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:

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

A Chat With Annette: Threats to regional peace in the Asia-Pacific region and the work of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network

Watch our live chat replay with Independent and Peaceful Australia Network Executive Director Annette! She analyzes and opens the conversation on the threats to regional peace in the Asia-Pacific region and shares the important work of IPAN.

Watch now:

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

The World’s Tectonic Geopolitical Changes and their Implications

On May 22, 2024, the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament & Common Security hosted an exceptional webinar panel on the Tectonic Geopolitical changes that are transforming the international landscape, their implications, and common security policies. Understanding the forces at play is essential to ending and preventing wars, reversing the climate emergency, and bringing greater security and justice to all.

Continue reading “The World’s Tectonic Geopolitical Changes and their Implications”

The role of peace education in building a peaceful Haitian society

The conference delivered by Roland Joseph at the Université Publique du Sud-Est in Jacmel (UPSEJ), Haiti, on the theme “Le rôle de l’éducation à la paix dans la construction d’une société haïtienne pacifique” (The role of peace education in the construction of a peaceful Haitian society) on Saturday, May 18, 2024, sponsored by the International Peace Bureau (IPB).

Continue reading “The role of peace education in building a peaceful Haitian society”

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”

Healing People, Peace & Planet : World’s Indigenous Leaders at the First Global Summit on Indigenous Peacebuilding held in Washington DC Urges United Nations to include Indigenous Peacebuilding Approaches in Resolving Global Conflicts.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

30 April 2024, Binalakshmi Nepram Mentschel

We live in a world marred by conflict. The world of today urgently needs meaningful peacebuilding that works for all. 80 percent of conflicts around the world are happening in biodiversity areas where Indigenous Peoples live.107 wars are happening in the world today, displacing 117 million. Any peace-building efforts in global conflicts must involve and include Indigenous Peoples. Peace-making efforts are currently usually negotiated at high political levels, behind closed doors, and with violent groups – where Indigenous Peoples are rarely represented.

Continue reading “Healing People, Peace & Planet : World’s Indigenous Leaders at the First Global Summit on Indigenous Peacebuilding held in Washington DC Urges United Nations to include Indigenous Peacebuilding Approaches in Resolving Global Conflicts.”

Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2023

Published by: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Date: 22 April 2024

Authors: Dr Nan TianDr Diego Lopes da SilvaXiao Liang and Lorenzo Scarazzato

World military expenditure increased for the ninth consecutive year in 2023, reaching a total of $2443 billion. The 6.8 per cent increase in 2023 was the steepest year-on-year rise since 2009 and pushed global spending to the highest level SIPRI has ever recorded. The world military burden—defined as military spending as a percentage of global gross domestic product (GDP)—increased to 2.3 per cent in 2023. Average military expenditure as a share of government expenditure rose by 0.4 percentage points to 6.9 per cent in 2023 and world military spending per person was the highest since 1990, at $306. 

Continue reading “Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2023”

IPB Statement on Recent Escalation in West Asia

18 April 2024, Germany

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) is deeply concerned over the continued escalation and open violation of international law in West Asia. Both the Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in Syria and Iran’s launching of missiles and drones from its own soil toward Israel represent blatant attempts to exacerbate tensions and expand direct confrontation to a regional scale. We unequivocally condemn these actions and demand that all states involved, both directly and indirectly, reject any further military responses and make use of diplomatic channels for immediate de-escalation.

We reiterate the complex and prolonged nature of regional conflicts in West Asia and underline that any attempt to solve these disputes through military action risks throwing not only the region into direct and deadly conflict, but also states outside the region. Any such war would result in immeasurable death and suffering of innocent people and an acute risk of nuclear weapons use which would put the entire planet at risk. States in the region must recognize that they cannot choose their neighbors and must instead work toward a policy of common security for all in the region.  

Long-term solutions for peace in the region are only possible in a climate of peace when the active violence of Israel’s assault on Gaza and ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people has stopped. We therefore reiterate our call for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations in Gaza that create the necessary space for discussions on long-term solutions that preserve the humanity and underline the need for common security of all Palestinians, Israelis, and peoples of the region.

C7 Statement to the G7 Foreign Ministers

14 April 2024. Ahead of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Capri, 17-19 April 2024, we, the C7 (Civil7), issue a statement with our recommendations to call on the G7 Foreign Ministers to take concrete actions to promote human rights and the common interests of humanity and the planet for a more peaceful, just and secure future.

Please refer to the statement (PDF) from here.

Continue reading “C7 Statement to the G7 Foreign Ministers”

War Costs Us The Earth · GDAMS Statement 2024

War Costs Us The Earth · GDAMS Statement 2024

Disarmament now to save people and planet

Humanity is at a crossroads where political decisions on defence budgets will determine the trajectory of the multiple crises in which we are immersed.

Wars and armed conflicts are devastating whole regions of the world. Global military spending has increased by 19 percent between 2013 and 2022 according to SIPRI figures, and has risen every year since 2015. Yet, from Gaza to Ukraine, the DRC, Sudan, Myanmar, or Manipur, this has done nothing to resolve persistent conflicts nor reduce global tensions. Instead, increased military expenditure and intensifying militarism have only increased the volatility of global peace and cooperation. Rising temperatures are modifying climatic patterns in a profound and extreme way. Millions of people are already experiencing the disastrous consequences of climate change and environmental degradation, amplified further by violent conflict. We must act now.These fluctuating weather and climatic patterns have direct repercussions on whether territories can remain habitable as well as on the future of decent and sustainable living conditions for all.

Continue reading “War Costs Us The Earth · GDAMS Statement 2024”