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.

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 Ukraine-Russia: Negotiate Now! 

Embargo: 22 May 2024, 00:00 am

The extension of wars creates an unprecedented danger for the state of the world. Assuring peace and finding ways to solve armed conflicts is a fundamental duty of governments. Europe has a particular responsibility to start searching for ways to end the war that is taking place within its region – the war between Russia and Ukraine.

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Expert: It is impossible to achieve victory through weapons in the atomic world

Press Release

Obshchaya Gazeta, Leningrad Region, Russia, April 22

Original Publication in Russia: https://og47.ru/2024/04/22/ekspert-za-scyot-oruziya-v-atomnom-mire-nevozmozno-dobitsya-pobedy-42180

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2 Years of War in Ukraine – A Pacifist Comment

Participation of unarmed pacifist forces in implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula (A statement, adopted by the general assembly of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement on 24 February 2024)

Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, bearing in mind the axiom that peace is not equal to war (Peace≠war), supports and will implement in our activities the values of peace, democracy, and justice, declared in the Ukrainian peace formula of President Zelensky.
We agree with condemnation of Russian aggression, demands of withdrawal of troops and compensations of damages.
Nobody could feel safe while the war is considered normal and dictates its rules of lawlessness.
We will act on the basis of belief that democratic society and democratic world must be united for common good and common security.
We will resist nonviolently to Russian aggression and all forms of militarism and war.
We will support preservation and development of democracy. We will protect  human rights and rule of law.
Pacifism is a vital part of diversity of thoughts and beliefs in the democratic society. We will preserve pacifist identity, which gives hope for better future without wars, and we will uphold our right to refuse to kill.

UKRAINIAN PACIFIST MOVEMENT

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The Ukraine War a Year From Now: A Realist Case for Ceasefire & Negotiations

Joseph Gerson

Text of speech given on the IPB’s webinar, Feb. 24, 2024

I don’t have a crystal ball, and I can’t promise accurate predictions about the state of the Ukraine War  a year from today. Three things that we do know are first, that Russia will continue fighting until it secures Ukrainian neutrality, and it will resort to any means necessary to prevent what U.S. General Austin has named as the ambition of winning Russia’s strategic defeat. Second, recently re-forged Ukrainian nationalism will continue to resist Russian domination then and in one way or another for decades to come. And, finally, as was the case before Russia’s invasion, Ukraine will have no chance of joining NATO.

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Violations of human right to conscientious objection to military service in Ukraine: from 24 February 2022 to November 2023 

 A report by Ukrainian Pacifist Movement

Overview of general situation in Ukraine 

From its introduction in 1991, alternative service in Ukraine by design was hardly accessible and limited to marginal number of religious objectors. National security and defense establishment, entrenched and intended to dominate in economy, education, politics and media, put enormous efforts into shaming people for draft evasion, making it costly informal corruption practice available only for the rich and privileged people, limiting and preventing introduction of any legal exemptions from military service, especially insisting on denial of any notion of human right to conscientious objection to military service. Absence of clear legal guarantees of the right to conscientious objection in time of national emergency, when this right is especially precious and must be strongly protected, become one of results of this uncompromising pressure for totality of military duty. 

After beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014 and subsequent partial mobilization some conscientious objectors were prosecuted for insisting on access to alternative service. Cases of acquittal by courts in that time are known. Furthermore, Ukrainian diplomats in 2018 submitted to OHCHR a promise of changes in legislation2, based on a draft law which was never supported by the government, never included into parliamentary agenda, and in 2019 was automatically withdrawn. 

Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and strong unconditional Western support of Ukrainian defensive war effort, on the one hand, and lack of all sorts of resources, especially human resources, for achieving ambitious goal to defeat Russia, as well as growing draft evasion, on another hand, make the military desperate and ready to coerce people for military service by any means, including radical limitation or denial of human rights. Military recruiters actively initiate criminal prosecution of those few who resist to all sorts of pressure, from sophisticated psychological and procedural to brutal physical, who insist on unwilling to serve despite all promises, threats and appeals to patriotism. It resulted in trending penalization of conscientious objection: the army insists on opening criminal investigations and subsequent convictions of conscientious objectors, and officers in charge of legal affairs testify in courts that conscription in time of mobilization could not be replaced with alternative service, which expectantly lead to guilty sentences considering almost universal trust in army (setting aside doubts in reliability of public opinion polls) and recognition of its leading role in country under martial law. 

Read and download the full report here:

2023 Seán MacBride Peace Prize for the Three Conscientious Objectors Organization: Our House,  Movement of Conscientious Objectors and Ukrainian Pacifist Movement; and peace advocate  Tore Nærland

The winners of the 2023 Seán MacBride Peace Prize are champions of the right to conscientious objection, represented by a joint prize for three remarkable movements, and an individual peace advocate. At the heart of this esteemed award are three remarkable movements that have not only made significant strides in advocating for the right to conscientious objection but have also symbolized the enduring spirit of peace in the face of adversity. These awardees include “Our House” from Belarus, the “Movement of Conscientious Objectors”from Russia, the “Ukrainian Pacifist Movement” from Ukraine, and Tore Nærland, a passionate advocate for peace through his initiative, “Bike for Peace.”

Ukraine and Russia have been entangled in a complex and protracted conflict that has left scars on the hearts and souls of countless individuals and communities. This conflict, marked by territorial disputes, political turmoil, and humanitarian crises, has exacted a heavy toll, with civilians often caught in the crossfire and subjected to unimaginable suffering. It is in this context that the 2023 Seán MacBride Peace Prize recognizes the exceptional efforts of those who have chosen the path of peace and conscientious objection.

The first award is a shared prize for Our House, the Movement of Conscientious Objectors in Russia, and the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement.

Our House (https://news.house/), a Belarusian civil society organization registered in Vilnius since 2014, is dedicated to defending human rights, particularly focusing on vulnerable groups, such as women and children. They also support Belarusian and Ukrainian refugees in Lithuania and other EU countries. Founded two decades ago as a small initiative, Our House is now active in 15 Lithuanian cities. Their current campaigns, “NO means NO” and “Non-Children Play,” aim to help Belarusian conscientious objectors, prevent children from being taken from their families for economic and political reasons, and respond to Belarusian army service issues.

In Russia, Movement of Conscientious Objectors (MCO) or Движение Сознательных Отказчиков, Russia (https://stoparmy.org/), a non-profit organization established in 2014, aids young individuals in legally avoiding conscription into the military. MCO offers guidance, resources, and collects conscription-related information. The right to conscientious objection to military service is a fundamental component of the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as enshrined in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This right remains inviolable even during public emergencies, as stipulated in Article 4(2) of the ICCPR. Conscientious objection actively contributes to peace, making the protection and promotion of this human right more vital during wartime.

Despite being labeled as Foreign Agents and facing increased threats, the Russian Movement of Conscientious Objectors unwaveringly supports those opposing war and military mobilization, especially individuals subjected to persecution, torture, and imprisonment. Their commitment extends to all cases of forced and even violent recruitment into participating armies, as well as the persecution of conscientious objectors, deserters, and non-violent anti-war protesters.

The “Ukrainian Pacifist Movement(http://pacifism.org.ua/) from Ukraine established in 2019 by activists involved in peaceful protests against conscription in Kyiv, is a non-governmental, non-profit, and nonpartisan organization. Its mission revolves around promoting the right to peace, disarmament, conscription abolition, nonviolent conflict resolution, and civilian oversight of military affairs. The organization primarily focuses on advocating for the legal right to conscientious objection in accordance with international human rights standards, supporting the right to refuse participation in war, ending the conflict in Ukraine, and striving for global peace. The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement is an active participant in various international networks, including the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, World BEYOND War, War Resisters’ International, International Peace Bureau, and the Eastern European Network for Citizenship Education.

The second award is for Tore Nærland, an individual advocate for peace through his initiative “Bike for Peace,” embodies the transformative power of personal dedication to peace. Through his tireless efforts and determination, he has inspired countless individuals to embrace the idea that peace can be pursued actively, one pedal stroke at a time. His commitment to spreading a message of peace and understanding transcends national boundaries and resonates with people from all walks of life.

In honoring these remarkable recipients, the 2023 Seán MacBride Peace Prize acknowledges the enduring importance of the right to conscientious objection and individual efforts to promote peace in the times that peace is being challenged. Their collective work reminds us that peace is not merely the absence of war, but a deliberate and courageous choice that can shape a better future for us all.

The International Peace Bureau Has Seen It All Standing For Dialogue Also In Ukraine | Sean Conner

Meet Sean Conner, the executive director of the International Peace Bureau, one of the most vocal and oldest grass-root peace organisations in the world. For over 130 years the IPB has been lobbying governments and organisations for peaceful means to resolve conflicts. Even now they are one of the few organisations that stand for a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine and have not been corrupted or coerced into submission by the pro-war narrative of the collective west.

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#ConflictResolution #PeaceInUkraine #DialogueForPeace

Stop the Repression in the East and the West

The people and peace network calls on all people’s movements and parties to unitedly stand up against the persecution of independent voices of peace in East and West. Repression is increasing not only in Russia and Belarus, but also in Ukraine and also in EU countries.

This week it will be decided what punishment Boris Kagarlitsky will receive in Russia. During his detention, he was put on a list of terrorists and extremists by the authorities. He is accused by Russian security services of justifying terrorism for his war resistance.

In Kiev, Ukrainian security services boast of having stopped the “vicious Russian propagandist Yurii Sheliazhenko”. He is accused of justifying Russian aggression in a statement in which he explicitly condemns the Russian war of aggression.

In Lithuania, Belarusian pacifist Olga Karach risks being deported to Belarus with the threat of being imprisoned there. The regime-critical opponents and dissidents from Russia and Belarus who were recently well received are now increasingly seen as a national security threat in a xenophobic wave that has gained increasing political support in Lithuania.

In Sweden, pacifist organizations are subjected to slander in order to deprive them of public support and government grants. Strong movements that oppose the thrusts of militarism must be pushed out of the public conversation.

Regardless of our stance on the need for a ceasefire or sending arms to Ukraine, popular opposition to war is a factor of decisive importance. The support for non-armors and war opponents has been and is important no matter how much NATO propaganda says that the only way to peace is arms. Such support must be universal, otherwise it is has no value.

We call for joint action against oppression in East and West! Start by signing protests in support of Boris, Yurii and Olga! Spread the word and participate in uniting all against oppression wherever it occurs.

Links:
https://freeboris.info
https://ipb.org/justice-for-yurii-sheliazhenko
https://ipb.org/international-campaign-protection4olga

Adopted by the IPB 6 October 2023