the nuclear-armed states and their allies are putting humanity on the road to Armageddon.

People everywhere, together, need to rise up non-violently and demand the implementation of a different concept of security, one based on cooperation among governments to make meeting human needs and protecting the environment their highest priority.

[IDN-InDepthNews – 25 December 2022]


This article was reproduced from IDN-InDepthNews with their authorization: https://www.indepthnews.net/

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.

This article was produced as a part of the joint media project between The Non-profit International Press Syndicate Group and Soka Gakkai International in Consultative Status with ECOSOC on 25 December 2022.

We believe in the free flow of information. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International, except for articles that are republished with permission.

Alexander Kmentt receives the Seán MacBride Award: Vienna, Austria

On Saturday, 2 December from 7-9 pm, the International Peace Bureau awarded Alexander Kmentt with the Seán MacBride Peace Prize. The ceremony was held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria. Kmentt officially received the award in 2021, but the pandemic delayed the ceremony. We were happy to honor Alexander Kmentt in person for his dedication to disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons. 

Alexander Kmentt is the Ambassador and Director of the Department of Disarmament, Arms-Control and Non-Proliferation Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry. In his acceptance speech, Kmentt discussed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the passionate activists and diplomats who made such a treaty possible, as well as the international role that Austria can play in terms of disarmament. Kmentt noted that “the risks of nuclear conflict [are] higher than in decades… [we] must realize with urgency that the nuclear weapons issue is back as an existential threat to the survival of humanity.” 

Sean Conner, Executive Director of IPB, presenting the award to Alexander Kmentt

Featured speakers included Angela Kane (Former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs), Emil Brix (Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Rosa Logar (WILPF Austria – Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), Elayne Whyte Gómez, (Costa Rican diplomat and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva [2014-2020]), Beatrice Fihn (Executive Director of ICAN), Sean Conner (Executive Director of IPB) and Reiner Braun (outgoing Executive Director of IPB). Nadja Stiegler and Maria Kasznia from DuoArte enchanted the room with several musical numbers. 

Watch the award ceremony here:

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60 Years of the Cuban Missile Crisis – A message by Noam Chomsky

Sixty years ago, the world experienced a direct and dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, when the two superpowers came closest to a nuclear conflict in the midst of the Cold War. The leaders from both countries engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores.

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Sixty years later, the world finds itself living a confrontation that flirts and mentions the threats of nuclear armament. These past months we came close to seeing how mistakes from the past still reverberate, and that on present days we need more than ever a look back to understand the seriousness of even considering the use of such weapons.

In this message, Noam Chomsky enlightens us with his experience tracing a parallel between present struggles and the Cuban Missile Crisis, highlighting different and common characteristics, and pointing out aspects that can guide us through the resolution of such conflicts in current times.

More info:

www.ipb.org

www.cpdcs.org

Peace Agenda for Ukraine and the World

Statement of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, adopted at the meeting of Ukrainian Pacifists on the 21st September 2022, International Day of Peace (video).

“We the Ukrainian pacifists demand and will strive to end the war by peaceful means and to protect human right to conscientious objection to military service.

Peace, not war, is the norm of human life. War is an organized mass murder. Our sacred duty is that we shall not kill. Today, when the moral compass is being lost everywhere and self-destructive support for war and the military is on the rise, it is especially important for us to maintain common sense, stay true to our non-violent way of life, build peace and support peace-loving people.

Condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine, the UN General Assembly called for an immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and emphasized that parties to the conflict must respect human rights and international humanitarian law. We share this position.

Current policies of war until absolute victory and contempt for criticism of human rights defenders is unacceptable and must be changed. What is needed is a ceasefire, peace talks and serious work to correct the tragic mistakes made on both sides of the conflict. Prolongation of the war has catastrophic, deadly consequences, and continues to destroy the welfare of society and environment not only in Ukraine, but throughout the world. Sooner or later, parties will sit at the negotiating table, if not after their reasonable decision, then under the pressure of unbearable suffering and weakening, the last better to be avoided by choosing the diplomatic path.

It is wrong to take the side of any of the warring armies, it is necessary to stand on the side of peace and justice. Self-defense can and should be carried out by non-violent and unarmed methods. Any brutal government is illegitimate, and nothing justifies the oppression of people and bloodshed for the illusory goals of total control or conquest of territories. No one can evade responsibility for his own misdoings by claiming to be a victim of misdoings of others. Wrong and even criminal behavior of any party cannot justify creation of a myth about an enemy with whom it is allegedly impossible to negotiate and who must be destroyed at any cost, including self-destruction. A desire for peace is a natural need of every person, and its expression cannot justify a false association with a mythical enemy.

Human right to conscientious objection to military service in Ukraine was not guaranteed according to international standards even in peacetime, not to mention the current conditions of martial law. The state shamefully avoided for decades and now continues to avoid any serious response to the relevant suggestions of the UN Human Rights Committee and public protests. Although the state cannot derogate this right even in time of war or other public emergency, as says the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the army in Ukraine refuses to respect the universally recognized right to conscientious objection to military service, denying even to replace coercive military service by mobilization with an alternative non-military service according to the direct prescription of the Constitution of Ukraine. Such scandalous disrespect to human rights should have no place under the rule of law.

The state and society must put an end to the despotism and legal nihilism of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, manifested in policies of harassment and criminal punishment for refusal to be engaged in war effort and the forced turn of civilians into soldiers, due to which civilians cannot move freely within the country nor go abroad, even if they have vital needs to rescue from danger, to obtain an education, to find means for living, professional and creative self-realization, etc.

Governments and civil societies of the world appeared to be helpless before the scourge of war, drawn into the funnel of conflict between Ukraine and Russia and wider enmity between NATO countries, Russia and China. Even the threat of destruction of all life on the planet by nuclear weapons had not put an end to the mad arms race, and the budget of the UN, the main institution of peace on Earth, is only 3 billion dollars, while global military expenditures are hundreds of times larger and have exceeded a wild amount of 2 trillion dollars. Due to their inclination to organize mass bloodshed and coerce people to kill, nation states have proven to be incapable of non-violent democratic governance and the performance of their basic functions of protecting life and freedom of people.

In our view, the escalation of armed conflicts in Ukraine and the world are caused by the fact that the existing economic, political and legal systems, education, culture, civil society, mass media, public figures, leaders, scientists, experts, professionals, parents, teachers, medics, thinkers, creative and religious actors are not fully perform their duties of strengthening the norms and values of a non-violent way of life, as envisages the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted by the UN General Assembly. Evidences of the neglected peace-building duties are the archaic and dangerous practices which must be ended: military patriotic upbringing, compulsory military service, lack of systematic public peace education, propaganda of war in the mass media, support of war by NGOs, reluctance of some human rights defenders to advocate consistently for the full realization of human rights to peace and to conscientious objection to military service. We remind stakeholders of their peace-building duties and will steadfastly insist on compliance with these duties.

We see as goals of our peace movement and all peace movements of the world to uphold human right to refuse to kill, to stop the war in Ukraine and all wars in the world, and to ensure sustainable peace and development for all the people of the planet. To achieve these goals, we will tell the truth about the evil and deception of war, learn and teach practical knowledge about peaceful life without violence or with its minimization, and we will help to the needy, especially those affected by wars and unjust coercion to support army or participation in war.

War is a crime against humanity, therefore, we are determined not to support any kind of war and to strive for the removal of all causes of war.”

Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration ceremony – Berlin

Last Saturday, August 6, 2022 – 77 years after the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima by the U.S. – Sean Conner, Deputy Executive Director of IPB, spoke at a Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration ceremony in Berlin. The ceremony was organized by the german association ‘Friedensglockengesellschaft’ and took place in Volkspark Friedrichshain at the world peace bell.

In remembrance of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he reminded the audience that the world has not become safer with nuclear weapons to date and the legal frameworks of disarmament, the NPT and the TPNW, are the only way to prevent further nuclear disasters. But it is not only the danger of a nuclear war which needs immediate action, but also the climate emergency which the world is facing. A faster push towards renewable energies and a significant cut in military spending are the necessary and long overdue actions the world has to take. In order to find long-term solutions to  these challenges, security has to be rethought. The concept of Common Security, originally developed in the 1980s and revived this year, does that. It means that no state can achieve security at the expense of another state, which is what has led to the arms race in the first place.

Please find the full speech in German and English language here: https://ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Speech_Friedensglocke_Sean_Conner.pdf

Hiroshima Declaration by the 2022 World Conference against A&H Bombs

No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis! No More Hibakusha! Abolish Nuclear Weapons!

The 2022 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (August  4th-9th) has adopted the “Hiroshima Declaration” on August 6, at the closing of the Hiroshima Day Rally, which was held in Hiroshima and online.

Aiming at a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world, it not only includes the demand that the nuclear weapon states reconfirm their NPT treaty obligations, but also the call for a diplomatic resolution of all international conflicts.

It further points out the importance of gender perspectives in the nuclear disarmament process, the need for a reduction of military expenditures as well as the dissolution of military alliances, and the extension of solidarity to many other movements, including the peace movement. Nonetheless, campaigns to make known the A-bomb damage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and other inhumane consequences of the use of nuclear weapons are still of utmost importance.

Please find the full statement here: https://ipb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Hiroshima-Declaration-Aug6.pdf

If interested in the full program of the 2022 World Conference against A&H Bombs, please visit: http://www.antiatom.org/english/world_conference/2022index.html