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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

News 2012

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19. December 2012

Feed-in Tariffs can unlock Africa’s untapped renewable energy potential

World Future Council, Heinrich Böll Foundation and Friends of the Earth UK launch comprehensive policy guide for African decision makers

A new report for policy makers launched on November 30, 2012 at the UN climate summit COP 18 in Doha, Qatar shows that Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff policies (REFiT) are a promising mechanism to unlock the renewable energy development in Africa. REFiTs encourage investment in renewable energy generation – from individual home owners and communities to big companies – by guaranteeing to buy and pay for all the electricity produced. When tailored to the local context, such a policy can successfully increase overall energy production in both on and off-grid areas. Moreover, the decentralized nature of REFiTs allows for alternative ownership and governance models and provides the opportunity to empower communities as well as revitalising local democracy and self-governance. Read on here: www.worldfuturecouncil.org/pr_refit_africa_study.html


19. December 2012

CTBTO Interview with physicist, nuclear expert and disarmament activist Zia Mian

Research Scientist, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Born in Pakistan, Zia Mian was educated in the United Kingdom and working in the United States since 1996. Mian brings international breadth to his work and support for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Mian is a leading authority on issues of peace and security in South Asia and has produced several books and two documentary films on the subject. He is a Deputy Chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) and Co-Editor of Science & Global Security, the international journal of technical analysis for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation policy.


19. December 2012

Soon to be released film: "The Man Who Saved The World"

A new film tells the incredible story of Stanislav Petrov and his courageous decision to disobey the chain of nuclear launch commands, thus changing the fate of the world as we know it. Few people know of him, but it is conceivable that hundreds of millions of people are alive because of him. Currently, a crowd funding campaign on kickstarter.com is being run to release the film this winter.See the trailer of this moving film here


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18. December 2012

The Middle East without Weapons of Mass Destruction, the way forward

Participants of "The Middle East without Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Way Forward- Civil Society Input" conference, meeting in Helsinki 14.-16. December 2012 are outraged at the decision to 'readjust the timing' of the Conference. Given the fact that there are already threats of outright war and forms of warfare aimed at Iran, the postponement of the Conference is a serious threat to peace in the Middle East. Read about bthe conference and the demands here: www.rauhanliitto.fi/activities/conference-the-middle-east-without-weapons-mass-destruction-civil-society-input

To read the speech of Yayoi Tsuchida, Steering Committee member, International Peace Bureau (IPB) please click here.


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18. December 2012

Pentagon to Double Size of Worldwide Spy Network

The US military plans to send hundreds more spies overseas as part of a plan that will more than double the size of its espionage network. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon's military intelligence unit, is aiming to recruit 1,600 intelligence "collectors" – up from the several hundred overseas agents it has employed in recent years. Combined with the enormous growth in the CIA since 9/11 attacks, the recruitment drive will create an unprecedented spy network.
The news is likely to heighten concerns about the accountability of the US military's clandestine programmes amid mounting concerns about the CIA-controlled drone programme. Read the artciel by Dominic Rushe here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/pentagon-double-spy-network-cia


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Source: nytimes.com

18. December 2012

Defense Spending: Costliest Jet, Years in Making, Sees the Enemy: Budget Cuts

The F-35 was conceived as the Pentagon’s silver bullet in the sky — a state-of-the art aircraft that could be adapted to three branches of the military, with advances that would easily overcome the defenses of most foes. But the ambitious aircraft instead illustrates how the Pentagon can let huge and complex programs veer out of control. With all the delays — full production is not expected until 2019 — the military has spent billions to extend the lives of older fighters and buy more of them to fill the gap. At the same time, the cost to build each F-35 has risen to an average of $137 million from $69 million in 2001. The jet is likely to become a target for budget cutters. Read on here: www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/us/in-federal-budget-cutting-f-35-fighter-jet-is-at-risk.html


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18. December 2012

Campaign to ban killer robots

Human Rights Watch fired the first salvo in its bid to establish an international ban on autonomous "killer robots". The NGO argues that the rapid push to field armed and autonomous robot planes, boats, and ground vehicles will place civilian lives at risk and make it easier for countries possessing such weapons to go to war, while eroding the ability to punish war crimes. "We believe these systems would not be able to comply with international humanitarian law standards and would pose unacceptable dangers to civilians during armed conflict," says Stephen Goose, executive director of arms programs at HRW "Human Rights Watch is calling for a preemptive ban for the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons."
Find a new publication by HRW here: Losing Humanity - The Case against Killer Robots


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18. December 2012

Defuse the Exploding Costs of Nuclear Weapons

Focus of the current issue of Arms Control Today, December 2012

See the magazine here: www.armscontrol.org/epublish/1/163

 

 

 


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18. December 2012

Small Arms Survey, New Research Note: Urban Armed Violence

With the majority of the world’s population now living in cities, and with levels of violence very often higher in urban than rural areas, urban armed violence has become increasingly critical to securing human security and safety. Urban Armed Violence, a new Research Note by the Small Arms Survey and the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, surveys the state of research into urban armed violence, and explores some of the main debates on this subject. Urban Armed Violence briefly introduces the research findings on sub-national and city-level armed violence, with a particular focus on lethal violence and the use of firearms. The Research Note concludes with a set of recommendations for further research and policy development. Read the note here: www.smallarmssurvey.org/about-us/highlights/highlight-rn23.html


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Source: http://www.gcint.org

12. December 2012

Concern looms over biological weapons

How at risk are we of a biological weapon attack? Their use is being discussed at the United Nations in Geneva this week as delegates from around the world and 40 NGOs are meeting to discuss strengthening cooperation and assistance in the field of biological weapons control. Many countries are still not signed up to a 40-year-old convention prohibiting their use. Green Cross International is one of the NGOs which is attending the talks.  Dave Goodman of World Radio Switzerland spoke to Paul Walker, director of their Environmental Security and Sustainability programme. Listen to the 4.32 min interview here: worldradio.ch/wrs/news/switzerland/concern-looms-over-biological-weapons.shtml


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10. December 2012

COP18 results, an analysis from the International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE)

We were a group of INFORSE coordinators that followed the climate COP18 in Doha, Qatar. Hereby a summary of the main results of the negotiations, and some comments from our side.

In brief, the COP18 opens new doors for climate action, but it is not the breakthrough that we need to keep global warming to sustainable levels (global warming not above 1.5 - 2'C).

MAIN DECISIONS OF COP18

  • A second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 2013-2020, with loopholes that allow carry over of unused emissions credits from the first period, but with strict limits to the use of this "hot Air".
  • A call for Kyoto Protocol countries to review their emissions reduction targets by 2014 at the latest. While there is no guarantees of increased ambition in the review, this decision gives a moral obligation for these countries to increase their emission reduction targets before 2020 and provides opportunities for them to do so in the climate negotiations.
  • A finance decision that failed to put any firm funding on the table or to ensure a pathway to the $100 billion a year by 2020 target. For the short term it just encourages developed countries to maintain funding at existing levels.
  • Start of a Climate Technology Center and Network, hosted by UNEP
  • An agreed work program on loss and damage to help victims of climate change will start immediately and a decision "to establish institutional arrangement, such as an international mechanism, at COP19" (in 2013). This will allow the victims to get a part of the climate financing as compensation, within the agreed climate financing target of 100 bill $ by 2020.

Read on


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Source: http://security.blogs.cnn.com

5. December 2012

North Korea's preparation for missile launch heats up, image shows

North Korea appears to be working toward its goal of launching a rocket later this month, with a new satellite image showing preparations continuing around the site.

The December 4 image provided to CNN by satellite imagery company GeoEye shows increased activity by workers on the launch pad, an imagery analyst told Security Clearance. The launch pad activity was not evident in an image from DigitalGloe taken three days earlier. Read on here: security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/04/north-koreas-preparation-for-missile-launch-heats-up-image-shows/


Gensuikyo urges the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to cancel the planned launch of a satellite rocket.
The Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) sent a letter to North Korea on December 5, 2012 to urge it to cancel the planned launch of a satellite rocket: As the movement seeking a total ban on nuclear weapons, we strongly urge you to cancel the planned launch of a satellite rocket. The launch runs counter to efforts to create a nuclear weapon-free peaceful East Asia and deteriorates your relations with the international community.
As you know, the missile tests and the development and testing of nuclear weapons that your Government has conducted in the 2000s have met protests and criticism by the international community.  The United Nations has so far adopted resolutions on this problem, including the Security Council resolution 1874 that “demands that the DPRK not conduct any further nuclear test or any launch using ballistic missile technology.”   Your argument about the right to use outer space does not hold.
We call on all the parties concerned, including your Government, to resume the six-party talks to ensure the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We further call for a sincere effort to achieve the “peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”, which was agreed on at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.


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Source: Wikipedia

5. December 2012

U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe Evokes Sharp Reaction from Russia

In response to U.S. plans to place elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin stated that Russia will retaliate "in the sharpest manner" should any U.S. Aegis-equipped warships approach Russian waters.
The U.S. views the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense technology as a crucial component of its sea-based missile defense system in Europe, ostensibly aimed at protecting the continent from potential ballistic missile strikes from Iran or North Korea.

Russia strongly opposes the planned fielding of missile interceptors around Europe, viewing it as a U.S.-NATO scheme to undermine Russia's long-range nuclear missile forces. "We have never placed our interceptor missiles near U.S. borders on ridiculous fabricated pretexts such as 'protecting our American friends from Canada and Honduras,"stated Rogozin. "But they do, on the pretext of protecting us and Europe from 'bad guys in Iran and North Korea."
"Russia Vows Pointed Response to Encroaching U.S. Aegis Warships," Global Security Newswire, November 12, 2012.


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5. December 2012

A New U.S. Defense Strategy for a New Era

A new report published by the Defense Advisory Committee convened by the Stimson Center concludes that the U.S. should "reduce the size of its nuclear forces as rapidly as possible, preferably through a new treaty with Russia, and make commensurate reductions in planned nuclear modernization programs."
The report focuses on U.S. defense planning and spending in light of the possible cuts to the Pentagon budget through automatic sequestration. To read the full report, click here.


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Dmitry Rogozin; Source: http://english.ruvr.ru/

5. December 2012

Russia Calls for Private Companies to Work on Nuclear Weapons

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has called for an initiative to allow Russian private companies to participate in the country's development of nuclear weapons. Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry, stated that the volume of private capital in the Russian defense industry should be brought up to 30-35 percent. Although private businesses can participate in the production of electronic components and new materials, Rogozin stressed that ultimate production of nuclear weapons would remain under the absolute control of the state.

Radnaev, Vitaly, "Private Companies to Take Part in the Nuclear Shield Development," The Voice of Russia, November 12, 2012.


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Source: Wikipedia

5. December 2012

U.S. Bomb Refurbishment Project Will Cost Billions More

According to an independent cost assessment, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has severely underestimated the cost needed to refurbish the U.S. stockpile of B61 nuclear bombs by billions of dollars. Already facing problems with its current budget, the NNSA will need to come up with an additional $1 billion every year for the next few years to meet the goals of its refurbishment project.

The U.S. deploys approximately 180 B61 nuclear bombs in five European countries under the auspices of NATO. In total, an estimated 400 B61 bombs would require refurbishment. In 2010, the NNSA stated that refurbishing the bombs would cost $3.9 billion. Since then, the agency has refused to release updated projects costs, but independent assessments show that the projected cost has nearly doubled.

Read the article by John Fleck "Billions More Needed to Refurbish Bombs," ABQ Journal, November 4, 2012.


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29. November 2012

Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN Development Agenda

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) wrote a position paper entitled Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN's Development Agenda. It makes the case that military spending should be taken into consideration in the debate now under way on the UN's Post-2015 Development Agenda (following on from the Millennium Development Goals). In IPB's view, militarization is a significant factor in the sustainable development equation, often undermining the security of citizens. At the same time, the massive resources devoted to the military sector could - if even a small portion were reallocated - make a major contribution to meeting the challenges of mass poverty, unemployment and climate change.Download the paper here: www.ipb.org/web/index.php


29. November 2012

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War Profiteers' News November edition now available

War Profiteer of the Month: Monsanto

Contents:

  • Monsanto and the parliamentary coup d’etat in Paraguay
  • Fake Corporate Social Responsibility against the financing of arms
  • We won't let the weapons industry silence us!
  • Keep Space for Peace Week
  • Success! We disarmed the Gallery!
  • Italians protest weapons sales to Israel at Alenia Aermacchi Headquarters
  • War Profiteer of the Month: Monsanto
  • Campaign of the Month: The Outcry Campaign: Stop the arms trade!

Read the Newsletter here: wri-irg.org/publications/war_profiteers


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29. November 2012

Sustainable Energy News of INFORSE now available

The issue has focus on UNFCCC COP 18, where International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE) will exhibit and organise side event.
Selected topics:

  • Crucial Climate Decisions Ahead
  • East African Civil Society Engages in the UN "Sustainable Energy 4 All" Initiative
  • Solar Cheaper than Diesel
  • New EU Energy-Efficiency Directive and the Missing Efficiency
  • Lithuanian No to Nuclear
  • Women at UNFCCC COP18
  • The World We Want - Post 2015

Download the Newsletter here: www.inforse.org/s_e_news.php3


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28. November 2012

UK nuclear deterrent plan triggers divisions

Announcement of an extra $565m for improved nuclear weapons capacity worries critics in an era of austerity.

Since the late 1960s Britain's nuclear deterrent strategy has required that at least one of the Royal Navy's submarines be operational and fully armed at all times. Conceived in response to the perceived threat of a surprise Soviet assault on western Europe, Britain's deterrent remains a classic throwback to the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cold War. Yet, two decades after the Soviet Union's collapse, the UK government this week took a big step towards replacing its current submarine-launched Trident missile system with a like-for-like successor that would take to the seas by 2028. "Our nuclear deterrent is the ultimate safeguard of our national security. We have made a clear commitment to maintain that deterrent," said Philip Hammond, the British defence minister, announcing an additional $565m in spending - on top of $4.8bn already committed to the project - for design work on a next-generation replacement for the Vanguard fleet. Read on here: www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/11/20121119142383967.html


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28. November 2012

Counting the Cost - The economics of peace: Al Jazeera interviews

Al Jazeera had a look at two countries in the process of making peace. Colombia, aside from the advances it has made with rebel group the FARC, has seen some remarkable growth in the last decade. In fact, Colombia is Latin America's third-largest economy, worth some $378bn in 2012. As a nation blessed with mineral wealth, it could be even more prosperous if it was able to successfully conclude peace talks with the FARC rebels. In the Philippines there has been a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), looking to end a decades-long conflict. The country's economy is worth $225bn - smaller than local rivals, but almost triple what it was a decade ago. Unemployment rates have improved, but poverty remains the country's most critical problem. Watch the video on that topic here: www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2012/10/2012102773853786999.html


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28. November 2012

The decline of UK military R&D

Latest official statistics show that UK government spending on military research and development has fallen considerably over the last ten years. Scientists for Global Responsibility, SGR, has been calling for that. While in Russia and other former Soviet countries spending cuts of about 90% took place directly after the Cold War, in the West cuts were much more limited. The UK situation demonstrated this well. After a slow decline, the UK's military expenditures grew rapidly again after September 11, 2001. Nevertheless, starting in 2002, the budget for military research and development was cut considerably. This downward trend is likely to continue until at least 2015. Download the article here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/decline-uk-military-rd


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28. November 2012

Peace Dividend Proclamation

The Albany County Legislature, New York, USA recently passed a Peace Dividend Proclamation, which calls upon Congress to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, cut the U.S. military budget, and use the savings to fund vital public programs at home. Within the past year or so, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a similar resolution, as did the governments of numerous cities, including Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Hartford, and Portland. Even so, the idea of “moving the money” from war to peace had largely fallen off the political radar screen. The Albany County Peace Dividend Proclamation, as it was soon dubbed, has helped bring it back to public attention. Read more here: www.fpif.org/articles/fighting_for_peace_at_the_local_level


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28. November 2012

Online petition against the French military budget 2013

Le Mouvement de la Paix appeals to civilians and organisations to sign the online petition against the French military budget 2013. The French defense budget 2013 of more than 39 milliards euros is as high as the one of 2012. According to Le Mouvement de la Paix a budget of this size is not coherent within a modern economy in a globalized world. Money should be invested in humanitarian needs instead. Le Mouvement de la Paix invites people to sign the petition, to download the form and collect signatures, and to spread the word to others. Read the petition and sign here: www.mvtpaix.org/utils/petitionbudget2013defense.php


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Source: http://www.defensenews.com

28. November 2012

Special Report: Worldwide Spending and Priorities

Defense spending by Europe’s four biggest military powers is set to steadily fall over the next few years as continuing financial strains force further austerity measures. Britain, France, Germany and Italy have all been in retreat on defense spending for some time. France, Europe’s second biggest defense spender, is in a budgetary holding pattern as the government prepares a defense and security white paper for publication at the end of the year. With British government finances still likely to be in poor shape by 2015, defense here could take a further spending hit after combat troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. In Germany, the government’s defense draft budget for 2013 envisages a nominal increase of around 1.4 billion euros [$1.8 billons] on this year. In the medium term, the German defense budget is supposed to decline to around 32.5 billion euros [$42.2 billion] by 2015. To read on please click here.


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Source: http://www.unepfi.org/

21. November 2012

The Financial Risks of Ecological Limits

Some of the economic implications of resource constraints were introduced to the world of international finance this week in London, when Global Footprint Network and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), in collaboration with leading financial institutions, launched the E-RISC (Environmental Risk Integration in Sovereign Credit) report at Bloomberg, a leader in global financial data.

The interactive event drew over 150 participants, including representatives from leading financial institutions, investors, asset management firms and rating agencies, including Caisse des Depots, SNS Asset Management, Standard & Poor’s, J.P. Morgan, KfW Bankengruppe, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Barclays.

To date, tightening resource constraints and their impacts on national economies have been largely absent from financial analyses. The E-RISC report fills this gap by exploring to what extent resource and ecological risks can impact a nation’s economy and how these factors affect a nation’s ability to pay its debts. Download the report here: issuu.com/globalfootprintnetwork/docs/erisc
or visit www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/footprint_for_finance/


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16. November 2012

Stop the planting of GMO corn in Mexico

Imminent approval of large-scale planting of GMO corn: Scientists alert over threat to maize in its center of origin and diversification. Human health is also at risk.
Campaign by the union of socially concerned scienetists (Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad (UCCS) Mexico.
Read the UCCS demands here: http://www.inesglobal.com/mexicos-maize-diversity-in-danger.phtml

Support the campaign and sign the statement here:www.uccs.mx/doc/g/planting-gmo-corn


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15. November 2012

Energy from the ocean: the UK dimension

Prof AbuBakr Bahaj, University of Southampton, outlines the recent positive progress in generating electricity from offshore wind, wave and tidal current resources in the UK. He also assesses the future challenges in a sector in which the UK is a global leader.

Read the article from the SGR Newsletter no. 41 here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/energy-ocean-uk-dimension


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16. November 2012

The Missile Crisis that Never Went Away

By Steven Starr, David Krieger & Daniel Ellsberg

Fifty years after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the US and Russian nuclear confrontation continues. Both nations still keep a total of approximately 800 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), armed with more than 1,700 strategic nuclear warheads at launch-ready status, able to be launched with only a few minutes warning.

The US now has 450 land-based Minuteman III missiles that carry 500 strategic nuclear warheads. As their name implies, they require at most several minutes to be launched. The US also has 14 US Trident submarines and normally 12 are operational. Each Trident now carries about 96 independently targetable warheads and 5 Tridents are reportedly kept in position to fire their missiles within 15 minutes. This adds another 120 missiles carrying 480 warheads that qualify as being "launch-ready."

The missiles and warheads on the Trident subs have been "upgraded" and "modernized" to make them accurate enough for first-strike weapons against Russian ICBM silos. Missiles fired from Trident subs on patrol in the Norwegian Sea can hit Moscow in less than 10 minutes. To read on please click here.


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13. November 2012

Sean MacBride Peace Prize 2012 goes to Nawal El-Sadaawi (Egypt) and Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia)

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) is delighted to announce its decision to award the 2012 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to two Arab women: Lina Ben Mhenni from Tunisia and Nawal El-Sadaawi from Egypt. They have both shown great courage and made substantial contributions to what is known as the Arab Spring.

The award ceremony will be held on the eve of IPB’s annual conference, which this year doubles as Afri’s Hedge School. The prize ceremony will be held on Friday 16th November, at 6pm. The venue is Woodlock Hall, All Hallows College, Dublin 9. The Hedge School will be held in the same venue the following day. This will be the first ever IPB Council meeting in Ireland in its over 100 year history during which it will be hosted by Afri, a member organisation of the International Peace Bureau. To read more about this year's laureates please click here. To learn more about the MacBridePeace Prize please visit: www.ipb.org/web/index.php


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9. November 2012

Referendum for Peace and Justice: Massachusetts voters were called to vote on an anti-austerity and anti-war referendum.

The Presidential elections in the USA were utilized by a group of civil society organizations of Massachusetts to ask the people of the state to vote on issues of economic justice, military spending, and the immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan.

By a three to one margin, Massachusetts voters sent a clear message to both Democrats and Republicans in Washington about the federal budget crisis and the impending “fiscal cliff”. The Budget for All (B4A) ballot question passed by 661,033 to 222,514 votes. It calls for no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or other vital programs; investment in useful jobs; an end to corporate tax loopholes and to the Bush cuts on taxes on high incomes; withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan now; and redirection of military spending to domestic needs and job creation. The question passed by a wide margin in every district and all 91 Massachusetts cities and towns where it appeared on the ballot and was initiated by 80 community peace, labour and faith groups of the state of Massachusetts. Read on.


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5. November 2012

International Peace Bureau (IPB) demands: The 2012 Peace prize is unlawful and cannot be paid to the EU

Dear IPB member, collegues and friends,
the board of IPB have decided to request to the Nobel Foundation not to pay the Nobel prize to the EU because it is against the will and testament of Alfred Nobel.
You will find all the arguments in the letter to the foundation, which was sent today.
To read a media release please click here.

Tomas Magnusson and Ingeborg Breines
Co-presidents, International Peace Bureau

For comments, please contact
Tomas Magnusson +46 708 293197
Ingeborg Breines, +47 900 31659


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Photo: Vandenberg Witness

3. November 2012

Daniel Ellsberg and 14 Nuclear Protestors Are Victorious in Federal Court

U.S. government dismisses case before trial begins

October 24, 2012: Federal Magistrate judge Rita Federman  allowed the U.S. government to dismiss all trespassing charges against the "Vandenberg 15," a group of citizens who in February conducted a civil disobedience action at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The group was attempting to stop a testing of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile that later reached a target in the Marshall Islands (without a nuclear warhead). The group was urging the base commander to stop the testing of thermonuclear warhead delivery vehicles and to eliminate land-based missiles in the U.S.

The Vandenberg 15 included prominent leaders of the anti-nuclear movement - Daniel Ellsberg, a former Pentagon nuclear weapons strategist, (who also released the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971); Father Louis Vitale, a Franciscan monk and co-founder of the Nevada Desert Experience; Cindy Sheehan, founder of the Gold Star Families for Peace, whose son, Casey, was killed in the Iraq war; and David Krieger, president of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), member of Veterans for Peace, Chair of the INES Executive Committee, etc. To read on please click here.


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1. November 2012

Ecological Footprint Work Receives International Recognition with Prestigious Blue Planet Prize

Japan’s Prince Akishino and the Asahi Glass Foundation yesterday presented the Blue Planet Prize, one of the world’s premier environmental awards, to Global Footprint President Network Mathis Wackernagel and Dr. William E. Rees, co-creators of the Ecological Footprint, and Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, who was recognized for his work in advancing our understanding of biodiversity. To read more please click here.


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Source: CTBTO

1. November 2012

From banning nuclear tests to banning nuclear weapons

On the 60th anniversary of the UK’s first nuclear test, Rebecca Johnson, Director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, highlights the  parallels between how the CTBT was achieved in the 1990s and today’s nuclear challenges. Read the article here: www.opendemocracy.net/5050/rebecca-johnson/from-banning-nuclear-tests-to-banning-nuclear-weapons

 


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© DESERTEC Foundation

26. October 2012

ADEREE and DESERTEC work together for a green Morocco


The Moroccan Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE) and the DESERTEC Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. It focuses on the exchange of expertise and know-how in developing energy policy and regulation, and support for ADEREE’s communication and public relations strategy. Read on.


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25. October 2012

Peace Movement in the U.S. – After NATO Actions: Activities against the War in Afghanistan

Speech of Joseph Gerson at the International Peace Congress: Stop the war - roads to peace in Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany, October 13-14, 2012

Read the speech 

Read Guersons' complete report of the Congress here.

Read an article on "Reinforcing Washington’s Asia-Pacific Hegemony" by Joseph Gerson here: www.asiapacificinitiative.org/reinforcing-washingtons-asia-pacific-hegemony/
A speech "The U.S. Asia Pacific hegemony, a world-war time bomb in the offing?" was held in at a public event of IALANA and INES in Berlin on October 10, 2012. To read a report of the event please click here.


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24. October 2012

Precaution in Practice - challenging the acceptability of depleted uranium weapons

A report by the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) for policy-makers and campaigners that judges the acceptability of DU weapons by utilising the structure of common interpretations of the precautionary principle. In doing so it asks whether a precautionary approach should be applied to DU and whether its use could ever be compatible with precautionary values. Download the report here: www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/precaution-in-practice  

 


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24. October 2012

UN Disarmament Yearbook 2011 - Part II Now Available

The yearbook is a rich source of historical knowledge of developments, trends and achievements of multilateral disarmament for more than 30 years. Part I contains an annual compilation of text and statistics of disarmament-related resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly. Part II presents the main topics of multilateral consideration during the year and a convenient issues-oriented timeline. Download it here: www.un.org/disarmament/HomePage/ODAPublications/Yearbook/2011/DYB2011-Part-II-web.pdf


24. October 2012

 Costs of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Program & Spending Alternatives

The American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) have produced a flyer/resource on the costs of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and how the money could be better spent. Quoting U.S. Congressman Edward Markey, the flyer stated that that if the U.S. cut $100 billion of nuclear spending then it could employ 1,270,900 elementary school teachers for a year. To learn more about nuclear weapons spending, and what weapons programs can be cut to improve security and to ensure that everyone's human needs are met in the United States, go to http://afsc.org/document/informational-handout-fund-our-communities-not-more-nuclear-weapons


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24. October 2012

New report looks at the cost of Violence Containment to the US - $2.16 trillion per year

The Institute for Economics and Peace IEP released a report, which estimated that in 2010, 15% of the GDP of the U.S. economy ($2.16 trillion) or U.S. $15000 per taxpayer was spent on containing violence. By defining a new industry as the 'Violence Containment Industry', the IEP was able to aggregate all expenditure incurred related to the containment or consequences of violence. Such expenses could be on police, military, homeland security, private security industry, insurance etc. The research indicated that as a percentage of the U.S. GDP, this industry had expanded by 25% in the past ten years. As a result, it could account as the largest industry in the U.S. economy. Consequently, efforts should be undertaken to reduce violence related expenditure, because even a 5% reduction for 5 years would provide $326 billion, which could be spent to create vital social services like energy and schools infrastructure development. To read more please click here.


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Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

24. October 2012

Defence firms 'not open about anti-corruption measures'

By Caroline Wyatt, Defence Correspondent, BBC News

Transparency International looked at firms from the 10 largest arms exporting nations including those from UK, US, Russia, Germany, France and China. The 129 firms it studied are worth more than $10tn (£6tn) and are responsible for over 90% of global arms sales. It concluded that two-thirds of the world's biggest defence companies do not provide enough evidence about how they fight corruption. It was found that one of the reasons the defence industry has been prone to corruption in the past is that so many defence contracts have been kept a secret, with little public pressure brought to bear. Read the article here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19824473


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24. October 2012

Louder than words, An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers

The report “Louder than words: An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers” is published by Child Soldiers International to mark the tenth anniversary year of the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. It examines the record of states in protecting children from use in hostilities by their own forces and by state-allied armed groups. It finds that, while governments’ commitment to ending child soldier use is high, the gap between commitment and practice remains wide. Research for the report shows that child soldiers have been used in armed conflicts by 20 states since 2010, and that children are at risk of military use in many more. Download the report here: www.child-soldiers.org/global_report_reader.php


24. October 2012

The Burden of Pentagon Spending

By Melvin A. Goodmann

In 2012, the defence budget exceeded $600 billion, nearly equalling the combined defence spending of the rest of world. The Pentagon was allotted these amounts with little congressional monitoring or internal oversight. With more than 46 million Americans living in poverty, income inequality rising and unemployment levels remaining high, the U.S. should reduce its defence expenditure, so as to improve its economic situation. President Dwight Eisenhower had warned that US defence spending would become a “cross of iron” that would limit spending on domestic needs. It is time to act on that warning by making significant defence cuts and applying the savings to health care, education, infrastructure and the environment. Read the article here: www.middle-east-online.com/english/


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23. October 2012

20th anniversary Newsletter of Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) UK

Feature articles cover:

  • The major decline in UK military R&D spending – as campaigned for by SGR
  • Breaking the deadlock in Iran – using renewable energy to tackle the impasse over Iran’s nuclear programme
  • Local sustainable energy projects – the potential for city-scale low carbon programmes to tackle economic, social and environmental problems far more successfully than current UK government initiatives
  • Warnings on the rise of synthetic biology
  • Energy from the ocean: the UK dimension
  • How influential are the climate change sceptics?
  • Problems of corporate influence within science communication
  • Latest progress on the road towards a nuclear weapons-free world
  • Analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its aftermath
  • What kind of low carbon future do we want?
  • Sustainable building materials: how eco-friendly are they?

Read the articles here: www.sgr.org.uk/publications/sgr-newsletter-41


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20. October 2012

Stop Disturbing Effort to Outlaw Nuclear Weapons

The Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) critizes the Japanese government for not supporting the "16 nations' initiative".

According to a news report about the ongoing deliberation in the First Committee of the 67th United Nations General Assembly, the Japanese government took the attitude not to endorse a draft statement calling on all states to “intensify their efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons and achieve a world free of nuclear weapons”.

The draft statement is being prepared by 16 nations including Switzerland and Norway for submission to the First Committee. In view of the horrible consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, it says the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again is the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

This statement is come up with based on the reference made in the final document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference that expressed concern about catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. This is what the government of Japan to have suffered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be the first to initiate and promote.

The Japanese government has proposed a resolution to the First Committee every year, calling for “determination” and “united action” for the elimination of nuclear weapons. However, it has disagreed with proposals on urgent tasks such as a start of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention and a ban on the use of nuclear weapons, standing on the position that the abolition of nuclear weapons is an ultimate goal. It is clear that underlying this attitude is nuclear deterrence theory that relies on the U.S. nuclear strategy for the “security” of Japan.

The Japanese government should initiate a total ban on nuclear weapons even in the light of the “Three Non-nuclear Principles” and Article 9 of the Constitution. This is what the Japanese public, including the Hibakusha, want earnestly.

We strongly urge the Japanese government to give positive support to initiatives leading to the realization of a world without nuclear weapons, including the 16 nations’ statement to delegitimize nuclear weapons and the resolution of Malaysia calling for the start of negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention. We also demand that it should break away from the “nuclear umbrella” ? the extended nuclear deterrence provided by the United States.

Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO), Tokyo, Japan
Email: antiatomtopazplalaorjp
URL: http://www.antiatom.org/

Read the article: Japan will not join initiative put before U.N. to make nuclear weapons illegal in The Japan Times here: www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121019a6.html


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12. October 2012

International Peace Bureau (IPB) critical of Nobel Peace Prize for the European Union

“For a peacemaking bloc, this is a highly militarized one”

The IPB finds the award of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union surprising in that it awards a prize not to a head of state but to an entire bloc of states, thus making it difficult to identify the real recipient. Is the EU really a 'champion of peace’, as Nobel conceived it? Or is it a club of states with many contradictory impulses and interests?

The arguments given by the Norwegian Nobel Committee are not entirely false. The EU has played the historical role that it describes. All forms of cooperation contain some elements of peacefulness, and there is indeed a strong case for regional approaches to peacemaking between states and peoples, and in this the EU has been a pioneer. But what is worrying are the many aspects the Committee leaves out, making it a highly selective accolade. Read on.


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12. October 2012

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 goes to the European Union

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU). The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

In the inter-war years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made several awards to persons who were seeking reconciliation between Germany and France. Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality. The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners.Read the full press release here:www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2012/press.html


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11. October 2012

Israel Rejects Plan for Conference on Nuclear-Free Middle East

A plan to hold a conference about establishing a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone has been met with strong opposition by Israel. The conference, which has support from the Obama administration and many countries around the world, is to take place in Helsinki, Finland, sometime in late 2012 or early 2013.

Shaul Horev, director of the Israeli Nuclear Energy Committee reporting directly to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, expressed his sentiments against the conference at the 56th general convention of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He stated that Israel would not partake in a nuclear weapon-free Middle East due to the "volatile and hostile situation" in the region. Horev also stated that Israel would agree to nuclear demilitarization only after the establishment of peace in the Middle East, not through "external coercion."

Oren, Amir, "Israel Rejects U.S.-Backed Arab Plan for Conference on Nuclear-Free Mideast," Haaretz, September 20, 2012.


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Source: stern.de

11. October 2012

Netanyahu Calls for Red Line on Iran at UN General Assembly

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in which he called for a "clear red line" to be drawn to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He said, "Red lines don't lead to war; red lines prevent war."

Israel, the only country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons, believes that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons capability. All known intelligence reports say that Iran ceased pursuit of nuclear weapons in 2003.

Source: Reuters, September 27, 2012.


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11. October 2012

Nuclear Famine

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation recently launched its new three-minute video entitled "Nuclear Famine." The video details the catastrophic global consequences of even a "limited" regional nuclear war on the other side of the planet.

 


11. October 2012

Practical Steps to Complete Nuclear Disarmament

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has published a new briefing paper entitled "Disarming Trident: A Practical Guide to De-Activating and Dismantling the Trident Nuclear Weapon System." The report explains that disarming Trident, the UK's submarine-based nuclear weapons system, is not an impossible task. The report outlines how the process can be achieved in eight specific phases over four years.

To read the full report, click here.


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11. October 2012

Europe united for Zero

We only have a few weeks left before the majority of members of the European Parliament must pass the declaration backing Global Zero's plan to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. Sign the petition and add your name to the banner that will be delivered and displayed to the European Parliament.

On November 14th, Global Zero's youth ambassadors will meet with the European Parliament to present them with a special display of our signatures and ask them to endorse the Global Zero Action Plan for a world without nuclear weapons. But to make a real impact they need your support. Sign the petition today! Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.


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11. October 2012

Launch of the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (SDKP)

This new website has been launched by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Division for Sustainable Development following-up to Rio+20. The platform contains information on the past 19 years of normative and analytical work of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), a wealth of content from the preparatory process of Rio+20, and is the go to place for Rio+20 follow-up.Please visit it here: sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.html


10. October 2012

No to the dictator and no to war! The enactment should be withdrawn!

Statement put out by the Global Peace and Justice Coalition (BAK)*, Turkey.

While we have been mourning for our brothers and sisters who were killed by shells thrown from Syria in the Akçakale district of Urfa province, all of a sudden we found ourselves in the screams of warmongers. Turkey answered by hitting Syria, and the Turkish government demanded authorization of cross border military operations from the parliament. The demand was voted in a secret session in the parliament and it passed with the votes of AKP (Justice and Development Party – government party) and MHP (Nationalist Action Party – fascist party).

We know that Assad is a killer and dictator. He has been bombing his own people for months. As a result of attacks of the regime, thirty two thousand people were killed in 18 months and approximately one million people emigrated.

No dictatorship can live forever. If there is anything which can prolong a life of a dictatorship it is a foreign military operation.

We, as peace activists, say that only Syrian people can determine their own destiny. Turkey, USA, NATO or Iran, Russia and Qatar have certainly no right to interfere in Syria.

We are with the Syrian people and against the Assad dictatorship!

Any military action to Syria will transform the region into a blood bath. So we demand our government to withdraw the authorization of military action immediately. We are against any military action not only against Syria but also against north of Iraq. Having military actions in the region means worsening the Kurdish question as well.

We call on all the people who are against war to support the Syrian people!

We call on all the people who are against war to support the Kurdish people!

No to War!

Yildiz Onen

On behalf of the Global Peace and Justice Coalition Turkey, 5th October 2012

* BAK is a partner in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.


8. October 2012

CTBTO Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev was General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party from 1985 to 1991 and the Soviet Union’s only President from 1990 until its dissolution in 1991. Both his internal reforms (Glasnost and Perestroika) and his new approach to international détente, in particular his pursuit of far-reaching nuclear disarmament measures, played an important role in ending the Cold War.
The summit of Reykjavik, Iceland, from 11 to 12 October 1986, was the second meeting between Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan. As we now know from declassified documents, the two leaders came close to an agreement to abolish all nuclear weapons.
On the eve of the summit’s 26th anniversary, Gorbachev reflects on the paradigm shift that Reykjavik brought about and on the status of nuclear weapons today: "Twenty-five years ago many believed that it was impossible to put an end to confrontation, to stop the arms race and to begin eliminating the huge stockpiles of weapons of war."

CTBTO Faces is a new website collection of interviews with personalities whose work, lives and expertise place them in the forefront of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and verification issues. Interview partners range from scientists to film makers, diplomats to civil society leaders. Their insights and opinions set the context for past, present and future global efforts to foster international peace and security. 

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5. October 2012

Film about the edible tank made of bread at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro

The World Future Council has produced a 13 min film about the tank made of bread carrying the message on disarmament for sustainable development.




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5. October 2012

Heliopolis University Opens its Doors

The Heliopolis University in Cairo is the first University in the world to focus on sustainable development. Lectures for the first 200 students started on the 1st of October. The University was founded by Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish, WFC Councillor and founder of SEKEM. At present, there are five different bachelor degrees available to students: B.A. Business and Economics, B.Sc. Energy Engineering, B.Sc. Water Engineering, B.Sc. Mechatronics Engineering and B.Sc. Pharmacy. The common basis of the specialist degrees is the core program, which is orientated towards the idea of humanistic education: there are compulsory courses for all students in the natural and social sciences, language and the arts. For more information please visit the University's Website.



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5. October 2012

The World Future Council is opening the Basel Peace Office


The World Future Council is opening a new office in Basel, Switzerland jointly with Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), the Middle Powers Initiative and the Global Security Institute. The opening events on 16-17 November include a public launch reception, a special dinner and a seminar on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as an imperative for nuclear abolition. The Basel Peace Office will focus on programmes to achieve the peace and security of a nuclear weapons-free world. It will be hosted by the University of Basel Sociology Seminary and will be supported by the City of Basel. Director of the Basel Peace Office is Alyn Ware, WFC Councillor and Founder and Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND).



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5. October 2012

The horseman of the apocalypse

Listen and watch a 12min introductory presentation of Nobel Laureate and INES Advisory Council member Prof. Harold Kroto to Peace Conferences in Turkey and Vienna for the Veronesi Foundation. See the speech and online presentation here: geoset.fsu.edu/presentations/harry_peacecon_veronesi/harry_peacecon_veronesi.html

The film comes to you via "Global Educational Outreach GEOSET" a project of Harry Kroto. GEOSET is a revolutionary approach to educational outreach. Using relatively inexpensive and simple technology, specialist educators can create a wide range of educational material eg teaching modules, lecture presentations, workshops, practical demonstrations etc and, almost instantaneously, make them available on the Internet. To read more about GEOSET please click here.



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Source: www.ctbto.org

27.September 2012

Foreign ministers gather in New York to press for ban on nuclear tests

Foreign ministers and other high-level representatives met today at the United Nations headquarters in New York to issue a joint call for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

In their joint statement, the foreign ministers described the CTBT’s entry into force as “a vital step towards the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons…We call upon all States that have not done so to sign and ratify the Treaty, in particular the remaining eight Annex 2 States [these are China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States]. Read on here: www.ctbto.org/press-centre/press-releases/2012/foreign-ministers-gather-in-new-york-to-press-for-ban-on-nuclear-tests-issue-joint-call/



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24.September 2012

New INES Brochure on Civil Clauses and the Commit Universities to Peace - Campaign

INES and the International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) have compiled background information on the Commit Universities to Peace-Campaign.


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24. September 2012

International Symposium on the role of the IAEA

The documentation of the International Symposium on the role of the IAEA in Vienna from May 3, 2012 is now available online: www.inesglobal.com/download.php


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24.September 2012

A Big Project Preliminary Analysis Findings

Most populat words in each region

Economic uncertainty. Uprisings around the world. Radical advancements in technology. Global collaboration at a new scale. People everywhere are sensing change. But what are we changing to? Here are the preliminary findings.

Participants from all over the world answered those 4 questions:

  1. If the world as it currently exists were to radically shift tomorrow, and we had the opportunity to recreate the world, what would you NOT want to continue from this world?
  2. What would you want to continue from this world?
  3. What would people need to do differently now to get to that better world?
  4. What is one thing you will commit to doing differently now to get to that better world?

The survey will remain open until 20. December, so if you or your friends haven’t yet answered our four global questions… there's still time!

A Big Project is a part of the International Peace Bureau’s effort to foster disarmament for development around the planet. We are inviting you to take part in an historic effort. We want the voices of disarmament activists to be heard! To find out what the four questions are go to www.abigproject.org/myanswers.


21. September 2012

Right Livelihood Award Laureate Condemns New Russian Law on "Foreign Agents"

Yesterday it became known that the U.S. development agency USAid will have to end its operations in Russia and its support for Russian civil society organisations on October 1.

Elena Zhemkova, director of the Russian human rights organisation Memorial, which received the Right Livelihood Award in 2004, strongly condemns the new "law for the regulation of the activity of non-profit organisations, acting as foreign agents". Read more here: www.rightlivelihood.org/press_release_memorial-en.html


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20.September 2012

Hibakusha, Our Life to Live

A film about the survivors of the atomic bomb attacks
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On August 6, 1945, a great terror was thrust upon the world. David Rothausers's 80 minute documentary, Hibakusha, Our Life to Live, probes the life stories of Japanese, Korean and American survivors of the terror; the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There is an URGENCY here. The survivors are dying of, victims of radiation poisoning and other a-bomb related diseases. It is equally important to tell the stories on film of people who should never be forgotten. To keep their memory alive is to make an active contribution to a world where peoples of all races may embrace life as a precious gift and no longer live in the fear of nuclear annihilation.

To make this movie, Memory Productions has completed over 90 hours of filming, including interviews with Japanese, Korean and American hibakusha and international youth participating in the 60th Anniversary Peace Ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Learn more here: www.hibakusha-ourlifetolive.org/index.html


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20.September 2012

What are we changing to?

The outcome of the Disarmament for Development-campaign-survey will be presented on the International day of Peace, 21.9.2012 at the UN headquarters in New York, USA.

Economic uncertainty. Uprisings around the world. Radical advancements in technology. Global collaboration at a new scale. People everywhere are sensing change. But what are we changing to?
As a part of the International Peace Bureau’s effort to foster disarmament for development around the planet, we are inviting you to take part in an historic effort.  Now until September 20th, people from Egypt, Serbia, Vietnam, Brazil, Uganda, France and more than 86 countries are answering four questions that will help each of us define our visions for a better world. We will then set off a global renaissance of art and music based on where all of our visions connect.  
We want the voices of disarmament activists to be heard! To find out what the four questions are, and how you can help us move the world please visit abigproject.org

The feedback by September 19, 2012 can be seen on the chart above.

The survey will remain open until December - but we will be announcing our preliminary findings this Friday, 21.9.2012 at the United Nations!  
If you’d like to watch the announcement at the United Nations, go online to the livestream broadcast link: https://new.livestream.com/accounts/1486018/events/1560199
at 2pm NY Time (GMT -4).


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Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

19.September 2012

Japan Will Try to Halt Nuclear Power by the End of the 2030s

Japan seeks to phase out nuclear power by 2039. This energy strategy represents a historic shift away from nuclear power usage which has been prevalent in Japan. However, with the Minister of State for National Policy- Motohisa Furukawa, suggesting that the announcement represented loose guidelines and was open to revision, the critics have blasted this strategy as being vague and long-term. Additionally, lobbyists like Keidenren which represent big businesses in Japan are claiming that if the country moves away from nuclear power, then it will result in higher energy costs and energy shortages. As Japan redrafts its energy policy, it also risks enlarging its carbon footprint. Therefore, the government must use its new energy strategy as a starting point for an ambitious renewable energy policy which would ensure energy efficiency and sustainable green economy. Read the story by Hiroko Tabuchi Japan Sets Policy to Phase Out Nuclear Power Plants by 2040 in the NYT of September 14th, here: www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/world/asia/japan-will-try-to-halt-nuclear-power-by-the-end-of-the-2030s.html


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19.September 2012

Opportunity costs: Military spending and the UN's development agenda

A view from the International Peace Bureau

Ever since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2000, there has been an intense debate around the world. How to finance them? How to organise development programmes to ensure that the targets are met? How to evaluate progress? And so on.

The deadline in 2015 for achieving the MDGs is fast approaching. Governments have only 3 more years to halve poverty, to reduce by three-quarters the maternal mortality rate, to halt the spread of HIV, etc. Only a few of the 8 MDG targets have been achieved, and only for some states. None of the fragile and conflict-affected countries have achieved any of them. For many of the poorest people in the world, conflict and violence make the development of their region impossible.

As the thinking develops on what will be the follow-up to the MDGs, a new debate is under way. Some governments and NGOs are promoting the idea of a fresh set of targets called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is some rather preliminary language on this in the Rio+20 Outcome Document ‘The Future We Want’. But neither in the original Millennium Development Goals nor in the proposed SDG principles can we find any mention of either Disarmament or Peace. To read the complete statement please click here.


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19.September 2012

IALANA demands comprehensive reform of the IAEA

Protest at the 56th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from September 17.-21. in Vienna, Austria

To read the IALANA press release (in German) please click here.


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Source: http://www.the-monitor.org

19.September 2012

Cluster Munition Monitor 2012

The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor (The Monitor) has released the third Cluster Munition Monitor report, the sister publication to the Landmine Monitor report, which has been issued annually since 1999. Cluster Munition Monitor 2012 provides a global overview of efforts to eliminate cluster munitions with a focus on developments in 2011 and the first half of 2012. It covers global developments in cluster munition ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling, and also includes information on cluster munition survey and clearance of cluster munition remnants, victim assistance and casualties, as well as funding support. Download the report here: www.the-monitor.org/index.php/publications/display

 


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Source: http://www.foreignpolicy.com

19.September 2012

A Steal at $10 Billion, The United States is building a nuclear bomb that costs more than its weight in solid gold. Why?

The United States has two nuclear bomb designs: the B83 and the B61. New plans to modernise the B61 which is the oldest design in the nuclear stockpile have been proposed. The cost to modify the four different designs of the B61, namely, B61 Mods 3, 4, 7 and 10 into a single modification called B61 Mod 12 will cost $10 billion. Earlier plans to modify nuclear weapons which were proposed by the George W. Bush Administration were rejected by the Congress. Additionally, President Obama had stated that no 'new' nuclear weapons will be made. However, since 'new' has no technical meaning, the B61 Mod 12 will determine as to how much nuclear weapons could be redesigned while staying within the political guidance as defined by Obama's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.

But does the U.S. need to spend so much on nuclear weapons modernisation? Senior military and civilian officials have repeatedly stated that these weapons have no military utility and exist primarily to fulfil political needs. Read the article in Foreign Policy here: www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/05/a_steal_at_10_billion


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19.September 2012

The CTBT: obstacles to entry into force

The CTBT: obstacles to entry into force examines the policies of the 38 states that have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). More than 16 years after the treaty was adopted, significant obstacles remain on the path to its entry into force. The Reaching Critical Will project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has published this report on government positions on the CTBT to highlight why entry into force of the treaty should not be treated as a precondition to nuclear disarmament or to the commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons completely.
The report is authored by Eloise Watson, who conducted the research while with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in Australia. Eloise is now an intern with Reaching Critical Will. Download the report here: www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/publications-and-research/publications/6659-the-ctbt-obstacles-to-entry-into-force


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Source: wikipedia.org

6. September 2012

Russia's Putin calls for army modernization drive

Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded a new armament drive. His goal is to modernise the defence industry of Russia as comprehensively as it was done in the 1930s by Stalin. Frustrated at the military, churning out products such as tanks and weapons system that cost more than their Western rivals while often failing in reliability tests, Putin added that efficiency might be improved if private players were allowed to acquire stakes in military production. Putin would like to make military purchases a focal point of his third term. This plan of modernising the military has put pressure on the other sectors of Putin's budget.Read on here: english.sina.com/world/2012/0902/502550.html

 

 


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6. September 2012

Making Ammunition Stockpiles Safer with UN Saferguard

New Slide Show on UNODA Homepage
There has been a rise in the number of accidental explosive events in ammunitions depot worldwide. 46 such events were reported in 2011, as compared to the 18 events reported in 2001. Therefore, the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus is of great concern as resulting explosions invariably result in the loss of many lives. In addition, high rates of diversion of ammunition from poorly secured stockpiles in or close to conflict or high crime areas have been taking place. Diverted ammunition are primarily being used by groups involved in intra-state conflict and for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which are used in acts of terrorism. The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), under its UN SaferGuard programme, engaged the assistance of a highly qualified ammunition expert and a Technical Review Panel consisting of experts from United Nations Member States to develop the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG) in close collaboration with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). Read more about the program here: www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/Ammunition/


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6. September 2012

ICBL Afghan campaigner wins Emerging Peace Champion award 2012

N-Peace which is a multi-country network to strengthen the role of women in building and restoring peace, declared Ms. Amina Azami from Afghanistan as the winner of the Emerging Peace Champion Award 2012. Ms. Azami is the co-founder of the ICBL Governance Board member-organisation called Afghan Landmine Survivors Organisation (ALSO) and founder of the Women with disabilities Advocacy Committee (WAAC) which is engaged in the promotion and protection of the rights of women and girls with disabilities in Afghanistan.

The award aims to support the emerging leadership of young women who can motivate other young people to get involved. Read on here: www.icbl.org/index.php/icbl/Library/Afghan-campaigner-wins-award


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5. September 2012

Russia announces enormous finds of radioactive waste and nuclear reactors in Arctic seas

Enormous quantities of decommissioned Russian nuclear reactors and radioactive waste were dumped into the Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia over a course of decades, according to documents given to Norwegian officials by Russian authorities and published in Norwegian media.Read the article here: www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2012/Russia_reveals_dumps


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5. September 2012

In Memoriam: Gerd Greune

We are very sad to announce the sudden death of Gerd Greune (15 March 1949 - 24 August 2012), former Executive Board member and Secretary General (1979-1981) of the IPB  and long term INES member.
Gerd graduated as a teacher but discovered politics very early. The right to conscientious objection was his first political issue, developing into a general involvement in the German and international peace movement and campaigning against the stationing of nuclear weapons in Europe and nuclear arms in general. For many years he played a leading role in the German peace movement. To read the obituary by IPB please click here.


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5. September 2012

The World Is Over-Armed and Peace Is Under-Funded

By Ban Ki-moon

Last month, competing interests prevented agreement on a much-needed treaty that would have reduced the appalling human cost of the poorly regulated international arms trade. Meanwhile, nuclear disarmament efforts remain stalled, despite strong and growing global popular sentiment in support of this cause.

The failure of these negotiations and this month’s anniversaries of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide a good opportunity to explore what has gone wrong, why disarmament and arms control have proven so difficult to achieve, and how the world community can get back on track towards these vitally important goals. Read the article in Eurasia Review here: www.eurasiareview.com/27082012-the-world-is-over-armed-and-peace-is-under-funded-oped/


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http://www.icj-cij.org/

5. September 2012

Putting U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policies on Trial in the Court of Public Opinion

By David Krieger

The International Court of Justice, the highest and most authoritative court in the world, has stated that the use of nuclear weapons would be illegal if such use violated international humanitarian law.  Failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants would be illegal, as would any use resulting in unnecessary suffering.  Additionally, the Court found that any threat of such use would also be illegal.  It is virtually impossible to imagine any use or threat of use that would not violate international humanitarian law.

Current US nuclear weapons policy is illegal, immoral and runs a high risk of resulting in nuclear catastrophe.  We cannot wait until there is a nuclear war before we act to rid the world of these weapons of mass annihilation.  The US should be the leader in this effort, rather than an obstacle to its realization.  It is up to the court of public opinion to assure that the US asserts this leadership.  The time to act is now.
Read the article here: www.wagingpeace.org/articles/db_article.php


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5. September 2012

Catastrophic Humanitarian Harm

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), has just published a new booklet about the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons on our health, societies and the environment. The publication examines the harm caused by nuclear attacks on cities, nuclear testing and nuclear weapons production.
To download the booklet, click here.


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3. September 2012

Local sustainable energy projects: learning the practical lessons

Dr Philip Webber, SGR, assesses the lessons for UK energy policy from a series of award-winning programmes using micro-renewable energy technologies and domestic energy conservation measures in West Yorkshire, and from new academic research on city-level sustainable energy programmes.

Article from forthcoming SGR Newsletter no.41, autumn 2012 (advanced online publication: 3 September 2012). Read it here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/local-sustainable-energy-projects-learning-practical-lessons


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3. September 2012

States Conclude Discussions on Nuclear Safety

After a week of intense discussions in Vienna, Austria, the Convention on Nuclear Safety's Second Extraordinary Meeting and the Organizational Meeting for the Sixth Review Meeting has ended. The Summary Report of the Extraordinary Meeting and a Proposal for Amendments by the Swiss Confederation are available on-line her: www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2012/cnsconcludes.html


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Source: bantoxics.org

30. August 2012

Small-scale gold miners seek ban of mercury in operations

Article in the Manila Times
Small-scale miners attending the two-day 2nd National Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) summit said that they are for the immediate ban on the use of mercury in small mining to “put life back in livelihood.”

Organized by Ban Toxics, an independent non-profit, environmental organization, small miners said that Executive Order (EO) 79 was a welcome move over the operation of mining industry. However, its piecemeal approach to rid mercury in mining operation is still hurting in particular the small mining industry.

Read on


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28. August 2012

IAEA Chief Urges States' Vigorous Action in Implementing Nuclear Safety Action Plan

The 75 States that are party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) are gathered at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, from 27 to 31 August 2012. About 700 participants are attending the CNS' Second Extraordinary Meeting and the Organizational Meeting for the Sixth Review Meeting to analyse the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident's aftermath.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and the Meeting President, Li Ganjie of China's National Nuclear Safety Administration, addressed the opening session on Moday, 27 August 2012. The full text the Director General's remarks are available here.


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28. August 2012

India test launches its nuclear-capable Agni III and Agni IV intermediate-range ballistic missiles

Integrated Test Range, Wheeler Island, Orissa, India

Expected to happen in the week of September 3.-7. and on September 10, 2012

Read ibnlive article: Agni-III test fire: India puts China on target

 

 


28. August 2012

Seed Freedom Campaign

Vandana Shiva has launched a new global campaign Seed Freedom - defending seed sovereignty
"Seed is the source of life and the first link in the food chain. Control over seed means a control over our lives, our food and our freedom."
"Corporations like Monsanto have created a seed emergency, through patents on seeds, seed monopolies, biopiracy genetic engineering and creation of non renewable sterile seeds."
A global collective response is needed. Join the campaign by signing the declaration on seed freedom, in order to stop the corporate hijack of seed and with it, the hijack of our freedom and our future. seedfreedom.in/


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28. August 2012

Message to the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement

By: Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo)

Hiroshi TAKA, representative director of Gensuikyo has attended the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as a guest, which is convened in Teheran, Iran on August 26 to 31, 2012.

The 16th NAM Summit is meeting at the extremely important juncture. The 8th NPT Review Conference in May 2010 agreed that it would “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” as principle and objective, and confirmed that the “unequivocal undertaking” of the Nuclear Five agreed on in May 2000 to “accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals”. It further affirmed that “all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons”, and specifically noted “the Five-Point Proposal” of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which includes inter alia the “negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention”.
The final document also made it obligation to convene an international conference for a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction.

To read the full message please click here.


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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

24. August 2012

Arms Trade Firms Fund Elite Universities With £83m Over Three Years

Britain’s top universities have received at least £83m worth of funds from firms involved in the arms trade over the last three years, The Huffington Post UK can disclose.
Data released by the Campaign Against The Arms Trade (CAAT) has revealed the elite Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, gain millions in research and sponsorship money from companies which manufacture weapons.
The figures come amid concerns among activists that cash-starved institutions are helping to promote the manufacture of weapons by accepting such funding.
But the Russell Group said universities took pains to make sure all partnerships were "appropriate". Read the article here: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/21/arms-companies-russell-group-universities-83m-ethical-investment-campaign-against-the-arms-trade_n_1818747.html

Comment by Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director SGR: The point that doesn't come out very clearly in this article - which Scientists for Global Responsibility UK (SGR) has made in its previous reports on this issue - is that the military funding makes up a large fraction of the funding received by the engineering departments of the universities in question - and so has far greater influence than implied by the universities.

See also: The arms trade mapped: www.caat.org.uk/resources/mapping/


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22. August 2012

Earth Overshoot Day

In 8 Months, Humanity Exhausted its Budget for the Year
Today, August 22, is Earth Overshoot Day, marking the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. We are now operating in overdraft. For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Read on here: www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/earth_overshoot_day/


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21. August 2012

What are we changing to?

Disarmament for development-campaign from now until 20.9. 2012.

Economic uncertainty. Uprisings around the world. Radical advancements in technology. Global collaboration at a new scale. People everywhere are sensing change. But what are we changing to?

As a part of the International Peace Bureau’s effort to foster disarmament for development around the planet, we are inviting you to take part in an historic effort.  Now until September 20th, people from Egypt, Serbia, Vietnam, Brazil, Uganda, France and more than 86 countries are answering four questions that will help each of us define our visions for a better world. We will then set off a global renaissance of art and music based on where all of our visions connect.  
We want the voices of disarmament activists to be heard! To find out what the four questions are, and how you can help us move the world please visit www.abigproject.org


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21. August 2012

World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability

Flagship report 2011 of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)

In this report, the WBGU explains the reasons for the desperate need for a post-fossil economic strategy, yet it also concludes that the transition to sustainability is achievable, and presents ten concrete packages of measures to accelerate the imperative restructuring. If the transformation really is to succeed, we have to enter into a social contract for innovation, in the form of a new kind of discourse between governments and citizens, both within and beyond the boundaries of the nation state. 

The new WBGU-Study „A Social Contract for Sustainability” appears at a time in which people around the world are increasingly committed to creating a future that is both sustainable and climate-safe. The study shows that such a future will only be possible if governments, business and  civil society collectively set the right course, making the most of regional, national and global cooperation. An important call to cross-cutting integrated action, the book deserves wide recognition.
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Please find the report here:www.wbgu.de/en/flagship-reports/fr-2011-a-social-contract/


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16. August 2012

Right Livelihood Award Laureate Chico Whitaker warns of “nuclear two class society”

For months, the German Government has been considering export credit guarantees for companies involved in the construction of the Brazilian nuclear power plant Angra 3. Now Chico Whitaker, a 2006 Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award (“Alternative Nobel Prize“), appeals to the German Government to abstain from further assessments.

“The German Government should not wait for further tests and assessments but should walk their talk in what they had announced after Fukushima: the German phase-out of nuclear power. The German stop on nuclear should also entail a phase-out of the support for international nuclear power. Everything else would mean a ‘nuclear two class society’: nuclear plants are too dangerous for Germans but not for the citizens of other countries.” Read on.


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13. August 2012

World Conference against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan

Read the final declaration of the conference here. Read the Appeal from Hiroshima here.

To read the opening speech of INES staff member Reiner Braun please click here.


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Source: http://ajw.asahi.com

9. August 2012

Nagasaki vows to help Fukushima victims, urges end to nukes

The first Nagasaki mayor to call on Japan to move away from nuclear energy: Mayor Tomihisa Taue

Taue called on the central government to seek "a society free from the fear of radioactivity"and to promote new energy sources in place of nuclear power.

Following the reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Taue, during his speech at last year's Aug. 9 ceremony, became the first Nagasaki mayor to call on Japan to move away from nuclear energy. Read on here: ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201208090075


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Source: http://bionicbong.com

8. August 2012

Japan’s Government Pledges Safer Energy

Amid growing aversion to the use of nuclear energy in Japan, officials calling for the elimination of nuclear arms at anniversary rites in Hiroshima have been obliged to also call for a safer energy policy for the country.

The city was devastated by a US atomic bomb on Aug 6, 1945, in the final days of World War II, with Nagasaki the second city to be hit three days later.

The Hiroshima event on August 6th comes nearly 11/2 years after a quake and tsunami triggered a nuclear plant disaster in Fukushima prefecture, releasing massive amounts of radioactive materials.

Speaking at the city’s Peace Memorial Park, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said: “The government will continue to call for the importance of a world free from nuclear weapons and will support activities to hand down the memories of atomic-bomb sufferers beyond borders and generations…” Reat the full story here: www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php


8. August 2012

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012

Twenty years after its first edition, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012 portrays an industry suffering from the cumulative impacts of the world economic crisis, the Fukushima disaster, ferocious competitors and its own planning and management difficulties. Download the report, an executive summary & conclusions as well as all past editions in various languages, presentations, essential news snippets and a selection of ongoing media coverage here: www.worldnuclearreport.org/#


7. August 2012

Stop the war in Syria – No intervention

Statement of the International Coordinating Committee of the network No to War - No to NATO

The ominous signs of impending war with Syria are escalating. A nightmare is unfolding across the country and has now reached the streets of Damascus and Aleppo. As we are writing these lines, the Minister of Defence Dawoud Raha and Assad’s brother in-law Assef Shawkat have just been assassinated, supposedly by terrorist attack. And we all sense how the story will probably end: Thousands of soldiers and civilians killed,
towns and families destroyed, and President Assad and his family beaten to death in a ditch. Read on.


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6. August 2012

Preventing Another Hiroshima

By Rebecca Johnson

"Sixty-seven years ago today, the first uranium bomb was exploded above Hiroshima with the force of 15 thousand tons of TNT.
Tens of thousands were killed by the blast and fireball that engulfed the city, and a similar number died of radiation sickness and injuries in the days and months that followed; in total 140,000 dead by 1945’s end. Three days later, Nagasaki was shattered by a plutonium bomb.
...As we remember the devastation wrought by two relatively small nuclear bombs in August 1945, we cannot afford to be complacent.... A treaty banning nuclear weapons is urgent, necessary and achievable, and negotiations on such a treaty should begin. Now."

Rebecca Johnson is Vice-Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). To read the complete article please click here: icanw.org/node/6119


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Source: nuclearfiles.org

6. August 2012

2012 Sadako Peace Day Message

By David Krieger

Today marks the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It is the anniversary of a bombing that targeted school children, pre-school children and infants, as well as women and the elderly.

When you think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, think of innocent children.

Sadako was such a child, only two years old when the bomb exploded over Hiroshima. As she grew older, she became a bright student and a fast runner, but ten years after the bombing she was hospitalized with radiation-induced leukemia.

Japanese legend has it that one’s wish will be granted by folding 1,000 paper cranes. Sadako folded these paper cranes in the hope of fulfilling her wish to regain her health and achieve a peaceful world. She wrote this poem, “I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.” Read on


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Source: http://nukefreenow.org/

6. August 2012

To Make South Asia (SAARC) Nuclear Weapons Free

Speech by Prof. Dhirendra Sharma at Doon University, Dehradun (India)

There is no civil defense against a nuclear bomb. No hospitals, schools, factories, nursing homes, police -or government offices, fire engines, ambulances, metros, cars, moving and stationary vehicles, homes, temples, mosques, and churches and airports, – all and every thing moveable and immoveable would be instantly engulfed in the thousands Celsius flaming tsunami. The petrol-pump depots would add to the exploding firewalls. Read on


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6. August 2012

The struggle for the peaceful orientation of science in Germany continues.

After a week of actions conducted by the network “Universities for Peace – yes to Civil Clause” in May 2012 an increased focus is being placed on the responsibility of science and the orientation of universities (see German newspaper articles of Der Spiegel and Stern). The international appeal “Commit Universities to Peace” was and is a helpful tool to revive and spread the discourse of responsibility of science to universities. INES now develops English material on civil clauses in order to internationalize the call for peaceful orientation of universities. We will send you this material in the next “What’s new INES”. For now, please find a motion on civil clauses by the Left Party parliamentary group, translated to English by the translation service of Bundestag (German Bundestag Printed paper 17/9979; 17th electoral term 13. 06. 2012)

No armaments research at public universities and research establishments –
ensuring that research and teaching serves civil purposes
.


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4. August 2012

Mapping Nuclear Disarmament

The Simons Foundation has launched a set of interactive maps on their website that explore their primary areas of focus, including nuclear disarmament. The Nuclear Disarmament map contains information on what they deem to be the legal, political and practical steps that need to be taken in order to achieve the goal of complete nuclear disarmament - zero nuclear weapons.

John Burroughs, Fellow at The Simons Foundation and Executive Director of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Disarmament, was responsible for the development of the information for the nuclear disarmament map.

To view the map, click here: www.thesimonsfoundation.ca/mapping-issues


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4. August 2012

North Korea Proposes Treaty to Officially End Korean War

North Korea has called on the United States to formally accept a peace treaty that would replace the armistice agreement that ended hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea frequently demands a peace treaty with the United States and justifies its nuclear weapons program on the grounds that it is technically still at war with the U.S.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said that North Korea "will never abandon nuclear deterrent first as long as the U.S., the biggest nuclear weapons site in the world, remains hostile toward the former."

"North Korea Calls for Unconditional Peace Treaty with U.S.," Global Security Newswire, July 26, 2012.


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4. August 2012

Meeting between senior EU and Iranian officials fails to solve nuclear deadlock

By Associated Press writer Nasser Karimi

A senior EU official is reporting no progress in the newest international push to persuade Iran to curb activities that could be used to make nuclear weapons, leaving the resumption of high-stakes negotiations with Tehran in doubt, diplomats said Friday.

A meeting on July 24, between senior EU envoy Helga Schmid and Ali Bagheri, Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator, was an attempt to restart top-level nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers after the last round in Moscow fizzled on June 19.

Neither side wants to give up the talks. Iran seeks relief from sanctions, including recently enacted international embargoes on its oil, its main source of revenue. The U.S and other countries at the table with Tehran fear that the failure of negotiations could prompt Israel to make good on its threat to attack Tehran’s nuclear installations — a move that could draw Washington into the conflict.Read on here: www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/official-iran-willing-to-continue-nuclear-talks-until-positive-conclusion/2012/07/27/gJQAu3bmDX_story.html


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4. August 2012

Tadatoshi Akiba to Take Up Duties as MPI Chairman in October

The former Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, has been appointed Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI), David Krieger, Chairman of MPI’s Executive Committee, announced today. He hailed Akiba, one of the world’s foremost campaigners for the abolition of nuclear weapons, as “an internationally respected leader for his stewardship of Mayors for Peace.”
Krieger also announced that MPI will be re-structured and open a new head office in Basel, Switzerland to enable MPI to work more closely with European governments.

Akiba will take up his duties in October 2012. His first major task is to plan the next meeting of the MPI Framework Forum, which will be held in Berlin in early 2013. Read more here: www.middlepowers.org/archives/MPI-names-Akiba-chairman.html


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4. August 2012

NATO and U.S. Missile Defense in Europe Are a Serious Political Concern

By Steven Starr

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently published an article by Pavel Podvig, "Point of Distraction," which categorizes the ongoing US/NATO deployment of an integrated missile defense system in Western, Eastern and Southeastern Europe as an "overblown distraction" to U.S.-Russian relations. Given that Podvig's first reference is to recent public threats made by Russia's most senior military commander to launch military attacks against US/NATO missile defense bases, and that these threats have also been publicly made by Russian President Medvedev, Podvig's assertions seem very abstracted from current political realities.

What is striking about Podvig's analysis is that he omits any reference to the fact that US missile defense is being deployed in Europe via NATO. In fact, the word NATO does not appear anywhere in the article, and thus the entire issue of NATO is avoided. This is unfortunate and misleading, because Russia has always viewed the NATO military alliance, which was set up to "keep the Russians out," as a real threat to Russian security. Ballistic Missile Defense and its deployment by NATO are inseparable issues from any realistic political point of view.

To read more, click here: www.wagingpeace.org/articles/db_article.php


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1. August 2012

Egyptian women continue the struggle

By Randa El Tahawy

One of the iconic images of Egypt’s revolution was that of men and women standing together, united for positive change. But since then, women have struggled with sexual harassment and been side-lined in the political transition. Egyptian women, however, have never stopped fighting – and today they are finding many new allies.

Some Egyptians argue that democracy needs to come first, before worrying about women’s rights. Overcoming women’s marginalisation first, though, is actually essential to creating a truly democratic Egypt. The core issue is not only about women’s equality with men, but also about justice.
All too often, women have been treated as second class citizens and subject to injustice – they face harassment on the street, have been victims of virginity tests by the military, and are shut out of many opportunities to be involved in politics. For instance, women’s rights activists are not being consulted in the constitution drafting process. Even though women can legally hold positions as judges or high-ranking political offices, social pressure often means women are unable to attain them.Read on here: www.commongroundnews.org/article.php


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Source: http://www.scienceunstained.co.uk/

1. August 2012

Science Unstained

Science Unstained is a coalition of people worried about the corporate sponsorship of science communication in the UK.
We think the public discussion of science and technology should be kept public. We appreciate that private funding is a big part of science, but it doesn’t have to frame public debate about it.
We worry when we see the climate gallery at the Science Museum is sponsored by Shell or that Engineering UK’s Big Bang Fair is supported by BAE Systems. You can read more about why we worry about this in our first blogpost.

 

 


 

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1. August 2012

Open letter to Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

In an open letter sent to Ed Davey on the Draft Energy Bill and wider UK energy policy on 19 July 2012, Scientists for Global Responsibility states its criticisms:

  • insufficient curbs on greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuel plants
  • favouritism towards the nuclear industry
  • inadequate support for the renewable energy industry
  • failure to prioritise energy conservation

Read the letter here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/open-letter-ed-davey-draft-energy-bill


1. August 2012

CTBTO interview with nuclear physicist Patricia Lewis



Patricia Lewis has headed some of the world's most prestigious think-tanks and institutions dealing with arms-control, disarmament and international verification. From 1997-2008, Lewis was Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva. Earlier in her career, she was Executive Director at the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) in London. Before taking up her current post at Chatham House, Lewis spent more than three years as Deputy-Director and Scientist-in-Residence of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California. In a broad-ranging interview conducted in Vienna during the May 2012 Preparatory Committee for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Lewis reflected on her career to date, challenges for the future, and her hopes for a nuclear weapons-free world. (Source: CTBTO Faces)

CTBTO Faces is a new website collection of interviews with personalities whose work, lives and expertise place them in the forefront of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and verification issues. Interview partners range from scientists to film makers, diplomats to civil society leaders. Their insights and opinions set the context for past, present and future global efforts to foster international peace and security.


17. July 2012

CTBTO Interview with Benno Laggner, Switzerland's Ambassador for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

Source: CTBTO Faces

Switzerland has made it a specific issue to delegitimize nuclear weapons, arguing that their use would violate the fundamental rules and principles of international humanitarian law. At the May 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee in Vienna, Laggner delivered a statement on behalf of Switzerland and 15 other nations stressing the grave humanitarian threat and legal implications posed by nuclear weapons. Hear him talk about these and other issues in a wide-ranging interview conducted after he delivered Switzerland’s pivotal statement.

CTBTO Faces is a new website collection of interviews with personalities whose work, lives and expertise place them in the forefront of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and verification issues. Interview partners range from scientists to film makers, diplomats to civil society leaders. Their insights and opinions set the context for past, present and future global efforts to foster international peace and security.


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12. July 2012

Who supplies the world’s weapons?

Did you know just six* countries supply a whopping 74 percent of the world’s weapons?
Last year, when protesters throughout the Arab world demanded change, military forces in Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and beyond responded with deadly force, staining the streets with the blood of more than 8,000 people.
This could happen because countries including US, Russia, UK and France have been exporting bombs, bullets and other weapons into the region for years -- putting their own multi-billion-dollar profits above the value of human lives. Read more and share the infographic here: www.amnesty.org.au/armstrade/comments/28384/

* USA, Russia, Germany, UK, China, France


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12. July 2012

Breaking the Nuclear Chain

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), IKV Pax Christi and Peace Boat have initiated a new campaign to inform, motivate, and activate people to prevent the looming humanitarian catastrophe represented by the nuclear chain (from uranium mining to power, weapons and nuclear waste). The campaign aims at bringing together people that have been affected by any aspects of the nuclear chain and those who are committed to disrupt this chain. The idea is to put a human face on the abstract debate on nuclear issues.See: www.breakingthenuclearchain.org/


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12. July 2012

Post-2015 development agenda

"The world is over armed and peace is under-funded […] sixty years of United Nations peacekeeping operations have cost less than six weeks of current military spending."

Ban Ki-moon, July 2012

During the preparatory process of the Rio +20 Summit, the idea of adopting a new set of goals, namely the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has emerged. These goals aim at addressing and incorporating in a balanced and broader way all the key dimensions of sustainable development. They also reaffirm the past political commitments of all actors. SDGs are mentioned in paragraphs 245 to 251 of the Outcome Document under the title IV: Framework for action and follow up. During the Conference, states agreed to develop SDGs through a process under the supervision of the UN, but failed to define the different themes that should be considered.

By September, the UN General Assembly will appoint a group of representatives from 30 countries to develop the SDGs and define the UN's overall Post-2015 development agenda. The group will submit its recommendations to the 68th session of the GA. The new programme is planned to enter into force in 2015 as an immediate follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which, some say, should not be retired before their targets have been reached. INES together with IPB and other partners are working on promoting a SDG on peace and security, an issue that was excluded from the MDGs. Meanwhile the UN System Task Teamhas published its Report to the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This makes reference to the Rio commitments, and does incorporate a peace and security dimension. However the military spending aspect is completely excluded. We are now planning a post-Rio project focusing on this crucial missing issue.


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11. July 2012

Nuclear power vs. people power

Article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.

India's ambitions include a tenfold increase in nuclear power so it supplies 25 percent of the nation's energy needs by 2050. Two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors at Koodankulam are expected to go online very soon -- the first commissioned reactors since Fukushima.

The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy has successfully mobilized tens of thousands of Indian citizens to join nonviolent protests, while the Indian state has resorted to harassment and threats of violence.

The nuclear establishment is the darling of Indian statehood, with far more people employed by the nuclear industry than the renewable energy sector. Citizen calls for increased transparency, accountability, and proper adherence to procedure have been met with repeated denials, deferrals, and deceit.

Read the article here: thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/nuclear-power-vs-people-power

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists informs the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences.


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28. June 2012

War Profiteers' News, June 2012

Contents:

  • Banks in the Business of War
  • Stop financing the arms trade: Protest against War Profiteer EADS
  • South Africa: Ceasefire Campaign calls for reconsideration of the Defence Review
  • Ahava: Tracking the Trade Trail of Settlement Products
  • Antimilitarist protest against arms fair in Alicante
  • Bristol Against the Arms Trade Take the Fight to the Fair
  • "Boycott Samsung" demonstration in London
  • War Profiteer of the Month: Veolia Environment
  • Campaign of the Month: Stopping the Proliferation of Lethal Killing Drones and Spy Drones

Now online available here: wri-irg.org/epublish/19/488


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26. June 2012

Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), 2012: final report now available

GDAMS 2.0 was a huge success! We had more than 140 actions take place in some 43 countries around the world! Our final report is now available by pdf here.


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Source: google.com

25. June 2012

Your Tax Dollars at War

"The most enormous war machine the world has ever known".
US radio host Dennis Bernstein and investigative reporter Dave Lindorff illustrate just how much US tax money goes towards the country's war chest.
"People have to realize that 53 cents of every dollar that they are paying into taxes is going to the military to an astonishing figure there is an enormous, enormous amount of money being blown on war an killing and destruction." See the film here: www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31690.htm

The focus of the video is on the US but of course the problem is worldwide. That's why the International Peace Bureau has established the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.


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22. June 2012

International Appeal delivered to UN representatives

Yesterday the Appeal "Disarmament for Sustainable Development" was officially delivered to the Brazilian Minister for Development, Fernando Damata Pimentel.
Reiner Braun (centre), the INES representative at the Rio+20 conference and some of the initiators of the appeal, amongst them Ambassador Sergio Duarte, Former UN High Representative on Disarmament, Brazil and 25 Mayors for Peace, handed it over outside the UN building.

Read more about our Rio activities below.


 
See the 3:39 film "Bread not bombs" by NTV Kenya about the bread tank here: 


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22. June 2012

Press release of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU):
Over to you, pioneers! A lot of noise – but no progress in Rio.

http://www.wbgu.de/en/press-appointments/press-releases/2012-06-22-presseerklaerung/


21. June 2012

"Are You Here to Save Face — or Save Us?": Brittany Trilford, 17, Addresses World Leaders at Rio+20

On Wednesday, 17-year-old environmental activist Brittany Trilford of Wellington, New Zealand, addressed more than a hundred heads of state at the opening plenary of the Rio+20 U.N. Earth Summit, the largest United Nations gathering ever. "We are all aware that time is ticking, and we are quickly running out," Trilford said. "You have 72 hours to decide the fate of your children, my children, my children’s children. And I start the clock now." Listen to her speech and an interview with her here:

(Source: Democracy Now!


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21. June 2012

Hope bursts like a bubble

Even before the Rio+20 Summit, with the scandalous realization of a closing statement produced mainly by the EU and Brazil in advance, the little hope that one could have had in this conference for finding effective steps towards protection of the environment and a positive development for billions of starving people burst like a bubble.
Another Earth Summit that produces nothing more than words, expenses and destructive journeys by air. What we will observe at the Summit:

  • No new initiatives fighting the climatic change – remember Copenhagen
  • Continuation of the exploitation of fossil energies and development of nuclear energy
  • No actions against the global environmental crisis and challenges
  • Nothing regarding protection of the seas and waters, or regarding deforestation
  • No real obligations for the industrial states

The civil society admonishes of peace as a requirement for sustainable development with the project „The Bread Tank“ - Without disarmament there is no sustainable development! Read on


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20. June 2012

Disarmament must be the number one priority

The edible tank made of bread was presented for the first time to the public on June 19th. It visited Favela Santa Marta where it was welcomed by the Mayor of Santa Marta, school kids and many visitors.  The Mayor said: “Words have been said enough, sustainability cannot be an empty word anymore but actions need to be conducted. Disarmament must be the number one priority.“

“Without disarmament there is no sustainability and justice. Therefore the reduction of the excessive military spending must be part of the agenda at the Rio+20 conference“, said Reiner Braun, Excecutive Director of IALANA and former INES Program Director.

The event was very well covered by local and international media. We invited people to break a piece and eat it. To accompany the 'piece of tank' we served meat, cheese and butter that the school kids ate with a lot of appetite. Our message 'Cut military spending - fund human needs!' was clearly understood.

After the presentation of the “BreadTank“ small fire arms, the deadliest conventional weapons, were destroyed.

The „BreadTank“ will be marching at the demonstration at the Global Day of Action and will be placed in front of the UN conference location.

The tank made of bread is part of the campaign "Disarmament for Sustainable Development" initiated by INES, IPB, FPIF and WFC, and is supported by Mayors for Peace, VivaRio, Better Wold Links and World Without Wars.
In an appeal to the Rio+20 conference signatories demand that the governments of the world seriously address the neglected issue of peace and disarmament, and agree on a global plan for disarmament for sustainable development at the Rio Summit in June 2012.
To read more about the edible tank please click here.

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To see daily uoploaded photos please visit: www.flickr.com/photos/lucaswirl/sets/72157630160008832/

Follow us on facebook ! http://www.facebook.com/TheBreadTank

Download a three page info with photos, date 20.6.2012:


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21. June 2012

20 years of Scientists for Global Responsibility

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) was formed in the UK in 1992, from the merger of several smaller groups concerned with science, technology and peace issues. Since then it has grown in size and influence – with other organisations also becoming part of the SGR ‘family’. It has undertaken a wide variety of activities to promote more ethical science and technology – from publishing groundbreaking reports on military and corporate influence on science and technology to playing a leading role in ‘The Climate Train to Kyoto’. Read the article on the SGR website that traces the journey.


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20. June 2012

As NATO Coalition Unravels in Afghanistan, Global Activists Question Military Alliance’s Existence

Listen to an Interview by Amy Goodman with Reiner Braun on Democracy Now!, taken at the NATO- Counter Summit for Peace and Economic Justice in Chicago, USA on May 21, 2012.
Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television and on the internet. DN!’s podcast is one of the most popular on the web.

Source: Democracynow!
See press coverage on the NATO-Counter summit here: www.no-to-nato.org/
See photos here: www.flickr.com/photos/lucaswirl/sets/72157629775167690/


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Source: Nationofchange.org

19. June 2012

New Set of Sustainable Development Goals Looks Beyond 2015

By Thalif Deen
When world leaders from over 100 countries wind up their three-day Rio+20 summit in Brazil, they will leave behind the shattered remains of a slew of proposals that never got off the ground.
A 30-billion-dollar Global Fund for Sustainable Development? A Financial Transactions Tax? A Sustainable Development Index? A Sustainable Development Council? A Global Fund for Education? A World Environment Organisation? An Inter-governmental Body on Tax Matters?
The proposals originated from environmental activists, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), human rights groups, the U.N.’s NGO Committee on Financing for Development and a High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability.
After continued stalemate – over issues relating mostly to financing and technology transfers – the 193-member Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) failed to reach agreement Friday on a blueprint for a green economy and sustainable development worldwide. Read the article at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/new-set-sustainable-development-goals-looks-beyond-2015-1340114259.


18. June 2012

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Report on Spanish military expenditure 2012

The Centre Delàs has released its annual report on Spanish military expenditure: "Military expenditure in Spain 2012: A chance to reduce the crisis", written by Pere Ortega. This report shows that the reduction of 6.33% in the Spanish military expenditure in 2012 National Budget is much smaller than other ministries with more social and "welfare" features. The report provides also an analysis of arms trade: Spain has doubled its arms exports and its destinations include countries affected by armed conflict. Read the report here: www.centredelas.org/images/stories/informes/Military%20expenditure%20in%20Spain%202012.pdf


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Source: http://www.army.gov.au

17. June 2012

Huge cuts to the Australian Defence budget

In May, Australian military has faced $5.5 billions in cuts, the largest since the end of the Korean War. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) reports that, after a decade of huge growth in its budget, Defense would face a major downturn in resources. Mark Thomson, an expert from the ASPI, said that due to the economic crisis "every dollar spent on defense imposes a visible opportunity cost elsewhere". To read the article by Dylan Welch in the Sydney Morning Herald click here.  
 
 

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16. June 2012

UK: What cuts? Ministry of Defence ploughs £5bn into Atomic Weapons Establishment

On May 15, 2012 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced spending of £5 billion at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, UK. Read more here: www.cnduk.org/media/item/1392-what-cuts


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16. June 2012

Report on war and poverty

In April 2012, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) published a report on War and poverty. In the paper, Patricia Justino aims at identifying potential channels of transmission linking civil war and poverty that may lead to the persistence of cycles of poverty and armed conflicts. She focuses on the notion of individual (and group) agency during civil wars, as well as constraints faced by populations affected by violence. To read the report please click here.


6. June 2012

World Mayors Council on Climate Change and the ICLEI World Congress endorse the Disarmament for Sustainable Development-Campaign

Today the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and the ICLEI World Congress (Local Governments for Sustainability) have approved unanimously the Rio+20 Appeal on Disarmament for Sustainable Development. Both  global networks of local governments add their voice to Mayors for Peace, the leading network of local governments protecting cities of the scourge of war and mass destruction. 
The Rio+20 Appeal, tabled today by Mayors for Peace in Belo Horizonte, calls on national governments to redirect 10% of the annual military expenditures to fund initiatives for environmental and social needs. The Mayor of Hiroshima, President of Mayors for Peace, a global network of 5,276 cities in 153 countries and regions [and representing 1 billion people] endorsed the Rio+20 Appeal on June 6th.


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6. June 2012

Ecological Footprint Creators Drs. Wackernagel and Rees Win Prestigious Kenneth E. Boulding Award

Global Footprint Network is thrilled to announce that Co-Founder and President Dr. Mathis Wackernagel and Dr. William Rees, co-creators of the Ecological Footprint, have been named the winners of the 2012 Kenneth E. Boulding Award, the world’s top honor in the field of ecological economics.

The award will be presented at the ISEE Conference 2012 in Rio de Janeiro on June 19, 2012. Read the press release:www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/newsletter/bv/dr._wackernagel_wins_prestigious_kenneth_e._boulding_award


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6. June 2012

Calling for U.S. leadership on global elimination of nuclear weapons and redirection of nuclear weapons spending to meet the urgent needs of cities.

At the close of its 80th annual meeting in Orlando Florida, on June 16, 2012, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) unanimously adopted a strong, comprehensive, new Mayors for Peace resolution Calling for U.S. Leadership in Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Nuclear Weapons Spending to Meet the Urgent Needs of Cities.Read the resolution here: www.usmayors.org/resolutions/80th_Conference/international08.asp


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4. June 2012

INES Global Responsibility Newsletter No. 64 now online

www.inesglobal.com/newsletter.phtml#cpid2273

Some featured topics:

  • Why we need Millenium Consumption Goals (MCGs) at RIO+20 (by Mohan Munasinghe)
  • How business hijacked the sustainability agenda (by Delyse Springett)
  • The role of think tanks in revising the policy agenda (by Dieter Plehwe).
  • Which "Green economy" for the future we want (by Joachim Spangenberg)
  • Rio+20 – Global Marshall Plan – Worldwide Ecosocial Market Economy (by F. R. Rademacher)
  • Appeal to the Rio+20 conference: Disarmament for sustainable development!

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4. June 2012

INFORSE 20-year Anniversary

20 years ago the International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE) was formed as an informal network of NGOs, at a seminar at the ”Global Forum” of NGOs in Rio de Janeiro parallel to the UN "Rio-conference" on environment and development.
An overview with highlights from the first 20 years are now available from www.inforse.org
INFORSE will again be represented in Rio de Janeiro, at the upcoming Rio+20 conference, including at the side-event "Green energy for a green economy" on June 19. See:www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php


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Photo: Avvaz.org

30. May 2012

Avaaz.org took up the Disarmament for Sustainable Development-campaign

Community Petitions by Avaaz is a new web platform that gives people around the world the power to start and win campaigns at the local, national, and international levels.

Community Petitions is a crowd-sourced part of Avaaz, the largest-ever global web movement bringing people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere. Every week, millions of people from all walks of life and in every country take action through Avaaz on pressing issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.

The Disarmament for Sustainable Development-campaign and the appeal to the Rio+20 conference are initiated by INES, the International Peace Bureau (IPB), Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), and the World Future Council (WFC). The campaign was launched on April 17, 2012 on the occasion of the 2nd Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). The appeal can be downloaded from the INES website in English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Polish, Russian and Lithuanian. Go to the Campaigns site.

The signatories of this appeal demand that the governments of the world seriously address the neglected issue of peace and disarmament, and agree on a global plan for disarmament for sustainable development at the Rio Summit in June 2012.

Here is the link to join the worldwide movement and sign online: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/SD_for_SD/?cBoscdb

The appeal is also mentioned in the May 2012 Newsletter of the Right Livelihood Award. See: www.rightlivelihood.org/newsl_may2012.html


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Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

23. May 2012

Busting the carbon and cost myths of Germany's nuclear exit

Critics of the atomic phase-out said energy emissions, costs and imports would all rise. They were wrong.
By , The guardian, UK

With the UK taking another step towards supporting new nuclear power on May 22nd, – at either no extra cost to the consumer if you believe ministers, or substantial cost if you believe most others – it's worth taking a look at what actually happens when you phase out nuclear power in a large, industrial nation.
That is what Germany chose to do after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, closing eight plants immediately – 7GW - and another nine by 2022. The shrillest critics predicted blackouts, which was always daft and did not happen.
But more serious critics worried that the three things at the heart of the energy and climate change debate - carbon, cost and security of supply – would all head in the wrong direction. Here in Berlin, I have found they were wrong on every count. Read on here: www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2012/may/23/energy-nuclear-power-germany


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Photograph: Joe Chan / Reuters/REUTERS

21. May 2012

Military spending: how much does the military cost each country

Is the global arms trade recession-proof?
The latest arms trade numbers show the US is still number one, but with China and Russia catching up fast.
Is the global arms trade recession-proof? Almost, it appears. While government spending is being cut across the globe, military spending is staying remarkably steady.The world's countries spent $1.7trillion on their militaries last year, according to new figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). It's barely changed from the year before, masking decreases in the west countered by big increases in China, Russia and some Middle eastern countries.Read on here: www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/apr/17/military-spending-countries-list


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Source: SIPRI

21. May 2012

Germany to Greece: Cut Safety Nets for Citizens But Keep Buying Our Weapons

German 'Hypocrisy' Over Greek Military Spending has Critics Up in Arms
As Germany insists that Greece submit to harsh austerity measures leaving pensions cut, unemployment soaring and the healthcare system slashed, one area it believes needn't be cut is Greece's weapons purchases, provided in great part by and benefiting Germany.
In April the Guardian's Helena Smith reported from Athens that both Germany and France, while pushing Greece to make cuts to its healthcare program, were trying to seal lucrative arms deals with the country.Smith writes: "Speculation is rife that international aid for the country was contingent on Greece following through on agreements to purchase military hardware from Germany and France." Read on here: www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/19-5


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21. May 2012

130 actions in 40 countries on GDAMS

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) are delighted to report that the Global Day of Action against Military Spending (GDAMS) was a tremendous success worldwide: around 130 actions were organized in about 40 countries on and around April 17. See the documentation of events around the globe here: demilitarize.org/gdams-2012-event-reports-photos/


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21. May 2012

A New Global Peace and Justice Movement is Rising

Final statement of the Network of the Free Future Counter Summit for Peace and Economic Justice
Chicago, Illinois, USA on May 18 & 19, 2012

The NATO-Free Future gathering in Chicago coincides with a rising global movement against war, militarism, inequality and poverty. We represent the pro-peace and justice majority, the global 99%.

We heed the wisdom of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to challenge the “triple evils” of poverty, racial inequality and militarism.

The rising global peace and justice movement works from the premise that poverty, inequality and militarism are forms of violence that constitute an endless cycle that can and must be broken for the survival of humanity. Each feeds off the other, and all must be challenged.

These “triple evils” are embodied in the NATO military alliance and its relationship to the actions of many of the wealthiest countries. We are convinced that to overcome these evils we must oppose wars, embrace peace, and demand that the drive for empire be replaced by an understanding of our global interdependence and a flowering of genuine democracy. And that democracy, in turn will foster greater inclusion, equity and justice for all. Read on.
Find information on the conference and the No-to-NATO-Network here: www.natofreefuture.org


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Photo: Oxfam International

18. May 2012

Obama's 'Poverty-Relieving' Plan for Africa a Profit Boon for Giant Agribusiness

$3 billion investment from BigAg leaves sustainable agriculture, small-scale farmers' voices behind

President Obama's announcement today of $3 billion in private investments in a poverty- and hunger-relieving plan for Africa is set to be a boon for giant agribusiness, a move critics say leaves small-scale farmers and agro-ecological methods in the dust.

The pledged investments come from agricultural behemoths including Dupont, Monsanto and Cargill.

The G8, now meeting in Maryland, has presented a view of private investments as a way of solving poverty. “The G8 must not give in to the temptation to make bold and convenient assumptions about the private sector as a development panacea,” said Gawain Kripke, Director of Policy and Research at Oxfam America. Raj Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, argued that a public-sector solution to alleviating hunger is "highly unlikely." Kripke, however, dismisses that claim. “There is no evidence that the growing focus on private sector engagement at the expense of other approaches will truly deliver for the fight against hunger,” said Kripke.

The planned investment does not bring the voices of small-scale farmers to the table, but does set a plan for massive profits to be reaped by giant agribusiness.  “The rhetoric is all about small-scale producers, but they haven’t yet been a part of the G-8’s conversation,” Lamine Ndiaye of Oxfam said. Giant agribusiness' "objective is not to fight against hunger; their objective is to make money” Ndiaye said. Read on here: www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/18-3


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15. May 2012

New Footprint and Biocapacity Data Released from Space: Trends Reveal a ‘Global Auction’

Astronaut Launches Living Planet Report 2012
Humanity is now using nature’s services 52 percent faster than what Earth can renew, according to Global Footprint Network’s latest data, published in the 2012 edition of the Living Planet Report. The biennial report, produced by WWF in collaboration with Global Footprint Network and the Zoological Society of London, was launched today by ESA astronaut André Kuipers from the International Space Station. Click here to see the video of the launch

Released just weeks before world leaders come together in Rio de Janeiro for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the report shows rising competition among countries for resources and land use.

“We’ve entered the era of the global auction,” said Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D., “where nations are now forced to compete fiercely for more expensive and less abundant resources. It’s in their own self-interest to preserve and restore the natural assets they have within their borders and avoid ecological deficit spending. In a resource constrained world, such spending will become an ever more challenging economic burden.” Read on


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13. May 2012

The world’s nuclear missiles ready to fly

This stunning graphic appeared in the National Post on May 4, 2012. It represents an estimate of the number of nuclear missiles currently "ready to use" -- that is, deliverable to targets in a very short time. It does not attempt to compare explosive yields or even the number of warheads in any given missile.

 

 

The outer blue circle are missiles belonging to the United States of America.
The red circle just inside the outer blue circle are those belonging to Russia.
The blue circle inside that one are the missiles belonging to Britain and France.
The red circle inside that are missiles belonging to China and Pakistan.
The innermost circle, light green and blue, are the missiles of India and Israel.

To enlarge the image or view a large-scale PDF please visit: news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/04/world-nuclear-graphic/


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13. May 2012

B61 Nuclear Bomb Costs Escalating

By Hans M. Kristensen

The expected cost of the B61 Life-Extension Program (LEP) has increased by 50 percent to $6 billion dollars, according to U.S. government sources.
Only one year ago, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) estimated in its Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program report to Congress that the cost of the program would be approximately $4 billion.
The escalating cost of the program – and concern that NNSA does not have an effective plan for managing it – has caused Congress to cap spending on the B61 LEP by 60 percent in 2012 and 100 percent in 2013. The Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office is currently evaluating NNSA’s cost estimate and is expected to release its assessment in July. After that, NNSA is expected to release a validated cost, schedule and scope estimate for the B61 LEP, a precondition for Congress releasing the program funds for Phase 6.3 of the program. Read on here: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen


4. May 2012

INES opposes nuclear energy

At the INES Council meeting on April 28th, 2012 in Vienna, Austria,  the INES statement on nuclear energy was adopted by the INES Council members.

Given the inevitable link to nuclear weapons, the risks involved and the obstacle that nuclear energy proves to be for renewable energy systems, we consider nuclear power incompatible with peaceful, just and lasting, i.e. sustainable development. Thus we demand:

  • much greater expansion of research spending on renewable energy systems, redirecting current funding of nuclear energy research to this end
  • for the remaining nuclear research (for safety in operation, dismantlement and disposal), make independent reviews and public debate mandatory
  • enter a transition period of phase out and dismantlement of nuclear plants and development of renewable energy systems and technologies,
  • initiate and hold debates with civil society, developing concepts and recommendations, for research and policies improving efficiency and enhancing reductions in energy consumption.

To read the full statement please click here.


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2. May 2012

New Report: US and Russian Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons

By Hans M. Kristensen

A new report estimates that Russia and the United States combined have a total of roughly 2,800 nuclear warheads assigned to their non-strategic nuclear forces. Several thousands more have been retired and are awaiting dismantlement.

The report comes shortly before the NATO Summit in Chicago on 20-21 May, where the alliance is expected to approve the conclusions of a year-long Deterrence and Defense Posture Review that will, among other things, determine the “appropriate mix” of nuclear and non-nuclear forces in Europe. It marks the 20-year anniversary of the Presidential Unilateral Initiatives in the early 1990s that resulted in sweeping reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Read on here: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen


 
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26. April 2012

Ban nuclear weapons totally with a binding convention

Proposals to the Japanese Government by the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) on  the occasion of the NPT PrepCom 2012 in Vienna, Austria.

As you know, the 2010 NPT Review Conference agreed on achieving “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” as the goal of the NPT. The Final Document specified that the five nuclear weapons states would “accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals”, that all states would “make special efforts to establish a necessary framework” for this purpose, and that the Conference noted the five point proposal of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, including negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention.

The faithful implementation of these agreements is the key to the success of the 2015 NPT Review Conference and the efforts in the lead up to it. As in the statement of our organization on the occasion of the NPT PrepCom, we call on all the parties of the NPT to start negotiations for a convention banning nuclear weapons. At the same time, we urge the government of Japan, the only A-bombed country, to play its part by taking the following actions:

1. Make a clear statement that banning nuclear weapons totally with a binding convention is the only way to achieving “a world without nuclear weapons”, and propose the commencement of negotiations for the conclusion of a convention banning nuclear weapons.

2. Call for overcoming nuclear deterrence theory, facing up to the reality that the justification of nuclear weapons based on nuclear deterrence and extended deterrence is a driving force in nuclear arms races, increasing the danger of the use of nuclear weapons and the vicious cycle of proliferation of nuclear weapons; and declare and call for respect for Japan ’s position that, based on Article 9 of the Constitution and the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, it will promote a total ban on nuclear weapons, break away from the “nuclear umbrella” and not allow the possession, production and bringing-in of nuclear weapons into Japanese territory.

3. Make known the damage of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and value and support the efforts of the Hibakusha and NGOs for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Further information: http://www.antiatom.org/


 

17. April 2012

New INES Campaign: Disarmament for Sustainable Development

An international appeal to the 2012 Rio plus 20 conference

In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1740 billion – despite the fact that 1 billion people suffer from hunger, even more do not have access to safe water or adequate health care and education, and even in the developed world millions are without work. The Millennium Development Goals cannot be realized while the world squanders its wealth on militarism.

In a press conference on April 16, 2012 INES presented the campaign, the international appeal and the first signatories list comprising of Noam Chomsky, Johan Galtung, Vandana Shiva, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to name but a few. To read the appeal, see the complete first signatories list and to join in and sign the campaign please click here.

The signatories of this appeal demand that the governments of the world seriously address the neglected issue of peace and disarmament, and agree on a global plan for disarmament for sustainable development at the Rio Summit in June 2012.

The appeal is initiated by INES, the International Peace Bureau (IPB), Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), and the World Future Council (WFC) and is an activity on the occasion of the 2nd Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). The appeal can be downloaded from the INES website in English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Polish, Russian and Lithuanian. Go to the Campaigns site.


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"Leopard-2A4 tank.Source:SIPRI

17. April 2012

World military spending levels out after 13 years of increases, says SIPRI

World military expenditure in 2011 totalled $1.74 trillion, almost unchanged since 2010 in real terms, according to figures released today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The small rise of just 0.3 per cent in 2011 marks the end of a run of continuous increases in military spending between 1998 and 2010, including an annual average increase of 4.5 per cent between 2001 and 2009. 

Six of the world’s top military spenders—Brazil, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States—made cuts in their military budgets in 2011, in most cases as part of attempts to reduce budget deficits. Meanwhile other states, notably China and Russia, increased their military spending markedly. 

‘The after-effects of the global economic crisis, especially deficit-reduction measures in the USA and Europe, have finally brought the decade-long rise in military spending to a halt—at least for now’, stated Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Project. The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.


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11. April 2012

Assuring destruction forever: nuclear weapon modernization around the world

As of March 2012, the nuclear weapon possessors - China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, the United King dom, and the United States - are estimated to possess approximately 19,500 nuclear weapons. All of them have plans to modernize - upgrade and/or extend the lives of - their nuclear weapons.

Reaching Critical Will has coordinated and edited a new study on the modernization plans and programmes of eight of the nuclear-armed states. The study is available on the RCW website in PDF
 
 

 
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7. April 2012

INES Newsletter No. 63 now online

See: www.inesglobal.com/newsletter.phtml#cpid2128

 

 

 


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6. April 2012

Global study reveals who's financing nuclear arms makers

Don't bank on the bomb: the global financing of nuclear weapons producers
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) published its report Don't bank on the bomb: the global financing of nuclear weapons producers. It identifies more than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers in 30 countries with substantial investments in nuclear arms producers. It calls on financial institutions to stop investing in the manufacture, maintenance and modernization of nuclear armed countries. Please find the report on the don't bank the bomb website


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Photo: Lockheed

6. April 2012

Pentagon: Trillion-Dollar Jet on Brink of Budgetary Disaster

The Government Accountability Office reveals recently that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, “the most expensive conventional weapon ever”, could need additional years of work and billions of dollars more investment. It is bad news for this program that is already almost a decade late and hundreds of billions of dollars over its original budget. Read the article by David Axe here:www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/f35-budget-disaster/

 

 


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Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

6. April 2012

Greece's austerity doesn't extend to its arms budget

While the Greek are facing austerity measures that have reduced living standards by 30%, the government continues to spend the most on arms in the EU as percentage of GDP and remains one of the biggest weapons importers in the world. The supposed threat from Turkey and the role of armed forces in controlling illegal immigration are presented as explanations for such a high military budget. Paul Haydon of the guardian argues that the main reason for these huge amounts of money spent on the military is the lucrative arms deals between Greece, France, and Germany.
Read the article here: www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/21/greece-austerity-measures-military-spending


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Source: Reuters.com

6. April 2012

Obama Promises to Seek New Nuclear Reductions with Russia

President Obama has promised to engage in negotiations with Russia for deeper cuts in each country's nuclear arsenal. Speaking before the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, President Obama said, "We can already say with confidence that we have more nuclear weapons than we need."

He continued, "Going forward, we'll continue to seek discussions with Russia on a step we have never taken before - reducing not only our strategic nuclear warheads, but also tactical weapons and warheads in reserve."

The president is expected to address the issue with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, when the two meet in May. Obama will likely face strong opposition from Congressional Republicans, who already accuse him of breaking promises to "modernize" the US nuclear weapons complex in exchange for ratification of the New START Treaty last year.

Spetalnick, Matt and Laurence, Jeremy, "Obama Vows to Pursue Further Nuclear Cuts with Russia," Reuters, March 26, 2012.


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6. April 2012

Making Peace photo exhibition available

Making Peace is a major outdoor photo exhibition (100 panels in 5 sections) that pays tribute to the people who — all over the world — devote their time, energy and resources to the cause of peace. When the exhibition was inaugurated along Lake Geneva in 2010, over fifty NGO/GO representatives participated (as part of an 'International Village') with 35.000 people visiting the exhibition over a four week period.
For informartion and booking please visit: www.makingpeace.org

 

 


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31. March 2012

Disarmament for development

International Peace Bureau on-line course start date April 17

The on-line course focussing on the IPB’s main area of work (Disarmament for Development) will run from 17 April  - 27 July 2012.
It is organised by IPB and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). It will be open to adult students (university level or similar) from any part of the world. Language: English. 6 credits, 150 hours.
See details at: http://www.uoc.edu/portal/english/campus_pau/formacio/ong/list.html



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30. March 2012

Sustainable Energy Roadmaps: Guiding the Global Shift to Domestic Renewables

Worldwatch Institute’s Sustainable Energy Roadmaps provide decision makers with a comprehensive toolkit for transitioning to sustainable energy. Tailored to a region’s unique circumstances, they examine opportunities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and grid technologies; explore technical barriers and opportunities; and analyze socioeconomic impacts, including job creation. The roadmaps can be applied in a wide variety of locations and at multiple levels of political organization,offeringa long-term vision for energy development as well as specific policy, governance, and financial steps that are critical to making the shift to sustainable energy a reality.
Report by Alexander Ochs and Shakuntala Makhijani

ISBN: 978-0-878071-69-9, 46 pages, $12.95. Order here: www.worldwatch.org/sustainable-energy-roadmaps-report


19. March 2012

Rise in international arms transfers is driven by Asian demand, says SIPRI

The volume of worldwide arms transfers in 2007–2011 was 24 per cent higher than in 2002–2006 and the five largest arms importers in 2007–2011 were all Asian states, according to new data on international arms transfers published today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Read the press release here: www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases/rise-in-international-arms-transfers-is-driven-by-asian-demand-says-sipri


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12. March 2012

Fukushima: The Tsunami Myth

A disaster caused by safety deficits and earthquakes

On March 11 2011 a nuclear catastrophe occured at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant due to severe safety deficits and an earthquake. All over the world countless (relatively vulnerable) nuclear power plants are situated in earthquake-prone regions.
Another nuclear disaster could be caused by an earthquake anywhere in the world – in Asia, America or in Europe. The IPPNW in cooperation with DNR, EUROSOLAR, IALANA, INES and NatWiss published an information leaflet on the tsunami myth.
You can download the pdf here:

IPPNW Germany created a website on the Fukushima Disaster and publishes information in English, German and Japanese.

A new report published on March 12, 2012 looks into the course of events during the accident up until the reactor core meltdowns and conclusions relating to safety.

Information and the report can be found here: www.fukushima-disaster.de/information-in-english.html


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Source: AP

6. March 2012

Retired US Generals to Obama: 'No War of Choice in Iran'

Several former high-ranking military, intelligence and State Department officials took out an ad in the Washington Post on March 6, 2012 urging President Obama to stand fast against political and lobbying pressure to attack Iran over claims it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The letter, signed by five retired generals, two senior intelligence analysts and a senior State Department official, is accompanied by a photo and quotes from other current military and defense officials warning against such an attack.

Note that this link includes a copy of the actual advert published today in the Washington Post: readersupportednews.org/news-section2/330-131/10317-retired-us-generals-to-obama-no-war-of-choice-in-iran


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Source: http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen

6. March 2012

New Nuclear Notebook: Russian Nuclear Forces 2012

By Hans M. Kristensen

Russia is planning to retire more than two-thirds of its current arsenal of nuclear land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles by the early 2020a. That includes some of the most iconic examples of the Soviet threat against the United States: SS-18 Satan, SS-19 Stiletto, and the world’s first road-mobile ICBM, the SS-25.

The plan coincides with the implementation of the New START treaty but significantly exceeds the reductions required by the treaty.

During the same period, Russia plans to deploy significant numbers of new missiles, but the production will not be sufficient to offset the retirement of old missiles. As a result, the size of Russia’s ICBM force is likely to decline over the next decade – with or without a new nuclear arms control treaty.

This and much more is described in our latest Nuclear Notebook published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Download the pdf here:


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Korean Central News Agency, via AFP; Getty Images

29. February 2012

North Koreans Agree to Freeze Nuclear Work

North Korea announced that it would suspend its nuclear weapons tests and uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors to monitor activities at its main nuclear complex. The surprise announcement raised the possibility of ending a diplomatic impasse that has allowed the country’s nuclear program to continue for years without international oversight. Read on here: www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/world/asia/us-says-north-korea-agrees-to-curb-nuclear-work.html


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Source: Paul Wellman

28. February 2012

Arrests Protesting Vandenberg Minuteman Missile Launch

On February 25, the Chair of the INES Executive Committee and President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation David Krieger, along with his wife Carolee, Daniel Ellsberg, Cindy Sheehan and 11 others, were arrested at Vandenberg Air Force Base while protesting the test launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. About 100 people came to Vandenberg to protest the launch that, as usual, happened under the cover of darkness. Read the interview with David Krieger "Sense of Urgency Leads to Civil Disobedienc" here: wagingpeacetoday.blogspot.com/2012/02/sense-of-urgency-leads-to-civil.html


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28. February 2012

IPB announced today that it plans to launch an International Appeal on Disarmament for Sustainable Development on April 17th, to mark the second Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Co-sponsored by the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility and the Institute for Policy Studies, the Appeal will call on the governments meeting at the Earth Summit in June to agree on a global plan for disarmament and to use the freed-up funds for social, economic and ecological programmes. Our aim is to find 500 well-known personalities to endorse the Appeal; suggestions please to IPB Secretariat or the INES office.


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24. February 2012

Defense Intelligence Agency threat assessment shows slower Chinese nuclear modernization.

By Hans M. Kristensen

At about the same time nuclear arms reduction opponents last week incorrectly accused the Obama administration of considering “reckless” cuts in nuclear forces that would leave the United States “with fewer warheads than China,” Congress received its annual threat assessment from the U.S. intelligence community.

China’s nuclear arsenal is at a size that makes comparison with U.S. nuclear force level meaningless – even at the lowest level feared by the critics – but the threat assessment showed that China’s nuclear force modernization has been slower than predicted during the Bush administration.

Read on here: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2012/02/chinamissiles.php#more-5226


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13. February 2012 (updated on 27.3.2012)

The dangers of a military attack on Iran’s nuclear programme

By Stuart Parkinson
There are increasingly vocal demands for military action to halt Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme. Stuart Parkinson, ED of the INES member organisation Scientists for Global Responsibility UK, takes a critical look at the evidence for such a programme and argues that any military attack is likely to make matters considerably worse.

In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, published its latest report on Iran’s nuclear programme. [1] It expressed “serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme”. Economic sanctions against Iran – especially by Western nations – are being ramped up to try force the Iranian government to comply with all IAEA recommendations. Iran, however, protests that its nuclear programme is peaceful and it is being unfairly criticised. Some leading political voices – especially in Israel and the USA – have responded by calling for military strikes to damage or destroy the Iranian programme with the aim being to stop any activity that might lead to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

But is Iran really building a nuclear weapon? And, if it were, would a military attack stop it? Or would it just make matters worse?Read on.


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13. February 2012

War Against Iran, Sheer Insanity

President of the Global Security Institute Jonathan Granoff said waging war against Iran is a "sheer insanity," the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

Criticizing the US war-seeking media atmosphere, Granoff told the Iranian news agency that they try to portray a bad picture of the peace-loving Iranian nation.

Referring to Iran's ancient history, the American lawyer said the Iranian nation has been attacked by several world countries, while the country has never initiated any war against any nation.

He believed that the US officials made mistakes during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war against Iran, saying Washington supported the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

He reiterated that they still make mistakes and instead of making up for their past mistakes, they seek threats and sanctions against the Iranian nation.

He further congratulated the Iranian nation and government on the 33rd victory anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Source: bernama.com


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13. February 2012

Stop the War protests against Iran and Syria intervention

On 28 January 2012 at the United States Embassy in London, Stop the War held a rally to launch the Don't Attack Iran campaign. Hundreds of anti-war protesters gathered in central London at a demonstration against Western intervention in Iran and Syria. The rally, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, took place outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square. Protesters waved banners bearing the words "Don't attack Iran" and "Hands off Iran and Syria", while the crowd joined together in chanting: "One, two, three, four, we don't want another war. Five, six, seven, eight, stop the killing, stop the hate." Read on here: stopwar.org.uk/index.php/video/1078-stop-the-war-protests-against-iran-and-syria-intervention-


8. February 2012

Preventing War Saves More than Lives

A new fact sheet from the Friends Committee on National Legislation shows that preventing war is 60 times cheaper than fighting it.

Research has indicated that investing early to prevent conflicts from escalating into violent crises is, on average, 60 times more cost effective than intervening after violence erupts. Still, the world spends just $1 on conflict prevention for every $1,885 it spends on military budgets. In the U.S., less than 2% of income tax goes to civilian foreign affairs agencies, while 39% goes to the military.

Download the fact sheet:


6. February 2012

Annual Report 2011

Message from the INES Chair

INES was founded 20 years ago in the belief that, in our complex world of scientific discovery and technological innovation, scientists and engineers have an important role to play in the assessment of risk and in providing leadership for global responsibility in the uses of science and technology. For 20 years INES has been an open network of dedicated organizations and individuals seeking to apply the training of science and engineering to the many serious social and environmental problems and risks created by science and technology. Our message at INES has been and remains that there are limits to the applications of science and technology, and that those limits must be defined by global responsibility to those alive on the planet now and to future generations that will follow us on the planet. Read on


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January 2012

Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone

By Alfred Marder, International Association of Peace Messengers Cities.

We are deeply concerned that the current response to the insistence that Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons is creating a volatile, unstable climate that can lead to frightening consequences. We cannot be silent as events unfold.

It is our judgment that the global peace movement must offer a concrete solution based upon historical precedent and experience, a solution that the global movement has adopted years ago, and, in the framework of the United Nations, is recognized as a powerful instrument for peace: a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.

To Read on download the open letter please.


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30. January 2012

Budget Blunder: “No Cuts” in Nuclear Forces

By Hans M. Kristensen
“There are no cuts made in the nuclear force in this budget.” That clear statement was made yesterday by deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter during the Pentagon’s briefing on the defense budget request for Fiscal Year 2013. Read on here: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen

 

 


27. January 2012

Achievement:The University of Bremen keeps its Civil Clause

On January 25th, the highest body of the University of Bremen decided to keep the Civil Clause from 1986.
Peace research is now an explicit objective of the university. "Research, that could serve military purposes has to be discussed publicly and has to be rejected." See some articles in German Newpapers here: www.inesglobal.com/commit-universities-to-peace.phtml#cpid2030


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27. January 2012

Quo Vadis, Ecosystem? Scenarios as a Tool for Large-Scale Ecological Research

As European leaders struggle to avert a second recession a new study finds that future economic growth and the sustenance of the continent’s ecosystem services may be incompatible, unless political priority setting focuses on sustainable development with a special emphasis on biodiversity conservation. The research, published in a special issue of Global Ecology and Biogeography , combines socio-economic, land use, climate and biodiversity models with other approaches to consider three possible routes for the future of Europe’s economy. The scientists explore the multiple impacts on biodiversity within the next century. The special issue is edited by Josef Settele, Ingolf Kühn and Joachim Spangenberg from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ/Germany, Tim Carter from the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE/Finland, and Martin Sykes from the University of Lund/Sweden.

Free Access at the Journal URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/geb.2012.21.issue-1/issuetoc


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25. January 2012

Support for a disarmament treaty

Three-quarters of all nations support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki moon’s proposal for a treaty to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons, according to a study released last week by ICAN.

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The report was released one week after the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was moved one minute closer to midnight in response to growing nuclear dangers around the world and a lack of progress towards nuclear abolition. “The vast majority of nations believe it is time to ban nuclear weapons in the same way that biological and chemical weapons have been banned,” said Tim Wright, an ICAN campaigner and the author of the study. Download the study: www.icanw.org/positions


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21. January 2012

Beyond the UK: Trends in the Other Nuclear Armed States

This first BASIC Trident Commission briefing by Dr. Ian Kearns from October 30, 2011 outlines recent worrying developments in the nuclear force structures of the world’s nuclear armed states. It argues that “the evidence points to a new era of global nuclear force modernisation and growth”.

It presents evidence that:

  • Despite all the recent disarmament rhetoric, there is no evidence that any of the currently nuclear armed states are actively contemplating a future without nuclear weapons;
  • The potential for nuclear weapons use is growing;
  • Major development or nuclear force modernisation programmes are underway in India, China, the US, Russia, and Pakistan. Israel is on course to develop an inter-continental ballistic missile; India is developing a whole suite of new missiles with longer ranges; Several states are trying to build smaller nuclear warheads for tactical use;
  • If anything, the evidence points to new nuclear arms races and a huge amount of money (hundreds of billions of US$) being spent over the coming decade;
  • Despite the need for major powers to cooperatively address the challenges of globalisation, nuclear deterrence thinking is still very evident in the defence policies of all the major powers; and
  • The New START treaty, while a welcome return to arms control, has a number of loopholes meaning that its affect on disarmament is minimal.

Read the full article here: www.basicint.org/sites/default/files/commission-briefing1.pdf


20. January 2012

New U.S. Global Military Strategy could hint at future moves to reduce dependence on tactical nuclear weapons in Europe

By Chris Lindborg

President Barack Obama made an historic visit to the Pentagon on January 5, 2012 to deliver his remarks on the release of the United States’ “New Global Military Strategy”. During the two-part press conference, he and other defense leaders carefully chose their words to forewarn other American policymakers that big changes will be coming to the U.S. military, and that allies should be ready for big changes too. Read on here: www.basicint.org/news/2012/new-us-global-military-strategy-could-hint-future-moves-reduce-dependence-tactical-nuclear


18. January 2012

Indian Army Chief: Nukes Not For Warfighting

By Hans M. Kristensen

India’s nuclear weapons “are not for warfighting,” the chief of India’s army said Sunday at the Army Day Parade. The weapons have “a strategic capability and that is where it should end,” General V. K. Singh declared.

The rejection of nuclear warfighting ideas is a welcoming development in the debate over the role of nuclear weapons in South Asia. Pakistan’s military’s description of its new snort-range NASR missile as a “shoot and scoot…quick response system” has rightly raised concerns about the potential early use of nuclear weapons in a conflict.

NASR is one of several new nuclear weapon systems that are nearing deployment with warheads from a Pakistani stockpile that has nearly doubled since 2005.

India is also increasing its arsenal and already has short-range missiles with nuclear capability: the land-based Prithvi has been in operation for a decade, and a naval version (Dhanush) is under development. But India’s posture seems focused on getting its medium-range Agni II in operation, developing longer-range versions to target China, and building a limited submarine-based nuclear capability. Read  on here:www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen


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13. January 2012

Pentagon’s New Strategic Guidance

Summary of Content & Implications
Prepared by Joseph Gerson

In early January the Obama Administration released the Pentagon’s new Guidance, Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense. Designed less to cut U.S. military spending that to reorder Pentagon priorities to ensure full spectrum dominance (dominating any nation, anywhere, at any time, at any level of force) for the first decades of the 21st century. As President Obama himself said, after the near-doubling of military spending during the Bush era, the Guidance will slow the growth of military spending, “but...it will still grow:, in fact by 4% in the coming year.”Read on.


13. January 2012

Guatemala ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT)

Guatemala has reaffirmed its long-standing support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by ratifying the Treaty. The number of ratifications now stands at 156; while a total of 182 States have signed the Treaty.

To read the presse release visit: www.ctbto.org/press-centre/press-releases/2011/press-release-guatemala-ratifies-the-comprehensive-nuclear-test-ban-treaty-ctbt/


11. January 2012

Rio+20 Zero Draft Outcome Document released

The zero draft outcome document – the official document to be negotiated by United Nations Member States in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) – has been released. Although the text will be extensively negotiated in the coming months and will most likely be modified, the zero draft in its current stage reaffirms Member States commitment to work together for a prosperous, secure and sustainable future for both people and the planet, including by eradicating hunger, want, and all forms of poverty; by committing to make progress on already internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and by enhancing cooperation.  More information here: www.un-ngls.org/spip.php


3. January 2012

The real & propaganda war against Iran is on.

Interview with Ph.D., John Scales Avery

This video is a wonderful and heartening interview with John Avery, who gives us both knowledge and hope to avoid the current real danger of war, including nuclear war.

John Avery is an INES Council member and was part of a group associated with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. He is chairperson of the Danish Peace Academy, and the author of numerous books.
See the interview with
TV Street Space Copenhagen herewww.youtube.com/watch